Peppercorn berries may have originated in India, but plenty of other places around the word have sought similar spice qualities in local plants that are now also called peppercorns. In Part 1 of our series on this “king of spices” we looked at the wide range of peppercorns available from the piper nigrum plant. In Part 2, we’ll take a closer look at five other well known types of peppercorns that are not to be confused with “true” peppercorn berries.
Archive for the ‘Buyer’s Guides’ Category
Posted in Buyer's Guides, Herbs, Salts & Peppers, Spices, tagged Balinese Long Pepper, comet's tail peppercorns, food, numbing spice, pepper, peppercorns, pink peppercorns, Sichuan Peppercorns, spices, Szechuan peppercorns, Tasmanian Peppercorns, whole pepper, whole spices on January 27, 2015 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in Buyer's Guides, Herbs, Salts & Peppers, Spices, tagged black peppercorns, food, green peppercorns, Maricha pepe, Maricha Red Sarawak peppercorns, Maricha Rosso "Red" peppercorns, mixed peppercorns, pepper, peppercorns, piper nigrum, red peppercorns, Tellicherry peppercorns, white peppercorns, whole pepper, whole spices on January 13, 2015 | 1 Comment »
Experimenting with herbs and spices in everyday cooking can be very intimidating. When I first became a spice buyer, I myself was overwhelmed by the seemingly endless number of herb and spice varieties that are out there, and it wasn’t until I was preparing to teach my first spice class at Formaggio Kitchen that I truly delved into one of the spice world’s most basic yet versatile berries: the peppercorn.
Walking into Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. Exotic products, tight corners and packed shelves can lead to missed goodies and overlooked treats. This holds true in the bakery, too. Right now, we have four different baking syrups and, at first glance, you might wonder why you would buy one over another? Curious myself, I did a bit of research and in this post, I share what I gleaned. I’m going to breakdown each syrup into its profile, process, and when to use it, so that you can decide with confidence about what to choose for your next baking venture. (more…)
Posted in Buyer's Guides, Dairy (non-cheese), Education, tagged Alastair MacKenzie, Allison Hooper, baking, beurre, Beurre de Baratte Rodolphe Le Meunier, Beurre de Brebis, Burro 1889, butter, Celles sur Belle, food, La Baratte des Gourmets, La Moutonnière, Lucille Giroux, Plugrá, Rodolphe Le Meunier, Sèvre et Belle, VBC, Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery on October 29, 2012 | 3 Comments »
Most of us love butter. It melts beautifully on a piece of toast, it gives wonderful flavor to both sweet and savory goods and provides a preferred mouthfeel to the likes of buttercream frosting. Here at the shop, we carry quite a variety of butters and sometimes folks ask us what distinguishes them from each other – a very fair question! (more…)
Posted in Buyer's Guides, Education, Italy, Vinegar, tagged aceto balsamico di modena, agro di mosto, balsamic vinegar, balsamico tradizionale, condimento, DOP, food, grape must, IGP, Modena, saba on September 7, 2012 | 8 Comments »
As I mentioned in my prior post, Balsamico Tradizionale offers the best chance to taste some of the purest expression of true balsamic vinegar. One of the reasons for this is the thoughtful regulations governing the production of Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena and Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia, which dictate a range of protections – from the grapes varieties that must be used, to the style of bottle.
Once you move beyond the world of Balsamico Tradizionale into the less controlled world of non-tradizionale balsamics, things get more complicated. Historically, the category of balsamic, balsamico or balsamic vinegar consisted of products with levels of quality all over the map. Some careful producers, employing traditional methods, produced balsamics with beautiful balance and depth of flavor. At the same time, large, industrial producers sold balsamics using inexpensive ingredients and time-saving technologies to maximize profits, capitalizing on the balsamic name. (more…)
There are many forms of balsamic vinegar on supermarket shelves these days. The most industrial forms can be made anywhere with a variety of ingredients that may or may not contain concentrated grape must, wine vinegar, sugar and caramel coloring. For this reason, it is often difficult to grasp the differences between a $10 bottle of balsamic vinegar and a $40 bottle of balsamic or even a $150 bottle. (more…)