February 14th, 2013

I simply adore Biolea olive oil from the Astrikas Estate in Crete. Pressed from only koroneiki olives, it is superbly silky and smooth, with herbaceous aromas that give way to a pleasant peppery finish. I use it to make wonderful vinaigrettes with chardonnay vinegar and strawberry or raspberry preserves. It is also fantastic drizzled over pasta or fresh mozzarella.

February 6th, 2013

This delicious olive oil from puglia is rich, unfiltered, & full-bodied. To me, it is sweetly & beautifully grassy, containing notes of green banana. Drizzle it on fish with a squeeze of lemon, salad with a white wine vinegar, or just soak it up with warm bread. This is a small production and each bottle is hand-numbered!

January 23rd, 2012

Marques de Valdueza

My favorite subtle oil: delicate butter with a cool silky mouthfeel leads to tropical greenery followed by warm pepper. Delicious with honey, on grilled fish, or use to finish any delicately flavored dish.

Acetorium Fig Vinegar

Fruity floral and intoxicating. Makes a fantastic vinaigrette for blue cheese, fruit and nut salads. Also great with bourbon.

January 4th, 2012

Agustí Torelló Mata Cava Vinegar

Agustí Torelló Mata is a world-renowned cava maker from the central coastal area of Catalonia. The cava is aged for around 18 months (sometimes in French Oak), acidified, and then barrel aged for another 8 months. After that, it is transferred to American Oak for another year. This painstaking process results in an exceptionally fruity, effervescent vinegar with a perfect balance of sweet and tangy. Use it with your favorite seafood dish or add just a dash of it to sparkling water for a tasty beverage!

Castillo de Canena Arbequina

Castillo de Canena Arbequina is a solid favorite of mine because it shows how even mild, buttery olives can deliver a punch. Grown, pressed, and bottled in Andalucía, this family reserve is now shared in limited and numbered editions. Lightly sweet at first, the oil quickly evolves into a beautifully bitter leafiness and finishes with a definite spice. I love mixing it with a sweet white vinegar for salads, drizzling it over pasta with tomatoes and garlic, or just dipping a warm piece of bread in it with sea salt and fennel.

November 15th, 2011

‘Barely Legal’ Cheshire cheese available starting November 17th!

Zingerman’s Creamery Dutch-Belted cow’s milk comes from Andy Schneider’s Dairy Farm in Westphalia (northwest of Lansing). This dairy has a herd of Dutch-Belted cows which are extremely rare in the U.S. (there are slightly more than 200). What makes the Dutch Belted cow’s milk unique is its high butterfat and protein content, and the way in which the butterfat globules bond to one another. The bonds are small, creating a supremely dense, rich curd. Originating from the Alps, Dutch-Belted cows gained great popularity in Scandinavia until finally being introduced to the US.

Andy Schneider takes pains to produce a milk that is significantly better than the norm. The calves are provided their mother’s milk for ten months or until the mother kicks them off the teat, and the Creamery only gets the excess that the calves can’t drink. (This is the distinction of a dairy cow as opposed to meat cattle–the dairy cow produces more milk than the calf can take in). In the interest of economy, dairy farmers usually put the calves on formula and sell all the milk. Giving calves the milk that was intended for them creates an extremely healthy herd and allows for cows that the Schneiders milk well into their teens. Healthy cows equal healthy milk. Perfect for rich, complex cheeses that allow the natural flavor of this milk to come through.

October 27th, 2011

Marques de Valdueza gave bottles of their olive oil to some of our retail staff to experiment with at home. This is what they discovered:

Marques de Valueza is a complex, well-rounded oil with a moderate mouthfeel. It is by no means over-assertive in any flavor category, though it favors vegetable and grassy notes that are well balanced with a light, but persistent sweetness and a mild pepperiness. In that vein, this oil elicits memories of boiled sweet turnips and steamed baby artichokes that have been dusted with black pepper and, though not from the same memory, a garnish of grass clippings.

Because of its flavor profile, Marques de Valdueza can be successfully used in a variety of applications. Its lack of bitterness and spiciness make it especially well suited as a dipping oil, or with more delicate pairings such as with salads, fresh vegetables, or fish. I found it to harmonize well with a snack of grilled bread topped with ripe tomato and dry pecorino. It also worked well added to flatbread dough, adding allure and depth to basic ingredients. I cannot quickly think of a circumstance where this oil’s characteristics would create discord with other foods.

October 27th, 2011

Marques de Valdueza gave bottles of their olive oil to some of our retail staff to experiment with at home. This is what they discovered:

The dish that I cooked that worked really well with the Valdueza was lake trout with thinly sliced lemons, salt packed capers, and brown basmati rice. I put a thin layer of oil in a pan and cooked the fish in that, skin side down. I rinsed the capers, soaked them for about 10 minutes, put them on top of the fish, and then put the super thin lemon slices on top of that. I can’t remember how long I cooked it, but I cut into it and the fish was white the whole way through when it was finished. I also cooked the basmati rice while this was going on and dressed it with tamari. When the fish was done, I drizzled the Valdueza over the top of it, and it was spectacular. I finished the fish first, and then I soaked up all of the extra liquid with the rice. It was the first time I’ve had olive oil on rice like that, and it was surprisingly good.

I think what made the Valdueza work with this instead of another olive oil (like Pasolivo or Maussane) is the lightly green quality, so that it has enough flavor to work well with pretty strong foods (capers/lemons) but it doesn’t overpower the more subtle foods it’s with (like the trout).

October 27th, 2011

Marques de Valdueza gave bottles of their olive oil to some of our retail staff to experiment with at home. This is what they discovered:

A delicious but very subtle oil. Its own flavor can be hard to detect in finished dishes, which for chefs may be desirable when a neutral oil is required. I used it to make a sofrito, fried an egg in it, finished pasta, bruschetta, and panzanella, and dressed green beans. Less dominant flavors like the fried egg and green beans best showcased the oil’s own flavor notes. It worked well as an element in the other dishes.

My favorite uses for it were dipping bread and combined with honey on toast.
I find it to have a pleasant hint of banana and thought I might try frying bananas in it but have not yet.

October 27th, 2011

Marques de Valdueza gave bottles of their olive oil to some of our retail staff to experiment with at home. This is what they discovered:

The oil:
Marqués de Valdueza is an extra virgin olive oil from the Spanish region of Extremadura which is made from the arbequina, picual, hojiblanca and morisca olive varieties. Each of the olives, the way which they are harvested and pressed and other factors contribute to the flavor of the oil. For more details, visit their website. I would personally describe the oil as smooth, well-balanced, full-flavored, fruity and fresh. There is no bitterness to this oil and it leaves just the most minute sense of pepper as an afterthought on the throat. It coats the mouth well, but doesn’t leave an oily feeling on the palate. It has a very pronounced flavor which develops as you sip it. Feel free to visit me at Zingerman’s Deli to taste it with me. I am briefly introducing this oil because it was my homework to experiment with it at home in order to see how it works in different recipes and to get a better idea of its flavor and uses.

read more on Kerri’s blog here

October 27th, 2011

Marques de Valdueza gave bottles of their olive oil to some of our retail staff to experiment with at home. This is what they discovered:

Marques de Valdueza has been a favorite of mine since working at the Deli. I particularly like its tropical fruitiness (although it is much less pronounced in this year’s harvest compared to last). I like that it is very well balanced and smooth, yet still very flavorful (fruity, a little green, and a touch of pepper) without being overpowering. I often put olive oil on my popcorn and I find this to be one of my favorites. It’s great with a sweet white wine vinegar such as agrodolce for a vinaigrette. Although I haven’t tried it yet, I think it would be great drizzled over a mild white fish or to pan fry an egg with. All in all, it is a great and very versatile finishing oil to have in my pantry.