In everything I do, I’m inspired to share Italian food with the world.
My great grandparents used to have a pasta factory in a little village called Torre Annunziata, right outside of Naples – it’s where most of my family comes from, too. My great grandmother was the brains behind it all, but my nonno, who was just a kid at the time (along with his 12 siblings!) helped her sell it. Before long, he became a gregarious salesman who peddled pasta door-to-door up and down the streets of Torre Annunziata!
His love for sharing Italian ingredients continued on into adulthood, too. When I was a little girl, he opened an Italian restaurant and grocery store – I used to spend hours there with him, watching as his American customers experienced true Italian food for the first time. (This was back when Chef Boyardee was the only Italian chef most Americans knew). When I began cooking, it was my goal to continue his work, to share my most treasured culinary traditions with as many people as possible.
Now, I feel like things have come full circle in a way. While there’s a lot more fantastic Italian food here in the U.S. now than there was a few decades ago, so many of these regional gems remain inaccessible to anyone outside Italia. That’s why I’ve launched Giadzy Pantry, to bring more of the food that means so much to me directly to your home.
The producers I have chosen to share with you are mostly small, family-owned companies, all guided by tradition — many of them have been doing things the same way for more than a century! They specialize in just a few items that are unique to their region— like the slightly sweet pomodorini tomatoes of Corbara and the generational pasta recipes of Torre Annunziata— and they take pride in making those items the best they can. I’m so inspired by their dedication, and I hope these amazing foods inspire you, too.
As you browse through the amazing foods I have hand-picked for Giadzy Pantry, I hope you feel a little spark of excitement and inspiration to seek out the local gems in your area and support the family-owned businesses that are working hard across this country, too. Shopping small makes a difference around the world — and so does a great meal! I hope you find a bit of both here.