Updated: Sep 12
Because we value quality and authenticity, we believe that imported ingredients are worth the investment to provide you with the most accurate taste. Meet some of the vendors that help to make Ragusa's Italian Cafe provide best and most authentic Italian treats that KC has to offer!
Crepes: Peppe at La CrePEPPEria
The classico and Sicilian crepes on our menu are modeled after my (Laurie's) favorite crepes on Peppe’s extensive menu in Sicily. I met Peppe on one of my many trips to Sicily and spent several weeks practicing crepe making with him over 3 different trips. Because he spoke very little English, we spent our time communicating mostly through Google Translate. His favorite English words are “crispy” (because his crepes are not “floppy pancake”) and “clever” (because I constantly told him how clever he was to have the ideas he did for the crepes). He was a very stern, but patient teacher, allowing me to try and try again until I truly had the feel for spreading the crepe batter perfectly.
Peppe helped me establish a starting point for our recipes, although I changed a few ingredients in order to make our crepes gluten free, always. It is our hope that one day Peppe can come to Kansas City to see his crepes in action across the ocean!
Chocolate: Donatella at Sfizi Golosi
I first tasted this unique chocolate at Ragusa Ibla’s Festival on the Steps: a weekend-long fair where small family vendors and artists line the streets in the most beautiful and historic part of Ragusa, allowing guests to indulge every sense with each families unique tastes.
When I first had this chocolate, I knew this was the one that I needed to bring back to Kansas City to share with my family! My partner reached out to Donatella, who was extremely open and willing to share her story with me. Not long after, she invited me to her factory where I was able to work side-by-side in the making of her wonderful chocolates.
Translated from Sicilian
"Modica chocolate has very ancient origins and finds its roots in the Aztec people. Between traditions of these extraordinary people of ancient Mexico, cocoa covered an important role: it was considered nourishing food, economic support, a symbol of excellent social position, effective medicine, and a means of communication with the gods.
"It was during domination from Spaniards in Sicily (16th century) that the processing of chocolate was introduced in Modica: one of the most important fiefdoms of Italy at this time.
"The cocoa mass, obtained from seeds toasted and ground, is mixed with cane sugar at a temperature not higher than 45 ° C so as to not melt the crystals of sugar keeping them intact inside the paste, and is then seasoned with spices or natural flavors. The mass is poured into forms that are beaten to remove any air bubbles and to make the chocolate shape.
"I'm Maria Mallemi, owner of Sfizi Golosi. I started this business in 2011 after working in pastry and chocolate shops for 20 years. I realized the importance of people taking the time to pamper and enjoy themselves in this life, and really, 'Spoiled with Taste' is the claim that I chose for my company: Sfizi Golosi. I think when people are happy, then they are filled with energy to do wonderful things. On this principle I based my company’s philosophy: those who eat my concentrates of optimism and energy will improve everyday life, until well-being has been satisfied. That's why I point a lot to this chocolate; the way it is made, we maintain the integrity of its health benefits, so you can enjoy it is energy at a pure state. And with 26 different flavors, everyone can choose the taste of their personal happiness!"
Distribution Partner: Mattia in Ragusa, Sicily
I met Mattia on my very first trip to Sicily, where he instantly became family. He introduced me to friends, family, coffee, crepes, chocolate, seafood, and all of the beauty Ragusa and Sicily have to offer. Mattia works as our distributor, in control of shipping and procurement of all of our imported items. It is thanks to Mattia that we are able to import cannoli in order to bring the most authentic flavors to Kansas City! Although Mattia has been to Kansas City twice, he has not been able to return since the pandemic began. We are excited for him to one day be able to see the truck in action, since he has invested so much time and loyalty to make sure of its success!
Check out our calendar to find our truck and try our assortment of quality treats that will transport you to Italy!