Each ethnic group has its traditions and for Italians it's all about the sauce. Generation after generation, secret family recipes are passed down that reflect the region of the ancestors.
The recipe of the Bongiovi family (pronounced Bon Jovi) comes from Sciacca in Sicily. It was passed down through three generations; the youngest keeper of the secret is John Bongiovi. He is the father of three sons, Matt, Anthony and the eldest, rock star Jon Bon Jovi.
Known all over the world
Throughout his illustrious career, family has always played a big role for Jon. This includes the famous meatballs and pasta sauce that his father cooks. "Over the years, celebrities and world leaders have tasted my father's sauce and told him to bottle it," revealed Anthony, the middle son. He has been accompanying his brother on tour as a video producer for 25 years.
«In 2011, I decided not to tour with Jon,» says Anthony. Instead, he and his younger brother Matt, along with their dad, began bottling the sauce created by great-grandmother Bongiovi in 1890.
Although friends and celebrities had always advised the Bongiovis to take this step, for a long time nobody really took the idea seriously. "I've lived in California for 20 years and had to learn how to make the sauce. Transforming a family recipe into professional manufacturing was initially a challenge», says Anthony.
There is something magical about the aroma of sautéed garlic and onions simmering in a large pot. And when that sauce was spread over the pasta, the whole family would gather to eat and chat. These are the memories that the Bongiovi family wants to share with their customers when they open a jar of Bongiovi sauce.
Pasta sauce - with the blessing of dad and aunt
«My family name is on every bottle and that calls for the best ingredients». That's why only restaurant-quality tomatoes go into the sauce. “Italians cook their sauce for hours to extract the water. Most bottled sauces actually add water, but not ours." And that's just one of the secrets that make bottled sauce taste like it's been cooking on your stovetop for hours.
«Not only did I have to get my father's approval, I also had to convince my 95-year-old aunt. At the end she said that she loves the sauce, it meets her standards and that's why I'm allowed to use the Bongiovi name". "I haven't made a sauce for myself in a year," says Father John. “Because now it's so easy to open a jar and enjoy that fresh, homemade aroma without spending hours in the kitchen. If I cook fish today and want sauce with it, I just open the jar.» People are really surprised by the freshness and taste of our sauces. They like consistency and it's all about that now.
The Bongiovi brand is currently on the market in Switzerland and Europe with three different flavors. Dad's original traditional marinara and the variant with a little kick arrabbiata