In July 2011 we decided that a trip to Sicily was needed and specifically to Caltanisetta to visit Italian Frozen Food. This company makes the most incredible traditional savoury products like the famous Arancini and wonderful patisserie like the equally famous Cannoli. I was determined to try some way to bring these products to the UK market and to allow people to try these amazing hand made Sicillian delicacies. I asked Cristiano to call Daniele (the sales manager) to set up a visit to the factory and to taste the products for ourselves.
Then the fun started, a flight to Palermo, always an exciting vibrant city. Myself, Lisa and Cristiano were in high spirits when we landed but shattered as we had driven to Stansted for our flights so we had been travelling for what seemed like a week. Cris sorted the hire car out and we were off. Passing the monument to Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino was quite humbling and Cris told us the story of how these 2 prosecutors as well as others in the cars were blown up by a road bomb in 1992 by the Mafia. I think this story and the monument to the people who lost their lives was an eye opener for me and Lisa and it made us aware of where we were and the violent history of Sicily.
But once you meet people from Sicily you realise just how warm and friendly they can be. Having Cris with us was a huge help though and can never be underestimated. Cris did all the “driving” throughout the trip and I must admit I gained a few extra grey hairs. Once we got to Caltanisetta and the factory of Italian Frozen Food the real fun and pleasure started. Daniele was a perfect generous host and did his best to speak English and for that I am always grateful. The samples we tried were amazing, perfectly cooked Arancini with Ham and Mozzarella, sweet cassattas and cannolis and a myriad of cakes. I have to say we were so full and so happy, topped off with amazing expresso’s I could not have been happier. After we left with a huge cake I was determined to make sure we worked with Daniele and I vowed to try and get these products into the coffee shops and deli’s of the UK.
And this is where we are up to know I suppose. We have these products now ready to sell and we have tried to get them into the right places and will continue to do so. We are disappointed by the sales but never by the reaction to the products. They should re replacing the boring old cupcake or flapjack and once you taste a cannolo with sweet ricotta you will never go back to boring cakes with a coffee again. And this is our challenge now, to try and find an easy way logisitically to sell these amazing frozen products into as many places as possible at a good price for everyone. We are confident we will achieve our aim and we will push and push to find the right places to sell these products. What could be simpler for a coffee shop or deli to simply defrost them in the morning, keep them chilled and sell them, EASY!! If anyone reads this blog and wants to know more about the Sicillian products or wants to taste them with a view to selling them, then please get in touch and start selling the best of Sicily in your shop.