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artisanal products

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Pamela,

Pondering your response to the question on llittle known Italian artisanal products and the difficulties of importation to the US, I wondered if you were aware of American products that have some relation to Italian traditions. Do you have any favorites?


Pastaman

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there are a lot of american products with italian roots, some better than others. Aside from artisan know-how, raw materials make all of the difference, also climate. Some products can get very close. I've tasted Paul Bertolli's balsamic vinegar (made near sonoma, calif.)..... created following the traditional method used in Modena, using barrels made in Modena by our mutual friend Francesco Renzi....and it is wonderful. But, on the other hand, I have yet to taste a grana cheese that can match Parmigiano-Reggiano. Maybe in another 700 years, Americans will get it down!

Recently I've been searching for American producers of salume. Since so many Italian cured meats are not imported, I needed to recommend something to use for the recipes in my new book. It was a challenge. Paul Bertolli will hopefully be selling some of his wonderful salumi soon<www.oliveto.com>. Armandino Batali in Seattle sells a wide variety at his shop and is starting to do some mail order <www.salumiartisancuredmeats.com>. And, Molinari in San Francisco is reliable <www.molinarideli.com>.


Pamela Sheldon Johns

Italian Food Artisans

www.FoodArtisans.com

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there are a lot of american products with italian roots, some better than others. Aside from artisan know-how, raw materials make all of the difference, also climate. Some products can get very close. I've tasted Paul Bertolli's balsamic vinegar (made near sonoma, calif.)..... created following the traditional method used in Modena, using barrels made in Modena by our mutual friend Francesco Renzi....and it is wonderful. But, on the other hand, I have yet to taste a grana cheese that can match Parmigiano-Reggiano. Maybe in another 700 years, Americans will get it down!

Recently I've been searching for American producers of salume. Since so many Italian cured meats are not imported, I needed to recommend something to use for the recipes in my new book. It was a challenge. Paul Bertolli will hopefully be selling some of his wonderful salumi soon<www.oliveto.com>. Armandino Batali in Seattle sells a wide variety at his shop and is starting to do some mail order <www.salumiartisancuredmeats.com>. And, Molinari in San Francisco is reliable <www.molinarideli.com>.

I heard recently that a lot of so-called parmigiano is actually made in Spain and sold as Parmigiano. Do you know if there is any basis to that?


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

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Besides the american products with italian roots, i think it is important to focus on our own American traditions, new and old. Slow Food <www.slowfood.com> has really helped heighten awareness of this, and the founder of the US contingent, Patrick Martins, has started a new program called Heritage Foods USA. They support authentic American breeds raised naturally and humanely without antibiotics and hormones. I just got their brochure, and it makes me wish I was over there to order and try some of these: American Bronze Turkey, American Buff Goose, Katahdin Lamb, Berkshire Pork. Plus, native beans, rice, flour, and herbs. This sounds like an advertisement, but I think it is worth checking out: <www.heritagefoodsusa.com>

Now, back to Italy.


Pamela Sheldon Johns

Italian Food Artisans

www.FoodArtisans.com

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I heard recently that a lot of so-called parmigiano is actually made in Spain and sold as Parmigiano. Do you know if there is any basis to that?

The consortium for Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and their US representative in Syracuse, NY (Ciao Ltd), are ever vigilant for counterfeit products that are trying to ride on the fame of this cheese which has been perfected over 700 years of tradition. There have been products from Argentina, Germany, the US, and maybe even Spain, made in a similar way, but they cannot have the guarantee that you will get from the consortium that the cheese is flawless, made in the prescribed way, in the prescribed zone. You can identify Parmigiano-Reggiano by the brand on the rind, and if you can see a whole wheel, you will find the number of the dairy and the date produced.


Pamela Sheldon Johns

Italian Food Artisans

www.FoodArtisans.com

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