2 December

Gourmet Feasts and Gifts
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.
Polenta, flour, and grains available from gourmet grocers worldwide. Maldon Sea Salt on your table to enhance the sensuality of every meal is, thankfully, now available almost everywhere. Please choose to buy from a small retailer. Spectacular cheese can be shipped in special packaging from retailers who stock only the highest quality cheeses from around the world. If you’ve never experienced this level of cheese before just tell them what you like and don’t like and let them choose for you. They provide very personal service. I am thrilled to tell you that some of the best cheese in the world can now be ordered direct from the cheesemakers. Both of the cheeses below are hard, aged cheeses, so they are perfectly safe for normal shipping.
  • 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.
The very best salumi I have ever eaten is from Salumicio Salini in Emilia-Romagna. They do not have an online shop, but if you contact them I believe they can ship direct. Their Mariola is a Slow Food Presidium product. In Australia, fresh meat and holiday preparations from Chop Shop. Danish Fruit Liqor, especially the Cherry Liqor from Frederiksdal, and the Apple “Ice Wine” and Liqor from Cold Hand Winery. The only dry pasta I will eat, available from gourmet grocers worldwide, Benedetto Cavalieri. (Fresh pasta recipe waits under another advent door…) Hard as rocks citrus-flavored “biscuits” so good they make my heart ache and Marseille’s signature orange-blossom scented cookie called “Navette” from the ancient ovens and original family of Four des Navettes. And don’t forget Panettone and Pandoro!

If you need help finding these products, or a boutique/gourmet grocer in your town, please send me an email. I would love to help!