Buzz, Buzz... Save the Bees May 19 2017
The spring brings the birds and the bees to mind as the flowers are blooming the sun warms everything up. Bees are a very important part of our agriculture system and there has been a big movement lately to save the bees. J. Crew has a ‘Save the Bees’ t-shirt with 50% of the profits being donated to helping the bees. There is a message on our box of Honey Nut Cheerios to ‘Bring Back the Bees’. According to the Cheerios website they will be looking to turn 60,000 acres of oat farms into homes for bees providing over 3000 acres of habitats with wildflowers that allow these pollinators to thrive. Our friend at Bee Local honey take their love of bees one step further.
Bee Local Honey was created to be a trusted and tasty honey company producing and sourcing only the most sustainable, healthy and uniquely delicious honeys in the country. Bee Local ensures their bees are not fed high fructose corn syrup and never use in-hive chemical treatments to heal the common ailments of the bees. This produces some really tasty honeys that have flavor profiles similar to chocolate or wine. Bee Local takes the flavor profile one step further with the creation of their smoked honeys.
The Cherry Wood Smoked Honey has notes of deep cherry, tobacco and leather in a robust flavor profile. This honey is created using a cold-smoking method by Chef BJ Smith of Portland’s Smokehouse Tavern Restaurant. The honey is a truly amazing way to add a lot of flavor to your cooking with little effort. Drizzle it over Fried Chicken or mix in your Hot Toddy for a tasty treat. We have used it to make Roasted Carrots and there weren’t any complaints about those. The Cherry Wood Smoked Honey is also great in a marinade for your chicken or pork before it hits the grill.
Remember the bees that work so hard to produce these amazing honeys when you are enjoying the nice weather this spring. Of course, we don’t want a bee buzzing around our picnic basket but we do need them in other areas of our lives.
Is it Ramp Season yet? April 21 2017
Spring is finally in the air here in New York. That means the flowers are blooming and spring’s bounty of vegetables is about to arrive at the farmer’s market. At my house, we always are on the lookout for ramp season. It is a short one so if you aren’t quick on your feet those ramps will be gone before you know it. You may be asking yourself, is a ramp a vegetable or the thing you use when you’re pushing your child in their stroller into a building?
Ramps are part of the onion family but aren’t leeks or shallots. They look a bit like a scallion but are slightly smaller with one or two long, broad green leaves. They taste stronger than a leek with the addition of a garlicky flavor. Ramps get a lot of hype because they are one of the first vegetables to poke through after the ground defrosts from the winter. If you haven’t tasted a ramp yet, keep your eyes peeled for them at your local greenmarket or your favorite restaurant. Chefs love their delicate and unique flavor. When I worked at db Bistro Moderne(many years ago) we would pickle 5 gallon buckets of ramps during their season so there would be some on hand year-round.
I’m still making plans for the ramps that will make it to my kitchen this season. Perhaps they will be sautéed with white wine and used as a ‘sauce’ over veal chops. Maybe I will chop them up and add them to a cheese omelet. To keep it simple I may just pair the ramps with pasta and olive oil. No matter what happens to those ramps , I am sure they are going to be delicious. I’ll be sure to report back on how my ramps get used. How do you like to cook or eat ramps?
Just Add Salt May 20 2016
Salt is defined as a dietary mineral used for flavoring and preservation. It may also be referred to as sodium chloride, an iconic compound resulting from neutralization. As most of you know, salt makes all the difference in cooking as it helps bring out the flavor of everything from savory to sweet. I always add a little bit of salt to anything I am cooking. Sea Salt, like the ones from Jacobsen Salt Co., are the salts and minerals obtained from the evaporation of sea water.
This week I learned that different times of the year it is actually easier to make Sea Salt. Our friends at Jacobsen Salt Co. posted the following on Instagram this week.
‘Summer is here! We make our best Pure Flake Finishing Salt in the summer – when the water is salty and undiluted by winter rain.'
The good news is that you can buy their Pure Flake Finishing Salt right here in our marketplace. The better news is that you really can use it on EVERYTHING! Keep some on your counter and sprinkle just a bit on whatever happens to be for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You’ll discover the true taste of your food and I guarantee you will not be disappointed! But remember, a little salt does go a long way!
Hopefully the summer weather has arrived where you are… or at least some spring like temperatures! It is a beautiful day today in New York City!
Dreaming of Spring February 19 2016
As the winter weather comes and goes here in New York, I’m beginning to look forward to spring. A day with temperatures below zero will do that to anyone I imagine. Spring is one of my favorite times of the year and filled with lots of fun holidays including my son’s birthday! Here is a quick peak at what we have in store for the upcoming holidays.
St. Patrick’s Day, Thursday March 17th – Get your green on with these great products
Purim, Wednesday March 24th – We have everything you need to impress your friends by giving the best Mishloach Manot. Check out our Gourmet Kosher Gift Set.
Easter, Sunday March 27th – On Easter everyone wants chocolate eggs. You won’t be disappointed with these Hazelnut Praline Quails Eggs from Rococo Chocolates
April Fools Day, Friday April 1st -The jokes on your friends, get them to buy you something special from our marketplace in exchange for no pranks on this day.
Passover, Friday April 22nd – Try the chocolate bark from Cacao Prieto as a sweet addition to your seder table.
Earth Day, Friday April 22nd – You can feel good about the earth when purchasing the products in our Organic Gift Set.
A Beginner’s Guide to Olive Oil April 24 2015
There are so many different kinds of olive oil out there it is easy to get confused. How do you know which type is best for you?
Here is a short guide to give you a better understanding of olive oil.
Olive oil is the fat obtained from an olive. It is traditionally used for cooking but is also found in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and soaps. Olive trees are typically grown in the Mediterranean and olive oil is often associated with this region.
All production begins by crushing the olives in to a paste. The paste is then mixed and finally the oil is separated from the watery matter and fruit pulp. This is traditionally done using a press but more modern producers use centrifugation.
Cold Press/Cold Extraction- the oil was not heated over a certain temperature during processing. This allows the oil to retain more nutrients.
First Cold Press/First Cold Extraction- The fruit of the olive was crushed exactly one time to make the oil.
Olive Oil Grades
Extra-Virgin- Comes from virgin oil production only, meaning the oil was produced by mechanical means, no chemicals were involved. It has a superior taste & some fruitiness. 80% of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is produced in Greece and it accounts for approximately 10% of all olive oil production.
Virgin- Also from virgin oil production but of a slightly lower quality. There is more acidity but still has a good taste.
Refined- Made by refining virgin olive oils with a high acidity. May be refined with chemicals. Most refined oils have a small amount of Virgin Oil added for flavor.
Organic- No chemicals were used to treat the olive trees or their fruit throughout the growing process.
There are hundreds of different varieties of olive trees resulting in numerous types of olives. These olives have different looks and can also vary on size, oil content and ripening time. All of these factors contribute to the flavor of an olive oil. Many say the varietal and maturity of the olive have the strongest effect on the taste of the olive oil.
FIVE olive oil is produced from Koroneki Olives. These olive characteristically have a deliciously robust flavor with a pleasant peppery zing on the finish. This is an obvious choice for FIVE Olive Oil since Koroneki trees have grown for over 3000 years in Greece.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil- Heating this oil over a certain temperature will compromise the flavor. We recommend serving an olive oil of this variety by drizzling over meats, fish, salads and bread.
Virgin – Cooking at temperatures below 375F. Also good for drizzling on vegetables, fish and meats.
Refined- Use in cooking at higher temperatures. If you want to cook above 400F canola or vegetable oil is better suited.
The collection from FIVE Olive Oils is of the highest quality. The oils are best enjoyed drizzled over your favorite dishes after they are finished cooking or over raw vegetables. As the weather warms up, we will have access to even more delicious ingredients that will be the perfect pairing for FIVE Olive Oils. Shop FIVE Olive Oil Here!
I’m looking forward to another beautiful spring weekend and perhaps another picnic in the park. I won’t forget to pack my FIVE Olive Oil!