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Through a partnership with the Economic Promotion Agency of Tuscany, Kings Food Markets will carry gourmet products from the Italian region of Tuscany as part of the Northeast upscale grocery chain’s “Taste of Tuscany” promotion, which runs from Friday, April 5 through Thursday, May 2.
The Kings merchant team traveled to Italy in October 2012 to sample and select items for the promotion, which will spotlight flavors unique to, and representative of, the region. Featured products will include Prosciutto Toscano, organic Pecorino cheeses, artisanal pastas, exclusive chocolates and award-winning olive oils.
“During our time in Italy, we focused on procuring simple, flavorful ingredients that would inspire our customers to create their own Tuscan culinary moments at home,” said Scott Zoeller, senior director of delicatessen sales and merchandising at Parsippany, N.J.-based Kings. “The Prosciutto Toscano is a regional specialty, dry-salted and cured with natural flavorings such as garlic, rosemary and juniper, and then aged for 14 to 16 months.”
Kings is one of the first U.S. stores to offer Prosciutto Toscano, which carries the European D.O.P. (Protected Destination of Origin) label to protect the product’s unique and characteristic Tuscan breeding and production techniques. The grocer has also created an exclusive chef-prepared Toscano Sandwich, consisting of flat, focaccia-style bread, Prosciutto Toscano and Pecora La Vera, a young, fresh Tuscan sheep’s milk cheese, along with pesto and arugula.
Additionally, Kings will present a series of Tuscan cooking classes at its Cooking Studio in Short Hills, N.J., including a “Tuscan in My Kitchen” class led by Michelin-starred Italian chef Fabio Ugoletti, while demonstrations taking place at all Kings stores on Friday and Saturday, April 5-6 and Friday and Saturday, April 12-13 will allow consumers to sample items highlighted during the promotion.
“Tuscany is known throughout the world for its cuisine, beautiful landscapes and relaxed way of life,” noted Kings president and CEO Judy Spires. “Through this partnership, we are further delivering on our brand promise to bring our customers the highest-quality, gourmet items and rare finds. We encourage our shoppers to experience the unique flavors and simple lifestyle of Tuscany through our authentic cuisine.”
Kings Food Markets operates 25 stores in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.