I recently had the opportunity to attend a small festival of food producers in the Extremadura region of Spain with fellow food buyers representing small shops as well as large distributors from around the world. I had never been to Spain before and was thrilled to be able to visit a country with such a rich and diverse culinary history – and to be able to discover new and delicious products for our stores. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘food’
Posted in Cheese, Meats & Charcuterie, Spain, Travelogues, tagged acorns, Berrocales, Cabra Berrocales, Cheese, Chiviri, Chorizo de Iberico, eau de vie, El Chamizo, food, Iberico, Iberico pig, jamón, Jamón Iberico, Jamón Iberico de Bellota, José Antonio, Lomo de Iberico, Mil Ovejas, pata negra, Queseria Berrocales Trujillanos, Spain, travel, Trujillo on October 12, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Domantas Užpalis is the creative chocolatier behind Chocolate Naive. Based in the small town of Giedraičiai, Lithuania (population of less than 1,000), he is one of very few bean-to-bar producers in Europe. Domantas does everything from sourcing the cacao beans, to roasting, winnowing, conching and tempering, all in a small farmhouse next to lake Kiementas on the Eastern side of Lithuania. (more…)
Fall is in the air, but before we trade the summer bounty of local fruits and vegetables for the dark days of winter (and endless cold-storage beets and potatoes) there’s still the fall harvest to look forward to — the time when hearty root vegetables are fresh and exciting; a rustic prelude to the winter holidays.
Going to school in upstate New York, harvest time was always my favorite. The excitement of a new semester was accentuated by the chance to experiment with the season’s best local produce, and scouring farmers markets for new ingredients is how I fell in love with “nose-to-tail” vegetable eating. While we don’t have to eke out every last nutrient from our food supply to survive, using all the edible parts of vegetables can be both practical and fun. (more…)
Posted in Chocolate, Producer Profile, Switzerland, tagged cacao, Chocolate, Criollo, food, Idilio Origins, Pascal Wirth, Swiss chocolate, Switzerland, Venezuela on September 16, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
We are very excited to introduce Idilio Origins chocolate bars to our shelves. Idilio was the first Swiss chocolate company to specialize in finding the best cocoa plantations to make single-origin, single-plantation bars. Working hand in hand with farmers, Idilio oversees everything from harvesting to fermentation before the beans are then sent to Switzerland where the beans are transformed into beautifully refined bars of chocolate. (more…)
Posted in Cheese, France, Jams & Preserves, Producer Profile, Travelogues, tagged Ardi Gasna, Arraya, Cheese, Christian Pardou, Claude Querry, Comté, Désiré Loyatho, Espelette, Ferme Fagaldia, food, Fort Saint Antoine, France, Fromageries Marcel Petite, Hotel Arraya, Kati Loyatho, Les Bergers du Haut-Béarn, Marcel Petite, Ossau-Iraty, Pardou, Piment d'Espelette, San Sebastián, Sebastien Fagoaga, travel on September 10, 2013 | 6 Comments »
Landing in Geneva, our first day began auspiciously with 65°F blue skies and a new convertible (our reserved sedan was unavailable) to drive us west into the Jura. Tripp (domestic cheese buyer for our Cambridge shop), and Sarah (Tripp’s counterpart at the South End), and I marveled at the snow-capped mountains in the eastern distance and how the yellow brilliance of patched rapeseed fields rested calmly in their spaces. The three of us were in France to visit with cheesemakers and food producers, checking in with old friends and making new ones. Climbing up into the hills, we arrived at our first destination, Fromageries Marcel Petite at Fort St. Antoine. (more…)
Posted in Appetizers & Hors d'Oeuvres, Classes, Recipes, Store Events, tagged Chris Schlesinger, clams, classes, food, food classes, food education, Grill It!, grilling, John Willoughby, littleneck clams, recipe, Recipes, seafood, seafood grilling on August 19, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
We are devotees of legendary grillmaster and renowned chef, Chris Schlesinger. We were fortunate to have Chris as a guest in our classroom in July and he has kindly given us permission to share a couple of his wonderful recipes – the first was for “Grilled Mussels with Mango Curry Sauce.” Sticking with the crustaceans, this recipe features another local delicacy: littleneck clams. (more…)
Posted in Appetizers & Hors d'Oeuvres, Classes, Recipes, Store Events, tagged Chris Schlesinger, classes, food, food classes, food education, Grill It!, grilling, John Willoughby, mussels, paella, recipe, Recipes, seafood, seafood grilling, Valerie Gurdal on August 16, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
In July, we were very lucky to welcome Chef Chris Schlesinger to our classroom not once, but twice! First up, he taught an amazing “Seafood Grilling” class and was behind the grill a second time for “Grilling 101.” Chef Schlesinger, of East Coast Grill fame, is co-author – along with John “Doc” Willoughby - of several grilling classics and is Valerie’s annual challenger in The Great Westport Paella Tournament. This year (the fifth that the tourney has been in existence), Valerie let Chris win for the first time ever (sorry, Chef!). Friendly rivalry aside, we are big fans of Chris’ food – he works the grill with hard-won experience and a natural intuition. The below recipe appears in Chris and John’s book, Grill It! and was one Chris used in his “Seafood Grilling” class – he kindly gave us permission to share this glorious recipe as we savor the last days of summer! (more…)
We are in the throes of summer and our produce tables are teeming with blueberries! We have both local, cultivated berries and the wild Maine variety. I love blueberries. The tiny fruits burst with memories of childhood summers spent foraging for the sweet berries to bake muffins and pies.
There are so many ways to be creative with blueberries. One of my favorite treats as a child was a blueberry pancake breakfast. Of course, often during the summer there is less desire for a large breakfast. We spend our summer days soaking in as much outdoor air as possible, then relax with dinner and dessert. And, what makes a better summer dessert than ice cream? (more…)
Posted in Tea, tagged Afghani Chai, Bellocq, chai, cold drinks, Dammann Frères, food, iced tea, Mao Jian, Mélange Provence, Silk Road, summer, tea, tisanes, Tranquil Tuesdays, Yunnan on August 4, 2013 | 3 Comments »
I am a year-round tea drinker and always start my day with a hot cup. That said, when it gets really steamy outside, there is nothing better than a fresh brewed cup of iced tea.
As the shop’s tea buyer, I love experimenting with different varieties and different preparations. For a great iced tea, I love a less tannic brew with nice color and strong aromas and I have also found that unique and unexpected teas often make the most enjoyable cups. With this in mind, here are a few of my favorites: (more…)