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Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Darjeeling Teas

A cup of hot tea has always been something of a rallying cry in my family – over the summer, iced tea prevails, generally garnished with fresh slices of orange.  In winter time, however, hot tea reigns supreme, usually accompanied by a piece of shortbread, a ginger cookie or a slice of fruit cake.

This past summer, I deviated from my usual stove-top iced tea routine and invested in a dedicated iced tea maker.  Determined to find my optimal brew, I purchased small quantities of different loose teas we have here at Formaggio Kitchen.  It was difficult to choose a favorite but, in the end, Everglad from Dammann Frères‘s became my go-to tea – a green tea with notes of grapefruit, imparted by dried bits of grapefruit rind.  It is amazingly refreshing when iced and, given the tendency to drink more during the hot months, it was nice that it wasn’t as caffeinated as black tea. (more…)

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Local Crab Apples

We recently held our first ever Apple Fest at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge and, ever since, I have had apples on my mind!  For me, apples provoke a range of memories and positive associations but, only recently, did I take the time to delve a little further into the history and science of this fruit.

When I was a child, we used to visit my grandparents’ place in Connecticut and, in their orchard, we were able to pick McIntosh apples straight from the trees.  Eating an apple outside and, remembering the legend of Johnny Appleseed, I would try to plant the odd apple seed.  When I did so, I always envisioned a bountiful apple tree heavy with fruit and looking precisely like the apple I was munching on.  Little did I know that my seed, had it ever come to fruition, would have produced something very different.  Apple seeds are heterozygotes meaning that, like human children, they often bear only a slight resemblance to their parents.  This is why there are so many apple varieties!

The part of me that loves to spend time in the kitchen relishes this time of year – a time that has traditionally brought with it a slew of delicious, apple-derived dishes: apple pie, caramel apples and apple cider to name a few.  The prominence of the apple in the American food psyche is nothing new.  If anything, it is less prominent now than it was a century ago.  In the 19th century, Americans were growing in the region of 14,000 distinct varieties of apples, a period in our history that has been called the “golden age” of pomology.  Apples were reviewed with the same enthusiasm with which people now review movies! (more…)

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