Open House - Saturday 13th May from 10am -3pm
This week we were at the Viva Italia culinary market at George Brown College, in partnership with the Italian Trade Commission. We showcased a few of our unique Italian imports including our quince, orange and green tomato mostardas from Mantova.
I will be travelling to food shows in Spain and Italy in the coming weeks to meet up with many of our suppliers and make some new connections. Please write or call us with any products you would like sourced at: Salón de Gourmets and TUTTOFOOD (And please send Tony calm thoughts as he is left to fend for himself with our 8 year old girls while I'm away.)
Now moving along to the next generation in the Pasquale Brothers story… Henry Madott was born in 1917 and started working at the store as a truck driver in 1936. My grandmother describes him as a "man's man" but adds that the women were crazy about him too. They married in 1947 at the Royal York Hotel. They worked side by side for many years. Henry became the heart and soul of the store on King Street and set up the first cheese counter in the 1960s. In the words of my grandmother: "It was a busy Saturday before Easter and he served customers until 3 p.m. He went to the 5 p.m. Mass, ate dinner, watched the hockey game and was gone as soon as the game ended! (April 1, 1979) Henry had a short life but covered a lot of ground and leaves behind many memories." Below, from the left: on his wedding day with my grandmother Georgina (1947), with my aunt Bertha and mother Anna Marie (1952) and with me (1978).
I travelled to the Lombardy region of Italy last October. I was part of an international group of buyers that were paired up with regional producers looking to expand into international markets. There I was able to sample locally made Taleggio, a soft cow's milk cheese named after the Val Taleggio in Bergamo. Taleggio carries the DOP denomination (Denominazion di Origine Protetta) which translates to Protected Designation of Origin. This denomination dictates the area in which a product can be made and the method of production. Taleggio is great for eating on its own however I like it best when melted over pizza or scrambled eggs.
Scrambled Eggs with Taleggio and Truffle Oil
1 tbsp butter
1/4 c whole milk
100 g Taleggio DOP, broken into small pieces
sea salt, pepper to taste
small drizzle of truffle oil (either white or black)
Melt butter over low/medium heat in a heavy bottomed pan. Crack eggs into a bowl, season with salt and pepper and whisk with milk. Pour eggs into the pan and move around gently until they are mostly set and still a little runny. Remove from heat. Break Taleggio into little pieces and scatter over eggs. Stir in gently. Drizzle with truffle oil and additional salt and pepper. Enjoy!
Spring Open House
Saturday April 8th 10am - 3pm
Please join us to celebrate 100 years of good food with food sampling in our warehouse.
Thank you to all who visited us at the Restaurants Canada Show last week. We loved getting to meet with so many of you in person rather than our usual conservations over the phone or email. Thank you!
And continuing with the Pasquale’s Brothers story… My great-grandmother was Edward Pasquale’s first employee in 1917. Donna was born in 1902, in the Abruzzo region of Italy, on St. Patrick’s Day. She came to Canada when she was four. She always wore a four-leaf clover around her neck, so it seems appropriate to write about her in the March newsletter of our centennial year.
Donna worked in the store and kept the books. During the Second World War she helped with filling orders for the training camps, like Camp Borden and Royal Canadian Air Force Trenton.
Here she is at age 20 in 1922, holding my great-uncle Ted at his Christening. Below on the left, we have Nonie (as we referred to her) holding her three of her great-grandchildren in 1979. On the right, at age 80, she went on a trip to Jerusalem and was first in line to ride a camel.
One of my fondest memories of Nonie was when we visited her to say goodbye before leaving the next day for a family vacation to Prince Edward Island. She thought the trip sounded like fun and wanted to come along. So she did. In her mid-eighties, she spent weeks in the car driving from Toronto to PEI and back with her grand-daughter and four great-grandchildren.
Carnaroli Rice from Principato Di Lucedio
A favourite supplier of ours has similar pluck. Countess Rosetta Clara oversees the rice production at Principato Di Lucedio and attends trade shows across Europe.
The Abbey of Lucedio, located along the Via Francigena, was founded in 1123 by the Cistercian Monks. They started growing rice on the property in the 15th century. Several noble Italian families fought for the possession of Lucedio until it was annexed to the properties of Napoleon in the 19th century. The Abbey eventually became the property of the Marquis Giovanni Gozani di San Giorgio, the ancestor of the present owner, Countess Rosetta Clara Cavalli d’Olivola Salvadori di Wiesenhoff. Her rice makes an exquisite risotto.
1 ¾ c Principato di Lucedio Carnaroli rice
2 zucchini, sliced in rounds
1 small onion, finely chopped
½ c dry white wine
1+1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5 cups stock, preferably homemade
1 tbsp butter
2+2 tbsp grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Heat broth and set aside. In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat oil over low-medium heat. Saute zucchini for a few minutes and remove to a dish. Add another tbsp of olive oil, onion and salt. Sauté until translucent. Add a spoonful of broth and then add the rice. Stir gently for a few minutes. Add the wine. Once the wine is evaporated, keep adding broth to cover the rice and stirring gently every minute or so. The risotto should be soft and creamy, the rice should remain al dente. Add back the zucchini. When fully cooked, stir in the butter and 2 tbsp cheese. Serve with additional grated cheese.
We were very fortunate to be featured on the CBC's "Our Toronto" show over the weekend. We had a wonderful visit from Marivel Taruc and camerman Petar Valkov who spent the morning with us as they shot this article. Nice little recognition as we celebrate our 100 years in business in Toronto.
To view the the 'Our Toronto' video - CLICK HERE
To view the article online - CLICK HERE
We have enjoyed hearing about your experiences over the past decades with our store. Please keep sharing them with us.
As we celebrate our 100th year, we will continue with the story of Pasquale Brothers in our newsletters. My great-grandparents, Edward and Donna Pasquale, had 5 children with 3 of them surviving into adulthood. The children helped out at their parents store. My grandmother, Georgina Madott, recalls her father bringing home count sheets and doling them out to his children so they could calculate the store's inventory. Pictured here are Edward and his children, in the 1930's.
Digging through the archives, we found a price list from 1938. The location at this time was 111 King Street East. (Next to the Toronto Sculpture Garden, just east of Church Street.) While we still stock many of the items on the list: beans, peas, rice, lentils and anchovies, we are not able to match the pricing.
We have been spending our Sunday mornings skating at our neighbourhood skate path with family. The cousins love getting time together. Meanwhile the adults plan out our apres-skate meals. One of our favourite meals has been raclette.
Boiled baby potatoes
Raclette is shockingly easy and fast to make if you have a raclette grill and have prepped in advance. Melt slices of raclette on the grill then pour the melted cheese over the individual plates. It only takes a few minutes.
Some of the kids found the taste of the raclette cheese to be too strong, so we also melted some Canadian cheddar in the individual trays. Happy eating!
We would like to start our 100th year by expressing our sincerest gratitude to all of you: our customers, our suppliers, our colleagues past and present, our family and our friends. We could not have made it to 100 years without you. THANK YOU!
A special thank you to Nicholas Keung, from the Toronto Star, for the wonderful article he wrote about Pasquale Brothers in December. You can read it here:
It seems appropriate to start our 100th year with a note about the founder of Pasquale Brothers, my great-grandfather, Edward C. Pasquale. He was born in Abruzzo, Italy in 1897. He was an illiterate shepherd in the mountains who had never worn shoes, until he came to Canada, at age 14, with his two older brothers. His first job in Canada was rolling cigars in a cigar factory, where he met his wife, my great-grandmother, Donna.
Edward, and his older brother Panfilo, started Pasquale Brothers in 1917 with the intention of supplying fellow Italian immigrants with familiar foods.
While the brothers had little formal education, Donna had attended school in Toronto until she was 13 and took care of the book-keeping. Panfilo headed back to Italy after a few years, leaving Donna and Edward on their own to the run the business. Donna worked in the store while Edward was out calling on customers. Deliveries were made by streetcar until they could afford a car. Donna and Edward founded the Unico brand and began to manufacture their own products.
The history of Pasquale Brothers will continue to be told in our newsletters this year. We would love to hear your memories about Pasquale Brothers. You can share them with us on our Facebook page, or by emailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lentils for Goodluck
Italians have traditionally eaten lentils for New Year's Day with the hopes that this would bring them good luck in the year ahead. Lentils, with their resemblance to Roman coins, were believed to represent luck and prosperity. Superstition aside, warm lentils are one of my favourite comfort foods and can be made from ingredients found in your pantry.
300g Italian lentils (or other small lentils)
3 cups stock
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
2+2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
Rinse lentils, then add them to a pot with your stock, and the crushed garlic and bay leaves. (I always have frozen homemade stock on hand, but water can easily be substituted.) Cover and cook on low heat, for about 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pan over medium heat and sauté the onions, carrots and celery until softened. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove the garlic and bay leaves from your lentils, and drain any excess liquid. Add lentils and 1 tbsp butter to the softened vegetables, and mix together.
In a bowl, make a vinaigrette by whisking 2 tbsp olive oil with the mustard and the vinegar of your choice. (Balsamic, sherry and red wine vinegar all work well.) Off the heat, add the vinaigrette to the lentil mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy with a warm baguette.
With wishes for your health and happiness in the year ahead!
To download or print a copy of this newsletter CLICK HERE
I need to start with a recap of the fantastic night we had at our warehouse this past Saturday. We hosted a "Dishing Up Toronto" event for the Toronto Ward Museum. On the eve of our 100th anniversary, over 100 people joined us for food and drinks, while my mom and grandmother told stories about the history of Pasquale Brothers. We had four generations of our family in attendance. A truly magical evening! Thanks to the many organizers, sponsors, volunteers, family members and guests who came out to celebrate with us.
Confetti, Panettone, Panforte & Turron
It's not a coincidence that many of our holiday favourites come from longstanding family companies. Our Italian Confetti come from Pellino, the oldest candy factory in Sulmona, Italy, started in 1783. The sugar coated, almond candies are still made by hand, over 4 days, using the same 300 year old recipe.
Our Bonci Panbriacone are made by the third generation of the Bonci family at the Pasticceria Bonci in Montevarchi, a Tuscan town in Italy. Panbriacone roughly translates to drunken bread. It is a panettone that has been soaked in alcohol - a wickedly delicious cake.
Our Panforte come from Masoni, a bakery that was started in 1885 and is run by descendants of the original family. Panforte are a Christmas treat made in Siena, Italy. The traditional variety is made with almonds and honey.
We import Spanish Turron and chocolates from Manuel Segura, one of the oldest bakeries in Spain. When it was started in 1874, Manuel Segura would make his sweets on the second floor of his shop, while his wife would sell them downstairs on the ground floor. In the afternoon, he would sell his sweets in nearby villages, with the help of a donkey. The company is now run by the sixth generation of the original family: all pastry chefs, and all named Manuel Segura.
BASKETS, BASKETS & MORE BASKETS
We are literally knee deep in baskets this week. With our Ward Museum event behind us, we've quickly filled our warehouse with pre-ordered gift baskets. We have a selection of ready-made baskets in the store or if you call ahead, we're happy to make a basket or gift bag to suit your taste.
Please join us for our open houses in our warehouse on the next two Saturdays in December (10th & 17th) from 10 am to 4pm. We will be sampling a variety of products, including some of our holiday specialties.
Happy Holidays, from our family to yours!
IMPORTING A TASTE OF HOME: A SPECIAL EVENT AT THE PASQUALE BROTHERS WAREHOUSE
DATE: Saturday, November 26, 2016
Pasquale Brothers has been a family run business since 1917. When Edward Pasquale, an Italian immigrant, founded the company in the historic Ward its sole purpose was to supply fellow Italian immigrants with familiar foods. It quickly grew in popularity and Torontonians beyond the Italian community began to frequent the shop. Pasquale Brothers soon became a go to destination for the rapidly growing and diverse population of Toronto eventually growing to manufacture its own products.
In 1969 the family decided to focus its energy on the store they opened at 145 King Street East where their passion for food flourished, and the manufacturing end was consolidated into the Unico brand.
The store on King soon became a gathering place for people with a passion for food. Chefs mingled with customers; recipes, cooking tips and travel adventures were all exchanged right in the midst of the store and amongst the very ingredients that often became the topic of conversation.
Now, on the eve of the company’s 100th anniversary, join the Pasquale family in their warehouse and uncover the family stories behind one of Toronto’s most recognized food brands.
HOST: ANNA MARIE KALCEVICH
Thirteen years ago the company moved its operations to Etobicoke. It is now owned by Anna Marie Kalcevich, the granddaughter of Edward C. Pasquale Sr. and the daughter of his son-in-law Henry Madott, who once ran the company. Anna Marie is the third generation of the family to run Pasquale Brothers.
Join Anna Marie and her family for this exciting event as she shares her family’s story in the heart of the Pasquale Brothers warehouse.
Pasquale Brothers Warehouse
16 Goodrich Rd, Etobicoke, ON M8Z 2H1
Partners: Toronto Ward Museum, Culinaria Research Centre at the University of Toronto Scarborough
For more information and tickets please click on below:
Pronouncing paella can seem intimidating, let alone cooking one. A traditional Valenciana paella has rabbit, chicken and snails. A delicacy when in Spain, a harder sell to my family for a weeknight dinner. I'm a firm believer that if you use high quality ingredients and do your research on how to best use them, then your meal will likely be delicious. This Americanized "Paella Mixta" is surprisingly quick and easy to make and was enjoyed by all at my house. Use the best ingredients you can find, prep them in advance, resist the urge to stir and Enjoy! (Recipe inspired by Saveur, June 25, 2014)
Paella Mixta Recipe
30 cm paellera [traditional Spanish paella pan]
3 cups stock, preferably homemade [I used turkey]
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lb chicken breast, cut into small pieces
1/4 lb Spanish chorizo, sliced
1/2 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 dried bay leaves
2 tomatoes, DOP San Marzano, crushed by hand
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup DOP Bomba rice
1/4 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup caramelized pepper strips
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Infuse stock with saffron in a small pot over low heat. Heat oil in a paella pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and chorizo and sear all sides for a few minutes. Quickly cook shrimp and remove to a plate. Add paprika, garlic, bay leaves, crushed tomatoes, and onions to the meat, stirring until it becomes a thick paste, 5 minutes. Add saffron-infused stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle rice evenly throughout the pan. Without stirring and over high heat, cook until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add peas, peppers and shrimp. Cook, again without stirring, for another 5 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove pan from heat, cover with aluminum foil, and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Paul, from Tinto Fino, has suggested two wines that would pair well with Paella Mixta. www.tintofino.com
Estay Prieto Pricudo 2012, Spain $15.95
Rompesedas 2006, Spain. $19.95