Guiseppe (Joe) Baldarotta (Chef Jordan Baldarotta's great grandfather) came to the United States to find work after serving in WWI and to escape the poverty stricken town of Paceco, Sicily. After he was able to save up enough money, he sent for his wife Maria Antonia Caronia and their two children Antonino (Chef Jordan’s grandfather) and Maria to join him in Madison, WI. They would birth two more children, Nicolo and Francesca.
Antonino served in WWII and would later move to Rockford, IL to start a family of his own. Him and his wife Betty had five children, Nia, Nannette, Nina, Angie, and Anthony (Chef Jordan’s father). After a while, Antonino landed a job at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. So the family packed up and moved downstate to Urbana, IL, where Antonino & Betty would reside for the duration of their lives. They still kept in contact with the rest of their family who lived in Madison and would frequently travel up north to visit. This brings us to the inspiration behind Baldarotta’s Porketta & Sicilian Sausage.
Anthony and his son Jordan would also travel to Madison, almost 2-3 times a year to visit with the now very large and extended Baldarotta family. These visits consisted of reminiscing, laughter, spending time with family, drinking wine, and you guessed it: EATING! While in Madison, Anthony and Jordan would make it a point to stop at the family’s favorite spot, Fraboni’s. Fraboni’s was a small Italian deli/grocer located right in the heart of Madison’s Italian neighborhood named “The Greenbush”. While at Fraboni’s, Anthony and Jordan would stock up on homemade Italian sausage, Porketta (this is how Fraboni’s spelled it, hence why we do), deli salads and condiments, and cold cut Italian sandwiches. Once old enough and confident enough to cook on his own, Chef Jordan started creating his own sausages and porketta roasts inspired by Fraboni’s. After years and years of perfecting his recipes, it was time for Chef Jordan to share his passion of Sicilian/Italian-American cuisine with his hometown of Urbana, IL.