DeRosa Imports in Griffith, Ind., has been around since 1926 when Antonio and Rosa DeRosa immigrated to Chicago's East Side where they opened a shop featuring the pastas, olive oils, wines and coffees of their native Italy.
In 1946, their eldest son, Clemente DeRosa, joined the family business and introduced Greek and Balkan (then known as Yugoslavian) foods to accommodate the community's needs. The business relocated to Griffith, Ind., where it stands today and is run by Clemente's son, Anthony DeRosa. Like his father, Anthony has expanded his product line to include Hungarian, Serbian, Croatian, Turkish, Slovenian and Macedonian products available at the store and online.
You really can't go wrong with one of the belly-buster sandwiches or panini Anthony will whip up for you while you sip an espresso or latte. But the real treasure lies in the shelves of spreads, canned fish, pastas, artisan breads from Labriola and Turano, wines, coffees, oils, cookies, candies, jams and other dry goods. The cold cases are amazing (try the imported prosciutto and Gorgonzola cheese) filled to the brim with all types of olives, cheeses, luncheon meats and more.
Not to be outdone by the cold cases, the freezer cases burgeon with sausages, ravioli and sauce all made off premises but to uncompromising DeRosa specifications. If you like Mediterranean, Central European and Balkan foods, DeRosa's is a feast for the eyes and the stomach. I never walk out of there without finding something new to try.
If you have an obscure Italian, Hungarian, Greek, Serbian, Croatian or Macedonian recipe from your grandmother but you can't find the ingredients, I'd bet you can find them at DeRosa's. If not, Anthony can probably special order them for you. Best of all, he will ship nationwide.
If you are familiar with Five Roses flour, Vegeta seasoning, and ajvar, then this is the place to get them.
Address: 118 N. Broad St., Griffith, IN 46319
Hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays and Fridays; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursdays; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays; closed Sundays
Price range: $-$$$