Campo D’Oro: Sicily on Store Shelves, Tradition on Your Dinner Table
Absent a plane ticket and a good tour guide, you would be hard pressed to have a more authentic Sicilian experience than the sauces, spreads and preserves from Campo D’Oro. The company, just over three decades old, has stormed shelves the world over, tempting tastebuds and winning over even the most fastidious eaters in the United States in recent years. Even dietary restrictions are no match for the simple, natural goodness of Campo D’Oro; their products are made with natural ingredients suitable for even the most health conscious.
Quality Sicilian food is about more than flavor (hard as it might be to imagine, so distinct and celebrated are those flavors). Sicilian cuisine is also about aroma, texture and color, and together, you get a sort of jubilant festival for the senses. Though the company, with its eyes toward the future, has recently built a new factory with state-of-the-art equipment, its leaders have been careful to keep one foot in the past. Sicilian food, after all, is very old, and it takes a soft touch to apply advanced technologies without marring all that makes the cuisine celebrated the world over. The Campo D’Oro staff thus bring tradition to the process. They know what makes their ingredients work, and why.
Among the items in the Campo D’Oro lineup is a traditional pesto made from tomatoes, fresh basil and almonds, and whose authentic recipe originates in the Trapani province of western Sicily. This is best applied to spaghetti or bruschetta. Other pestos include one made with pistachios (for pasta, yes, but use it as a shrimp marinade to change someone’s life); a pepper pesto ideally suited for stuffed chicken with pancetta, or on bruschetta; and a red pesto, made from tomatoes, basil, nuts and ricotta—a dream team for spreading on crostini.
The company also puts out a line of pasta sauces, including a spicy arrabbiata, an eggplant norma sauce (that is, sauce with cubed, fried eggplant within), and various sauces with such seafoods as tuna, grouper, shrimp and clams. They also offer a pasta sauce with olives. On that note: Can you even call yourself an Italian food company without your own line of olives? Sicilian green olives and seasoned green olives (the latter preserved in Sicilian citrus-infused olive oil) are great on their own, and even better skewered and submerged in that martini you so richly deserve.
The ingredients that go into these pestos, sauces and others don’t simply somehow find their way into bottles and onto Rouses Markets store shelves. Campo D’Oro is patient in its production process, beginning before even the season’s harvest is planted in the ground.
The company monitors field cultivation, growth, agricultural processes and the eventual harvest. Once pulled from the earth and brought to the factory, the fresh fruits and vegetables are processed within 24 hours. You can’t get fresher than that. Every atom found in a product with “Campo D’Oro” printed on the label can be traced back to the farm and field from which it was grown. When you want to bring to the world the best your island has to offer, attention is everything.
Environmental awareness and sustainability are essential to Campo D’Oro’s process; an ailing Earth cannot grow crops with the vibrancy for which Siciliy is celebrated. The company has incorporated everything from solar panels to wind turbines to keep its carbon footprint low and its air, land and sea quality high. To that end, Campo D’Oro also produces a line of certified organic products—everything from vegan pesto to basil tomato sauce—all grown, prepared and bottled to the highest standards of purity, from the seeds to the soil to the jars that hold them. There are no dyes in Campo D’Oro foods and no chemical additives, but there is plenty of passion. The company is devoted to helping its customers live a healthy, natural lifestyle.
Campo D’Oro, now in its second generation of leaders, sees its mission is to promote Italian food culture abroad. Every season and every harvest bring new opportunities to share Sicily with the world. And they’re only just getting started.