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Bronx Week: Local Factory Makes Ravioli Packed With Italian Flavor

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In the following Bronx Week report, NY1's Dean Meminger shows us why it might be hard to resist the extra carbs and calories found at a local ravioli factory.

When you think of the traditional Italian delicacies in the Bronx, you might think Arthur Avenue, but on Morris Park Avenue, it's homemade pasta of all shapes and sizes, courtesy of Riviera Ravioli.

Ravioli, tortellini, cavatelli, manicotti, fettuccini...

"We make them all in different sizes with different doughs— different flavored pastas," says owner Joseph Giordano. "And every thing is made from scratch."

And scratch means scratch at Riviera Ravioli. Eggs, water and flour make the great tasting pasta. And only the best products are used for the fillings. Meats and cheeses are mixed and grinded, and vegetables are cooked right here before being stuffed into the pasta shells. It all makes for that old fashioned homemade taste.

"The name originates on the Italian Riviera, where the family that started the business originally came from, where there is a great tradition of good food. It's the northwestern part of Italy around the Mediterranean Coast," says Giordano. "We try to carry on the tradition, even though sometimes it's very difficult, but we work very hard at it."

Riviera Ravioli first opened in 1946 in the Bronx as a deli. It moved to its current location in 1976 and expanded the business.

People from all over the metropolitan area travel here to pick up fresh pasta products, but the biggest customers are hotels and restaurants looking to add some real Italian flavor to their menus.

"Some customers like to have their own name on the product, so we have a computer program that we can print a label for a customer with his own name on it... but it's really made by Riviera," says Giordano.

Riviera Ravioli has a lot more to offer than just the more common beef or cheese raviolis, they also make chicken, lobster and crab meat ravioli, as well as spinach, asparagus, eggplant and walnut ravioli. And they say if you can think of another filling, they'll try it as well.

- Dean Meminger
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