Category Archives: New Products

What I’ve Been Drinking of Late, Part 13

A new way to enjoy single-serve wines.
A new way to enjoy single-serve wines.

Le Grand Verre

First came single-serve wine and Champagne bottles. Then, mini wine cans.

Now, get ready for tube wine.

Just launched in the United State, Le Grand Verre packages offerings from boutique French wineries in single-serve, screw-top, slender, plastic tube-like containers.

The shatter-proof, recyclable container, which holds 6.3 ounces, was designed by research funded by the state of Burgundy. It’s so compact that you could easily slip one into your pocket, too.

The company was founded by CEO Nicolas Deffrennes, who got the idea for it after joining Harvard University’s wine club; Regis Fanget, who has worked in advertising for French luxury goods; and Valerian Dejours, a computer science engineer.

The wines come in 4-packs, either featuring one wine or a variety, for $19.99 to $29.99. Most are also crafted by female winemakers or female-owned estates who adhere to organic or sustainable farming practices.

A cute and convenient 4-pack.
A cute and convenient 4-pack.

I had a chance to try a sampler pack with two different reds and two different rosés. Each tube holds one generous glass.

Read more

Where I’ve Been Getting Takeout of Late, Part 35

Fresh bucatini and beef ragu from Etto that I cooked in a flash for dinner at home.
Fresh bucatini and beef ragu from Etto that I cooked in a flash for dinner at home.

Etto, Paso Robles

Yes, this might be a stretch for takeout, but since I actually did get everything to-go to enjoy later at home, I say it qualifies.

Plus, if you are ever in the Paso Robles area, you owe it to yourself to drop by Etto, a three-year-old boutique pasta shop started by third-generation Italian American Brian Terrizzi.

After reading an SFGate article about this charming store that makes and sells both dried and fresh pastas, I knew I had to stop in when I was in the vicinity last month to attend an outdoor wedding.

The small shop carries olive oils, salumi, cheeses, cookies, wines (including from Terrizzi’s Giornata Winery, and a slim selection of locally-grown produce. Basically, it’s everything you need to put together a simple yet satisfying Italiano meal at home.

The containers of bucatini and sauce.
The containers of bucatini and sauce.

Terrizzi learned how to make pasta from his grandmother, and from regular trips to Naples and Tuscany. He is a purist, making pasta with only organic durum semolina flour and water, which gets extruded through traditional bronze dies.

Read more

Meet Your New Favorite Condiment: Umami Crunch

An indispensable new condiment you'll want to put on most everything.
An indispensable new condiment you’ll want to put on most everything.

Chili crisp may be all the rage now as the “It’ condiment, but a worthy competitor has stepped up to challenge: Lazy Susan Umami Crunch.

This new Chinese condiment is from Lazy Susan, the takeout- and delivery-only Chinese restaurant that opened earlier this year in San Francisco by Salt Partners, the restaurant group behind the (Dominique) Crenn Dining Group, and Humphry Slocumbe.

While chili crisp is a mix of Sichuan peppercorns and chili flakes floating in a generous pool of oil that carries a kick of spiciness, Umami Crunch is not about heat at all but an explosion of savoriness. That’s what I found when I received a sample recently to try.

Umami Crunch is made with rice bran oil, but just barely enough to hold all the minced ingredients together. As a result, when you study a jar, you will immediately see the mix of diced pieces of garlic and fermented black beans visible that gets bloomed in the oil and seasoned with shiitake mushroom powder.

Read more

Celebrating A Rare Blue Moon

Adagio's Bella Luna Blue does indeed start out blue, but turns violet when you stir in lemon juice or other acid.
Adagio’s Bella Luna Blue does indeed start out blue, but turns violet when you stir in lemon juice or other acid.

If you’re an astronomy buff — and a tea aficionado — you’ll want to mark Aug. 22 on your calendar.

That’s when a rare Blue Moon will grace the sky.

It’s also the only day that Adagio Teas will be selling its Bella Luna Blue tea blend.

Yes, this special loose leaf tea, which commemorates this cosmic occurrence, is only available when there is a Blue Moon.

It’s a rather magical blend that brews up blue in color. But stir in a little lemon juice to increase the pH, and it will turn vivid violet-purple in a flash. How fun is that?

The herbal tea gets its blue hue from Butterfly Pea flowers. The longer the tea steeps, the deeper the color, too, as you can see from the sample I tried.

Read more

Discover “The Well Seasoned Librarian”

(Image courtesy of Dean Jones)
(Image courtesy of Dean Jones)

Dean Jones is a long-time Bay Area librarian, who also has a deep passion for food and cooking, as well as exploring new restaurants.

Now, he’s cooked up something really irresistible — a new podcast.

In the wittily titled, “The Well Seasoned Librarian” podcast, Jones talks in-depth to cookbook authors, food writers, farmers, bakers, chocolate experts, and culinary historians.

It’s a fun, enlightening, and entertaining time, as I personally discovered when he invited me to be a guest on the show last week.

Read more
« Older Entries Recent Entries »