Ari's Top 5
In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be… This is the inter-related structure of reality.

Martin Luther King Jr.
A black and white photo of a corgi, facing away from the camera, standing at the foot of a trail lined with tall spruce trees

Natural Law #18

How creating connection can lead to a better life

Dr. Vivek Murthy wrote in his book Together: “The more I studied the seesaw relationship between loneliness and togetherness, the more convinced I became of the great power of human connection. So many problems we face as a society… are worsened by loneliness and disconnection. Building a more connected world holds the key to solving these and many more of the personal and societal problems confronting us today.” The same struggle to create more connection, I’ve come to believe, is happening inside organizations all over the country. As Vivek Murthy makes clear, “We have a universal need to connect with one another… We all need to know that we matter and that we are loved.”

Much of this isolation and disconnection came out of the changes inspired by the Industrial Revolution in the second half of the 19th century. It’s a good bit of what anarchists of that era were reacting to—as Alexander Berkman warned, “Revolution that divests itself of ethical values thereby lays the foundation of injustice, deceit, and oppression for the future society.” Certainly, we have all benefited from parts of that industrial model, but much of what Berkman forecasted has, unfortunately, come to pass. Industrialization separated work life from home life, land held in common was cut up into privately owned plots, and people left small communities for tenements and tenuous jobs in the cities. In the process, industrialization severed the natural connections between farmers and those who ate their food, between craftspeople and their products, and also with the people to whom they had provided them. It broke down jobs into isolated tasks, which yielded economic benefit for business, but often brought boredom—instead of beauty—to those who were doing the work. In the last year, it’s safe to say that social media and the pandemic have only made these disconnections more extreme still. As Vivek Murthy says, “In the workplace when we violate human nature, we create a crisis that causes disengagement, depression, and loneliness. This comes in part from not honoring people’s humanity and not honoring their unique contribution as human beings.” We can, I believe, repair the damage that has been done. By working more harmoniously with nature, on the planet, and with human nature, we can help restore those connections.

Which brings us back to where I was last week—to continue adding to the list of the original 12 Natural Laws of Business. The Natural Laws, I believe, offer a framework for organizational healing that can slowly, but surely, help. I was reflecting a bit this past week on why they work in that way. Here’s what I came up with:

a) The Natural Laws have helped me understand why things are working the way they are. And, conversely, to understand more quickly why, at times, our efforts fall short.

b) They make it easier to take behaviors that seem “obvious” to successful leaders, and turn them instead into teachable tools that allow others, at every level of an organization, to learn them too.

c) The list of the Natural Laws has given me a mental model, or a template, that I can hold my work up to. After all these years, it’s pretty clear that when we live in harmony with them, things go well. When we fight them or forget them, we suffer.

Above and beyond all those benefits, there’s a fourth item on my list—the Natural Laws often help me to see and understand things at a different, deeper, level. To wit, I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few weeks thinking about another “new” Natural Law on my working list:

#18: “Everything is naturally related and interconnected.”

This concept of universal connection isn’t new. In the 16th century Leonardo da Vinci wrote, “Realize that everything connects to everything else.” In the 19th century British mathematician Ada Lovelace wrote, “Everything is naturally related and interconnected.” In a sense, this Natural Law is a new way to state what’s known as “The Butterfly Effect.” The Fractal Foundation explains:

This effect grants the power to cause a hurricane in China to a butterfly flapping its wings in New Mexico. It may take a very long time, but the connection is real. If the butterfly had not flapped its wings at just the right point in space/time, the hurricane would not have happened. A more rigorous way to express this is that small changes in the initial conditions lead to drastic changes in the results. Our lives are an ongoing demonstration of this principle.

I first wrote about this idea in Part 3, in a short sidebar called “The Theory of Relevantivity” (it’s on page 379 in Secret #39). What it means is that pretty much anything that happens in our lives is going—to a greater or lesser extent—to be relevant to everything else that’s going on. Small decisions can add up to big differences. If I had chosen the University of Wisconsin over Michigan? Or if I’d opted to go law school like my mother wanted me to? I’ll never forget how a small shift in the grind of the sea salt we buy from Sicily screwed up the Paesano Bread. Or how getting a new grinding attachment caused quality problems with our Pimento Cheese. Everything is ultimately impacting everything else. As writer Meg Wheatley says, “We know from science that nothing in the universe exists as an isolated or independent entity.”

I was reminded of how meaningful these seemingly small actions can be last week when I got an email from Carol Strayer, who will soon be retiring after a decade and a half with our accounting team. I had reached out to Carol to thank her, and to tell her how much all her work here is appreciated. Her positive presence and persistent professionalism will be missed! She sent me back this touching and inspiring note, which reminded me yet again, how big outcomes can come from seemingly insignificant interactions:

Having heard you speak at ArtTrain about service is part of the reason I was drawn to applying for the Zingerman’s accounting opening when I saw it advertised. As usual, it was an impactful and inspiring talk. There are very few times in life that you can point to a mind shift, but that was one of them for me. Over 15 years later, I can still remember parts of it. We still have 2 more months of work ahead, but it’s not too early to say I have appreciated my time at Zingerman’s and consider my life changed for the better because of it.

What I wrote about above is the appreciation of how much connections we make have an impact. But this past week, a whole second part of Natural Law #18 came clear to me. Two small, completely unrelated things—the wonderful flapping of a pair of existential butterflies’ wings—happened within a week to build on what I’d already understood. The second half of this piece is about my recent realization of how important it is for us to go out and actively make those connections. To do our part to repair some of the damage that Alexander Berkman once warned of, and that Vivek Murthy wrote about last year. Our long term health—both personal and organizational—I’ve come to believe, depends on how well we can reestablish connections that have long since been severed.

The other evening, Severine von Tscharner Fleming had dinner at the Roadhouse. She’s a farmer, an activist, founder of both Greenhorns and the Agrarian Trust, and editor of the New Farmer’s Almanac—among other impressive feats. While she ate (along with her local hosts, Sandy and Sarah Wiener), Severine shared thoughts on a host of subjects. One that caught my attention was how ecologically-minded people are planting plots of wildflowers and wildlife between large-scale commercial cornfields. These projects, called “prairie strips,” effectively re-energize ecosystems that had long since lost their natural diversity and vitality. I wasn’t taking notes, but Severine said something along the lines of, “Nature is always thinking about us, always working to come up with the right answer. But because human beings have divided nature, and broken so many of her natural connections, nature is having a really hard time thinking. She can’t connect the different dots. And the disconnects are keeping nature from being able to work as she has for billions of years.”

I was out running the next day when I suddenly connected what Severine had said the night before with Natural Law #18. Severine’s stories made me realize that #18 isn’t just about increased understanding, but that there’s an active application of this Natural Law: We would be wise as leaders and organizations to find ways to restore the natural, much-needed human connections that have been cut—intentionally or otherwise—by efficiency, hierarchy, and an effort to control what can’t be controlled anyways (see last week’s post). Natural Law #18, I now see, tells us:

We can reduce loneliness, increase creativity, and help enhance well-being, both for individuals and for the organization as a whole, by actively making as many connections across the organization as possible.

This realization was reinforced for me this past weekend when I followed Maggie Bayless’ (from ZingTrain) recent recommendation that I buy Peter Block’s book Community: The Structure of Belonging. I’d read it when it first came out ten years or so ago, but the book made such a big impression on Maggie last month that I decided I’d better read it again. I’m glad I did—like anything interesting, we don’t “get” everything the first time through. What we take away is as much a reflection on us, where we’re at, and what’s in our heads, as it is on what we read, saw, or heard. This time, I made some new connections.

Block’s book—as with all he’s written—is magnificent. His 1991 book The Empowered Manager, and his 1993 tome Stewardship were both HUGE influences on me and Paul in our early years of learning leadership. The ecosystem of Zingerman’s has been significantly altered for the better over the last thirty years by Peter Block’s beliefs. Re-reading Community, his beliefs are about to impact us in a big way once again. In the spirit of what Severine shared about prairie strips, Peter writes that, “The vitality and connectedness of our communities will determine the strength of our democracy.” Community reminded me that we have the ability—and I would suggest responsibility—to help human nature “think” by reconnecting people. Vivek Murthy says that loneliness is currently a public health crisis. If we honor Natural Law #18, then we have an obligation to restore the connections and relationships that would both remedy that crisis, and help us create the organizational and personal well-being to which we’re so seriously committed.

The connections we create are, like Carol Strayer’s story, probably not going to garner much attention in a world where hierarchy and headlines tend to take top billing. But like the prairie strips, it’s possible that these small bits of seemingly peripheral work are able to add significantly to the depth, diversity, joy, and vitality of our work. (Permaculture principles remind us that the “edge” is where the most creative energy can be accessed.) Without healthy connections and attachments at every level, the bigger features—big-selling products, customer service, strategy, and vision—will, slowly but surely, fall short. At worst, they fall part. Yes the small connections remain mostly in the background, but it’s the background that makes the things we want to feature standout. As Japanese writer Junichiro Tanizaki says, “We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates… Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty.”

So, with all that in mind, what are some ways to make these human connections happen? A series of small actions that can, I’ve realized, add up to big things. Peter Block reminds us that this is not a quick project—as per Natural Law #11, “it takes a lot longer to make something great happen than most people think.” As Peter writes, “Depth takes time and the willingness to engage.” That engagement makes a difference. As Peter puts it, “These are the conditions whereby we find new places where we belong.” Here are a few of the ways I want to more actively connect people. Adapt as you believe best in your organization or community:

Connection across department and business unit lines
Introduce Bakehouse bakers to Deli sandwich makers. Connect servers with sauté cooks, and accountants with artists.

Connect across the hierarchy
Introduce upper level administrators to new delivery drivers. Encourage partners to bond with box packers. Longtime managers can have lunch with folks who just joined the organization.

Connect outside the organization
The more ZCoBbers are connecting to the greater community the better. 21st century technology makes this so simple—reach out and connect with others across the country and around the globe.

Connect with ourselves
This is the work I wrote about in Managing Ourselves—the engagement of a lifetime of self-study to understand who the heck we are and how we got here. If we don’t do this one well, I’ve learned the hard way, the rest will almost always fall short. For me at least, it might be the most challenging of the lot.

Connect with nature
If you live on a farm or in a rural area, nature is likely right outside your back door. If you live in a city, as I did as when I was a kid, where asphalt, highways, and overpasses are the norm, then we need to find our personal version of prairie strips.

Connect with our future
When we have no connection with where we want to go, we’re likely to lose hope. Visioning is a huge help in this work!

Connect with our past
This is about knowing where we came from. It is important to understand that the stories we tell ourselves about what once took place are often inaccurate, and to understand that they may no longer be serving us well. Read more on this in The Power of Beliefs in Business and in “Vision Back” (Secret #8 ) and in the new “Working Through Hard Times” pamphlet.

There are certainly more connections to make—with other cultures, styles, skill sets, and languages… Each connection we make enhances the effect of the next. The irony of me, a shy introvert loner, encouraging connection is not lost on me. But it’s clear that these connections, in all directions, are critical to our individual and collective health. As Erin Ye Juin McMorrow writes, “We can’t truly connect with ourselves without understanding how we’re connected with each other and everything around us.”

How can we make the connections across the organization happen? We need to do it both systemically and culturally. We already do a lot here at Zingerman’s—in hindsight, I can see that’s one of the reasons we’re able to do what we do here. In part, it’s why our culture has held up as well as it has during the pandemic. Open book management, open meetings, LEAN, what we call 1+1 work, the simple act of introducing everyone we come in contact with to anyone else who is nearby, learning people’s names, and our Bottom-Line Change process can all help.

What do we get from all this? Increased creativity, more calm, and emotional resilience. More hope, positive energy, and better health. We make it clear that everyone really does matter and support the idea of everyone being a leader. In the process, we reduce the pressure on leaders as others step up. As Robin Wall Kimmerer says, honoring nature in this way can lead to, “A liberation into kinship to say, ‘Oh my gosh, there are other intelligences around us. We don’t have to figure all this out for ourselves.’” Ultimately we build positive power—not the modern style of concentrating power at the center, but power in the most positive, collective, shared sense of the word. As Frederic Laloux writes, “If we acknowledge that we are all interconnected, the more powerful you are, the more powerful I can become. The more powerfully you advance the organization’s purpose, the more opportunities will open up for me to make contributions of my own.”

Ultimately, when we restore nature, we diminish loneliness, we reestablish connections, we create community, and we come together to do things that none of us would be able to accomplish on our own. Because as Peter Block says, “Restoration is about healing our woundedness… healing our fragmentation and incivility.” Like prairie strips, the multifaceted connections Natural Law #18 encourages us to make, may seem peripheral. But Severine and Peter have helped me realize that they’re actually hugely powerful in the best possible, natural way. As Severine says, we can create “A massive kind of crystal pattern of humans who care and are connected and are engaged.” And as Peter points out, “Community is built not by specialized expertise or great leadership or improved services; it is built by great local people deciding to do something useful together.”

P.S. Rajiv Mehta, Gabriel Acosta, Su Williams, and others at Atlas of Care do amazing work with what they call Care Maps. Their project offers us a series of creative tools to take a look at the connections we have in our lives. They were part way through teaching a four week course to 25 folks here in the ZCoB when the pandemic hit.
P.P.S. Making these sorts of connections is one of the key contributors to making the kind of culture of creativity that’s all the more critical in these challenging times. For more on how to help that creativity come into play in your place of work, see Secret #39!
A number of bialys sitting on a wooden countertop

Special Bake of Bialys at the Bakehouse on Tuesday April 6

A terrific traditional taste of Jewish baking

Back in the second half of the 19th century when Emma Goldman was making her way about the Lower East Side, connecting with anarchist ideas and interesting people from around the globe, bialys were part of everyday eating. Delicious and definitely not difficult to find. While much of the social construct that Emma was arguing against still remains, bialys have become something of an endangered species. What was once an unremarkable offering in nearly every Jewish bakery in New York is now nearly unknown. Food Republic wrote “Extinction. Like the Lowland gorilla, the cassette tape and Madagascar forest coconuts, the bialy is rapidly becoming extinct.”

I once heard someone describe bialys as a delicious cross between an onion bagel and an English muffin. I’ll buy that. And I’ll be buying bialys this coming Tuesday, April 6, when the Bakehouse does a special bake. Connecting with a bit of Jewish baking history, bialys are the traditional “roll” of the Polish town of Bialystok, brought to this country primarily by Polish-Jewish bakers around the turn of the last century. Back then they were very much an everyday bread, eaten at almost every meal, known in their hometown terroir as Bialystok Kuchen. As Chris Crowley wrote for Serious Eats, the bialy “was the everyday food of a marginalized people.” Food writer John Thorne said that a bialy “is a bagel that’s lost inside a Polish joke: it’s outside is crusty instead of glossy and the hole in the center doesn’t make it all the way through. But, fresh from the oven, it is a delicacy unique to itself, crisp and chew at once, the center dimple stuffed with translucent onion bits…” More directly, with a bialy, the “hole” in the center isn’t really a hole—it’s more of an indentation, a thumbprint of an impression, which is filled with lots of fresh, diced onions and plenty of poppy seeds. Since a bialy isn’t boiled before being baked, it doesn’t have as thick a crust.

We’ve been making bialys at the Bakehouse almost since we opened. One of the first things that drew us to wanting to work with our bread mentor, Michael London, back in 1992 was that we discovered that he had the bialy recipe from Kossar’s, my favorite Lower East Side bialy bakery. (For more on the story of the Bakehouse’s beginnings and Michael London see Amy Emberling and Frank Carollo’s beautiful book, Zingerman’s Bakehouse.) Opened in 1936 during the Great Depression, Kossar’s is clearly the classic spot to get bialys and you should definitely go next time you’re in Manhattan. I was really excited that we got to learn from someone who’d learned the recipe at the (American) source.

You can do a lot of the same things with a bialy as you would a bagel—eat ’em out of hand, or toasted with a little butter or cream cheese or smoked salmon. Mimi Sheraton, in her lovely little book, The Bialy Eaters, says that back in Bialystok people generally ate bialys by simply spreading butter across the top, not slicing them in half as we do with bagels. They’re even better if you warm them in the oven for a few minutes. Spread the word, and spread on the Creamery’s really good handmade cream cheese.

If you want a little added incentive, Mimi Sheraton included them in her book 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die: A Food Lover’s Life List. To wrap up, Frank Carollo shared the story of the first time Michael London came to teach us bread baking. Michael is an amazing baker and has lived his whole life around good bread. When he decides to eat a baked good with relish, it’s an act worthy of note. One day, mid-week on the first visit, Michael decided to teach Frank how to bake bialys. “He made those bialys,” Frank says, “and then he sent one of our people to the store to get some unsalted butter. He proceeded to eat about seven of them in a row.”

Order bialys for pick up from the Deli
See bialys at the Bakehouse
A bronze-colored glass bottle with red wax pressed on the top and yellow paper tag hanging from the top.

The Superb Olive Oil of Mariano Sanz

New harvest oil “Teresa Arrojo” arrives from western Spain

Nelson Mandela, said “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” Mariano Sanz Pech did exactly that. He set out to save traditional Spanish cheese. The disconnection and despair that came out of the industrial revolution is not limited to the United States. By the 1980s, around the time we were opening the Deli, it was playing havoc with centuries of agricultural tradition in Spain. In much the same way that Major Patrick Rance, who I wrote about a few months ago, saved traditional British cheese from extinction, so too did Mariano make an enormous difference. In addition, Mariano went out into the countryside of Western Spain to work a small farm with his family. Over many years they’ve crafted a diverse, organic ecosystem and a reconnection to the land of the sort that Severine von Tscharner Fleming would probably appreciate.

I’ve known Mariano Sanz Pech, the man who makes this distinctive oil, for nearly 30 years now. He’s a wonderful person and staunch champion of traditional foods. We first met over a table of traditional Spanish cheeses—then, and still now—one of his big causes. Standing about 5-foot-9 with a well-trimmed salt and pepper beard, wire-rimmed glasses, and a collection of colorful bow ties, his energy really does seem to fill any room. To find Mariano’s farm on the map, start at Madrid, in the middle of the Iberian Peninsula, then move your finger due west until you spot the ridges of the Sierra De Gata Mountains. The oil is a family project—it’s formally named for his wife, Teresa, and his daughters Mar and Xoanna as well as their families, play a prominent part, as well. It’s made from the unique-to-this-area Manzanilla Cacereña olive, a big contributor to the excellence of the oil. No actual pressing is done to make the oil—the hand picked olives are gently crushed, and then the oil drips from them slowly only by force of gravity (that other, well known, Natural Law). The process decreases yield, but increases the oil’s delicacy.

The Sanz family’s new harvest from the fall of 2020 has just arrived, and I’ve been enjoying it at home for the last few weeks! So now, in the spirit of Natural Law #18, let me make the connection. It’s delicate and delicious, organic and outstanding, exceptionally flavorful, but gentler with just a soft touch of pepper in the finish. Mariano’s oil is a bit like great classical guitar playing—not overpowering, but nevertheless, marvelously memorable for its grace and impossible-to-forget melodies. It’s got a gentle bit of banana, a lovely sweetness and a fine long finish.

The oil is remarkable on toasted Paesano bread or freshly broiled fish. I’ve been making lovely salads of local lettuces, a little grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Manchego sprinkled over top, a few toasted Spanish almonds, a bit of flore di sale sea salt, and a good amount of freshly ground Tellicherry black pepper, all dressed with a sprinkle of good vinegar and some of Mariano’s oil. Simple, elegant, easy to make, and excellent. The oil is also a particularly good pairing with fruit—drizzle some onto slices of ripe apples or pears. Better yet, toss the fruit with the oil and roast it at about 450°F until the fruit is cooked through. Serve it with cheese, a glass of dessert wine, or even gelato from the Creamery.

In one of those strange circular connections that can happen with high frequency in the age of the internet, I Googled “Mariano” to see what I’d find. A page or so in I found a recipe on the site of The Splendid Table that referenced Mariano—a salad with fresh orange slices and olive oil. I was intrigued so I opened the link and skimmed through the page. When I got to the bottom, I shook my head and smiled. The recipe, it said, was “Adapted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Eating.”

Pick up Mariano’s superb oil at the Deli
Ship Mariano’s oil from Mail Order
Goodnow Farms Colombia Chocolate bar in packaging, with golden lettering, standing upright on a wooden table, with blurry golden lights in behind.

Top Choice New Chocolate Bar from Colombia

Goodnow Farms finds some beautiful cacao beans

I met Tom and Monica Rogan from Goodnow Farms at the Mercantile artisan food show in San Francisco a few years ago. They’ve spent the last decade working around South and Central America to develop a line of direct trade, bean to bar chocolates. The Rogans are working from a two-centuries-plus-old farm in Sudbury, Mass.—it’s located on Goodnow Road, hence the name of the business.

Since the second half of the 19th century the mass market for cacao meant that small scale farmers sold their hand harvested beans to brokers and buyers for big European companies, usually with little say in the low prices that were set by the “market” far away in one of the big cities. In the spirit of connection and overcoming industrial isolation… by connecting the cacao growers to the chocolate that was actually made from their beans, folks like Shawn Askinosie and the Goodnows have helped a whole host of good things happen. Farmers can make the small changes (everything is related) in agricultural work that yield big quality improvements, and get paid more for the cacao in the process. Farm communities become healthier, and you and I get to eat more flavorful chocolate.

This new arrival from Goodnow is made with cacao from the country of Colombia. Tom shared:

Colombia is one of the birthplaces of cacao and we’ve wanted to make a bar for years but hadn’t found beans we liked… until now! It’s an incredible story. Monica and I spent a lot of time meeting many of the farmers who provide cacao for the fermentary and they’re all incredibly happy and proud to be involved. Coca was the main cash crop for this area for many years. In our farm visits we met many farmers who were involved in different ways—it was fascinating to hear about. And it was inspiring to see how they’ve now turned to other crops, including fine flavor cacao. We actually were the first people to buy their cacao for chocolate, and we worked with them to dial in the fermentation and drying protocols. They’d send samples, we’d give notes, they’d change the protocols and send more samples. It took several months for us to get it where it is now but it’s great stuff. Monica just did a “Women in Chocolate” series on our Instagram and she mentioned one of the women farmers, as well as the manager of the fermentery. As with all our bars we craft this with our own cocoa butter, which we press from the same Boyaca beans we use to make the bar.

The flavor of the chocolate, though it has a significant cacao content of 73%, is remarkably delicate and light. Cocoa-ey and compelling. Allison at the Candy Store says, “This 73% bar eats much more like a 63 or 65% with its lack of tannins and bitterness and its gentle fruitiness. It is like the chocolate equivalent of a vinho verde wine; refreshing and light but flavorful and really easy to enjoy.” The Rogans say it has notes of toasted marshmallow, graham cracker, and honey. This reminds me of one of the easiest pairings to put together, and also one of the most delicious: All you need to do is set a bit of one of the chocolates atop a small piece of a Bakehouse Graham Cracker. Bite. Enjoy!

Get Goodnow Colombian bar from the Candy pop-up store
The Goodnow Colombian bar is available at the Candy Store on Plaza Drive. If you’d like us to ship you a couple, email us at
Lettuce greens with red walnuts, roasted red pepper, and rhubarb marmalade vinaigrette on it

Making Rhubarb Marmalade Vinaigrette

Excellent sweet savory salad dressing to dress up your dinner

American Spoon Foods was started by Justin Rashid around the same time we opened the Deli back in 1982. We’ve been buying their products, and Justin and I have been friends for nearly that long. As per so much of what I’ve written above, his work was to reconnect—in this case, the fantastic produce of northern Michigan with the rest of the world. With Justin’s son Noah now leading the way, American Spoon’s commitment to quality continues on apace. As the Rashids share:

After all these years, we still prepare fruits by hand and cook them in small copper kettle batches under the watchful eyes of our skilled cooks whose deep experience and judgement are critical to the rare quality we achieve. We think of our kitchen as a pretty amazing place, operated by genuinely dedicated, truly remarkable people. Because of them, a kind of culinary magic with fruit happens there that occurs nowhere else.

We carry a couple dozen of their offerings regularly at the Deli. American Spoon’s Strawberry Jam has been my favorite for nearly 40 years now. Their Rhubarb Marmalade is much less known—a bit of a secret jewel in their marvelous repertoire. The marmalade is made with rhubarb harvested and hand prepped by the American Spoon crew last spring. They cook it slowly in those copper kettles with cane sugar, a bit of lemon and orange juice, and some lemon peel. Noah passed along some of the details of the production:

We generally zest the oranges and lemons in-house during the relatively slow winter months for days on end and freeze it to get through the year. We source rhubarb direct from a handful of local growers and process it in our kitchen in late May and early June. We macerate the rhubarb in sugar and cook the marmalade in two stages, first reducing the juice then adding the remaining whole fruit and zest.

The marmalade has an amazing exceptional flavor. It’s earthy, sweet, sour—almost savory. You can put it on toast, or spoon some on top of one of those bialys that you first spread with the Creamery’s handmade cream cheese. Great on gelato or with nut butter.

A few weeks ago, I had the thought to use it in this simple salad dressing. I’m glad I did. Like so much of what I like to cook it was easy to make, and terrifically tasty to eat. Put a few generous tablespoons of the marmalade into a mixing bowl. Add a bit of good quality white wine vinegar. Mix well. Add some extra virgin olive oil, a bit of sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper. The mixture won’t emulsify, so you’ll want to whip it again right before you use it. The dressing will probably do well on most salad greens, but I like it best on a bowl of fresh endive leaves. If you can’t find that, Romaine would work as well, or fresh local spinach from the Farmer’s Market or Argus would be lovely. I added crumbled blue cheese—the Crozier Blue from last week’s writing is a splendid pairing. Toasted walnuts or hazelnuts make a nice accent. Hickory nuts are glorious if you happen to have them. Toss well in the bowl. Eat! Enjoy!

Get American Spoon Rhubarb Marmalade at the Deli
You won’t see the rhubarb marmalade on the Mail Order site but we’re happy to ship some to you. Email us at

Other Things on My Mind

Aside from Peter Block’s book Community, I’m also reading Diane Poole Heller’s The Power of Attachment: How to Create Deep and Lasting Intimate Relationships.

Beyond that check out this artwork by local artist Adam Shrewsbury. Or this incredible work from our mutual friend Chris Roberts-Antieau. Her art is amazing. Her artist statement is inspiring! I feel honored to know her!

Willie Dunn was an Ojibwe folk singer from Ontario. Dunn passed away in the summer of 2014. The album was recorded back in 1971 and was just re-released. His lyrics are a history lesson in the mistreatment of Native people in Canada. I can’t stop listening! It’s a bit of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen and a lot of originality that really resonates with my musical taste, fascination with history and study of what happened to Native peoples when Europeans came to the continent.

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
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward
(Your friends can sign up, too!)
Zingerman's Community of Businesses
Copyright © 2021 Zingerman's Community of Businesses, All rights reserved.
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp