Eggplant parm odyssey, continued: The search, the showdown, the conclusion

I received some sympathetic suggestions after I disclosed my longing for a certain frozen Italian entree that local stores don’t carry anymore. Someone suggested Trader Joe’s, where I found one boring (above) and one yummy (below) option. I highly recommend the yummy one when you’re in the mood for a post-modern variation.

Trader Joe’s Stacked Eggplant Parmesan, an excellent reinterpretation if you are in the mood for a reinterpretation.

I also called the 800 number at Celentano, and left a message about my plight, including my  mailing address.

While I anxiously awaited a reply, I discovered that a restaurant in my neighborhood has an eggplant parm dish on the menu. Still plagued with a craving, I splurged and was pleasantly surprised. True, it takes liberties — adding spinach and pasta — but it was pretty darned good. The eggplant medallions were creamy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, not greasy. Skillfully done, VIA Downer.

Then I received an envelope in the mail with a form letter, three $1 coupons, and a neatly hand-written note in the margin:

“The Walmart store located at 3355 S. 27th St. carries our Celentano Eggplant Parmigiana.”

Bingo! I had some free time this week so I made the trip to the south side, carrying my letter and my coupons. Wow that’s one big Walmart down there on South 27th, a lot of frozen-food cases to search. I went up, I went down. I tried Italian, I tried frozen entrees. I could not find the Celentano. I asked a gentleman who was wearing a snowsuit and stocking frozen food.

“Uh, we’ve got the meatballs.”

“Meatballs? No! You are supposed to have the eggplant!”

“Um, the noodles?”

“No, no, no! Here, it says right in this letter!” I fear I might have waved it in his face.

“Oh, I think I know where it is.”

And he led me to the boxes. (Queue orchestral music.) Behold:

Pretty great price, too. Four boxes are now nestled in my freezer. John and I were thinking of having a nibble at Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro bar tonight, but maybe I’ll just stay home and heat up my oven … .

(A special thank you to my friend Deborah for assisting in my odyssey.)

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Filed under Appetite, Obsessions

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