A Taste of Italy With Nife is Life

Serving up a true taste of Italy with Nife is Life

The Italians are famous for many things but their warm hospitality, sense of family and incredible food is known throughout the world as some of the very best. TOAST chats to Marco Vlassopulo of premium online Italian deli Nife is Life to learn more about the benefits of using authentic ingredients, and how to entertain the Italian way.

It is said that the dinner table is the heart of every Italian home; food is prepared, shared and eaten en masse, meals go on for hours and precious time is spent together. This is a way of life, an undeniable part of Italian culture, and one for which they are internationally recognised.

Recent research* carried out here in the UK revealed that a majority confessed to no longer eating meals at the table, instead deciding to eat either ‘on the go’ or chomp takeaways in front of the TV. Experts have blamed today’s ‘extremely fast paced’ society in which people spend more time in the office, meaning that families are spending less time together at home, so perhaps now it is more important than ever to take a leaf out of the Italian’s book and make the time to sit and share delicious food together.

The Italians say ‘mangia bene, ridi spesso, ama molto’ which means ‘eat well, laugh often, love much’. One business here to help us eat just as well as the Italians do is premium online deli Nife is Life (Nice Italian Food Everyday), and the even better news? They can deliver their authentic Italian treats across the UK.

In Italy there’s a huge culture of family eating and entertaining. Even today where people are busy and working long hours Italians love nothing more than gathering round a table with family and friends for relaxed, alfresco eating,” explains Nife is Life director Marco Vlassopul.

Nife is Life is able to send a small taste of Italy anywhere in the world. Our clients are around 50% Italians looking for authentic ingredients and foods that they can’t find in the UK, as well as professional chefs and foodies of all nationalities who love Italian food, and want to enjoy it and serve it to their guests at home.”

After noticing a distinct lack of quality mozzarella in the UK, Nife is Life initially started out by supplying its now-famous buffalo mozzarella to a selection of London's top restaurants, and once the crème de la crème of the capital’s top chefs had just a taste of this top notch Italian cheese they were immediately keen to try more artisan Italian products. And so, the range and the business grew, gaining credibility with the likes of Giorgio Locatelli, Tom Aitkens, Rick Stein and Nigella Lawson along the way.

I’m an entrepreneur, born into a family with four generations of entrepreneurs” explains Marco.

Nife is Life is a company that has grown organically without any marketing and I became so excited at the prospect of this ‘supermarket of the future’, where people living in the UK can enjoy the authentic specialities of Italy delivered to their door in just a few hours.

Nife Is Life Salumi Formaggi

In 2005, the company expanded to launch a new direct-to-customer delivery service, aiming to make shopping for authentic Italian products straightforward and hassle-free. With a same-day delivery service following quickly thereafter, Nife is Life fast became a one-stop-shop for foodies and discerning hosts looking for genuine, high-quality Italian ingredients.

Today, the online shop offers affordable luxury in the form of it’s staggering selection of around 1500 products, which include the very best Italian hams and freshly sliced salamis, incredible gourmet Italian cheeses, olives and olive oil from a small Puglian producer, traditional pasta, sauces, pickles, patés, gelato, fresh Italian fruit and vegetables, fine wines and much more.

We are aiming to reach 2000 products within the next year” explains Marco proudly.

Our thinking is that you could never find 2000 original Italian products in a British supermarket. For example, it’s possible to find traditional Barilla pasta - but there are only 3 shapes, and we can supply around 30!

So every month we research new products to add to our list – as Italians from the Naples region we have plenty of contacts and always use suppliers who can maintain the highest level of freshness, and of course quality.

And while parmesan and prosciutto may be readily available in most UK supermarkets, it’s not until you’ve tried the real McCoy from Nife is Life that you realise the considerable difference in taste, texture and quality. When it comes to stylish entertaining it is of course always a pleasure to dish up the very best and tastiest food that your guests will remember for some time to come, and ingredients with provenance, history and a good story always go down well at the dinner table too; guaranteed to impress is Nife is Life’s signature mozzarella di bufala which comes directly from La Baronia - a small artisan farm in Campania and one of the most well-renowned producers in Italy. Their cheese is handmade, hand cut, and deliciously soft, creamy and mild. Rich in calcium and high in protein, buffalo mozzarella is also remarkably nutritious, and a firm favourite with Italians.

 “Our signature buffalo mozzarella is our most popular product – it’s flown in fresh twice a week and it tastes exactly as it does it Italy!” enthuses Marco.

Of course you can buy Italian products in the supermarket, but the difference in quality is huge - our products come from artisan producers who have been making their products for centuries in the vey best way possible.

Nifeislife Mozzarella And Formaggi

Nife Is Life Spread

As well as being completely delicious, Italian food also falls in to the much celebrated ‘Mediterranean diet’ category; a way of eating that typically includes lots of vegetables, fruits, beans, and cereals, moderate amounts of fish, white meat and some dairy produce too. Research has shown that closely following this regime may reduce our risk of developing conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and raised cholesterol, as well as enabling us to live longer, and be less likely to put on weight.

The Mediterranean diet is extremely healthy – it offers a balance of proteins, carbs and plenty of fruit and veg along with heart-healthy olive oil, and all food is grown or produced from natural ingredients without additives and chemicals” explains Marco.

“Italian food is also good because it is regional – each area focuses on what it does best, using only locally produced ingredients. Also, we haven’t embraced such a diverse range of cuisines as other countries have, so our food hasn’t really changed that much over the years”

The newest addition to the Nife is Life portfolio is their freshly made, traditional Italian ready meals that are all whipped up from scratch by head chef Gianluca Canna using Italian ingredients only. The range includes a beautiful octopus and olive salad, aubergine parmigiana, traditional meatballs, Bolognese sauce, chicken escalopes and four different types of lasagne. All of these tasty meals are supplied in microwaveable cartons with full cooking and reheating instructions, as well as nutritional information and allergy warnings, meaning that authentic, Italian-inspired dining at home has never been easier, or more delicious. On that note – I ask Marco for his top tips for serving up a truly delizioso Italian feast for friends at home.

Nife Is Life


How to Host an Italian Feast At Home By Marco Vlassopulo

  • An Italian meal begins with antipasti – simply arrange cheeses, salami, parma ham, olives, marinated sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes on a board, with some salad, vegetables and breadsticks or ciabatta alongside.

  • Then move on to primi piatti, which is salads and pasta.

  • Followed by secondi – the main course – which is usually meat or fish.

  • Dolci can be fresh seasonal fruits or a sweet treat such as tiramisu, torta, or ice cream” he explains.

  • And to drink... a good local wine or Prosecco, of course!

Buon appetito!

Nife Is Life Dishes

For more information on Nife is Life and how to order some of their delicious Italian produce for your next dinner party then visit their page in TOAST’s Little Black Book

Nife is Life’s website has a selection of authentic Italian recipes for your to try. For more Italian inspiration then keep your eyes peeled for TOAST’s top picks of the best ways to add a touch of La Dolce Vita to your next do, over on TheEdit later this week.

*survey commissioned by NetVoucherCodes.co.uk (online poll of 500 people)