Herma’s News – Bunny Sightings, Pasta 101 and Recipes, Closed Family Day

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. – Roald Dahl

Dear Customers,

Guess what? We’ve had many bunny sightings at Herma’s. To me, this is the first sign that spring is on its way – a sign of hope that winter will not last forever. To get us through what remains of this cold winter, however, let’s stay cozy with yummy pasta dishes created with authentic, imported foods from Italy.

Jellycat stuffed animals are the softest, cuddliest, most huggable stuffies around, making them the perfect gift for little ones and adults alike.

Rummo Pasta – made with a tradition of excellence!

photo by Pasta Rummo

Rummo began in 1846 with Antonio Rummo of Benevento, Italy whose mill turned wheat into pasta. The tradition continues on today with the Rummo family taking part. The business, however, has evolved over more than a century and a half into an award-winning corporation that concentrates on making all kinds of pasta in all shapes, sizes and types including gluten-free.

Cooking Pasta 101 – 5 Important Pasta Tips

1. Finish pasta in the pan.

photo by Pasta Rummo
Rather than simply adding a sauce to drained pasta (which often ends up settling at the bottom of your bowl or plate), finish pasta in a pan by mixing and blending with a little cooking water, sauce and ingredients. Add pasta immediately from pot to pan when it is still just a bit firm, about 1 minute before being done. In Italy, the process of mixing pasta with sauce and ingredients is known as mantecare – literally meaning “to mix, blend, or mingle”. This final step of mantecare is when the sauce and the pasta become one harmonious dish, a dish in which each and every bite is equally and consistently delizioso.
2. Keep your pasta starchy.
The starch surrounding pasta causes sauce and ingredients to stick to it, a desirable trait. Keep in mind that olive oil added to pasta or rinsing pasta with water before blending will get rid of its starchy, stickiness. Avoid using olive oil right away unless it is your main ingredient.

3. Water – Salt – Pasta Ratio

photo by Pasta Rummo

Generally, every 100 grams of dry pasta requires 4 cups of cold water (hot water from the faucet may contain minerals from your pipes which is not desirable), so for 200 grams you will need 8 cups and so on… The optimal salt dose corresponds to 1 table spoon per 4 cups of water. In summary, salt will therefore be 1% and pasta 10% compared to the necessary amount of water. Another good test is that your pasta water should taste like the sea.

4. Salting the Water – Timing is imperative.

To facilitate the rapid dissolution of salt, it is preferable to add it as soon as the water begins to boil and before lowering the dough. If we forgot about adding salt to the water when it starts to boil and before the pasta is added, the salt will not have enough time to penetrate inside the dough, which will then leave it tasteless. Salting water immediately as soon as it boils is even more important when cooking thicker pasta shapes – in these cases, in fact, the salt will need more time to penetrate. For example, a Spaghetti n°3 will absorb salt faster than a Fusillotto n° 155.

5. Aged cheese means less salt added.

photo by Pasta Rummo

Sauces that require large quantities of aged cheeses like Parmigiano or Pecorino will require you to have a lighter hand with your salt. Also keep in mind when adding salt to your food in the pan, if you have added pasta water, that water will already include salt as well.

Recipes from Rummo

Photo by Pasta Rummo

For delicious pasta recipes go to the blog section of hermas.ca or click on the link below.

Cozy Winter Pasta Recipes by Rummo – Herma’s Fine Foods & Gifts (hermas.ca)

We love a good bowl of pasta and are proud of all the wonderful ingredients we carry, often imported from Italy and the Mediterranean, that are ideal for cooking Italian. Find all sorts of olives, sauces, Pestos, oils and the like that will turn your creation in the kitchen into something really special.

Herma’s Cheese Shop

Cooking with Italian Cheeses

Parmigiano Reggiano

Complete with salty, briny, nutty and other complex flavors, Parmigiano Reggiano is strictly regulated in Europe and must be produced in specific regions with grass-fed cow’s milk. We consider Parmigiano (grated or shaved into slivers) to be the perfect complement to pasta and also fabulous grated or draped over salads and pizza. That is why we always try to have freshly sliced Parmigiano in our coolers. It is such a must when cooking. When enjoyed by itself pair with bold red wines such as Barbaresco, Barbera, Barolo, Brunello, and Chianti.

Pecorino Romano

Because it’s a hard Sheep’s cheese with a salty, nutty flavor, any kind of Romano is perfect for grating or draping over soups, salads and pastas. And for a wine & cheese spread, ingredients such as honey, jam and fruit help balance the salty notes.

Burrata and Buffalo Mozzarella may also be found in our freezers. These are Milky cheeses with a seductively smooth texture – great for salads, pasta and pizza. 

An extra-special Family Day treat?

NEW Fondue Kits

Try one of our new Fondue Kits or grab a nice slice of Gruyere and the like to create fondue, a fun adventure in the kitchen for all to enjoy.

Besides crusty, cubed bread, what else might be a unique, delicious food for dipping into Fondue?

Potato Gnocchi would be delicious and easy to dip into the hot, cheesy dip. Find with Rummo Pastas.

photo by Pasta Rummo

Holiday Hours – CLOSED Family Day

Herma’s will be CLOSED Monday, February 20th for Family Day. Otherwise, we will be open 7 days a week between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Speaking of Family…A Burgeoning Artist

Herma has another artist in the family. Her granddaughter, Ella, who has just recently been accepted into an art program in high school, is showcasing her first painting in the store this week of water lilies as seen from underneath the water. Come see during your next visit.


We wish you all the best as you plan for Family Day and look forward to seeing you in coming days.


Meredith Ender

Communications Coordinator

Herma’s Fine Foods & Gifts