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Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

A Glass of Bubbly

South End wine buyer, Julie Cappellano, and Cambridge wine buyer, Gemma Iannoni, offer their top picks for bubbly to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year! Their selections subscribe to our philosophy of selecting authentic, terroir-driven wines from producers using organic, sustainable, or biodynamic viticultural practices. (more…)

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Storefront of Pietro Romanengo in Genova

In the list of wonderful, accidental finds we have made for the shop, few rival the discovery of Italian confectioners, Pietro Romanengo fu Stefano. On a trip to northern Italy, Ihsan and Valerie were strolling the labyrinthine streets of old Genova when they stumbled across a fantastical, gem-like little shop.

Romanengo Candied Tangerine

Candied Tangerine

Since 1780, the Romanengo family has been dispensing handmade candies from this beautiful shop with its marble walls, glass shelves and rich wooden cases. Crystal receptacles are filled with confetti-colored candied fennel seeds, threads of sugar-coated cinnamon, sweet fruit fondants, chewy rosewater marshmallows and tiny pastiglie. On his first visit, Ihsan bought some treats to take home and each parcel was painstaking wrapped in dark blue tissue-like paper and tied with a Genovese sailors knot. Since that trip, we have been importing directly from Romanengo and several staff members have made the pilgrimage to Genova themselves! (more…)

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Pasticceria Perbellini PanettoneEvery year, we eagerly anticipate the arrival of panettone from Pasticceria Perbellini. And, every year, we order as much as we can, filling the shop to the brim! Piled high on our shelves, chock-a-block with torrone and candied fruits, staff members are thrilled to see these delicious Italian breads again. Panettone is fantastic with a steaming cup of hot coffee or a freshly pulled shot of espresso. Gemma, expert wine buyer in our Cambridge shop, recommends panettone with a glass of Vin Santo or the classic pairing of Moscato d’Asti.

What is Panettone?

Panettone is a traditional Milanese holiday bread. Traditional (and we think the best) panettone are yeasted breads that are allowed to ferment for a lengthy period of time. (more…)

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A Selection of CheesesHere at the shop, we recently had a very difficult brainstorming session. The task? To narrow down our products to a few select items that would be perfect gifts for the holiday season. Our lead cheese buyer advised on the cheese, our olive oil buyer came up with the olive oil and vinegar pairing and, in the end, the list was a team effort. We tried to find something for everyone and hope you find it helpful!

For the Cheese Lover

Cheese of the Month Club – Enroll your favorite cheese devotee in our Cheese of the Month Club. They receive a monthly delivery of hand-selected artisan cheese along with full descriptions, pairing suggestions and where appropriate, recipes. Subscriptions are available for 3 months, 6 months or 1 year at the entry or connoisseur levels. (more…)

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Wine buyers, Julie and Gemma, share their picks for your holiday celebrations.

A selection of wines for the holiday season - Galea Derain LallementAs we enter this season of sharing food with family and friends, we compile a list of our favorite wines to serve at parties and gatherings. Our top picks this year embody the qualities we showcase in our stores. Made in family-run wineries on small farms, using sustainably-grown grapes and natural fermentation, these wines are clear expressions of the terroir of the farms and the care of the producers. On their own, these lovely wines invite you to delve into their complex aromas and flavors. Paired with carefully selected cheeses, they demonstrate their full, orchestral potential. (more…)

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Perbellini PanettoneFor those with even a remote connection to Italian heritage, panettone and pandolce are essential components of the Christmas holiday. Enjoy either of these traditional breads at the end of the meal paired with a glass of sweet wine such as Recioto di Soave or Moscato d’Asti. (more…)

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Ameixas d'Elvas plumsWhen is a plum not a plum? When it is a sugarplum or a plum pudding! Judging by the names of these traditional British Christmas treats, one would think that both include some quantity of plum. Not true! For centuries, the term ‘sugarplum’ has referred to any type of dried fruit, made into a small, vaguely plum-shaped sweet. During Victorian times, these sugary candies sometimes contained raisins or currants which were called plums.

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