We’ve written about ‘Nduja, the spicy, spreadable pork salame from Calabria, before. It’s a pig shoulder and belly concoction mixed with various other ingredients depending on the village you’re in. Among them besides spices could be tripe or roasted peppers. Tony gave me the low down and said theirs, aside from being a Chicago version, was spiced for the American market NOT the hot headed southern Italian man. The ‘Nduja Black Label Iberico de Bellot is the Cadillac of spreads. Rich, creamy and just the right spice made me think this could be a winner for our current recipe testing back at my day job offices. Tony slipped me a ‘Nduja bomb and waved me off as if to say, “Go ahead take some a play. Call Chicago when you’re ready.” For you, you’re going to have to order some from his website.
More Food Stuff
This is what happens when an Indian woman finds a conduit in frozen cream. Thankfully this happened so we can now indulge in Pooja’s Malai Ice Cream flavors. I always explain Indian cuisine as complex because of how much prep goes into building the depth of flavor many Indian dishes so successfully share with our palettes. Taking that same development process and using ice cream base as the delivery vehicle is a brilliant idea. Not to mention the beauty in her packaging design and flavor combinations. Apparently Pooja’s been like this about flavor since she was a kid. When we met, mom was by her side to prove this true. All that said, the flavor descriptions do all the selling themselves. Rose with cinnamon roasted almonds, golden turmeric, orange fennel, of course, masala chai. My personal fav was her lemon cardamom. Two incredibly distinct flavors mixed perfectly. The list is 14 flavors deep. Each one an incredible mashup of distinct flavors. So much for our attempt to ween ourselves off of our ice cream habit.
Speaking of that Maine trip, we also discovered Pemberton’s Puttanesca, another Maine business with a great origin story. Ever heard of Death by Chocolate. Yep. That’s right. Pemberton’s. That first product quickly went from local favorite to legendary status. How did they get to a jar of sauce? Simple really, they are about small batch, traditional classics, handcrafted with care. That allows them to explore a lot of different products from sweet to savory. As you know, we’re usually a discerning crowd when it comes to jarred red sauce but this puttanesca delighted our tongues and makes for a quick fix when we’re two tired (read busy) to start from scratch.
We’ve been big into barrel aged things that traditionally have never seen the inside of a barrel. SOSU Barrel Aged Sriracha takes it to the next, next level by applying this trend to a hot sauce. Just when you thought your hot chicken was perfected, along comes this depth in a jar to add yet another layer of complexity to your dinner party wow-pertoire. Secretly we dip carrots straight into the jar when no ones looking for a quick snack.
I didn’t even know that sweet pepper relish was a thing when I dropped a sample spoon of the luscious condiment on my tongue. After 3 hours walking the aisles of the massive Fancy Food Show, you get a little tasted out. By that point, you are not expecting to taste something that excites you the way this did. As my tastebuds transmitted the sweet and spicy to my brain, Andrew Schiavetti, founder of Fourth Creek Food Co., smiled widely as if to say, “I’ve been seeing reactions like this all day.” On second bite, I knew I was hooked. “What is this?” I asked as if it came from another planet. Ready with the answer, the rep, explained in detail but all I heard was “amazing”. The story I missed, because my brain was focusing on taste, was one of those my-mom-made-this-awesome-so-we-jarred-it-for-your-pleasure type stories. The best part is their whole line is this good and I am subsequently addicted to bruschetta made solely of their products. Thanks mom Fourth Creek.