One of the main premises of Italian cooking is to use fresh local ingredients and cook simply to allow those delicious natural flavors to shine. For example, our focaccia starter was “born” in Austin, TX, over seven years ago (thanks to Pastry Chef Liana Sinclair). When you move and feed a starter, the yeast from that area takes over – so now, it’s a fully Carolinian starter! We’re also working with local suppliers to have fresh, seasonal produce throughout our menu. Here are some of the groups and farms we work with:
- Freshlist – who works with 200+ local and regional farmers to bring us fresh, local produce (some shout outs to: Small City Farmers, Street Fare Farm, Boy & Girl Farm)
- Anson Mills
- Springer Mountain Farms
Besides these fresh, local ingredients, we’re also bringing in some ingredients that specifically originate in Italy. We’re curating these items so our dishes have authentic Italian flavors, because we know that to give you the BEST dishes, it starts with the ingredients themselves. A big part of this sourcing philosophy is bringing in DOP products.
What is DOP? DOP stands for Denominazion d’ Origine Protetta (in English it translates to Protected Designation of Origin). DOP is a strict Italian government-designated food labeling method on Italian ingredients to preserve and protect regionally produced food from imposters. The DOP designation maintains strict quality standards considering the origin, region of production, and processing of the food/drink.
See below for some of our DOP or Italian-sourced ingredients:
- San Marzano Tomatoes – we use these in our house tomato sauce and simply add olive oil, salt and pepper. It needs nothing else.
- Three Olive Oils – Frantoi Cutrera (Sicily); Colle del Giache (Tuscany); Garda (Veneto). We use these for finishing some of our dishes and in our olive oil flight where you can taste the different olive oil profiles from different regions of Italy.
- Calabrian Chili – from the Region of Calabria, these chili peppers are specific to this region and have a “warming” flavor and tend to be fruity with some smokey notes. Their flavor comes from a climate with heavy acidity in the soil, plus lots of sun and little rain.
- Pecorino Romano – a sheep’s cheese, typically from the Island of Sardinia, but also from Umbria or Lazio. You’ll find Pecorino Romano on several dishes like the Spaghettini Nerano, Farrotto, and the Fettucine alla Amatriciana.
- Parmigiano Reggiano – from Parma in the Emilia-Romagna area. We use Parmigiano Reggiano on several dishes including our Kale Crumb Salad and Cavatelli.
- Italian Wine – Our wine list is fully Italian, brought in from all over the country – some of which are DOP, DOC or DOCG.
- Doppio Zero Flour – We bring this flour in to make a super simple, delicious pasta dough for most of our pastas.
- European Butter – Our butter preference around here because it’s richer, softer and has higher butterfat. Because the process is different, the flavor ends up with a slightly tangy taste, and the butter tends to have a more yellow hue.
These sourcing philosophies (local sourcing and DOP/Italian sourcing) will work in tandem throughout our kitchen at Ever Andalo to bring forth more beautiful Italian food & drink. We think you’ll notice the difference.