Thinking about which holiday gifts to get? Like to eat really good artisan food? Looking for something to do tonight? Come join me and the Deli Retail Crew for Ari’s Top Picks of 2017 Tasting!
Not sure where your life is headed? Looking hard for your passion? Trying to figure out how to restart your relationship with yourself and the world? Come to the ZingTrain Creating a Personal Vision Workshop tomorrow, December 7 from 8-12 am and find out the answers!
Tin of Tellicherry Black Pepper

Tellicherry Pepper #10

December Spice of the Month

The recently arrived 2017 harvest of Tellicherry black peppercorns from Kerala, India is seriously special. By putting this pepper in your home grinder you can raise the quality of every single meal you serve!

This is sourced for our friends at Épices de Cru by their friend Sudheer. Sudheer’s mission is to master the pepper trade and to set a higher bar for integrity in spice trading. By purchasing this pepper, we have a direct connection with the folks in India whose diligent work has made all this possible!

While Tellicherry is always good, this year’s, to my taste, particularly terrific. Remarkably delicious. Spicy, but not searingly so. Lively, mind clearing, calming.

This pepper is so good we switched the whole Roadhouse over to it last spring. Its in almost every dish and on every table. Try it with Tellicherry Black Pepper Beef Stew in Rolando Beramendi’s beautiful new book, Autentico. (Or come see Rolando in person at the Deli tasting event on Wednesday Dec. 13—I’ll be there, too).

Get it at The Deli
A slice of stollen on our special bag

Christmas Stollen

Holiday Season Hit from the Bakehouse

Stollen is one of the all-time best things we make at the Bakehouse. I’ve been tasting it regularly, and this year it seems better than ever.

Stollen is the traditional German Christmas cake. We make ours with incredible ingredients including Bacardi rum, candied orange and lemon zest, Michigan dried cherries, Indonesian cinnamon, and lots of real vanilla! The whole thing is brushed with rum butter—not once but three times—and dusted with powdered sugar.

A lot of what I like about it is that its flavors are big but balanced. Amy Emberling (a managing partner at the Bakehouse) said, “When you taste it, you understand why it's been a German Christmas tradition since 1545! Who can argue with 472 years of customer appreciation?”

Keep a few on hand in case company comes by unexpectedly! It also warms up beautifully on Christmas morning!

Read more, order it, or learn how to make it yourself
Matzo Ball Soup at The Deli

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls at the Deli

When I was a kid, every Friday evening we had chicken soup for dinner. It was part of the Sabbath meal every week. Sometimes it was with matzo balls, other times noodles, sometimes just straight up. If you were high on my grandmother’s list that week, you’d probably get a carrot or two from the soup in your bowl.

Today, I can get chicken soup every evening. We’ve been making it at the Deli as my grandmother did since we first opened our doors in 1982. High-quality chicken, carrots, parsley, celery, and onion—there’s really not much to it. Like so much of our food, it’s about the quality of the ingredients and taking the time to do it properly.

Aside from arrival of cold weather, what’s got this soup on my mind right now is that Rodger Bowser—long time chef and one of the managing partners at the Deli—called to tell me how amazing the matzo balls are right now. What’s behind the sudden improvement? New matzo meal! It comes from The Matzo Project, a New York City-based company started by Amy Albert and Kevin Rodriguez, lifelong friends after attending Jewish camp together in North Carolina. They set out to make artisan matzo and they’ve succeeded. Rodger is singing the praises of the matzo balls made from their matzo meal. Lighter, fluffier, more flavorful! Rodger is not known for slinging around superlatives in superficial ways, so when he tells me they’re a lot better, I’m 100 percent confident that the quality is up significantly. Stop by the Deli this week and have a bowl. Better yet, take one home to share!

See all the Jewish Specialties at The Deli
A chunk of Roncadella Parmigiano Reggiano

Parm Club from Zingerman’s Mail Order

You might have been reading all my notes, articles and posts about Parmigiano Reggiano® over the last four or five months. Honestly, tracking down our five new sources—all artisanal dairies in the Parmigiano Reggiano district—has been some of the most inspiring culinary work I’ve been a part of in the last few years! All of them are tasting terrific; each has its own unique flavor profile. The idea with this whole project is to start to treat Parmigiano Reggiano like the multifaceted cheese it is.

The Parm Club will send three shipments, one a month, of a Parmigiano Reggiano from different dairies, different altitudes, made with slight differences in style, but all exceptionally delicious. You’ll get two chunks of Parmigiano Reggiano each month, always totaling over a pound, along with information about the two different cheeses. The first month’s shipment also comes with a Parm knife, for chipping off chunks to add to pasta, salads, or just nibbling. Being a Parm lover myself, I can tell you that a gift box of two different pieces of Parmigiano Reggiano arriving on my doorstep would make my day!

Join the Club!
Chestnut Napoleon with apricots and almonds

Napoleon in
Chestnut Leaves

Great Little Goat Cheese from The Creamery

These small discs of lightly-aged goat cheese have become one of my favorites over the last few years. Named for the small town of Napoleon, Michigan (I mean really small—it’s not a “one-stoplight town” but a “one-blinking-yellow-light town”), in Jackson County. Modeled after a French Pelardon, a classic goat cheese of the Cevannes in southern France—it’s got a delicious, notable-but-not-too-strong goat flavor. Made with ripened cream, everyone that tastes it is wowed by this wonderful little cheese. Fabulous as is with a handful of pecans or pistachios and a good bit of crusty baguette.

The Creamery takes it up a notch every summer and fall by taking a few of these beautiful little cheeses and wrapping them in wine-soaked Michigan chestnut leaves and aging them for an additional month. The little microclimate inside the leaf wrapping creates a special, fuller, richer, rounder flavor. Each one is already essentially gift-wrapped since we tie the wheels by hand with a bit of raffia. Amazingly big flavor in a very small, beautiful, little package.

Get it at the Creamery's Cream Top Shop
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