Don’t Miss Our Pancetta Piccante During Passaporto Italia!

Custom made for Central Market by La Querica, Pancetta Piccante is fully cured pork belly made with Berkshire pork and seasoned with natural herbs and spices. It's similar to bacon, but not quite the same thing.

Says Will: 

Pancetta and bacon are both made from pork belly, so they look similar.  And pancetta is commonly called Italian bacon because of its look and [the two] are often interchanged in cooking applications. 

Traditional bacon is smoked and partially cured; therefore, it is cooked prior to eating.  But pancetta is fully cured and ready to eat.  It CAN be cooked like bacon with great success … Since it’s air dried, there is little water left [which leads to] minimal shrinkage in the skillet.  But in Italy, it is a common part of an affettati, a plate of cured meats, alongside prosciutto (which is also not cooked), salami, and other cured meats.

Try our Pancetta Piccante both cooked and uncooked in anything from salads to sandwiches, or even sliced thinly and wrapped around breadsticks! 

Don’t Miss Our Pancetta Piccante During Passaporto Italia!

Custom made for Central Market by La Querica, Pancetta Piccante is fully cured pork belly made with Berkshire pork and seasoned with natural herbs and spices. It's similar to bacon, but not quite the same thing.

Says Will: 

Pancetta and bacon are both made from pork belly, so they look similar.  And pancetta is commonly called Italian bacon because of its look and [the two] are often interchanged in cooking applications. 

Traditional bacon is smoked and partially cured; therefore, it is cooked prior to eating.  But pancetta is fully cured and ready to eat.  It CAN be cooked like bacon with great success … Since it’s air dried, there is little water left [which leads to] minimal shrinkage in the skillet.  But in Italy, it is a common part of an affettati, a plate of cured meats, alongside prosciutto (which is also not cooked), salami, and other cured meats.

Try our Pancetta Piccante both cooked and uncooked in anything from salads to sandwiches, or even sliced thinly and wrapped around breadsticks! 

Italia in a Flash: Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Although most Italian olive oil comes from the southern part of the country (the most oil is produced in Puglia), nearly every region produces olive oil on some scale.

Extra-virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only, and is of higher quality, it contains no more than 0.8% free acidity, and is judged to have a superior taste, having some fruitiness and no defined sensory defects. Extra virgin olive oil is essentially ‘fresh squeezed’ from the fruit of the olive tree, without alteration of the color, taste, and nutrients or vitamins.

 
Oil can be labeled similar to wine, stating its Geographical origin (PGI, DOP, IGP, etc.), variety of olive, and orchard or mill site. Some oils may be a mono-varietal oil while others are a blend of varietals custom blended each year to retain the same flavor profile year to year. Like wines, olive oil varies year to year depending on weather and harvest conditions. The color of the oil is no indication of flavor or quality. Beyond the flavorful taste, there are many health benefits of olive oil. It’s naturally free of cholesterol, trans fat, salt, sugar, and gluten. In addition, olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat (that’s the good kind).

As a general rule the lighter the olive oil's flavor the lighter foods it should be used on, and in the reverse, the more bold and spicy olive oils are better paired with bolder, spicier foods.

Great ways to enjoy olive oil:
  • Tossed with freshly cooked pasta with salt and Parmigiano-Reggiano. No sauce needed.
  • Poured over cheese, including mozzarella, burrata, and goat cheese – this is especially good with a milder fruity olive oil.
  • Drizzled on artisan bread with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt – way better than butter!
  • Blended into mashed potatoes – this is delicious with a sharp, hot peppery variety of olive oil, such as a Tuscan blend.
  • Drizzled on grilled meats to bring out added flavor and depth. Try this with a bolder, more robust olive oil.
  • Generously drizzled over a tossed green salad.
  • Drizzle over fresh Mozzarella slices and fresh tomatoes.
  • Blend fresh Basil, Pine Nuts, and Pecorino Romano until smooth for a great pesto.

Italia in a Flash: Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Although most Italian olive oil comes from the southern part of the country (the most oil is produced in Puglia), nearly every region produces olive oil on some scale.

Extra-virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only, and is of higher quality, it contains no more than 0.8% free acidity, and is judged to have a superior taste, having some fruitiness and no defined sensory defects. Extra virgin olive oil is essentially ‘fresh squeezed’ from the fruit of the olive tree, without alteration of the color, taste, and nutrients or vitamins.

 
Oil can be labeled similar to wine, stating its Geographical origin (PGI, DOP, IGP, etc.), variety of olive, and orchard or mill site. Some oils may be a mono-varietal oil while others are a blend of varietals custom blended each year to retain the same flavor profile year to year. Like wines, olive oil varies year to year depending on weather and harvest conditions. The color of the oil is no indication of flavor or quality. Beyond the flavorful taste, there are many health benefits of olive oil. It’s naturally free of cholesterol, trans fat, salt, sugar, and gluten. In addition, olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat (that’s the good kind).

As a general rule the lighter the olive oil's flavor the lighter foods it should be used on, and in the reverse, the more bold and spicy olive oils are better paired with bolder, spicier foods.

Great ways to enjoy olive oil:
  • Tossed with freshly cooked pasta with salt and Parmigiano-Reggiano. No sauce needed.
  • Poured over cheese, including mozzarella, burrata, and goat cheese – this is especially good with a milder fruity olive oil.
  • Drizzled on artisan bread with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt – way better than butter!
  • Blended into mashed potatoes – this is delicious with a sharp, hot peppery variety of olive oil, such as a Tuscan blend.
  • Drizzled on grilled meats to bring out added flavor and depth. Try this with a bolder, more robust olive oil.
  • Generously drizzled over a tossed green salad.
  • Drizzle over fresh Mozzarella slices and fresh tomatoes.
  • Blend fresh Basil, Pine Nuts, and Pecorino Romano until smooth for a great pesto.

Italia in a Flash: Balsamic Vinegar

There are three types of balsamic vinegar:
  • Authentic traditional artisan balsamic vinegar, the only kind that may legally be described as Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale by the consortium, which mandates strict standards, is only produced in the regions of Modena and Reggio Emilia. The juice from only Trebbiano or Lambrusco grapes must be aged in wooden barrels for 12 to 18 years to develop this balsamic’s unique flavor.
  • Condimento grade products, which are often a mix of the Tradizionale and Commercial grade is made and aged in the traditional way in Modena or Reggio Emilia, aged fewer than 12 years and without consortium supervision.
  • Commercial balsamic vinegars produced on a large scale – these products are made of wine vinegar with the addition of coloring, caramel, and sometimes thickeners.
The suggested way to use each type of balsamic:
  • Drizzle Tradizionale
  • Spoon Condimento
  • Pour Commercial
Great ways to enjoy balsamic vinegar:
  • Tradizionale balsamic vinegar is best used after the cooking is finished, and in more mild dishes as it will shine on its own. Use it to flavor meat like chicken, steak, fish, or veal. It’s great with fruit and cheese combinations; such as strawberries, peaches, and pears, along with ricotta or mozzarella cheese. It may be enjoyed by itself in small amounts.
  • Condimento grade balsamic is more viscous and versatile. Use it in sauces (especially at the end of cooking), in risotto, and pasta dishes.
  • Commercial balsamic is good for salad dressings, marinades, and dipping sauces for vegetables and bread.
How to store balsamic vinegar:
Balsamic vinegar can be stored indefinitely in a closed container at room temperature. Although the color may darken slightly and solids may precipitate out, this is normal.

Italia in a Flash: Balsamic Vinegar

There are three types of balsamic vinegar:
  • Authentic traditional artisan balsamic vinegar, the only kind that may legally be described as Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale by the consortium, which mandates strict standards, is only produced in the regions of Modena and Reggio Emilia. The juice from only Trebbiano or Lambrusco grapes must be aged in wooden barrels for 12 to 18 years to develop this balsamic’s unique flavor.
  • Condimento grade products, which are often a mix of the Tradizionale and Commercial grade is made and aged in the traditional way in Modena or Reggio Emilia, aged fewer than 12 years and without consortium supervision.
  • Commercial balsamic vinegars produced on a large scale – these products are made of wine vinegar with the addition of coloring, caramel, and sometimes thickeners.
The suggested way to use each type of balsamic:
  • Drizzle Tradizionale
  • Spoon Condimento
  • Pour Commercial
Great ways to enjoy balsamic vinegar:
  • Tradizionale balsamic vinegar is best used after the cooking is finished, and in more mild dishes as it will shine on its own. Use it to flavor meat like chicken, steak, fish, or veal. It’s great with fruit and cheese combinations; such as strawberries, peaches, and pears, along with ricotta or mozzarella cheese. It may be enjoyed by itself in small amounts.
  • Condimento grade balsamic is more viscous and versatile. Use it in sauces (especially at the end of cooking), in risotto, and pasta dishes.
  • Commercial balsamic is good for salad dressings, marinades, and dipping sauces for vegetables and bread.
How to store balsamic vinegar:
Balsamic vinegar can be stored indefinitely in a closed container at room temperature. Although the color may darken slightly and solids may precipitate out, this is normal.

Fashionable Foodies

Central Market at Preston and Royal will bring piece of that glitz and glamour to Dallas with the help of our friends at the Wade College, a leading school of design located in our own back yard. Their extremely talented students will show off their original designs in a full-on fashion show, held in our Grocery department. They’ll be assisted by professional models, and Aveda will do hair and make to enhance the students' first-class designs. You'll even find some of our favorite Italian products featured in the show. Following the show, students will be available to answer any questions you may have about their design process and inspiration.

Then, Wade College’s Vice-President of Education, John Conte, will share his expertise in Italian Fashion by hosting a class in our Community Room. Mr. Conte is one of the leading thinkers and educators when it comes to the vast world of Italian fashion, and you’ll be able to leave with a solid understanding and respect of Versace, Armani, Prada, and all the other icons of the Italian fashion world.

Join us on May 3rd at 2:00pm for our fashion-inspired afternoon, then stick around for a surprising Opera performance, wine tasting with Italian winemakers, and explore our shelves for unique items brought in just for Passport. It’ll be an afternoon you’d never expect from your Central Market!

Fashionable Foodies

Central Market at Preston and Royal will bring piece of that glitz and glamour to Dallas with the help of our friends at the Wade College, a leading school of design located in our own back yard. Their extremely talented students will show off their original designs in a full-on fashion show, held in our Grocery department. They’ll be assisted by professional models, and Aveda will do hair and make to enhance the students' first-class designs. You'll even find some of our favorite Italian products featured in the show. Following the show, students will be available to answer any questions you may have about their design process and inspiration.

Then, Wade College’s Vice-President of Education, John Conte, will share his expertise in Italian Fashion by hosting a class in our Community Room. Mr. Conte is one of the leading thinkers and educators when it comes to the vast world of Italian fashion, and you’ll be able to leave with a solid understanding and respect of Versace, Armani, Prada, and all the other icons of the Italian fashion world.

Join us on May 3rd at 2:00pm for our fashion-inspired afternoon, then stick around for a surprising Opera performance, wine tasting with Italian winemakers, and explore our shelves for unique items brought in just for Passport. It’ll be an afternoon you’d never expect from your Central Market!

Central Market Presents Passaporto Italia

For the past four years, Central Market stores have created a lively and tasty two-week celebration of the culture, chefs, food, and drink of one country. This year, we celebrate all things Italian, by showcasing traditional foods and ingredients. Our buyers have spent the last 18 months traveling between Italy and Texas discovering the bounty of Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Campania, Sicily, and all the places in between.

Tasting real Italy begins with stocking your pantry with amazing Italian essentials. New brands of olive oil, balsamic vinegars, pastas, and pasta sauces are hitting our shelves along with capers, pâtés, honey, and preserves. Explore traditional Italian condiments such as mostarda, made from fruit and mustard, and great with bread and creamy Gorgonzola. We’ll have spectacular Italian canned tomatoes that take an everyday staple to a new level.
 
Because Italian cheeses are among the world’s most celebrated cheeses, we will showcase over 30 favorites. Cheesemakers will also be on hand to share their specialties during in-store visits and samplings. Don’t miss the ultimate Parmesan, the prized tre numeri, or “three digit,” Parmigiano-Reggiano, made on select farms in the historic Reggio Emilia province. While other Parmesans are identified with four digits, only the best of the best can be branded as tre numeri. This Parm is aged 20-24 months – roughly 33% longer than the minimum aging time – producing a creamy yet grainy taste with a caramel-like finish. 

You can think of the Chef-Prepared Department as your neighborhood trattoria. Take home veal Milanese porchetta or new risotto kits with flavors as unique as saffron with veal marrow. Taste the way Italians grill, sauté, or roast fish simply with minimal seasonings. Dig in to the wonderful world of Italian cured meats with salumi, nduja, mortadella and prosciutto from highly respected crafters.

 
Then, stop by our gelato bar where we will be featuring scoops of classic Italian flavors, then sip your espresso the way the Romans do: with a sweet toasted biscotti or cannoli available in our Bakery.

Lastly, make sure you make time to mingle with the visiting chefs, winemakers, and cheesemakers, attend bambino-friendly events, watch live cooking demos, and more! Buon Appetito!

You Have To Try These – Cos� Com�� Jarred Tomatoes

When our buyers started traveling to Italy to look for products to bring back for Passport Italy, this is one of the first products that was mentioned on the must-have list. Così Com’è has more than a 25-year history and is known as one of the most important producers of fruits and vegetables in Italy, but the better thing to tell you is that they are delicious! And here is a classic recipe featuring Tagliatelle with Lamb and Red Datterino, to truly make you a believer.


Tagliatelle with Lamb and Red Datterino
 
Ingredients 
  • 10 ounces lamb shoulder 
  • 1 red pepper 
  • 1 green pepper 
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 jar of tomato puree of plum red tomatoes
  • 1 small glass of white wine 
  • 2 ounces of grated Parmesan cheese 
  • a few sprigs of thyme 
  • 1 sprig of rosemary 
  • 1 sprig of oregano 
  • extra virgin olive oil 
  • salt and pepper
  • 12 ounces Tagliatelle noodles 
Preparation

1. Cut lamb into bite-sized cubes.
2. Clean the peppers, remove seeds and small dice.
3. In a nonstick saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of oil and sauté the meat, until brown, add the peppers, stir and continue cooking 5 minutes on medium heat.
4. Add the wine and let it evaporate. Pour the tomato puree and add herbs. Season well with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes.
5. Cook the pasta in salted water, drain and arrange in a serving dish. Sauce with prepared ragu, sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.