Traditions

I come from a traditional Italian family from a small town near Naples, Sorrento. My father worked in the Italian restaurant business for his whole life. Growing up in a house filled with the flavors and aromas from southern Italian dishes fueled my passion for cooking.

From my father & mother, I learned how to cook and enjoy cooking, but most important how to spend family time while cooking or enjoying our meals. I always had a passion for Italian food and I love sharing this passion with my friends.

Italians take great pride in their traditions and their cuisine is no exception. Mealtimes are an integral part of our daily routine, a special sharing time with family and friends.

Traditional Italian dishes are prepared with fresh and natural ingredients. This is why true Italian dishes are so flavorful and nutritious. Modern culture has affected this tradition somewhat, but Italians hold to this tradition every chance they get, especially on weekends, holidays and family celebrations. When we moved to the United States we learned about the differences between the Italian and American food cultures.

American supermarkets are large and full of prepared foods so there is not a need to spend all day cooking. Everyone here is so busy and so tired at the end of the day that it is easier to just pull a frozen dinner from the freezer than make a meal from scratch. Americans enjoy time with their family in other ways, not necessarily in the kitchen or at the dinner table.

Life in Italy can be busy too, but we take advantage of the time spent cooking and eating to gather together with family and friends. One person will cut the tomatoes, another will boil the water for the pasta, and others will set the table. When our meal is ready we sit down to eat and visit. Mealtime can last a long time as we stay at the table after everyone has finished eating to talk about the day, plans for the next day or even playing a game of cards.

Most of the products you find in an American supermarket that are labeled “Italian” are not really Italian at all. When you try them at home they are not authentic and taste nothing like you would find in Italy.

At first, it was difficult for me to adjust to American foods and flavors and the quick mealtimes. I spent 40 years living with Italian food flavors, aromas & traditions and had to adjust to new ways. But I enjoy new experiences and it was a great opportunity to learn about new flavors and to create new dishes in my kitchen. My family did not always like my new dishes and I often heard about how much they missed their Italian food. Sometimes when I grabbed fresh basil at the supermarket, they quickly said that they wanted to hold a basil leaf because it would make them feel like they were back in Italy. Sometimes I would even find them holding a basil leaf at home.

My family is my life, and I will always do whatever is necessary to keep them happy. So this is how A&A Alta Cucina was born – finding a way to capture the aromas and flavors of our Italian cuisine by infusing natural herbs in extra virgin olive oils, balsamic vinegars and making blended seasonings and salts that capture the essence of our Italian dishes. All of our products are made in the Italian tradition with fresh, natural ingredients and a lot of love.

Bringing a little bit of Italy into your home – Alta Cucina Italia, Artisan Italian Gourmet Food.