August 25 2010

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10 am-5 pm

In just a few months, we'll celebrate our 10th year as stewards of DeLaurenti Food & Wine. Can you believe it? I remember my first day at the shop, following Lou around and trying to find a place to stand behind the counter near his "spot." It was February and the store was slow. Lou had dibs on the spot between the slicers. He'd hold court from that perch, in the middle of the deli, as I leaned on every word. I think he used all of his one-liners in the first week. I memorized them immediately and I admit that I use them all the time (My current favorite is "you know you can get two for twice the price?"). The newer staff thinks theses quips are mine and I do nothing to dissuade them. I figure I'm carrying on Lou's traditions.

Although it's been nearly 10 years, we still have customers come in and say: "You must be the new owner." While this comment used to bother me, I now take it as a compliment. Since DeLaurenti has such a long and wonderful history, I'm happy that people still feel we can fulfill their needs. To quote the Who, I feel like our customers are saying: "Meet the new boss - same as the old boss." Thanks!

See you at the store


What's New in the Deli

In a word, lots. The American Cheese Society (ACS) annual cheese fashion show is in Seattle this week and we are doing our part as the unofficial host of the event. Connie is organizing the huge cheese sale at the end of the conference while Shane and Jana are competing in the Merchandising Competition under the nom de guerre "Tomme Raiders." The highlight of the week is the Festival of Cheese (Saturday, the 28th from 5:30-9:00 at Benaroya Hall) where a dazzling array of 1,400 cheeses are presented. It really is quite a spectacle. Add just like in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, everything is edible. Go to for tickets.

On that note, we have several cheeses to tell you about. Let's start with America, shall we?
Mt. Townsend Creamery has a couple of new cheeses based on their popular Seastack and Cirrus cheeses. First is the Truffle Stack which, as you can guess, is their classic Seastack (soft-ripened cow) with truffle. Another great new product from them is the Off Kilter. You're not the only one who thought beer and cheese would be great together-so did the guys at Mt. Townsend. They teamed-up with Pike Brewery to produce this new cheese washed with Kilt Lifter.
We think the Dinah's Cheese Camembert-style round from Kurtwood Farms on Vashon will be taking home some hardware at this year's ACS. Come in to the shop and taste it before the judges do.
Finally, we love the Queso del Invierno from Vermont Shepherd. This is only the second cheese made by the company and it's delicious. The Invierno is a semi-hard raw milk cow/sheep tomme. Grassy and milky, it melts in your mouth.

In the same vein is the Tomme de Cressoney. This tomme is softer and more direct with barnyard aroma and a fresh milk flavor.
We are proud to be the only place in Seattle offering Casaticata di Bufala, from Lombardy. This is brick-shaped, soft-ripened buffalo milk cheese that is rich and silky. Prosecco may have been invented to pair with this cheese. We'll continue our tasting research and get back to you.
Finally, please introduce yourself to Ruaraidh Stone's Strathdon Blue from Scotland. This is a Neal's Yard cheese that some compare to a Gorgonzola. It's beautifully veined and, as with all great blues, the cheese takes center stage with the blue singing back-up.

What's New on the Shelves

We have a new chocolate to tell you about. From Madrid comes Chocolate Organiko. In eight flavor combinations, including Lemon & Pimento and Almond & Honey, these fine chocolates are stylishly packaged and perfectly balanced. As with most chocolate brands, the true test is the quality of their plain dark chocolate. Organiko's dark is the real deal. Oh, and you won't believe the price.

Lugana Fresh Pasta is another new one for us. Since they've moved in, we've struggled to keep these locally made, bronze cut pastas in the refrigerator. They are ideal for pasta salads and the various shapes hold on to sauce perfectly.

Have you ever eaten at Skillet? It's a modified Airstream Trailer fit with a kitchen. They serve gourmet food at lunch time around the city. Their signature ingredient is Bacon Spread (formerly - and hopefully once again referred to as bacon jam) and it is, you guessed it, spreadable bacon. You may remember them demonstrating this product a couple of years ago at the Seattle Cheese Festival. The rabid response to this demo and product began the quest for a jar of bacon. You don't have to think too hard to come up with ways to use this product. We're proud to be Skillet's very first retail customer. Give it a try and it will become like mustard in your fridge- always there.


What's New in Wine

Stephen got a deal on the last remaining bottles of Viña Mayor Reserva 2003 Ribera Del Duero. It is a mouthful of Tempranillo grapes and balanced oak. Spain's noblest of wines made nearly perfect by the folks of Vina Mayor. The Reserva has a little brother, too. The Crianza 2005 Ribera del Duero is delicious and makes a great table wine. Our Rosé island remains bountiful and ready for the last stretch of summer. Try an original Tempier Bandol or the sublime Pinot Noir Rosé from J.K. Carriere. With dozens more to choose from, you'll be sure to drink up all the remaining summer sun. Since we are dropping names, here's a big one: Leonetti. We have a few bottles of Washington's premier wine still available. Finally, I can't let the opportunity to plug an Italian wine go by so here goes: Renato Ratti 2005 Barolo Marcenesco is in very limited supply here at the shop. If you like high scores and a ton of awards to pair with great wine, you will enjoy this Barolo. Before fall comes, grab a couple of these pristine examples of Italy's noblest of wines.

Upcoming Wine Tastings
As many of you know, we present free wine tastings every Saturday upstairs in our Wine Department. Our tastings go from 2-4pm and are traditionally paired with cheeses chosen by Connie Rizzo, our Cheese Buyer. You may not know this but Connie has been buying cheese for 20 years. Needless to say but she knows her stuff. Connie also knows her wine so you can be sure that the cheeses she chooses for our tastings are spot on.

Recipe: Spring Green and Gorgonzola Pasta Salad

In an effort to extol the virtues of the Lugana pasta I mentioned above, take advantage of the last of the tomatoes in the garden and squeeze a few more weeks out of summer by making and serving this pasta salad for a dinner on the deck. Rosé is the perfect foil for this light and savory salad.

Boil the pasta until it is al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water until pasta is cool to the touch. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, vinegar and a pinch each of salt and pepper. In a large salad bowl, combine pasta, greens, tomatoes and pine nuts. Drizzle with oil and vinegar. Toss to combine. Finish with crumbled Gorgonzola.

Serves 6

  • 1 lb Campanelle pasta (Lugana Fresh is the best)
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp white Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 cups spring greens
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 6 oz crumbled Gorgonzola (or that cheese you mentioned above)

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