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Emporio Rulli Welcomes Easter with La Colomba Pasquale

Wednesday, 27. March 2013 5:25

Easter wouldn't be complete without La Colomba Pasquale from Emporio Rulli.

Easter wouldn’t be complete without La Colomba Pasquale from Emporio Rulli.


As much as I love chocolate eggs and marshmallow bunnies for Easter, there’s something that trumps all of that. At least in my book.

And that’s La Colomba Pasquale (“The Easter Dove”), baked by Larkspur’s famed Emporio Rulli.

Originally made only in the Lombardy province, it’s now made baked throughout Italy. Emporio Rulli has been offering its version for more than 24 years for the Easter holiday.

Think a soft, airy brioche loaded with organic butter and egg yolks that’s studded with candied orange peels. It rises overnight until it’s regal in height, then it’s remixed with yet even more butter, egg yolks and sugar.

Candied orange peels are added in, then the dough is formed into a traditional dove shape before it’s coated with almond paste, whole almonds, sugar crystals and vanilla powdered sugar before baking.

It’s bread. It’s dessert. It’s a dream.

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Category:Bakeries, General, Great Finds | Comments (6) | Author:

A Bakery with a Heart

Friday, 15. March 2013 5:25

Rubicon's cinnamon bread is sold only at Whole Foods.

Rubicon’s cinnamon bread is sold only at Whole Foods.


That’s what Richmond’s Rubicon Bakery is all about.

You may know the bakery for its carrot cake whoopie pies, triple chocolate mousse cake, lemon tart and other delights.

But what you might not know is how it all got started and the benefit it provides.

It was founded in 1993 as a non-profit dedicated to providing employment, housing and support services to low-income folks in the Bay Area. It started a bakery as a way to provide job skills to those who were once homeless, drug abusers and convicts.

That it did provide. But it was not a sustainable enterprise, as it was losing significant money and had to reduce its workforce drastically.

Enter Andrew Stoloff, a Berkeley resident with both an MBA from Wharton and experience in the restaurant industry. He was brought in to help sell the company. But he ended up buying it, himself, in 2009.

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A Passion for Peppercorns

Friday, 22. February 2013 5:25

Rose peppercorns. How pretty are these?

Husband-and-wife, Bruce and Angela Morgan of Washington state, have that in spades.

A decade ago they started Pepper-Passion. As the name implies, the company sells peppercorns. Black, green, rose and white. More than a dozen varieties in all — sourced from all over the world. Many not typically available in stores, either.

The company is an outgrowth of two of their hobbies: wood-working and cooking. Bruce designs his own, hand-crafted peppermills, each made from a single piece of exotic hardwood. Of course, with all those peppermills (some of which can fetch up to $900 each), he had to fill them with something.

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Category:General, Great Finds, New Products | Comments (9) | Author:

Ineeka Puts Innovation Into Tea

Tuesday, 22. January 2013 5:25

A new type of tea bag from Ineeka.

It opens up like a miniature grocery bag with handles to sit squarely in your mug of hot water.

Inside of it, organic tea leaves swell and swirl, steeping an exquisitely fresh tasting brew that’s smooth, satisfying and noticeably less tannic.

Take a taste of Ineeka teas, founded by a husband and wife team in Chicago whose families have been in the tea business for generations.

Shashank and Sumita Goel tout their company as the only completely vertically-integrated tea brand in North America. That means they grow their tea on family farms along 15,000 acres in the Himalayas north of India and package the teas, themselves.

Ineeka (“little Earth” in Sanskrit”) grows their tea organically and biodynamically in self-contained systems. For instance, the animals on the farms eat the food grown on the farms. In turn, their manure fertilizes the soil. The company employs 25,000 people who also live on the farms. As Fair Trade certified, the company pays higher than wages than the industry norm, too.

But of course, the proof is in the taste.

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Category:General, Going Green and Sustainable, Great Finds, New Products | Comments (3) | Author:

Something Fishy for 2013

Friday, 4. January 2013 5:25

All my favorite sushi in plush form.

How cute are these?

I couldn’t resist snapping a quick pic of a holiday gift that my husband’s nephew, Chris, gave us.

Think of them as the ultimate sustainable sushi that’s also calorie-free and needs no refrigeration.

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