Food / Smiths Falls / The Wedge

Andress Hits Italian and Irish High Notes

Wanita Andress, Dan Andress and Steve Akeson participate in Cheese Wheel Pasta tasting event, Andress’ Your Independent Grocer, Smiths Falls, Ontario PHOTO BY theWedge.LIVE

By MAGGIE M, Editor, Wedgee-in-Chief, theWedge.LIVE ❤️ TO SHARE click icons at story’s end.

“It’s Dino,” Steve Akeson identified the Italian crooner on his little radio. It added to the mood for this “Cheese Wheel Pasta” event. “The highlight of my career,” he adds.

Akeson has been the tasting event “Maestro” for some time at Andress’ Your Independent Grocer, but this event had him swinging his hips and humming a few tunes.

I distinctly heard, “Amore…”.

This little piazza in the middle of the store was bursting with energy. Multo bene! It’s that Italian spirit. I know it well, having traveled from Lago di como right down to Positano.

Steve Akeson participate in Cheese Wheel Pasta event, Andress’ Your Independent Grocer, Smiths Falls, Ontario PHOTO BY theWedge.LIVE

Akeson spent the previous day cutting through this special cheese wheel weighing 40 kilos (88.2 pounds), the “King of cheeses,” an authentic Parmigiano Reggiano with a special cheese-cutting knife. One half is in the cutting area within the store being packaged into smaller wedges; the other half is functioning as edible tableware (my words.)

He tossed the pasta while scraping up the cheese softened with warm grappa (an eau de vie made from grapeskins.) Authentic Reggiano is always two or more years aged and from the northern region of Italy, especially the town of Modena. It is uniquely produced from raw milk and an excellent option for those who are lactose intolerant.

Akeson added a little PC Alfredo sauce and PC fresh ground pepper, “a perfect pairing,” to his most innovative dish yet. There is no recipe. Just add this special cheese to your pasta and build from there.


Our international foray is not limited to Italy. Last week, Ireland starred. The Andress taste event featured the potato, notorious for its saving grace during the Irish famine.

This was no ordinary potato side dish. It was Colcannon.

St. Patrick is always remembered with excitement. Did you know he was a Scott? He crossed the waters to save the Irish from their worship of fairies and other mythical gods, converting them to Catholicism.

L – R : Dan Andress, Steve Akeson and Wanita Andress in “huggle” for St.Patrick’s taste event, Andress’ Your Independent Grocer, Smiths Falls, Ontario PHOTO BY theWedge.LIVE


Colcannon (Cabbage and Potatoes)


• 3 lbs yellow or red potatoes , peeled & quartered
• 1/2 cup cream
• 1/4 cup butter
• 6 slices bacon
• 1 white onion , diced
• 1/2 head of cabbage (approx. 6 cups)
• 3 tablespoons butter , melted

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook potatoes 12-15 minutes or until fork tender.
2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large pan until crisp. Set aside to cool, reserve drippings.
3. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the bacon drippings. Cook onion and cabbage over medium heat in drippings until onion is translucent and cabbage is tender.
4. Mash potatoes adding cream and 1/4 cup butter as needed. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Gently fold together mashed potatoes, cabbage & onions and chopped bacon. Top with additional melted butter if desired.

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