Walking into this Sicilian deli, hidden down a sleepy Fitzrovia backstreet, is faintly surreal. It’s absolutely, positively miniscule, occupying the front half of a shop that also houses the owner’s sister’s fashion agency (there’s a transparent curtain in-between). It’s hard to know when one begins and the other ends.
That said, the tempting display of cakes, pastries and sweet morsels at Strazzanti would be well at odds with the foodie foibles of the fashion industry. Still, it’s mighty delicate stuff: from tiny nobbles of ‘chocolate salami’ (more of a almond-studded loose chocolate truffle) and dusty, almost short, biscotti to ricotta-filled cannoli, salty almond brittle and dainty slices of pistachio cake. It’s all personally made by the owner, too – Emilia Strazzanti is a Dorchester-trained chef who relocated to Sicily, before coming back and setting up shop here.
In addition to the sugary titbits there’s a smattering of imported Sicilian things on offer – jars of caper pâté, tuna in oil, dried pasta and so on – and a percolator of Italian coffee sits steaming on the counter. Eating in is (technically) possible, but only if there’s two of you, and you don’t mind basically sitting on the owner’s lap. A place for gossiping this is not. Luckily for salacious cake fiends, there are plans for a larger shop in the works.
Is Strazzanti London’s smallest deli? Possibly. But one of it’s sweetest? Certamente.