Our Naples Seasoning is a charming twist on two of our best selling herb blends - Italian Seasoning and Garlic Herb.
During the mid to late 1900's, Italian restaurants in this country had become "Americanized" to appeal to our flavor (and wallet) preferences. A dinner at an Italian restaurant was considered an inexpensive night out, as the food would typically be oily pastas topped with thick sauces that would have fatty cuts of meat. While these dishes were made with low cost ingredients, these certainly were not considered healthy food.
Then in the late 1990s, along came the rising popularity of the Mediterranean Diet. This style of eating centered on research of the dietary lifestyle of the inhabitants of southern Italy and the Greek island of Crete during the 1960s. During that period, the people of this region had the world's lowest rates of chronic disease. This culinary awakening taught us the importance of a diet that emphasizes eating primarily plant based foods, such as fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and vegetables; eliminating butter and instead consuming healthy fats (i.e. olive oil); flavoring your foods with spices and herbs instead of salt; and only eating red meat several times a month while eating chicken and fish at least several times a week.
In the 1870s, the U.S. was a major importer of lemons from Sicily and Naples, as well as fruits and nuts from throughout Italy. During this period, California and Florida began to develop citrus, fruit and nut orchards which put significant pressures on the Italian economy.
Between 1870 and 1970, more than 26 million Italians left the country as migrants, most in search of work. Between 1870 and 1920, almost 1/3 of these Italian ex-pats ended up in North America with more than four million of them calling America home. Most of these immigrants came from the island of Sicily and southern Italy.
The Americanization of Italian cuisine started in immigrant kitchens and restaurants. The large amount of immigrant consumers and Italian restaurants soon caught the eye of Americans who were in search of inexpensive exotic meals. It wasn't long before Italian restaurants started catering to American flavor preferences. Soon pizza, ravioli, spaghetti with meatballs, Parmesan cheese and mozzarella became as mainstream to Americans as hamburgers and hot dogs.
It had been a while since I've developed a new herb based seasoning blend. I was reviewing one of our blog posts on healthier cuisines and that led me to diving a bit deeper into Southern Italian cuisine. Italian cuisine from southern Italy tends to be a bit healthier than other regions of this country, and that was where I found my inspiration for this blend.
Southern Italian cuisine is considered to be the "soul food of Italy". The cuisine tends to be spicier than northern Italy and relies on the sun-kissed vegetables available throughout the year including artichokes, eggplants, chile peppers, garlic, herbs, olives and tomatoes. This region doesn't consume much meat at all, but when they do they tend to look toward the sea for it - clams, fish, mussels and squid are quite common. Italian olive oil also plays a prominent role here.
This blend is named after the largest city in southern Italy, Naples, I first tested this blend in several tomato based sauces, then on scrambled eggs (one of my favorite foods for testing as I can really pick up the flavor nuances of the seasoning blend) and next on some white fish.
This aromatic salt free seasoning blend makes it easy to create Southern Italian flavor in your kitchen. It'll add a smooth, savory flavor to marinades, soups and stews. We've also used it to create a delightful vinegar & oil salad dressing, but where it really shines is when it's added to just about any tomato-based dish - especially lasagna, pizza or spaghetti. It also adds a nice spin to fish and meatloaf.
To make a quick marinade for grilled or roasted chicken add 1 tablespoon of Naples Seasoning to ¼ cup of olive oil. I like to marinate for about 1-2 hours before cooking.
I've also had great success when using this seasoning sprinkled on grilled or roasted fish and vegetables - especially artichokes, eggplant, potatoes, squash, tomatoes and zucchini. To make a flavorful bread dipping, mix 3 tablespoons with 1/2 cup of olive oil. Let sit for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to marry with the oil olive.
One of our favorite recipes using Naples Seasonings is Chicken Parmesan Burgers.
A perfect balance of intricate herbal notes, you'll also pick up onion and garlic undertones and subtle hints of sweetness.
Our Naples Seasoning is hand blended from toasted onion, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, roasted garlic, red bell pepper and marjoram.
Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*