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03 March 2014

The idea for Cin Cin was to provide an offering for both events and street food markets, always serving fantastic salamis, cheeses and other antipasti to compliment the refreshing and elegant Prosecco served by the glass.  ‘Bubbles & Nibbles’, the Italian way.

As a link back to the food I was lucky enough to grow up on, I wanted to showcase Italy’s smaller producers, hopefully educating and inciting appreciation for some of the lesser known products you will not find in most UK supermarkets.

The three suppliers who have helped me get Cin Cin up and running are Vallebona, Fresh Olive Company and Hennings.

Stefano at Vallebona has been great from the start.  He could have easily laughed me out his shop when I told him I was starting a catering business in an ex-ice cream van as a way to getting to opening a restaurant.  Instead he took time to give me advice on pairings of products, how much to order, even on presentation.  His products are all sourced directly from the producers and include meats such as Capocollo (neck/shoulder of pork), Truffle Salami, Wild Boar Salami and Finocchiona (fennel salami), or cheeses like Provolone from Campania, Smoked Ricotta from Sardinia, Pecorino and Burrata from Puglia, Taleggio from Treviso to name just a few.  His accompaniments are also fantastic such as aged balsamic vinegar, juicy fig marmalade or a delightful truffle honey. All of these pair very nicely with the carefully selected, hard cheeses.

Fresh Olive Company has been running for years at Borough Market and it is always one of the first traders I visit there.  Olives were a BIG thing in the Toscano family.  If there ever was an olive eating contest, my two sisters and I would very likely sweep the floor.  So it was very important to me to get the right olives for Cin Cin and the Fresh Olive Co have certainly got it right so far.  We’ve got Bella di Cerignola – very large green olives of Puglia,  Gaeta – purple and juicy from Lazio,  Nostraline – richly flavoured from Tuscany and fat Nocellara del Belice – bright green olives from Sicily.  We’ve also got large Martini olives which I’ve stuffed with white anchovies, roasted peppers, Provolone cheese, sundried tomatoes or smoked salmon & feta.

Last but certainly not least is the Prosecco, supplied by Hennings the Sussex wine merchants.  So far we have focused on two entry level Proseccos, the Casa Defra Frizzante which is light and fruity with soft bubbles and the Di Paolo NV Frizzante which has notes of apples, pears and ginger.  As our client base grows, so will the range of Prosecco and as well as serving this Italian fizz straight up by the glass, we will have a Prosecco cocktail on the menu, such as the classic Italian Bellini (peach), Sgroppino (lemoncello), Spritz (Aperol) or Hugo (mint & elderflower).

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