Legendary cookbook is transformed into a premium line of frozen foods

Nov. 26, 2008

The legendary Joy of Cooking cookbook, by Irma Rombauer (and Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker), now in its 75th anniversary edition, shares the story of the American kitchen and cuisine. Over the past 75 years, however, it’s no secret that traditions around mealtime have changed significantly. To meet these needs and deliver the taste of homemade without all the work, Minneapolis-based Bellisio Foods Inc. rolls out a premium line of 22 Joy of Cooking frozen foods.

Joy is about simple, honest foods that help you feed those you love. That’s what Rombauer set out to do when she wrote the first edition of the cookbook and what Bellisio strives to do. “Bellisio” in Italian translates to “beautiful,” and is half of the name of founder Jeno Paulucci’s hometown in Italy, Bellisio Solfare.

Bellisio Foods, the third-largest producer of frozen entrées in the U.S., created the line, including family-style entrées, side dishes, vegetables and breads, packaged in convenient resealable bags and trays. Choose from a range of main dishes, including: Roasted Herb Chicken; Al Dente Shrimp with Linguini & Asparagus; Zesty Italian Sausage Pomodoro; Al Dente Cavatappi Bolognese; Creamy Chicken Florentine; Braised Beef Tips & Egg Noodles; Creamy Fettuccine Carbonara; Al Dente Fettuccine with Broccoli; Cheesy Ravioli Pomodoro; Vegetable Lo Mein and Meat Lovers’ Meat Lasagna.

Sides include: Joy’s Best Loved Macaroni & Cheese; Roasted Red Potato Halves; Bite Sized Baked Potatoes; Elegant Scalloped Potatoes; and Red-Skin Mashed Potatoes. Vegetable options are: Tender Asparagus; Bite Sized Carrots and Seasoned Green Beans. There are also three bread varieties: Mini French Baguettes; Olive Oil Rosemary Ciabatta Rolls and Mixed Basket: Multi-Grain & Cheddar Ciabatta Rolls.

“Our Joy of Cooking line provides busy families with so many options to create an easy weeknight meal or a special themed family dinner,” says Maris Ehlers, vice president of new products and ventures at Bellisio Foods. “When creating this new food brand, we heard from busy moms that the part of cooking they really love involves the aroma and the feeling of care giving. It’s not the chopping and the peeling, the prepping and the clean up. We’ve taken all those pieces away and left the joyful part.”

The products have zero grams trans fat per serving, no artificial colors or flavors and most are preservative-free. They are available side by side in the same freezer section and the line is designed to mix and match so families can create meals with ease. And while the products deliver great taste inspired by recipes in the cookbook, they can be further customized, with serving suggestions right on the packaging. For example, the Roasted Herb Chicken can be thickened, placed in a pie pan and topped with a refrigerated, store-bought pie crust to create an easy chicken pot pie.

“Food is a social exchange that connects people,” says Chef Jon Ashton, spokesperson for the brand. “It is a universally understood language that speaks to one’s senses through aroma, taste and sight. It melds cultures and broadens social understanding at the dinner table.”

Suggested retail price ranges from $2.99 to $8.99.