For the past few years, Gobelsburger Cistercian Rosé has been one of our bestselling, most loved rosés, and a consistent favorite at staff tastings. This past weekend, my neighbors and I shared our first bottle of the new 2013 vintage at the end of a long, humid day. The cramped apartment was hot and the kids were sticky and grumpy, but as soon as we tasted that cool, crisp wine we all sighed and relaxed into our seats. It didn’t hurt that on the first pour there was a bright little bit of effervescence to perk up tired taste buds! (more…)
Archive for the ‘Product Family’ Category
Posted in Produce, United States, tagged blood oranges, California produce, citrus, Golden Nugget, kumquat, kumquats, organic produce, peel, pith, Produce, seasonal produce, tangerines on May 19, 2014 | 2 Comments »
As those of you have been by our South End store during the past few weeks may have noticed, despite the slow drag as spring gradually gains ground in the battle to wrest our weather from winter’s claws, we have been fortunate to have a bit of sunshine gracing our shelves. This sunshine comes in the form of produce from the small, organic farms we work with in California. (more…)
Posted in Cheese, Producer Profile, tagged Cafe Luxembourg, Casellula, Cheese, cheese pairing, cheese pairings, food, Jacksonville, Kyle Frey, Nancy Bergman, organic cheese, Saint-Marcellin, Spoonwood Cabin Creamery, St. Em, St. Marcellin, Vermont on May 8, 2014 | 1 Comment »
A big welcome to the newest cheesemaker on our wall – Spoonwood Cabin Creamery! Spoonwood is a teeny-tiny 1,000 square foot “nano-creamery” in the town of Jacksonville, Vermont, 25 minutes west of Brattleboro – it is owned by Nancy Bergman and Kyle Frey. The name “Spoonwood” refers to the common name for the Mountain Laurel, which is prevalent in the region. (more…)
Posted in Cheese, Mother's Day, tagged Ascutney Mountain, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Cheese, Colston Bassett Stilton, Comté, Comté Le Fort, Mother's Day, mothers, Robiola Incavolata, Stilton on May 6, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Matcha can be a rather confusing category of tea. This is because, in the United States, there is no strict classification of different varieties. In Japan, “matcha” refers to a particular variety of very finely ground green tea. Historically, the Japanese tea ceremony has revolved around the preparation of this tea. These days, matcha is used in a number of ways – from cooking applications (in ice cream and mochi), to drinking applications, to classic Japanese tea ceremonies.
True Japanese matcha – or, “tencha” as it is called more specifically – is made from the delicate shade-grown tea leaves used to make Gyokuro tea. The tea trees are covered in cloth to protect the leaves from light during the several week period before harvest. This process forces the plant to produce more chlorophyll, increases the production of amino acids and gives the leaves a very dark, rich shade of green. The leaves are then delicately hand-picked and laid flat to dry (if they were rolled, they would become Gyokuru tea). At this point, the leaves are de-veined, de-stemmed and finely ground into a powder which is then called “tencha.” This high-grade tencha has an intense sweetness and round richness that is unparalleled. Tencha is the only tea that qualifies as true matcha in Japan, despite the fact that most “matcha” sold in the United States is not tencha.
So then, what have you been buying all this time? Because of the extremely high cost of producing tencha, many tea suppliers and retailers have been marketing ground sencha as matcha. Sencha is a beautiful Japanese green tea that is bright, vegetal and grassy. The buds and broken leaves of the sencha tea are ground into a powder to make a less-expensive matcha-like tea. Technically, this type of tea is known as “konacha” (literally, powdered tea). Powdered sencha is quite a bit more intense in flavor than tencha and can have a rather tannic and astringent finish.
I think that both tencha and ground sencha have a place in a well-stocked tea shop. One of my favorite treats is homemade green tea ice cream. I find that the intense flavors found in the ground sencha are perfect for this and other baking applications. As for tencha, I must admit that I swoon for this tea. I have shelled out $35 for just a few grams of it – it’s that amazing. This tea should be enjoyed as it has been for centuries: place a small amount of tencha in a ceramic bowl, add hot water (not boiling – aim for 175°F) and whisk with a bamboo whisk until the tea has totally dissolved. Enjoy right away!
Julia Hallman wears many hats at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge – among them are cheesemonger, classroom instructor and tea buyer.
A Perfect Pairing: Valençay Affiné and Domaine de la Pépière’s Château-Thébaud Clos des Morines 2009 Muscadet Sur Lie
Posted in Cheese, Pairings, Wine, tagged Château-Thébaud, chèvres, Cheese, chevre, Domaine de la Pépière, food, goat cheese, Marc Olivier, Melon de Bourgogne, Muscadet, pairings, Valençay, Valençay Affiné, white wine, Wine on April 24, 2014 | 1 Comment »
It’s springtime, and you can just begin to smell it in the air as the damp ground warms up and the bulbs start pushing through. In the cheese world, there is similar rejoicing, because kidding season (when goats have their babies!) has just passed and the best of springtime chèvres are appearing in the cheese case. Paired with a mineral-driven white, these little goat cheeses make a perfect afternoon snack or appetizer to welcome in spring! (more…)
Posted in Candy & Confections, Producer Profile, Sweden, tagged ammonium chloride, gluten free, Lakritsfabriken, licorice, liquorice, salmiak, salmiakki, salty licorice, salty liquorice, Stockholm, Sweden on April 15, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
In the spring of 2013, Ihsan and I decided to visit Sweden, Denmark and Norway on a quest for new and delicious foodstuffs. We assumed that we would find lots of pickled herring, canned fish, lingonberry jams, rye crackers and licorice. Overall, we did well, bringing back several new items to the shop. (more…)
Posted in Beer, tagged aged beer, aging beer, barley wine, Beer, cellaring, cellaring beer, Duchesse de Bourgogne, Hel & Verdoemenis, imperial red ale, imperial stout, Jolly Pumpkin, Jolly Pumpkin La Roja, lambics, Lost Abbey, People's Pint 2013 Imperial Stout, Red Poppy Ale, saison, saisons, sours, The People's Pint, White Birch, White Birch 2014 Indulgence Ale on April 8, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Spring is here – at least that’s what the calendar says. For me, spring means cleaning, dusting off the shelves and in general, clearing out the gray left by the long, cold winter. While preparing for a white-glove inspection at Formaggio Kitchen this year, we happened upon two curious cases of beer. They were filled with an assortment of barley wines, sours, and stouts from 2010 and 2011 that had been stashed away by one of our previous beer buyers. Old beer? Why, of course! (more…)
Posted in Chocolate, Producer Profile, Spain, tagged Agramunt, Aynouse, cacao, Chocolate, cocoa beans, food, Pere Planagumà, Spain, xocolates, Xocolates Aynouse l'Artesà on April 7, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
In February 2013, while Ihsan and I were visiting our friend Pere Planagumà (head chef at the restaurant Les Cols in Olot, Catalonia), we stopped in the ancient historic city of Girona for a food show and discovered chocolate maker Francisco Javier “Xavi” Rodriquez Perez. Actually, Xavi recognized us — he used to be the chocolatier for another Catalan chocolate company. It was a nice reunion seeing Xavi and to learn that he decided to open his own company Xocolates Aynouse l’Artesà in the town of Agramunt. (more…)