If you want a lunchtime sandwich in Italy, you head not for a supermarket chiller cabinet, but to the nearest deli.
There’s no need for a menu; in front of your greedy eyes lies a stunning array of appetising anti-pasta. You choose your bread, point to the salamis, cheeses, pickles, griddled vegetables, pestos and pastes take your fancy and disengage your jaws in readiness for possibly the best you’ll ever have.
And now you can do the same - in the heart of Rotherham. The town’s renaissance has begun; High Street is getting prettier and prettier and the Miele Italian deli is one of the unique local businesses to take up residence.
Italianophile or a Rotherhamite, I urge you to head there.
Next to the Makers’ Emporium, it’s a deli-ghtful little place; shelves brim with all things fantastico; quality pasta and passatas, pulses and herbs, coffee beans, pungent oils and balsamic vinegars on draft. A table groans with olives and the deli counter itself is laden with a superb selection of prosciutto, cooked ham, salami and cheese from across Italy and Europe.
The heady blend of aromas reminds of Brookeses, the All Saints Square emporium that was the town’s epicurean jewel.
Owners Andrew and Franca Pinkney, who worked at the popular deli stall and cafe in Doncaster Market, took the refurbed shop unit at No 22 two months ago and have been thrilled by the response from locals.
We visit on a rain-drenched Saturday but they are doing a roaring trade at the counter and all four tables are occupied. But by the time we’ve shopped from the shelves, snapping up hot-smoked paprika, pasta shells, red wine vinegar and a balsamic vinegar with fig and date, a table is free.
A waitress brings over excellent coffees made from the Vero brand on the shelves. They are unbelievably cheap; £1.50 for a strong, smoky Americano and £2 for a latte with plenty of depth. Rotherham prices.
Instead of a hunky sarnie (£3.95) we ask the waitress to make us a sharing platter. A Roman orgy on a plate arrives; she’s chosen well. Three wedges of ripe cheese (from smoked brie to blue-veined dolcelatte), proscutto ham, fennel and truffle-laced salamis, black and green olives, soft red peppers, tiny, cheese-stuffed sweet patty squash, marinated mushrooms and two breads.
Ingredients weigh in at £12.95 and everything is incredible. As we silently mourning the fact that we couldn’t eat it all, the waitress reads our thoughts and boxes it for us to take home.
For afters there are dinky canoli (Italian pastry tubes filled with flavoured cream) at 50p each.
The deli is open Monday to Saturday, 8.30am-5.30pm. There’s no card machine yet; it’s coming soon, as are ice creams and hopefully, pizzas.
Venue: Milele Deli
Address: 22 High Street, Rotherham, S60 1PP
Contact: 07768 853255
Star ratings out of six