At the end of each year, staff members at all three of our shops – in Cambridge, the South End of Boston and in New York – fill out a staff survey. We reflect on what we have tasted over the course of the past year – moments where we were surprised (both pleasantly and unpleasantly), new and exciting food experiences, as well as the flavors we found ourselves returning to time and again. We pick our favorites and share memorable moments. Some tried-and-true items appear in our survey results year after year – other items are new and exciting finds from the current year – goodies in this instance that distinguished 2013 from all others. Here are our top ten picks culled from this year’s survey results! (more…)
Archive for the ‘Chocolate’ Category
Posted in About Us, Beverages, Breads, Crackers & Snacks, Candy & Confections, Cheese, Chocolate, Dairy (non-cheese), Jams & Preserves, Meats & Charcuterie, Pasta, Produce, Staff Events, Wine, tagged Ardèche jams, Belgian waffles, biodynamic, bitters, boudin blanc, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Catharine Sweeney, Cheese, Chocolate, cocktails, Comté Grand Cru, Confitures de l'Ardèche, couscous, Dram Apothecary, EH Chocolatier, Elaine Hsieh, favorite foods, favorites, Ferdinando Zanusso, Finocchiona, food, Formaggio Food Community, Francisco Javier Rodriguez Perez, Fromageries Marcel Petite, fruit, housemade sausages, I Clivi, jams, M'hamsa, M'hamsa couscous, Mario Zanusso, organic, organic fruit, organic produce, organic wine, organic yogurt, Pascal Raunicher, preserves, Produce, robiola, Robiola Enrico, salami, salt water taffy, Salty Road, Salty Road taffy, Salumeria Biellese, shishito peppers, Sparrow Arc Farm, staff picks, staff survey, Straus Family Creamery, Sylvie Raunicher, taffy, top 10 of 2013, tortilla chips, Tortilleria La Niña, vegetables, Veritable Vegetable, waffles, Wine, Xavi Perez, Xocolata Oli d'Oliva, Xocolates Aynouse, yoghurt, yogurt on December 4, 2013 | 2 Comments »
Posted in Cheese, Chocolate, Christmas, Gifts & Wares, Hanukkah, Herbs, Spices, Salts & Peppers, Holiday, Jams & Preserves, Meats & Charcuterie, Vinegar, tagged American chocolate, Antiqua, artisan chocolate, bacon, balsamic vinegar, balsamico, bean-to-bar, Berti 1896, boudin blanc, charcuterie, Cheese, cheese knife, Chocolate, Coltelleria Saladini, confitures, Confitures de Raphaël, Fine & Raw, food gifts, gift, gift guide, gift ideas, gifts, granola, jam, knife, knives, Mast Brothers, pandolce, pizza, pizza flour, pork rillettes, Potomac Chocolate, Rabbit Pâté, Ritual Chocolate, Rogue Chocolatier, salts, Woodblock Chocolate on November 28, 2013 | 2 Comments »
Do you have a food lover, budding chef, charcuterie aficionado or chocolate fiend in your life? Short on gift ideas? Not to worry – we’ve got you covered! Our staffers thought long and hard to come up with their top picks for what they would give to food-loving friends, family members and loved ones – here are the results: (more…)
Domantas Užpalis is the creative chocolatier behind Chocolate Naive. Based in the small town of Giedraičiai, Lithuania (population of less than 1,000), he is one of very few bean-to-bar producers in Europe. Domantas does everything from sourcing the cacao beans, to roasting, winnowing, conching and tempering, all in a small farmhouse next to lake Kiementas on the Eastern side of Lithuania. (more…)
Posted in Chocolate, Producer Profile, Switzerland, tagged cacao, Chocolate, Criollo, food, Idilio Origins, Pascal Wirth, Swiss chocolate, Switzerland, Venezuela on September 16, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
We are very excited to introduce Idilio Origins chocolate bars to our shelves. Idilio was the first Swiss chocolate company to specialize in finding the best cocoa plantations to make single-origin, single-plantation bars. Working hand in hand with farmers, Idilio oversees everything from harvesting to fermentation before the beans are then sent to Switzerland where the beans are transformed into beautifully refined bars of chocolate. (more…)
At this time of year, customers often pop into the shop looking for cocoa – whether for baking a dense chocolate torte or for a warming cup of hot cocoa after hours of shoveling. There are a few different type of cocoa available and we thought it would be helpful to shed a bit of light on the differences.
What is cocoa?
Cocoa is the result of processing raw cacao seeds into what is called cocoa mass or cocoa liquor. Cocoa mass is made up of roughly equal parts cocoa solids and cocoa butter. When you buy a chocolate bar it often has a percentage figure on it. If, for example, the label indicates 75%, that means the bar is made up of 75% cocoa mass and unless other ingredients are mixed in, 25% sugar. If you’ve ever had a taste of 100% cocoa mass, you know how important the sugar is to counterbalance the natural acidity and tannic quality of the pure cocoa. In some cases, a bit of extra cocoa butter may be added to give the chocolate a smoother textural dimension – a greater melt-in-your-mouth quality. (more…)
Posted in Cheese, Chocolate, Christmas, Coffee, Gift Giving, Gifts & Wares, Grains, Rice, Flours & Beans, Hanukkah, Meats & Charcuterie, tagged charcuterie, Cheese of the Month, cheese of the month club, Chocolate, coffee, fondue, food, gift guide, gift ideas, grilled cheese, presents, truffles on November 14, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
We know that shopping for friends and family isn’t always easy. So, we put our thinking caps on, brainstormed, debated and created some exciting new bundles of goodies! We think there’s something for most every kind of foodie on your list:
Truffle Kerfuffle – Many customers come to us for all manner of truffle products, so this bundle was a no-brainer. While we don’t include an actual fresh truffle, this selection of products delivers the gorgeous, earthy truffle flavor in a variety of ways. (more…)
Posted in Chocolate, Producer Profile, United States, tagged bon bons, Catharine Sweeney, Chocolate, EH Chocolatier, Elaine Hsieh, ganache, pâte de fruit, Somerville on December 16, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
Elaine Hsieh and Catharine Sweeney never meant to become chocolatiers. In fact, they first met over a wedding cake. A mutual friend was getting married and enlisted them to bake her cake – something new to both of them. Judging by their continuing partnership, the cake was a success, a challenge that got them started making sweets of their own. (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…)
Since opening in Brooklyn a few years ago, Mast Brothers Chocolate has been making a big name for itself. Founding brothers, Rick and Michael Mast, create flavorful bean-to-bar chocolate with imagination and enthusiasm at every step. They import some of the finest single origin cacao from around the world. Recently, they realized a long-held dream of importing some of their beans by sailboat, direct from the Dominican Republic to New York. (more…)
What you see in America that you don’t necessarily see elsewhere is a growing crop of “bean-to-bar” chocolate producers – artisans who are working directly with raw cocoa beans, often sourced directly from farmers. In their small labs in places as unlikely as Utah and Missouri, these producers are seeing the cocoa through from its raw form to its natural end — beautiful bars of chocolate that showcase as much of the flavor and character of the original bean as possible.
It sounds like a relatively straightforward process, but it’s actually unusual. A lot of chocolatiers buy pre-made chocolate from larger companies, melt it down and make their own bars or confections. This is not to say their products are necessarily bad or inferior, but just as we support small-craft cheese and wine at Formaggio Kitchen, we also like to support small-craft chocolate as much as possible. (more…)