The makings for the good life.
National Key Lime Pie Day. National Corn Chip Day. National Hummus Day.
Mentions of such food observance days on social media happen so frequently that I typically just roll my eyes.
However, when I was recently invited to a one-on-one private tasting just in time for National Caviar Day, well, how could I refuse? Yes, you see what gets my attention.
But Black River Caviar merits it.
After all, it’s the first farmed caviar in the Southern Hemisphere.
And it’s a favorite of U.S. chefs such as Michael Mina, Douglas Keane, Michael Tusk and Walter Manzke.
The newest libation from Dan Gordon.
What beverage tastes like an apple cake loaded with crystallized ginger?
The new WildMule by Dan Gordon of Gordon-Biersch beer fame.
A year and a half ago, the San Jose-based master brewmeister debuted his Wildcide hard apple cider, a hard cider made of just yeast, and the just-pressed juice from Oregon-grown Fuji, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious and Red Delicious apples.
Now, he’s brought out a riff on that: WildMule, which takes his Wildcide and blends it with pure cane sugar syrup, lime juice, and Peruvian ginger juice. It’s his take on a Moscow Mule.
Genmai Cha from Adagio Teas.
Born in Moscow, Michael Cramer (he Anglicized his original surname of Kreymerman after immigrating to the United States) grew up with tea as a staple.
So it may not be surprising that the former investment banker decided to establish a tea company in New Jersey in 1999 with his brother and mother.
What is remarkable is that Adagio Teas was profitable in its first year.
But when you taste the teas, you can see why.
There is a real vitality and vibrancy to them, as I found out when I was sent samples to try recently.
A Pete’s Living Greens butter lettuce head wrapped like a bouquet. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)
Pete’s Living Greens
We’ve grown so accustomed to the ease of pre-washed lettuce in bags and plastic tubs that it’s hard to make the effort to actually rinse and tear an actual head nowadays.
Pete’s Living Greens asks you to do that. But what you get in return is really fresh lettuce that keeps impeccably well for more than a week in your fridge.
That’s because the lettuce head is sold with its roots still attached. That means you can tear or cut off what you need, and keep the rest alive to ensure freshness. The non-GMO-verified lettuce is grown hydroponically in greenhouses in Carpinteria, CA. Each clamshell container contains one head, enough to serve four as a first course or two as an entree-sized salad.
One head in each package. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)
I had a chance to try samples of the butter lettuce. I tore off the leaves from their roots, gave them a rinse, and spun-dry them before tossing with cucumbers, radishes, and avocado in a mustard vinaigrette. The lettuce had good flavor all on its own. What I really liked was that I was able to keep the rest of the lettuce in my fridge for 10 more days without the usual wilting that often results with plastic tubs of pre-washed spring mix.
Look for the Living Greens at Albertsons and Safeway stores for about $2.49 each.
Model Bakery Opens A Third Outpost
With its original St. Helena and its Napa locales still going strong, the ever-popular Model Bakery has opened a third location — this one in Yountville.
Moist, buttery and full of cinnamon, it’s hard to beat an old-fashioned coffee cake.
It’s a good day when cake arrives in the mail unexpectedly.
I have friend and loyal Food Gal reader Abby to thank for the sugary surprise that arrived on my doorstep last week.
Having spent a summer in Boston interning at The Globe many years ago, I was quite familiar with Boston cream pie, which of course, is not pie at all, but custard-filled cake smothered in chocolate glaze.
But Boston Coffee Cake was new to me. And it is indeed cake.