I was delighted and surprised when I discovered that my local Wegmans was carrying Vosges chocolate bars. Vosges is one of Chicago’s most exclusive chocolatiers. That is until they participated in the Fancy Foods Show, which introduces retailers from around the world to gourmet "artisan" goodies. Stacy’s Pita Chips, Bear Naked Granola, Pom drink, you name it, if a food item begins popping up on local shelves everywhere you go, you can bet it was discovered at the Fancy Food Show.
And we should be grateful. My mother, a helpless chocoholic, certainly couldn’t find high quality chocolate at the supermarket when I was a kid, especially one flavored with sea salt and hickory smoked almonds like Vosges’ Barcelona Bar. Wegmans also carries…
Last week, Beer in the City took a look at some of the hoppiest beers from the breweries that will be participating in the '07 Buffalo Brewfest. This week we'll look at a few premium high ABV beers- a style that can really show the true quality of a brewery.
A quick trip to Premier Gourmet can net you a nice “Brewfest preview” variety pack (note: they are not pre-packaged this way but easy enough to assemble yourself). Mine included a few brews that pack a heck of a punch, at around 10% ABV.
Each of the following ales will improve with age if stored properly, similar to wine. Each, in fact, is aged at least three months before distribution. The high alcohol content allows for the graceful aging process and also allows each beer to establish flavor characteristics different from its peers. Also, each is more malty than hoppy, producing a powerful punch of flavor and alc…
The other day I stopped into Wegmans for some rainbow trout and rapini. Wegmans isn't generally my first choice, but if you're looking for fresh veg and meat, it's one of the only one stop shops in town.
After selecting my trout I moved on to the produce department, packed with slightly frantic after-work shoppers. There, next to the rapini, stood a luscious bundle of organic rainbow swiss chard, boasting it's outrageously glorious coloring like a proud peacock. How could I consider the (albeit delicious) rapini when compared with this breathtaking bounty.
According to the not always reliable Wikipedia, swiss chard was thus named to differentiate it from French chardon (also known as cardoons). It is a vegetable used frequently in Mediterranean cooking and offers a wealth of vitamins and nutrients…
A creative way to add a new touch to your cuisine this summer may be found in your own backyard- even if you haven’t planted any vegetables. Many common flowers are edible, and, when used properly, can add more than just decoration to your food and drink.
Now that lilacs are in bloom She has a bowl of lilacs in her room And twists one in his fingers while she talks. "Ah, my friend, you do not know, you do not know What life is, you who hold it in your hands"; (Slowly twisting the lilac stalks) "You let it flow from you, you let it flow, And youth is cruel, and has no remorse And smiles at situations which it cannot see." I smile, of course, And go on drinking tea. -T.S. Eliot, “Portrait of a Lady”
Perhaps, to the woman in the poem, you do not know life until you have tried lilac…
I have a favorite friend that recently moved from Buffalo to California. Amy is originally from the Ventura area, but moved out here to be with the man she loved. Last spring they decided to move back.
I talk to her often, though sometimes schedules are tight and it’s hard to make the connection via telephone, so email is often our only option.
Every time I do get to talk to her she always tells me how much she misses Buffalo. Sure all of her family is in CA, but she really misses our neck of the woods, and they’re making plans to move back.
In the interim, I attempt to soothe her “homesickness”. But I can only do so much. See, the trouble is, she really misses Wegmans. That’s right- it isn’t the chicken wings, the summer festivals, architecture or lack of traffic. It’s Wegmans. Specifically the organic produce department. And in her sunny California tow…