Montreal bakery chain Boulangerie Premiere Moisson sells a line of fruit preserves called Brut de Fruits that are made in France by Favols, a producer of fruit specialties. Like the many spreadable fruit condiments widely available in the United States, these are sweetened with concentrated fruit juice rather than sugar. But the Brut de Fruits are so much better. The Peche a la Vanille version has the consistency of a very thick puree of peaches augmented with vanilla, which gives the preserves a distinctly rich and buttery flavor. Additional variations, including a fig Brut de Fruits, are also sold, though I do not know where they can be found south of the border.
Favols also sells a product called Fruits Saveurs, which are partially dehydrated whole fruits (peaches, pears, apricots) that, apparently, still retain a moist texture and have a smooth consistency. Fruit Saveurs are available at crossingsfrenchfood.com.
The Southern Foodways Alliance, an affiliated institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi, has put together a website documenting, in images and words, 16 barbecue joints in and around Memphis, entitled Memphis Bar-B-Q: A Collection of Photographs & Essays by Amy Evans and Joe York. Photo by Amy Evans.
After four days, the vodka has turned yellow. The zest is not completely pale, though it has lost some of its color. Further searching online has led to recipes calling from anywhere from 20 to 40 days of curing time! Deciding to stick with Mr. Batali's recipe, tomorrow a simple syrup of cooked sugar and water will be added to the solution and then strained.
Although panini are often prepared with ciabatta, in the small seaside resort of Camogli (above) on the Italian Riviera, they are nearly ubiquitously made with focaccia, the dimpled flat bread that is a regional specialty of Liguria.
To make panini in the Ligurian style, split a square piece of focaccia into two halves, brush the interior sides with olive oil, and fill with a combination of cheeses and meats (the variation pictured here is filled with pecorino toscano fresco, prosciutto cotto, and arugula). Place the sandwich in a hot, non-stick pan (olive oil may not be necessary if the focaccia is already saturated with olive oil, as it often is), and top it with something heavy that will weigh down and help to flatten the sandwich when a little pressure is applied. A heavy pan, for example, may be used. Flip the sandwich to cook both sides until golden brown and crisp, making sure not to burn the outside, and serve.
Anthony Bourdain, author of Kitchen Confidential, on dining at Rocco's, Rocco DiSpirito's reality show restaurant: "I'm confused. Rocco is an extremely talented chef, an excellent cook, a very bright, articulate--and yes--sensitive guy. I personally like him--and hope he does well in all his ventures. I want to root for him--a capable chef with the world on a string, making moves. But I'm troubled by my dinner last night. A meal shouldn't make you feel implicated in some unnamed felony afterwards...it shouldn't make you stand in front of the mirror looking into the yawning depths of your own dark heart, wondering "Jesus! What have we come to?!" Irony and cynicism should not, I think, be menu items." [egullet]
1. Visit the new Paradou offshoot in Park Slope, Brooklyn, at 426 Seventh Avenue.
2. Check out Italian wine bar 'inoteca (new, expanded branch of West Village 'ino) in the Lower East Side, at 98 Rivington Street.
3. Saturday, July 12th, Brooklyn Brewery is holding its 15th Anniversary Block Party in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Slow Food, the international movement that promotes honest, sustainable foods and cuisines around the world, is publishing a guide to New York City due out in September. Slow Food USA says the book is the first in a series of U.S. city guides that will be published: "The Slow Food Guide to New York City maps out and celebrates New York’s incredibly rich “food landscape.” More than 600 entries take readers to both famous and little-known restaurants and food shops: everything from the finest American and French restaurants that set the standard for modern haute cuisine, to the back of an unassuming Brooklyn grocery store, where you can find some of the best tacos in the city, made fresh to order. The book profiles restaurants and cafes, specialty markets, bakeries, chocolatiers, ice cream and pizza parlors, wine bars, pubs – even pushcart gourmets."
In the New York Times, Ed Levine surveys the New York City ice cream scene. His top picks (in alphabetical order): BROOKLYN ICE CREAM FACTORY, Fulton Ferry Landing Pier, Old Fulton Street (Water Street); BUSSOLA $3, 65 Fourth Avenue (10th Street); CIAO BELLA GELATO, 285 Mott Street (between Houston and Prince Streets, and at two other locations); CONES, ICE CREAM ARTISANS, 227 Bleecker Street (Morton Street); ELI'S MANHATTAN, 1411 Third Avenue (80th Street); FAUCHON, 1000 Madison Avenue (77th Street); HÄAGEN-DAZS, multiple locations; IL LABORATORIO DEL GELATO, 95 Orchard Street (Broome Street); LUNCHBOX FOOD COMPANY, 357 West Street (Clarkson Street); and SEDUTTO'S, multiple locations.
It's not highlighted in this piece, but Bussola's neighboring Bussola Annex serves an excellent Italian ice cream sandwich of gelato spread between two halves of a brioche.
Cape Cod-style seafood restaurant The Mermaid Inn is serving Hitachino nest beer, a fantastic Japanese white beer that is distinguished by the appearance of a cartoonish bird on its label.
This is no Sapporo. The unfiltered beer is crisp and refreshing, with the distinct flavor of citrus. The website for the Kiuchi Brewery, which produces Hitachino, does not explain why it is called "nest beer," but does offer the following historical account of its creation: "In 1823 Kiuchi brewery started to brew Japan's national beverage,SAKE. 173 years later we begun to brew Nest Beer. All ingredients are selected very carefully using knowledge passed down through generations. When you enjoy a Nest Beer you will encounter flavors and aromas that are not only typical of the respective beer style but also reminiscent of traditional Japanese caulture [sic] and heritage." Look for it at Bierkraft in Brooklyn.
I recently purchased a bottle of Villa Massa limoncello, the southern Italian digestivo made from Amalfi lemons. It is lemony and refreshing when stored in the freezer, but it is sickly sweet. Since I have never tasted this lemon liqueur, I am not sure if this is how it supposed to be experienced. However, after several searches online, I found that there are recipes to concoct the libation at home. So, tonight I skinned the zest off of 10 lemons, combined the zest with vodka in a jar, and put it on the counter for several days to steep and cure. Recipes I have seen online alternately recommend anywhere from 4 to 10 days for this process to occur, yet they all seem to also suggest a period of time in which the zest turns white. This is what I will look for until taking the next step.