CHOCOLATE SARDINES, BISCOTTI, PANETTONE, OH MY
The wait for holiday confections is over, with glorious pallets of seasonal chocolates, cookies, bread, honey, jams, and spreads due to arrive on Friday. From Michel Cluizel’s Chocolate Sardines from Normandy ($1.75/each, $20/tin) to Piedmontese Soft Torrone with Bronte Pistachios $10, these traditional delicacies from the Mediterranean are great for gifting and holiday gatherings. Look for the white mantle next to our Food Counter for piles of candied-orange, ribboned, brioche-like Rustichella Panettone Classico $35 from Abruzzo, Sicilian Il Colle Del Gusto Chocolate Hazelnut Olive Oil Spread $12, Portuguese Lavender Cream Honey with Hazelnuts $10, and French Morello Cherries in Kirsch $25. Luscious Marchesi di San Giuliani Sicilian Orange Marmalade $16 sparkle next to tins of Tuscan biscotti and cantucci with chocolate, Venetian Candied Green Walnuts in Syrup $12, and Chocolate Hazelnut Olive Oil Spread $13 from Lazio.
I am ecstatic to have these products in our shop, especially to pair them with our growing selection of festive sparklers like the La Boutanche Pét-Nat $19.99 and Edi Kante Dosaggio Zero Rosé $33.99. Come to the Food Counter on Friday afternoon for a tour of these new products and we’ll be happy to open some to taste with you!
SOFT CHEESE ARRIVALS FROM FRANCE & ITALY
Along with holiday confections, Friday marks the arrival of our air shipments of cheese from France and Italy–my favorite day of the month.
"Come Friday, the Dedalus cheese case will be fully stocked and bursting at the seams, ready for your weekend cheeseboard, holiday gathering, or epic wine dinner."
As the winter rapidly approaches, we’re pouring outstanding Barolo and Barbaresco in the bar and stocking up in retail, perfect companions the glut of Piedmontese Robiola coming to the Food Counter. Look for my favorite Robiolina Tre Latti in Fico $33/lb, a fig-leaf wrapped, cheesecake-like, three milk cheese on our weekly cheeseboard and in our case.
Looking for something to pair with the aforementioned bubbles? Try what one of my youngest cheese tasters described as “marshmallow fluff cheese”, the decadent buffalo-milk pillow Bergamino di Bufala $28/lb. In addition to these and other Italian stunners, will have a fresh shipment of brainy-rinded goat’s milk cheeses from the Loire, like the pint-sized Chabichou du Poitou $12 or the scoopable, ash-ripened Valençay Affiné $16. For something with some extra funk, look for the notoriously stinky Époisses Berthaut $24 or the more delicate Affidélice au Chablis $18. These and other whole-format soft cheeses are slam dunks for entertaining, and our cheesemongers would be happy to give you a taste.
FERMÍN JAMÓN IBÉRICO
In the world of pork, there is little more fetishized than the extraordinary Jamón Ibérico, the luscious, salt-cured ham from the pata negra or black-footed pigs. I’ve been waiting all year to bring the precious Fermín Jamón Ibérico $90/lb into our shop,
"a beautifully-marbled, 2 year ham from the mountains of Salamanca, Spain."
These grain-finished pigs spend the majority of their lives in the dehesa forests of oak trees, ranging freely and grazing on acorns and other forage. The result of this diet and curing is a dark-colored ham with a luscious, melt-in-your-mouth consistency and an unparalleled, deeply savory flavor. We’d love to cut you a paper-thin slice, or a pound, and you’ll be sure to impress even the most seasoned gastronome. Look for our Jamón Ibérico in the Charcuterie case and soon on our wine bar menu.
RUSH CREEK RESERVE
At the Food Counter, one of the most common questions I hear is, “what’s your favorite cheese?”. Any good cheesemonger knows this is impossible to answer. On any given day, at any minute, I have a new favorite. One day I am sure that I could eat Marcel Petite Comté $22 every day, and the next it is Sugarhouse Creamery Little Dickens $15 or Giorgio Cravero Parmigiano Reggiano $28. To choose one is inconceivable, and my desert-island, top five, last cheese on earth list is a revolving door of whatever is most delicious at a given time.
At this exact moment, I am unabashedly smitten with Andy Hatch’s Rush Creek Reserve $28.
"This spruce bark-wrapped cheese from the Driftless Region of Wisconsin is the everything I want in a cheese."
A gorgeous smear-ripened rind that looks like chicken of the woods mushrooms, a woodsy aroma that evokes damp forest floor, and a decadent, custardy interior that tastes of bacon and mustard. Our first of three “drops” of Rush Creek Reserve sold out in a week, and we’re receiving our next delivery of just 24 wheels on Thursday. I’ve had three wheels of this batch so far and they are extraordinary. Eat them at room temperature, or slice of the top, fill with white wine and garlic and bake into a gorgeous scoopable fondue.
These will likely be gone before Thanksgiving, so send me an email if you’d like me to reserve one of these splendid cheeses.
Artisan Food Manager