Category Archives: New Products

The Taste of Sriracha In A Rub

A lamb chop gets even more yummy with Sosu Sriracha Rub all over it.

A lamb chop gets even more yummy with Sosu Sriracha Rub all over it. Plus a few home-grown Padron peppers as a garnish.

 

Imagine the fruity heat of Sriracha crossed with the unmistakable aromatic, earthy smokiness of cumin.

That’s what you get in the new Sosu Sriracha Spice Rub.

Lisa Murphy of Oakland’s Sosu Sauces makes what is probably my favorite Sriracha sauce around. It’s aged and fermented in whiskey barrels to give it even more fruitiness and smokiness, adding to its overall complexity not found in other run-of-the-mill Asian hot sauces.

Very much like a winemaker, she produces the sauce only once a year — when peppers and tomatoes are at their peak in summer. It’s a controlled frenzy to take all that fresh produce and turn it into her Sriracha and Srirachup (Sriracha ketchup).

As a small producer cognizant of the importance of not wasting anything, she developed the rub as a way to use up the peppers used in aging the Sriracha. She was inspired by the cumin lamb skewers famed in Xi’an, China.

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Halfpops Are Not Half-Baked

New Chipotle Barbecue Halfpops.

New Chipotle Barbecue Halfpops.

 

Halfpops are pretty much just what you imagine — half-popped popcorn kernels.

Billed as the “curiously crunchy popcorn,” they are gluten-free, nut-free, corn syrup-free, preservative-free, and trans fat-free.

They come in four flavors. I had a chance to try samples of the two newest flavors: Chipotle Barbecue and Caramel & Sea Salt.

They are very crunchy. They’re not tooth-cracking like an unpopped popcorn kernel. They’re also not as hard on the enamel as corn nuts, though, they do remind me of them in terms of how crisp they are.

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Get to Know Einkorn — The Only Wheat Never Hybridized

Scones made with the most ancient type of flour.

Scones made with the most ancient type of flour.

 

Chances are you’ve never heard of einkorn.

I know it was new to me — until I received a sample of the intriguing flour, along with the new cookbook, “Einkorn: Recipes for Nature’s Original Wheat” (Clarkson Potter).

The cookbook is by Carla Bartolucci, who started growing this ancient grain known as einkorn with her husband at their home in northern Italy six years ago. Today, they are the largest growers in the world of what is purported to be the most ancient species of wheat and the only variety of wheat that’s never been hybridized.

Why is that important?

Because, Batolucci writes, not only is einkorn is much more nutritious than modern wheat (with 30 percent more protein to boot), but genetic testing has found that it lacks certain gluten proteins that people with wheat intolerances cannot digest.

That is not to say that einkorn is gluten-free. It has about as much gluten as modern wheat. The makeup of its gluten is different, however. It lacks high molecular weight proteins, making it tolerable to people who are gluten sensitive, but not for those who suffer from celiac disease.

A type of flour that may be suitable for those who suffer from gluten sensitivity.

A type of flour that may be suitable for those who suffer from gluten sensitivity.

As such, Batolucci’s daughter, who suffers from gluten insensitivity, is able to eat pasta, bread, crackers, cookies and other baked goods made from einkorn with no problem whatsoever.

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Easy Drinking Vinho Verde

Golden with a tinge of green, Vino Verde is made to be enjoyed young.

Golden with a tinge of green, Vino Verde is made to be enjoyed young.

 

I’ve been intrigued by Vinho Verde since taking an illuminating wine class a couple years ago at the International Culinary Center in Campbell.

Among the discussions we got into was the best wine to accompany sushi.

I’d had my share of sake, Sauvignon Blanc and Chablis with my nigiri. But when our instructor, Master Sommelier Jesse Becker, mentioned he loved Vinho Verde with sushi, that was a new one on me.

The Portuguese wine is not a particular varietal per se. Instead, the name refers to “green wine,” meaning a young one, meant to be enjoyed readily, rather than tucked away in a cellar for years.

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A Taste of Korean Walnut Pastry

Discover Korean walnut pastries.

Discover Korean walnut pastries.

 

 

I am drawn to bakeries. What can I say?

So even after gorging one evening on fried chicken at Vons in Sunnyvale (a must-try for the “crispy” chicken, by the way), I still felt compelled to stop in at a bakery steps away in the same strip mall on El Camino Real.

What enticed me was Cocohodo’s sign: “Walnut Pastry.”

Walnut pastries? Korean ones? What could those possibly be?

Why, quite delicious, that’s what.

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