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. Continue Reading »
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. Continue Reading »
Posted in France, Valentine's Day, Wine | Tagged Alexandre Chartogne, Brut Réserve, Champagne, Chardonnay, Chartogne-Taillet, Cuvée Sainte-Anne, half bottles, Jean Vesselle, Laherte Fréres, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Ultradition, Wine | Leave a Comment »
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. Continue Reading »
Posted in Beer, Food History | Tagged Beer, D. Carnegie & Co., Entire Butt, Harviestoun, King Titus, Maine Beer Company, Old Engine Oil, Once Upon a Time, porter, Pretty Things, Salopian Brewery, stout | 1 Comment »
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. Continue Reading »
Posted in France, Producer Profile, Wine | Tagged Bourboulenc, boxed wine, Carignan, Côtes-du-Rhône, Cinsault, Clairette, Counoise, Grenache, Jean David, Martine David, Mourvèdre, red wine, rosé, Roussanne, Seguret Village, Syrah, Wine, wine box | 1 Comment »
When you think “Chinese food,” Formaggio Kitchen might not be the first place that comes to mind, but that’s a shame. While it’s true that cheese is still only just starting to make inroads into East Asian cuisines, here at the Cambridge shop we have more than enough products for a Chinese New Year feast. Continue Reading »
Posted in China, Chinese New Year | Tagged black rice vinegar, Bluegrass Handcrafted Soy Sauce, candied fruit, Chinese Five Spice, Chinese New Year, Chinkiang Vinegar, citrus, clementine, Cruzilles, dumplings, kumquat, noodles, pomelo, pu'er, pu-erh, red, sausages, soy sauce, spaghetti, Spring Festival, tea, Tranquil Tuesdays, year of the horse | Leave a Comment »
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. Continue Reading »
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. Continue Reading »
Posted in Beer, Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge | Tagged AK Alive, Anchorage Brewing Company, Beer, Beer Buyer, Belgian sour, Brettanomyces, domestic beer, English ale, German wheat beer, international beer, Lectio Saison, local beer, Mikkeller, Saison 7, Saison Athene, St. Somewhere, Upright Brewing | 2 Comments »