This Christmas, savour a taste of Italy at Clessidra, a boutique gourmet store co-founded by husband and wife team, Francesco Pasquetti and Emanuela Cattaneo.
Located at Downtown Gallery on Shenton way, Clessidra is a proud showcase of gourmet produce directly sourced from Francesco and Emanuela’s home country, Italy. Born out of a love for Italian craftsmanship, they have spent the past nine years building up a network of food and
wine producers across the various regions.
Featuring exquisite artisanal olive oils, chocolates, pastas, and many more, Clessidra is a hidden gem in the heart of the city.
“Our philosophy is to promote the authenticity of these products. Our producer partners are often off-the-trodden path and are little gems that are little seen out of Italy. These producers, which are often family run, create their food crafts the traditional way,” says Francesco.
One standout produce is the incredible ‘liquid gold’ that is the I&P extra virgin olive oil, produced in the Canino countryside ($36 onwards). Made from various monocultivar olives, including the centuries-old Canino varietal, I&P is a project started by a retired nuclear engineer. That has now turned into a quest for perfection, with Grand Cru award-winning olive oils. Each olive oil presents a myriad of flavours that reflect the terroir, from different levels of spiciness, herbaceous and vegetal notes.
To share their olive oil passion, the founders of Clessidra have also created an Olive Oil Menu, with food pairing suggestions for each olive oil. For a unique pasta experience, Clessidra has partnered with producers who produce pasta using time-tested traditions.
A favourite are the pastas from Mulino Val d’Orcia, which are made from stone-milled flour, ancient grains such as Senatore Cappelli durum wheat and Verna soft wheat. The advantage: A higher fiber and mineral content than industrial pasta, and a lower glycemic index. You can also discover lesser-seen traditional pastas, such as Agricola del Sole Orecchiette and Linguine.
The humble pulped tomato sauce ($20 for 500g) is given high regard here, with several selections on the shelves. The Pomodoro Fiaschetto (Fiaschetto tomato) which is grown mainly in the territory of the WWF protected area of Torre Guaceto, is already recognised as a unique product by the Slow Food movement.
Loved for its sweet and juicy flavour, it is mainly used for the preparation of the typical “Salsa di pomodoro” – tomato sauce. Dried in clusters under the sun, the annual harvest starts after the second ten days of June and lasts all summer. At the Pietrasanta farm, the family and their team ensure the tomatoes are collected and packaged within a few hours of their harvest.
For traditional Italian sweets, the store stocks an amazing array from Baghi’s. For the baba with ‘rhum ($52, 400g) , the signature jar cooking technique is applied to this famous cake. The baba’ is baked in Le Parfait jar and enriched with liquors such as 10yrs-old Malteco Panama Rhum, Limoncello from Amalfi, an artisan Anis liquor or an organic Amaretto.
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Every Christmas, make a beeline for the Baghi’s limited edition Pandoro ($78, 750g) and Panettone ($78, 750g). Made with ingredients such as stone-ground flour from Italian wheat, live mother yeast, Belgian butter obtained by centrifuge, free-range eggs from a local farm, in house candied orange zest, every bite is a delight.
For the food-lovers, Clessidra has also launched the “Tasting Journey” workshops. Details can be found on www.clessidra.com.sg or their facebook page (clessidra.sg).
Says Emanuela Cattaneo, “We believe tasting is believing. After nine years of promoting the Italian products we love, this is still the best way for us.”
Downtown Gallery (6A Shenton Way)