Category Archives: New Products

Spoon Up Sensational Shells with Miso Butter and Scallions

An easy pasta recipe that's ever so creamy -- yet has no cream in it.
An easy pasta recipe that’s ever so creamy — yet has no cream in it.

Not that I need any excuse ever to eat more pasta, but “Anything’s Pastable” sure has me jonesing for it voraciously.

That’s because the new cookbook (William Morrow), of which I received a review copy, is full of creative and craveable pasta dishes, the kind that don’t take all day to put together but are so full of flavor that you’d swear that they did.

The book is by Dan Pashman, a two-time James Beard and Webby Award-winning creator and host of “The Sporkful” podcast, and the host of the Cooking Channel’s “You’re Eating It Wrong.”

This is a man so obsessed with pasta that he actually spent three years to create a brand-new shape, cascatelli, which he swears excels in the most crucial aspects of “forkability,” “sauceability,” and “toothsinkability.”

Named for the Italian word for “waterfalls,” its initial run of 3,700 boxes sold out in less than 2 hours. Not only that, it was named one of the “Best Inventions of 2021” by Time magazine. It’s now a runaway hit, sold online and at retailers that include Whole Foods.

Read more

Cheese, Please — And Make It Pimento-Style

Birdie's Smoked Gouda & Red Pepper Pimento Cheese spread makes a ham sandwich something special.
Birdie’s Smoked Gouda & Red Pepper Pimento Cheese spread makes a ham sandwich something special.

I love all things cheese, but I confess that pimento cheese was not something I grew up with.

You might not have, either, unless you hail from the South, where it’s a staple.

Thanks to Robin Allen and her husband Glenn, aka Bubba, you can enjoy delectable pimento cheese in classic and creative flavor combinations with their Birdie’s Pimento Cheese company in Virginia that ships nationwide.

After 25 years of owning their own printing business, Robin got the notion to start selling her homemade pimento cheese at a local farmers market — at the age of 50. That first day, she sold out of all 30 tubs, sparking the couple to sell the printing business and go into pimento cheese-making full-time.

Now, you’ll find it sold at a range of specialty food stores, including the Epicurean Trader in San Francisco and Deuces Market in Napa.

Read more

Milkboy’s New White Chocolate with Bourbon Vanilla and Raspberry Plus Seasonal Bars

Swiss-made Milkboy's new white chocolate bar with bourbon vanilla and raspberries.
Swiss-made Milkboy’s new white chocolate bar with bourbon vanilla and raspberries.

Admittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of white chocolate, as so many are way too sweet and too waxy.

But from the get-go, Milkboy’s new White Chocolate with Bourbon Vanilla and Raspberry bar had me sold with its taste like that of a vanilla milkshake with tangy pieces of berries hitting your straw here and there.

The slight tang of the berries balances the sweetness of the very creamy white chocolate. Chop up the bar and add the pieces to a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe for a fun new twist.

Milkboy’s award-winning chocolates are made in Switzerland from milk sourced from the Swiss Alpine region. They are gluten-free, soy-free, and certified kosher. Moreover, Milkboy uses only Rainforest Alliance-certified cocoa in its chocolate products and Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper for its packaging. 

Read more

A Visit to Pasta Supply Co.

Veal triangoli with tomato sauce from Pasta Supply Co. to enjoy at home.
Veal triangoli with tomato sauce from Pasta Supply Co. to enjoy at home.

The second you step inside the Pasta Supply Co. on Clement Street in San Francisco, your eyes are drawn to the expansive refrigerator case displaying all manner of pasta sauces and fresh pastas in every shape imaginable.

Now, this is where I would normally show you a photo or two of that mouthwatering display. However, when your husband neglects to feed the meter with enough coins and parks four blocks from the shop while a meter maid is seen circling about, you simply don’t have time for that. So, j ust take my word: Anyone who loves pasta will feel like they’re in Wonderland here.

The Pasta Supply Co. is the brainchild of Anthony Strong, who’s been a chef at the forefront. When the pandemic hit, he was one of the first to convert his then-Prairie restaurant into a veritable grocery store to supply shelter-in-place folks with gourmet products to enjoy at home, and even toilet paper when that basic was in short supply.

The pasta cooks up at home in just a few minutes.
The pasta cooks up at home in just a few minutes.

With restaurants still facing challenges because of higher prices for ingredients, plus the difficulties in hiring staff, Strong made the genius move to open a place that’s half dine-in restaurant and half retail shop. While the dine-in portion is open only for dinner, the retail shop is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, providing for sales opportunities for far more hours.

Read more

A Visit to the New Il Mercato de Che Fico

La Mortazza fociaccia sandwich, sold by the pound, at Il Mercato de Che Fico.
La Mortazza fociaccia sandwich, sold by the pound, at Il Mercato de Che Fico.

If you’re a fan of the food at Che Fico in Menlo Park and San Francisco, you’ll be glad to know you can now easily tote some of those same specialty Italian dishes home to enjoy.

That’s thanks to the new Il Mercato de Che Fico by owners Chef David Nayfeld and Matt Brewer, that opened last month across the way from Che Fico Parco in Menlo Park’s Springline mixed-use development.

Chef Chris Timm, who oversees the market, was kind enough to show me around and let me sample some of the goods on a recent afternoon.

Chef Chris Timm.
Chef Chris Timm.
The entrance on El Camino Real.
The entrance on El Camino Real.

The gourmet market’s entrance is right on El Camino Real, so it’s easy to access, especially if you snag street parking or opt for the development’s underground garage that’s patrolled by a robot sentry no less.

Read more
« Older Entries