May 6 2013
Apr 10 2013
Since 1917, Todaro Brothers has proudly specialized in importing Italy’s finest prosciuttos to our shores. What has always been a treasure to Italian Americans has now become a nationwide, multi- application sensation.
Any way you slice it, (though usually thin,) the flavor, mouth feel and aesthetic of prosciutto gets everyone (vegetarians don’t know what they’re missing,) enthusiastic. However, how do we know what specific prosciutto is right for us? And what is the important differences between one prosciutto and another?
Before we get too far, let’s get some things straight. Prosciutto is ham from Italy that is dry-cured, usually thinly sliced and normally served uncooked. When prosciutto is uncooked it is called prosciutto crudo in Italian. This is distinguished from cooked ham known as prosciutto cotto.
Prosciutto is made from the hindquarters of plump, healthy pigs. The pigs used must be at least 9 months old and weigh between 350-420 pounds. But not just any pigs will do. They must possess just the right amount of surface fat (also known as marbling) for the prosciutto to carve and taste just right.
Diet plays a crucial role as well in the taste and specificity of prosciutto. Diet, and ultimately the flavor of the ham is determined by where the pigs are raised. For instance, two of the world’s most popular prosciuttos, Prosciutto San Daniele and Prosciutto de Parma have notoriously different flavor profiles due to where the hams are procured and the diet of the pigs.
Prosciutto di Parma has a distinctly creamy taste and buttery mouth feel because the pigs are fed whey from the famous nearby mega-purveyor Parmigiano Reggiano. Thus proving the old Italian adage that all good things depend on each other in one way or another.
Prosciutto San Daniele, artisanally produced in the mountain regions of San Daniele, offers a more earthy, meaty quality. Superiority amongst these two is simply a question of personal taste.
Both Prosciutto di Parma and Prosciutto San Daniele are perfect thinly sliced and offered as an appetizer alongside some large chunks of Parmigiano Reggiano, olives and sliced baguette rounds. However, they are also incredible used in an infinite amount of applications from salads, to soups, to pastas etc.
Prosciutto Cotto, from Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy regions in Italy, which is boiled instead of cured (i.e ‘cotto’,) with select spices, is the ideal prosciutto for paninis, as well as incorporated with an antipasto platter.
Prosciutto di Parma Rotundo, offers the same subtly sweet, creamy quality as Prosciutto di Parma, but is unpressed so it is juicier than regular flattened prosciutto. This prosciutto is also ideal for paninis and sandwiches.
All of Todaro Brothers Prosciutto are fantastic when incorporated in a recipe and truly allow any dish to come to life. Two fantastic recipes below feature Prosciutto di Parma or Prosciutto San Daniele (depending on preference.) Both recipes are quite simple and are sure to impress your guests.
RECIPE 1: Prosciutto and Chili Pasta
In olive oil, very slowly simmer diced prosciutto, dried chilis and as many cloves of garlic as you have — I mean, 10 per person isn’t too many. When the garlic is really, really soft, scoop it and the ham and chilis out, and add a couple of cups of crushed tomatoes to the pan. Cook until they become saucy, then make pasta and toss it with the tomatoes, garlic and so on, and a lot of basil.
RECIPE 2: Prosciutto, Melon and Arugula Summer Salad
1 Sharlyn melon, peeled, seeded, and cut into medium cubes (about 4 cups), 1 honeydew melon, peeled, seeded, and ut into medium cubes (about 4 cups), 1 cantaloupe, peeled, seeded, and cut into medium cubes (about 4 cups) 3 ounces prosciutto di Parma, julienned, 1 bunch basil, 8 fresh dark-skinned figs, trimmed and quartered, 1/4 pound arugula, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 (4-ounce) block ricotta salata, shaved, for garnish, 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper, for garnish
For each serving, place 1/2 cup of each melon in the center of the plate; place about 1/3 ounce prosciutto on top of the melon, followed by a few basil leaves, 4 fig quarters, and a few arugula leaves. Drizzle each serving with a little olive oil, and garnish with the shaved ricotta salata and a dash of crushed red pepper. Note: If you can’t find Sharlyn melon, use extra honeydew or cantaloupe.
Prosciutto was first enjoyed back in 100 B.C. Here is to treasuring it’s creation, sharing it with friends and loved ones and expanding it’s applications for the next thousand years!
At Todaro Bros., it is our pleasure to inform and converse with our customers about the wonderful inventory we carry. This makes sense considering that 24/7/360 we do our best to import the finest ingredients from Italy and Europe at large.
Mar 27 2013
Everybody’s looking for Celle Sur Belle Butter. We should know. Keeping tabs on what our customer’s want (and whatthey are searching for on the web,) is fundamental to Todaro Brothers ever-growing success. In the past few years it has become very clear that Celle Sur Belle is the fine, imported butter everyone from top chefs to pastry chefs and home chefs are trying to get in their hands on. It is one of the most searched for items on our site! But search no more! Todaro Bros. proudly offers Celle Sur Belle Butter which has been part of our inventory for quite some time now.
Hailing from the region of Celle Sur Belle, in the west of France, Celle Sur Belle Butter is an AOC cow’s milk butter that is rich and creamy with a well balanced texture and inviting flavor. Considered reminiscent of the ‘old world’ due to the time honored techniques of its procurement, Celles Sur Belle is made in barrel-shaped churns from cream matured for 24 to 36 hours. These methods allow for its award winning, distinctly pure and nutty characteristic to develop.
The need to use carefully made and slightly more expensive European import butters was not always thought necessary. Au contraire! It would seem the characteristics of butter can be as complex as that of cheese and for a similar reasons. It basically comes down to gastronomicas BFF, (best friend forever,) butterfat.
Fine European butter, like Celle Sur Belle, consists of approximately 3% more butterfat than regular butter. This provides a creamier texture as well as a richer and indeed, more buttery flavor. Considering that the price point differentiating the two categories is smaller than ever, the consensus supports grabbing the ‘better butter’ every time.
Case and point, three of Todaro Bros. most popular butters (one of course being Celle Sur Belle) are from ‘across the pond.’ A wonderful, smooth and savory butter hailing from Southern England is Double Devon Cream Butter; at a slightly lower price point than Celle Sur Belle. Another contender, (and on the less expensive side) is well known, Isigney Ste Mere, also an AOC certified butter, but from Normandy in the northern region of France.
Butter was invented by the Scythians, a nomadic tribe from Iran back around 9000 B.C. However, it was the Gauls, who hailed from Celtica, (which would later help to give birth to what we know as France,) were the first to use butter for cooking and eating by itself; on bread or over grain dishes etc. It stands to reason then, that this general part of the world still procures the most favored and sought after butters in the world. When looking for that extra special ingredient, like Celle Sur Belle Butter, give Todaro Bros. a look in. We pride ourselves on always carrying the very best.
Mar 8 2013
Feb 15 2013
What is special about the Todaro Bros. new Signature Line? Peter Todaro speaks in depth about the inspiration behind our new ‘Signature Line’ of products and what’s fueling the continuing legacy and success of Todaro Bros.
What was your inspiration for creating the Todaro line of products?
Confidence in our selection. With nearly a century of experience and research in fine imported and domestic ingredients, we have created an exciting line of quality products that we are proud to put our name behind.
This background has allowed us to make decisions based on what we know will captivate and satisfy our customers. ‘Todaro’ has always been synonymous with dependability, diversity, quality and service, and our new Todaro Bros. Signature Line embodies these trademark attributes, as well.
What are your favorite products in the line and how do you use them?
My personal favorites are the steak and BBQ sauces; these are some of the best I’ve tasted. I use them at home and whether using as marinades or toppers, they are each great, flavorful, and easy to use. I am a big fan of having a pantry full of key products such as these that just make creating top dishes a relatively effortless task. I am very proud of these, as I am everything under our Todaro Signature Line. However, I believe the proof is in the personal experience and I urge our customers to give them a try – I know they’re going to love them.
Is there a product that you feel deserves special culinary recognition, and why?
For versatility and unique quality, Todaro Bros. Signature Balsamic Sweet Onion Jam is just outstanding. The jam’s complex sweet-savory balance is perfect for cheese and crackers, a top cream cheese for dipping or a spread on a sandwich. It also makes a great glaze for roasted or grilled poultry or pork, or by itself, as a side to lamb or beef. The product is simply made with quality ingredients: Balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy, dark brown, pure cane sugar and Vidalia sweet onions, everyone I know who’s tasted this product agrees.
What does the Todaro (Bros.) name mean to you?
I am proud of the Todaro Bros. name because we are innovators who have maintained the confidence and respect that we earned since our inception. Besides having satisfied customers, there isn’t a better compliment than when high-quality vendors, distributors and producers seek you out. Todaro Bros. is known in the industry for our exclusive interest in quality and authenticity. We are known for our pursuit of excellence; for not cutting corners and providing our customers the very best.
What makes the Todaro Line special?
Our Todaro Bros. Signature Line is special because it goes beyond the norm with regards to flavor profiles and combinations. Choices like our Amaretto Honey and Jalapeno Tangerine Jam are exciting ingredients that transform good recipes into fantastic ones.
We created the Todaro line based on what we use and would like to use in our own kitchens for our signature Prepared Food items. Therefore, we know these ingredients well and what they are capable of contributing to chefs and home chefs alike. Todaro Bros. Signature Line products are shelf stable and complement the perishable items, including dairy, meat, seafood, produce, that we carry in our store.
Why should the consumer buy this over the brand sitting next to it?
Our Signature Line is competitive in terms of diversity and quality with virtually any upscale ingredient line out there, our items are offered at a better price point, i.e they’re cheaper. We scrutinize everything we put our name behind. When it finally gets the Todaro Bros. ‘Stamp of Approval’ you know what you are buying is an excellent product. This level of quality, at a better price, makes Todaro Signature Line a better value.
The full Todaro Signature Line is now available through our online store. Check it out now!
Feb 13 2013
Food of love, love of food,
Fromage D’Affinois to set the mood.
Castelvetrano or ‘Greens Stuffed with Blue’,
Quality is key to your Valentine menu.
Your valentine now like Double Devon in your hands,
Catch the moment while you can.
A bite for a bite of Chocolate Cake,
This is the time and make no mistake
Let down your guard, relax and unwind –
To you and yours a Happy Valentine’s.
Feb 12 2013
With its rich and herbaceous flavor and hints of mushroom, this exceptional Brie carries a pronounced aroma, buttery texture and deep flavor. Sounds a bit like falling in love?
Brie de Meaux is perfect paired simply with fresh baguette rounds and fresh berries. Or, if you fancy something a bit different for your love night, throw a lucious tasty tart in to the mix. Brie de Meaux as the star of your tart will have your Valentine purring with satisfaction. Soooo simple, and so very good!
Brie de Meaux and Onion Tart Heart
- Puff pastry
- 3-4 onions
- 8 ounces Brie de Meaux
Preparation: Chop the onions into large pieces, and fry slowly in butter at a low heat, until soft and slightly browned
Unroll the pastry (or roll it, if you are making it yourself)
With large heart cookie cutter cut puff pastry in heart shape
Spread the onions out on the pastry
Cut the cheese into chunks about 2cm across, and spread these evenly across the tart
Cook for about 20 minutes at 220 degrees. The cheese will have melted, and flowed into the onions and pastry.
Feb 11 2013
Serve your heart on a platter this Valentines. Nothing says you’re serious about romance like a mouth watering Todaro Bros. steak created exclusively for Valentine’s Day. Simply, ask for the custom-cut at our Meat Department counter… It couldn’t be easier.
Follow our tips for grilling steaks to perfection and take your entree up a few love notches by incorporating this fantastic Porcini and Bacon Sauce Recipe.
Quick and easy tips to making a great steak:
1. Take your premium cut Todaro steak out of the refridgerator and make sure it is room temp. prior to cooking.
2. Salt generously with sea salt and some fresh black pepper.
3. Make sure you pan is very hot (Test with a flick of water, should sizzle and splatter immediatly.)
4. Grill approx. three minutes on each side, give or take for preference, allow steaks to get a nice carmalized exterior while maintaining a relativley pink interior.
5. 30 seconds prior to taking steaks off, finish with a tablespoon of butter per steak (if not more.)
6. Finally, and very important, let steaks rest for at least five minutes prior to serving. This keeps the juices in and allows the essential flavor of the meat to reach it’s climax. while maintaining a relativley pink interior.
Feb 7 2013
True love is effortless, yet divine. This seductively-simple and elegant Valentine’s Day recipe incorporates one of the most potent aphrodisiacs – the prized white truffle.
Cook Michelangelo Onde (a very romantic pasta!) al dente, blanch and saute asparagus tips, stir a few tablespoons of creme fraiche into the warm pasta to taste, then dress in a fine Todaro EVOO. Finish with Aux Delices de Bois White Truffle Butter, sea salt and fresh pepper. For a flourished Valentine presentation, lay pasta over blanched radichio with sea salt and evoo, and garnish the top with finely chopped, ripe-red cherry tomatoes. Now fall in love!