Ferrari Maserati of Ontario for Sick Kids Rally
We are very pleased to have been involved with this fine fund raising event as it fits in with our own desire to help our communities whenever we can .
The Ferrari and Maserati teams headed out on yet another challenging route through some of the most picturesque areas and landscapes Ontario has to offer.
After an unforgettable drive, the teams arrived at Ferrari Maserati of Ontario, located in Vaughan, where they were greeted by a unique cocktail party and enchanting evening of fine foods, wine and spirits. Our Pingue Prosciutto was one of the featured fine foods for the evening.
This was yet another successful event for an incredible cause, the SickKids Foundation.
Mario Pingue of Niagara’s Pingue Prosciutto was on hand to sample his product, slicing the prosciutto fresh for eaters over the course of the evening. Pingue’s is the prosciutto of choice for many Ontario restaurants, and it’s not hard to see why, as the taste and texture is very close to the authentic stuff that gets imported from Parma.
We have recently been featured in the Toronto Sun. If you have not tried our product our Demo team will be hard at work this spring, stop by your favorite location to sample our fine products!
The Green Living Show is Canada’s largest green consumer show dedicated to educating the public about easy and workable solutions for leading a sustainable lifestyle.
We were recently featured in Scarpetta magazine
"You can meet a million people who are passionate about what they do, but not everyone can bring the kind of quality to the table that Mario Pingue does. He balances passion and quality better than anyone I have ever met. His cured meats have this residual depth of flavor that stays in your mouth. his guanciale is awesome! You put it on your slicer and when you taste it, it really melts in your mouth. His products are just so deeply flavored and professionally done. I am impressed" Scott Conant
READ THE WHOLE STORY HERE!
Thanks to the Fig and Pepper for a very nice writeup!
Click on photo for link also check out our new Recipe section!
Fashion and Style: Things to Love for 2011
Give your taste buds something to smile about. Try Pingue Prosciutto’s authentic Italian meat delicacies.
Niagara Foods was at the Olympic Games in Vancouver!
Niagara Food Specialties was recently featured on the menu at Ontario House during the 2010 Olympic Games. Ontario House offered visitors a journey through Ontario’s culinary landscape with a tapas-style menu. We were very proud to be one of Ontario's signature food items that was demonstrated by the province’s leading celebrity chefs. Our products helped let visitors from around the world know why Ontario is a great destination for culinary tourism.
Who are we?
We are private label manufacturer of traditional Italian meat products, prosciutto being are main product. We also produce many types of Italian salami, sausage, cheeses and other meat products. All our product is made using the old world tradition using no additives as well as using only naturally raised pork and beef
Who are our clients?
We are a wholesaler and service the restaurant and fine deli market in Ontario. We do not sell to the general public, however our products can be found on the menus of most upscale restaurants in the Golden Horseshoe area of Ontario. We also have our products available in a number of fine delis in Toronto and Niagara.
How can you find our product?
Please check our link section on the web site for a list of all the restaurants and delis that feature our products on their menus and deli counters. We are currently putting together an on line catalog of our our products so you can order on line.
About the product
Our goal is to source the best hams on the market. Our suppliers are either Certified Organic or on a “naturally” raised program i.e.; the Ontario hams are from free range animals that are grown to 8 to 10 months of age (double the age of market hogs), fed only non-GMO feeds, given no animal by-products, anti-biotic free, hormone free and humanely harvested. The larger Ontario hogs we source yield world class hams in size, flavour profile, colour and aroma. When the product comes into our hands, literally, we salt preserve only i.e., we are nitrate and phosphate free. Most of the spices we use are grown on our farm and are pesticide free.
In 1975, Mario Pingue Sr. established a restaurant and banquet facility in Niagara Falls that quickly developed a reputation for quality cuisine and attentive service. But a steady string of disparaging comments about the prosciutto being offered to guests opened Pingue’s eyes to realize that there was a discerning market niche that needed to be served.
In Canada, during the mid-70s, one was hard pressed to find quality Italian prosciutto and it was the readily available domestic product that Pingue’s customers dismissed as sub-par and “not like the prosciutto you served us at your home.” This triggered Pingue to make prosciutto not just for his own family, but also for the growing demands of his catering business. The business, situated in an old dairy, had a sub-basement that was 30-feet below grade which Pingue figured would lend itself well as a cold cellar, or cantina, that was ideal for ageing prosciutto.
As a child, Pingue Sr. learned the tradition of curing meats from his grandfather since he was considered too young to work in the fields and his grandfather too old. So Pingue spent the days at his grandfather’s side doing a host of chores that included gathering wood, tending to livestock and seasonal responsibilities of making wine and preserving meats.
Pingue’s sons, Mario Jr., who later trained in Italy’s kitchens, and Fernando, were raised in the family business and, sometimes reluctantly, learned basic butchering and preserving traditions. Through the 90s and into the current decade, Pingue’s sons managed restaurants and bars. And while their father was semi-retired he continued to cure prosciutto and other meats for their establishments. At the time, the Niagara region was experiencing a proliferation of wineries, and a few chose to enhance their winery with on-site restaurants. Michael Olson of Cave Spring Cellars’ On The Twenty Restaurant saw the need to define “Niagara Cuisine” and complement wines with foods, including Pingue’s cured meats. In 1998, at Olson’s request, Pingue Sr. began producing for others. Within a couple of years he was supplying cured meats to a handful of accounts from Vineland, at Chef Marc Picone's restaurant, to various restaurants in Niagara-On-The-Lake. The business was truly cottage.
In 2000, Pingue Sr., toured San Daniele del Friuli, Italy’s renowned prosciutto producing region, and met with producers Rino & Angelo Coradazzi. The father-and-son team generously and graciously hosted Pingue at their prosciuttoficio. On his departure, Pingue left them his calling card and hoped that he one day could return the favour and host them in Canada.
In 2001, this favour was called for as Coradazzi Sr. came to visit Niagara. Coradazzi saw a very small cottage business but the experience was no different than his own beginnings and understood the quality of the product. He offered to train anyone from the Pingue family in a bid to take the business out of the cottage and to a more commercial level without compromising the artisan qualities of the product.
In late 2002, the Oliver-Bonacini group arranged through Chef Olson to have a tasting at Auberge du Pommier in Toronto, for its senior kitchen staff. Many of the employees had toured or completed stages in European kitchens so quality charcuterie was not foreign to them. Pingue Sr. was away at the time so Mario Jr. went to deliver the presentation and oversee the tasting. The product was enthusiastically received, which led Mario Jr. to immediately realize the prosciutto might have leg to grow outside of Niagara.
In January 2003, Mario Jr., arranged to go to San Daniele and train with Coradazzi to learn more about the business. By the summer of 2003, Niagara Food Specialties moved to a 2400-square-foot facility and began producing for sales outside of Niagara.
In 2007, Niagara Food Specialties received Provincial Inspection Approval.
2008 May 21, Niagara Prosciutto featured at Canada’s first James Beard Dinner event in Toronto at the Drake Hotel.
The Pingue brothers are still involved with event management overseeing full service catering. The boys with their families pilgrimage to Italy annually to continue their learning, visiting San Daniele del Friuli, Parma, Bologna, and their dad’s hometown of Sulmona.
Mario & Fernando are often called to speak about their experiences and share their expertise to student classes at George Brown College and Niagara College.
The Pingues are founding members of Slow Food Niagara, the local chapter of the international organization that promotes the sustainability of local food production and maintaining food traditions that may be lost to the mass industrialization of the food system. They are also founding members of the Niagara Food Co-operative; whose efforts are to fill a niche that has been ignored by large supermarket chains, create a market that will bring consumers and small seasonal focused farm-gate producers together. They also donate to Project Share, Niagara’s food bank and to the Niagara Foundation which donates to charities whose mission are to serve Niagara
Niagara Food Specialties is also an authorized dealer for Berkel Machine Products - the world leader of food slicing equipment.