Any self-respecting “Italiaphile” with a deep love and appreciation for all things Italian will tell you: there is nothing quite the same as the Zen-like bliss of cooking with fine ingredients imported from the Old Country. Nothing says “benvenuto alla mia cucina Italiana!” like cooking with imported “liquid gold” from a Tuscan first cold pressing (also known simply as “olive oil” to the amateurs out there) or making that richly fragrant Sunday gravy with DOP-certified San Marzanos. Unfortunately, if you don’t live near Little Italy and your town does not host a specialty gourmet market, obtaining these culinary treasures can be difficult. Thanks to the Internet, however, “difficult” doesn’t have to mean “impossible.”
There are many reputable sites on the web committed to upholding Italian food traditions by making specialty items, both domestic and imported, available for shipment to anywhere in the United States. Whether you’re searching for Culatello di Zibello from Emilia-Romagna or want to make Caponata alla Siciliana using only the most authentic ingredients, chances are good you can obtain itÃ¢Â?Â¦for a price. Ordering food online, particularly imported goods, can be an expensive venture. However, if you want your recipe to be true to custom and achieve simplicity, harmony and perfection as only an Italian meal can, you need the perfect Italian ingredients. So get your credit card out and get ready to shop! Following is a sampling of some reputable sites offering sales and shipping of quality Italian ingredients and products:
A.G. Ferrari Foods at http://www.agferrari.com offers shoppers an impressive assortment of unique specialty foods and imported Italian products. The site provides the ability to shop by product or, even more conveniently, by region. From their Crema di Puro Tartufo to their robust Macinato, shoppers will love the selections.
Piccolo’s Gastronomia at http://www.piccologastronomia.com/english.html ships to the United States and Canada. Offering everything from beautifully aged Aceto Balsamico to a broad selection of Piatti Pronti items (“ready to cook”), Piccolo’s is sure to become an online favorite.
A Taste of Italy, located at http://www.atasteofitalyfoods.com, offers shoppers the highest quality imported products, ranging from specialty cakes to Fagottini alla Favignanese (Sicilian tuna fish and capers). Visit regularly for all your ingredient needs!
Dattilo’s Fine Foods at http://www.dattilofoods.com/main.html has gourmet sauces, vinegars and oils that everyone will love. Bigger spenders may want to check out their line of specialty Cappuccino and latte makers!
http://www.bellacucinaartfulfood.com is a website of not only aesthetically pleasing design, but of fantastic gourmet selections ranging from specialty Arrabiata Sauces to sweet Dolci. ‘Favorite place’ this one!
Vinny Barbieri and Richie Lodico are established purveyors of top quality cheeses, meats, breads and imported Italian specialties. Through their site aptly named Salami.com (http://www.salami.com), shoppers can choose from delicious cheeses to tasty homemade sausages – and everything in between. Be sure to check out their “specialties” page.
Igourmet at http://www.igourmet.com/shoppe/search.asp?country=Italy&prod=Italian+Food offers specialties from Acacia Honey to Ricotta Cakes flown in fresh from Italy. For those venturing out from the Italian region (but why would you?), the site also offers products from Spain, Greece, Germany and many other countries.
In addition to many other Italian gourmet items, Cybercucina has a wide range of specialty pastas located online at http://www.cybercucina.com/ccdocs/aisles/Pastas.htm. Be sure to check out their “featured” link at http://www.cybercucina.com/cgi-php/DisplayFeatureProducts.php for both traditional favorites and unique specialties alike.
The BRC Standard Certified folks at http://www.sanmarzanoimports.com/ offer DOP San Marzanos at competitive prices, including bulk discounts. They also sell a variety of roasted peppers, eggplants, balsamic vinegars, artichokes and much more.
Forno Bravo is traditionally known for their Italian Wood-fired pizza ovens, but they also sell DOP San Marzanos at http://www.fornobravo.com/pizza-ingredients/san-marzano-tomatoes.html.
Visit http://usa.nasoegola.com/ for Naso & Gola, an ambitious, virtual shop offering many of the goods found in Italy. Honey, preserves, coffees, mushrooms, pastries, meats, cheeses and much more can be found here. Be sure to enter using the U.S. citizen link.
http://parthenonfoods.com/sort-country-italy-c-8_23.html offers a wide variety of Italian groceries, from Cantuccini to Potato Gnocchetti – and everything in between!
At http://www.fineproductsinternational.com, you can shop by brand for your favorites. Cento, Ferrara, Bellino, La Florentine and more are all featured here. Check out their ‘recipes’ link as well.
Also be sure and visit http://www.italiancookingandliving.com frequently. This is a wonderful portal to all things Italian: recipes, culture, art, products, cooking classes, and so much more. Check out all the vast features of this fantastic site and subscribe to their publications.