At the end of the year, even the supermarkets wear the party dress. Not only do they become more sparkling and inviting, but they are also enriched with many gastronomic specialities which can only be purchased and tasted during this period of the year. Some chains have expanded their Christmas assortment to such an extent that they are dedicated to them temporary shop, that is "time shops" where they offer many delights to enrich the holiday menus, to make gourmet gifts and to indulge in a delicious sin of gluttony. Here's what's special for Christmas 2021.
Limited edition products
Is the menu changed to celebrate the end of the year holidays? Modern distribution knows this well and adapts by proposing exclusive products, which can only be purchased for a few weeks, from venison ham to Bresse chickens to feathered game (such as pheasant, mallard, goose and partridge) or lobster in plain sight. How does Despar which every year presents a Special Edition with a selection provided by small local producers, who through a craftsmanship, have created unique products, available in limited quantities and while stocks last. This year there are a dozen cheeses and cured meats, such as Lard from Mora Romagnola and Salame di Varzi Dop, Parmigiano Reggiano Dop aged 60 months and Schiena d’Asino aged in a cave.
Even the highest-end private labels are expanding their assortments ahead of the holidays, aiming to offer the best ratio between product quality and affordability. This year, for example, the range Deluxe by Lidl offers new specialties, such as cuttlefish ink lunettes with salmon filling or rum pralines with extra dark chocolate, while among the signature products Gourmet Aldi there are truffles stuffed with Marc de Champagne and Parmigiano Reggiano Dop aged 40 months.
Some chains (such as Iper La grande i and long S) create real catalogs where they present all the proposals of the deli counter, with Christmas recipes and specialties, and a selection of fine meats and cheeses, giving the possibility to order an entire menu, from fresh pasta to roasts to desserts for the holidays, flawlessly crafted. "In recent years, our proposal has adapted to new trends, focusing on lighter dishes (for example by replacing the Russian salad of lobsters in plain sight with the Catalan of vegetables) and also offering vegetarian menus, such as lasagna with vegetable sauce" explains Francesca Scanarotti, coordinator of traditional fresh produce Iper La grande i.
For distribution chains, and in particular for their high-end brands, the period from November to January represents the high season, as is August for the world of tourism. The offer becomes richer and more refined and the effort of the distribution chains is to make it known even outside their stores. Here, then, that the supermarket brand products explore new forms of sale. Like the temporary stores, "time" shops dedicated to parties, which are opened in the heart of the cities. As did, for the first time, Esselunga, which opened in Milan (via Spadari 4) a temporary store dedicated to Elisenda, his haute patisserie brand that offers the exclusive recipes created by the Cerea brothers in the starred restaurant Da Vittorio. At the "usual" range of products of cakes, mignon pastries, macarons, cream puff tartlets and cannoncini, filled at the moment, and the new line of spoon desserts, you can buy delicious panettone (the novelty is the marron glacé one) packaged in an elegant tin packaging. The temporary shop of Il Viaggiator Goloso, the top quality brand of Unes, returned to Milan this year too: in Vg Xmas Store of corso Venezia 6 you can choose from many gastronomic specialties and irresistible Christmas delicacies from the finest cured meats to the most sparkling bubbles. Do not miss the exclusive limited edition saffron panettone with which Il Viaggiator Goloso pays tribute to Milan and with which it contributes to the restoration work of the Duomo. And then many gastronomic baskets (also customizable and deliverable at home) with a wide selection of quality products, perfect for giving the authentic flavors of tradition.
In cagliari, the novelty of Christmas 2021 is the Christmas Store The Rose of tastes, in Piazza Yenne 6, the new private brand of food excellence developed by the Ibba Group (Crai brand). There you can find everything you need to make the holiday menus special: over 500 products, with a rich assortment of smoked salmon with beech wood and stuffed ravioli (among which those stuffed with Kobe beef and those with caviar stand out. and king crab) and a wide choice of wines, sparkling wines and champagnes. And, last but not least, the many panettone, including the one made by starred chef Gian Piero Vivalda, presented in an exclusive hatbox.