Cheesemongers go Cheddaring

Last week, the Brighton cheesemongers got their hands dirty and made cheddar with the experts at Grafton Village Cheese in Vermont.

It was part of what we refer to as a “Team Build”– a chance to spend time together outside of the store, invest some energy into a worthwhile activity, and have a whole lot of fun. As a proud member of the Brighton Specialty Department Team, I was lucky enough to participate. It was a true highlight of my culinary life thus far. I would brag that I can now cross a pretty big item off my bucket list, but that’s not entirely true. I want to do it again!

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New! New! New! Grillo’s

Bread, eggs, milk, coffee, and pickles.

That’s pretty much my list of pantry staples. Unless I’ve gone on a real pickle bender, it’s not likely that you’ll open my fridge and be unable to find a jar of Grillo’s hot spears. It’s not just that I like supporting local vendors. These pickles– which owner Travis Grillo learned to make in his grandfather’s backyard garden– are my absolute favorites. They’re crisp enough to snap and just plain delightful, garlicky and spicy hot but also tangy and cool with big handfuls of fresh dill.

Grillo’s spears have been flying off our Produce shelves for a few years. (I don’t think I’m the only one who counts them among her pantry staples.) Today I spotted a new tub sitting alongside the familiar spear: Pickle chips.

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Who doesn’t love a pickle chip in a baseball sitting in a beach chair?

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Snapshot: Fresh Tomatoes!

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We’re lucky enough to have delicious, ripe tomatoes all year, but I think we can all agree that there’s something special about that first bright red and perfectly ripe tomato each spring. I’ll be making caprese Backyard Farms tomatoes and Maplebrook mozz tonight. What do these tomatoes make you want to cook?

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New! New! New! SlantShack Jerky

Here’s a fun fact: I love beef jerky. When we had our last blizzard, my friends and I got ourselves a DIY cookbook and made a batch from scratch. It was worth the effort, but sometimes you don’t have a day and a half to slow-roast jerky in your oven.

Enter SlantShack Jerky, one of the newest products to land in the Brighton store. It’s a partnership of a Brooklyn-based group of friends and the Vermont Highland Cattle Company in Orleans, VT.

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Get in here and try this!

This stuff is incredible. It’s chewy-tender and so much more flavorful than any jerky I’ve ever had (and that includes the one I made myself). If that wasn’t enough, SlantShack is made entirely from grass-fed beef. That’s pretty much unheard of in a snack food that’s more often associated with gas stations than high quality, artisanal companies making a product with incredible amounts of love and care. And, like all of our meat, it’s free of antibiotics and growth hormones.

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Link: Sauces ‘n Love in Bostoniano

Here at Brighton, we have a special spot in our hearts for Paolo Volpati-Kedra and his two lines of Italian pasta sauces. Inspired by his Italian heritage and upbringing in Milan sauces authentic, Paolo’s sauces are flavorful and so much more fresh than a typical jarred sauce. In the Specialty department, we can barely keep Sauces ‘n Love on the shelf. I have a feeling the folks in Grocery have a similar problem keeping up with the demand on the shelf-stable Scarpetta line. Paolo lives pretty close to Brighton, so we have the good luck of seeing him around the store on a regular basis. It’s always a pleasure, as he is as friendly and kind as his sauces are delicious.

Paolo shows off the freshness of the ingredients in his packaging facility in Lynn. [photo from Bostoniano]

Paolo shows off the freshness of the ingredients in his packaging facility in Lynn. [photo from Bostoniano]

I was excited to stumble across this article the other day, in which Paolo gets awesome press from an Italian-American blog. And if anyone is an authority of an Italian pasta sauce, it’s a blog like Bostoniano.

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Link: T’Art in Edible Boston

T’Art is one of the most incredible products to come out of Brighton, as you might already know from the frequent appearances it makes on this blog. I’m a huge advocate of it, and I never buy boxed mixes. Linda Amir emailed me recently to let me know that her tart mix is appearing in this Spring’s issue of Edible Boston. I’m so proud of her success at Brighton and really excited to see her getting more publicity.

Just look at this picture! How could you not want to support Linda and eat that delicious tart?

Just look at this picture! How could you not want to support Linda and eat that delicious tart? [photo from Edible Boston]

Check out the article here and then come buy yourself a bag of the mix! A homemade, flaky tart dotted with fresh fruit is just the thing to warm you up during today’s snowstorm.

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Show Your Love With Local: Terroir Coffee

Valentine’s Day comes around but once a year. Whether you love it or love to hate it, this holiday is right around the corner.

Here at Brighton, we celebrate this holiday with all the roses and chocolate you could possibly want. But there are so many other things in this store that make a picture-perfect present. Starting today, I’ll be posting a suggestion every day of a local product that’s particularly appropriate for Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re buying a present for a significant other or treating yourself, show your love with local.

February 12th: Terroir Coffee

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Whether you’re starting a regular old Tuesday or waking up on Valentine’s Day, a rich and creamy latte is the perfect way to greet the day. 

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