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    Pastene Foods: Selling the Mediterranean Diet Since 1874

    Pastene Company Ltd. will be 120 years old next year, and is gearing up for significant celebrations. The food company, which has been a household word on the east coast for many decades, is best associated with the indomitable spirit of Jerome Tosi, a curmudgeonly character of the highest order, who ran Pastene wisely and well. Tosi liked to affect the persona of a gruff grocer, but within was a gentle man, an intellectual with enormous musical ability in the classics and jazz. Jerome Tosi passed away in 1987. 

         The origins of the Pastene Company harken back to 1848, when Luigi Pastene, a newly-arrived Italian immigrant, had a simple pushcart with fruits and vegetables; by 1874, he had transformed his pushcart business into a major national and international food and fruit concern, catering to the well-to-do and especially to Italian immigrants. Pastene was then and is now a leader of jarred, canned and packaged Italian produce in the northeast, and the company today is run by Chris and Mark Tosi, sons to Jerome, who continue the multi-generational running of the firm. 

        With recent acclaim given to the “Mediterraean diet,” which advocates pasta, rice, olives, olive oil, vegetables, and of course, wine — products with which Pastene is eminently concerned, and with which they have been dealing for over a century– we asked Mark Tosi to speak with us about the diet and the latest food trends. But briefly some words about the Mediterraean diet. 

         Last winter, Harvard University’s School of Public Health convened an international conference (co-sponsored by Boston’s Oldways Preservation and Exchange Trust, “a non-profit organization dedicated to studying the promulgating diets that historically have been linked to good health and longevity”) and endorsed the Mediterranean diet, which fosters better health through the consumption of olive oil, wine, and grains. Harvard put the question thusly: “How is it that the diets of Crete and Southern Italy are healthier than counterparts or contemporary diets of Northern Europe and North America?” 

        The answer clearly is diet. Crete, Southern Italians and indeed Southern Europeans generally have low rates of heart disease, cancers, and other chronic problems, which besiege Northern Europe. Simply put, olives, olive oil, wheat, and wines dominate their diet. Reat meat doesn’t. Moreover, they consume high amounts of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains, and they abjure generally foods from animal sources– milk and yogurt. And above all, wine is a daily beverage and is taken with meals. This is bad news from the neo-prohibitionists, many of whom, it seems, work for the USDA. Anti-wine types are a serious nuisance to wine lovers. Even some insurance companies and hospitals, according to the Harvard report, “automatically categorize patients as alcoholics if they report that they consume alcohol every day.” One wonders when the madness will end? We were, however, more than happy to learn that Marion Nestle, one of the co-chairs of the conference, went on record as saying that “there is 

    overwhelming evidence that wine reduces ornery disease and increases life expectancy.” 

         Significantly, fat is not a problem with the Mediterranean group because it is good fat from olive oil. In the U.S., the USDA recommends only 30 percent of calories from dietary fat; yet, in Greece, Spain, Italy, and many other Mediterranean nations, they consume more than 40 percent, principally in the form of olive oil, with no ill effects. 

      It’s easy to see what direction Pastene’s marketing will take in the upcoming years: namely, as Mark Tosi, says, the “same direction we’ve always taken from the last century,” for Pastene’s specializes in “virtually every recommended item in the Harvard study.”

        Strange, says the university report, that Southern Europeans smoke more, but have fewer coronary problems and live longer. Credit their diet. Stranger still that Southern Europeans exercise far less than we do (their exercise is largely agricultural and manual labor), yet they live longer, and it’s due to diet. What a wonderful way to eat and stay healthy by moderate  partaking of pasta, rice, beans, vegetables, olive oil, breads and grains, and wine. Ironic isn’t it that we’ve gone the entire route of “in” dining, concluding the nouvelle cuisine, only to discover that we should never have left the basics of sensible eating. Sophisticated diners of the 80s eating Southern Italian food in the 90s, which they once thought beneath them, is irony if the first order. Every mother’s lament can still be heard: “Eat your vegetables” 

    QRW: The Harvard report on the Mediterranean diet must have surely made you happy. 

    MT: Sure. They advocate everything we sell and have been selling for a very long time. Many of us have believed in the foods of the report for years –intuitively or otherwise. Ethnic foods — peasant food in the best sense of the word– is good and good for you. And the flavors are simply incredible. 

    QRW: It’s ironic that immigrant families like ours are fashionable. The smells and flavors you mention were part of our growing up, part of every immigrant mother’s kitchen. 

    MT: But you’ve got to remember that those smells were either forgotten or maybe never ever experienced. Newer generations came along and some of them were embarrassed about it. The old melting pot theory. And don’t forget some inferior– bad really– Italian restaurants ruined things by Americanizing Italian cooking. It’s all part of technology: it’s taken us in the wrong  direction. Technology reconstituted and re-manufactured these foods past the point of recognition. They were unrecognizable as South European. They were sweet, syrupy, slippery!!! Pasta got demolished–and was served with a thick red sauce unworthy of the name. You know, all pasta needs is some garlic, salt, pepper, fresh basil, and tomatoes to make a good, light sauce. 

    QRW: Part of the Mediterranean diet has to do with the importance of wine as part of the daily diet. You no longer distribute wine, including some of the classiest wines anywhere: Gaja, Mondavi, Ca’Del Bosco, etc. Do you regret this?

    MT: I love wine, but I don’t miss the business of selling it to the retail trade. I prefer focusing on the Pastene line of wines including Marsala, Sherry, Madeira, cooking wines for ethnic tastes and restaurant kitchens. The wines come from Lodi, California. But our focus is on food. Pastene will be 120 year olds next year. We’re the oldest family in the food business left. S.S Pierce was around for a long time, but they sold out. 

    QRW: What plans does Pastene have for its 120th celebration?

    MT: We haven’t worked it all out yet, but we know we’ll release the family Cookbook. There’s some wonderful, old recipes that are still fabulous today. It shows the immigrant handling of Southern Italian food and sauces.

    QRW: In what marketing direction does a grocery concern like Pastene go from here? 

    MT: There’s a lot to be done. We have to raise the consciousness of diet in this country, especially to the average consumer– not the diet-educated one, as they grasp what’s going on. But the average person has to be shown how great Southern Italian or Southern European/ Mediterranean food is. It’s the greatest tasting peasant food in the world… There’s an enormous number of people out there who don’t understand the use and beauty of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I had someone call on the 800 number telling me he bought our balsamic vinegar but didn’t know how to use it. He said he used it as a marinade for his steaks… It;s the kind of thing I’m talking about. These people eat lots of meat, hence lots of fats. They’re not totally aware of the dangers if they eat it regularly. The kind of fat they should have is the good fat that comes from olive oil which absorbs cholesterol, cleansing the arteries. They don’t know what a fine Italian olive oil and balsamic vinegar can do to a simple salad. 

    QRW: Whom are you targeting: what age is the audience you’re after?

    MT: Anyone from 18 months to 119 years old! But seriously, there’s no doubt that the Mediterranawan diet is good for young and elderly alike. The 18 to 34 crowd interests me, of course, even though they’re not the highest profile shopping group. They understand health issues, and the concept that simple can be better. The younger crowd can better grasp the importance of using olive oil to replace butter. We;ll show them that you don’t have to spend one to three hours over a simmering sauce. Our tomato can label will show the consumer how to make a great “quick” sauce in just 10 minutes, and it’s every bit as dine as a slowly simmered sauce. The new consumer can’t spend hours over a stove the way our immigrant parents did. We’ll soon put out a new line of Pastene pasta sauces — these are fresh packed tomatoes, with fewer seeds, less acid and skins, which we pay a premium for, because our goal is quality. If they want quality, they’ll want Pastene. I know that every company says that, but we test our products incessantly, and we test the competition. It’s no accident that Pastene customers have been incredibly loyal to us. You know the government recently has come out with new regulations on product packaging; product labels will now give consumers much more information as to what they’re eating. Obviously, we’re very much in favor of more detailed labels (it helps, to be sure, that our products are all “natural”). We’re pushing to make sure that all our labels are in conformity with government regulations well in advance of the compliance date. 

    QRW: What about this Mediterranean diet? Will it be a trend that will go away?

    MT: I don’t think so. How do you argue against thousands of years of existence? Pasta never went away, it was just abused. There are ranges of quality regarding pasta. Italy manufactures the best. The best wheat comes from Canada; they mill and manufacture it, and then export it back to us. This is why quality Italian pasta is a bit more expensive than what’s made here. We only carry the best Ialian pasta — 100 percent Italian. This is one of the primary staples of the Mediterranean diet. The there’s olive oil, olives, rice, tomatoes, beans (white, red, lentils), all classic dishes. The traditional American side dishes, like french fries are being replaced. Consumers will use less and less animal fat. One of the Harvard speakers said, “I don’t think anyone in public health can like meat anymore.”

    QRW: What about former cuisines, like nouvelle?

    MT: It was a great diet food because there was so little food on the plate. We were staring at plate patterns and artistically designed foods. The chefs were on their own ego trip. Everyone left hungry only they wouldn’t admit it. They went home again to eat. 

    QRW: Breads figure into this diet as well. What are your thoughts on this?

    MT: Bread — real bread– whole grain bread, well-made bread is “in”. This too was abused. Again technology lead us astray. Have you tasted the excellent quality of bread at Boston’s better restaurants, like Olive’s? Seriously made bread is part of the 90s and of the next century. 

    QRW: What are the best national markets for Mediterranean/ Southern European foods?

    MT: That’s easy. Boston, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Why? Because they all had ethnic neighborhoods. They had Euopean immigrants mainly from the south of Europe. They came here and wanted a part of the old country. Pastene has given it to them at the turn of the century. 

    QRW: Pastene has a significant market share in the northeast corridor. You have offices in Boston and Montreal. Are you going national?

    MT: Yes, of course, we’re interested in expanding our business, but we’ll do so only at a rate that still allows us to maintain our present quality. There’s no way we’re going to diminish our quality just for the sake of sales. 

    QRW: How about some anecdotes? A company as old as yours must have some. 

    MT: Our favorite is about Pancho Villa. Once Pastene was given a herd of castle for collateral for our crop. But Pancho Villa’s army came along and ate the entire herd. My grandfather went to Mexico in disguise to see what happened and to see if he could get paid. He didn’t succeed, but thirty years later we were paid in the same pesos of the time– it came to $30,000. We have lots of stories. Pastene has been around for a long time. Let me put it into historical perspective. We were around before Custer took his last stand. I guess we’re an American success story. 

    QRW: And here we stand. Happy birthday…

    Market Watch

    [..]Cross explains “Under the DPP algorithm, a retailer expects a certain amount of movement on a product. If it doesn’t satisfy a retailer it will be pared away.” 

         Retailer Smith at Hannaford Brothers, meanwhile, sees it this way: “Sales people want to sell boxes, whatever it is. We want variety. But we also want the product to sell.”

    Supplier Input

      Industry members say that in addition to wholesalers, suppliers are also affected by DDP use. “It becomes a difficult issue,” says one East Coast wholesaler, who asks not to be identified. “Every large wholesaler, and supplier for that matter, has products that are not as successful as others. Now that retailers use DPP and wholesalers are beginning to use DPP.. it puts a squeeze on the supplier.” 

       Says another wholesaler, DPP “will be beneficial to premium brands and it’s those companies (premium brand marketers) that will use it.” 

    “The biggest contribution (of DPP) is that the wholesaler comes to know quantity and inventory levels.” Mark Tosi (The Pastene Cos.) 

         Wine, beer and spirits marketers are certainly aware of DPP’s presence and impact. In fact, many industry members report, some of the major producers have already or are in the midst of devising DPP programs of their own. “The notion of partnership between suppliers (and wholesalers) and retailers has required that they look for ways to cut costs,” states Dave Fineman of Deloitte & Touche. “DPP provides the language for them to do that.”

          While experts such as Fineman acknowledge that because of varying state regulations and conditions, DPP usage is not widespread (indeed, one industry member estimates that some 90 percent of the nation’s wholesalers have never heard of the term), they point to the underlying concept that has been around for years and see as increasing importance for such techniques.

          “The distributor of the future has to understand (DPP and) shelf management, know how to use this to excel,” states Robert Glazer, ceo of Glazer’s Wholesale Distributors in Dallas. “If computers take over, computerized shelf sets will become part of reality.”

         Some wine and spirits wholesalers call the formalization of DPP revolutionary. “Although the broad concept has always been there, it was not as analytic,” says one East Coast distributor. “As the industry consolidates, wholesalers will take a more focused look” at the brands they carry and the suppliers they service. 

        “DPP is the wave of the future, “Steve Cross unequivocally states. “Absolutely, there is no question.” Sure beats doing battle with competitors on a shelf set for 12 hours. “Now, a store manager just looks at the DPP and decides which wholesaler is right,” he says. “It all comes down to DPP.”  

    Source: Market Watch

    Forbes: 9 Ways To Create Polenta Perfection

    Aly Walansky Contributor

    Polenta is a simple dish involving a combination of ground coarse cornmeal and liquid, but there’s a lot of ways you can make it pretty special. 

    Corn oil, polenta corn grits, corn flour in a porcelain bowl on a wooden table. Ears of corn and slices of corn next to bowls. Gluten free healthy foods.
    Polenta is a hearty but simple comfort food to enjoy as the weather cools. GETTY

    Ultimately, polenta is a labor of love.  It takes time, care and quality ingredients. 

    “Start with a coarse ground polenta for better texture,” said Jeff Vucko, chef de cuisine at Travelle at The Langham.

    Keep in mind that cornmeal comes in various forms, and if it is fine powder, it will cook faster. “Most local markets in the Midwest have farmer-grown organic heirloom corn and you could specify how you want to grind the corn,” said Vucko.

    Then, it’s all about building your base, whatever that ends up being for you.  “Add chicken stock, butter, heavy cream, salt, pepper and cheese of your desire.STIR, STIR, and anyone that walks by the pot, STIR again!” said Vucko.Recommended For You

    Seasoning is everything

    The single most important tip for polenta is seasoning aggressively. “Polenta acts as a salt reducer so you must be heavy handed,” said Cory Harwell, chef and owner of Carson Kitchen, which has locations in Atlanta, Salt Lake City and Vegas. 

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    Play with the liquids

    Many polenta recipes will say to cook the polenta in water. That’s fine, but for creamier, richer polenta you are going to want to switch things up a bit. “Modify the liquids used to cook the polenta in,” said Harwell. “Standard ratio is 4 parts water to 1 part polenta. Mix it up and use 1 part water, 1 part whole milk, 1 part heavy cream, and 1 part chicken or veg stock,” said Harwell. You’ll love the difference!

    There’s no need to get fancy

    There’s a lot of ways to buy polenta. There’s coarse cornmeal, there’s readymade tubes, and there’s boxes of instant polenta, too!

    “Instant polenta is where it’s at!” said Frankie Celenza, a chef who is the host of Tastemade’s Struggle Meals. “It’s cooked and then dried out; texturally there’s no downside in my opinion, because ultimately, polenta is porridge,” said Celenza. Think of grits (yes, it’s true — corn came from the Americas and this dish is more American than Italian), but much creamier and smoother.

    Normally, the downside to a precooked — or in this case instant — product is that it won’t be as crisp, but in this instance it’s an advantage. “One doesn’t need to stir endlessly, but monitoring hydration levels and anticipating the carryover cooking after the fact are paramount,” said Celenza, who cooks his polenta with water and adds some milk and parmigiano cheese towards the end. “For me, it’s the same as finishing a risotto. For whoever is eating it, it’s heaven!” said Celenza.

    Get creative with cheese

    “I always recommend stirring in butter and a firm cheese of some kind,” said EJ Hodgkinson, Culinary Director for Electric Hospitality, the Atlanta-based restaurant group including Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall, Golden Eagle and Muchacho.

     You can always get creative with what cheese you chose.”Traditionally it would be butter and parmigiano reggiano, but I personally prefer to stir in mascarpone in place of butter. The firm cheese can be substituted with other types like, pecorino or extra aged cheeses (Der Scharfe Maxx, Challerhocker, etc.),” said Hodgkinson.

    Polenta is an easy, versatile, kid-friendly (and gluten free!) option that makes for good leftovers if you do a creamy version day one, and a seared version (fry or cake) the next.  

    Perfect creamy polenta

    Cooking proper alpine Italian polenta
    Proper creamy polenta is a labor of love. GETTY

    Making creamy polenta at home is basically as simple as making rice or pasta. It’s about a ratio of ground cornmeal to liquid. “I will boil a mixture of milk and water then add in my polenta and stir; I like mine super creamy and a little wet,” said Rachel Haggstrom, executive chef at The Restaurant at JUSTIN, JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery.

    The amount of liquid depends on how creamy you like it, and the beautiful thing about polenta is you can add more liquid to the mixture as you go. “Once I get the polenta to my preferred consistency I like to finish it with a generous amount of butter and parmesan,” said Haggstrom.

    To spice things up for the adults at home, it can be fun to finish the polenta with a sprinkle of blue cheese, spiced pine nuts, or pepitas (for texture), and a drizzle of pesto, gremolata or other green herb sauces.

    Here’s a simple recipe for creamy polenta from Michael Zentner of The Drifter, based in Charleston.

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups milk
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 tablespoons chopped thyme
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 cup polenta, course 
    • 1/4 pound butter, diced
    • Zest of 1 lemon
    1. In a 2 quart saucepan bring water and milk to a boil.  
    2. Season the milk with salt and crushed garlic.  
    3. Whisk in the polenta in a steady stream and cook over medium-high heat until it returns to a boil.  
    4. Turn down the heat and cook for 15-20 minutes until thickened fully.  
    5. Whisk in the butter and lemon zest and adjust the seasoning with salt.

    Fun with leftovers

    When putting the polenta away, store in a casserole dish or a cookie sheet (something with edges).  “Place parchment paper down, followed by your favorite cooking spray, then spread your leftover polenta in an even layer and allow it to cool,” said Haggstrom.

    Allow to set overnight in the fridge then cut into strips or squares – Haggstrom then says the best way to go about it is prepping in a cast iron pan over high heat sear polenta on each side in clarified butter or grapeseed oil.  Serve warm.

    “Seared polenta is great when eaten with charcuterie or tomatoes as an appetizer, or as a starch with your favorite entrée,” said Haggstrom. 

    Polenta truffle fries

    This spin on polenta elevates a simple, inexpensive dish to something you may see in a high-end steakhouse: Truffle fries! Recipe is via Jack Peterson, the executive chef of Fine-Drawn Hospitality (Walnut Street CafeSunset Social and The Post in Philadelphia). 

    • 1 tube of store bought polenta
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil (if baking)
    • Parsley (freshly chopped)
    • Grated parmesan 
    • Truffle oil
    • Kosher salt
    1. Cut polenta into desired french fry thickness — using a knife that has been run under hot water and cleaned between each cut by running under hot water repeatedly. Preheat the oven to 400F and toss the polenta in the olive oil. Coat evenly. On a sheet tray, bake in the oven for 20 minutes,  flipping halfway through.
    2. If using an air fryer, also have preheated to 400F, and fry for 20 minutes. Again, flipping halfway. 
    3. If you have a deep fryer, fry in 350F oil until crispy. Should be about 5 minutes, depending on your polenta.
    4. Once your fries are cooked, place in a mixing bowl. Drizzle with truffle oil, pinch kosher salt, parsley, and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
    5. Serve immediately!

    Polenta cake

    Polenta is perfect for making cakes and biscuits, says Brendan Collins, chef of Fia Santa Monica.  “This recipe is super easy to make and has a brilliant moist and crumbly texture, served with your favorite jam or curd and a dollop of whipped cream, you can be devilish and keto friendly all in one!” said Collins.

    Ingredients

    • unsalted butter for the pan 
    • 1 pound unsalted butter, softened 
    • 1 pound granulated sugar 
    • 1 pound ground almonds 
    • 2 teaspoon good vanilla extract 
    • 6 eggs 
    • finely grated zest of 4 lemons 
    • juice of 1 lemon 
    • 1/2 pound polenta 
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
    • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 

    1. Preheat the oven to 320°F. Butter and line a 12-inch  round and 3-inch  deep cake pan with parchment paper.

    2. Beat the butter and sugar together using an electric mixer until white and fluffy.

    3. Stir in the ground almonds and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the lemon zest and juice, the polenta, baking powder and salt.

    4. Spoon into the prepared pan. Bake for 45–50 minutes or until the cake is set and deep brown on top. Cool in the pan.

    5. Serve with whipped cream and strawberry jam

    Items to stock up on:

    Pastene Instant Polenta 

    Ancient Harvest Heat & Serve Polenta

    Anson Mills Artisan Handmade Coarse Rustic Polenta

    Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alywalansky/2020/09/07/9-ways-to-create-polenta-perfection/#17f981dc7644

    Firehouse: OR Chief Surprised with $10K after Losing Homes to Wildfire

    By Maxine Bernstein

    During her talk show, Drew Barrymore presented the check to Upper McKenzie Fire Chief Christiana Rainbow Plews, who stayed with her crews even after losing her two homes to the Holiday Farm Fire.Maxine BernsteinThe Oregonian, Portland, Ore.Sep 21st, 2020\

    Talk show host and actress Drew Barrymore presents Upper McKenzie, OR, Fire Chief Christiana Rainbow Plews with a check for $10,000 on Monday after she lost her two homes to the Holiday Farm Fire last week.The Drew Barrymore Show

    Actress Drew Barrymore, touched by Upper McKenzie Fire and Rescue Chief Christiana Rainbow Plews’ commitment to her community amid the loss of her own homes in Vida from the Holiday Farm Fire, on Monday presented a $10,000 check to her on her TV talk show.

    Pastene, the Italian specialty foods company in North America, provided the money.https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FaMiTqu3Zfo8%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DaMiTqu3Zfo8&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FaMiTqu3Zfo8%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=5daa5f79255a468182e3a635c1b7cbaa&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

    Barrymore made the presentation on her “Drew Barrymore Show,” which aired Monday.

    Barrymore asked Plews how she focuses on her work as chief as her own family is struggling with such a significant loss.

    “Somebody has to do it,” Plews said. “Somebody has to lead and help and get the healing and rebuilding process started, and I am the Chief, and I am in the position to impact that, so I just have to be strong. And I have to do it for everyone else and hopefully we can all find our way.”

    Barrymore thanked Plews “for being the example to us all.”

    “I know it’s not enough but just a little start to say that you are an inspiration to us all,” Drew Barrymore told Plews.

    Plews, 50, has served as chief of the volunteer department since October 2018 but has been a firefighter since 1991.

    She responded about 8:30 p.m. on Labor Day, Sept. 8, to a report of a downed power line and brush fire at milepost 47 of the McKenzie Highway. By 1 a.m. the next morning, she ordered the evacuation of Blue River, Vida, Nimrod and Leaburg along a 20-mile stretch of the McKenzie River east of Eugene-Springfield. She also had called it in as a conflagration and demanded statewide help. Plews remained with her crews until that Wednesday night, even after learning her two homes in Vida had been destroyed. Her husband and two sons had safely evacuated at her insistence and were staying in a hotel in downtown Eugene.

    Plews has been working to help other community members and her own volunteer firefighters, who also lost their homes in the fire.

    In turn, community agencies and area businesses have raised money for Plews and the fire district.

    7 Devils Brewing Co., owned by Plews’ brother, for example, conducted a “rapid-response fundraiser” to help the Upper McKenzie fire district. The district’s Blue River station was also consumed by flames and destroyed. 7 Devils raised $1,350 for the Upper McKenzie Fire Department by donating 50% of the sales of growler and bomber fills and tuna melts. Customers also donated an additional $4,600 in cash, half of which was donated to a fire fund benefiting families who lost their homes in the Talent and Phoenix areas, and the other half went to the Upper McKenzie Fire Department.

    “Our gratitude is endless. We are so thankful for all the support,” the chief wrote on her Facebook page on Sunday.

    The chief has posted on Facebook donations that have come from elsewhere in the state, and are being made available at the Upper McKenzie Community center, including food, water, masks and other supplies. She’s also posted pleas for assistance for some of her volunteer firefighters, such as Thomas Maddock, who lost his home and has been a volunteer firefighter in the McKenzie Valley for more than 46 years.

    “Thomas is a dear friend and mentor,” the chief wrote. “He not only fought the Holiday Fire from the beginning but then spent the next week feeding animals left behind including my own cats, goat and chickens… If you know of a place for home please reach out.”

    The chief’s son Kiger Plews, reached by phone Monday, said that his mom had left their hotel to “go to the front lines.”

    — Maxine Bernstein

    ———

    ©2020 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)

    Visit The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.) at www.oregonian.com

    Source: https://www.firehouse.com/operations-training/wildland/news/21155168/or-chief-surprised-with-10k-after-losing-homes-to-wildfire

    New England Elites Share A Virtual Kitchen For National Linguine Day

    Damien Smith, Boston Community Director
    Photo by Apex S.

    I loved this event! It was so exciting to get the MASSIVE box containing the ingredients for this dish…

    Toni T, Rhode Island Yelp Elite

    Forty Elite Yelpers representing greater Boston and Rhode Island zoomed in for a virtual cookalong Tuesday to celebrate National Linguine Day! Armed with a box of dry and canned goods from Canton’s own Pastene, yelpers took to their kitchens to create a Caramelized Tomato Linguine entree, under the expert tutelage of Chef Anthony Ambrose. Even Pastene owner Mark Tosi joined in on the fun, answering guest questions about the 146-year-old Massachusetts company and their famous yellow-labeled goods. Check out event reviews and guests photos of their finished dishes, and if you wanna relive the moment, here’s the recipe. Get to cookin’!

    Source: https://blog.yelp.com/2020/09/new-england-elites-share-a-virtual-kitchen-for-national-linguine-day

    Pastene Products for Great Italian Cooking

    by Marina Kennedy

    PASTENE Products for Great Italian Cooking
    Prosecco Wine Vinegar

    Make an Italian feast with authentic food products from Pastene. This is a company that has the best ingredients for your next meal. With people doing so much home cooking, Pastene is a brand you should know about and look for whenever you are shopping or ordering online.

    Pastene is North America’s oldest importer of premium Italian packaged goods. It began as a pushcart operation in Boston’s North End in 1848. To date, the company has been owned and operated by descendants of Luigi and Pietro Pastene and has the distinction of being one of North America’s oldest continuously operating family businesses. In fact, they were the first house to import fine olive oil into North America and are now the longest continuous importer of olive oil. The welcoming family atmosphere, sense of community, and integrity in business dealings has always been the hallmark of Pastene’s working philosophy.

    PASTENE Products for Great Italian Cooking

    As the leading importer of authentic Italian foods and ingredients, Pastene makes it easy to prepare delicious dishes with a variety of pasta cuts, tomato sauces, grated cheeses, roasted peppers, kitchen ready® tomatoes, marinated artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, peppers, condiments, beans, pasta sauces, fish products, oil, vinegar, curated gift boxes, and more.

    People who value the culinary arts know that the secret to great Italian cooking is pure, quality ingredients. When you make your special marinara sauce, you need to use the finest canned tomatoes. For over 50 years, Pastene “Kitchen Ready®” tomatoes have represented the highest quality available to consumers. These tomatoes are always fresh packed from vine-ripened tomatoes, canned as soon as the ripe tomatoes come in from the field. This fresh-pack method results in the best, most flavorful canned tomatoes available. For over 50 years, Pastene’s “Kitchen Ready®” have been considered top quality in canned tomatoes.

    It’s good for our readers to know that Pastene’s products are very accessible. Their main marketing area is the eastern US and Canada with New England and the Quebec province.

    PASTENE Products for Great Italian Cooking

    Check out three of the tantalizing recipes you can make with Pastene products. These are just a few of the healthy, delicious ones that you can find on their web site that are easy to prepare. The company’s delightful recipes include Appetizers; Crostini and Bruschetta; Main Courses; Soups and Salads; and Salad Dressings and Marinades. And of the recipes’ ingredients can be ordered from Pastene or found in local stores. You’ll be an exquisite Italian chef in no time at all!

    Hearts of Palm with Basil SauceIngredients:

    -14 oz. can (7 oz. DR. WT.) Pastene Hearts of Palm, drained and sliced 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.

    -14 oz. can Pastene Artichoke Hearts, drained and halved

    -1 TBSP Dijon mustard

    -1 egg yolk

    -3 TBSP Pastene Red Wine vinegar

    -1 TBSP Pastene Basil Pesto

    -1/2 cup Pastene Pure Olive Oil

    -1 TBSP freshly chopped parsley

    Salt and Pepper to taste

    Directions: Place sliced hearts of palm and the artichoke halves in a deep platter or bowl and set aside. Mix mustard with egg yolk, Salt and Pepper. Whisk in vinegar and pesto. Add oil in thin stream while whisking until thick. Mix in parsley, pour over vegetables and marinate 15 minutes stirring twice. Serve on a bed of lettuce, spinach, or other field greens and enjoy.

    Spaghetti Carbonara

    Ingredients:

    -16 oz. Pastene Spaghetti

    -8 slices of bacon, diced

    -4 eggs, lightly beaten

    -4 tbsp. 15% cream

    -2 tbsp. Pastene Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    -¼ Cup Pastene Grated Parmesan Cheese

    -2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

    Salt and Pepper to taste

    Directions: Cook spaghetti in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain and keep hot. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain and reserve. In a bowl, combine eggs and cream. Season to taste with Salt and Pepper. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Stir in reserved spaghetti, bacon, egg mixture and Parmesan. Mix very well and serve immediately, garnished with parsley.

    Chicken Breasts with Capers and Sundried Tomatoes (4 servings)

    Ingredients:

    -1 tbsp. Pastene Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    -4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

    -6 Pastene Sundried Tomatoes in Oil, drained and chopped

    -1 ½ cups chicken stock, heated

    -1 tbsp. Pastene Tomato Paste

    -¼ cup Pastene Capers in Vinegar, drained

    Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, and brown 4-5 minutes on each side. Season to taste with Salt and Pepper. Remove chicken to a baking dish and cook in oven for 12-15 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Using same skillet, stir in sundried tomatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste and capers. Mix well and season to taste with Salt and Pepper. Keep hot until ready to serve. Slice chicken and top with sundried tomato sauce. Serve with risotto, if desired.https://b220e7211a8e57c298fc6fc3874afc65.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

    Shop for Pastene products whenever you grocery shop or have Pastene delivered direct to your home by ordering all your favorites. Visit: https://www.pastene.com/index.html.

    Photo Credit: Courtesy of Pastene

    Source: https://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwfood-wine/article/PASTENE-Products-for-Great-Italian-Cooking-20200713

    Phantom Gourmet: Parmesan Cheese Taste Test

    BOSTON (CBS) — Phantom recently purchased four canisters of grated Parmesan cheese at a local supermarket.

    The contenders were Classico, 4-C, Kraft, and Pastene. See if you can guess which brand ended up at the top of the food chain.

    Classico Parmesan Cheese (Phantom Gourmet)

    Classico finished in last place. First the good news: Classico is the only competitor that doesn’t add cellulose powder to its recipe, resulting in a cheese with no added fillers.

    Now the bad news: the cheese just doesn’t taste very good. It’s dry, flavorless, and definitely not anything Phantom would want to put on his pasta.

    Kraft Parmesan Cheese (Phantom Gourmet)

    Next up is Kraft. With its familiar green label, this is probably the brand you grew up eating.

    It has a pale off-white color, light fluffy texture, and a tangy, sweet, and salty flavor that make it a family favorite. It also happens to be the lowest priced brand of the bunch.

    The problem is that while Kraft is kind of tasty, it doesn’t really taste much like authentic parmesan at all.

    4-C Parmesan Cheese (Phantom Gourmet)

    The runner-up is 4-C. Yellow in color with a texture that’s grittier than the others, this parmesan announces itself with authority. It’s aged for more than ten months, which allows for plenty of nutty tangy notes to develop.

    If you’re searching for something strong, this might be your brand, but with such a bold flavor it’s likely 4-c could compete rather than complement whatever you’re putting it on.

    Pastene Parmesan Cheese (Phantom Gourmet)

    At the top of the food chain is Pastene. With roots in Boston’s north end dating back to the eighteen-hundreds, this local brand certainly offers something worth sprinkling.

    This grated parmesan is packaged in an upscale glass jar befitting its premium quality. With granules that are just the right size, and a rich flavor with a nice balance of tangy, nutty, and salty, this cheese will enhance anything you add it to.

    That’s why Pastene grated parmesan cheese is at the top of the food chain.

    Source: https://boston.cbslocal.com/2018/01/28/phantom-gourmet-parmesan-cheese-taste-test/

    North End History – The Italians

    by Guild Nichols

    PART 5: BOSTON’S LITTLE ITALY
    1900-Today

    The Italian masses that flowed into the North End on the heels of the departing Irish and at the apex of the Jewish settlement found a neighborhood in dire physical condition; a rundown, overcrowded slum of deteriorating tenement buildings.

    Like their predecessors, these newly-arrived Italian immigrants also had to contend with Bostonians’ disdain for foreigners. As historian Samuel Adams Drake opined (in 1871) about living conditions in North Square:

    “Nowhere in Boston has Father Time wrought such ruthless changes, as in this highly respectable quarter, now swarming with Italians in every dirty nook and corner. In truth, it is hard to believe the evidence of our own senses, though the fumes of garlic are sufficiently convincing. Past and Present confront each other here with a stare of blank amazement, in the humble Revere homestead, on one side, and the pretentious Hotel Italy on the other; nor do those among us, who [know] something of its vanished prestige, feel at all home in a place where our own mother-tongue no longer serves us.”

    The first Italian immigrants came in the 1860s from Genoa and settled in a three-block area off Fulton Street, adjacent to the Jewish Menorah Products poultry slaughterhouse. They numbered fewer than 200, but during the 1880s, the immigrant tide began to shift — of the 15,000 Irish that lived here in 1880, barely 5,000 remained by 1890.

    The Genoese were followed by the Campanians, who were followed by the Sicilians, the Avellinese, the Neopolitans, and the Abruzzesians. Each group settled in their own area within the North End, creating their own enclave within the greater North End neighborhood.

    The North End had also changed in a number of other significant ways over the preceding decades. Formerly Protestant churches were acquired by the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston – reflecting the ascendancy of Irish Catholicism throughout the neighborhood. The Seamen’s Bethel became the Sacred Heart Church in 1871 after Rev. Edward Taylor’s death. The Bulfinch-designed New North Congregational Society became St. Stephen’s Church. In 1873 a new Italian-Portuguese Catholic church, St. John the Baptist, was dedicated, and in the same year St. Leonard’s Church was founded. St. Leonard’s, at the corner of Hanover and Prince Streets, was completed in 1899, becoming the first Italian church in New England and the second oldest in America.

    During this same period, a new Settlement House Movement swept through Boston’s North End. It took several forms. Some settlement houses were established to assist immigrants in adjusting to their new life in America. For example, the North End Union provided food and aid to several generations of immigrants. In the 1880s, it housed the Children’s Mission which developed “The Boston Sand Garden Project”, the city’s first public playground.

    A North Bennet Street Industrial School was also founded in 1881 by Pauline Agassiz Shaw to teach Italian and Jewish immigrants skills needed to obtain employment. And eight years later, Lina Hecht set up her Hebrew Industrial School next door to teach needlework skills to Jewish women.

    Then there was the “Saturday Evening Girls” library club. It was founded in 1899 by Edith Guerrier, a 21-year-old librarian who maintained a reading room at the North Bennet Street School. She came up with a novel approach to keeping Jewish and Italian young women “off the streets” while at the same time advancing their education and well-being. Her library club held meetings on Saturday evenings at which literary scholars, writers, historians and social reformers would present talks.

    With the encouragement and financial support of Boston philanthropist Helen Osborne Storrow, Guerrier and her friend Edith Brown, an artist, also formed the Paul Revere Pottery on Hull Street in 1908. The aim was to help their “Saturday Evening Girls” to become financially self-sufficient. The young women worked eight-hour days in “an airy, healthful atmosphere” and received a decent wage, an annual paid two-week vacation, and a daily hot lunch – all of which were virtually unheard of in the early 20th-century workplace. Paul Revere Pottery is today a valued collectible.

    By 1900, the Italian population in the North End was 14,000. Over the next 20 years it would more than double to 37,000 and at its peak, in 1930, 44,000 Italians were packed into an area less than one square mile in size. As North End historian William DeMarco notes, “By comparison, the parking lot at Florida’s Disneyworld is three times larger than the inhabited area of the North End.” The neighborhood had become 99.9% Italian and was said to be more densely populated than Calcutta.

    The first arrivals, the Genoese, made their living as fruit and vegetable vendors and as peddlers selling wine, cheese, and olive oil from North End storefronts and from stalls along the open air Haymarket in Dock Square. Access to these North End markets and shops was greatly facilitated by the construction of North Station (in 1893) and by the Metropolitan and West End Street Railway companies. In the meantime, the Sicilian immigrants, who had colonized the length of North Street along the harbor by 1925, found employment in the booming commercial fishing fleets.Others were able to find work in the construction trades – as masons, metalworkers, carpenters, and general laborers – with Italian owned and operated contractors. But to no small degree, it was the neighborhood itself that offered many job opportunities – providing for the feeding, clothing, servicing and ministering to the masses of fellow immigrants and paesani that filled the neighborhood to overflowing.

    In 1920, the North End had 28 Italian physicians, six Italian dentists, eight funeral homes, and along just one block of Hanover street four or five barbershops.  Most North End businesses were of the “Ma and Pa” variety – small grocery stores, butcher shops, and bakeries, dressmakers, cobblers and shoe stores. Each had their favored clientele.Two noted exceptions to this “Ma and Pa” variety were founded by Luigi Pastene and by three Sicilian friends, Gaetano LaMarca, Guiseppe Seminara and Michele Cantella. Luigi Pastene came to Boston from Italy in 1848 and began selling produce from a pushcart. By the 1870s, he was joined by his son, Pietro, in establishing Pastene as a company specializing in selling groceries and imported Italian products. By 1901, Pastene expanded its operations to facilities along Fulton Street in the heart of the North End Genoese district. Today, the Pastene Corporation is a major national brand with distribution and packing facilities established in New York, Montreal, New Haven and Havana, as well as in Italy in Naples and Imperia.

    Prince Pasta

    The three Sicilian friends- LaMarca, Seminara and Cantella – started a small macaroni and spaghetti manufacturing business in 1912 at 90-92 Prince Street. They became so successful that within five years, they moved their Prince Pasta Company to 207 Commercial Street. Then, in 1939, the three partners moved the entire operation to Lowell, where they were joined by Guiseppe Pellegrino, another Sicilian immigrant with a deft hand at marketing. Pellegrino eventually bought out two of his three partners – – LaMarca and Seminara – and proceeded to build Prince into a national brand. He created the famous radio slogan “Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti Day” in and in 1969, under the direction of his son, Joseph, Prince introduced its most memorable TV commercial, featuring Anthony Martignetti and the refrain of a mother peering out a tenement window, calling to her son to come home for a supper of Prince spaghetti. Joseph Pellegrino, took over the presidency of Prince Pasta from his father Guiseppe in 1972, eventually selling the company to Borden, Inc. in 1987.

    These two business success stories aside, most Italian North Enders found life hard, both economically and socially. Anti-Italian sentiment remained deeply ingrained. With the close of the First World War and the rise of Bolshevism, a new “Red Scare” ran rampant across much of the United States. This, coupled with the growth of Italian fascism and the anarchist movement, made for a hostile political climate towards immigrants and radicals.

    On January 15, 1919, a 50-foot tank filled with 2.3 million gallons of molasses exploded on the North End industrial waterfront, causing widespread destruction and taking the lives of 21 people and injuring another 150. The blast was initially believed to be the result of a terrorist act. This was a main line of argument by attorneys for U.S. Industrial Alcohol, owner of the storage tank; a case of sabotage by political anarchists.The resulting investigation and legal hearings – involving 125 lawsuits – was the longest up until then in the history of the Massachusetts court system. It ended in 1926 with a conclusive judgment: the tank had been improperly designed in the first instance and its failure was due entirely to structural weakness, not to a terrorist attack.

    Sacco and Vanzetti

    Thirteen months to the very day following this Great Molasses Flood, a shoe company paymaster and guard were robbed and murdered in broad daylight in South Braintree. The two perpetrators made off with $15,000. Eyewitnesses claimed they looked Italian.Over the next month, a large number of Italian immigrants were questioned. Two North Enders were arrested – Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. Both men were avowed anarchists, who had protested American entry into WW I and had fled to Mexico to avoid conscription into the U.S. Army.At their trial, the main evidence against them was that they were both carrying guns when arrested on a Quincy streetcar. Despite the fact that both men had good alibis – Vanzetti was peddling fish in Plymouth while Sacco was with his wife at the Italian Consulate in Boston having his passport photograph taken – attorneys for the prosecution underscored the fact that those who testified in support of these alibis were also Italian immigrants. They emphasized the men’s radical political beliefs, accusing them of unpatriotic behavior for having fled to Mexico to escape the draft.

    Sacco and Vanzetti were found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to death.

    Despite the many appeals filed (and denied), the considerable publicity the case received, and the numerous large public demonstrations in their defense across the United States and throughout Europe, South America and Japan – Sacco and Vanzetti were executed on August 23, 1927. Their wake was held at the Langone Funeral Home, which was then at 383 Hanover Street, and was attended by over 100,000 mourners. The funeral procession, carrying the bodies to the Forest Hills Cemetery for cremation, attracted 50,000 marchers, the largest funeral procession up until then in Boston’s history.

    Yet even with the waning tide of negative public feelings towards Italian immigrants over subsequent decades, the North End still had to contend with its unsavory criminal reputation.  From its earliest days when it was rife with sailors, gamblers and brothels, the neighborhood had a Dickensian quality to it. Even after the Irish influx, gambling and prostitution were commonplace.That some Italian criminal elements – like their Irish and Jewish counterparts before them – preyed upon their own people was nothing new. One example is the short-lived, nefarious career of Charles A. Ponzi, who came to be known as one of America’s “greatest confidence men” of modern times. He founded his Security Exchange Company on Hanover Street in December 1919 with a simple promise: to pay investors 50% of their investment within 45 days.Initial customers were cautious. But true to his word, Ponzi paid these first investors 50% within the prescribed period. Such a thing had never been done before and as word spread throughout the North End and across the City, money started pouring in. He soon moved his offices to larger quarters next door to City Hall on School Street where money came in so fast that his clerks had to pile it into baskets. By 1920, Ponzi had promissory notes outstanding with a face value of almost $15 million.

    Charles Ponzi claimed that he was simply sharing with his investors a portion of the 400% profit he was earning through trading in international Postal Reply Coupons. When in 1920 Ponzi’s bubble finally burst , the truth came out: he paid off his earliest investors with money received from his later investors. He had never bought or sold Postal Reply Coupons; they simply served as his cover for what has come to be called a “Ponzi Scheme” – robbing Pietro to pay Paolo.

    Crime became “organized” inside the North End under a variety monikers: “Mafia”, “Cosa Nostra”, and “The Mob.” Gaspare Messina started the first “Boston family” crime organization in 1916. Filippo “Phil” Buccola, a Sicilian immigrant like Gaspare, succeeded him in 1924. As Irish, Jewish and Italian gangs sought to wrest control over a number of illegal rackets – from gambling and prostitution to loansharking and bootlegging – violence, intimidation and murder prevailed for more than a decade. Buccola gained a certain respect from his underworld rivals by assassinating a competing South Boston Irish gang leader, Frankie Wallace and one of his associates, in 1931. A year later, Charles “King” Solomon, who reigned over the Jewish rackets, was gunned down in front of Boston’s Cotton Club.By the mid-1950s, the U.S. Senate began holding organized crime hearings and Buccola sagely decided to retire to Sicily, thus making way for the rise of Raymond Patriarca Sr. who ran New England’s largest crime “family” from his Federal Hill neighborhood in Providence. He named Gennaro “Jerry” Angiulo to run the Boston rackets from his North End office at 98 Prince Street. It was in this office that the FBI, in January 1981, planted electronic surveillance equipment. The evidence gathered from these surveillance activities ultimately led to Angiulo’s arrest and conviction in 1986, along with two of his brothers, under Federal racketeering charges. As for Patriarca, he had died a year earlier of a heart attack at his girlfriend’s apartment in Providence.While the criminal activities of Buccola and Angiulo did not dominate the North End community, “organized crime” remained an undercurrent and still held a certain attraction to male machismo. And still, as the late former City Councillor Fred Langone noted in his book, The North End: Where It All Began, “Everytime a crime happened near or in the North End, it got big headlines and gave the rest of the city the impression that the Italians were all gangsters and hoodlums.”

    Like the experience of the Boston Irish before them, Italian-Americans began to accrue political power after the close of WW II and, in this way, started to redress over a half-century of prejudice and neglect. In 1948, Foster Furcolo was elected the first Italian-American Congressman and eight years later he became the first Italian-American Governor of Massachusetts.

    Fred Langone, whose grandfather had been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1922, was himself elected in 1961 to the Boston City Council, a position he held for the next 22 years. Frank X. Belotti served as Lieutenant Governor from 1963 to 1965, when John Volpe was elected the second Italian-American Governor of Massachusetts.

    Langone helped establish rent control in the North End in the 1960s, preventing buildings from being taken over by “outsiders” and curtailing the exodus of elderly Italians. He successfully lobbied for the creation of a new Christopher Columbus waterfront park and helped preserve over 70 waterfront warehouse buildings.

    The North End today retains much of its “Old World” feel. Tourism provides an economic underpinning. However, many neighborhood grocery stores, fruit vendors, butcher shops, bakeries, shoe stores, clothiers and cobblers have simply disappeared to be replaced by restaurants. With a population barely one-quarter of its 44,000 peak in 1930, fewer services are required to sustain the community. Ten of its 12 schools have been subdivided and converted to condominium apartments. Church parishes have been auctioned off to the highest bidder.

    Times have changed in Boston’s North End.

    Yet today, Italian-Americans still comprise more than 41% of the resident population. Italian remains the Lingua Franca throughout the North End. It is one of the most vibrant and thriving neighborhoods of its kind.Old customs and traditions die hard (if ever at all). For despite the fact that 50 individual religious societies once existed in the North End and only 12 remain today, these societies with their religious Feasts and Processions remain an integral part of North End neighborhood life and culture, drawing large summertime crowds.After years of construction and the building of tunnels and removal of the elevated Expressway with new open park spaces, the North End has finally, physically rejoined downtown Boston – for the first time in over two centuries.

    By Paul E. Kandarian Globe Correspondent

    Christopher (left) and Mark Tosi at their Canton business.
    Christopher (left) and Mark Tosi at their Canton business. DEBEE TLUMACKI FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

    Pastene products, with their distinctive bright yellow-and-red labels, can be found on supermarket shelves and pantries of home cooks throughout the Northeast and parts of Canada. A Canton-based company, Pastene is the oldest distributor of Italian food products in North America, with roots in Boston’s North End. Italian immigrant Luigi Pastene sold produce from a pushcart there before establishing the company bearing his name in 1874. The operation is now run by Mark Tosi of Cohasset and his brother Christopher of Milton, first cousins of the Pastene clan. We talked to Mark Tosi, who also owns Boston restaurants Bel Ari Italian Modern and Les Zygomates, about the company.

    QDid you and your brother work your way up in the family business?

    A. Oh, yes, we did every possible job here, working the warehouse, emptying freight cars, working on delivery trucks, salesman, you name it. We did every single job.

    QYou import mostly everything from Italy; anything made in the US?

    A. Our number one item is the kitchen-ready tomato, peeled and ground; it’s produced in California. But most everything else is from Italy, including San Marzano tomatoes.

    QThey’re the best tomatoes for sauce?

    A. By far — they’re grown in volcanic soil near Mount Vesuvius. But consumers have to be careful. There’s a brand name San Marzano made in the US that aren’t even close. With us, I guarantee they’re San Marzano; we’ve got too much at stake. We’ve been around so long because of our quality; we don’t fool around — it would destroy our name. We have people working in Italy, from the farm to the packing plant. We know true San Marzano because we’re involved in the whole process.

    QDo celebrity chefs on TV use Pastene?

    A. If you watch Food Network, you’ll see it, but we don’t pay to endorse our products. We don’t need to. When you have the best tomato, everyone else is going after you.

    QWhat’s new in a company this old?

    A. While most of our products are already gluten free, we’ve added a few gluten-free products, including pasta, a product that meets the requirements to be served on our own plates. We’ve not grown our food line tremendously. Italian food is peasant food, and it doesn’t change.

    Source: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/regionals/south/2015/07/09/canton-based-pastene-still-cooking-since-its-founding-north-end/FP7gxT2rBKUQvuPxuGzIyN/story.html

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