I have a thing about food in the same way some women have a thing about expensive bags, and I'm not just talking about the finished product that ends up on your plate. Food is my kryptonite; one thing that I'm willing to spend money on regardless. Having been brought up in a country where we only grow root vegetables, apples, pears and plums, the endless variety of fresh treats to eat in Italy never ceases to give me a shiver of delight. Peck is one of the few places in Milan that manages to fulfil all of my food fantasies.
The cheese and cooked meats counter is enough to send me weak at the knees, and you will be surprised to hear that it won't necessarily break the bank. Peck's yellow bags with a golden sunburst have become synonymous with eye-watering price tags over the years, but that's not the case with all of its products. I've compared the price of Peck's parmesan with that of large chain supermarkets over the years and it's more or less the same (even cheaper in some cases) and heaps better. Nothing beats the crumbling, moist morsels of flakey parmesan that are lovingly cut, weighed and wrapped in front of your eyes. (My son can regularly be seen begging for a piece when I take him to stock up on supplies). Another excellent buy is Peck's €12 balsamic vinegar: free of E numbers and caramel and simply divine. Further surprises can also be found at the fresh meat counter in the form of Peck's delcious and excellent value pork. However, if you want to give yourself a real treat, you must try Peck's vacuum packed, marinated Florentine steak. My taste buds are salivating at the mere memory as I write. No more expensive that eating out and infinitely better in many cases, just make sure you know how to cook it properly (I asked a French friend to do the honours).
Peck also has a wonderful rosticceria section offering an array of readily prepared dishes. Personally I tend to limit myself to the "olive ascolane' (fried stuffed olives with a crunchy golden crust of breadcrumbs) as the prices are pretty steep in this section. Oh and don't miss the dessert, cakes and chocolate area!
Another favourite of mine is the bread section offering different varieties of fragrant bread. Big hits in my house are the Kamut rolls and Campa Grein wholemeal loaf.
Peck has obviously had to adapt over time to cater for a younger market and is slowly re-styling itself. The bar has now been moved downstairs backing on to the fresh fruit and vegetable section. Make sure you stop and savour a fresh croissant (brioche to the Milanese) and creamy cappucino while you decide what to buy.
I've only mentioned a few of the products on offer at Peck so you will just have to go and see the rest for yourself!