Agriculture and Food

World’s smallest international trade deal saves Cotswold’s Italian food delicacy

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 14 August 2020 6:25

World’s smallest international trade deal saves Cotswold’s Italian food delicacy

A peculiar – not to say the probably the world smallest trade deal – has saved a popular arancini snack from disappeared from Cirencester market. 

To the uninitiated the food, a popular staple in the sunny climes of Sicily, has been selling like the proverbial British hot cakes for some time in the Cotswold town. 

Makers of their particular crispy rice ball are convinced its success was its secret ingredients – not the cheddar cheese, but Marmite. And then came the pandemic and with it a shortage of the yeasty extract. 

It was enough to threaten the demise of the snack, an emergency situationfor the loyal customers of its creator and purveyors, Italian food specialist Non Solo Pasta. 

But then came hope and the unusual trade deal mentioned above.

News of the shortage hadreached Australia and the City of Bathurst in New South Wales and its chamber of commerce came to the rescue – sending a batch of its nation’s own famous spreadable – Vegemite. 

It was a deal made possible because of the ‘friendship arrangement’ between Cirencester and the City of Bathurst, NSW, an initiative set up in 2017 andjust one of the initiatives supported by the Cirencester Community Development Trust Ltd. 

Angus Edwards, of the Bathurst Chamber of Commerce, is the saviour who got wind of the great Marmite crisis and rushed to do his duty and honourthe friendship agreement -duly sending a jar of his nation’s favourite substitute 10,530 miles to save the day until stocks recovered in the UK. 

“We are touched by the gesture.We are going to use the jar to make a version of the arancini and taste test against the Marmite version,” said Clara Cardillo, co founder of Non Solo Pasta. 

Matteo said: “A big thank you to Angus and the Bathurst Chamber, we wish there was a way that you could try our arancini or that we could send over a traditional example for you to try, maybe Bolognese and peas or our Caponata, which is completely vegan.”

Non Solo Pasta, based in Cirencester, has a focus on Italian street food. Founded by Matteo Conte, from Rome, and Clara Cardillo from Minturno, a little village on the coast between Rome and Naples. 

They started selling authentic Italian food at the Farmers Market in Cirencester and now also have a permanent stall in the new look Five Valleys Shopping Centre’s indoor food market in Stroud as well as a frozen Italian food business called Frittoli that sells their arancini creations in Co-Op stores across Gloucestershire.