In the old days on "the Avenue," matrons of large Italian families would come to Mancuso's on East Passyunk and buy basket cheeses by the bunch to make their Easter ham pies. The neighborhood demographic has changed, but owner Phil Mancuso has not. He's likely the last in the region to still make this fresh and crumbly curd cheese by hand – just like his father, Lucio, and grandfather Filippo, who began as a cheesemaker in Calabria. It's mild, but so fresh you can still taste the subtle sweetness of fresh butterfat. Mancuso also makes them year-round.
- Craig LaBan
Fresh basket cheese, $5.99 a pound, Lucio J. Mancuso & Son, 1902 E. Passyunk Ave., 215-389-1817.
Kosher-for-Passover packaged snacks seem to improve a little every year. The latest innovation is a gluten-free, Passover-approved answer to those cookie and brownie cravings: Rebecca & Rose's Brownie Crunch. The crisp, not-too-sweet wafers are made with potato starch and are dairy free.