Made in Vermont: Dell’Amore sauce

Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 3:04 PM EST
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COLCHESTER, Vt. (WCAX) - Each jar of Dell’Amore sauce has the flavors of Italy sealed into a 25-ounce jar. But more than that, it’s the smell of Frank Dell’Amore’s childhood.

“My mom had six kids and we just were so fascinated with the smells, the aroma, the ambiance in the kitchen. My mom and my grandma both, when they were in the kitchen they were the happiest. Although, they were happy almost all the time,” Dell’Amore recalled. “But something magic was in the kitchen.”

Frank Dell’Amore grew up in Brooklyn, New York, spending the weekends with his grandmother who moved to America from Italy.

When Dell’Amore moved to Plattsburgh for college, he started a Sicilian-style pizza restaurant, called Filomena’s.

“Filomena is the name of my grandmother, which was featured on the label. That picture on the label was taken during World War I in Italy,” Dell’Amore explained.

He used the recipes passed on from his mom and grandma to put out delicious food, which he eventually brought to Burlington. And soon, demand built for the famous sauce.

“I started bottling it on Riverside Avenue at Filomena’s Pizza,” Dell’Amore said.

That was in 1986. In 1993, they moved to their current space in Colchester.

Though Filomena’s Pizza closed, she’s taken up a new position on the labels and lids of the sauces.

A small crew helps to bottle up the family recipe before it hits shelves in local grocery stores, farm stands and co-ops across the country. Dell’Amore says the homemade taste, right out of a jar, is what puts them above other premium sauces.

“When people taste our sauce for the first time, the word that’s most often used is, they say it tastes ‘fresh,’” he said.

That fresh taste, we’re told, is in the simplicity of the recipe to which he fully credits his mom and grandma.

“No shortcuts,” he said. “I don’t add paste, I don’t add water. It’s tomatoes, garlic, good olive oil and tender loving care.”

A recipe responsible for bringing authentic, Italian taste to the Green Mountains of Vermont.