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Alleva Dairy

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Little Italy's oldest cheese market

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Little Italy
Commercial, Food & Drink

Place Matters Profile

For over 100 years, the oldest cheese market in Little Italy (and, according to many, the oldest in the U.S.) continues to serve its community by making the finest quality ricotta and mozzarella cheeses. The original store was established in 1892 by, Pina Alleva, shortly after she emigrated here from Benevento, Italy. Her husband, Henry Alleva, and his sister, known to all as Aunt Erma, continued the tradition. Today, the tradition is carried on by their son, Robert Alleva, Sr., and his son Robert making it a fourth-generation family business.

As you enter the shop, you take a step back in time, as the store retains an Old World aura. The walls are covered with its original tiles and tin ceiling. There are painted glass signs advertising "Burro e Uova" and "Latticini di Nostra Produzione," and one points out that ricotta and mozzarella are "Sono Fatte con Puro Latte" (translation,...

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Hanna Griff

A smaller shop devoted mostly to cheeses and meats, Alleva has a great pepperoni bread, rice balls, yummy things to eat. The cheese is delicious, and I love the home made mozzarella. They also sell olive oils and bread, and I especially love the braided bread with sesame seed. (May 2011)

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