BIGNO’s: The traditional Sicilian bignolatti
Just over a month ago, Stefano Infantino opened up the first bignolatti shop ever to be opened in Montreal. Sicilians in Italy grew up with this tradition and there are only some people that have the perseverance to keep it alive. One of those people is Stefano.
Bigno’s opened its doors in Rivière-Des-Prairies, in the east end of Montreal on September 1st. Since then, his fresh product rarely stays on the shelves for the entire day. They sell like hotcakes, only this time, they’re hot, balls of dough stuffed with meaty goodness.
Before opening, Infantino used to own a café where he was selling his Bigno’s. He noticed they were selling quickly and decided he had to take a chance. “This idea’s been brewing for three-four years now. I went away on vacation and developed the concept. When I got back I launched the company directly on Instagram,” Infantino explains.
What is a bignolatti? The word was created by farmers in Italy to describe particular ingredients wrapped in dough. A traditional bignolatti is stuffed with cauliflower and olives. “These are my grandmother’s recipes that I learned by hand. We have no machines here and everything is done fresh,” he says.
A typical Montreal bignolatti in any bakery or café is usually stuffed with sausages and olives. At Bigno’s however, customers will enjoy a wide variety of ingredients which include: sausage, sausage and olives, sausage and spinach, sausage and roasted peppers, sausage and cauliflower, cauliflower, sausage and onion, sausage and potato, sausages, onion and potato, sausage, onion and roasted peppers, as well as vegetarian options.
“I make my bignos with love. I love to cook, and I’ve always watched my grandmothers cooking. I try to keep their recipes going. That’s how they stay alive. Family means a lot, and if we don’t carry on these traditions then these recipes will die.”
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