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Rinci is the wave of the future. Founded by three young creatives Luca Galeazzi, Francesco Velieri, and Alessandro Babbini, this small company in the Marche region of Italy is centered around cultivating and preserving Sea Fennel, a local succulent plant. The young founders drew on their expertise to reinterpret and reinvigorate this traditional food of their region, and share its unique flavor with people around the world.

Sea Fennel, called “paccasassi” in the Ancona dialect, is an aromatic wild succulent that grows spontaneously among the crevices of sea cliffs. Locals in the Conero area have traditionally harvested and preserved the plant's tender shoots for use in their home kitchens, but the delicacy remained relatively unknown outside of the region. Luca, a Conero native, grew up taking part in this tradition. During the months of May and June, he would kayak around the cliffs harvesting paccasassi to later be pickled and enjoyed in a mortadella panino.

After the wild plant was declared endangered in 2011, and while attending the University of Ancona, Luca pondered: “Why not cultivate paccasassi to create a high-quality product?” He and Francesco pursued this question for their dissertation, developing a business plan that followed production from seed to jar. Their project won the award for the most creative agricultural product in Italy and Rinci was born! Luca and his Rinci partners had the ingenious idea to organically cultivate paccasassi in the Parco. 

Rinci now organically cultivates large fields of sea fennel in the Parco Naturale del Conero. The soil is covered with a protective net in order to keep other weeds from growing in the small, delicate plantation. The plants are never irrigated nor need any type of support during the year. During May and June, the tender shoots of the plant are hand-plucked and taken to their state-of-the-art kitchen and laboratory to be blanched and pickled in a brine of water, wine vinegar, and salt. Only the most perfect pickled shoots are selected and placed in jars, one by one, before being left to marinate in mild Puglian extra virgin olive oil for a few months. 

Rinci recommends enjoying Sea Fennel's unique marine flavor with toasted pizza bianca with mortadella, on anchovy crostini, with grilled sausages, and with pasta alla vongole.

Founded by Rolando Beramendi in 1988, Manicaretti is an importer and wholesaler of the finest Italian foods to retailers and restaurants throughout the United States. Through Friends of Manicaretti, we also offer a selection of exceptional, artisanal products from France, Spain, and beyond.

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