Are you looking for something different to incorporate into your cooking? A versatile ingredient you can use to add more flavor, a different texture, or added nutrition to your meals? Might I suggest a new grain you can incorporate into the everyday dishes you already prepare? Maybe you'd like to use it to experiment with new dishes to enjoy?
Farro is a type of hard wheat also called emmer, is a non-genetically-modified ancient grain. Originating thousands of years ago, emmer gave rise to all durum wheat. Cultivated in the Garfagnana, an area of forests in northern Tuscany in Italy, farro is considered the original grain from which all others derive, a grain which fed the Mediterranean and Near Eastern populations for thousands of years. Rich in fiber (10%), protein (15%), magnesium, and vitamins, farro also becomes a complete protein source when combined …
Tomorrow is St. Joseph's Day, a celebration which began in Sicily in the Middle Ages when the region experienced severe drought. In desperation, the people asked St. Joseph, their patron, to intervene. They promised, if rain came, that they would prepare a big feast in his honor. These prayers were answered with rainy weather and, in gratitude, huge banquet tables were set up in the streets and the poor were invited to come and eat as much as they wanted.
Preparing a St. Joseph’s Table is a daunting and labor intensive task. It involves cooking several different dishes in order to fill the dinner table with a bounty that could feed the masses. Growing up in a Sicilian family, I looked forward to St. Joseph Day and to the feast my family would lovingly prepare. One of the dishes I enjoyed the most is Pasta con Sarde (pasta with sardines). Although my family made their sarde sa…
You all know how much I love Guercio's, so it's no surprise that I was there yesterday afternoon. One of the things I love about going to Guercio's during the day is watching how this little independent business maneuvers its tremendous wholesale business around its retail customers. Guys in jackets and aprons run cases and cases of product up and down the narrow aisles from the back of the warehouse out to the curb all day long. Even better is the chance to bump into chefs and restaurant staff picking up smaller orders or last minute items for the evening's specials.
I was there to buy some of the ingredients necessary for preparing the recipe that will be featured in February's Buffalo Rising Magazine as part of Sunday Suppers. On my way out I noticed a new line of cookies being sold. Traditional Italian biscotti and sesame cookies made by Lena are packaged in cello bag…
Sage derby has become an increasingly popular cheese. The fact that it can be found at most cheese counters in Buffalo is a testament to that. Unfortunately, it has been most commonly relegated to the now ubiquitous turkey sandwich with cranberry mayo--though in Buffalo Le Metro deserves its props for being the first (and only for a long time) shop to serve this combination.
Made in England, this mild cow’s milk cheese was first introduced in the 17th century when it was incorrectly determined that sage had miraculous health benefits. Today, this cheese takes many forms, some far better than others. Though all versions are semi-firm and relatively tasty, the methods which are used in manufacturing vary.
The type most commonly seen in our area is heavily marbled, an effect caused by the addition of green vegetable dye which is added to the process during its curd stage. …
The other day I stopped into Guercio’s for some produce and cheese. Without my children in tow I seized the opportunity to scour the shelves and read labels- something I rarely have the time to do. I was pleased to see a number of new products in the dairy case, but I was most excited to come across a product line called “Tastings” that bears a Buffalo address on its cute label.
At Guercio’s three of Tastings’ products were available, priced at $5.99 each. The first was a Heavenly Hazelnut Pesto made of roasted hazelnuts, basil, garlic, and oil. The second was called Aji a-Hot, a sauce made of Peruvian hot peppers, and the third was Olive Madness, the product I chose to bring home.
In order to test drive my find, I selected a box of crackers from the shelves at Guercio’s, one that I had never seen before. Sold…
...as if you needed one.
Buffalo Rising has featured an ode to cannoli before, so the purpose of this posting is not to wax poetic about the many fine attributes of these delectable desserts. Nor is it to share a recipe for making your own cannoli, because while I’m a huge fan of the sugary, cheesy tubes of tastiness, it frankly seems like a pain to make the pastry from scratch. If you disagree, well, you’ve got an open invitation to a potluck at my place anytime.
Rather, the point of this posting is to let you know that Guercio’s now sells cannoli at the deli counter. For $1.25, you can get one decorated with chocolate chips, sprinkles, cherries or fresh strawberries. They’re located next to the cheeses, and I’ve seen the awesome women who work behind the counter filling them in …
One of the reasons why July is one of my favorite months is because its sunny days and breezy evenings inspire me to create great food for the grill and simple, tasty desserts. Guercio's is one of the best places to pick up produce in the city, and that's where you'll want to head for today's main ingredient—the watermelon.
For the past 3 years, I’ve been hosting 4th of July celebrations in my backyard. I go crazy preparing salads, marinating meats and vegetables for the grill, baking beer bread, and of course, making my favorite 4th of July dessert: Watermelon-Tequila Granita. It somehow always ends up being one of the evening's icy-hot topics of conversation.
Granita is a refreshing and flavorful dessert that closely resembles sorbet or Italian ice. The difference between granita and these other flavored-ice desserts is texture. Granita is made of coarse, crunch…
Last week I had a lot of heavy cream left over from my pavlova adventure. Heavy cream is a tad on the expensive side, so I wanted to use it up. The best way that I know to use up heavy cream is to make one of the most beautiful things on earth. The truffle.
The French, in honor of the much-loved savory fungi that hogs root from the earth, developed the glorious chocolate truffle. Initially, they were oddly shaped and powdered with cocoa to look like dirt. But today the truffle is now a perfect little sphere of joy.
Who doesn’t love a truffle? I can’t imagine.
Chocolate truffles are easy to make, require few ingredients, and will impress even the most finicky eater. Additionally, I think it is virtually impossible to screw them up.
The other great thing about truffles is how simple it is to alter their flavor profile. The addition of peppermint, sea salt, nuts, la…
Guercio's is possibly my favorite place to buy groceries in the city. Though I often make stops for other items at Wegmans and Lexington Co-op, Guercio's is almost always my first choice. They are a great resource for produce, fresh bread, imported goods and items from the deli.
Have you ever found yourself utterly starving while shopping? I must not be the only one based on the selection of pre-made, ready-to-go foods available at the Co-op and all major supermarkets.
At Guercio's there is no "dining room", panini or lattes. What they do offer is killer deli sandwiches at a shockingly low price. Sandwiches can only be ordered during typical lunch hours on weekdays, but that doesn't deter many based on the number of folks waiting patiently in line.
It seems that no matter how often I shop at Guercio's I come away amazed by how little money I,Aeove spent for the giant box of food I leave with.
I think that fresh produce and the deli counter are the place where I notice the price difference the most. It is really remarkable how affordable it all is. Root vegetables are easily only half the price per pound as they are at the big stores right up the street on Grant and Amherst. Additionally, Boar's Head deli meats, perhaps the best brand available, are about the same price as the off-brand meats offered at corporate owned deli counters in the city.
A day or two ago, I decided to spend $20 at Guercio's. Not on anything in particular, and not in an attempt to buy as much as I possibly could for…