Featured, Food, Food Artisans

Renowned Chocolatier Visits Zingerman’s for Two September Events

CHOCOLATE-featured

We’re very happy to announce that founder and CEO of Askinosie Chocolate, Shawn Askinosie has rescheduled, and will visit two Zingerman’s businesses in mid-September to share his story and his chocolate!

Shawn Askinosie had a successful career as a criminal defense lawyer for nearly 20 years before he founded his Springfield, Missouri chocolate-making business. He was recently named by O, The Oprah Magazine as “One of 15 Guys Who Are Saving the World.” They said,

Why we’re fans: The philanthropically-minded chocolate entrepreneur aims to get students thinking about business ethics in a way that could have ripple effects for generations.”

Askinosie Chocolate is a small-batch award-winning chocolate manufacturer with 15 full-time employees. Askinosie sources 100% of their beans directly from the farmers, and Shawn travels to regions of EcuadorHondurasthe Philippines, and Tanzania to work directly with the farmers. This allows the chocolate to be traced to the source and labeled Authentic Single Origin Chocolate. It also enables Askinosie Chocolate to profit share with the farmers, giving them a Stake In the Outcome™. The Askinosie Chocolate mission is to serve their farmers, their neighborhood, their customers and each other; sharing the Askinosie Chocolate Experience by leaving the world a better place than they found it.

ZingTrain Speaker Series

On Wednesday, September 17, 8am, Shawn will take the reins at the ZingTrain Speaker Series to tell you his story, the story of how a criminal defense attorney became a chocolate maker. The story of how his business, Askinosie Chocolate, wins more awards for its chocolate than we can keep track of. The story of how his small 15-person business makes a huge positive impact on all it comes in contact with the world over. The story of how you can go about creating meaningful work, creating a business with a vocation.

reserve your seat here


Tasting at Zingerman’s Deli

Later that day, September 17, 630pm, Shawn will share his story at Zingerman’s Events on 4th, and lead us in a tasting of some of his amazing bean-to-bar chocolates. Join us as Shawn talks about Direct Trade, his relationship with the farmers who grow his cocoa beans, and his commitment to sharing profits with the people at the source. Shawn’s chocolate wins awards year after, and you’ll see why when you taste it. Don’t miss this chance to talk, and taste, great chocolate with one of the best!

reserve your seat here

See you soon!

Food, Food Artisans

Violet Mustard at Zingerman’s

violet-mustard You Need purple mustard in your pantry

In French there’s a saying: “…se croire le premier moutardier du pape.” Roughly translated, it means, “he thinks he’s the pope’s mustard maker.” It describes someone who’s perhaps a bit too proud of himself. The story goes that Pope John XXII got a hankering for the unique purple mustard of his hometown in southwestern France, so he called up his nephew (or sent him a letter, or a papal carrier pigeon—however popes got in touch with their nephews 650 years ago) and invited him to the papal palace to be his own personal mustard maker. I wonder if he just liked purple for its royal connotations, or if he couldn’t bear meals without his hometown mustard?

Despite the papal seal of approval, that purple mustard never really made it big.

When Elie-Arnaud Denoix started making mustard at his family’s cognac distillery in the Périgord region of southwestern France, the purple mustard of his childhood was all but extinct. He decided to revive it, and after a year of making batch after batch of it, he landed on a recipe that he thought tasted like the traditional product. To verify his tastebuds’ intuition, he took it to a nearby village and gave it to as many of the older townsfolk as he could, the ones who grew up eating it. He asked them if it was the mustard they remembered. Half of them told him it was exactly right; half of them said it was completely wrong. Elie counted that as success and started production.

Denoix’s violet mustard is purple because it’s half grape juice.

More specifically, it’s grape must: freshly pressed juice that includes stuff like skins, seeds, and stems. Using grape must is a very old way to make mustard. The word “mustard” actually derives from the Latin mustum (grape must) and ardens  (burning), so I’d bet the mustard eaten in ancient Rome looked a lot like violet mustard. By 1407 mustard makers in Dijon, France had switched from using must to vinegar and most of the mustard world followed suit. In Périgord vinegar was more precious as medicine than as food, so they kept using must.

Elie usually uses local grapes for the must, and he looks for ones with a lot of color and sugar. After the juice is pressed it’s heated to evaporate the water and concentrate the flavor. Then he adds the must to a blend of two mustard seeds: mostly there are a lot of milder yellow seeds, but he also includes a small amount of more pungent black seeds. The mix is ground very lightly in a stone mill, leaving lots of the seeds intact and making the mustard a bit crunchy.

Mustard is at its spiciest about 15 minutes after it’s mixed together, but most of us are unlikely to ever try it that fresh unless we make our own. From there it gets mellower with time. Since the violet mustard is meant to be sweet and mellow, Elie ages each 200-pound batch for eight weeks before jarring it. The result is a remarkably soft and sweet mustard with only the barest whisper of heat.

By the way, there are no violets—as in the flowers—in this mustard, as I assumed when I first heard about it. The “violet” is in the name is because violet is the French word for purple.

Violet mustard is really, really good with cheese.

I especially love it paired with the Manchester  made by Zingerman’s Creamery—together they’re earthy, tangy, creamy and crunchy from the caviar pop you get from biting down on the whole mustard seeds. (We sell those two paired together in their own gift box.) Elie really likes violet mustard with blue cheese. He also likes it with boudin sausage and cooked apples, a traditional way to serve violet mustard in Périgord. Blended with a bit of  balsamic, it also makes an incredible sauce for a steak—and if the current pope had his own personal violet mustard maker, I’d bet that, given his Argentinian roots, that’s how he’d want it served.

Zingerman’s Mustard Pop-up Shop: online now through September 30! A dozen new mustard finds for summer sandwich slathering, salad vinaigrettes, hot dogs, hamburgers—you name it. When they sell out, they’re gone. Check ‘em out quick!

Food, Food Artisans

This Week at Zingerman’s 8/19/14

newmustards

Pop-up Mustard Store at Zingerman’s Mail Order

It’s Mustardpalooza! Now through September 30Zingerman’s Mail Order is hosting a special mustard pop-up shop on our website! We’ve added a dozen new mustards to our collection for summer sandwich slathering, salad vinaigrettes, hot dogs, hamburgers — you name it. This is a one-time only event! When the new mustards sell out, they’re gone. Check it out today!


Bread of the Month at the Bakehouse and the Deli: Sicilian Sesame Semolina Rounds

The traditional golden sesame crusted bread of Sicily, made with 100% semolina and durum wheat flours. The entire loaf is rolled in unhulled sesame seeds. Makes incredible toast or grilled sandwiches


Cake of the Month at the Bakehouse and the Deli: Buttermilk Cake

Buttery yellow cake filled with raspberry butter cream and covered in smooth vanilla butter cream. The cake itself has an enticing aroma from the sweet Wisconsin butter and the Guernsey family dairy buttermilk.Please enjoy our cakes at room temperature. Your patience will be rewarded!


Imangia All’Italiana at Zingerman’s Deli

Long live Italian cuisine! Our love for Italian foods goes back decades! Some of our Italian producer relationships date back to first few years after the Deli opened its doors in 1982. We’re loaded up with Italian olive oils, cheeses, meats, fish, sauces, pastas, olives, veggies, nuts, gelato; the list goes on and on. Stop by anytime during August and taste your way through our selection.

Next week and Beyond:

Brewing Methods at Zingerman’s Coffee Company

Learn the keys to successful coffee brewing using a wide variety of brewing methods from filter drip to syphon pot. This Sunday, August 17, 1pm, we will take a single coffee and brew it 6 to 8 different ways, each producing a unique taste. We’ll learn the proper proportions and technique for each and discuss the merits and differences of each style. Join us!

reserve your seat here


The Art of Growing Great Vegetables at Cornman Farms

On Monday, August 18, 6 pm,  take an inside look at our incredible new working farm in Dexter. This is a chance to spend some time with Farm Manager Mark Baerwolf to learn the secrets of his work with sustainable farming. You’ll head home with a host of farming tips and a bag full of fabulous vegetables from the farm.

reserve your seat here


Cornman Farms Tomato Dinner at Zingerman’s Roadhouse

Wednesday, August 27, 7pm
Easily the highlight of the harvesting season, our second Cornman Farms dinner showcases the best of the tomato season. Chef Alex and farmers have been caring for the tomatoes and now we get to benefit from their hard work. The tomato bar makes its return — numerous different tomatoes, handmade fresh mozzarella, really good olive oil, Balsamic vinegar and fresh grown basil — fill up your plate as many times as you can! Cornman Farms beef and pork will add to this late summer feast, making it a meal to remember.

reserve your seat here


Foundation of Cheesemaking Class at Zingerman’s Creamery

Join Creamery managing partner Aubrey Thomason on Saturday, August 30, 1pm, for the first in a series exploring the foundations of cheese. In this session, we’ll begin at the beginning with a discussion of milk. When did the milking of dairy animals start? What kinds of animals are milked throughout the world, and how does the milk vary from animal to animal? How does the milk influence the flavor of the cheese? Aubrey will lead a tasting of several different cheeses, and talk about how milk influences the consistency, the texture, and the overall flavor of the cheese. Learn and eat!

reserve your seat here


Lunchtime Delight at Cornman Farms

On Sunday, August 31, 10am, spend the morning with us for an in-depth understanding of what makes Cornman Farms so special. This experience will include a behind-the-scenes tour of the rehabilitated farmhouse, our beautifully restored barn, the new goat parlor, and the hoophouse. You’ll hear from the Farm Manager, our Animal Husbandry Manager, and our Events Department staff. Savor a delicious boxed lunch in the pre-Civil War barn overlooking our educational gardens, and then leave with a special gift from Cornman Farms.

reserve your seat here


Intro to Cornman Farms Tour

Enjoy a fascinating introduction to Cornman Farms’ rich history, agricultural projects and humane raising of animals. We’ll even throw in a taste of one of our seasonal vegetables! Thursday, September 4th, 6 pm.

reserve your seat here

See you soon!

Featured, Food, Food Artisans

New and Improved Zingerman’s Deli Menu Items!

As you know, many of our permanent sandwich menu selections started out doing test run as a Sandwich of the Month. Based on the very positive response we received, we’ve added these great new sandwiches below to the Zingerman’s Deli menu. Check ‘em out!

grandma kentuckys

#408 GRANDMA KENTUCKY’S (NEW!)

Broadbent Kentucky sausage patty, two freshly fried eggs, pimento cheese on a toasted sesame bagel.


second city dog

#194 SECOND CITY DOG (NEW!)

All-beef hot dog topped with onions, yellow mustard, relish, pickles, tomatoes & celery seed salt.


aubrees milk and honey

#214 AUBREY’S MILK & HONEY (NEW!)

Thinly sliced hot sopressata salami, Zingerman’s Creamery fresh goat cheese, drizzled with honey on grilled rustic Italian bread. Shep’s favorite!


tempeh reuben

#236 RUCKER’S RAUCOUS REUBEN (NEW!)

Grilled tempeh from the Brinery, Switzerland Swiss cheese, Brinery sauerkraut & Russian dressing on grilled onion rye.

We’ve also improved some of our old favorites! Instead of the baked eggs we used in the past, these breakfast sandwiches will now have TWO (2!) freshly fried eggs on each sandwich! We think the flavor speaks for itself. Come on down for breakfast!

beckys backstage

#401 BECKY’S BACKSTAGE

Vermont cheddar cheese, two freshly fried eggs, tomato & red onion on a toasted sesame bagel.


renees kitchen magic

#400 RENEE’S KITCHEN MAGIC

Applewood-smoked bacon, two freshly fried eggs & Vermont cheddar cheese on a toasted sesame bagel.


cheris just havin fun

#402 CHERI’S JUST HAVIN’ FUN

Arkansas peppered ham, two freshly fried eggs & Switzerland Swiss cheese on a toasted sesame bagel.


syds design studio

#403 SYD’S DESIGN STUDIO

Edward’s Virginia breakfast sausage links, two freshly fried eggs & Vermont cheddar cheese on a toasted sesame bagel.

Featured, Food, Food Artisans

Making Mozzarella

mozzarella

Maddie LaKind shares a cheesy story

People choose to start their mornings in all sorts of ways. Some opt for a cup of coffee and the paper. Some prefer an intense workout. Some even choose to wake up and reflect through writing or meditation. My mornings always start with mozzarella—that is mozzarella making rather than mozzarella eating. Although, I wouldn’t be opposed to the latter.

For nearly as long as I’ve worked in Zingerman’s Deli retail, the preparation of mozzarella has been the primary task on my morning checklist. Each day, between 7:00am and 8:00am, I (or any of the other few who have chosen to embark on the crazy journey of mastering “mozz”) turn a big hunk of curd into individually portioned servings of milky, mildly salty, cheesy goodness.

Just like jam, or pie, or any number of other well loved, but labor-intensive food classics, mozzarella is finicky to say the least. I always think about it like a math problem of sorts: all of the elements—heat, water, time, motion—must come together in just the right ratios to make a successful mozzarella. Some batches of mozzarella might be considered good by many standards, but that’s never really what I’m looking for. I want mozzarella that makes people swoon, that puts even the sweetest, and most succulent heirloom tomatoes to shame, the kind of mozzarella that people actively seek out, that brings them back. This has been my mozz quest since the very beginning.

The mozzarella making process is an inherently simple one. All you are really doing is heating up curd and bringing it together into a giant mass so that you can pull pieces off and shape them into individually portioned balls. Once shaped, the cheese is soaked in a salt-water brine to firm up and add that lovely salty flavor. Sounds easy enough, right? The catch is that you are essentially racing against the clock during this whole process. Either too little, or too much time can lead to a less than ideal mozzarella. Heating the curd too quickly will lead to the excretion of too much milk fat, yielding a dry and chewy texture. And if the curd sits for too long in the hot water, it will simultaneously lose milk fat and melt, creating a slippery mass of curd that ultimately yields a final product that’s too dry. So much for an inherently simple process, huh?

I think what I’ve realized about mozzarella making, as with any art form, is that the entire process is informed by practice, trial, and error. I’m pretty sure you have to make about 30 batches of botched mozzarella before you achieve your ideal desired product. For many people, this sort of process is completely unappealing. Why would you want to invest so much time in something that takes so long to give you something delicious in return? For me, I like the challenge. I like that it’s not always easy. I like that you have to use your senses and intuition to create the best possible mozzarella. I like that I learn something new about the process with every batch I make. And I really can’t complain about tasting mozzarella five days a week!

While my mozzarella mornings aren’t very conventional, for my obsessive foodie self, they are the perfect way to start my day.

- Maddie 

Would you like to see fresh mozzarella made right before your eyes?

Come to the Deli this Saturday and Sunday for our 10th Annual Piazza Zingermanza and watch a live demonstration! Join us for our annual August tradition of transforming the Deli’s Patio into an Italian Street Food Fest! There will be great food, music, interesting demonstrations, great specials on food, and lots of good company. It’s an event not to be missed! This event is FREE!

Food, Food Artisans

This Week at Zingerman’s 8/12/14

Intro to Cornman Farms Tour

Enjoy a fascinating introduction to Cornman Farms’ rich history, agricultural projects and humane raising of animals. We’ll even throw in a taste of one of our seasonal vegetables! Wednesday, August 13, 6 pm.

reserve your seat here


Fresh Mozzarella & Cornman Farms Tomato Party at Zingerman’s Creamery

August is the very height of tomato season at Cornman Farms. And what better way to enjoy fresh tomatoes than with fresh mozzarella? On Friday, August 15, 6pm, Farm Manager Mark Baerwolf will visit the Creamery to talk about the beginnings of Cornman Farms, and the wide variety of delicious heirloom tomato breeds he grows. We’ll taste smoked mozzarella, fiore di latte, burrata, and mozzarella rolls, along with a nice sampling of our heirloom tomatoes. Don’t miss it! 

reserve your seat here


Inaugural Dinner at Cornman Farms

Join us on Friday, August 15, 6pm for our very first farm feast! We’ll start off with a champagne cocktail hour and then enjoy a traditional farm meal just a few yards from where the crops are grown. Belly up to our Tomato Bar and taste the unique flavors in our many heirloom varietals. Dig in to our traditional potato latkes made from potatoes fresh from the fields. Savor ham from Niman Ranch hogs smoked in our historic smokehouse just a few feet from the barn. Top it all off with just-picked-blueberry pie for dessert. Roadhouse Chef Alex Young and Cornman Farms Managing Partner Kieron Hales will tell the story of the farm at this very first of many family-style dinners on our farm.

reserve your seat here


10th Annual Piazza Zingermanza at Zingerman’s Deli

Join us for our annual August tradition of transforming the Deli’s Patio into an Italian Street Food Fest! There will be great food, music, interesting demonstrations, great specials on food, and lots of good company.  It’s an event not to be missed!
This Saturday, August 16 & Sunday, August 17, 11am — 3pm.

Demonstration schedule:

  • 12:00pm — Our expert cheesemongers will break open an 80-pound wheel of authentic Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and turn it into manageable chunks!
  • 1:00pm — Our cheesemongers will transform Bel Gioiso cheese curd into delectable fresh mozzarella balls!
  • 2:00pm — Our Deli retail experts will hand-slice real prosciutto right off the bone!

This event is FREE! 


Bread of the Month at the Bakehouse and the Deli: Sicilian Sesame Semolina Rounds

The traditional golden sesame crusted bread of Sicily, made with 100% semolina and durum wheat flours. The entire loaf is rolled in unhulled sesame seeds. Makes incredible toast or grilled sandwiches!


Cake of the Month at the Bakehouse and the Deli: Buttermilk Cake

Buttery yellow cake filled with raspberry butter cream and covered in smooth vanilla butter cream. The cake itself has an enticing aroma from the sweet Wisconsin butter and the Guernsey family dairy buttermilk.Please enjoy our cakes at room temperature, your patience will be rewarded.   


Imangia All’Italiana at Zingerman’s Deli

Long live Italian cuisine! Our love for Italian foods goes back decades! Some of our Italian producer relationships date back to first few years after the Deli opened its doors in 1982. We’re loaded up with Italian olive oils, cheeses, meats, fish, sauces, pastas, olives, veggies, nuts, gelato; the list goes on and on. Stop by anytime during August and taste your way through our selection.


Next week and Beyond:

Italian Wine and Cheese tasting at Zingerman’s Events on 4th

On Wednesday, August 20, 630pm, spend a late summer evening with Zingerman’s as we taste a fine selection of wine and cheese pairings. Italy has a wide variety to offer in both categories so we’ll embark on a culinary tour that highlights Italy’s different regions and the tasty combinations they produce. Our wine and cheese tastings sell out quickly so reserve your seat soon!

reserve your seat here


Brewing Methods at Zingerman’s Coffee Company

Learn the keys to successful coffee brewing using a wide variety of brewing methods from filter drip to syphon pot. This Sunday, August 17, 1pm, we will take a single coffee and brew it 6 to 8 different ways, each producing a unique taste. We’ll learn the proper proportions and technique for each and discuss the merits and differences of each style. Join us!

reserve your seat here


The Art of Growing Great Vegetables at Cornman Farms

On Monday, August 18, 6 pm,  take an inside look at our incredible new working farm in Dexter. This is a chance to spend some time with Farm Manager Mark Baerwolf to learn the secrets of his work with sustainable farming. You’ll head home with a host of farming tips and a bag full of fabulous vegetables from the farm.

reserve your seat here


Cornman Farms Tomato Dinner at Zingerman’s Roadhouse

Wednesday, August 27, 7pm
Easily the highlight of the harvesting season, our second Cornman Farms dinner showcases the best of the tomato season. Chef Alex and farmers have been caring for the tomatoes and now we get to benefit from their hard work. The tomato bar makes its return — numerous different tomatoes, handmade fresh mozzarella, really good olive oil, Balsamic vinegar and fresh grown basil — fill up your plate as many times as you can! Cornman Farms beef and pork will add to this late summer feast, making it a meal to remember.

reserve your seat here


Foundation of Cheesemaking Class at Zingerman’s Creamery

Join Creamery managing partner Aubrey Thomason on Saturday, August 30, 1pm, for the first in a series exploring the foundations of cheese. In this session, we’ll begin at the beginning with a discussion of milk. When did the milking of dairy animals start? What kinds of animals are milked throughout the world, and how does the milk vary from animal to animal? How does the milk influence the flavor of the cheese? Aubrey will lead a tasting of several different cheeses, and talk about how milk influences the consistency, the texture, and the overall flavor of the cheese. Learn and eat!

reserve your seat here


Lunchtime Delight at Cornman Farms

On Sunday, August 31, 10am, spend the morning with us for an in-depth understanding of what makes Cornman Farms so special. This experience will include a behind-the-scenes tour of the rehabilitated farmhouse, our beautifully restored barn, the new goat parlor, and the hoophouse. You’ll hear from the Farm Manager, our Animal Husbandry Manager, and our Events Department staff. Savor a delicious boxed lunch in the pre-Civil War barn overlooking our educational gardens, and then leave with a special gift from Cornman Farms.

reserve your seat here

See you soon!