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Ari's Top 5
“Where does it all lead? What will become of us… It leads to each other.
We become ourselves.”
—Patti Smith
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A burlap sack filled with green coffee beans

Latin Summer Blend Coffee

Sweet, light, & crisp brew from the Coffee Company

If you’ve thought of hot coffee as something solely to get you through the cold winter months in Michigan, maybe this special Latin Summer Blend will change your beliefs. Managing Partner Steve Mangigian and the crew at the Zingerman’s Coffee Company specifically put it together for warm weather drinking. They did a great job! It’s sweet, light, and refreshing; hot in the cup, but cool in spirit.

What’s the background? Steve says, “We’re lucky to source beautifully balanced and complex coffees from producers across Latin America. This month, we wanted to celebrate some of our favorites together in one blend. We included a honey-processed coffee from our longtime partners at Hacienda Miramonte in Costa Rica which has great natural sweetness. And, then, two washed coffees: one from smallholder producers near San Pedro Sochiapam, Mexico, and the other from our friend Pablo Paz, who produces coffee near the municipality of La Unión, Honduras. The resulting blend is fit for the dog days of summer!”

Speaking of hot days—and it looks like we have some coming—the Latin Blend is inspiringly superb served up as an iced coffee. It’s a refreshing cold drink to reach for any time you need a bit of a boost! Coffee Company retail manager Stacy Walsh smiled and said, “I really like it because it’s so light and crisp—you don’t have to add anything to it!” I agree. It’s super smooth.

And if you’re out at the Coffee Company, order an espresso made with the Latin Summer Blend. One of the best coffees I’ve had in a while (and I mostly have great coffee). A bit of toastiness, hazelnut, and a smooth, happy-go-lucky light finish. (Plus espresso at the Coffee Company comes with one of the exceptionally good, mini espresso star cookies from the Bakehouse—so good that you might want to order yourself a big one to nibble on as you work your way through a cup of coffee out there. You can get them at the Roadshow as well if you’re driving through).

You can buy the Latin Summer Blend at the Coffee Company, the Deli, the Roadhouse, or ship some to your coffee-loving cousin in South Dakota!

Cool off at the Coffee Company
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Kristie holding macaroons with the Food Tours logo

Zingerman’s Does Paris

An insider’s tour of a city & food that dreams are made of

Looking for that magical gift for someone? Ready to take a leap into making travel memories that will stay with you for the rest of your life? Eager to take your love of food, wine, and culture to the peak? Some people want to climb Mount Everest; me, I’d rather take a food tour to Paris. A couple hundred years ago, Thomas Jefferson said, “A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life.” Sounds like he pretty much summed up a lot of what my life is all about—looking for history, good food, and good people all day, every day. This trip will provide a plethora of all three!

Say “Paris” to a food lover and most folks will almost immediately imagine visions of tasty pâtés and terrific terrines spilling out of the shiny charcuterie counters; bountiful display cases of traditional, full-flavored French cheeses you can’t (legally) bring into the U.S.; beautifully buttery croissants and crusty baguettes stacked in the baskets of artisanal boulangeries. As someone who loves the latter, it’s almost worth going to Paris just to visit the bakeries. Janet Flanner wrote in Paris Was Yesterday, 1925-1939, “In the history of art there are periods when bread seems so beautiful that it nearly gets into museums.” This trip will show you that beauty in real life, everyday action.

The tour will be led by two witty and wonderful guides. Kristie Brablec, the managing partner of Zingerman’s Food Tours (who’s worked here in the ZCoB for 15 years now); and a Zingerman’s alum, Maisie Wilhelm from Palatine Culinary Concierge, who now lives in New York City. She will join Kristie in heading up this terrific trip to Paris, pretty much her second home, where she’s put her fluent French to work regularly for many years now. Together, these two will take you to old-world cafés with outdoor seating and the immense pleasure of drinking Pastis on a summer’s eve while people-watching. Paris has long been a city bursting with reasons to fall in love with food. Whether eating ripe figs on the banks of the Seine, sipping a kir on the Boulevard St. Germain, or lingering over a dozen oysters on the half shell, Paris will capture the heart of any food lover.

Kristie, the ebullient, insightful, and inspiring managing partner of the Food Tour business says: “Come along for our food-focused tour of Paris and Champagne. See these classic destinations through the expert culinary lens (and palate) of Zingerman’s Food Tours in partnership with Palatine as we explore the history and roots of French & Parisian cuisine, following the arc from old to new. We’ll end with a few days luxuriating in the world-famous Champagne region, sampling its unparalleled wines.”

See page 6 of the July/August Zingerman’s Newsletter for an interview with Kristie.

P.S. Emma Goldman always held Paris in high regard. It was, she said, “like sparkling wine, it gets in one’s blood and takes hold of one’s being beyond redemption.”

Peruse Paris Itinerary

Super Top 5 Special!

Kristie decided for fun to offer folks who read this newsletter a special deal (while seats last). Email her at kbrablec@zingermans.com to book a spot on this great food tour to Paris, mention that you read about it here, and she’ll give you $500 off!

And, just to keep you busy until the tour takes place this fall, she’ll send you a free copy of the new “Going into Business with Emma Goldman” pamphlet to read, too!

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Detroit St. Brick cheese served on a slate cutting board

Cool Classes & Tasty Curds

Cheezeducation charges ahead at the Creamery

As I work more and more with the idea of organizations as ecosystems (stay tuned for a new pamphlet on the subject next year) and with the idea of working in harmony with the greater ecosystem in which one’s business is located, it’s clear in hindsight that Zingerman’s is a near ideal fit for a community in which the largest single component is the University of Michigan. From day one, March 15, 1982, we’ve always been about learning. And that learning component of our work just keeps growing.

Over the last year or so, the latest phase of terrific Zingerman’s teaching and learning has been unfolding at the Creamery. With each month, we add more classes because the enthusiastic response to the sessions has been so positive. Between the nationally-renowned BAKE! a few hundred feet to the north, and the internationally-acknowledged ZingTrain (looks like I’ll be teaching in Dublin in the fall—email me if you have a friend there who’d be interested) across the road, I’m starting to think that, with a nod to U of M, we might start casually calling Zingerman’s Southside “South Campus.”

In any case, the Creamery crew have been teaching some terrific little classes—evenings, weekends, you name it! Here are three of the coming curriculum that caught my attention. Seats are limited—sign up soon. They’re a wonderful way to treat your significant other, organize a date, create a family outing, or entertain out of town friends.

  • CHEESE & NON-ALCOHOLIC SUMMER REFRESHMENTS
    July 19, 6:30-8:30pm, $45
    Who needs hooch when you have the booch?! In this class, we’ll explore the wide world of pairings with non-alcoholic beverages. Kombucha, summer spritzers, and fruit juices are all great with cheese, and we’ll be sharing our favorite pairings.
  • MASTERING MOZZARELLA
    July 21, 2-5pm, $75
    You’ll learn how to make ricotta from fresh milk, pull balls of fresh mozzarella from curd, stretch string cheese, and create a rich, creamy burrata.
  • ROSÉ & CHEESE
    July 27, 3-5pm, $45
    There are few things more refreshing than a glass of crisp rosé with the perfect wedge of cheese. Join us for a relaxing evening where we will be pairing this beautifully blush beverage with an assortment of cheeses.
Get More Cheese On Your Calendar

P.S. I have cheezeducation on my mind too, in a somewhat sad way, because last week was the 7th anniversary of the far-too-early passing of one of my best friends, Daphne Zepos. Daphne dedicated the last decade-plus of her life to cheese education. I wrote about Daphne in the Epilogue of Part 3. Nick Dancer, of Dancer Concrete in Fort Wayne, Indiana, a long time ZingTrain client and a big fan of the business books, is working on a book of his own. Day In, Day Out will be released this fall. Nick’s got a nice chapter in it on the importance of friendship, which got me thinking about Daphne, my own experiences of friendship, loss, and life. And cheese. The Epilogue in Part 3 includes my take on Daphne’s recipe for living a good life, a recipe that I try to remind myself to re-read with a good degree of regularity. It’s a very good recipe. In an email exchange about his forthcoming book, Nick wrote me, “The piece about Daphne was moving. I literally thought, ‘I want to live a life like that.’ To me, I would have never known her… it’s funny how through a story you share, I get to ‘meet’ someone.”

Later this month, the 9th annual Daphne Zepos Teaching Award will be given out at the American Cheese Society conference (this year in Richmond, Virginia). Mo Frechette, longtime co-managing partner at Zingerman’s Mail Order, has long chaired the board of the Scholarship and has done a fantastic job of shepherding the program along. If you’d like to make a donation—even small ones have significance—in Daphne’s memory, go here.

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A plate of peppers from Tamchop Farms

A Trio of Terrific Peppers from Tamchop Farms

Miss Kim turns local produce into a lovely small plate

Over the last few years of doing this enews, it’s become a regular thing for me to ask folks around the ZCoB what food and drink is on their mind. I’m always looking for the latest, the greatest, the subtle secrets, the big specials, the nicely nuanced stories to share with you all. When I asked Ji Hye at Miss Kim what was getting her excited on her summer menu, this little pepper dish is what she sent me. It really is a shining example of how we get our hands on incredible raw materials and just how terrifically tasty the finished food that’s made from them can be! It’s so delicious, so elegant in its exceptional simplicity that I could eat it every day.

Before I share Ji Hye’s comments about the dish, I need to confess my own biases about it. Or rather, its source. The fantastic peppers she’s describing are grown by my life partner, my co-adventurer, the amazing Tammie Gilfoyle, at her fantastic little Tamchop Farms in Dexter. With that out in the open, here’s what Ji Hye had to say:

“One of the biggest inspirations for Miss Kim is the beautiful, bountiful produce from local farmers. Going to the farmer’s market and working with local farmers is one of the absolute favorite parts of my job, especially during this time of the year with so many delicious and flavorful vegetables.

But for the first year or so of the restaurant, there were some challenges. Mostly we wanted to source more heirloom and specifically Asian produce. We worked with Goetz Farms and Pine Ridge for Napa cabbage, and we work a lot with Xiong’s Fresh Asian Produce. But for Far East-specific vegetables, some more planning and visioning was called for.

Late this past winter, I got to talking with Tammie Gilfoyle of Tamchop Farms. We pored through the seed catalogs of the famed Kitazawa Seeds out in S.F. and geeked out on some of my favorite Asian vegetables—delicate bok choi, robust herbs, and spicy Korean hot peppers. We’re now starting to see those vegetables come in.

The first dish with these vegetables this year is a great little plate of heirloom peppers. It’s an evolution of the blistered Shishito peppers we’ve had since our pop-up-dinner days back at the Bar at 327 Braun Ct. four years ago. But this is a total upgrade! We take a mix of Tammie’s heirloom Japanese Shishito, Spanish Padron and Romanian Antohi peppers, blistering them in a smoking hot pan with soy chili vinaigrette. We work with a lighter touch, showcasing the innate flavors of each pepper, only sparingly garnishing them with the most amazing shichimi togarashi from Épices de Cru, and some scallions. The sweetness of the meaty Antohi peppers play well with sometimes-hot-sometimes-not Shishito and Padron. It is one of the most delicious and summery dishes on the menu right now and we are so proud to be working with the best farmers in the country.”

Stop by Miss Kim this week to taste these wonderful peppers ASAP. (By the way, the Antohi peppers are the least known of the three, but of late they’re by far my favorites!) Their lovely and super tasty simplicity has been brightening our evenings at home for the last few days! I have a feeling they’ll brighten yours as well. And, maybe it’s just me, but I think you’ll pick up a hint of Tammie’s exceptional energy in every bite.

Save Your Seat For Dinner
P.S. The Roadhouse has the same trio of pan fried peppers on its appetizer list, but with different spicing! And Tammie’s heirloom, grown-solely-from-seed, tomatoes are coming soon too! In fact, I should say, the link for the Roadhouse’s annual Tomato Dinner will go up on the Roadhouse website this week. This year our guest chef will be Craig Stoll, owner (with his wife Annie) and chef at Delfina, on San Francisco’s 18th Street in the Mission District. Tammie used work next door to Delfina at Bi Rite. The dinner will combine Craig’s great Italian cooking with Tammie’s terrific tomatoes and other produce. To wit, we’ve titled the meal, “From the Mission to the Mitten!”—a little Bay Area blessing to us here in Ann Arbor!
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Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie from the Bakehouse

A 19th century New England classic winning modern day fans.

Last week I wrote about Mississippi Mud Pie. Shifting 1,300 miles to the northeast, we arrive at this other great American “pie.” Or maybe I should say “non-pie,” because although both have long had “pie” in their names, neither of the two really fits into the typical, flaky-pastry-crust-with-a-fruit-or-nut-filling—kind of way. Even scholar Evan Jones, in his wonderful book American Food, admits that, “the fact that it is really a cake disguised by this misnomer remains unexplained.” Name aside, what we do know is that Mississippi Mud Pie and Boston Cream Pie are both terrific! And both have a history rooted in a single state’s folklore—in December 1996, while we were preparing for our 14th holiday season at Zingerman’s, the state of Massachusetts quietly declared Boston Cream Pie to be the official state dessert. I missed the announcement back then, but now, I’m happy to say we take full advantage of the Bay State’s culinary legacy all the way out here in Ann Arbor.

What’s the background on Boston Cream Pie? The dessert’s name comes from an era when cakes and pies were pretty much prepared in the same pans, and the words “cake” and “pie” were used interchangeably. In the late 19th century, sweets like this one were called “cream pies,” or “custard cakes.” Back in 1856, the then-newly-opened Parker House Hotel in Boston had a chef from France, Augustine Francois Anezin, who developed what we now know as Boston Cream Pie. It’s been on the menu at the Parker House ever since. His technique of pouring chocolate over the top of a custard cake like this was quite an innovation at the time. The moist butter-rich layer cake was then still a relatively new phenomenon in the world of pastry—it was only with the introduction of baking powder 20 years after Anezin worked his magic that they became common even in upscale settings. Over the years Boston Cream Pie became the signature item of the hotel, and, as you now know, eventually the official state dessert!

If you don’t already know Boston Cream Pie, it’s two layers of moist vanilla chiffon cake, filled with fresh vanilla bean pastry cream, covered with a lovely thin layer of vanilla butter cream and then last, but not least, rich dark chocolate ganache. Our recipe is in the beautiful book, Zingerman’s Bakehouse. Amy Emberling, co-managing partner writes that, “We love to make classic foods, the ones that have passed the rest of time. Boston Cream Pie lands in that category.” I agree. Take one bite and you’ll know why it has a whole state so devoted to it. Goes great with that Latin Summer Blend coffee, too!

More On Our Boston Cream Pie

P.S. While the year 1856 in Boston is best known for pie, out west the territory of Kansas—not yet a state—was engaged in full-fledged rebellion over the question of slavery. The populace in neighboring Missouri, already a state, was heavily in favor of keeping slavery legal, but a number of Kansas settlers worked to make it illegal. Pro-slavery Missourians flooded over the border to vote in the territory and elected a pro-slavery legislature despite the fact that a majority of actual Kansas settlers opposed it. A second Free-State legislature was soon set up in Topeka and there was a low-level war fought in the state. On May 21, Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner took to the floor and spoke in favor of Free State Kansas. Sumner was a member of the informal Saturday Club, a group of writers, historians, scientists, and philosophers who began holding their monthly meetings over dinner at the hotel. The Saturday Club members included James Russell Lowell, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Sumner, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., etc. It’s not unlikely that one Saturday they were served what we now know as Boston Cream Pie, all sweet and light, while simultaneously talking about what would have been a good three week trip by horse and wagon to the west.

P.P.S. Mark your calendar now! October 23 is Boston Cream Pie Day.

If you saw the stuff I wrote last week about Marie Rose and the incredible Wild Alaska King Salmon at the Roadhouse… well, I have good news and bad news. The bad news? The Wild King is all gone! It sold out in about 48 hours! The good news? We have fresh wild Alaska Coho salmon coming from Marie and her partners this week! Come in and taste a bit of the beauty of one of the most amazing fisheries in the country!

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this enews and you know someone else who might like it, please pass it along. Have questions about Zingerman’s? Write us at info@zingermans.com.
(Your friends can sign up, too!)
Ari
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