Food, Food Artisans

Balsamic Vinegar in Six Paragraphs

balsamic-&-beyond-gift-box

A traditional curative comes to the table

Fifty years ago, the balsamic vinegar industry didn’t exist. That’s not to say that balsamic vinegar didn’t exist. For centuries it’s been made in the attics of most every family’s home in Modena, Italy. It’s just that no one outside of Modena knew about it. That’s not because it was a secret; it’s more like how if you came to my house I wouldn’t make a big point of telling you that I have aspirin in my medicine cupboard.

And in fact, that’s kind of how balsamic was traditionally used. If you had a headache or an upset stomach, grandma would prescribe a spoonful of balsamic. (If my grandma had suggested tonics that taste like balsamic, I probably would have “suffered” a lot more tummyaches as a kid.) Given how precious it was for its medicinal benefits, cooking with balsamic was seen as throwing it away.

On the rare occasions when balsamic was used for cooking, it was a sign of extreme opulence. The greatest way to impress your guests at dinner was to serve them balsamic. The host would bring the balsamic to the table and make a big show of drizzling it over rich dishes: roasted meats, or risottos, or stuffed pasta. It would never be wasted on a salad; salad was poor food.

By the 1960s, the word about balsamic started to get out, and folks started to come to Modena looking for it. But as demand grew, the supply didn’t. Traditional balsamic is still made the way it always was: aged for a dozen or more years in small wooden barrels kept at ambient temperature. That makes for a small amount of what can be an exceptional product, and prices are accordingly high.

Around the same time, some producers started looking for ways to offer a more affordable balsamic. While traditional balsamic is made only from cooked grape juice (called “must”), these producers started adding wine vinegar to the mix to cut costs. They also shortened the aging times, sometimes to just a couple of months. The result is a balsamic that can be made in much bigger quantities and sold at a much lower price, but that may not have all of the exceptional qualities of the traditional stuff. Shortly after balsamic became an international luxury, it also became the everyman’s vinegar.

When choosing a moderately priced balsamic, look for one that has grape must as the first ingredient, and avoid ones that have colorings like caramel added—the coloring is used to hide the fact that a lot of wine vinegar was added to the mix. In general, a younger balsamic will be brighter and more acidic in flavor, while an older balsamic will have a sweeter, more complex flavor and a more syrupy consistency. Younger ones are ideal for vinaigrettes; an older one is at its best drizzled over flavorful foods like strawberries, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, or good cured ham.

Vals-favorite

Food, Food Artisans

This Week at Zingerman’s 4/8/14

speaker-series-speech-bubbleSpeaker Series continues at ZingTrain

Please join us this Wednesday, April 9, 730am-930am for another thought-provoking session of the ZingTrain Speaker Series.

This week’s session will feature Eleni Kalakos, Chief Transformational Officer of The Eleni Group, whose subject will be: Think Like an Actor, Speak Like a Pro.

Let’s face it. You can’t take your eyes off a baby. That’s because they’re completely and comfortably present in their tiny little bodies, inhabiting the moment like it’s nobody’s business. They’ve got what Eleni Kelakos calls Transformational Presence – a quality that the greatest actors, leaders and speakers exude.

You were born with Transformational Presence. With that ability to truly transform and affect others by being genuinely and passionately present. It’s just grown dim over time, and like the embers of a fire it’s waiting for you to stoke it into full flame.

Ratchet up your Transformational Presence and bring it to your everyday life. Whether you’re a leader who is trying to inspire and engage, or a sales person who is trying to convince, or a presenter who is addressing one person or one thousand – this Speaker Series session is for you.

RESERVE A SEAT


Sauced – A Dinner with Chef Brad Greenhill at Zingerman’s Deli

*There will be two seatings for this event: 530p-730p & 8p-10p

photo by: DOUG COOMBE for Concentrate Media

photo by: DOUG COOMBE for Concentrate Media

After 14 years of cooking professionally, Brad Greenhill is working on plans to open his first restaurant in Detroit. In the meantime, he has been cooking for special events in the Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor area. He’s even found time to help the Brinery craft new fermentation products.

Brad Greenhill will raid the Zingerman’s pantry and create a dinner featuring a range of our pastas, hard cheeses, sauces, spices and charcuterie. This will be a 4-5 course dinner, including dessert, and will offer both carnivorous and vegetarian options. Don’t hesitate, this one is bound to fill up fast.

RESERVE A SEAT AT THE 5:30PM SEATING RESERVE A SEAT AT THE 8PM SEATING


Passover Menu at Zingerman’s Deli

Zingerman’s Passover menu is now available. Reserve now and let us prepare your holiday meal! We offer a complete Seder meal for four, lots of traditional holiday foods, and of course, a lovely selection of Passover sweets.
Erev Passover is Monday, April, 14.

passover-foods


Holiday offerings at Zingerman’s Mail Order

easter-passover-dinner-cmyk-2

Three big holidays are coming up, and Mail Order has the perfect assortment of delicious to compliment your fest!

  • Erev Passover is April 14, and we have a very nice selection of Passover treats to help make your holiday memorable.
  • Easter Sunday hops in on April 20, and our selection of Easter foods make a nice addition to any table!
  • And if that’s not enough, you can expect to see our special Mother’s Day catalogs arriving very soon featuring all kinds of things that mom will love on her special day!

Roaster-Pick-April-FinalApril Roaster’s Pick at Zingerman’s Coffee Company

We like Burundi Dukorere Ikawa for it’s crisp up-front acidity and hints of savoriness. It has a really pleasant tang that sweetens as it cools. Given the brightness if finishes with a remarkably buttery mouthfeel. This coffee is well suited to individual filter methods, like the Chemex and cone. It also benefits from a slightly finer grind, tastes slightly fruity in an Aeropress and somewhat citrusy in a Syphon.

Stop by for a sample!


chocolate-orange-passover-torteHoliday Treats at Zingerman’s Bakehouse

Don’t forget the Bakehouse when you’re planning your holiday feast!

Passover Specials are available April 1st-30th

  • Macaroons
    Moist creamy coconut centers with a chewy toasted coconut crust, in vanilla bean or dark chocolate varieties. Buy them by the big luscious piece or petite macaroons by the dozen in a handsome gift box. (6 of each flavor in the box).
  • Chocolate Orange Torte
    A Bakehouse Passover classic. A moist layer of chocolate cake made with matzo and ground almonds, flavored with orange oil, glazed with dark chocolate ganache, all surrounded with more toasted almonds. 6” cake. Serves 6-8.
  • Lemon Sponge Cake
    A delightful way to end your Passover feast. Light and lemony sponge cake with lemon curd between the layers and a caramelized meringue exterior. Wheat free too! (made with potato starch)

We’re open Easter Sunday 7am-7pm

  • Easter Egg Cookies
    Egg shaped butter cookies with a hint of fresh citrus zest that are delightfully decorated with our own marbled vanilla fondant. Great in an Easter basket or at each place setting on the dinner table. Available April 1st-20th.
  • Easter Bunny Cake
    Set the scene with this adorable bunny face cake. This is the best kind of centerpiece for your holiday table- fun to look at and delicious to eat. Inside you’ll find soft layers of vanilla chiffon cake and blackberry butter cream, outside vanilla butter cream and a hand-made vanilla fondant bunny face. 6” cake serves 6-10. Available April 1st-20th.
  • Hot Cross Buns
    A traditional treat on Good Friday, a soft yeasted bun made with a bit of potato to keep the dough moist, raisins, currants, candied orange peel and topped with an icing cross. Available April 17th-20th.
  • Somodi Kalács
    (sho-mo-dee-ko-loch) A traditional Hungarian Easter bread we learned to bake in a village in Transylvania on our trip there in 2012. This soft, golden loaf is made with fresh eggs and a sweet buttery cinnamon sugar swirl inside. The smell is amazing. The taste is even better. Enjoy it while you can! Available Fridays thru Sundays, this month only!

Spring Oil Change at Zingerman’s Deli

spring-sale

Our annual olive oil sale gives you a chance to stock up on your favorite olive oils and get great deals on some that you may not have discovered yet. All of the 2011 harvest oils from Italy, Spain, France and California are on sale: buy 1 bottle at 10% off, 2 bottles at 20% off and 3 bottles at 30% off. Look for the 1-2-3 sticker and stock up!


Next week:

blue-cheeseA Night of Blue at Zingerman’s Creamery

Got a case of the blues? Join us on Friday, April 18, 6pm, for an evening of full-flavored blue cheese tasting with Zingerman’s Creamery! Our cheesemongers Ben and Sam tracked down some of the most unique blue cheese our country has to offer. We’d hate for you to miss out and be singing the blues for a whole year! Grab your tickets soon — this event will sell out quickly!

RESERVE A SEAT


Soul Food Dinner at Zingerman’s Roadhouse

Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time

soul-food-title

Please join us Tuesday, April 22, 7pm, for a culinary exploration into the history of American soul food with author Adrian Miller.

In this insightful and eclectic history, Adrian Miller delves into the influences, ingredients, and innovations that make up the soul food tradition. Focusing each chapter on the culinary and social history of one dish–such as fried chicken, chitlins, yams, greens, and “red drinks”–Adrian uncovers how it got on the soul food plate and what it means for African American culture and identity. Chef Alex has created a menu direct from the chapters of Soul Food and Adrian will share his knowledge and the history of the foods we will be dining on. Adrian Miller is a writer, attorney, and certified barbecue judge who lives in Denver, Colorado. He has served as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton, a senior policy analyst for Colorado Governor Bill Ritter Jr., and a Southern Foodways Alliance board member.

RESERVE A SEAT

Food, Food Artisans

A Rumination on Pepper

pepper-grinding-frenzy-485U

A word about pepper

Writing about spices, for me, is a particular challenge. I could write ten words and be done with it:
“Use them skillfully. And they will enrich and enhance your life.”

Or I could write ten thousand and not even give you a small whiff of the aromatic and rich world of spices. If I knew enough to write ten thousand words that is.

The story of spices is as rich and varied and fabulous as the spices themselves. Countless words have been written about spices. For millennia, spices have been used as medicine, as trading commodities, as preservatives, as flavoring agents and, of course, as aphrodisiacs. Every book I have read has opened doors to new worlds, waiting to be explored. Wars have been fought over spices. Kingdoms lost and won. Populations enslaved or enriched. Lives destroyed. New territories discovered. And if there is one spice that encapsulates all that spices have meant to the world and its history, it’s Pepper.


Kerala — A Peppery Paradise

Black Pepper. Piper nigrum. In my mind, black pepper is and will always be the Queen of Spices. Historians will tell you that those tiny, black, gnarled peppercorns were the reason that Christopher Columbus and Vasco Da Gama set sail from their homelands. They wanted to discover the Spice Islands in the mystical East so they could break the monopoly of the Middle East (and Venice) over the very lucrative spice trade that had existed from the times of the early Roman Empire through most of the 16th and 17th centuries. Christopher Columbus, as you know, discovered America. Vasco Da Gama opened the doors to the first Portuguese colony in India. The discovery of the land I emigrated to, the colonization of the land of my birth — even being so inextricably linked to my history and culture, black pepper is magical to me mostly because of its flavor.

One of the oldest and most famous sources of black pepper is the Malabar coast. Part of the unique state of Kerala, Malabar is a sliver of immaculately beautiful and verdant coastline on the western side of the Indian peninsula.

May I digress about Kerala for a mere moment? One of the smallest states in the South of India, Kerala, besides it’s astounding beauty, is known today for having exceptionally high levels of literacy and for the significant amounts of foreign exchange it brings in through the export of spices. It is also known historically because its ruling families were matriarchal — a true rarity for Indian culture (or any culture in that era). Kerala elected the first Communist government of the free world. And a final historical note to bring us back full circle to the Deli — the Hindu rulers of Kerala have for centuries welcomed and provided refuge to Christians, Muslims and Jews. Jews have been recorded in Kerala as far back as 68 AD and Cochin, a real haven for the Jews has a synagogue that dates back to 1568 AD. But I have digressed enough.


The Truth about Pepper — Black and White

At Zingerman’s Deli (and Mail Order), we have pepper from Tellicherry and from Wynad. Tellicherry is on the coast, Wynad (or Wayanad) is slightly south and a little inland of Tellicherry. It lies in a plateau in the Western Ghats, the mountain range that separates much of the Western coast of India from the central plateau. Tellicherry is sharper, more pungent and intense, it is more aggressive in it’s approach. The Wynad black pepper is almost citrusy in the beginning and has higher aromatic notes with an intense spiciness that builds slowly in intensity.

The citrus characteristics of the Wynad black peppercorns show even more in the white peppercorns from the same region. And what is white pepper, you ask? Although the source of much misinformation, including treatises from the fourteenth century which insist that black peppercorns were black from the smoke and flames of fires set by people to drive away the poisonous serpents that protected the pepper vines, the explanation is quite simple and significantly less violent.

Pepper berries which have been picked when they are mature but still green (just before they turn red) and then dried in the sun or in kilns, turn black and become a little shriveled to give us the black peppercorns we know and love. To produce white peppercorns, the berries are picked when they are fully ripe and soaked in water for almost a week (a process that is sometimes referred to as “washing”), the outer covering or husk loosens and is easily removed by threshing, exposing a gray inner seed that turns white when it is dried.


Long Pepper Love

telicherry_peppercorns_low-resAnd if we are to travel to Indonesia, I must tell you about long pepper – Piper Longum. In the strange connections that I mentioned earlier, Long Pepper originated in north-east India, from the southern edge of Nepal, home to the Himalayas, to Bengal and Assam. It was transplanted to Kerala many centuries ago. It’s appearance in history is much, much older than black pepper — it is mentioned in the Yajurveda and Atharvaveda — Hindu texts that are thought to date back to somewhere between 500-1000 B.C. From being the most precious of Indian exports for two thousand years, reaching Greece as early as 4th century B.C., to the frustrations of the Dutch East India Company, who developed the native species of long pepper (Piper retrofractum) on the colonized island of Java in the hopes of much profit only to discover that it had fallen out of vogue in Europe, to unexpected references in Amelia Simmons’ 1796 edition of American Cookery in a recipe for pickling cucumbers, long pepper has had a dramatic journey. No matter — thanks to Ben and Blair Ripple from Big Tree Farms in Bali, we have Long Pepper from Indonesia — harvested from the wild forests of the mountainous central highlands of Bali.

What can I tell you about Long Pepper? For me, it will forever be associated with the absolute pleasure of discovering an entirely new spice as an adult. When I first saw it, I was able to summon up the word for it in my native tongue, Marathi, but the flavor remained elusive. Long pepper is beautiful to look at — it looks like slender, elegant pinecones, about an inch long. Snap one in two and the inside is a cluster of tiny seeds, almost reddish in hue. The taste is hard to describe. The same familiar spicy intensity of black pepper (which comes from the alkaloid piperine, common to most peppers, if you must know), long pepper has subtler aromas and brings to mind faraway memories of other spices — mace, cinnamon… I know that description is of no use. So I will say this: Taste it. You must. And then keep it alive. Let’s write another chapter in the long and troubled history of Long Pepper. It’s resurgence in the 21st century!


How do I use pepper in my kitchen?

I use freshly ground Black Pepper on steaming hot bowls of spaghetti (try Martelli spaghetti, it’s amazing) with nothing more than some good extra virgin olive oil and parmigiano reggiano. A dinner that is incredibly easy to make and yet has astounding amounts of flavor. Or the next time you make rice, fry some whole black peppercorns in a little butter. Add the rice, uncooked and washed, and fry for a minute or so in the same seasoned butter. Then add water and cook as usual.

Grilled or roasted fish, like salmon or halibut, are great with fresh ground White Pepper. A little squeeze of lime juice to bring out the citrusy notes in the white pepper, sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley or cilantro on top and voila!

Long Pepper. I’m still learning how to use Long Pepper and I am yet to find a dish I don’t think is enhanced with a little Long Pepper (can you tell I’m in love). The other day, I sprinkled some on a bowl of Anson Mills Grits, with a little bit of melted butter and it was the breakfast of champions. I’ve tried it on pasta, on grilled mackerel, on Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice, on…

Mostly what I’m saying is use them boldly, use them well and let your palate and kitchen get accustomed to them. They will serve you well.


Spice Tips

peppercorns-in-boatAnd now I must stop. But before I do, I want to share with you a few things I’ve learned growing up in the “Spice Islands” of the East. Things I did not know I knew about spices.

  • Use them whole as often as you can. Powdered spices lose their flavor much faster than whole ones.
  • Use them fresh. If you’re grinding them, grind them just before you use them. The aroma will be amazing. A good old mortar and pestle is a good tool to use for this. We have lovely marble ones from Roi at the Deli. Zassenhaus makes really good grinders with ceramic mechanisms. We have a couple of different sizes of those in the Deli as well. A last tip about freshness, if you are compelled to use a whole spice you think has gone stale, toast it slightly. It will wake up.
  • Be bold. Spices are your friends. They will enrich your lives. And yes, your food. And sometimes you will get it wrong and it’s okay — because then you will know them better and learn to respect them — each in their own way.
  • Know their nature. They are like your friends. Some are sweet, like cinnamon, even when used in a savory context. Others, overused will turn bitter, like cloves; and yet others, like black pepper, will overwhelm all else.

Using spices well is like gestalt, the sum of the parts will add up to more than the whole. It’s a very rewarding experience.

gauri

Food, Food Artisans

This Week at Zingerman’s 4/1/14

farm-to-tableFarm Food tasting at Zingerman’s Creamery

Have you ever had food so fresh it tastes too good to be true? Two local companies will take you from the farm to the kitchen with their scrumptious locally made products. Will from Corridor Sausage in Detroit, and David from The Brinery in Ann Arbor will join us Thursday, April 3, at 6pm at Zingerman’s Creamery for a night like no other. From the farm to the table, Will and David will take you on a tasteful trip that only your taste buds will survive.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this event has been canceled. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Fresh-vs-Dried-Pasta-FinalThe Secrets of Great Pasta at Zingerman’s Deli

A rare chance to learn from one of the world’s leading experts on pasta. Rolando Beramendi of Manicaretti Foods has been cooking, studying, teaching and eating the art of good pasta cooking for over twenty years. On Thursday, April 3, 630pm, join Ari and Rolando at Zingerman’s Events on 4th to learn what makes great dried pasta so delicious, how to cook it most effectively, and how to sauce it so that you can serve up a superb meal with a minimal amount of cooking. Guaranteed to help you buy, cook and serve better tasting pasta! Seats are limited so sign up soon!

RESERVE A SEAT


Breakfast, Books, and Business with Ari at Zingerman’s Roadhouse

GTGL-3-featured

Ari will discuss and sign copies of his latest book, Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 3, A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Managing Ourselves on Friday, April 4th from 730-9am. The new book includes Secrets #30-39 and will explore our belief that some of the most important work we do to build great organizations and lead rewarding lives is the work we need to do inside. The book includes essays on our approach to managing ourselves, mindfulness, leadership at the four levels of organizational growth, personal visioning, why the way the leader thinks will be manifested in the way the organization runs, creating a creative organization and more. You’ll also hear from Zingerman’s staff, we’ll be inviting employees from around the organization to engage Ari in a dialogue about Zingerman’s, building the business, being part of this organization and how you can apply Zingerman’s approaches to help strengthen your organization.
Breakfast served at 7:30 am.

Get a copy of Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 3: A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Managing Ourselves for an additional $25.

RESERVE A SEAT AND ORDER THE BOOK


Brewing Methods at Zingerman’s Coffee Company

IMG_4715-2

Stop by the Coffee Company this coming Sunday, April 6, 1pm, and learn the keys to successful coffee brewing using a wide variety of brewing methods from filter drip to syphon pot. 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.

RESERVE A SEAT


Passover Menu at Zingerman’s Deli

passover-foods

Zingerman’s Passover menu is now available. Reserve now and let us prepare your holiday meal! We offer a complete Seder meal for four, lots of traditional holiday foods, and of course, a lovely selection of Passover sweets.
Erev Passover is Monday, April, 14. 

Not able to get to the Deli in time for the holiday? Zingerman’s Mail Order has a very nice selection of Passover treats that come right to your door!


Spring Oil Change at Zingerman’s Deli

spring-sale

Our annual olive oil sale gives you a chance to stock up on your favorite olive oils and get great deals on some that you may not have discovered yet. All of the 2011 harvest oils from Italy, Spain, France and California are on sale: buy 1 bottle at 10% off, 2 bottles at 20% off and 3 bottles at 30% off. Look for the 1-2-3 sticker and stock up!


Next week:

speaker-series-speech-bubbleSpeaker Series continues at ZingTrain

Please join us this Wednesday, April 9, 730am-930am for another thought-provoking session of the ZingTrain Speaker Series.

This week’s session will feature Eleni Kalakos, Chief Transformational Officer of The Eleni Group, whose subject will be: Think Like an Actor, Speak Like a Pro.

Let’s face it. You can’t take your eyes off a baby. That’s because they’re completely and comfortably present in their tiny little bodies, inhabiting the moment like it’s nobody’s business. They’ve got what Eleni Kelakos calls Transformational Presence – a quality that the greatest actors, leaders and speakers exude.

You were born with Transformational Presence. With that ability to truly transform and affect others by being genuinely and passionately present. It’s just grown dim over time, and like the embers of a fire it’s waiting for you to stoke it into full flame.

Ratchet up your Transformational Presence and bring it to your everyday life. Whether you’re a leader who is trying to inspire and engage, or a sales person who is trying to convince, or a presenter who is addressing one person or one thousand – this Speaker Series session is for you.

RESERVE A SEAT


Sauced – A Dinner with Chef Brad Greenhill at Zingerman’s Deli

photo by: DOUG COOMBE for Concentrate Media

*There will be two seatings for this event: 530p-730p & 8p-10p
After 14 years of cooking professionally, Brad Greenhill is working on plans to open his first restaurant in Detroit. In the meantime, he has been cooking for special events in the Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor area. He’s even found time to help the Brinery craft new fermentation products.

Brad Greenhill will raid the Zingerman’s pantry and create a dinner featuring a range of our pastas, hard cheeses, sauces, spices and charcuterie. This will be a 4-5 course dinner, including dessert, and will offer both carnivorous and vegetarian options. Don’t hesitate, this one is bound to fill up fast.

RESERVE A SEAT AT THE 5:30PM SEATING RESERVE A SEAT AT THE 8PM SEATING

Food, ZingLife

Books, Breakfast, and Business with Ari Weinzweig

enjoy an inspiring breakfast with zingerman’s co-founder Ari Weinzweig

GTGL-3-featured

Please join us this coming Friday, April 4, 730am-9am, at the Zingerman’s Roadhouse for a very special breakfast.

Ari will discuss his latest book, Part 3 of the Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading series,  A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Managing Ourselves. The latest book continues to share the “secrets” that have helped take Zingerman’s from a 25-seat, 4-person start up to a nationally known, $49,000,000-organization employing over 600 people. The book includes Secrets #30-39, and explores our belief that some of the most important work we do to build great organizations and lead rewarding lives is the work we need to do inside. The book includes essays on our approach to managing ourselves, mindfulness, leadership at the four levels of organizational growth, personal visioning, why the way the leader thinks will be manifested in the way the organization runs, creating a creative organization and more.

You’ll also hear from Zingerman’s staff, we’ll be inviting employees from around the organization to engage Ari in a dialogue about Zingerman’s, building the business, being part of this organization and how you can apply Zingerman’s approaches to help strengthen your organization. Don’t miss it!

Event is from 8:00 am to 9:00 am, Breakfast served at 7:30 am.

$20 for breakfast or $45 for breakfast and a copy of Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 3: A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Managing Ourselves 

RESERVE A SEAT AND ORDER THE BOOK

Food, Food Artisans, ZingLife

Did Someone Say Pimento Cheese?

Pimento w bread

by Tracie Wolfe,  Zingerman’s Department for People

When I first started working at Zingerman’s 5-1/2 years ago, one of the first things I tasted was the Zingerman’s Creamery pimento cheese.  It was a life changing experience to say the least. I had never been a fan of pimentos and had been reluctant to try it, but now I can’t get enough of it. It’s not just the Creamery’s recipe either — the Zingerman’s Deli, Zingerman’s Roadhouse, and Zingerman’s Mail Order versions are just as great.

My favorite part of the cheese has to be the 1-year cheddar. What I love about the Creamery recipe is that there are big chunks of cheese — you can really sink your teeth into them, and it melts in your mouth.

Ok, so the Creamery recommends that the best way to serve their pimento cheese is to spread it over pretzel rolls made at the Zingerman’s Bakehouse.  Um, yes… is there another way? Well, there are but the pretzels are my favorite by far. I always get them sliced — they are the perfect bite size way to get the pimento cheese into your mouth. The saltiness of the soft pretzels makes such a unique combination of flavors in your mouth.

Is there any way that you shouldn’t eat pimento cheese? NO. The Roadhouse pimento mac n’ cheese, especially when it is extra caramelized, is like heaven on earth. I actually made this at home and was amazed at how great it came out when I’m not anywhere near a professional cook. I think it’s just so good that you can’t do wrong by it! What else goes with Pimento cheese EVERYTHING. I put it on scrambled eggs, on a bagel, on a burger, on a hot dog… seriously, you can put it on anything. I venture to guess that it would even taste good on chocolate — ha!

Ok, so let’s be honest, all I really need to pair it with is a spoon and I’d be a very happy girl. Thank you Zingerman’s for this amazing, mind-blowing, scrumptious and life-changing recipe!