This week we find out more about Frank Sarro; our Fresh and Bulk Foods Category Manager and get a secret family recipe for Frittelle (Zucchini flower pancakes). From the local tomatoes, crunchy greens, juicing carrots and gorgeous red peppers, to all of the Community Naturals bulk nuts and seeds; Frank is there every step of the way from farmer to store shelves. Let’s find out about some of his favorite things.
Frank, what is your favorite part of your job?
Coordinating product to get on the truck to Calgary is one of my favorite aspects of my job. Getting products from 5-20 farms on one truck is challenging but rewarding. Seeing the smile on people’s faces both staff and customers when they see the new produce that has come in is a favorite. It is rewarding to hear comments from customers that we carry the best garlic or carrots. Seeing the first local product of the season on the shelves such as the first BC cherries is a great feeling too!
Frank, what is your favorite produce to eat and what are your favorite products you have sourced for Community Natural Foods?
My favorite fruit is fresh nectarines because they are so sweet and my favorite vegetable (although I like so many) are zucchini flowers. (Below is a recipe for the secret family recipe for zucchini flower pancakes. Who knew?!)
One of my favorite products that I have sourced are the bulk raisins and pistachios we sell under our Community Naturals brand name in the bulk section. We buy direct from the supplier as the result of a farm visit awhile back. Another favorite is one of the garlic suppliers we have that only grows the most beautiful garlic. Despite it being a challenge to bring this product in, we do because it is such great quality.
Next segment we will be looking for questions from our followers to learn even more about how our wonderful local produce gets to our shelves! In the meantime enjoy the recipe.
Zucchini Flower Pancakes – Provided by Frank Sarro and his family
There are many methods out there for fried zucchini pancakes, traditional and otherwise, but my favourite was learnt from my father. We have always called these, Frittelle
This is a simple tempura style batter. For about a dozen good-sized pancakes I use:
12 small flowers
2 cups of unbleached flour
1 cup of corn starch
Herbamere and pepper to taste
1 cold beer
Very cold water to thin the batter.
Once the dry ingredients are mixed well I start by slowly adding the beer. Mix this in, then slowly add the cold water until you reach the desired consistency. I want a batter that still keeps to the back of the spoon and somewhere between a regular pancake consistency and that of a crepe batter. For this volume of dry ingredients and in addition to the beer I used about at least an extra cup of cold water and probably a bit more.
We’ve used a variety of oils from Sunflower, Olive Oil, rendered Bacon fat and Duck Fat. Olive oil has the lowest smoke point and tends to fry the outside a little too quickly on its own so I usually cut it with Sunflower oil. With the animal fats I would also dilute them with sunflower oil to thin it out a bit.
I first spread about a good heaping tablespoon (or two) of batter into the oil. I then dredge the flower into the batter (keeping a good part of the stem on. After that I lay the flower onto the batter that was already in place, then still add about and extra tablespoon of batter on top of the flower to add extra substance to the pancake. You could just simply dredge the flower without the extra batter for lighter fare.
Meet Frank Part one – Click here