Rose Romano's Italian Gourmet Toppings
The creation of Rose Romano's Italian Gourmet Toppings is the natural culmination and marriage of my Italian heritage, my love of great food, and my background as a scientist and inventor. Rose Romano's Italian Gourmet Toppings are a low calorie, gluten-free, locally-sourced gourmet topping made with red or green bell peppers, used on pasta, vegetables, seafood, omelets and sandwiches.
My family immigrated to the United States from Italy in the early 1900s from San Giovani, Calabria. When they came to the states, they opened small neighborhood grocery stores. Peppers were always part of the business—and the family. Each year, hundreds of bushels of peppers would arrive, and the majority of my mother's 11 siblings along with over 20 first cousins participated in some way.
When I was just five, I started washing the jars. By eight or nine, I was washing and drying the peppers. In high school, I was allowed to cut them. I played football though, and to this day, I can remember the burning oil on my hands, leftover from my pepper preparation. My dad was a chemist and pharmacist, so my going to dental school seemed natural to me. After graduation, I started a practice in Hanover, Pennsylvania (with my wife who's also a dentist and whose family comes from Naples, Italy). The practice has been quite successful, and over the years, I've been driven to invent and innovate.
And still, I loved these peppers. When my son Michael and his wife Alexandra moved to Rome, I visited and delved into learning more about the Italian way of making sauce. When I returned from one visit, I began, through trial and error, to improve the sauces to get the result I was looking for. It was like being in organic chemistry all over again!
After countless friends said, "you ought to sell this!" I took their advice. Over time, I perfected the sauces and began giving samples to executive chefs who devoured them and asked for more.
I came up with 30 recipes and ideas on how to use the Italian Peppers . It was important to me that people be able to prepare a quick meal, and each of these 30 recipes allows you to prepare the dish in five minutes or less.
My food is basic. Italians don't smother their food in their sauce. They use sauces to complement and enhance their food, and not overpower it. And I wanted a Gourmet Topping that would be worthy of that tradition. And I'm proud to say that Rose Romano's is.
Enjoy, and buon appetito!