Picard, a French chain that only sells frozen foods, offers an unbelievable range of products. Read more >
Biscuits! Courtesy of Nine Sons Rising.
F&W executive food editor and Supermarket Sleuth Tina Ujlaki names the year's best products for home cooks and last-minute gift givers.
1. PASTA: Molino e Pastificio Poschiavo
This is my favorite pasta at the moment, and everyone I’ve introduced it to has been equally smitten. Both the high price tag and the pretty, modern packaging kept me away until earlier this year, when I was looking for vermicelli and couldn’t find another brand. It definitely takes longer to cook than other pastas, but the wait (and the cost) are well worth it. The flavor is amazing and it's very easy to cook it just right. pastificio.ch
2. BREAD MIX: Dumbo Delicious from Baked Better
I love hearty, rustic super-grainy/-seedy bread, but a lot of the loaves I buy are too sweet for me. What I love about this organic mix, aside from the fact that it produces a hefty, grainy loaf with just a 5-minute time investment, is that I can sweeten it—or not—to suit my taste. bakedbetter.com
3. CHEESE: Challerhocker
Stocked by Murray’s, Challerhocker translates to “sitting in the cellar,” and this rich, wine-washed wonder is one of the most delicious Swiss cheeses I’ve ever had. It’s nutty and caramelly, with incredible depth and the most luscious texture you’ll find in a firm cheese. murrayscheese.com
4. CHOCOLATE: Dandelion Bars & Askinosie’s Black Licorice CollaBARation
Nothing tricked out about the bean-to-bar chocolate made by Dandelion in San Francisco, just deep, dark, pure chocolate flavor and a luscious mouthfeel. As for bars with add-ins, a week in Iceland convinced me that chocolate and licorice are actually great partners. The collaboration between Missouri’s Askinosie Chocolate and a licorice artisan in Ramlösa, Sweden, led to the incredibly balanced Dark Milk Chocolate + Black Licorice CollaBARation. The licorice is made with rice instead of the more typical wheat, so it’s also gluten-free! dandelionchocolate.com; askinosie.com
5. FROZEN BISCUITS: Nine Sons Rising
One of my favorite finds at the Natural Foods Expo last summer was the frozen biscuits from Nine Sons Rising company. Available in plain, buttermilk and cheese varieties, the small, square biscuits bake up super-tender, flaky and moist all at once, with a wonderful buttery flavor. 9sonsrising.com
6. POPCORN: Halfpops
Popcorn is certainly having a moment right now—we’ve had popcorn in every size and flavor it seems. My favorites of all have been Halfpops from Seattle, and they taste (and crunch) like a cross between a piece of popcorn and a CornNut, without the Styrofoam-like white portions. halfpops.com
7. FLAVORED SYRUPS: Morris Kitchen
Syrup is easy enough to make, for sure, but I just don’t do it. That’s why I love having the fantastically pure-flavored syrups from Morris Kitchen in my pantry. Made by a brother-and-sister team in Brooklyn, in flavors including rhubarb, ginger and spiced apple, the syrups are great in cocktails or sparkling water, in/on desserts, and I’ve used them in sauces for pork. morriskitchen.com
8. FISH SAUCE: Red Boat
The small batch, bourbon-barrel-aged fish sauce from Red Boat is amazing. I first tried it in Aspen this year at the F&W Classic, and I’ve been using it ever since in dishes that traditionally call for fish sauce, as well as in many Western dishes that don’t. It’s like my own personal secret ingredient! redboatfishsauce.com
9. CARAMEL SAUCE: Spoonable
I love the chewy sesame caramel sauce from this company—it has a deep roasty sesame flavor that is so nice with the rich caramel—I’ve even used it to make Bananas Foster. The peppered orange caramel sauce is great as well, especially with fresh strawberries and butter pecan ice cream. spoonablellc.com
10. PANFORTE: Marabissi Italian Panforte
Perfect for the holidays, and excellent on its own with coffee or Cognac or even paired with some cheeses, this particular panforte has it all in balance—it’s super-fresh tasting, not too dry or too moist and the nut-to-fruit ratio is just right. It’s best enjoyed in thin slices, so a good, sharp knife is key, whether you’re snacking or serving. marxfoods.com
Courtesy of Spicely Organic Spices.
F&W Executive Food Editor Tina Ujlaki applies her incredible cooking knowledge to explaining what to do with a variety of interesting ingredients.
Buying spices can be a big investment in two ways—spices tend to be pricey, and you sometimes have to buy way more than you need for a specific recipe you’re curious to try. I discovered Spicely Spices when I needed 1 teaspoon of pink peppercorns, and I was so thrilled to find a tiny box of them that contained just a little more than the recipe called for. The company packs its all-organic spices in larger jars too, but I’ve come to rely on the small boxes to sample spices I’m not familiar with, for spices that I don’t use very often and also for seasonings to pack in my bag if I’m going away for a week, or even just heading off to cook part of a holiday meal at a friend’s house.
© Seth Smoot
American chefs have become fixated on southeast Asia, traveling to countries like Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia and bringing home the sweet, sour, salty, spicy (and sometimes funky) flavors.
Chicken Dance spotlights a fantastic Food & Wine chicken recipe every day.
© Quentin Bacon
Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls.
With national bee frenzy growing for some time, new products like honey beer are starting to hit the market. The Obamas were right at the forefront of the movement when they served White House Honey Ale, home-brewed by their chefs with honey from the White House beehive, at a Super Bowl party this year. (Celebrity guest Marc Anthony liked the beer so much, he is reportedly hanging on to the bottle given to him by the First Lady.)
Now, Denver’s luxe Brown Palace Hotel & Spa is partnering with Wynkoop Brewing Company to produce a Belgian-style saison beer with the honey from a rooftop bee colony. The hotel will debut the bee-brew during this year’s Great American Beer Festival.
A new one-stop bee-inspired shop in Cambridge, MA, doesn't sell beer, but it does have all sorts of treats and trinkets for the modern bee lover. Opened on National Honey Bee Day, August 20, Follow the Honey sources honeys from all 50 states and abroad, and sells beeswax candles and soaps, beekeeping books, bee-inspired artwork and even jewelry.
Related: Fantastic Honey Recipes
© Christian Remde
The star of the new film Charcuterie.
Filmmaker Christian Remde didn’t exactly set out to chronicle Austin’s artisanal food scene when he began the Twelve Films Project, but any foodie could recognize his passion right off the bat. His 2011 New Year’s resolution was to create one film each month for the year, and so far it has yielded seven short pieces, ranging from a 90-second time-lapse homage to Austin’s Pennybacker Bridge to a narrative portrait of a couple debating the merits of turkey bacon. His love for his adopted hometown’s food scene really began to shine through in his May film, Farm to Trailer, which profiles 2011 Best New Chef Bryce Gilmore. "My wife and I moved to Austin from New York City a little over a year ago, and I really fell in love with Odd Duck," says Remde. "Seeing the amazing way Bryce fuses the food trailer scene with 100 percent locally sourced food sparked the idea for the documentary." Working on that documentary was so rewarding that Remde decided to make two more, starting with this month’s simply titled Charcuterie. “Charcuterie is near and dear to my heart,” he says, “and so I wanted to give people some insight into what it is, why it exists and why people love it.” Later this year, he plans to release The New American Farm, a meditation on the return to small-scale family farming. Now that he’s found his food-obsessed voice, we hope his 2012 resolutions will include another year of films. Click here to view each piece on his website.
© Quentin Bacon
Tim Love, Lonesome Dove, Ft Worth Texas
“My breakfast sandwich: I load a griddled hamburger patty up with jack cheese, chili, lamb bacon, sunny hen egg and fresh tomatillo salsa. Then fold a fresh flour tortilla around as much of it as I can. And serve it with a tequila sunrise, of course.”
John Currence, Big Bad Breakfast, Oxford, Mississippi
“At my restaurant, I’ve brought a lot of people back from the dead after a long night out with the Pylon: A split, griddle-fried hot dog with chili, slaw, cheddar, mustard, chopped pickles, onion, jalapeño peppers and oyster crackers, all on a sweet waffle.”
Ryan LaRoche, NoMI Kitchen at Park Hyatt, Chicago
“I like to take the grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the room service menu and deep fry it. It’s like a jelly donut. To take it really over the top, I eat it with my grandfather’s brown butter scrambled eggs. But I draw the line at putting the eggs on the fried pb&j.”
Shaun Hergatt, SHO Shaun Hergatt Restaurant, NYC
“I make a breakfast sandwich with Vegemite, avocado, sharp Cheddar Cheese, bacon and eggs, all on rye Vita crisp bread. So it’s kind of healthy. I fly in caseloads of Vegemite from Australia. The only thing I don’t put on the sandwich is gold leaf, even though I do poached eggs with gold leaf at the restaurant. And sea urchin—another thing I don’t put on that sandwich.”
And now it’s time to hand out the award for the most outrageous breakfast sandwich. We’re thrilled to give it to Stephanie Izard (Girl & The Goat, Chicago) and Ming Tsai (Blue Ginger, Wellesley, MA) who created a pretty remarkable dish at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen a few years ago. Faced with the challenge of using up leftovers, they took cold pizza, cooked lobster and crisp baconand… piled them on top of each other (no, the pizza didn’t get heated up). It was served with a fried egg on top. “Genius,” recalls Dana Cowin, F&W Editor in Chief, who judged the dish. “It includes almost every food group you’d want to have in the morning. Especially if you’re a college student.”
Yes, we all ought to be eating our locally-sourced, free-range, antibiotic-free, Mangalitsa porkchops or whatever, but sometimes, you know, you just want a Frito. Particularly if you’re doing something like watching a ball game on TV, or taking a break from hurling a Frisbee around a park. However, just because your cravings currently extend to chips, chicharrones, or Chung King noodles from a can doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a tasty glass of wine alongside. Here are a few off-the-wall (or off-the-convenience-store-rack) pairing suggestions.
Or French fries, or Tater Tots—basically any kind of fried potato object with lots of salt. Go crazy: drink Champagne. The stuff was made for salty fried foods, whether the Champenoise want to admit it or not. (If real Champagne is too pricey, head to Spain for Cava.)
Look, I don’t drink wine with doughnuts, but that doesn’t mean there’s not some madman out there cruising the streets at midnight, wondering what the heck will go with his bagful of Krispy Kremes. If you’re that person, the answer is sparkling wine that’s sweet. (Note: The same holds true for wedding cake, too.) Sugary pastries and cakes make dry sparkling wine taste like lemon juice. Go for ademi-sec Champagne, or the American equivalent thereof.
Don’t even ask what these things are made from, but if you’re eating them and craving a glass of wine—or really if you’re eating any kind of dry sausage, beef jerky or charcuterie—go red. In fact, go red and Mediterranean. Spicy Sicilian Nero d’Avolas, ripe red blends from France’s Languedoc-Roussillon, and Monstrells from Spain’s southeastern coast are all great possibilities.
Seems like red wine would be the answer, but when’s the last time you had Spaghetti-Os? Those things are sweet. So a crisp white wine is actually going to be the better pairing, for instance a Vermentino or Soavefrom Italy (because, um, Spaghetti-Os are Italian. Er, right?) It’s the same rule-of-pairing-thumb that applies to Asian dishes that have a bit of sweetness, akin to squeezing lime juice on pad thai; match them with a white that has good acidity.
Deep-Fried Mars Bar
It’s a Scottish thing. Not really ideal for wine. I’d say if you’re self-destructive enough to eat deep-fried candy bars, go ahead and break out the Johnnie Walker with them. What have you got to lose, really?
15 Rules for Great Wine and Food Pairing