This year, we need to maximize simple pleasures, especially Deliciousness, and you know that’s not in the degraded ingredients at the supermarket. Also it’s urgent that we support small producers and retailers. Here are some of my favorite tastes to savor or gift. Balsamico from Giuseppe Giusti, one of the oldest Balsamico producers, still using small-scale production in a wooden house in Modena to offer a range of balsamicos for different price ranges and distributing to gourmet grocers worldwide. I visited in 2017 to learn how balsamico is made.
- Another favorite source of vinegars is California’s Hare Hollow, especially their fig balsamic and champagne vinegars.
- US: Formaggio Kitchen (also offering gourmet pantry and grocery)
- UK & Europe: Neal’s Yard
- Germany & Europe: Käse Kober
- Remeker gouda made by a Dutch farmer famous for how he treats his animals and his grass, offered in several different ages which make for an incredible taste education.
- My absolute favorite mellow, buttery Parmiggiano Reggiano made from the original heirloom white cows (Vacca Bianca Modenese) by Caseificio Rosola. I especially love the juvenile Parmiggianos, called Furmai and Maggengo.