Ari's Top 5
Here’s a quick roundup of 5 Zing things Ari is excited about this week—stuff you might not have heard of!
Walnut Beigli

Hungarian Walnut Beigli from the Bakehouse

Addictively excellent pastry in the style of Budapest

Over the last few years, these wonderful walnut beigli have become one of our biggest holiday hits. Staffers ooh and aah when beigli first emerge from the Bakehouse ovens for the season. If you try them, I have a feeling you may be joining us in delicious amazement!

A long-standing holiday tradition in Hungary, beigli is a staple at Christmas. Beigli (pronounced “bay-glee”) is a yeasted dough rolled up with a filling of walnuts—the outside has a beautiful sheen to it and a slightly mottled, crackly look to its crust. Inside are swirls of a thick walnut-sugar filling that’s so good I had a hard time not eating more of it. It makes a great host/ess gift, or just something special to bring home to liven up a dark winter night!

Beigli has become a big part of the Bakehouse holiday tradition. Amy Emberling, co-managing partner, says, “I love making and eating walnut beigli, but I might actually enjoy the way beigli looks more than anything else (you know that expression "eating with our eyes"). It has a rich mahogany exterior with distinctive cracking from the particular egg wash method traditionally used. Each beigli has its own unique and captivating pattern.”

Just one word of sweet warning. Once you try it, it might be hard to stop. We’ve got at least one customer who comes in weekly during December to fill her freezer with these things and then works through her inventory regularly all year long. I understand her desire to have it on hand. Really, the flavor is so compelling, it’s hard to not want a slice!

Bring Budapest Home from the Bakehouse
Cappezzana Olive Oil

Cappezzana Olive Oil
from Tuscany

New oil from the 2017 harvest
hits the shelves

One of the big hits of last week! This exceptional oil arrived last Tuesday morning, just in time for the visit of our friend Rolando Beramendi. We did a delicious Italian Chanukah dinner at the Roadhouse and a terrific tasting with Rolando at the Deli! He’s flown home now, but we still have some bottles of this beautiful green oil.

If you’ve never tried olio nuovo before, I'll tell you it’s something really special! If you love big, peppery olive oils, these are for you! In his new book Autentico, Rolando writes that olio nuovo is “Gutsy, almost angry, and bright green. This oil should be celebrated as a ritual, a rite of passage of the seasons, a gift of nature.”

The Cappezzana estate has been around since the beginning of the ninth century. Nearly 1,200 years later, Cappezzana olive oil remains full-flavored, peppery, green, and delicious. They’ve continually brought in new technology to keep quality levels at their peak while sticking to the old-school approaches that keep olive oil flavor high (like wider tree spacing). Olives are picked by hand and brought to the press, usually within 12 hours.

Serve this peppery new harvest oil over a Tuscan bean salad or a fresh plate of lettuce or arugula, drizzle it onto a bowl of steaming bean soup, or pour it onto steamed new potatoes. Fantastic on pasta (the Roadhouse is still serving Rolando’s recipe of the Roman classic Cacio e Pepe—spaghetti with Pecorino cheese and black pepper and olive oil—this week!). Great on bruschetta—Bakehouse bread (Farm Bread, Miche, or Paesano) toasted, rubbed with a clove of fresh garlic and then a generous dose of oil. Add a small sprinkle of sea salt if you like.

Remember that olio nuovo—literally, “new oil”—is going to be particularly peppery, full-flavored and delicious, so this isn’t something you can wait until spring to try. Right now it is at its peak of pepperiness. The same bottle of oil later this year will still be good, but markedly less peppery. As Rolando says in his beautiful book (which is on the shelves at the Deli and Roadhouse), “Splurge on a bottle once a year. Use immediately; pour abundantly.”

Hurry to the Deli for the new oil!
Pimen-Tuna Melt on a plate

Pimen-Tuna Melt
at the Roadhouse

Pimento cheese + tuna salad
= a great new sandwich

We put two terrific foods together, and what did we get? A sandwich so good that I could eat it for lunch a couple times a week. Giving credit where credit is due, the idea for this one came from my girlfriend Tammie Gilfoyle—as is so often the case, she was right on the money!

The Roadhouse’s addictive pimento cheese, mixed with the all-American tuna from the Pacific Northwest, between two slices of Bakehouse Country Wheat bread (one of my favorites) and grilled to a golden brown…it all comes together in one delicious sandwich. We just started this last week, but I can see already that it will become a Roadhouse lunch classic, served up with double-cooked fries (or sub in some of those terrific Tellicherry black pepper fries!)

Ready for some compelling comfort food? Come by and give this new sandwich a try!
Martelli Maccheroni in Roadhouse Macaroni

Martelli Maccheroni

Totally marvelous macaroni from Tuscany

I taste a lot of new foods—I’m always sampling new stuff, experimenting at home, and eating in restaurants every time I go out of town. But, what really gets my attention is when something I’ve been eating, say, for decades, still blows my mind because it’s just so freaking good! I’ve been eating Martelli Maccheroni for 30 years now. But lately, I can’t get enough of it!

If you’ve eaten Martelli you’re probably already sold. If you haven’t, give it a try! To quote Corby Kummer writing in The Atlantic, “You should buy or order Martelli at least once if only to have a standard against which to judge other dried pasta.”

It’s made in the tiny Tuscan hill town of Lari, which is about half an hour east of Pisa. Martelli pasta is so special because it’s...

  • Made with very hard durum wheat
  • Mixed at low temperatures with cool water
  • Extruded through bronze dies to get the old-style, very rough surface on the pasta (so that the sauce clings to the pasta, not the bottom of the bowl)
  • Dried for 50-60 hours at modest temperatures to protect the fragile flavor of the wheat.
  • Takes a lot longer to cook—10-13 minutes—but you can smell the wheat when you drop the pasta in the pot.
  • While most commercial pasta is very bland, Martelli actually has flavor!

Martelli Maccheroni makes THE BEST macaroni and cheese. So good that we’ve been using it at the Roadhouse now for fourteen straight years! The Martelli’s only pack their pasta in retail-sized bags, so we open dozens of them every day! I checked in with Beatrice Ughi, the importer of Martelli into the US—the Roadhouse is indeed the BIGGEST user of Martelli maccheroni in the country!

At home, we cook Martelli maccheroni often. When I'm having a rough day, one of my favorite comfort meals is a bowl of Martelli maccheroni (very al dente!), dressed with some very good olive oil (the olio nuovo above would be a knockout), a lot of Parmigiano Reggiano and a healthy dose of the new crop 2017 Telicherry black pepper. Oh yeah, don’t hesitate to add a spoonful or two of the Bellwether Ricotta from the Creamery, too!

Speaking of Parmigiano Reggiano, our new Parm Club made The New York Times this week!  

PS: The recipe for the Roadhouse Macaroni and 3-Peppercorn Goat Cheese is in the back of Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 4; A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to the Power of Beliefs in Business. It’s on page 540 if you’re curious.

Give yourself the gift of great pasta
Liptauer Cheese on Bakehouse bread

Liptauer Cheese
at the Creamery

Traditional Hungarian flavors re-emerge

Most people aren’t familiar, but liptauer cheese (pronounced “Lip-tower”) is a long-standing Hungarian tradition. It’s basically the Hungarian version of pimento cheese—a delicious cheese spread with peppers. It’s slightly spicy, super delicious, and frighteningly addictive.

We start with our very fresh Farm Cheese, spice it up with fresh garlic, a good bit of Hungarian paprika, capers, toasted caraway, and just a touch of anchovy. It’s moderately spicy and exceptionally flavorful—there’s a big burst of flavor in every bite! I’ve been told that in Hungary it was often served in casinos and bars—it’s definitely the sort of stuff that goes great with good salami and beer.

Liptauer Cheese is great on rye bread from the Bakehouse, bagels and baked potatoes, or used as an hors-d'oeuvre or the base for spicy finger sandwiches. Really good on a roast beef sandwich. Or stick a soft spoonful on a steak that’s just off the grill. Try putting some in an omelet! Find out why Hungarians rarely go more than a day or two without eating some of this wonderful paprika-laced deliciousness!

Catch some Liptauer from the Creamery
Don’t forget that Miss Kim will be closed for winter holiday from Jan 1–8. We’ll be back with bibimbob and a bunch of new dishes on Tuesday, January 9! Come down to Kerrytown for some really good Korean food!
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