When I was growing up, one treat we very rarely had for dinner but I loved very much were these cheese shells. I’m pretty certain my dad used to buy them from Costco, but they were so, so decadent and delicious. They had at least three or four different types of cheese, and when we’d have them for dinner, we’d have a little tomato sauce on the side of them and dig into the creaminess of the different cheeses all melding together. Thinking about it now, I do not think I can even remember the last time I had these shells as a kid. They just randomly disappeared from our meals out of nowhere. I was reminded of this delicious memory when we visited two popular ravioli establishments in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, today, Queen Ann Ravioli & Macaroni and Pastosa.

Exploring the many Italian shops across The Bronx and Brooklyn is very overwhelming in that all I want to do is buy a little of everything… but then, that’s not really realistic because a little of everything would likely require a U-Haul truck to bring it all back to our apartment. So when we visit these areas, I need to be selective about what we can realistically carry back and actually eat in a timely manner so that we don’t waste any food. So when I saw that Queen Ann was most famous for their three-cheese ravioli, I knew we had to get a box of them. We also picked up some fresh, lightly salted mozzarella and pesto from Pastosa, among other goodies.

Food memories are usually my happy memories — from my childhood and even my adult life. It seems to be the one constant of joy for me.

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