CEO Notes: December Mirror

SFGN's Mirror: Dec. Issue

(Mirror) According to a much quoted truism from playwright Neil Simon, “there are two laws in the universe: the law of gravity and everyone likes Italian food.”

I grew up in Italy and,  like all  Italians,  I live a romance with food. Everyone can cook and everyone is an expert.

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You want to make pasta? It’s pasta, tomato, oil, and garlic with a touch of red pepper if you like it with a kick sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

Pizza? It’s dough, mozzarella, tomato, and basil, that’s all! You don’t need layers of pineapples or bacon over it. Masterpieces should not be tampered with.

Italian food is simple at heart. It’s all about harmony rather than quantity. There are usually 3 to 5 mandatorily fresh top quality ingredients and it is fabulous. Why overcomplicate a good thing? And it goes way beyond just simple nourishment. Discussions about how a particular dish should be cooked,  what sauce is acceptable with which pasta shape, or which wine should be served with it, are serious business. 

The reason for this reverence for food and how it’s prepared stems from the importance of family in mostly Catholic Italy.

Sunday would not be Sunday without going to Mass. Of course we couldn’t eat before Mass because we had to fast before Communion, but we endured because the good part was that we knew, when we got home, we’d find freshly handmade ravioli, or tortellini or gnocchi followed by lamb or rabbit, ossobuco, pork roast or fish and a large variety of butter or olive oil sautéed vegetables, with the ever present rosemary oven  roasted potatoes.

Large extended family groups come together to eat and socialize as often as possible. The average year is littered with religious holidays, around which traditions have grown about which particular foods must be eaten.

It’s a tradition, a feast, and it’s not optional. Italian food has now travelled all over the world. Italian immigrants have brought their cuisine with them and used food as a comforting taste of home, setting up restaurants and sharing their passion with the rest of the world. It’s this passion and pride that also make the food so delicious, popular, enduring and wholesome.

You don’t have to be Italian to agree that food, any ethnic food,  is one of the greatest pleasures of life, if not the most satisfying, therefore we have dedicated this issue of the Mirror to the dining experience.

I hope you enjoy it. Buon Appetito!

 

Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

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This cheese is commonly referred to as "The King of Italian Cheeses.”

Parmigiano-Reggiano is a hard Italian Cheese made from partly skimmed, unpasteurized milk. It is only allowed to be produced in the provinces of Parma, Reggio-Emilia and Modena, as well as parts of Emilia-Romagna. It has a minimum aging period of 12 months, but all Parmigiano Reggiano marked "EXPORT" requires a minimum aging period of 18 months. 

No preservatives or artificial ingredients are used in its manufacture. Parmigiano-Reggiano is a product that matures well; evolving in flavor as it ages. Aged Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese has numerous health benefits. Because of its long aging period, it's paste is highly concentrated, containing only 30% water, offering a full 70% of its mass as nutrients rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. Lactose intolerant people can rejoice in that Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese is highly digestible. Furthermore it only has a 28% fat content, which is exceptionally low compared to other cheeses.

 

Antipasto Meat Tray by Fratelli Beretta

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Perfect for parties or unexpected guests! This tray contains 3 ounces each of sliced prosciutto, Italian dry salami, black pepper salami, and coppa ham. With some bread, olives, and a bottle of vino or two, you're all set for an impromptu picnic. Fratelli Beretta, producer of Prosciutto di Parma, Mortadella, Salami and other Italian specialties, is a family business that has enjoyed success for almost two centuries, owing to their dedication to producing products with the finest ingredients. The statement "La qualitá é una tradizione di famiglia" (Quality is a family tradition) is the motto that guides the company.

Size: 12 ounces

$ 13.99  igourmet.com

 

16 Freshly Baked English Sultana Scones

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Available as a pack of 16, Hayward & Padgett's Sultana English Scones are delicious, crumbly scones filled with sweet juicy sultanas. Made using British flour and free range egg, these english scones are free from artificial colours and flavours and are suitable for vegetarians.

Hayward & Padgett are a family run bakery with over 25 years of experience and is the UK's largest scone manufacturer.

Net Weight: 18.76 ounces (531.8 grams)

16 Freshly Baked English Sultana Scones -. $14.79

www.EnglishTeaStore.com/hayward-padgett-sultana-scones.html

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