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Archive for the ‘Product Family’ Category

Brian Outside the Cheese Pod

Brian Outside the Cheese Pod (photo: Liss Flint, Flint Prints)

The Mystic Cheese Company was dreamed up by Brian Civitello, and was joined in making it a reality by an alumnus of the Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge cheese counter and current cheese shop owner – Jason Sobocinski. Brian has made cheese professionally for the past 12 years, both in Italy as well as the United States, working for companies on the West (Rogue Creamery) and East (Calabro Cheese) coasts. The concept for Mystic Cheese Co., established in 2013, grew out of his experiences as a consultant for small family farms throughout the country. The goal: to assist American artisan cheese makers develop businesses by providing the infrastructure to begin a successful cheesemaking operation. (more…)

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Laherte Fréres, Chartogne-Taillet and Jean Vesselle Half Bottle Champagne

A half-bottle of Champagne is the perfect size for starting off an evening of romantic dining for two. The bubbles refresh and perk up your palate, but you still have room to share a full bottle of wine with dinner. Likewise, a half bottle of bubbly can give you just the right amount of buzzy cheer if you’re serving it with a bit of cheese in lieu of a large meal. Here are three of our favorite Champagne halves paired with three Valentine’s Day moods. (more…)

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Porters

L-R: Maine Beer Co.’s King Titus, Pretty Things’ Once Upon a Time 1855, Harviestoun’s Old Engine Oil, Salopian Brewery’s Entire Butt, and D. Carnegie & Co.’s Porter.

Poor porter.

If there was a contest for most misunderstood beer style, the woebegone porter would probably win. IPA’s are perennial favorites, stouts are synonymous with winter, but porters are the forgotten little brother, constantly fighting for attention and respect.

A quick scan of beer literature (don’t worry, I did it for you) reveals a mess of confusion about exactly what the difference is between porters and stouts. A little more reading and you start to get to the bottom of it: there is no clearly delineated difference – in fact, it’s often in the eye of the beholder. (more…)

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Jean-David Wine

Last fall, I had the opportunity to visit the winery of Jean David in the town of Seguret in the southern Rhône valley. Seguret is a walled medieval town perched on the edge of the Dentelles de Montmirail mountains, equidistant between the towns of Rasteau to the northwest and Gigondas to the south. We were there in October and the weather was great! We had come directly from cool, rainy Burgundy where everyone was clad in thick sweaters, and when we arrived in the Rhône, we saw people everywhere walking around in flip-flops and t-shirts.

Jean David and his wife run their small winery together with just a bit of help harvesting in the fall. They farm around 17 hectares of vineyards where they grow red grapes – Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Counoise – and white grapes – Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Clairette. Jean also has a little Tempranillo in his vineyard that his father planted. When asked about the proportions of grapes in the vineyard, Jean replied: “sometimes I say to myself, ‘Jean… you should plant more Syrah…but then…’” and he shrugged and smiled. (more…)

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Crystallized Honey

Far from it! In fact, honeys that crystallize more easily tend to be the least processed.

Some people (like me) enjoy the texture of crystallized honey – it melts more slowly in the mouth and its more solid structure can make it easier to pair with cheese. I especially like crystallized, creamier honeys, like Lo Brusc Montagne or Ames Farms Buckwheat. In my experience, the crystals in these honeys are small and give their naturally creamy texture a little more body, perfect when spread on toast or just by the spoonful.

Of course, the truth is that not everyone wants sugar crystals in their honey, and the good news is that honey crystallization is easy to reverse. If you want to return your honey to a more liquid state, simply put the jar in a pot, filling the pot with water until it comes about half to three-quarters of the way up the side of the jar. Simmer for a few minutes, and you’ll notice that the crystals start to disappear, and the honey will return to its original, liquid state. (more…)

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Teddy in the Beer Section

In the Beer Section

I am excited about what 2014 will bring. As the new beer buyer at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge, I will be delving further into an area of food and drink that has fascinated me for a long time. I look forward to continuing our strong focus on American craft beers – at the same time, I will be reintroducing select imports to our shelves. (more…)

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5J Jamón Ibérico de Bellota

5J Jamón Ibérico de Bellota

With the whirlwind holiday season behind us, I find myself reflecting on my most delicious moments of 2013. Here at Formaggio Kitchen there are plenty to choose from. As someone who works mostly on the bakery and produce side of our Cambridge store, my highlight of the year was getting out of my usual routine to check out what is arguably the most sought after ham in the world – Jamón Ibérico de Bellota. (more…)

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"Sangre y Trabajadero" Oloroso Sherry - Bodega Gutierrez Colosia

“Sangre y Trabajadero” Oloroso Sherry – Bodega Gutierrez Colosia

Every year, when January’s winds hit, and the temperatures settle down to numbers that are far too low for my liking, my thoughts wander to exotic places. I see sun-drenched vistas in my mind’s eye, I watch spaghetti Westerns to warm up, and I hibernate with something inspiring to sip: like a delightful Oloroso Sherry from the windy, sun-soaked southern coast of Spain. (more…)

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Holiday Wines

The holiday season has arrived! We all look forward to these long nights around the table, sitting with friends and savoring dishes to keep us warm. Braised meats, slow cooked beans, root vegetables, rich desserts: all of them cry out for wines that can stand up to the plate. Here are a few treats from our shelves that we look forward to savoring all year-long – wines we save for special occasions, just like this month’s holiday gatherings. Here we present a show-stopper right bank Bordeaux for your holiday meats, as well as two after-dinner wines: the first, a Barolo Chinato to sip with dark chocolate, and the second, a rich red Banyuls from southern France. Enjoy! (more…)

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German Filder-Sauerkraut with Julie's Fennel Garlic Sausages and Moutarde à l'Ancienne

Filder-Sauerkraut with Fennel Garlic Sausages and Moutarde à l’Ancienne

This blog post is dedicated to our customer, Georg, who brought us a can of real-deal Arrowhead cabbage sauerkraut from Germany on July 19th of this year. He started a chain of events that has led us to today – the day we received our first ever shipment of genuine German sauerkraut at the shop. In addition to being our first ever shipment, it also happens to be the first time this particular sauerkraut has ever been imported to the United States. I’m excited – we’ll not only have tins of this wonderfully delicate sauerkraut for folks to purchase on our shelves, but we’re also introducing it into our Saturday Reubens! (more…)

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