One of my favorite tasks here at Carolina Sauce Company is tasting, testing and evaluating potential new products for our online specialty foods store. Most of the samples I try are at least edible (although there have been some memorably awful experiences, and needless to say those are NOT part of our store!), and quite a few samples are pretty good. Once in a while, however, I'll taste something that makes me sit up and take notice, and sometimes even makes me grin ear to ear and declare, "We have a winner!" Capone Family Secret Giardiniera falls into that latter category, and the Hot Giardiniera in particular blew me away, bursting with zesty flavors and packing serious heat.
Made by the same Chicago company since 1909 and brought to us by a descendant of the infamous Al Capone, Capone Family Secret Giardiniera is the real deal, just like you'll find at authentic Italian delis in Chicago and New York. Made with all-natural ingredients and Italian seasonings, the Hot Giardiniera uses a variety of hot peppers and traditional vegetables to deliver peppery firepower balanced with old world flavor. The Mild Giardiniera features select bell peppers instead of hot peppers, making it the ideal choice for more sensitive palates that appreciate robust flavors but prefer to avoid heat.
Traditionally spread on cold cut sandwiches as well as Italian sausage, meatball, and beef sandwiches, giardiniera is also delicious on burgers, hot dogs and other meats, on eggs, pizza and in omelets (drain the giardiniera first), and tossed in salads of the green and the pasta varieties. I like to snack on crackers topped with a slice of fresh mozzarella and a forkful of giardiniera, and it also goes nicely on crostini spread with goat cheese. Another tasty treat is sliced hard salami or soppresata with a forkful of giardiniera. With its big chunks of vegetables and zesty marinade, this giardiniera often finds its way into my green salads as a substitute for salad dressing - I just add some freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice and toss everything together, including a splash of additional marinade from the jar, and sometimes also some anchovy fillets for a little protein. Both varieties of Capone Family Secret Giardiniera got unanimous rave reviews during our tasting earlier this month, and are currently on sale and come with a free recipe for Giardiniera Pizza.