Piazza Italia: A New Approach To The U.S. Market
If tough new FDA regulations weren’t hard enough for crossing the Atlantic, the recent online purchasing fever can be even meaner for the Italian artisan: all the romance, typical of their products, can get lost in transition. Things were much better when demand and offer would meet face to face in a marketplace: the end consumer would be in front of a producer, learning the hardship of the artisan’s craft and the uniqueness of a territory, of a company. That is the dynamic that Kings Food Markets is relaunching, taking its customers on an authentic culinary journey through the regions of Italy with an eight-day tasting and entertainment event called Piazza Italia, beginning March 31.
This exclusive showcase will recreate a traditional Italian market, or “piazza,” across several stores in New Jersey, featuring a collection of hand-curated products that customers will be welcomed to sample and learn about directly from Italian artisans. The showcase will highlight 25 artisans from 12 regions across Italy, bringing over 75 products for customers to explore, including traditional products spanning centuries of history, alongside innovative concepts that will intrigue and please even the most discriminating palates. Kings’ clients will then be empowered to choose which of the products should be kept for the long term on the shelves.
“At Kings, we’re always looking to delight our customers with new and authentic options,” says Judy Spires, chairman and CEO of Kings Food Markets. “Our passion for food is what drives us and programs like Piazza Italia are what inspire us. We can’t wait to share this inspiration with our customers and give them the opportunity to taste the highest quality products and engage with these skilled Italian artisans.” Cecilia Ercolino, president of Italian Products USA, the importing company producing the event, adds: “Piazza Italia is a showcase of rare delicacies manufactured with love and passion by small businesses. This initiative represents for them an important market test, to see if their ‘American dream’ can be fulfilled.”
Featured products, hand selected from almost 100 producers, will feature olive oils from four different Italian regions (Liguria, Tuscany, Umbria and Apulia); Giusti Balsamic Vinegars, the oldest producer of balsamic vinegar established in 1605; rich and succulent specialty sauces direct from Sicily; and genuine artisanal pasta from different Italian regions like Marche, Campania and Apulia! Additional Italian delights will be available as well: marinated vegetables, decadent sweets including chocolates, cookies and coffee/tea.
There will even be a selection of handmade ceramic dishes as well as pots and pans for customers to purchase. The kick-off event is on Friday, March 31 at 11 am, Kings’ flagship store in Short Hills (778 Morris turnpike, Short Hills NJ) and throughout the eight-day event, customers will be able to enjoy operatic flash mobs with young promising talents on the rise, two centuries of Italian Music with musical duo Kristine Massari and Enrico Granafei, and a Grand Finale with the Ron Aprea Big Band. Customers will also be able to meet Rossella Rago, the star of the Cooking with Nonna Show, and listen to Julia della Croce, distinguished as one of America's best cooking teachers and food historians by the James Beard Foundation, talk about the regional differences of pastas and sauces, along with traditional sweets of Easter. Click here for the Calendar of events and additional information available at kingsfoodmarkets.
Buon Appetito !