Anthony Corso | Stratford Court
|Danielle Basagoitia and Charlie.
Photo Tony Corso. Click to enlarge.
An additional “Secret to Explore” opened in the Village this week! It might not be a “Big Secret” but it’s a small and notable one. Introducing the Secret Pantry!!!
In many respects, Café Secret gave birth to Peruvian culture and cuisine in Del Mar when it opened on Camino Del Mar four years ago. It seems that so many people were entranced with its culinary offerings that they begged to know what ingredients, spices and herbs were inspirationally used and lent a special and distinguished flavor.
In response, Danielle Basagoitia and her husband, Bratzo, (and their dog, Charlie) recently decided to reveal some of the secrets of Café Secret. They opened a nearby shop, the “Secret Pantry,” featuring the culture and flavors of their native Peru. People will discover that the ingredients used in the restaurant can be found here.
The Pantry is especially equipped to accommodate customers’ craving for “food to go,” including those who might want to prepare a picnic basket for the park or beach. In the display cases can be found such delicacies as Peruvian Tamales and Jamon del Pais (specially prepared ham). Exhibited also are an impressive assortment of imported wine and beer and other menu items such as Queso Fresco (Cheese), an intriguing assortment of tropical fruit presented as frozen pulp: Mango, Guanabana, Chirimoya, Lucuma, Mora and a variety of imported Peruvian ice creams.
One section of the shop is devoted to “Holistic Food and Spices” featuring such esoteric delicacies as “Maca,” an herb used by the Incas and grown at elevations of 13,000 to 15,000 feet as well as Kiwicha Amaranth, a grain similar to quinoa and Una de Gato, an immune booster thought effective in treating a wide variety of maladies.
Danielle and Bratzo have successfully fashioned an exotic and appealing “marketplace”-- doubtless, it won’t remain a secret very long!