Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Cucina Antica

By Marc Hamel and Ha Lam, February 10, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Marc Hamel and Ha Lam

We love our producers, suppliers and vendors and we think most of them have some pretty interesting stories behind their products too. We’re sharing some of our favorites here in an ongoing series.


At Cucina Antica, it’s all about the tomatoes — ripe, farm-fresh San Marzanos grown in Southern Italy, where rich volcanic soil yields some of the world’s tastiest tomatoes.

Chef/Owner Neil Fusco, a native of Italy, knows what a great San Marzano should taste like. His family has grown the prized plum tomato variety for 200 years!

Neil works with the same farmers year-round and personally visits their farms to ensure the best quality.

At age 7, when Neil’s mother first taught him to cook, he learned that creating perfect tomato sauce is an art of simplicity.

“You’ve got to keep it simple,” Neil says. “Our first ingredient is San Marzanos, and that’s what really stands out.”

Cucina Antica tomato sauce is cooked in small batches using a traditional method with no added water, sugar or tomato paste or purée. The tomatoes are gently crushed and minimally cooked. “Our philosophy is to cook it just enough to highlight the true flavor of the ingredients,” Neil says.

Recently, Cucina Antica also introduced a line of organic salad dressings and ketchup, created with the same emphasis on farm-fresh flavor and simple ingredients.


1 Comment


ginny says ...
Wow, just tried this sauce, and couldn't believe the taste...you taste the wonderful tomatoes - no sugar, no tomato paste to ruin the wonderful flavor a seasonings. I didn't know what I've been missing.
09/19/2012 10:07:53 PM CDT