I first joined Formaggio Kitchen as an assistant to Julie, our charcutière. As she taught me to make the shop’s range of sausages, pâté, and other cured meats, she talked a lot about sourcing—what she buys from farms in Connecticut, the turnaround time needed for an order of rabbit from Vermont, the best uses for bellies from Massachusetts-raised Berkshire hogs, and the like. For Julie, small, local farms are a natural and non-negotiable part of her work. (more…)
Archive for the ‘About Us’ Category
Posted in About Us, Food History, Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge, tagged corned beef, food, food history, Georgia Reuben, pastrami, Rachel, Reuben, Russian dressing, sandwich, sandwiches, sauerkraut on February 10, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Many folks are familiar with the Saturday BBQ that happens out front of our Cambridge shop from early spring through mid-fall. When BBQ season ends, it is a sad day in the shop. We are somewhat mollified, however, by the onset of Reuben season. Instead of BBQ, each Saturday, trays of Reubens are prepared for toasting on the panini grill.
One recent Saturday, staffers were swapping bits of Reuben lore gleaned via word of mouth. Because our collective knowledge consisted primarily of hearsay, we decided to take things a step further, do a little research and get the definitive story behind this iconic sandwich.
Posted in About Us, Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge, Meats & Charcuterie, United States, tagged Bon Appétit, food, Good Food Awards, Meats & Charcuterie, pâté, rabbit, Rabbit Pâté on January 18, 2012 | 2 Comments »
We are excited to announce that Julie’s Rabbit Pâté was a winner in the ‘Charcuterie’ category at the 2012 Good Food Awards and was recently featured in a Bon Appétit magazine article entitled, “America’s Best Charcuterie.”
Choosing a favorite pâté is a little like selecting a favorite child. Each has its own attributes and unique characteristics that differentiate it from its siblings. That said, our house-made Rabbit Pâté would be a strong contender for the top of my “favorites” list. Wrapped in rose-hued Prosciutto di Parma and encased in amber-colored Madeira aspic, this pâté is our most intricate and, in my opinion, visually appealing.
One of my favorite things about cooking at Formaggio Kitchen is the wealth of wonderful ingredients at our fingertips. Working here as a chef is like being a kid in a lollipop factory. It is as much a treat to cook as it is to eat here, and often the ingredients that we get to use in our recipes add up to more than the sum of their parts. Such is the case of the Rabbit Pâté. (more…)
At the end of each year, staff members at all three of our shops fill out a staff survey, reflecting on our year in food. We pick our favorites, reminisce about revelatory food moments and about new discoveries. Like clockwork, some products can be counted on to appear each year. Other foodstuffs disappear and/or reappear, depending on staff members’ palates. Here we share our top ten picks culled from this year’s survey results – we hope you enjoy these delicious goodies as much as we do!
- 2011 Staff Top 10 -
Marcel Petite Comté – Year in and year out, this is the headline cheese of the survey! A raw, cows’ milk cheese from the Jura mountains, it is a classic French AOC cheese. What did staffers have to say? One wrote, “I feel this is the backbone of our cheese collection. Hand crafted and hand selected.” Another wrote, “aging cheese does matter and the care taken from start to finish with these cheeses makes for an amazing product at any age.” (more…)
When I first signed on as the charcutière at Formaggio Kitchen, I was excited to work with meat. “What does the position entail?” I asked Ihsan, the shop’s owner. “You’ll be making sausages, curing meat, breaking down whole pigs and rabbits. Stuff like that,” he said. “And pâtés. Lots of pâtés.” That stopped me in my tracks. Sausages, great. Butchery, no problem. How hard can meat curing be? But pâtés? This was another story.
Pâté was mysterious, classic and tricky-sounding. I accepted the position with a bit of apprehension. Now, entering my third holiday season at the shop, pâtés have become one of the items I particularly look forward to making. And we make a lot of them! (more…)
Posted in About Us, Cheese, Food Science, Local, Producer Profile, Travelogues, United States, tagged Ascutney Mountain, Bayley Hazen Blue, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Cellars at Jasper Hill, Cheese, cheesemakers, cheesemaking, Constant Bliss, curds, food, Jasper Hill, Jasper Hill Farm, Landaff, Moses Sleeper, Oma, rennet, whey, Winnimere on September 9, 2011 | 2 Comments »
Some weeks ago, I made an immensely informative and inspiring trip to Jasper Hill Farm and The Cellars at Jasper Hill in Greensboro, Vermont.
The Jasper Hill enterprise was started by two brothers, Andy and Mateo Kehler. The determination that they have towards revolutionizing and solidifying the cheese-making industry in their state and in this country is unmatched in its political, scientific, and pastoral fervor. As a result, I want to share a bit of what got me so excited! (more…)
The premise of the Formaggio Kitchen Cheese of the Month Club is pretty simple – each month, I pick a selection of cheeses to mail out to club members across the country. At the heart of the program is our love of sharing our favorite cheeses with customers passionate enough to sign up for our regular deliveries. For most, this means three different cheeses per month and for Connoisseur Club members, it’s four cheeses and a pairing condiment.
Although the Cheese Club is a lot of work, I get to be a bit of a hero each month – I send a personalized collection of our finest cheeses to every member!
Mid-month, I get together with Kurt, our lead cheese buyer, to pick the club cheeses. First and foremost, we pick cheeses that are showing their best at that particular moment. We also consider seasonality and we aim to have a nice diversity of flavor, milk type and texture. (more…)
There was a bit of initial confusion. What would we call “the new space?”
Until recently, “the new space” was how we referred to our new warehouse and classroom facility in West Cambridge. Several names were bandied about in the shop, including FKO (in longform – Formaggio Kitchen Online), Formaggio Kitchen Mail Order, even Le Nouvel Espace, in keeping with our European roots. Eventually, however, FKA (Formaggio Kitchen Annex) or, as staff have come to style it, simply “The Annex,” won out.
The Annex will accommodate our growing demand for classes and events, and allow us to further develop our mail order business. (more…)
Our kitchen takes great pride in the quality of their ingredients. Whether it is grass-fed hanger steaks, locally-grown heirloom tomatoes for a late summer chilled soup or organic Baldo rice from Lombardy in a rich risotto, we strive to let the beauty of each ingredient shine through. This pride is especially evident in our housemade pâtés, rillettes, bacon, pancetta and other cured and prepared meats. Our charcutière, Julie starts with whole cuts of pork, chicken, duck and rabbit and transforms them into small works of art displayed in our meat case.
Julie sources local, humanely-raised and in some cases, grass-fed meat for each of her creations. Pâtés are seasoned with a variety of ingredients including mushrooms, orange zest, pistachios, and golden raisins while cured meats such as bacon, guanciale and pancetta have simple herb and salt rubs that keep the meat’s flavor in the forefront. Julie also makes a variety of fresh sausages with ingredients that vary throughout the year. (more…)