It’s easy to love Barcelona. Whenever Ihsan and I visit, we spend 90% of our time wandering from one tapas place to another. A little glass of cava and some sardines here, a fluffy golden tortilla Española there, clams as tiny as a fingernail smothered in garlic and wine, grilled octopus, fried rabbit ribs, platters of jamón. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘food’
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…)
Posted in Cheese, Jams & Preserves, Pairings, Wine, tagged affineur, Ardi Gasna, Arraya, Arraya jam, biodynamic wine, brebis, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cheese, cheese pairings, cherry jam, dîme, Domaine Ilaria, Ekiola, Ekiola Ardi Gasna, fermier, fermier cheese, food, France, fromage, Fromagerie Pardou, Irouleguy, pairings, Pardou Ardi Gasna, Pyrenees, red wine, sheep, sheep cheese, Tannat, tithe, Wine on March 27, 2014 | 1 Comment »
A trip through the French Basque country is one of distinct sights, scents, and flavors. Rolling hills of green pastures are punctuated by craggy mountain peaks and deep valleys, and sheep are everywhere! When Ihsan, Valerie and I traveled through the area in the fall, we tasted a huge array of sheep milk cheeses and an assortment of intense but beautiful wines. Here, we’re featuring a few of our favorite tastes: Ardi Gasnas from Fromagerie Pardou and Ekiola, and a killer red wine from Domaine Ilarria of Irouléguy. Ardi Gasna (or gazna) is Basque for “sheep cheese,” and these smooth, rich sheep cheeses are a specialty in the Pyrénées mountains.
One of the great perks of working at Formaggio Kitchen is the opportunity to travel around the world in search of delicious foods. Ihsan and Valerie Gurdal, owners of the Formaggio Kitchen family of shops, feel strongly that being on the ground to meet with farmers, affineurs and food producers is the best way to find the most delicious goodies to stock our shelves and fill our cheese cases. That philosophy has yielded and continues to yield marvelously tasty results! (more…)
Posted in Cheese, Producer Profile, Wine, tagged Cheese, cheese pairing, Chignin, food, France, Gilles Berlioz, Jacquère, kumquat, kumquats, La Piquette, organic wine, pairings, Pantaleo, Savoie, Wine, wine pairing, winemaking on February 27, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Each winter, I chuckle when I hear myself describing 30 degree weather as “balmy,” while simultaneously shaking my head at the arctic outcrops of snow outside. With all the white snow setting everything in frigid, monochromatic contrast, I find myself craving shades of yellow and orange, and the warm spectrum of flavors that go along with them. A delicate, understated Savoie white from Gilles Berlioz, made of 100% Jacquère, is the perfect complement to one of my favorite aged Sardinian goat milk cheeses, Pantaleo. Coupled with some thin slices of exuberantly tart kumquats, I get all of the sunshine and fresh aromas I need to make it through the deep-freeze of winter. (more…)
At this year’s Winter Fancy Food show in San Francisco, I and two of my colleagues at Formaggio Kitchen – Kyra and Julia – were treated to a special opportunity: to taste Montgomery’s cheddar guided by an expert from Neal’s Yard Dairy and the cheese maker himself, Jamie Montgomery. The folks from Neal’s Yard, with whom we have a particularly close relationship, visit our shop on a relatively frequent basis but this particular event was a rare opportunity as Jamie only makes it States-side once a decade. In general, he prefers staying down on his Somerset farm with his herd of 200 Friesian cows and aging wheels of clothbound cheddar, to standing in front of an eagerly-attentive audience. But with a characteristic English intonation the 3rd generation cheesemaker did not disappoint. Far from it. (more…)
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…)
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…)
Posted in About Us, Beverages, Breads, Crackers & Snacks, Candy & Confections, Cheese, Chocolate, Dairy (non-cheese), Jams & Preserves, Meats & Charcuterie, Pasta, Produce, Staff Events, Wine, tagged Ardèche jams, Belgian waffles, biodynamic, bitters, boudin blanc, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Catharine Sweeney, Cheese, Chocolate, cocktails, Comté Grand Cru, Confitures de l'Ardèche, couscous, Dram Apothecary, EH Chocolatier, Elaine Hsieh, favorite foods, favorites, Ferdinando Zanusso, Finocchiona, food, Formaggio Food Community, Francisco Javier Rodriguez Perez, Fromageries Marcel Petite, fruit, housemade sausages, I Clivi, jams, M'hamsa, M'hamsa couscous, Mario Zanusso, organic, organic fruit, organic produce, organic wine, organic yogurt, Pascal Raunicher, preserves, Produce, robiola, Robiola Enrico, salami, salt water taffy, Salty Road, Salty Road taffy, Salumeria Biellese, shishito peppers, Sparrow Arc Farm, staff picks, staff survey, Straus Family Creamery, Sylvie Raunicher, taffy, top 10 of 2013, tortilla chips, Tortilleria La Niña, vegetables, Veritable Vegetable, waffles, Wine, Xavi Perez, Xocolata Oli d'Oliva, Xocolates Aynouse, yoghurt, yogurt on December 4, 2013 | 2 Comments »
At the end of each year, staff members at all three of our shops – in Cambridge, the South End of Boston and in New York – fill out a staff survey. We reflect on what we have tasted over the course of the past year – moments where we were surprised (both pleasantly and unpleasantly), new and exciting food experiences, as well as the flavors we found ourselves returning to time and again. We pick our favorites and share memorable moments. Some tried-and-true items appear in our survey results year after year – other items are new and exciting finds from the current year – goodies in this instance that distinguished 2013 from all others. Here are our top ten picks culled from this year’s survey results! (more…)