The retail food landscape has long been populated by bland, low-cost spaghetti noodles and insipid jars of watery marinara sauce. However, gourmet foods companies are revolutionizing the world of prepared sauces and dry, fresh and frozen pastas with high-quality ingredients and surprising flavor combinations. More and more consumers are turning to these companies and their products in order to make their Italian meals more memorable. Here are 10 companies to look for when stocking your pantry with artisan pastas and sauces.
1. Cucina Antica Foods Corp. The 2014 sofi Award winner in the Outstanding Pasta Sauce category for its Tuscany Pumpkin Pasta Sauce, Cucina Antica Foods Corp. offers a broad selection of all-natural sauces and authentic Italian pastas. The signature Tuscany Pumpkin Sauce features pumpkin and carrot puree, mixed with Italian San Marzano tomatoes, autumn spices and a touch of cream.
2. Dave’s Gourmet. The gourmet pasta sauce experts at Dave’s Gourmet strive to think outside the box when it comes to introducing new sauce flavors into the specialty food marketplace. The company’s product line contains unexpected hits like butternut squash, Indian-inspired masala marinara and wild mushroom. Dave’s Gourmet also offers a gourmet pasta sauce gift basket.
3. The French Farm. The French Farm offers a number of Italian specialties, including herb mixes, risotto mixes, polenta, sauces and dry pastas. The company recently introduced a new product to its line of brightly colored pastas: farfaline (bowtie). The new multicolor farfaline pasta is made exclusively from high-quality durum wheat semolina, tinged with natural plant-based colors.
4. Italian Foods Corporation. The shelf-stable dry stuffed pastas in Italian Foods Corporation’s La Piana line are a convenient and delicious way to enjoy an authentic Italian specialty. The stuffed pastas include ravioli, tortellini and mezzaluna filled with everything from Gorgonzola to winter squash to pesto. Italian Foods Corporation also offers artisan egg pastas, gnocchi and jarred sauces.
5. La Pasta Inc. A brilliantly-colored artisanal pasta delicacy, La Pasta’s Beet, Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese ravioli recently won the 2014 sofi Award in the Outstanding Pasta, Rice or Grain category. The product features the star ingredients wrapped in a delicate pasta sheath. In addition to this sofi Award-winning ravioli, La Pasta delights consumers with fresh vegan and gluten-free pasta offerings.
6. Michael’s of Brooklyn. Michael’s of Brooklyn traditional Italian tomato sauces taste like homemade, because they use high-quality ingredients: imported Italian tomatoes, fresh herbs and spices, garlic, onion and olive oil. The result is an extraordinary range of fresh, delicious sauces in six distinctive flavors, including marinara, tomato basil, filetto di pomodoro, puttanesca, arrabbiata and the newest flavor, home style gravy.
7. Pastificio Felicetti. Felicetti pasta is the world’s largest supplier of 100 percent organic pasta. The company’s pasta is outstanding because of its exceptional aromatic quality, taste and excellent nutritional value. These results are thanks to the attention paid to three key components: flour, water and drying technique. The company’s Monograno Felicetti line comes in three varieties: Farro, Kamut and Matt.
8. Po Valley Foods. Imported from the Po Valley plains of northern Italy, the products from Po Valley Foods include dry pastas, risotto, rice, polenta, olive oils and vinegars. The company offers four dry pasta lines: Campofilone® Elite, high-quality egg pastas; Premiato Pastificio Afeltra, bronze drawn durum wheat pastas; Carlo Moro, a line of buckwheat pastas; and Casarecci di Calabria pasta kits.
9. Robert Rothschild Farm. The artichoke pasta sauce from Robert Rothschild Farm features tender artichokes blended with tomatoes, onions, celery and herbs, creating a truly gourmet pasta topping. The product is just one of a number of distinctive pasta sauces offered by Robert Rothschild Farm. The company’s other sauces include puttanesca, vodka, roasted portabella, roma tomato and more.
10. Sauces ‘n Love. Specialty food company Sauces ‘n Love recently introduced a line of gluten-free pastas, including ravioli, tagliatelle, rigatoni and gnocchi. These products have a premium gourmet taste that surpasses many traditional wheat pastas in flavor and consistency and pairs perfectly with the brand’s pasta sauces. It is an innovation both omnivorous gourmands and wellness-concerned customers can enjoy together with gusto.
Award-winning La Sovana extra-virgin olive oil, distributed in the United States by Mintie Wine & Spirits, is a renowned Italian single estate olive oil, combining a blend of leccino, moraiolo and coreggiolo olives. The olives are harvested at the peak of freshness and pressed by hand on the Olivi family’s Tuscan estate. Preserving the essence of the Italian countryside, the olives are pressed within 24 hours of being harvested.
La Sovana extra-virgin olive oil has been certified by the Consortium for the protection of PDO Extra Virgin Olive Oil DOP Terre di Siena. In addition, the product was recently awarded a Mention of Merit from the national Sirena d’Oro di Sorrento competition.
Already used in some of the finest restaurants in Europe, La Sovana extra-virgin olive oil is now being introduced to the American market. The oil is now available online at www.zingermans.com, as well as at The Cheese Store in Beverly Hills, California and in a growing number of specialty food stores.
For more information, visit the company online at www.lasovana.com/en/olio.
For an effortless way to add zest to food, Doxy’s Fine Foods , a brand of artisanal seasoning blends, announces the launch of its newest product: Doxy’s™ Pasta Sauce Herbs. The Pasta Sauce Herbs mix, made of sweet garlic and natural spices, is the perfect addition to Italian-style home meals, without added preservatives or excessive sodium.
“Knowing Americans have limited time in the kitchen, I developed our blends to make meal preparation easy, delicious and fun,” says Nina Faull, Founder and CEO of Doxy’s Fine Foods. “Doxy’s Pasta Sauce Herbs is so versatile, and provides a feeling of la bella vita to weekday, home-cooked meals.”
All of Doxy’s seasonings boast gluten-free, fat-free, and no-added MSG natural goodness to meet another demand among Americans: health. With Doxy’s Pasta Sauce Herbs mix, Americans can add flavor to their meals without sacrificing health. Available on Doxy’s website for just $3.50, a package of Pasta Sauce Herbs takes quick home-cooking to the next level. Enhance simple canned tomatoes with a packet of all-natural Doxy’s Herbs to create an impactful, healthy dish. Mixed with extra virgin and olive oil for an herb vinaigrette, or dusted atop buttered baguettes, Doxy’s Pasta Sauce Herbs offer a new twist to a typical standby meal.
Tribe’s new Herb Infused Olive Oil hummus has a bold taste that is both rustic and refined. The brand’s beloved Classic hummus is blended with exotic za’atar, which is a mixture of sumac, sesame seed and herbs frequently used in Mediterranean foods. This distinctive blend is topped with dried roasted garlic, sesame seeds and then drizzled with olive oil that has also been infused with za’atar, the final touches on this complex flavor is that is simply delicious.
Tribe’s Limited Batch Herb Infused Olive Oil is as versatile as it is unique. Perfect for those looking to add flavor without loading on the sodium or fat, it makes for a great spread or dip for all types of breads, replacing every day table olive oil and butter. Additionally, it’s a great accoutrement for all vegetables including a simple crudite platter or roasted vegetables, namely cauliflower, eggplant and zucchini.
“We’ve gained a reputation of continually introducing new and exciting flavors and flavor combinations to hummus lovers, and the addition of za’atar really delivers on that,” said Adam Carr, CEO of Tribe Mediterranean Foods, Inc. “Once again I think we found a premium partner for our beloved chickpea.”
Herb Infused Olive Oil is the fourth installment in Tribe’s popular Limited Batch series. Its previous flavor, Rosemary Focaccia, which launched this past summer, was so well-received it recently became part of the permanent portfolio, rebranded as Lemon Rosemary Focaccia, joining the ranks of Everything, another former Limited Batch flavor that became part of the Tribe family of flavors back in 2013.
Tribe Limited Batch Herb Infused Olive Oil can be found at fine grocery stores nationwide. The suggested retail price of the eight-ounce bowls will be $3.49.
Organic Cracked Freekeh is now available from Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods. It’s the latest ancient grain to join Bob’s Red Mill’s growing Grains of Discovery line. Freekeh is a whole grain food made in an old-world way, following a traditional process popular in the Middle East and Northeastern Africa.
“Since we introduced our Grains of Discovery line last summer, the response has been tremendous, and customers have been clamoring for more,”said Bob Moore, Founder, President and CEO of employee-owned Bob’s Red Mill. “In deciding how to expand the line, we searched far and wide to find just the perfect grain, and we found that with Freekeh—something totally unique and virtually unknown in the West.”
According to legend, freekeh was created when a farmer’s crop of young green wheat was set on fire by a rival neighbor. Instead of letting the burned wheat go to waste, the farmer’s family harvested the roasted wheat and removed the chaff, and to their surprise it had a pleasantly nutty, lightly roasted flavor.
Cracked freekeh is made by lightly roasting whole wheat kernels, then cracking them to create a whole grain food with a texture similar to bulgur, with a mild, nutty flavor. Bob’s Red Mill Organic Cracked Freekeh, which retails for $6.99 for a 16-ounce package, cooks in just 25 minutes and adds wonderful texture and flavor to a variety of salads, pilafs and soups. It also can be enjoyed as a hot breakfast porridge. Freekeh is an excellent source of fiber, high in iron and other essential minerals, and provides 7 grams of protein per serving.
“We are really excited to add this ancient grain to our popular Grains of Discovery line and to share its history with our customers,” said Matthew Cox, Vice President of Marketing at Bob’s Red Mill. “Legends aside, the flavor of this grain is so unique and delicious, our hope is that it will become a staple grain on every dinner table. That’s at the heart of what our Grains of Discovery are all about.”
Bob’s Red Mill Organic Cracked Freekeh is available now to retailers in cases of four, and also online at www.bobsredmill.com. To inquire about carrying the products, please contact the Bob’s Red Mill sales team at 800-553-2258 or email@example.com. For more information about the entire Bob’s Red Mill product line, please visit www.bobsredmill.com.
Passage Foods has released its latest edition of “Passage Briefs.” This edition presents a report entitled “Cooking Sauce Sales Simmer.” Within the brief, the U.S. cooking sauce market is explored through a detailed analysis of the industry and its consumers in five sections.
- Current cooking sauce market: The cooking sauce market has seen 25 percent growth in sales in the past decade, which is expected to continue due to factors such as at-home cooking, health, and less grocery spending.
- Ethnic flavor trends: Consumers have shown an increased interest in ethnic cooking sauces and food options. This category has quickly expanded to a high percentage of market share.
- Product claim trends: Consumer are looking towards alternative options for their at-home meals alongside the health food trend that has steadily been growing in the U.S.
- Millennials and cooking sauces: The Millennial Generation is expected to impact the economy of the U.S. as they continue to enter the work force. Their interests are driving the cooking sauce market expansion.
- Future of the cooking sauce market: A look into the current cooking sauce market provides insight into the development of the industry in the years to come.
The report is now available for free by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or calling toll-free at 800.860.1045 ext. 204.
Click here for news about Passage Foods’ latest product introductions.
Bauli, a creator of authentic Italian holiday cakes and pastries, is announcing its official launch in the United States. Bauli products are now available at retailers, including Fairway, Whole Foods and Duane Reade stores nationwide. Bauli’s line of products will introduce traditional Italian desserts to the U.S. market, guaranteeing the highest quality of natural ingredients to customers.
Rooted in Verona, Italy with history dating back to 1922, today, the Bauli family business maintains the same dedication to excellence that it started over 80 years ago. Bauli prides itself in having combined the skill of homemade recipes with high technology to bring authentic Italian baked goods and holiday products to consumers. With respect for traditions and ancient recipes, Bauli products are oven baked and made with no preservatives, no artificial colors or flavors and no genetically modified ingredients and are kosher certified. The Bauli family’s guiding principle has always been a desire for excellence.
Bauli’s core products include Il Panettone di Milano, the traditional and most famous Italian Christmas bread, loaded with candied citron, lemon zest and raisins; Il Pandoro di Verona, a pan d’oro or golden bread, which is a traditional Christmas bread from Verona that’s baked in a special star-shape mold, sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar and made with real eggs, which gives it the beautiful golden color; and its everyday croissant treats, which include chocolate cream, vanilla custard, and cherry jelly. In addition to these core products, Bauli is also offering its specialty Italian treats for the U.S., including Il Budino, a moist cake with delicate chocolate filling, exquisite chocolate icing and dark chocolate decorations, and La Bavarese, a soft pan d’oro dough with delicate custard cream and sugared cocoa filling. Bauli’s authentic products are the ultimate holiday hostess gift, arriving in a beautiful packaging, Il Panettone and Il Pandoro are an awaited Christmas tradition at many family tables throughout Italy, uniting the love of family, friends and food. Bauli products are a delicious Italian tradition that’s perfect for sharing with family and friends just like in Italy, and great for making delicious recipes, including panettone pudding and orange ricotta panettone ‘shortcake’.
Karoun Dairies‘ 2014 product launch, Blue Isle Mediterranean Yogurt Spreads, wins first place in the “Labneh, Greek Style Yogurt and Other Strained Cultured Products” category at the annual 2014 American Cheese Society Awards, which took place from
July 29 – August 1 in Sacramento, California.
The 2014 ACS Judging & Competition saw 1,685 entries of cheeses and cultured dairy products from 248 companies in North America. Among them, Karoun Dairies received two awards to add to its growing collection.
“We’re honored by the ACS and their acknowledgement of the quality of the products we produce. We use hand-crafted traditional methods of blending, aging, and fermenting all of our probiotic rich yogurt spreads,” states Mr. Rostom Baghdassarian, COO for Karoun Dairies. “This year, we introduced Blue Isle Mediterranean Yogurt Spreads, as we’ve seen a major demand for healthier, Mediterranean-style spreads. Blue Isle is a fresh, tasty, and health conscious alternative to traditional cream cheeses.”
Karoun Dairies’ winning products at the American Cheese Society 2014 awards include:
Labneh, Greek Style Yogurt and Other Strained Cultured Products: first place - Blue Isle Original Mediterranean Yogurt Spread
Crème Fraiche and Sour Cream Products – Made From Cow’s Milk: second place – Canadian Style Sour Cream
Over 1,400 members strong, ACS is the leading organization supporting the understanding, appreciation, and promotion of farmstead, artisan and specialty cheeses produced in the Americas. ACS hosts North America’s foremost annual educational conference and world-renowned cheese judging and competition.
Blue Isle Yogurt Spreads are distributed by Karoun Dairies, Inc., a second-generation family business with multiple awards for excellence in the cheese and dairy industry. Accolades include World Cheese Awards, World Championship Cheese medals, U.S. Championships, American Cheese Society medals, and California State Fair awards to name a few. Karoun produces some of California’s finest specialty cheeses; using century-old and handmade methods. All 130+ SKUs are made from ultra-premium ingredients, including premium milk from cows that are free of artificial hormones, BGH/rBST, and are Real California Milk certified.
Vanda Asapahu, founder of Ayara Thai Sauces, is the winner of the Specialty Food Association’s second annual advertising contest for specialty food professionals to tell a compelling story about their passion for specialty food.
Asapahu’s story was selected from 142 inspiring entries about family businesses, culinary breakthroughs, childhood memories, career changes, and more. The prize is a professional ad that will be part of the Association’s national advertising and marketing campaign. The ad will be featured in leading specialty food trade magazines, online, and at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. The show takes place Jan. 11-13, 2015.
More than 12,000 votes were cast in the not-for-profit trade association’s second annual “My Story, My Ad” contest. The 10 entries with the most votes went on to a final round of judging by a panel of advertising and specialty food professionals. The contest was open to members of the Specialty Food Association.
Ayara Thai Sauces was born out of requests from loyal fans of Asapahu’s family-owned restaurant, Ayara Thai Cuisine in Los Angeles, for takeout containers of its distinctive sauces. This company’s Ayara Thai Peanut Sauce was a finalist in the Specialty Food Association’s sofi™ Awards contest for the outstanding products of 2014.
“As our restaurant grew, visitors came to love not only the food we prepared, but also the sauces served with them,” says Asapahu. She adds that customers would return with “amazing stories of how they creatively used our sauces to impress their friends and share in the joy of cooking.”
The contest also included a People’s Choice Winner, based on a popular vote. The trio of women behind Simply Panache, maker of Mango Mango mango preserves, emerged as winners. They are Tanecia Willis, Lakesha Brown-Renfro, a military spouse, and Nzinga Teule-Hekima, a family physician. The company is based in Hampton, Virginia. The prize is an iPad.
For the winning entries, click here.
The contest spotlights the Association’s brand for the industry, “Specialty Food. Craft. Care. Joy.” It is designed to highlight the people behind the small businesses that fuel the $88.3 billion specialty food industry and the innovative foods and beverages they create and bring to market.
“This year’s entries showed how much passion and care our members bring to their work,” says Association President Ann Daw.
The panel of judges included Katherine Alford, Senior Vice President, Culinary Productions, Food Network; Tom Cook, Executive Creative Director, York & Chapel; Tracy Nieporent, Partner and Director of Marketing, Myriad Restaurant Group; Beth Snyder Bulik, freelance writer for Advertising Age; and Denise Purcell, editor of Specialty Food Media.