Archive for the ‘About Us’ Category

The call time was 6 a.m., but our first guests — just as excited as we were — were standing outside our door at 5:40.

Gradually, the rest of our sleepy customers arrived, picked up their coffee and croissants, and by 6:30, all 32 of us were on the road, headed for high adventure in the Green Mountain State. Our destination was the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, a gathering of about 50 local cheesemakers, 30 breweries and wineries, and a host of other food artisans making everything from mustard to nougat. The event, in its second year, was held last Sunday at the breathtakingly lovely Shelburne Farms estate outside of Burlington, and this year we organized a bus to bring our customers to the festival — a first-of-its-kind trip for Formaggio Kitchen.

The Shelburne Farms estate sits on Lake Champlain.

The Shelburne Farms estate sits on Lake Champlain.

We personally knew many of the cheesemakers at the festival and were excited not only to see them, but also to introduce them to our customers. (more…)

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Formaggio Kitchen BBQDuring BBQ season here at the shop (March-October), when I work in the bakery on Saturdays, I get the benefit of Eric’s company for a brief while in the morning as he puts the finishing touches on his BBQ.  Saturdays find him baking off cornbread, roasting the chickens and finishing off ribs.  As I go through the process of making cinnamon bread, I observe the different stages he goes through – the testing of the golden cornbread studded with colorful peppers, the brushing of the chickens with his BBQ sauce and the final glazing of the ribs with that same sauce.

Formaggio Kitchen BBQ: the preparation

Formaggio Kitchen BBQ: the preparation

The half chickens begin their journey on Friday when they are split and marinated in a special rub.  On Saturday morning, Eric roasts them for about 45 minutes, bastes them in their own juice and, as he says, “gives them a sauce bath.”  Once they are out on the sidewalk, customers have the option of another “sauce bath” before their chicken goes on the grill for the grand finale.  As Eric points out, the basting process helps to crisp the skin while the layering of the BBQ sauce allows for a delicious development of flavor. (more…)

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That Cinnamon Smell…

Cinnamon Bread

On Thursday mornings, if I am coming into work at just the right time and the wind is blowing in the right direction, I can sometimes smell our cinnamon bread from up to a block away. Cinnamon bread is baked fresh every Thursday and Saturday at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge. (more…)

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By now you’ve probably (hopefully) heard about our Super Bowl BBQ + Beer Bonanza, February 6-7, here at FK. Inside, we’ll have free tastings of beers from our favorite brewers. Outside, Grillerator Eric will host a special session of our popular summer sidewalk barbecue, cooking up the usual menu of ribs, pulled meats and hot dogs.

Eric has also promised a few specials based on the regional BBQ styles of the two Super Bowl contenders, which probably means something Cajun-style in honor of the NFC-champion New Orleans Saints (think andouille!). Indianapolis, home of the AFC-champion Colts, is a bit more of a head-scratcher, Eric admits, with no well-known BBQ tradition. (The Hoosier State does, however, boast a beloved dessert called sugar cream pie with a filling made of, well, sugar and cream.)

Come by Super Bowl weekend to see what Eric comes up with. And remember that if Minnesota had made it to the big game in place of New Orleans, for better or worse, you might have gotten to try the first-ever pulled lutefisk sandwich.

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If you’ve come to this page, you likely know Formaggio Kitchen. Still, an introduction might be nice.  Our shop started in 1978 with a vision of creating a European shopping experience in Cambridge. The store is owned by Ihsan and Valerie Gurdal who also own our sister stores Formaggio Kitchen South End in Boston’s South End and Formaggio Kitchen New York in New York’s Essex Market.

We are best known for our cheese.  We travel throughout the US and Europe visiting dairies, cheesemakers and agers of artisan cheese whose products we bring to our stores so that our customers can experience the wonders of these artisan producers.

Beyond cheese, we sell wine, beer, charcuterie, produce, olive oil, jams, honeys, coffee, tea, spices, chocolate, confections and a variety of other specialty food items.  We operate a full kitchen that produces our housemade charcuterie as well as our sandwiches, salads and dinner for take out.  Our bakery makes cakes, pies, cupcakes, cookies and breads every day.  Our catering department has the enviable position of being able to take their ingredients from the shop and turn them into amazing cheese, charcuterie, sandwich or salad platters for delivery throughout the Boston area.

Our website formaggiokitchen.com handles online orders which can be shipped around the country.

It is our goal to offer our customers the finest products we can find and to be the medium through which they can come to know the producers themselves.  We try our best to source products that reflect the traditional methods and ingredients of a region with a keen eye toward sustainability of the environment that makes those ingredients so good.

We welcome your comments, opinions and thoughts on our new blog!

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