Our name, Saporista, comes from the Italian word 'sapore' meaning 'taste' or 'flavour'. Our business is the culmination of the passion of its founders for bringing authentic, high quality food and drink from small artisan producers all over Europe to kitchen cupboards at home, where it can be used to create joyous occasions in our everyday lives.
Our story starts in Italy, at the end of World War II, with founder Sam's grandparents - George and Amelia.
A big part of the passion behind Saporista’s Italian range is co-founder Sam’s love for Italian cooking, inspired by his Italian heritage. Both Sam’s maternal and paternal grandmothers were Italian, one from the South and one from the North, but it was his father’s mother Amelia, and her sister Angelina, who really ignited his interest in Italian cuisine.
The story begins with Sam’s grandfather George’s brave involvement in one of the most costly series of allied assaults in World War Two, fought in the most challenging of terrains, the Battle of Monte Cassino. George, like many World War veterans, did not speak much about his experiences, but it must have been hellish. This knowledge makes the next episode in his life story that much sweeter! 25 year old Lance-corporal George Titchmarsh had been catapulted from his home on the Coldfall Estate in Muswell Hill, where he lived with his parents, enjoyed playing in a local ‘Thursday league’ football team, and was employed by Wilson’s the drapers, into war-torn Italy when he was called up in 1941. Amelia was a pretty and vivacious ‘soon-to-be-20’ Italian girl when she met George at a dance in Milan, and love blossomed between them under the Italian sunshine. The nature of war meant romance progressed speedily in the 1940s, and when George announced his engagement to his parents they hardly knew of her existence “We have received lovely letters from Amelia and, though we are not aware of her surname, we know our George well enough to say that he’s picked his “dream girl”, said Mrs Titchmarsh when interviewedby a local reporter. Amelia was obviously very excited about the prospect of moving to England with George, writing to his parents, “I already love you as if you were my own parents and, although I do not belong to your nationality, I am quite sure that near you and with George I shall love your country as if it were my own.” Her sister Angelina was already living in England, having met and married an R.A.F man.
Amelia and George’s wartime romance brought British and Italian traditions together and Sam has many fond childhood memories oflong, chatty Italian-style meals, when the kids were allowed to stay up late and join in with the grown-ups as they tucked into huge platefuls of delicious Italian food. Just as his Grandad fell in love with an Italian girl, Sam in turn has fallen in love with all things Italian. As an adult he has enjoyed learning to cook in different Italian styles, experimenting with flavours and recipes from the many distinct Italian regions. This interest has widened into discovering other European foods and cookery traditions. His wife's firm favourite recipe however, is Pollo Milanese (chicken simply fried in breadcrumbs), a dish she's nicknamed 'special chicken', which was a staple in his Nan's repertoire.
Building Saporista is a wonderful opportunity to combine Sam’s personal passion with his wife's entrepreneurial skills. As Saporista’s Italian collection grows, and we share more wonderful food stories and occasions with our customers, Amelia Chiappella’s romance with an English soldier lives on …
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