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A little debate is running through the store surrounding the following larger-than-life question: What's the most important thing you cook with? Some responses have been obvious: tongs, sauté pan, knife. Boring. Yes, the tongs are crucial but another implement can suffice. Sauté pan is another mundane answer for the same reason. Knife is pretty good but that's what trained butchers and food processors are for. The correct vein of answer has to be an ingredient. A meal without it would render the evening meaningless. Some might say salt is the answer. Salt is a very, very close second (as evidenced by the library of books on the subject just a few years ago). No, it's not salt. The most important thing you cook with is.... olive oil.

One can't deny the importance of good olive oil for a successful meal. And no, you can't substitute other oils for it. Corn oil? Safflower? Not even close. Try finishing your grilled veggies with Canola. Roasted asparagus with sea salt and vegetable oil. Sounds awful. Roasted asparagus with sea salt and extra virgin olive oil sounds delicious because it is completed with the olive oil. It's a pretty simple answer, really. Good olive oil is crucial to quality cooking. And that's why we have over 100 of them (and nearly as many salts!).

Check out our wall of olive oil next time you're in the store. You can even try a couple upstairs if you have a few extra minutes. You'll be glad you did.

See you at the store



What's New in the Deli

A few returners and a few newbies in the deli right now. Check'em out...
Trentino Grana is new for us. It's a raw cow's milk - similar to a Parmigiano-Reggiano - that is nuttier and creamier in flavor. A perfect grating or table cheese when you want something just a bit different from Reggiano. Cusie al Malto d'Orzo e Whiskey is certainly new for us. Barley is soaked in whiskey and spread over this semi-firm cow/goat blend. The whiskey adds a smokey note to the tang of the goat. Unique, to say the least! Back are the following: Dylan - a raw milk goat rubbed with vegetable ash from Yarmuth. The best blue ever: Beenleigh Blue from Neal's Yard Dairy is back. I remember my first few weeks here. Beenleigh and Harbourne were our very special blue cheeses and I came to cherish them. The long absence is over. Come get some before we eat it all.

Beenleigh Blue

We sell cured meats, too. Culatelo is back from Salumi Salame. Culatello is the'culo' portion of the pig's hind leg. Only the best part of the leg is cured. A rare treat if you like prosciutto. Also returning from Salumi is their Oregano Salami.

What's New on the Shelves

I've been eating a lot of dark chocolate lately and I've come to a conclusion: The best 70% bar right now is from Amedei Chocolate.It has a depth and completeness of flavor that others do not.I enjoy it's creamy yet tannic texture.Don't take my word for it, judge for yourself.Take a couple of different bars home and decide.

Staying in the sweets aisle, King Caramel Caramels are relatively new for us. IN Ginger, Sea Salt, Licorice, Agave, Brown Rice Syrup and straight-up, King Caramels deliver on their name: While others drool, King Caramels Rule.And now for something completely different.... Mushroom Garden in a box.Yup.Grow a pound and a half of oyster mushrooms on your window sill in a box.Just open, mist and harvest.

King Caramel Caramels

What's New in Wine (and Beer)

It's clear that summer is sticking around for a while so we're keeping our rosé inventory fully stocked. We have several options of pink Pinot Noir, Syrah, Grenache and more. Check out the Croix Bouquie Pineau d'Aunis - a bright, dry number leaning toward the red berries. For a classic Provence rosé, Chateau Routas blends Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.


We have a few new beers from B.C. Canada's Howe Sound Brewing. The seasonal is their Pumpkineater - laced with the right amount of spices - unlike many pumpkin beers. Ales are their fastball: IPA, India IPA and Imperial Red. These are wonderful BBQ food beers.



Upcoming Wine Tasting

As ever, tastings are free and are held every Saturday from 2-4pm upstairs in our Wine Department.

17 September - Californians are on tap... A red - The Sum and the Mason Sauvignon Blanc. We'll also taste the Broadley Pinot Noir from Oregon and the Routas Rose from France.

24 September - Renowned producer Ramsey from California

1 October - A trip to the South of France sound good?


Recipe: Oven Roasted Potatoes (vegetables)

This is more of a technique than a recipe but it's definitely newsletter-worthy. Garrett, our chef de cuisine here at the store came up with this little twist based on his mother's tradition. You'll use this bit of advice for the rest of your culinary life - guaranteed.

Roasting vegetables is one of the easiest ways to complete a meal. So often we have the main course figured out, then we freeze when we need to see something else on the plate. Use this technique when you roast your veggies in the oven. The best thing about this recipe... you can substitute any vegetable for the potatoes. Try broccoli, cauliflower, baby carrots (cut length-wise), mushrooms, asparagus, etc., etc.

Preheat oven and baking sheet to 450 degrees. Toss the whole lot in a bowl. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and pour potatoes out onto the sheet. Roast for 8-10 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown.

Serves 4

  • 1 lb mini new potatoes (or new potatoes cut into 1" pieces)

  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil - use the best stuff you have (see above)

  • 2 tsp coarse sea salt

  • 1 tsp cracked pepper

  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary

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