The Maine Revelation of my tasting.
“Anjon’s Restaurant, in Scarborough, Maine, not only supplied the #1 pasta sauce of the tasting — Anjon’s Gourmet Puttanesca — but supplied sauces that did extremely well in every category in which they competed. Which got me wondering…who are these people?
In 1954, Ann and John DiSanto bought an old seafood shack on Route 1, just northeast of New Hampshire, right near Portland, Maine, and decided to convert it into a family Italian-American restaurant. They called it “AnJon’s” — a conflation of their names. Ann and John got it up and running in 1957, and it has been a local institution ever since — practically unknown to the rest of the country, but much beloved in this corner of New England.
In 2002 — as part of the very pasta-sauce boom I’m describing in this article! — their descendants decided to go global by producing and marketing a line of Anjon’s pasta sauces. The restaurant’s chef today, Ann’s son Rocco DiSanto, makes every sauce himself in big pots on his restaurant range—then puts them in jars himself, by hand! I’m telling you, you can taste the care, love and tradition.”