Friday, August 28, 2009
Tour of the Rear End-cap
Q:So what IS all this fancy stuff anyway?
A: The rear end-cap is where we put strange and mysterious items that don't have a regular spot or we're trying out or that are seasonal or temporary.
Q: No, you didn't hear me. What IS it?
A: Oh, I'm sorry I misunderstood. On the top shelf there are vinegars and oils, the next shelf is honeys and condiments and . . .
Q: Could you just go through each item please?
A: I thought you'd never ask.
On the top left of the case are some lovely vinegars ranging in price from cheap to very expensive.
From right to left are Delouis Bordeaux wine vinegar - a great mid-priced salad vinegar, Mutti tomato vinegar - unique and inexpensive, two wine vinegars from Unio in Spain: Cabernet and Moscatel, and the Benimosu Purple Potato vinegar from Japan - very expensive and hard to find.
At the end, on the right is Verjus Du Perigord - a great item to use in place of cooking wine or a pan de-glazer.
The Casa Forcello mostardas, compotes and confitures are cheese condiments that will expand your cheese plates and make a splash at you next dinner party.
The mostardas (whole fruit and pectin, flavored with mustard essence) are available in Plum, White Watermelon, Crab Apple and Green Tomato. These are great paired with roast meats and hard cheeses.
The Compotes (Pumpkin Ginger and Strawberry Balsamic) are excellent paired with fresh goat cheeses and chicken dishes.
The Blood Orange Confiture - captures the essence of the fruit, with just the right amount of zest - it is the perfect accompaniment to many, many foods.
On the next shelf down are an assortment of syrups and glazes.
On the left is a line of vinegars and savory toppings from Vincotto. We carry the Original, Orange and the Fig Vinegar.
The next in line is Terra de Espana Sherry Glazes - amazing on roasts, chicken or poured straight on ice cream!
Saba. What can I say? Its cooked grape must, similar to the vincotto, sweet and mellow - great drizzled on beets!
Crema Balsamico - a white balsamic reduction. If you know what it is, you know how expensive it is.
Pomegranate Molasses - a middle eastern syrup that makes a great tangy dressing when mixed with olive oil.
This shelf has a few items that you should know about.
The first is the various quince pastes (Membrillo) that we carry - original and Plum. Serve with hard Spanish cheeses - a classic with Manchego.
Date Almond Cakes. Another lovely addition to any cheese plate.
Dill and Fennel Pollen - Italian cooks swear by these products - they add them to everything. Tell me what you add them to.