Wednesday, September 7, 2016

GOURMET SHELF STAPLES-The BASICS

No matter where we travel nowadays-local food stores we visit are all carrying the regional condiment basics and imports-catering to customer's with global culinary tastes.
NOTED:  the lack of artificial and GMO ingredients-that educated consumers just don't want.

via GIPHY
source imgur.com

Gourmet Salts + Extracts
a few years back we brought a gift set of salts as a household gift-was me with a verbal thank-you -but the on-verbal face said 'what the heck is this?' Well now salts from around the world are standard fare...including Himalayan Salt-by San Francisco Salt CO. 



Baleine Sea Salt from France-the first imported salt we remember seeing-massive distribution in the USA.




currently true authentic vanilla extracts are in shortage mode...from Nielsen-Massey-aromatic pure Vanilla extract-and a non-alcohol version available too-that is practically a precious commodity.

Condiments+Spreads
Brooklyn Foodworks based Zesty Z is a sophisticated blend of Mediterranean Za'atar herbs+spices in an olive oil base...spread on breads or avocado toast, or grilled foods for a transporting full flavored accent-or-use in place of hummus-it works well on its own---vegan, gluten free-and low sodium. 
son & mom







Mustard Pommery-another French gourmet import widely available across the Pond-with full body mustard flavor with a bit of heat. Like the stone wear jars it comes in too.
a bit of a chewy texture that adds a nice texture when used in a dip imo...Bornier whole grain mustard is made near the city of Dijon, France
Sir Kensington-has expanded its gourmet offerings of condiments-with new vegan mayo Fabanaise...in classic and with some heat in the Chipolte flavor.FYI-creamy texture-a bit thinner than the Hellman's of our childhood... as authentic mayonnaise made form scratch, is. Bottled in glass jars-the classic (made with sunflower oil, egg yolks, lemon juice distilled vinegar, slat, organic sugar, mustard flour, black pepper-for a rich full body taste) and an avocado oil versions-both non-GMO and USDA Organic are available now



A richer tomato taste-of course-Traina Foods uses its own ripe California sun dried ROMA tomatoes for its gourmet ketchups that redefine that household staple!  Sriracha has peppery heat...and the texture-is perfect -can actually get it out of the bottle without major muscles!


TRAINA Foods Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup bursts with intense rich flavor-fyi 16lbs(!!!) of tomatoes=1 lb of ketchup


SOFI nominee Just Jan's Original Tangerine Sriracha-Adds a spicy citrus to a winning  versatile sauce that works with a slew of heated dishes...and imo raw shrimp dip too. Tangy-vinegar-savory flavor..with garlic, chile and a hint of coriander.

OLIVES


snack size packaged shelf stable luscious chewy olives--pitted (naturally) were very popular at the Fancy Food Show...
OLIVE Kings-GAEA showed off their USDA Organic pitted olives in green and Kalamata -hand picked...these delicious luscious chewy ripe olives..are -in shareable shelf stable bags---liquid free-so PERFECT for snacking!
JAMS
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even the big jelly companies offer fruit only spreads-but nothing lack the sophisticated flavors and handmade goodness of Brooklyn based-Louisianna inspired- STAGG JAMS+Marmalades...including fantastic spicy orange marmalade that should be on everyones breakfast bucket list, banana jam, cherry chai, chile pepper, rosemary grapefruit and seasoned sorrel-which pictured below-is not blackberries but from sorrel flower buds-with sugar, cinnamon and bay leaf.!





use as a glaze too-Stagg Jams have favorable spices and real fruit flavors...lemon poppyseed marmalade has sweet salty sea salt blend of perfection. LOVE!

SOFI WINNER SiIver winner-Robert Rothschild Raspberry Amaretto preserves-had us spreading atop a  slice of coffee cake for an indulgent treat! Nutty fruity blend that has sweet sugar and lemon tart hints... 
VINEGARS
now that sipping apple cider vinegar is a well known health/beauty aid-it didn't surprise us how this formerly humble basic  in the households we grew up in-has gone glammy-with-the number of flavored and beautifully packaged vinegars on the market-sharing the nuances of wines, seemingly. EXTRAVAGONZO gourmet foods delicious infused vinegars (and olive oils). 




ExtravaGonzo balsamic white vingar-is a revelation! Aromatic-sweet tangy zestiness-we sipped this-made from Italian grapes.
stunning-Hellenic Farms Five Balsamic Estate Vinegar derived from select semolina grapes of northern Greece-and aged for 6 years in French oak and chestnut wooden barrels -complex and aromatic.

BUTTER and HONEY
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SOFI AWARD WINNER-Epicurean Butter...is not 100% non-dairy..but expands the butter definition-smoothly... made from Organic Cocoa Coconut-ingredients include organic cream, coconut oil, cocoa powder, honey and Himalayan Sea Salt that imo-might have everyone re-thinking the popularity of those cloying sweet hazelnut spreads-staple of some household breakfasts in certain parts of planet earth-and qualifies as a worthy tastier substitute atop pancakes. FYI delivers in a 5lb butter tub .


Nature Nate's Raw Honey-100% percent pure-unfiltered pure honey-from several states...real sweet flavor with all the health benefits of honey not heated up to kill the enzymes!

real honey and fruit...on the left-and new Pure Maple-Honey syrup-for authentic taste atop pancakes, yogurt...or add a tbsp to sweeten up those smoothies-naturally!


Marcelli Formaggr Miele Italiano Sulla (on right) and Cioccomiel honey up front...acclaimed for their gorgethon cheeses...and sustainable farming methods...Marcelli Formaggr sources its honey products from 2 Italian producers..several flavors available...floral and mint/pine or herbal accents-colors of the honey vary depending on which plants the bees feed on.