On April 26, 2016 I died and went to heaven. Okay, not really but it sure felt like it. These people really know how to put on a show! It was held at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey. For those of you who may not know, Ferraro Foods is a premier food distributor catering primarily to Italian restaurants and pizzerias in addition to numerous other businesses. What once began with a single truck operating out of a small garage in 1975 has grown to a fleet of 100 tractor trailers servicing over 3500 customers in 16 states! To see the quality and variety of the products they carry you can understand why they have been so successful.
As soon as you enter this vast arena your senses are enticed by the sights and aroma of the multitude of food products being displayed. There were roughly 120 different stations, give or take, offering every kind of food imaginable. It was a foodie’s paradise! There were meats and cheeses galore and antipasti,seafood and more and wholly moly were there cannoli! Did someone say desserts, how about cheesecake, pastries, and all kinds of unbelievable Italian confections.There were displays of fruits and vegetables that looked so perfect you had to touch them to believe that they were real. Of course there was pizza, and pasta and all kinds of bread, if this doesn’t make you drool you’d better check your pulse because you must be dead!
There were also three separate cooking competitions, one was for pizza, the second one was pasta and the third one was a chicken dish. In each competition the competing chefs were given the ingredients which they had to use to create the dish they were making using their own ingenuity. My son, Frank Muccari competed in the pasta competition and was a winner! He created a dish using the ingredients: linguini, spinach, clams, capers, and lemon. Pretty good ingredients to work with eh?
The pasta was La Molisana which I have to say to me is the gold standard in pasta. I have used it for years and it always cooks perfectly and makes every recipe I use it in special. Not all pasta is created equal, there really is a difference.
Another company represented there was Belgioso Cheese. Their products are top quality and they have a ricotta con latte that is so flavorful and creamy that you can eat it all by itself and it’s delicious. I encourage you to look for these premium ingredients in your area. When the ingredients are that good by themselves they make any recipe that you use them in that much better. In our area you can find both La Molisana pasta and Belgioso ricotta con latte in Pricechopper.
I will be posting my family’s recipe for homemade manicotti in my next post and I promise you it will make you famous! A huge thanks to our Ferraro Foods rep, Pepe Entrialgo for inviting us to this amazing food show. Our family restaurant, Joey’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant in Middletown, NY is grateful for Pepe’s knowledge and great customer service. Stay tuned for the recipe for the best manicotti you’ve ever tasted! Ciao for now!