Tag Archives: food truck

7 Italian American-Owned Food Businesses in the Carolinas

Here is a list of some of my favorite local food products and food trucks in North Carolina and South Carolina owned by Italian Americans.

Nellino’s Sauce Co.–A pasta sauce company started in Raleigh, North Carolina, by Italian-American Neal McTighe based on his mother’s and great-grandmother’s recipes for classic sauces like marinara or tomato and basil made with good ingredients.


Melina’s Fresh Pasta–Italian-American owner Carmella makes classic fresh pastas like spaghetti and linguine as well as many creative ravioli like roasted red pepper & feta or goat cheese & honey. There’s even the pimento cheese ravioli. She also teaches pasta making classes in Durham, North Carolina.



Barone Meatball Company–Serving up classic Italian meatballs as well as fun creations like buffalo chicken meatballs and vegetarian ricotta balls. Owned by Italian-American Stephen Dewey, based in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina.



Oak City Amaretto–An Italian-American amaretto made by Italian-American Anthony Scalabrino from a recipe inspired by his grandmother’s homemade amaretto, made in Raleigh, North Carolina.


Benny T’s Vesta–The first dry hot sauce available in five grades of heat made from a variety of fresh chile peppers grown in North Carolina, created by Italian-American chile enthusiast Ben Tuorto.


Charleston Bloody Mary Mix–A bloody Mary mix made by Italian-American Ryan Eleuteri that has all good ingredients and no horseradish–its distinctive flavor comes from a habanero mash, made in Charleston, South Carolina, found throughout the East Coast and Midwest.


Mr. A’s Beignets–A food truck serving delicious beignets and coffee with chicory New Orleans style in Apex, North Carolina, owned by Italian-American Arlton Cangelosi.


All photos in this article were used with permission of their respective owners.

–Dina Di Maio, author of Authentic Italian: The Real Story of Italy’s Food and Its People, available at Amazon.com

***All writings and photographs are the intellectual property of me, unless I’ve noted otherwise, and can only be used with permission. If you are inspired by this blog, please use professional courtesy to note it.***

Ice Cream Serendipity

I wasn’t on my way to get ice cream.  I was hurriedly walking somewhere else when I spotted the light blue Itizy ice cream truck and a small line forming in front.

The small menu features a few classic flavors like vanilla and some creative ones like coffee brownie.  I chose vanilla, as vanilla is the staple by which I judge if someone can make ice cream or not.  I also chose the roasted banana special.

It’s rare these days that I’m blown away by an ice cream, but Itizy ice cream did just that.  This is some seriously good ice cream.  You want that authentic flavor in your ice cream (made from using fresh and organic ingredients), and you also want it to be creamy and delicious (it’s made from farm-fresh cream and milk).  Making ice cream is more than just using good ingredients though, as I’ve had ice creams made from good ingredients that just didn’t make the cut.  Itizy has the right ratio of cream and milk to create a clean, creamy consistency.  It’s got perfectly-shaped scoops.  It’s got that old-fashioned vanilla flavor and the ripe taste of banana.  Itizy is everything you want in ice cream.

There are some interesting toppings on the menu that I’d like to try another time.  They include sea salt & caramel, maple pecan granola, chocolate almond toffee crunch, crushed Oreos, Ghiradelli chocolate sauce and Ghiradelli caramel sauce.  And the best part of eating a scoop of Itizy?  For every five scoops they sell, they donate a meal to a child in need.

Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi & the “No Soup for You” Food Truck Tour

Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi & the “No Soup for You” Food truck tour stopped in front of my office in New York City today on its August 1 tour of New York.  Actor Larry Thomas, who played the Soup Nazi, was there posing for photos with fans who lined up around the block.  You can still catch the truck on August 3 in Boston and August 6 in Baltimore.