Discovering Culinary Excellence in Calabria: The Crispino Family's Artisanal Journey

Discovering Culinary Excellence in Calabria: The Crispino Family's Artisanal Journey

Apr 22, 2024Kajo Kajevic

In the heart of Southern Italy, nestled within the Alta Valle del Savuto, southeast of Cosenza, lies an inspiring entrepreneurial project that has successfully captured the essence of Calabria—its flavors, aromas, and colors—within the confines of glass jars.

Welcome to one of Calabria's premier preservation businesses, "Calabria Food," founded in 1979 by brothers Benedetto and Antonio Crispino. The baton has since been passed to the second generation, Benedetto's children, Arturo and Antonio, along with their mother, Francesca. Together, they have carved out a niche brand, "Famiglia Crispino," which truly reflects their deep roots in the rich local food culture and their renewed commitment to crafting traditional Calabrian delicacies like sauces, 'nduja, and more, with expertise and passion.

From its inception, the new brand has been built on pillars of respect and traceability. This includes the exclusive use of Italian tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and natural flavors, while deliberately avoiding concentrated tomato paste, added sugars, and artificial colors or preservatives. Notably, their tomatoes are steam-cooked at low temperatures, preserving the natural goodness without vacuum processes.

The Crispino family embraces traditional methods, including manual processing. For their cherry tomato varieties, they employ hydroponic cultivation—grown not in soil, but in nutrient-rich water solutions—showcasing their commitment to environmental sustainability. This careful approach earned them the prestigious "Fancy Food 2023" award in New York for innovation and sustainability.

Their packaging is as innovative as their farming techniques; it's designed to be visually appealing and functional. The glass jars feature wide mouths for easy access, minimalistic designs, and sleek, satin black lids. Even the labels are eco-friendly, made not from tree paper but from plant-based materials.

The true measure of their products' quality comes from tasting them. The "Salsa per Amatori," for example, is a traditional Calabrian tomato sauce made from high-quality tomatoes that are selected, processed, and cooked shortly after harvest to maintain a rich, full-bodied texture and flavor, without any added salt or concentrate.

Their product range is impressive, featuring fresh field-grown tomato sauces with variations like hydroponic cherry tomatoes, peeled tomatoes with fresh basil, or Calabrian chili. The Calabrian chilies themselves are offered in exciting varieties such as whole fiery chilies, deliciously stuffed chilies with tuna and artichokes, volcanic chili paste, and explosive chopped chilies.

For those looking to enhance their dishes, there are ready-to-use natural sauces made with extra virgin olive oil, ranging from hydroponic cherry tomatoes to grilled vegetables with Tropea red onions IGP, and even sauces featuring tuna, Tropea red onions IGP in yellow tomato sauce, fresh Calabrian chili, or 'nduja.

The purity of their ingredients extends into their line of antipasti in oil—like sun-dried tomatoes, crushed Calabrian olives, mixed vegetables—and ready-to-spread bruschettas, all showcasing short supply chains and premium ingredients.

The Crispino family's dedication to preserving and sharing the taste and traditions of Calabria through their innovative and sustainable practices is not just commendable—it's a delicious revolution made in Calabria, ready to be savored.

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