An online community for gourmet and specialty food retailers.

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, March 8, 2011

Editor's Choice: MamaMancini Meatballs and Sunday Sauce

I was raised in an Italian household. Needless to say, I’m no slouch when it comes to spaghetti sauce, meatballs and home made pizza dough. My Nonie — i.e. grandmother — spent hours in the kitchen teaching me the fundamentals for comforting and soulful Italian cuisine. As a result, I try my best to avoid everything from prepared sauces to frozen entrees. I’m a connoisseur of all things authentic. So, I was definitely skeptical when the package of MamaMancini Frozen Beef Meatballs in Sunday Sauce arrived in our offices. Three things quickly convinced me to try them. Reason one was an empty refrigerator. Reason two was a starving husband. Reason three was the mounting snow outside our window. Luckily, we had one remaining box of rigatoni, some fresh Parmesan and crusty bread to accompany our meal. Though, I must admit the packaged meatballs were definitely the stars of the show and it seems my endless labors in the kitchen could hardly compete.

Here’s the thing. It wasn’t as if they were good as far as frozen meatballs are concerned. They were good by all standard. Restaurant quality … heck, they were close to Nonie’s quality! You could tell that care had been taken during the preparation, as I could taste a delicate mixture of herbs combining with the juicy chunks of tomatoes. The meatballs themselves were huge and would have been excellent sliced in half and slathered inside a hoagie bun. After gobbling them down, I decided some research regarding the company was warranted — if only to find out where they’re sold to buy more! The popular meatballs are derived from the original family recipe of founder Daniel Mancini’s Brooklyn grandmother and within the past year have experienced a 300-percent growth in sales. Co-founder Carl Wolfe attributes this to the fact that, “people want simple, delicious ways to bring their families together for dinner.” If that was the overall goal, MamaMancini certainly succeeded. Luckily, eager Italian chefs that crave authenticity can find them in a number of grocery stores including but not limited to Publix, Giant Eagle, Brookshires, Key Food, Mars Supermarket, Harris Teeter and Big Y World Class Markets. They’ll definitely be on my future shopping lists.