Sunday, October 16, 2016
One of my favorite things to do every fall is to get down to Carver and check out King Richard's Faire. It's definitely something I look forward to all year during the off season, and after reading this post, you'll understand why.
Yesterday, I checked out the Sustainable Business Network's Local Craft Spirits Festival. It was a slightly chilly day, and my friend and I managed to arrive to the outdoors festival just after five pm.
Monday, October 10, 2016
I spoke recently with Paul Kubiski, owner of Bootblack Brand. He works out of the Hope & Main Food Incubator in Warren, Rhode Island, to create his complex cocktail and soda syrups.
Bootblack Brand was created in 2015 with the idea of mixing small batches of cocktail syrups that had big flavors. Paul said that while lamenting the cost of cocktails compared to the quality of the ingredients, he had the idea to create a properly complex syrup that could be used at home to create tastier drinks. From this came Bootblack Brand, named for the ages-old ideal of creating hand-made products earnestly and with enthusiasm.
Friday, September 30, 2016
The Local Craft Spirits Festival is coming up soon! The festival is scheduled for October 15, 2016, in Cambridge, and includes three hours of unlimited tastings, live music, and local food available for purchase. Tickets are available at localcraftspirits.eventbrite.com. In honor of such a cool event, I thought I would post a few cool fall cocktail recipes I found on some of the participating vendors' websites!
Molly's Irish Cream liqueur now has a pumpkin spice variety seasonally available, so for any cocktails that contain Irish cream, if you'd like to make them more seasonally-appropriate, you can!
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Last night, I treated myself to a cheese dinner based around the winners of the 2016 American Cheese Society Competition. We began with an end of summer salad with buffalo mozzarella, paired with 2015 Patricia Green Sauvignon Blanc from the Willamette Valley. I also ordered a pot of the Anniversary Blend, my favorite tea.
Long Island duck breast with salt roasted sweet potato, brioche dressing, Abalone mushrooms, and black garlic was up next, served with 2014 Domaine Cagueloup Cuvée Minette from Cotes de Provence. I couldn't get enough of the sweet potatoes, they were so good.
Le Colture Fagher Prosecco from Valdobbiadene paired well with the mix of award-winning cheeses on our plates.
The first cheese was Little Mountain by Roelli Cheese Company in Lafayette Country, Wisconsin. This cheese won Best in Show.
The next four cheeses won Best Soft Ripened Cheese in a record setting four way tie! Up first was Moses Sleeper from Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, Vermont, followed by Harbison, also from Jasper Hill. Mountain Ash was up next, from Sweet Rowan Farm in West Glover, Vermont, followed by Ashley, from Mouco Cheese in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Thursday, September 8, 2016
France and Italy are widely considered the top tier of culinary cultures. So why not pit them against each other in a culinary competition? We all win that way! We began with the arugula and frisée salad with Bucheron crostini and red wine vinaigrette from France, and followed it with an Italian Caprese salad with fresh mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, Saba, and agrumato.
The first round paired Valençay wine and cheese. Valençay cheese is a goat's milk cheese from the Loire Valley of France, and here it was served with Lo Brusc Tilleul honey. On the Italian side, we had Robiola Roccaverano from Piedmont served with a Sicilian mandarin orange marmalade. It was paired with Tiberio Trebbiano d'Abruzzo wine from Abruzzo, Italy.
Round two for France moved us from goat's milk to sheep, with Ekiola Ardi Gasna from Pays Basque, France. The cheese was served with Arraya Confiture de Cerises and Etienne Dupont Cidre Bouche Brut from Normandy, which was my favorite beverage of the entire evening. Italy served up Sola a Tre Latte, a cheese made from cow, goat, and sheep's milk cheeses in Piedmont, Italy. It was paired with mostarda Mediterranea and Castaldi Lucia Bianco '12 wine, also from Piedmont.
The third round introduced meats into the equation, and also wound up being the first spot in the entire contest where France tripped up, for me at least. Up until this point, France was my clear favorite every time, but as much as I loved the Comte Le Fort, a cow's milk cheese from Jura, France, served with Jambon du Bayonne and Moutarde de Piment Espelette and paired with Bourdy Cotes du Jura Rouge 2011, I loved the Italian offering more. Pecorino di Pienza Gran Riserva, a sheep's milk cheese from Tuscany, Italy, served with Prosciutto Pio Tosini 18 month and fresh figs and paired with Unlitro IGT, also from Tuscany, was just so amazing.
When it came to the dessert round, I couldn't decide which I favored, as I enjoyed both equally! The French dessert had a heavier taste, while the Italian dessert was light, but both were delicious. Up first was France, with fresh fig clafoutis and Fourme d'Ambert with Bonal Gentiane Quina digestiv, followed by Italy's Ricotta cake with lemon-thyme-honey glaze, pine nuts, and whipped ricotta, paired with Elio Perrone Moscato d'Asti. Overall, France won for me!