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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

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In Dining

Inside the Mia Famiglia kitchen.

Mia Famiglia launches line of Italian products


Mia Famiglia has long been a hidden treasure in Hales Corners, where it serves up home-style Italian fare just off the busy strip of Forest Home Avenue.

But within the next few weeks, customers will be able to purchase items like gluten free salad dressings, as well as packaged ravioli, fresh ricotta, mascarpone and gluten free tiramisu.

The restaurant initially started out by selling their products at the Milwaukee County Winter Farmer's Market.

"It all started three years ago with a special chefs' tour from Miss Deborah Deacon," says Mia Famiglia's chef Tomas White Jr. "I went the first week and was amazed. I asked if Mia Famiglia could partake, because I felt I really wanted to incorporate the farmer's products into my ravioli fillings."

Since then, Mia Famiglia has taken part in a variety of markets around the city including the Kenosha Harbor Market, the West Bend Farmer's Market and the Fox Point Market.

Most recently, the family undertook the process to obtain certification for their kitchen to produce wholesale products.

"Being a certified gluten free kitchen with the Celiac Foundation drives us to see our products available to people who can't eat their favorite foods anymore," says White, who says they've been working for two years to perfect recipes for a brand new line of gluten-free salad dressings.

"Over the years we have had a lot of requests for our family's dressing," he says. "So I requested a meeting with Tom Balistreri from Sendik's, He advised me that, although our house balsamic dressing was special, we needed a line of dressings to compete in the saturated market."

In response, the kitchen undertook development of four new flavors, including Meyer lemon poppyseed, blood orange white balsamic, caramelized tomato with smoked paprika and Mission fig gorgonzola.

The products will be labeled under the name "Mamma's," which White says honors his mother and grandmother, whose recipes – particularly the house balsamic vinaigrette – have always been a part of the offerings at the restaurant.

"We feel blessed to be launching our product line, while staying true to our family's recipes," says White. "Knowing that every person in our family is playing a key role is rewarding and we are excited to see our product going out to the community."

Mamma's products will be available in the coming weeks at retail stores including Glorioso's Italian Market and Balistreri's Sendik's.


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