Spreads & Preserves
These delicious spreads are the ultimate snack starters. Made from such delicious ingredients as aged Parmigiano Reggiano, truffles, pungent garlic, and other quintessentially Italian products, they’re a quick shortcut to get lots of big flavor in one small bite.
Some of these sumptuous spreads are made according to traditional recipes from Italy, like bagna cauda. A centuries-old dish from the wine country of the Piedmont region, bagna cauda (“hot sauce” in the local dialect) is an autumn tradition that's equal parts fondue party and harvest celebration. At the end of the grape-growing season, pickers would warm themselves by dipping raw veggies into this intensely aromatic blend of olive oil, locally grown garlic—lots of it—and anchovies, heated till bubbling in special earthenware pots set over a candle or small flame. Once considered peasant food, bagna cauda is now recognized as one of the great specialties of this gorgeous region, making great use of the garlic that grows in abundance across the Piedmontese hills.
Others are more modern inventions, adding classically Italian flavors to universally beloved condiments like mayonnaise and ketchup. Still, others are regional innovations designed to show off a local delicacy, like rich artichoke spread from the area outside Rome and a creamy sauce of earthy porcini mushrooms and truffles from the cool northern Piedmont region. No matter their origin, all of these hand-picked products are a delicious, instant way to add some Italian dolce vita to your meal.
For an easy aperitivo snack, just spread toasts or crackers with one of these punchy pastes, then add a sliver of cheese, salumi, or just a sprinkle of fresh herbs. But that’s not all they can do. Try adding these spreads to sandwiches, use them as a base for salad dressing or dip—the only limit is your imagination!