When I started opening restaurants in New York City, I wanted to recreate some of my favorite Italian dishes. I had a problem, however: I didn't have the densely flavored heirloom beans that are the key to some of my signature recipes.
The solution was simple: I would reverse the trend started by explorers who revolutionized the European kitchen with the dried bean varieties they brought back from the New World, and bring my favorite beans from Italy to America. And, in addition to using them in my own kitchen, I decided to share them with others.
But why stop at beans? I decided to expand Republic of Beans to include some of the spices and foods that I had cooked with at Vipore, my family's restaurant in Tuscany. My aromatic spice blend made with Trapani sea salt from Sicily is essential for my Florentine steak, and my Spezie Forte, or "robust spice" replicates the traditional spice blend of the old "noricino," or butcher, of Lucca.
We also carry the earthiest, nuttiest farro I've been able to find, richly-pigmented Riso Nero with its incredible sandalwood aroma, and a host of other products. With these, and other items we plan to add in the future, you too can create dishes with the robust flavors for which Tuscan cooking is known.
Bon Appetito!
Cesare Casella