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Introducing Cianciullo Pastries, Biscotti, and Taralli

Today, we are excited to introduce you to a new supplier that offers delicious baked foods from a village called Jelsi in the region of Molise on Italy’s Adriatic coast.  It is there that we find the passionate Cianciullo family making biscotti, cornetti, and taralli, just to name a few specialties!

Francesco Cianciullo says it is the memories of baking in the kitchen with his father that made him want to start his business and one day to pass it to his son, Pasquale.

Using the finest ingredients, and traditional, artisanal methods, they offer the taste of an Italian family kitchen to customers around the world.  Their products are not mass produced, as they strongly value quality over quantity. At Mia Emilia, we are thrilled to be able to bring such special treats to our customers, as well as our own families.

Mieleaceto: An Exquisite Taste for Summer Meals

The Castellari family explains how Mieleaceto Countess Elixir IGP came to be:

“Mieleaceto begins in our family… Mieleaceto or the Countess’ Elixir was symonymous with celebration in our family and not any “celebration”, but a celebration par excellence that would make family history. It was a highly secret recipe that was handed down only from the women in the family and only to the women in the family: nothing was written, amounts and proportions of ingredients were told verbally and the preparation was done away from indescreet gazes. The birth of the product derives from the mixture of two elements, that were nevermissing in the cupboards of farm families; following the old recipe handed down over the generations, a condiment has been rediscovered for a”all meals” in the true sense of the words. Thanks to the exquisite union between the sweetness of honey and the unmistakable taste – odor properties of ABM (balsamic vinegar of Modena), the contrast between sweet and sour is delicateldy harmonious, balanced, soft like a hug… Unfortunately over the years, with development and global modernization, the tradition of passing down this recipe was lost, and with it the product as well. One day, Gianni Castellari found the recipe of this famous product in an old book while casually leafing through it, and decided, since he produced both of these products on his own farm, to reproduce it exactly like his ancestors did. Mealeaceto was born from the beekeeper Gianni Castellari.”

Italy, Mia Emilia, and Finding the Music During These Trying Times

No doubt, by now we have all heard about the COVID-19 and the extreme measures Italy is taking to contain the virus.  Our own country has introduced measures these past few weeks to prevent spreading the virus.  At Mia Emilia, we have been keeping in close contact with our producers and friends in Italy, and we want to reassure you that our producers are healthy, continuing to create the artisanal products we all love, and we continue to offer them (and enjoy them ourselves!) free from interruption.  Our producers continue to work in incredibly clean facilities, many of which we have visited personally.  Using traditional methods and only the purest ingredients, we are assured that the products we chose for their quality and flavor are also good for our health. 

Extra Virgin Olive Oils like our Marini Giuseppe Toscano IGP and Dievole Chianti Classico DOP are required to meet tough regulations from where the olives grow to how they are cultivated, pressed and even packaged.  Very few oils earn these prestigious seals, so you can feel confident that you are eating and serving the very best when you choose an EVOO from Mia Emilia.  These high-quality oils are packed with health benefits we have discussed in prior articles.  Click here to read more.

During this time, while stress and fear is rampant, at Mia Emilia, we are trying to focus on the positive aspects, that maybe this can restore our enjoyment of great meals made at home with the people we hold dear.   In the spirit of that, Mia Emilia is offering a discount from now through March 31st to encourage you to be able to enjoy our quality products and some special time with your family.  Enjoy 10% off of your entire order when you enter the code: EATATHOME10 on your online order or mention it to a staff member in store.

Cheese Plate with Fruit Jam; A Simple Dish of Complex Flavors

Wherever you go in Italy, from small towns to big cities and everywhere in between, there is one dish you are sure to run into over and over again.  A cheese plate served with local honey and delicious fruit jam.   When I first tasted Mia Emilia’s fabulous Fig Jam from the producers at Acetaia Castelli, I could hardly believe my taste buds!  The flavor is so unique, perfectly marrying the flavors of figs and balsamic vinegar, but the texture is just as impressive.   It begs to be served on a plate with fine seasoned cheeses.

Perfect to pair with Gorgonzola is the Pear Jam with balsamic vinegar of Modena and DOC Moscato wine.   Also delicious with Fontina, Pecorino, and other flavorful cheeses, we love this with a cheese plate.  Served with a sweeter white wine like Moscato, Asti, or Moscadello, the flavors are harmonious and unforgettable.

For Goat Cheese lovers, enjoy your favorite cheese served with Mia Emilia’s Strawberry Jam with balsamic vinegar of Modena.  Although, the strawberry and balsamic flavor is also delicious with sweeter milder cheeses like Mascarpone, or Brie.

The Best Lasagne Noodles From Italy, and Tips to Create a Fabulous Lasagne at Home

Among the most famous traditions in Italy is the Venetian Carnevale.  Celebrated this year between February 8th and 25th, Carnevale in Venice is a sight to behold. Boats dance and parade along the twinkling canals at nighttime.  While balls are held in palazzos, and the notes of Vivaldi drift through the streets, inside kitchens families and chefs prepare special meals for the occasion.  

Among the most popular dishes enjoyed during the days of Carnevale is Italy’s famous lasagne.  Mia Emilia’s box of delicious Sfoglia Lasagne pasta noodles from the makers at La Pasta di Aldo are the perfect base for whichever type you like best.  Each one is between .9 and 1.3 mm thick, helping you to achieve the ideal consistency that truly makes your recipe.  Unlike many large production brands, these artisanal noodles do not stick together.

Nothing is more frustrating when crafting your lasagna than tearing apart sticky noodles and ruining the presentation.  These do not stick, allowing you to create a beautiful dish easily that not only looks better, but tastes better than regular factory-made brands.  These egg noodles produce a delicious, fluffier lasagne, sure to wow your family and friends!

Meet the Producers: La Pasta di Aldo

When I first discovered Mia Emilia’s products, I was amazed and deeply touched by the authenticity of the products.  Among the greatest surprises in the box was the Egg Pasta from the makers of La Pasta di Aldo in Monte San Giusto, Le Marche.  At the first bite of pasta from La Pasta di Aldo, if I closed my eyes, I would have sworn I was at an Italian table.  Even pastas I purchased in Italy and cooked back home have not captured that essence of Italy that true, artisanal methods delight us with.  These do.  Every aspect from appearance to texture and taste gave me the feeling that owner, dreamer, and pasta maker, Luigi describes as, “gioia immensa” immense joy. 

As Luigi describes in the video, making the pastas with all-natural ingredients and only traditional methods is his passion.  He and his wife, Maria, began the company because it was a dream they shared to allow people from parts of the world outside of their beloved Italy to taste and experience authentic Italian cuisine, like their grandmothers used to make.

Click Here to watch the brief video, and spend a few moments getting to know Luigi and Maria; their techniques, land, and passion.