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Ari's Top 5
Thank you for signing up for our new weekly curated email! Here’s a quick roundup of 5 Zing things Ari is excited about this week—stuff you might not have heard of!
Domenica Fiore Oil
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Domenica Fiore—Cutting Edge New Oil from Umbria

Fruit-forward flavor and a fine peppery finish!
 
I think of the Italian region of Umbria often. One of my good friends, Elizabeth Minchilli lives in Rome, but she and her family have a “summer home” up in Umbria that they visit regularly, and she’s been after me to visit for ages now. On top of all that I have very fond memories of visiting (decades ago now)—I love the small to mid-sized hill towns, I love that it has so much of what makes Tuscany so wonderful but with only about 20 percent of the tourists. And, of course, I love the food! All of which will help you understand why, when I saw a new olive oil that had just arrived at the Deli from Umbria, my curiosity was immediately piqued. And I’m pleased to report this Umbrian oil is excellent! 

The Domenica Fiore farm is located near the beautiful hill town of Orvieto. Cesare Bianchini, is the oil master—he’s been studying olive growing, agronomy, pressing, and blending for years and has clearly put his learning to good use. Canadian businessman Frank Giustra has helped make it all a reality by coordinating the project. He has a lifelong bond and emotional connection to Italy. His mother, for whom the oil is named, is Italian. “My mother spent her life in the kitchen cooking. My memories are of platefuls of steamed vegetables covered with olive oil. It was delicious.”

Cesare’s approaches to agriculture make intuitive, harmonious sense to me. “Environment must be respected. This position and these characteristics provide us the ideal conditions to carry out an even more respectful management of our olive groves,” said Bianchini. The farm organically grows four varietals of olives: Frantoio, Moraiolo, Leccino, and Canino. Irrigation is minimal, lowering yields, but concentrating flavors. Olives are handpicked and pressed within hours. The newly pressed oil is immediately stored and conditioned with nitrogen and then packed into opaque, stainless steel bottles. 

The results are really something. Food 52 loved the oil: “This fruity, medium-bodied, golden green olive oil has won international awards—and we'd give it a blue ribbon ourselves. It's highly complex with a persistent flavor (lingering on the tongue).”  The Domenica Fiore is an oil with a big, fruit-forward flavor. It’s my kind of oil. It's bold, memorable, starkly distinctive like a Cubist painting. George Braque maybe. Big green. Cutting edge. Spicy. Crisp. Hints of just-cut grass, green tomato, and artichoke. Memorable and marvelous. An oil that stands solidly on its own two feet, but is well behaved enough not to step on yours.  

The Domenica Fiore oil is great with a big chunk of fresh Paesano bread from the Bakehouse. It’s beautiful on bruschetta—toast some Farm bread or Country Miche and pour it on along with a sprinkle of Fiore di Sale. Put it on pasta—cook some good Martelli spaghetti or Rustichella linguine, pour on plenty of the oil, add a bunch of black pepper and that amazing, big flavored Borgotaro Parmigiano Reggiano, and eat it while it’s hot! It’s great on a steak, a piece of grilled tuna or broiled swordfish. It’s lovely on a great heirloom lettuce (Ann Arbor Seed Company has some great ones). Oh yeah, I almost forgot—it’s amazing on those new potatoes that are still coming into the market!
 
Try this Oil
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'Pa amb Oli', fruit on toast with olive oil and salt, on a white plate
Pa amb Oli with Fruit
Terrific traditional Majorcan combo of bread and oil 
This special dish is just too perfect to pass up this time of year because there’s so much great fruit coming into the farmer’s market. Both the main market downtown and our lovely little Westside Market on Thursday evenings in front of the Roadhouse are seeing plenty of offerings. Last week I saw peaches, apricots, blueberries, and raspberries. More is on the way! 

The first time I heard of this simple dish was when I was reading Bread and Oil: Majorcan Culture’s Last Stand, written by Tomás Graves, son of author Robert Graves. I’ve never been to the island, but the book makes me want to. Pa amb Oli—the main subject of the book—is the Majorcan term for the bread-and-oil combo that most of us here have come to know by the Italian name “bruschetta” (pronounced “BROO-sket-TA”). Majorcans have literally dozens of different bread and oil recipes.

The combination that really caught my attention though was the less common idea of eating bread and olive oil with fresh fruit. Although this pairing has become somewhat more obscure in modern times even on Majorca, it was apparently quite common in centuries past. Señor Graves posits that it’s unique to Majorca, and I have to say that I’d never heard of it anywhere else. That said, I eat it regularly, and I’m pretty sure if you try it, you will too! 

You can make Pa amb Oli with most any combination of bread, oil, and fruit you like. The Domenica Fiore oil I mentioned would be fantastic! In terms of the bread, Majorcans tend toward whole wheat, so I recommend one the Bakehouse’s marvelous new Grain Project breads—Country Miche, Turkey Red with Walnuts, or Margaret’s Sweet Wheat (pictured above). It’d also be darned good with Farm bread too! 

Once you’ve got the good ingredients, the dish itself could hardly be much simpler to make. Toast the bread. Pour on plenty of olive oil. Sprinkle on a bit of coarse sea salt. Then lay slices of freshly cut peach, apricot, nectarine, or whatever you’ve got across the top. There’s lots of good fruit out there to play with right now. I was just thinking to try it with fresh blueberries and raspberries. 

Strange as it may sound, the combination of fruit and olive oil is pretty wonderful. The sweetness of the fruit is an excellent foil for the savoriness of the oil and the bread, and the salt unlocks all the flavors. Try this old Majorcan flavor combination as an appetizer before dinner or as a snack at any time of the day, or better still for breakfast. 
 
'Majorca' your own!
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Eggs in Outrage Breakfast Dish
Eggs in Outrage
Delicious new breakfast dish at the Roadhouse
Although I’m very bonded to traditional food, there are times over the years where my mind wanders from what’s been already been done, where I start to imagine ingredients combined in a new ways, all in the interest of creating something super delicious. For me, with my roots in history, it’s almost always taking an ancient dish and altering one element to take into a new construct. Which is exactly what happened earlier this spring when I was out running—I had an idea, which turned out to be too tasty to pass up. And now, a month or so later, it’s on the breakfast menu at the Roadhouse!

The jumping off point for me this time is an old Italian recipe called Uova in Purgatorio, or, in English, Eggs in Purgatory. It’s a delicious dish in which you heat up a spicy tomato sauce and then crack whole eggs right into the sauce, and simmer until they’re lightly cooked. When you eat it, you break the yolk into the sauce and sop it up with toast. It’s terrific! 

The origin of the name? Well, the generally accepted theory is that the eggs represent the vulnerable souls, trying to stay intact, suspended between heaven and hell. Many people believe that the culinary roots of the dish go to the southern Mediterranean, where a comparable dish known as shakshouka has been made for centuries. 

On this day I was thinking: what if I did what my friend, New York Times food writer, Melissa Clark, referred to when she wrote about having “widened my eggs-and-red-sauce circle?” What if, I started to wonder, we replaced the Italian tomato sauce, with an all-American usage of the Roadhouse’s now-classic Red Rage barbecue sauce. Not every idea I come up with is good. But this one turned out terrific. The intuition was insightful—the dish was delicious. 

A month later, the newly-christened Eggs in Outrage appeared on the breakfast menu at the Roadhouse. (Credit for the name goes to the Roadhouse Kitchen Supervisor Dennis Bennette.) Two eggs, simmered in that great, slightly spicy, slightly sweet barbecue sauce, served next to those delicious griddled breakfast potatoes. We ladle some of the sauce from the sautée pan over the potatoes, too. Add one of those flaky buttermilk biscuits and, man, what a meal! A southern Italian tradition that’s taken an American Southern turn. It’s probably my number one breakfast choice at the Roadhouse right now! Come by and check it out! 
 
Join us for breakfast!
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Certified Cheese Professional Tessie Ives-Wilson teaching a Cheese 101 class
Cheese 101
Great cheese classes to supplement your culinary education
As if it wasn’t enough that people were coming from all over the country to attend the exceptional home baking classes at BAKE!, or that people are coming from all over the world to take seminars at ZingTrain. The Creamery has been upping our educational ante by adding a whole range of really good classes to their repertoire. Over the course of the year we’ve got two dozen different cheese-related classes on all sorts of subjects from making to maturing to serving to pairing with wine, beer, or honey. When I went to the University of Michigan, they didn’t have any degree program in cheese—if they did I might have chosen it over the Russian History that I actually studied. But the good news for you all is that you can now come to the Creamery to begin your own formal, very flavorful cheese education. 
 
Both the learning and the tasting that goes with it are guaranteed to be good! And, unlike some of what I studied in school, you’ll be able to put what you learn to work every day. Take one or two of these Creamery classes and you’re guaranteed to understand cheese at a whole new level. Eating it and serving it will take on new heights of enjoyment! 
 
This Friday evening the Creamery’s Tessie Ives-Wilson, one of a small number of nationally Certified Cheese Professionals, will work her usual teaching magic with an excellent entry level course that looks at the basics of curds and whey—Cheese 101 will give an overview of seven different styles of cheesemaking. Tessie will talk and guide you through the whole range—from fresh, to semi-firm, to cheddar to blue and much more. I got a peek at the list of cheeses you’ll taste, and all are excellent! 
 
I know for me, the more I learn about anything I like, the more I appreciate it, the more interested I am to learn about it in even more depth, the more I appreciate it. Between Tessie’s knowledge and enthusiasm and the excellence of the artisan cheeses you’ll be tasting, I feel confident that your interest in, and passion for, great cheese will grow exponentially. The Irish philosopher John O’Donohue once pointed out that, “One of the most beautiful gifts in the world is the gift of encouragement. When someone encourages you, that person helps you over a threshold you might otherwise never have crossed on your own.” The Creamery’s classes offer that encouragement for you to develop deeper knowledge for one of my favorite foods. I feel confident that you’ll come out the course with an even deeper appreciation for artisan cheese, a much better understanding of what makes one cheese different from the next, and the knowledge to put all that to practical use every time you purchase a piece of Parmigiano Reggiano or Piave

How did the cheese professor start class every day?
"Oh queso…"
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Guatemala Buena Esperanza Whole Bean Coffee
Guatemala - Buena Esperanza
Sensually wonderful new micro-lot coffee from northwest Guatemala

Back in the ‘60s, Scott McKenzie sang the famous song: “If you're going to San Francisco, Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair; If you're going to San Francisco, You're gonna meet some gentle people there.” He was talking about San Francisco, California of course. But he could have written it about San Francisco, the small town in northwest Guatemala, not far from the farm where this fabulous Buena Esperanza coffee is grown. The gentle spirit of the song, the focus on beauty and love, care and compassion, all come together in this very compelling micro-lot coffee that’s just arrived. Pretty much every staffer at the Coffee Company is all abuzz about it. And, now, I am as well. I’m betting you will be, too! 

The coffee comes to us from a woman I’ve yet to meet, Noe Castillo. The beans are grown on her family’s small, 16-acre farm. It’s up in the remote mountains of northwest Guatemala.The region is one of the most diverse in the country, with a strong presence of Maya people—there are seven different Mayan dialects spoken in the area. Noe’s mother worked on the farm for 40 years; now her brothers all work there. The family clearly has a great work ethic and a commitment to quality. Because, with all due respect to Steve, Chris, Asa and everyone who roasts at the Coffee Company, not even an alchemist could turn only average raw material into an amazing coffee like this. 

Grown under shade trees at about 1900 meters (altitude contributes to complexity of flavor), the beans are “washed” to remove the pulp, which enhances some of its soft mellowness. I’ve heard flavor descriptors for Buena Esperanza like sweet iced tea, green grapes, brown sugar, brown butter, honeydew melon, golden currants, and raisins. It’s definitely juicy, silky soft, floral...This flavor is this one is almost the opposite of the Domenica Fiore olive oil. Whereas the latter has edge and gets right up—elegantly, I should say—in your face, the Guatemala Buena Esperanza is a gentle, soft, sensuous, subtle set of flavors that remind me of freshly made cinnamon toast. A cup of the Buena Esperanza—I like it brewed as a pour over—would make a wonderful accompaniment to one of those Toni rolls from the Bakehouse (sourdough, studded with chunks of dark chocolate). 

Buena Esperanza means “good hope.” It’s well named. Both for the quality of the growing, the roasting, and care that the Castillo family commit. It’s a sign of positive hope for a healthy, collaborative, ecologically sound future. As anarchist Peter Kropotkin once said, “it is always hope…which makes revolutions.” Here’s to calm, caring, collaborative times to come. 
We 'hope' to see you there!
P.S. The Deli Merch crew is celebrating Art Fair by offering $50 off and of their one-of-a-kind, hand-painted posters. Sale runs from July 16 through 22! You don’t have to stand in line, get rained on or pay for parking. Just use the discount code: ARTFAIR on our website
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Ari

Upcoming Events:

Friday, July 20
Cheese 101
TIME: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
LOCATION: Zingerman's Creamery, 3723 Plaza Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108
PRICE: $40

Wednesday, July 25
Just for Kids: Explore the World of Deli Meats
TIME: 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm
LOCATION: Zingerman's Deli Upstairs Next Door, 418 Detroit St., Ann Arbor Michigan, 48104
PRICE: $15.00

Thursday, August 2
Cornman Farms Seasonal Summer Dinner
TIME: 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
LOCATION: Cornman Farms, 8540 Island Lake Road, Dexter, MI 48130
PRICE: $75.00
 
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