Ippolito International Adds New Veg Florentino®; Sarah Clarke and Jack Scalisi Comment
SALINAS, CA - A new name has fluttered across my desk, carrying with it the ring of potential. Florentino®, a new veggie to hit Ippolito International’s portfolio, is already causing a stir within months of its addition.
“We’ve been growing Florentino for a few months and have gotten very positive feedback from the foodservice segment,” Sarah Clarke, Sales and Commodity Manager, shares. “The industry is looking for ways to present interesting, unique veggies to consumers. This is an item that has nearly 100 percent yield—all that might be needed is a quick trim on the stem-end and it’s ready to be roasted, sauteed, or grilled. Even though the product bears a lot of similarity to traditional cauliflower, it is a much more tender vegetable that is bruise-resistant, with lots of versatility and plate presentation.”
Jack Scalisi, President and Founder of Jack Scalisi Wholesale Fruit and Produce, is sure that we will see this new addition take off soon within its inaugural year.
“Ippolito’s new feature item Florentino has the potential to be as big as broccolini,” Jack shares. “As an independent foodservice produce distributor here in West Palm Beach Florida with a variety of clientele—from white tablecloth restaurants and private clubs to healthcare, resorts, and home delivery—I believe this particular new vegetable has the potential to be offered to all. This vegetable will gain popularity and acceptance in our market, and I look forward to fall and winter as we return to our season.”
Florentino has a sweet and mild flavor with a crisp, fresh texture. From stem to bud, Sarah assures me, the entire vegetable is enjoyable.
“Customers have remarked on the surprising golden hue of the buds,” she shares, painting for me a beautiful origin story. “Its origin is in the coastal regions of Spain, which is why it works in the Salinas Valley so well. The word ‘Florentino’ means ‘blooming’ in Spanish, which is an apt description for the precise, delicate blooms that characterize this product. Its stems are elongated with multiple branching buds, and small clustered buds, with color at the flowering head that ranges from a creamy, yellow-white to a rusty pink, depending on the season.”
Currently, Ippolito’s Florentino is marketed in bunches in an 18 ct carton, with bands that draw attention to the registered trade name and include an easy recipe for the consumer to try.
If the winds of change keep blowing in this direction, I have a feeling it will be carrying the name “Florentino” through foodservice and consumer kitchens in no time.