At this time of year, we’re enjoying a lot of fresh, local produce – from corn, to peaches, to tomatoes. And, speaking of the latter, what better time than the dog days of summer to whip up some fresh guacamole? It pairs well with beer, doesn’t involve any slaving away over the stove and is a great pre-BBQ snack! (more…)
Archive for the ‘Produce’ Category
Recently, I shared a recipe for Toasted Orzo Mac & Cheese, cobbled together after inspiration struck in the form of a couple of visits to B&G Oysters, a restaurant in Boston’s South End. For that side dish, the B&G team used Parmigiano Reggiano. At the opposite end of the cheese aging scale, however, they offered another delicious dish on their menu: arugula salad paired with citrus and their house-made ricotta – a fresh, young, milky cheese. (more…)
Posted in Farms & Gardens, Food Science, Produce, tagged companion planting, crop rotation, farming, Ferdinando Zanusso, food, intercropping, Mario Zanusso, organic, soil, soil test, sustainable agriculture, terroir on May 10, 2012 | 1 Comment »
At Formaggio Kitchen, serious consideration is given to the impact of the land or terroir on each bottle of wine, wheel of cheese and bar of chocolate — for familiarity with soil and its composition yields a deeper understanding of the relationship between the Earth and our food. Many of our biodynamic and natural wine producers emphasize the importance of soil composition as it relates to the health of the vineyard as well as to the expression of the wine. I Clivi winemakers, Ferdinando Zanusso and Mario Zanusso, produce, “as ‘transparent’ a wine as possible, in which soil, climate and tradition may come fully through and be perceived without interferences.” (more…)
For a lover of words, leafing through an heirloom seed catalog is almost as delicious as eating the fruits and vegetables pictured on each page. The poetry of heirloom seeds is unabashed, starting with names such as Amish Deer Tongue lettuce, Moon and Stars watermelon, Rouge Vif d’Etamps squash, Yellow Dent corn and a personal favorite, Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter tomatoes. Nomenclature aside, heirloom crops possess a long, distinguished past. (more…)
Posted in Main Dishes, Produce, Producer Profile, Recipes, tagged Chanterelles, dried mushrooms, food, Foraged and Found Edibles, Jeremy Faber, King Boletes, Morels, Porcini, recipe, Recipes, roast chicken on January 21, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
The months of January through early April in New England signify a time of rest and re-growth on the farm. While fields are quiet and covered with snow, farmers are offered a brief respite from harvesting. This time is used to select seeds and finish crop plans for spring. Naturally, this also means a lull in local produce available here at the shop, as many crops are out-of-season or grown in limited quantities at this time of the year.
Luckily, West Coast farms are able to offer and ship fresh, organic and sustainably harvested fruits and vegetables during the early months of the year. Here at our Cambridge location, we have been working closely with small family farms and foragers who practice similar growing methods to the farms we work with in New England. Among these are Foraged and Found Edibles, a purveyor and harvester of wild edibles from Northern California to British Columbia, from the Pacific Ocean to the Continental Divide. (more…)
Posted in Education, Farms & Gardens, Food History, Produce, Producer Profile, tagged Ananas Reinette, apples, Black Gilliflower, Duchess of Oldenburg, Esopus Spitzenburg, heirloom, heirloom apples, Hudson’s Golden Gem, Lady Apple, Roxbury Russet, Scott Farm, Sheep’s Nose, Zeke Goodband on October 6, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
Crisp autumnal air. The sweet smell of leaves. Dashes of yellows and oranges and reds and browns. A quintessential New England fall. And nothing says fall to me like apples and apple picking.
As a child, roaming the orchards, climbing up the ladder to pick the fruit, and biting into a juicy red McIntosh was what thrilled me. Now that I’m a bit older, I still love to pick apples but, as a produce buyer here at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge, what really gets my motor going is the sheer variety of apples available today.
There are, of course, the old standbys like Granny Smith and Galas. The New England staples like Cortlands and Macouns. And, with the help of seed savers and the grace of a handful of dedicated growers, like Zeke Goodband of Scott Farm in Dummerston, Vermont, there are heirloom apples. The names themselves are reason to cheer: Ananas Reinette, Hudson’s Golden Gem, Duchess of Oldenburg. (more…)
Posted in Farms & Gardens, Produce, Producer Profile, United States, tagged barley, eating locally, eggs, farm, farms, flour, food, grains, hops, local farms, locavore, Maine farms, Massachusetts farms, organic, Produce, Red Fire Farm, Rockville Market Farm, sod, Sparrow Arc Farm, sustainable, Vermont farms, wheatberries on August 6, 2011 | 2 Comments »
The cheese counter at Formaggio Kitchen is pasted with articles, vintage cheese labels, stickers, helpful tips and lovely old pictures from our early days in business. All are interesting to peruse, but one sticker in particular always resonates with me as I pass it daily – a small, hardly noticeable, green sticker right at the entrance to the counter. It reads, “No Farms, No Food.” This statement may seem obvious, but in a time where triple-washed, packaged, pre-cut and peeled vegetables are the norm, it is difficult to remember that everything we eat was grown by farmers in wide spaces, deep in the dirt. By maintaining close relationships with the farmers that produce our food, the gap from field to consumer is ultimately closed and enormous benefits are immediately apparent. Not only is it now possible to know the exact date of harvest, but we can discuss the pest management techniques used on the farm, inquire about the diet of livestock and poultry, and even know the farmer’s most recommended crop of the week. With this in mind, Formaggio Kitchen aims to be an equally transparent connection between our customers and farmers. We are happy to talk at length about the practices of each farm and alert customers as to when we receive produce from each grower. Recommending the perfect fruit or vegetable comes naturally when we are so highly tuned into what is happening on the fields! In that spirit, here is an in-depth look at some of our favorite farms and growers in the New England area. (more…)
Posted in Farms & Gardens, Produce, United States, tagged Allen Farms, asparagus, chives, cooking, fiddlehead ferns, food, foraged, foraging, herbs, local farms, local produce, radishes, ramps, spring on May 20, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
Traditionally, the beginning of spring is marked on a calendar date, but many believe in other signs of a new season. Some watch for the first crocuses and tulips. Others await opening day at Fenway Park. Still others believe spring arrives only after Formaggio Kitchen fires up the grill and begins the sidewalk barbecue season.
But for me, spring officially arrives with locally grown vegetables, farm fresh eggs and wildly foraged edibles from hearty New England soil. (Though I certainly won’t turn down BBQ for lunch on Saturdays.)
At Formaggio Kitchen, we work with as many local farms as possible to bring in a wide variety of produce. Although spring is arriving decidedly late this year, we’ve already received a bounty of fresh vegetables from some of our favorite farmers. (more…)
Posted in Beverages, Produce, Recipes, Wine, tagged Bleu du Bocage, Cedric Dickens, Charles Dickens, Cheese, Dickens, Drink, England, food, Montgomery's, Montgomery's cheddar, negus, port, recipe, Recipes, Seville oranges, Smoking Bishop, Stichelton on February 3, 2011 | 1 Comment »
One evening in December, I found myself under the weather but with an unbreakable date. I had promised to take a fellow cheesemonger on his first visit to Drink. For anyone who hasn’t been, Drink is an elegant bar in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston with highly skilled bartenders and no drink list. One orders by indicating an ingredient or ingredients they’re in the mood for – for me, that often means something like Bourbon or grapefruit juice. Then, the bartenders make cocktail suggestions based on these clues.
All I could muster up this particularly cold evening was,”I have a sore throat.” A few minutes later, head bartender, John Gertsen emerged from the back with a steaming pot of negus. A warm, sweet and comforting blend of port, hot water, sugar and lemon, negus was a popular drink in Victorian times, and is mentioned in more than one of Charles Dickens’ novels. In Dombey and Son, Mr. Feeder, “after imbibing several custard cups of negus, began to enjoy himself.” Just as I did after imbibing my several wineglasses full of negus at Drink (I also slept like a baby that night)! (more…)
For New England bakers, the time of year has come when pumpkin makes its appearance on the menu. These goodies are invariably accompanied by crisp, autumn days, clear blue skies and beautiful fall foliage.
I recently learned that canned pumpkin in the supermarket is not a reduced form of jack o’ lanterns. What you get in those cans is a type of squash, just not the one we cut up and decorate for Halloween.
In the US, about 80 percent of the canned pumpkin market is held by Libby’s and they use something called the Dickinson pumpkin, which is paler and a bit more oblong than jack o’ lantern pumpkins. (more…)