If you can dream it, you can do it. – Enzo Ferrari
La Dolce Vita ~ the sweet life is not just the pleasure of the senses, but a frame of mind. Those who live La Dolce Vita savour each moment of the day. Life is to be celebrated in every way, therefore approach your activities slowly with mindfulness.
At Herma’s we believe July is the perfect month to really live in the way of La Dolce Vita. With this in mind we gladly embrace the idea of enjoying a meal with guests the way they do in Italy – a long and luxurious experience involving many culinary delights.
Setting the Table
Ceramica Salerno by Maxwell & Williams is a new collection of plates, bowls and platters, made in the Salerno region of Italy. The range includes six lavishly detailed designs, making each Ceramica Salerno piece a true Italian masterpiece.
Find these lovely dishes and bowls at Herma’s. We recommend mismatching patterns as to make the set even more interesting and fun.
Other ways to set the stage…
Setting the stage with beautiful plates, table cloth, pretty flowers and warm lighting will make your meal truly special and magical on a warm summer’s evening.
The Perfect Italian Meal
In Italy the balance between the different courses of a meal is as important as the balance between the ingredients of each dish. Below is a list of ten courses expected to be served along with food suggestions for each.
Come on a journey with us as we explore what is entailed.
1. Aperitivo (a bubbly beverage and appetizer)
The Italian Job
This Italian Sandwich-on-a-Stick is a bite-size version of a Caprese Salad – easy to serve and oh so lovely.
Bathe small pieces of Buffalo Mozzarella in extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and a crushed clove of garlic. Place Sweet Cherry Tomatoes from Sarafino, Burrata from Jesse Tree and Basil Leaves on toothpicks for a delightful beginning to your elaborate meal.
2. Antipasti (the Starter)
Slightly heavier than the Apertif, Antipasti is often served as a charcuterie platter which includes different types of ham and salami served with bread, olives and/or bruschetta.
At Herma’s find…
Prosciutto – Fennel Salami – Porchetta – Pancetta
These beautiful meats are imported from Italy and may be cut to your liking.
We also carry an amazing selection of olives from Jesse Tree.
3. Primi (first course to contain hot food, usually without meat)
We have three suggestions from which to choose…
-Pasta tossed with crushed garlic, olive oil and Plum Tomatoes from Sarafino (grown on the Calabrian seaside). Top this dish with grated Parmigiano.
-Toss Rummo’s Fusillotti Pasta with broccoli, olives, olive oil, toasted pine nuts and grated Parmigiano.
Rummo pasta, by the way, is created in Benevento, Italy, which is in the heart of the Italian region known for the world’s finest pasta. We are proud to carry over 15 types of their amazing pastas. We also offer some of their gluten-free pastas.
-Jesse Tree’s Mamma Nuccia’s Gnocchi, Italian dumplings made with potatoes and flour, may be prepared in 2-3 minutes and are handcrafted in Italy. A simple sauce of butter, fresh sage leaves, and Parmigiano is a classic accompaniment to gnocchi and is easy to prepare.
4. Secondi (One or Two Meat Options)
The Village Grocer’s New York Strip Loin Steak
Once the steak is grilled, slice steak on the diagonal, against the grain, no thicker than one-half inch, preferably a bit thinner. Arrange on a platter with arugula, lemon wedges and peels of Parmigiano or Pecorino.
Note: If there are two meat or seafood dishes presented during the secondi, a sorbet palate cleanser is suggested to be served between them.
5. Contorni ( a vegetable dish served alongside the Secondi)
Toss steamed green beans with Sarafino’s Orange Risotto and drizzle a beautiful olive oil over it. So refreshing on a hot, summer day!
Note: Serve foods on separate plates in order to preserve the integrity of the food’s flavors.
Herma’s Olive Oils
Herma carries an amazing selection of over 30 olive oils including the four below which are all created and produced in Italy.
6. Insalata (Salad)
Prepare a Caesar Salad using the Garlic Box’s Caesar Dressing, fresh Parmigiano and our yummy Pancetta.
Note: This course is optional if leafy green vegetables are served during the Apertivo or Contorni.
7. Formaggi e Frutta
Now, as we near the end of the meal, there is an entire course dedicated to cheese and fruit.
Find a beautiful selection of cheeses in our Cheese Department.
When pairing fruit and cheese we suggest apples with cheddar, figs with smoked Gouda, grilled peaches with Burrata and pears with Pecorino, Manchego and/or a blue. A drizzle of honey or piece of honeycomb would also be a nice added touch.
8. Dolce (Dessert)
NEW Lemon Loaf topped with Whipped Cream and paired with locally grown strawberries.
Other NEW Cakes found in our freezers include a Raspberry Coffee Cake and a Blueberry Coffee Cake.
9. Caffe (Coffee or Expresso)
End your glorious meal with a limoncello.
Italians say it aids in digestion. We say it is an extraordinary end to a memorable evening.
We hope you will enjoy this Italian style of eating which we believe will create a lovely, memorable summer evening for you and your family and friends.
All of us at Herma’s
Herma’s Fine Foods & Gifts