(all photos courtesy of Jovial Foods)
As you meander your way down the winding road of a real food journey, you will find challenges and surprises around almost every bed. I know I have.
A few months into the journey, I learned the difference between carbohydrates and why it’s important to prepare whole grains properly. Soaking grains for bread and other meals requires a bit of planning ahead, and although it doesn’t happen EVERY time, it’s happening more and more often with each passing meal.
Just last month I was surprised to learn about the additives and preservatives that companies put into our food. These 30 additives commonly found in dairy (and the dangers associated with them) blew me away and my eyes are now open to a whole new arena of real food.
We can’t take for granted that cheese is just cheese. That milk is pure, whole grains are truly whole and that canned vegetables won’t make us sick in 20 years.
Sometimes it feels like growing and raising our own food is really the only true way to know exactly what we’re eating, but for the majority of the country (including me), that’s just not possible. I’ve got a few plants growing, but it’s a far cry from the dream of owning goats or chickens.
Fortunately, not all hope is lost. There are companies out there who share the same real food philosophy as us and choose to operate using sustainable and ethical practices. Family-owned farms who truly care about the land and environment, and place the importance of quality above the bottom line. Brands who take pride in their work, staking claim in their area of expertise and building positive relationships with their customers.
I am literally over-the-moon excited to find companies like this, because while I love supporting the local farmer, I can’t get every real food I’m looking for from the farmers market. I’ve never seen anyone selling whole grains, bananas, beans or coconut oil, yet these are staples in our diet! And believe me, I’ve been to my fair share of local markets!
Buying from small, family-owned companies is the next best thing, and a much better investment (in my opinion) than supporting big agribusiness.
My most recent surprise can be attributed to Jovial Foods. My first experience with Jovial was several weeks ago when I placed this order online. Simply put, we needed tomatoes and Jovial’s fit the bill. However, I never expected the tomatoes to be so good that they would change how we did pizza night. Especially since Friday night pizza has been an unwavering tradition in the Crumbs house for the past five years!
Even if I wasn’t head over heels in love with their tomatoes (which I’m hoping doesn’t sound too weird to you fellow foodies), reading their story and their mission would have definitely sealed the deal. A husband and wife team who was curious about the relationship between food and health? Who began to look beyond the label and see what was REALLY in their food?
That could have been us! Well, except for the Italy part. But you guys know what I mean.
This month, Crumbs is honored to be partnering with Jovial Foods, a family-owned company that takes pride in their work and enlists the help of farmers like Stefano in order to bring you authentic, nutrient-rich, delicious real food. They’re a brand I would recommend to my friends and will continue to buy on my own, regardless if they were working with us or not!
Jovial first started with the rediscovery of einkorn berries, the most ancient grain of all. This original discovery led to einkorn flour and eventually, einkorn pasta. Despite being an ancient grain and unhybridized by modern agriculture, einkorn still contains gluten and is not suitable for those with Celiac disease. In turn, Jovial developed gluten-free products out of compassion for those who have food intolerance(s). To quote:
It is not that products formulated without gluten can’t taste great; it’s how relentless you are in developing them… We believe eating gluten free should be pleasurable, and not feel like a sacrifice.
I love that they want to create foods that are not just suitable for allergies, but actually taste good!
In order to bring awareness to both einkorn wheat and the fact that gluten-free foods can be delicious, Jovial has began hosting getaways multiple times each year that allow guests to spend 7 days intimately explore einkorn wheat, gluten-free Italian foods and traditional foods (including sourdough), learning hands-on from Carla (the founder of Jovial) and her team of pasta artisans. These getaways are hosted at an 18th century villa that is just steps away from where Jovial’s pasta is made, set amidst olive groves and rolling mountains in Lucca, Italy.
Doesn’t that sound like a dream? I mean – seriously – can it get any better than making pasta in Italy with this view outside your kitchen?!
Good news! You can win a trip to Italy courtesy of Jovial! Head over to their getaway page to read more about the trip itself and how you can go – for free!
There’s so much more I want to say about Jovial and their amazingly delicious products, but I’ll save it for the articles coming later this month and the recipes. Oh the recipes!
Thank you Jovial Foods for partnering with Crumbs and allowing me to share the ministry of real food with my wonderful readers!