Thursday, April 29, 2010

Teuscher Just In Time

Today I met up with Bruce Goldberg and his daughter Rachel. At their shop in the Bellevue we talked canelé, caramels and of course chocolate.

I learned a few interesting facts: 1-Even Teuscher truffles are not exactly the same each batch (phew).
2-Teuscher likes to keep track of the inventory of its dealers to assure freshness (me too).
3- Teuscher makes a few caramels including a Fleur de Sel. They were sold out.

Rachel and Bruce were incredibly gracious and generous guides. So.....I am thrilled to say, that in time for HeadHouse Market opening this Sunday, we will offer Market Day Fleur de Sel Caramels made with Teuscher 66%.

Brie Bacon ..........and Braciole

At our new favorite liquor store in DE one of the check out guys directed us to Stanley's Tavern for their tater tots with brie and bacon. We stopped in to check them out and they are as scary and wrong as Caribou or Geno's french fries, 365 ice cream, or a South St WholeFoods Market Baguette. The viscosity of the "brie" was like a saucy brownie mix that used a cup or 2 of veg oil. The bacon was house fire flavored flecks of fat. The tots themselves not too bad.

Later that day we popped over to see the Canulli's on Ritner St. and we grabbed a pair of braciole. We braised them off with Sn Marzano's and served them with Tallutos papardelle with a Faragalli loaf and the l/o cheeses from Monday. Delicioso!

All's well that ends well

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cheese Shopping

We wanted to share the produce we bought at market this weekend with some friends. On Monday I grabbed Basajo and Cusie (my favorites) from Claudio. I popped down to Faragalli to grab a braid. Ouch, closed Monday. I went back to 9th St Di Bruno Bro$ to grab a couple of ficelles. They had an $75/# cheddar front and center. wow

Madame Fromage IS a big Di Bruno Bro$ fan and she chats up their tasting event here.

On our cheese plate there is the Basajo and Cusie along with Tom Cat and Equinox from BirchRun Hills.

From market I mixed Weaver's Way pea shoots, arugula, scallions and radishes some cremini and carrots. I plated that salad with tiny roasted potatoes & sour cream/chives and garlicky seared bison skirt steak from WFM. This was a decent plate that was similar to a plate we made a few weeks ago that used 2 bison cuts on a plate with a heap of Caesar salad topped with anchovies. That plate was extremely delectable.

Market Day Canelé Excitement ...The New Oven

The most exciting development around here is the move into the NEW Four Worlds Bakery with Four Worlds Mike and Roasted Joe. This is the new oven which should improve quality and consistency along with increasing production capacity exponentially. We are hoping to have the operation underway about the first week of June.

The shop on Woodlawn Ave. will offer Mike's loaves, croissants, challah, Joe's fresh roasted coffee (roasted in house), just baked canelé and caramels along with Buttercream's cupcakes. Exciting right?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sneak Peek Shola's Speck

Shola gave me a quick look inside the space that will become Spec

Friday, April 23, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Market Talk

Here's a market piece by Dianna Marder who visited The Piazza last weekend.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Tasty radishes from Weaver's Way at The Schmidts Piazza. Pumpernickel loaf from Metro at RTM.

Monday, April 19, 2010


This cheese was getting so much buzz a little while back. We searched around town this past Winter but didn't find it. Checked at the culinary pioneer$$ several times and it was always "we're sold out of that but you might wanna try ."

Today at Reading Terminal Mkt. Chaource was in the case at Downtown Cheese. It does live up to it's hype. It's rich and earthy with delicious moldy, barnyardy rind and slightly pungent, gooey center. $13.99 for about 9oz. I found that it is rich and interestingly delicious for a few bites and then it's too blunt. Maybe with champagne, Chaorce's classic partner, it would have less transitive charms. We had it with zinfandel and it was a felicitous match. The cheese pinned down the wine with unctuous, musky, creaminess. But the zinfandel soon turned the tables and drew even with candied fruit notes. We also had an excellent Metro baguette. It was a superb, crusty and fresh loaf from Metro at Reading Terminal.

2 Interesting notes from this page. Chaource is sold in a creme form which supplies "
the convenience of spoonability most appreciated in kitchens." Melting chaource over a baked potato, a suggestion from the same page, makes perfect sense.

UPDATE: I'm not sure if I've ever reported Dibruno Bro$ having a lower price than a competitor. Right now, 4/22 Chaource is $12.99 on 9th St.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Japanese Maples

Spring is the best time of year for my garden.

The plants shown here are A.p 'Aka Shigitatsu sawa', 'Purple Ghost', 'Osakazuki' and 'Tsukushigata'. The really green tree is A. shirasawnaum 'Junihitoye'.

Friday, April 16, 2010

HeadHouse Pawpaw Palooza ???

Pawpaws can be seriously delish. My experience is limited to the few I've eaten from a tree in my yard. BUT Tom Culton knows pawpaws, and he harvests a grove that fruits heavily enough to supply a pawpaw palooza. He told me about it last Summer and I'm into getting something together this Autumn at Headhouse.

It's April, and the crop is ripe in late September. In the mean time help me to get everyone hyped for the pawpaw? In other states folks make a party out of the pawpaw harvest. Yahoo! We should too!

Pawpaw .... popsicles, ice cream, tarts, panna cotta, salsa....? What could be made extra tasty with this fruit?

Power to the Pawpaw!

Thanks to
Mark & Kathleen Blossom for the pic of pawpaw fruits.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Intrigue West Cape May Style .... Midnight Knittter
tags Gaetano X's family spot!

Monday, April 12, 2010

HeadHouse Market Opens Sunday May 2

A lot of customers this past weekend and plenty of folks at Grid's B'day party were buzzing about HeadHouse reopening soon.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Coitus Interruptus

Damn Steve . Mayor Nutter feels f'ed, but the City of Philadelphia is lucky he pulled out. He was poised to give our citizens a serious wooding. Steve was all playa. He said, "I can write a check right now yo." He might have figured out that playing in Philly can be complicated.

Anyway we should be celebrating. If Steve had completed the deed he woulda F'ed the s*** out of us to make up for all the bling he spent getting us in position.

Casino Free Philly!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cowardly Crap

First off, how does it work that KYW "news" radio "give us 22 minutes and we'll fill you with pablum" did not mention a syllable about the cowardly mowing down of unarmed men and children. This story is truly disturbing. It's not conjecture. It's on tape, and it surely looks like a group of cowardly, privileged jackasses killing folks who are not threatening in any way. Pretty sure this was news all over the world, but that vid is not to be found on KYW. Along with this particular cowardly gap of coverage, the extreme dumbing down of issues and the over the top, folky chumminess taints nearly everything they "report."

KYW harps on their journalism awards. I feel embarrassed for them. Awarding them for journalism is about as legit as awarding Steven Starr a James Beard for restaurateur-ing. It's laughable, and it discredits the institution that bestows the "honor." If your journalism is so excellent let it speak for itself. This BS is as phony as the donkey who stammers "I've got you to loathe me........businesses that botch...blah blah blah."

Wait. Another thing about KYW advertisements. Would you go to a cancer hospital because it's trying to sell you on their technology??? I'd be frightened. Is St. Mary's part owner of KYW? It seems so. All those hospital ads and the jackie who repeats, "What are you waiting for?!" have me convinced that the more advertisements, the more desperation.

Let's move on to the cowardly and lame. Tiger Woods and Nike. Micheal Vick is a saint compared to the piece of crap that is Tiger Woods. I'm not a big sports guy, so you might think I'm talking out of school. I'm not. I "knew" he was an asshole but Dave Zirin, who does know about sports, gave an informative talk on NPR detailing Tiger's pathetic lack of character. This essay spells out how Tiger rolls low-life style.

UPDATE: Regarding the Iraqi murder incident a soldier who was at the scene said that it was wrong to fire on the van that was retrieving the bodies. The soldier issued this letter to Iraqi's

Red Dawn

You've heard of Red Dawn the movie? This is 'Red Dawn' the shirasawanum.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Salt Shakedown

If you're into artisan salts maybe you know all this stuff already. I found out that I could get a way better deal on Fleur de Sel . I've been buying it in small amounts at WholeFoods Market for $49.99/#. Today I bought a kilo for $35.oo which included shipping. Sweet savings.

Our preferred finishing salt around here is Murray River. It adds an astonishingly delicious layer to lots of bites. We get it at WholeFoods where I think it's about $30/# which is a deal compared to the SuperFresh (in pic). But if you really want to get salty check out Beyond the Shaker where it goes for $12 / 1.6oz or nearly $150/#.

I sent a link to this post to Beyond the Shaker. What is the explanation for that preposterous price gouge?

UPDATE 4/7 Chris over at Beyond the Shaker had this explanation:
Thank you for your message and your interest in our distinctive salt products. We carefully review pricing every few months and we have found that our prices are at or below other competitors for similar products. That being said, we continue to work to make sure our prices are as reasonable as possible given each product sold and our costs/expenses. Of course with almost every retail product, with quantity the prices decrease and so a price for our standard jar cannot be made equivalent to a bulk amount. For instance Murray River is sold in a 1/2 bulk sized for $29.99.

Chris I gotta call shenanigans buddy. A quick look around shows that your bulk price is double the price here and about double Wholefoods price.

Chris responds:

Again, thanks for your comments. As we are always revising our pricing we will of course continue to try to provide the lowest prices possible. That Whole Foods or Saltworks may sell at lower prices can be explained in many ways, including where they source their Murray River and obviously economies of scale. We are a start-up with less than 6 months of operation under our belt. There has been a shortage of actual Murray River salt, as you may know since you seem knowledgeable in this area, and so that did drive our pricing up unfortunately. This is not 'shenanigans' but instead reality.

Appreciate the candid response and your visiting our site.
Fair enough. Thanks Chris

Monday, April 5, 2010


Whoa, that WholeFoods is a no-nonsense, for profit corporation with stock holders and dividends is no crime but getting thuggy with it is a different deal.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saturday Market

I sampled two new cheeses from BirchRun Hills
. Both had the distinctive slightly tart, fresh cream flavor that comes across in their cheeses. Both were delicious . Equinox they describe as "caramel with salt", sounds familiar. The other cheese was a real pungent stinker, seriously it was funky enough to require pause for astonishment.

I met Madame Fromage today. We had a cheesey chat. She is very complimentary in her post about the Piazza. I directed her to Claudio to try out Cusie and Basajo. Can't wait to talk to her after she's had some.

Japanese Maples in Spring

This photo shows just opened Spring leaves of Acer palmatum 'Kinshi'.

Food = Culture ... The Sugar Tax and Calorie Posting

I fear the Lil Lady and I would be porkers if not for a few principles that influence our habits.

1-We don't eat much unless we do much. For example we love our pork chops and pasta and we eat them AFTER seriously vigorous activity. Not virtual activity but physical activity.
2-We let each other know when the muffin top action is popping. That stings but that's keeping it real
3-We NEVER drink soda (except ginger beer in Dark n Stormys).
4-We often get our grub at farmers markets, Reading Terminal or the Italian. We invest in eating well every day. For both of us it is rewarding in many ways to emphasize the significance of daily meals
5- We drink alcohol on occasions. Not always special occasions but not anytime.
6- We're grateful for the bounty that we have and we enjoy tasting each bite.

We both see no problem with the sugar tax and calorie posting. It will be tough to go from Crapple or 365Cola to Philly tap but a sugar addiction merits a jolting reality check.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Whoopie Pies, New From The Carbohydrate Lab @ WholeFoods Market

WholeFoods Market

By "nothing artificial" they mean...?

Thursday, April 1, 2010