“In addition to the recurring products with territorial connotations, we mainly produce organic products, where the added value comes from the selection of ingredients. We process Sicilian dried fruits for the production of nougats, almond pastries and classic almond milk, using family recipes inherited from previous Generations. which we have updated over the years with the addition of new flavors, but without changing the production method,” says Melissa Puglisi, sales manager of the Aruci brand, which she owns with her siblings Giovanni Puglisi. and Ginella Puglisi.
“We are very careful about establishing a direct relationship with producers. We follow their supply chains and work with them. That’s why it’s important for us to tell what we do, both our products and all the processing behind them.”
Aruci was officially born in 2015, but for as long as she can remember, Grandma Giorgina’s kitchen has always smelled of honey, caramelized sugar, almonds, hazelnuts and the famous Ispica sesame, formally recognized by the Slow Food association, and grown at approx. 20 hectares between Ispica and in Scicli (RG), Rosolini and Noto (SR). It is one of these delights that the heirs grew up with, first daughter Lucia and then three grandchildren Melissa, Ginella and Giovanni.
“I started by accident,” explains the latter. “At parties for friends and family, I helped my mother make Giuggiulena nougats (that’s what sesame is called in the Sicilian dialect), a thin ribbon curled with sesame and honey. But when she was involved in a charity event, she came from Pavia, where I worked, to help her, and it was on that public occasion that – as I gave all the information about the specialties we had prepared – I understood that my life was going to take a beautiful turn and I came back to Rosolini.”
“The new product novelty that we have brought to Sana 2022 in Bologna is the Nebrodi Hazelnut grain nougat, embellished with the addition of candied orange. A perfect flavor combination, combining the crunchiness of hazelnuts with the softness of candied orange, available in 100- and 250 grams. Other artisan specialties are almond grain nougat with orange peel, cinnamon and cloves (sizes: 100 and 250 g).”
In the artisan laboratory, old recipes take shape and local raw materials (sesame, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts) are transformed into a variety of sweets, from nougat and carob biscuits to the traditional “Facciuneddu”, exquisite round almond biscuits made with whole wheat flour, almond flour (30 percent), brown sugar, honey, eggs, lemon zest and juice. Then there’s Mustazzoli, traditional Sicilian dry candies made with concentrated grape must (50 percent), whole wheat flour, almond flour, almond kernels, and orange peel.
The range of biscuits includes Reginelle, crumbly and irregularly shaped biscuits covered with sesame seeds, and carob biscuits, considered an alternative to cocoa for people who are allergic or intolerant. Granelloso is nougat with a unique taste, a synthesis of the best Sicilian nuts made with pistachio, almond and hazelnut grains, mixed with orange flavored honey and sugar.
“Our products can be found all over Sicily and throughout the Italian territory in specialized stores and also abroad, especially in France, the Netherlands and Germany, with a market share that is growing year after year in other European countries. This is also thanks to to both a communication approach that allows us to tell the local environment and by participating in the most important fairs in the sector.Last week, at the Sana fair in Bologna, we met new customers, although the fair was a bit the major Italian organic brands were not there This is proof that this is a time of crisis in the sector for companies in general, especially in relation to a difficult environment that was exacerbated in the post-pandemic by rising energy prices and inflation .”