What a year in food.
It’s never easy narrowing down so many meals to just the few dishes I can’t stop thinking about, and could eat again and again.
Here are my Top 10 eats of the year, in no particular order. Cheers to all the chefs who work so hard to make our lives so delicious.
A bone-in ham to put all others to shame. From Snake River Farms.
I often keep old Christmas cards, and sometimes the gently-used ribbons and bows, too.
But one thing I make a point never to discard is something all together different.
From the Thanksgiving turkey. From the Christmas ham.
They are always wrapped carefully with aluminum foil, then tucked inside a heavy-duty plastic bag in a safe place in my freezer.
That’s when I take them out for their intended purpose, one that I look forward to every year after the holiday season.
Yes, this is pretty much how I ate this fantastic spread.
See that hazelnut spread above?
I’d like to tell you that I came up with all sorts of inventive ways to use it in baking. But the truth is that I ate that entire jar of Nuubia Hazelnut Spread simply by the languid spoonful, day after day, until it was emptied.
I’m not ashamed. Because it was that irresistible.
So forget braving the malls today. Just do yourself a favor and go Nuubia’s online site to order a jar instead — for yourself or your chocoholic friends. Or take a trip to the Nuubia store/cafe, which just opened this year in the lobby of the Twitter building in San Francisco, or to its Pleasanton headquarters that has an artisan kitchen.
You’re in for a spicy, scrumptious time at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara when Lisa Murphy, founder of the Bay Area’s Sosu Sauces joins me for a cooking demo at 6 p.m. Nov. 19.
Sosu Sauces makes my favorite sriracha sauce. The artisan sauce is hand-made in small batches, then aged in whiskey barrels to give it great complexity and a hint of smokiness.
Learn how Murphy gave up a career in banking and high-tech to spread the gospel of sriracha and Srirachup (that’s her mashup of her sriracha with ketchup).
Take a taste of Sopressata Calabrese.
Brothers Steven and Eric are the fourth generation of Bavas to hand-craft a spicy Italian dry salami specialty known as sopressata Calabrese.
Their grandfather brought the recipe to America after immigrating to Chicago from the small mountain town of Simbario in Calabria, Italy. Every winter following Christmas, the whole family gathered to whip up a batch, which would then be served at every special family occasion throughout the year.
Now, the brothers are making that same cured sausage in small batches in Los Angeles and selling it via a small select group of retail stores.
Recently, I had a chance to try Bavas Brothers Sopressata Calabrese.
Deep ruby red, the squat sausage is firm and chewy. It’s full of sweet porkiness, along with a good jolt of peppery spice that builds the more you chew.