Close to the town of Tours in the heart of the Loire Valley, Domaine Pibaleau sits nestled between two of the region’s historic Châteaux: Azay-le-Rideau and Langeais. The 12 hectare Domaine Pibaleau has been family owned and operated since 1886. Here Chenin Blanc, Gamay, Cabernet Franc and Grolleau are grown on organically farmed sandy-clay soil near the banks of the river L’Indre. Domaine Pibaleau has organic certification, and they work according to biodynamic principles.
In my everlasting quest to make the perfect pizza, it’s always been about the dough. I’ve made hundreds of pies, each time striving for the balance of good structure, depth of flavor, and workability. The outcomes have ranged from revelatory to disastrous, but I’m assured—save a few singed eyebrows and flour-coated jeans—that no one has been harmed by the experimentation. From cracker-thin, high-gluten crusts with a gratifying crunch to pillowy, pliable pies that rise and fall with the heat, the permutations of just a few simple ingredients are seemingly endless.
Posted in Flours & Beans, Food Science, Grains, Main Dishes, Recipes, Rice | Tagged Buratto, flour, food, kitchen science, Mulino Marino, pizza, Pizza Americana, pizza dough, Pizza Napoletana, Tipo 00 | 1 Comment »
When I first became the spice buyer at Formaggio Kitchen I was so excited to delve deeper into the incredible, international world of spices. However, the more I traveled, learned and sampled, the more I realized that the spice industry is primarily made up of large producers more concerned with the bottom line than the quality of their product. It became a personal mission of mine to find small scale producers that match the quality-driven philosophy we hold so dear at Formaggio Kitchen. While it was difficult at first, I soon found equally passionate folks dedicated to producing spices of the highest quality. Slowly but surely our selection has transformed, with each little package of herb or spice now representing a regional culinary history and, more often than not, the unique and inspiring story of a passionate producer.
One such story is that of Daphnis and Chloe. Aptly named after a second century Greek love story, this small company introduces customers to Greece’s culinary history through their rare and unique varieties of indigenous herbs and spices. The Greek Archipelago provides natural isolation, allowing for different, ancient varieties of herbs and spices to develop unique characteristics particular to one island alone. Evangelia, the founder of Daphnis and Chloe, first captured my attention with some of the most remarkable oregano that I have ever tried. She found them by combing through the many different isles, working with foragers and organic cultivators to source the most extraordinary varieties.
Evangelia tells the store of Daphnis and Chloe best herself:
Even though it’s designated as a “Vinho Verde”, the Dom Diogo Padeiro from Quinta da Raza is not green or even white – it’s pink!
A cow named Dizzy munches on buttercups, a goat named Isabelle ruminates under the shade of an old oak tree; in Vermont, the rolling green pastures are shadowed only by the cheeses that its distinct flora promotes.
Posted in Cheese, Travelogues, United States | Tagged American cheese, artisan cheese, Blue Ledge Farm, Cellars at Jasper Hill, cheesemakers, cheesemaking, Cobb Hill, Consider Bardwell Farm, food, goat cheese, Jasper Hill Farm, Spring Brook Farm, summer, Twig Farm, Vermont | Leave a Comment »
Like everything born of Sintra, the Arenae Colares Malvasia is of and from the sea.
I had the good fortune to spend several weeks last summer exploring Lisbon and its surrounding environs, including an unforgettable day in Sintra, guided by two friends of mine who grew up there.
Last month Tim tackled the biggest question on many olive oil consumers’ minds – guaranteeing authenticity in the face of fraud. While some may be tempted to solve this problem by swearing off certain countries of production, Tim argued that the key to finding great olive oil is finding a source you can trust. As we have experienced in our search for the best products for our shops, there are excellent, fair, and yes, fraudulent olive oils in all olive growing regions. It is only by knowing the producer and building trust with them that we can guaranteeing an excellent oil every time.
With that in mind, and as somewhat of an olive oil novice myself, I took it upon myself to taste through a few of our favorite olive oils, settling on three producers from three different countries representing some of the best oils Europe has to offer.
Posted in Olive Oil & Specialty Oils | Tagged extra virgin olive oil, Greece, Italy, La Bandiera, My Olive Tree, olive oil, Olive Oil & Specialty Oils, Spain, Xertoli, Xertoli Coupage | Leave a Comment »