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Welcome to Fancy Food & Culinary Products' blog, your place to read reviews of the great fancy and gourmet products we find in the marketplace.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Editor’s Choice: The Scrumptious Pantry

Last week, the editors at Fancy Food took a trip to Italy.

Ha — we wish! But it sure felt like we had flown to the boot-shaped European country when we tasted a variety of handcrafted products from The Scrumptious Pantry (

The Scrumptious Pantry represents 21 gourmet food items from Italian regions such as Tuscany and Piemonte. Founder Lee Greene sources all the company’s products from family farms and artisan producers. What’s more, she gives the farmers the spotlight on the products’ packaging, which displays photos of the producers to add a personal touch to the food.

Rob Benes, public relations representative for The Scrumptious Pantry, hosted a tasting for us and shared everything from Durham Wheat Rigatoni to a fantastic Sun-dried Tomato Spread. But my favorite product by far was the Balsamic Dressing Sauce, which features a great photo of an artisan named Guido.

For more than 150 years, Guido’s family has been producing this sauce with pride at the Acetaia Paltrinieri in the Emilia-Romagna region. A younger version of the Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena (which is aged for at least 12 years), the Balsamic Dressing Sauce is bottled after four years of aging.

I found the sauce to be a surprising blend of sweet, tart and savory. Because it contains no vinegar, it was delicate and full of complexity, and it had a cool, smooth finish that could add character to a number of foods and dishes. Rob told us the sauce would be perfect drizzled over salads, vegetables and meats, but it could also be a fantastic touch to fresh strawberries. I’d be eager to try it on all of these suggestions. So, retailers: Keep this product in mind when your customers are searching for something special!