Hasn’t this year gone by fast? I cannot believe that it will be Thanksgiving in just a few days.
As the holiday season approaches, I would like to thank all the people who have made Rao’s Specialty Foods what it is today. I’d like to thank my loving family for their support and patience when all I want to do is talk about work. I want to thank my friends- both here in the USA and in Italy who are always there for me. I’d like to thank my hardworking staff – together we have grown. Last but not least, I would like to thank my loyal customers and business associates. Your support of Rao’s helps us to continue to make great products!
I wish everyone a wonderful holiday and I hope you have the opportunity to share food and memorable times with your loved ones.
It has been two years since the passing of my beloved Mother, Ruby. She was 92. Her breast cancer was discovered at the age of 80. Ruby worked for Rao’s Specialty Foods, Inc. for eighteen years, including the twelve years she had breast cancer. She would get her treatment and go to work.
Ruby was treated at The Cancer Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center by Dr. Abraham Chachoua. I cannot praise Dr. Chachoua enough for helping to extend my Mother’s life for an additional twelve years. Dr. Chachoua’s expertise and knowledge in cancer research and treatment proved invaluable to my Mother and also to me, as her caretaker.
Ruby was not always an easy patient. She was very direct, impatient, and above all, had a mind of her own. However, when Dr. Chachoua entered the room, he took her hand, looked into her eyes and asked how she was feeling. Ruby, of course, always “vented” and he always listened attentively with great patience as if they were the only two people in the world. Ruby had complete trust in Dr. Chachoua. As time and the disease progressed, Dr. Chachoua was always personally available to take her calls. Dr. Chachoua is not only a wonderful doctor, but a great humanitarian, and extended her life beyond expectations. I take great comfort in knowing that Ruby had the best care at The Cancer Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center.
If you have lost a loved one to Breast Cancer or any type of cancer, if they are in treatment or a survivor, let them know you care by sending our Breast Cancer basket with Rao’s products to brighten their day and let them know they are not alone in their battle.
All proceeds from the basket will be donated to The Cancer Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center, so that Dr. Chachoua and the other fine doctors at NYU Langone can continue their excellent research against cancer and help patients like my mother, Ruby.
REASONS TO USE ITALIAN EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL…
The oil is characterized by low acidity, low number of peroxides and it has no imperfections. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is obtained by cold pressing the olives as to preserve intact all of its characteristics. Olives are not subject to any other process but washing, decantation, centrifugation and filtering. In Italy there are five hundred olive varieties.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is characterized by a high content of monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, vitamins and carotene.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil commerce was regulated in Babylonian Law and accorded great importance. Egyptians considered it God’s gift, Hebrews used it to “oil” their kings. Phoenicians and Greeks used it to build suitable ships to transport big amphorae. (a large two-handled storage jar having an oval body, usually tapering to a point at the base, with a pair of handles extending from immediately below the lip to the shoulder: used chiefly for oil and wine and awarded victors in contests such as the Panathenaic games) Olive Oil was introduced to Italy by the Greeks.
Italy is the second largest producer of olive oil in Europe with a production of about 600 thousand tons. Two thirds of this production is Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
HEAT STABILITY (smoke point)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the most appropriate fat for frying because it tolerates high temperatures, reaching 170-180 degrees without deteriorating as seed oils or butter usually do. Other vegetable oils during cooking at high temperatures generate high amounts of peroxides, polymers and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which can be harmful to human health.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, thanks to the presence of fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, soothes skin redness, irritations, and helps to maintain the natural flexibility and softness of hair and skin.
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE MUST BE USED IN OUR DIET BECAUSE:
- It is the only natural vegetable fat.
- It supplies vitamins.
- It regulates the cholesterol in the body. In fact, the regular use of Extra Virgin Olive Oil increases the level of good cholesterol (HDL) that purifies the arteries and helps to maintain a low level of cholesterol (LDL), which occludes the arteries.
- It contains an abundance of natural antioxidants
- Thanks to phenols, tocopherols (vitamin E in generic form) and carotenoids Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a “body cleaner” which prevents the formation of free radicals.
- It helps prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and coronary cardiomyopathy (weakening of the heart muscle).
- It helps prevent stomach related problems due to its composition.
- It has a balance of fatty acids
- It is more resistant to high temperatures compared to the more widely used vegetable oil
I have just returned from Italy checking on our tomatoes for the new crop this summer. The babies are now out of the nursery and have been planted in the ground to start their journey toward becoming adults for harvesting.
There are pictures of the plants being put in the ground. This can be done by hand or by machinery. Ours are put in the ground by hand. The pictures show part of my team enjoying the beautiful green plants, Deb Crisan and Marisa Corti. You will notice one gentlemen in the field with me and Marisa, he is the grower checking the plants with us. The other gentlemen in the picture with me is Felice Romano of LaRegina. These are his tomatoes that have been planted. He is very hands on with the crop because he will only pack the finest tomatoes for the consumer and Rao’s sauce.
You will notice a few pictures where the plants look smaller. Those tomatoes were planted 15 days after the first planting. This is to give the first crop a chance to be picked and the second a little more time to mature while the first crop is being picked. Tomatoes have a history from the time they are purchased to the ripening of the berries. They are continually monitored in the field right up to and through the time they are picked and loaded on containers headed for the Plant.
I have always loved tomatoes since I was a little girl. On my grandparents farm I would always help pick the tomatoes from the garden and couldn’t help eating numerous tomatoes as I was picking them. I am enjoying this journey with the tomatoes even more because the end result is Rao’s pasta sauce. I will continue to bring you updates and pictures as they mature, get picked and arrive at the Plant.
She is the whisper of a particular memory
The smell of a lovely fragrance that always follows you
The cool hand on your brow when you are not well
She lives inside your laughter and is crystallized in every tear
She is the place you came from
Nothing on this earth will every separate you
No time, not space, or even death
You carry her inside you and can always count on her
She is with you in heart and soul to love and protect you
She is a beautiful woman, your mother and best friend
Mothers: Ruby, Sharon, Lori, Gertrude, Lynn, Linda, Barbara, Debra, Nancy, Lorraine, Theresa, Ana Bonilla, Lois, Catherine, Grace, Carol, Phyllis & Jean
Children: Sharon, Lori, Casey, Gabby, Ron, Gertrude, Lynn, Dominic, Joanne, Loshana, Mikolaj, Ania, Elzbieta, Dan, Jose, Becky, Brendan, James, Deb, Patrick, Danny, Mary, Helen, Jeanine, Joseph, John, Mearl, Carlton, Jaron, Sienna & Hunter
As the Northeast battles winter, the new crop of tomatoes is being lovingly nurtured in our greenhouses in Italy by an experienced team of growers. Each tray holds two hundred and forty tomato seedlings. They are approximately two inches high at this time.
Once they double in size and the weather and the soil warm up they will move on to the next step in the long process of becoming a “Rao’s” tomato.
I have included a picture of the babies in the nursery.
Stay tuned for the next installment of “What’s Happening in the Nursery?”
We often receive calls from our loyal fans asking about a product they love but can’t find in their local stores. I want to share some information with you regarding the retail store product selection. There are hundreds of products and a great deal of competition from other vendors who also want space for their products.
Rao’s has 43 items in our line and only a few make it to the stores due to limited space. Stores generally review the products they carry only once a year. Because of this not all of Rao’s products can make it to the shelves.
Last year Rao’s developed four new sauce products, Sensitive Marinara, Pizza sauce, Roasted Garlic and Four Cheese.
If you are unable to find a Rao’s item you like on your neighborhood store shelf, please call us at 1-800-homemade (1-800-466-3623), a customer service representative will be happy to help you. Or, you can always find our line of products online
Rao’s at the Fancy Foods Show serving samples of our sauce to retail buyers.
Rao’s at the Fancy Foods Show with buyers from retail stores.
Prepping samples of Rao’s at the Fancy Foods Show
Buyers Sample Rao’s at the Fancy Foods Show