Try Italian sushi!

If Torontonians can be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, why shouldn’t we all be a little Italian for a day?

Santa Maria Foods in Brampton, which owns the Mastro and San Daniele brands and imports Lavazza coffee, took over St. Lawrence Market June 1 to show off their brand new ready-to-heat pork back ribs and demonstrate a few stylish appetizers for summer.

Before entering this crowded category, CEO Fred Jaques says Santa Maria searched the world for long, lean, tasty pork back ribs, and found them in Europe!

Mastro Cucina ribs should be available in the fresh prepared meat section of major chains and independents, Jaques says.

For a lighter side of summer, a chef in the second-floor Market Kitchen rolled thin sticks of canteloupe in San Daniele prosciutto to create prosciutto sushi. This brilliant idea is super easy and tastes ottimo!

First, lay two pieces of prosciutto side by side, overlapping slightly. Cut cantaloupe in sticks a little longer than the prosciutto and place a bundle lengthwise on one end. Roll firmly and evenly, just like a sushi roll.

With a sharp knife, cut each roll into three pieces. The middle piece is a checkerboard of cantaloupe pieces, while the two ends have cantaloupe sticking out like fries unless you cut them. Either way, it’s a delicious appetizer. You could also use blanched asparagus.

Another chef demonstrated an easy way to present Mastro’s genoa salami. Take one thin circular slice, fold it in half then fold it in quarters. Put a toothpick through the centre and pop a grape tomato on the end. Another instant appetizer! Skewer an olive on half the slices for colour contrast.

For dessert, the Italian Lavazza rep from New York prepared hot and cold coffee.  One of the recipes is straight from Italy, where we tasted our first Shakerato two years ago.

Place 5-6 ice cubes in a martini shaker, add about ¼ cup Lavazza espresso (60 mL) and 1 tsp. sugar. Close the lid and shake vigorously to create a creamy foam. Pour coffee into a martini glass, leaving the ice cubes behind.

Now all we need is some of that summer heat back again. Ci vediamo!

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