Food, Food Artisans

Maddie and Matzo Ball Soup Memories

Maddie’s Matzo Ball Ritual

Back home in Illinois, in one town over from mine, centered right dab in the middle of Old Orchard mall, resides my childhood deli, The Bagel. The place hasn’t changed much throughout my lifetime. All of the servers have been there forever and recognize you the instant you walk through the door. A complimentary silver platter of deli pickles and a basket brimming with bagel chips and Kaiser rolls are still presented to you when you sit down at your table. The glass cases at the deli counter house the same array of layer cakes, cookies, and the largest collection of chocolate covered dessert items I’ve ever seen.

The encyclopedic menu hasn’t changed much either, with enough options that you could eat something different everyday for years, and still have more things to try. In spite of all of these options, my selections have remained consistent since I was eight years old: Reuben or turkey club, chopped salad, obligatory side order of French fries, and matzo ball soup.matzo-ball-soup

It was at the Bagel that my love of delis was officially affirmed and, looking back, one of the main reasons I think I was drawn to work at Zingerman’s Delicatessen six years ago. While the food and the people are obviously the hallmarks of any great deli, what I have grown to love about this type of restaurant in general are the rituals that people develop there. It is this subject that’s been at the front of my mind this week with the arrival of Passover, a holiday centered on the observance of rituals.

Throughout my time at Zingerman’s, I’ve developed a long list of my own personal rituals. Of the 100+ sandwiches on the menu, I pretty much always order the #73 (Tarb’s Tenacious Tenure). I like to sit in the same window seat in the Next Door (the second one back from the front door). And I absolutely must have a sesame bagel and cream cheese for breakfast at work on Sundays. Looking back, it makes sense that I’m wired this way because much of my affinity for ritual was harnessed back when I was a kid during weekly visits to the Bagel. I could probably list off an entire page’s worth of traditions from there, but the one that always sticks out to me was eating the matzo ball soup from my lineup of foods mentioned above. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. I had a system and always found joy in executing it the same way each and every time.

Served in a very shallow ceramic bowl, the Bagel ladles in enough of their golden chicken broth until it’s just about to overflow. One enormous matzo ball is placed smack in the middle (for visual size reference, think of an orange or an onion), the bowl is centered on a plate for balance, and the whole thing is sent over to the table in the blink of an eye. I remember that my younger self was always amazed by the number of bowls of scalding hot matzo ball soup the waiters would be able to carry at a given time. Granted it was nearly impossible that your bowl of soup would retain all of the broth during the journey to the table, but it was all part of the charm. Whatever escaped, you could just sop up with challah bread later.

After it was set down at the table, I’d always start by methodically skimming the outermost layer off of the entire matzo ball. This part always maintained the fluffiest texture and absorbed lots of the salty chicken broth. Once that portion was completed, I’d start spooning off chunks, which always had a bit more chew to them than the outer layer. After whittling my way down to the tougher core of the matzo ball, I’d switch over to spooning up just the broth until the bowl was emptied. And that’s how it went, every time.

A lot has changed during these past few years, but I’ve always found such solace knowing that places like the Bagel, Zingerman’s, and all the great delis around the country exist. Places where time stands always seems to stand still, where you see the same faces over and over again, where you know the food will hit the spot every time, and where you can take comfort in your rituals. It is this type of place that brings me peace and the type of place I long to find wherever life takes me.

For all of you celebrating Passover and Easter this week, I wish you happy and delicious holidays. Cheers!

- Maddie

Food, Food Artisans

Zingerman’s Spices up Ann Arbor with Montreal’s Épices de Cru

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Whole Spices Featured at Weeklong Series of Events in April

This month, Zingerman’s welcomes Canadian spice importers Épices de Cru to Ann Arbor for a series of workshops aimed at exploring the use of whole spices in cooking. The week will culminate in a trio public events at Zingerman’s Roadhouse, Zingerman’s Deli, and Zingerman’s BAKE!

Épices de Cru approaches spices in three unique ways. First, their spices are always sold whole, which protects purity and freshness. Second, they purchase directly from growers on sourcing trips, which ensures fair trade practices and consistent quality. Third, they source spices from traditional growing regions, or terroirs, which have historically produced the most flavorful products. “We believe in listening to the people who actually live the food we’re trying to make,” says owner Philippe de Vienne.

The Montreal-based company was founded by the de Vienne family, and has been encouraging people to learn about spices and grind their own for over a decade. “Spices have an undeserved reputation for being complicated,” says Épices de Cru founder Ethné de Vienne: “It seems like people are waiting for permission to get creative with spices. Spices have few rules. We just want to tell people it’ll be fine, just start cooking!”

Both Zingerman’s and Épices de Cru share the belief that home cooks can make better food by grinding spices themselves. Says Zingerman’s founder, Ari Weinzweig, “Thirty years ago the idea that everyone you knew would be grinding fresh beans to make coffee every time they brewed it home was almost unimaginable.”

Ari first encountered the Épices de Cru shop in Montreal’s Jean-Talon Market several years ago, and has long wanted to bring their spices to Zingerman’s. Last year, he learned they were finally looking for distributors in the U.S. “I was immediately excited,” he said, and invited the family to visit Ann Arbor in 2014 and share their knowledge of traditional spices. The visit was a resounding success, and Zingerman’s has since incorporated Épices de Cru spices into several dishes.
(Read Ari’s essay about the Spicetrekkers in the March/April Zingerman’s Newletter.)

For this year’s visit, Zingerman’s and Épices de Cru have scheduled three public events to showcase the wonderful and aromatic world of whole spices this April:


All Spice Routes Lead to the Roadhouse

Tuesday, April 14th, 7:00 pm at Zingerman’s Roadhouse
Roadhouse Chef Alex Young teams up with Montreal-based Spicetrekker Philippe de Vienne to create an unforgettable menu. Join us for a bit of spice history, a bit learning about how to use spices in your own kitchen, a good dose of spicy storytelling, and a really good meal!

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The Ins and Outs of Spices: How To Find, Store, And Serve The World’s Best Spices!

Wednesday, April 15, 6:30pm, at Zingerman’s Events on Fourth
Visiting spice trekkers Marika, Philippe and Ethné de Vienne voyage from Montreal to share over thirty years of incredible spice travels, travails, and terrific tastes with us. The results of their work are an almost overwhelming list of special stuff that we’re privileged to offer for sale at the Deli and for tasting on this exceptional, educational and enlightening evening.

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Baking with Spices

Thursday, April 16, 2015 6:00pm, at Zingerman’s BAKE!
Go beyond vanilla and nutmeg! Don’t miss this one-time opportunity to learn from the Spice Trekkers, who’ll visit BAKE! all the way from Montreal. The de Vienne family, spice experts and engaging speakers from Épices de Cru, have traveled the world to bring the best spices to North America and they’ve learned a lot along the way. They’ll walk you through the sites and smells of an array of baking and dessert spices that can breathe new life into standard recipes. Teaming their knowledge with our baking expertise, we’ll then sample a couple baked goods comparisons so you can taste the difference.Together we’ll demonstrate how good quality fresh spices and grinding your own at home can dramatically improve the flavor of your baked goods.

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See you soon!

Food, Food Artisans

This Week at Zingerman’s 3/31/15

Passover image

Spring sale at Zingerman’s mail Order – The Final Hours!

Our annual Spring Sale ends today! Great deals on meats, cheeses, sweets and a bunch of terrific olive oils, too! Don’t miss the chance to save big on all the staples (and treats!) you can’t do without!

We’ve also got a whole bunch of Passover and Easter treats that family and friends will gobble up!


Erev Passover is Friday, April 3rd!

We’re cooking up all the traditional foods for your Seder! These special Jewish foods will only be available for a short time so don’t miss out on the chance to try something new. The Yemenite Charoset, made with ginger, almonds, apples, dates, raisins, and sweet kosher wine, is Ari’s favorite and really popular around the Deli.
Check out the Passover menu here.
To ensure availability, please call in advance.
Passover foods will be available Friday April 3rd beginning at 11am.
(None of our prepared Passover foods are kosher.)


Singin ’bout the Blues at Zingerman’s creamery

Join cheesemonger Ben on Friday, April 10th, 6pm as he hosts an evening of exploration of piquant and delicious mold-infused (aka ‘blue’) cheese. Blue cheese is, for some, the most challenging category of cheese to fall in love with, but well worth the courtship, in our opinion. From the dreamy and creamy, to the tart and the sharp, we’ll sample some of the best blue cheeses around, cheeses that will have you singing ’bout the Blues!

Reserve your seat here


All Spice Routes Lead to the Roadhouse

The first of what I’m guessing will become an annual Roadhouse tradition. For centuries spices have been the lily that gilded the culinary crown of the world’s best cooks. Carried round the globe with great fanfare and usually at great cost, spices became the color that livened culinary palettes, the nuance that took recipes from common to compelling. Columbus sailed west from Spain and crossed the Atlantic in search of them. Today of course, finding spices is far easier—you can find them in every super market. But this dinner is about the best of the best—the hand selected, care- fully curated spices that our friends from Épices de Cru have been searching for and selecting for over thirty years now, spices the likes of which supermarket aisles will never see. Combining the culinary talents of our own, James Beard award winning Alex Young and Montreal-based Spice trekker Philippe de Vienne. Join us for a bit of spice history, a bit learning about how to use spices in your own kitchen, a good dose of spicy storytelling, a bit of laughing, a lot of love and a really good meal! If you’re thinking life could stand a little spicing up, join us on Tuesday, April 14, 7pm!

Reserve your seat here


The Ins and Outs of Spices at zingerman’s deli

Visiting spice trekkers Marika, Philippe and Ethné de Vienne voyage from Montreal to share over thirty years of incredible spice travels, travails, and terrific tastes with us. The results of their work are an almost overwhelming list of special stuff that we’re privileged to offer for sale at the Deli and for tasting on this exceptional, educational and enlightening evening.

On Wednesday, April 15, 630pm, you’ll discover rare, specially selected cloves from Southern India, wild cumin from Uzbekistan, wild cubebs from Madagascar, special 0000 grade true cinnamon from Sri Lanka, and carefully chosen black pepper from a single Indian village. And there are the blends—amazing and exotic Ethiopian Berbere, Silk Road Spice Blend, White Curry, Kashmir Curry, and so much more! If you’re ever wondered how to add flavor to your kitchen; how to use some of those spices you’ve seen, but had no clue how to cook with: or wondered what you could add to your culinary repertoire to really jazz up your cooking without having to go to school, this class is for you! Seats are limited so sign up soon!

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An Evening with Burgdorf Winery at Zingerman’s Creamery

Nestled away in mid-Michigan just east of Lansing, Burgdorf Winery has been crafting unique, award-winning wines for over 30 years. Burgdorf’s specializes in wines made from Michigan-grown fruits, and we are very excited to add this selection of local wines to our shop. Join us Friday, April 17, 6pm as we welcome the winemakers from Burgdorf and pair their excellent vintages with some of our favorite cheese!

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Cocktail Class: The Greatness of Grenadine at Cornman Farms

True grenadine, made from pomegranate, is a rich, silky, sweet-tart and ever-so-slightly earthy syrup that adds a depth and richness to cocktails that is unattainable with many commercial bottled brands. In this class at Zingerman’s Cornman Farms we’ll explore the many uses of grenadine in cocktails, using our own home-made syrup that beats the pants off the supermarket stuff. Together we’ll make 3 cocktails highlighting this versatile ingredient: a Pink Lady made with gin, a Tequila Sunrise made with (you guessed it!) tequila, and the classic Bacardi cocktail featuring the rum of the same name. We will discuss the history of the beverages and the ingredients we’ll be using while enjoying delectable snacks prepared by chefs on-site in the historic Cornman Farms farmhouse. Guests will learn to mix and then enjoy all three cocktails and leave with recipes for these cocktails and for true, ridiculously delicious grenadine that you can make in your own kitchen! Friday, April 17, 7pm. 

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ZingTrain Speaker Series: Ari Weinzweig

The ZingTrain Speaker Series is a suite of thought-provoking presentations featuring experts sharing their wisdom on various aspects of the business world.

Ari is a huge believer in the power of Belief. So much so, that his soon-to-be-released book, Part 4 of the Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading series is devoted to the role of belief in business!

In this never-before-heard-in-public debut of Ari’s beliefs about belief, he will share with you the idea that although most of us don’t realize it, our beliefs have a major impact on how things go in our lives. No matter whether our beliefs are borne out by the facts, most of us will, wittingly or unwittingly, behave in ways that reinforce our beliefs. In other words, what we believe about ourselves, our organization, our co-workers, our boss, the work we do and our ability to do it will significantly alter the outcomes we get – right down to our very success or failure.

JOIN us Wednesday, April 22, 8am us for this session in which Ari will examine:

– HOW our beliefs play out in our day to day experiences in the workplace, and how we and our workplaces are impacted by those beliefs and…

– HOW by becoming more mindful of our beliefs, we can effectively backtrack—by altering our beliefs, we can change the way we see our work and the world and then, in turn, significantly alter the outcomes we get from our efforts.

Reserve your seat here


Cheese Mastery Class #7: Pressed Cooked cheese at Zingerman’s Creamery

Creamery managing partner Aubrey Thomason takes you on a tour of one of the most popular categories of cheese: Pressed Cooked Cheese. This category evolved independently in nearly every mountain region of Europe. The process involves cutting milk curds into very fine, rice grain-sized pellets, cooking them, and then pressing them into molds or cheese forms. Ripening times for this style can range from several months to 5 or more years. This category is known for firm, smooth cheese with “eyes” or “holes” from carbon dioxide bubbles released during the aging process. This style includes “Mountain” cheeses, such as Emmenthal, Parmesan, Jarlsberg, Raclette, and Gruyère. These cheeses keep for a long time, and the flavors brought out by the cooking process are unique to this style. Come join us on Friday, April 24, 6pm and find out how deliciously interesting cheese chemistry can be!

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826michigan’s Sixth Annual Storymakers Dinner with author Bonnie Jo Campbell

Storymakers Dinner is a celebration that honors important writers their stories, from nationally known novelists to emerging young authors in our community. Every spring, 826michigan partners with Zingerman’s Community of Businesses to bring together a noted person of letters, the students who take part in our writing and tutoring programs, and more than one hundred friends committed to 826michigan’sand our students’ success. We promise to provide outstanding food and drink alongside extraordinary stories in a breathtaking setting, perfectly suited to the wide-open, rural Michigan setting of this year’s special guest, lauded author Bonnie Jo Campbell. Friday, April 24, 7pm.

Reserve your seat here


Mastering Mozzarella at Zingerman’s creamery

Come visit us on Saturday, April 25, 2pm and learn the secret to making terrific fresh mozzarella from the experts! Stop by the Creamery and we’ll show you the ins and outs of making this simple, yet delicious cheese. You’ll learn how to pull balls of fresh mozzarella from curd, stretch string cheese, and create rich, creamy burrata. Perfect on pizza, super on a salad, or amazing on its own, this versatile cheese is as much to make as it is to eat. Adults and children over 12 are welcome. Don’t miss it!

Reserve your seat here


See you soon!

Food, Food Artisans

Ari Chats with the Candy Manufactory’s Charlie Frank

Charlie explains what makes a great candy bar

Ari: Not all candy is the same.  Most Americans have something of an emotional sweet/soft spot for all those commercial candies we grew up with.  Is that commercial product really “great candy”?

Charlie: Marguerite Wildenhain once said, “A pot without a soul is just clay around a hole.” Candy—hard confectionary—is entering its renaissance. To be “great,” food needs to be crafted according to tradition and made with great ingredients. Candy made by the billions can’t be great. At the large companies, the focus is on mega profits alone. Their product has no soul. It is empty. Sweet, but otherwise flavorless. I think those Goliath corporations are banking a lot on nostalgia. All they can come up with now is more fancy packaging. Great candy can have fancy packaging, but fancy packaging does not make great candy. Tradition, taste and care all together equal great candy. Great candy should be inspiring. It should speak to you on many, many levels. Not just on a singular memory.

What is the difference between commercial candy and an artisan offering like what you make?

One is produced by a machine. The other is made with human hands guided by a creative and caring mind. It is mechanized profit versus craftsmanship. Artisanal candy has a lot more flavor going on. Our candy isn’t just sweet—it tastes good! The flavors deliver a lasting impression. The freshness delivers a great eating experience. Yes, it means putting in more time and effort and sourcing great ingredients like Charles Poirier’s cane syrup in the Poirier Poppers. He takes so much care crafting traditional cane syrup in Louisiana with a method that has been all but lost to mass production. But his labor pays off in the flavor of his syrup and then in the flavor of the candy we make with it.

Zzang Bars

Charles’ cane syrup IS amazing! He grows the cane, cuts the cane, mills it, and boils the juice himself to make the syrup. People can get the syrup at the Deli. But you’ve also been making an incredible filled chocolate with it, the Poirier Poppers, and selling them at the Zingerman’s Coffee Company on Plaza Drive. Food writer John T. Edge tried them and said, “those Poirier bonbons . . . may be the best sweet burst of flavor I’ve ever tasted.”

Charles’ cane syrup is so good I really didn’t want to do anything more than “package” it in chocolate.

Zingerman’s Candy started out with the Zzang!® Candy Bar and that’s still sort of at the core of what you do. Tell us about those.

They’re all made by hand and, just as importantly, made to order. There aren’t tons of bars lying around waiting to be sold. When a retailer orders from us we start making the bars. I think very few people have ever had a fresh candy bar, but there’s a huge difference in flavor so we make all our candy to be sold fresh, not after months and months of sitting on a shelf.

I’ve rarely heard anyone talk about the importance of freshness in candy. It seems like the quiet secret of the candy world? What’s so different about it?

The flavors haven’t faded. The textures are what they are meant to be. Zzang!® bars were born in the pastry department of the Bakehouse where freshness is everything. Eating candy bars right off the line is a flavor experience not to be missed. We ship directly to our accounts so they can have it as fresh as possible. I haven’t found a single distributor willing to take us on because we don’t want our candy to be warehoused. At the Candy Manufactory we do not use ingredients solely to extend shelf life or make a distributor’s job easy at the expense of flavor.

Can you walk folks through all the steps that go into making a Zzang!® Bar?

We start by toasting Jumbo Runner peanuts in fresh butter and sea salt until they’re golden brown. Then we start boiling cane sugar and Muscovado brown sugar for caramel, adding fresh butter and local heavy cream near the end. Then we beat egg whites and cook honey for the nougat to which we add peanut butter. All of that then gets layered into custom frames on small slabs. After setting for a day the new bars are dipped in 65% dark chocolate from Colombia. This bar we call The Original. It was the first flavor we did because I love each component. I’m constantly snacking on the peanuts, the caramel is truly divine, and chocolate is one of my food groups. The love comes with the sugar. You can do so many different things with it. In the nougat it supports an aeration created with the egg whites. In the caramel it creates new flavors as it cooks. Every time it is a thrill.

How about the peanut brittle?

We start with plain white (purified) cane sugar and corn syrup. With higher cooking temperatures we really can’t have impurities that would easily burn. We need the acidic syrup to counter the sugar’s strong desire to crystallize at the intense concentration we go to. Historically—like 150 years ago—we’d have to clarify the sugar and make the syrup ourselves. This boils in water, the water boils off, and the sugars—first broken apart in the water—now reorganize into new and complex compounds.

While the sugar is doing its thing, we add raw peanuts and some salt at a particular moment. The peanuts toast as the sugar caramelizes, and we arrive at a flavor meeting point for the two. They soak in this heated state briefly. Then we add butter, vanilla, baking soda, sea salt. What happens next has to be quick and deliberate. It’s dramatic. The foaming is fast and if you don’t get it out of the pot at the right moment it will overflow and be a dangerous mess. You really have to see it to believe it. Even though we are making brittle in relatively small batches, 23 pounds is a lot of really hot sugar to be stirring fast and safely.

Once it has spread out and cooled a bit we pull slightly hardened brittle off the edges. All the tiny bubbles produced by the reaction of the soda get elongated into tiny tubes. This is the structure we are after. It resembles a honeycomb. It is both fragile and strong in different ways. It is brittle. It shatters when bitten. I can get pretty poetic at this point, so do yourself a favor if you think you don’t like peanut brittle. I’ve gotten a lot of people turned on to it again. It is complex and simply delicious.

Peanut Brittle

Let’s go back to those delicious little filled chocolates you’ve been doing for the Coffee Company like the Poirier Poppers. You also have the Peanut Butter Crush and the Orange Oil chocolates, right?

I didn’t plan on any of those originally. When we started making candy I was asked about whether or not we were going to do them. My answer at the time was that a lot of other candy makers were already doing them well. But years down the road, Coffee Company Managing Partner Steve Mangigian asked if I’d consider making a small chocolate to complement his espresso.

I adore orange butter ganache. You don’t often hear about butter ganaches, but I think their silkiness is elegant beyond belief, and the orange/chocolate combination is one of these match-made-in-heaven experiences. The Peanut Butter Crush has been a gift for my wife for many years. To get her off the “corporate cups” I began making her own version—just sweetened peanut butter in chocolate shells. The Poirier Poppers are an homage to Charles Poirier who makes that incredible cane syrup.

Zingerman’s businesses sell the most so their turnover is the fastest. They buy from us every week—sometimes more than once a week. We want a shopkeeper to have it as freshly made on their shelves as possible. And we date all our candy, so look for when it is best by. If you are in town and want to try one fresh off the line, call me.

What are some of the new improvements/offerings you’ve got in the works?

I am working on the next flavor of Zzang!® bar. The Deli wants us to make artisan chocolate bark. And there is a new Easter Fudge Egg this year. Those have been a huge hit for us since we started making them.

The spring holidays are just a few days away! Try our PB&J Fudge Eggs, Chocolate Almond Fudge Eggs, or Marshmallow Bunny Tails! And don’t forget the Easter SuperZzangs! for all of the Zzang! Original bar lovers in your life!

PB&J Fudge Eggs 2

See you soon!

Food, Featured

This Week at Zingerman’s 3/24/15

easter-passover-dinner-cmyk-2

Spring sale at Zingerman’s mail Order through 3/31/15

Our annual Spring Sale continues until the end of the month, and it just got even bigger! Why? Because we’ve kicked off our Spring Oil Change to make room for the new harvest oils arriving in May! Now in addition to meats, cheeses, and sweets we have a bunch of olive oils on sale as well. Don’t miss the chance to save big on all the staples (and treats!) you can’t do without!

Missing family and friends during the upcoming holidays? Send them some love with our terrific Easter and Passover foods. We have a handful of once-a-year foods for each, such as an Italian colomba Easter cake and the Bakehouse’s Chocolate Orange Passover Torte


Cheese Mastery Class #6 – Pressed Curd Cheeses

Creamery managing partner Aubrey Thomason takes you on a tour of one of the largest categories of cheeses: Pressed Curd Cheese. The name of the style refers to the process in which curds are pressed into molds in order to remove most of the liquid (whey). In chemistry terms, pressed curd cheese lies somewhere between semi-lactic and hard cheese. The flavor of these cheese comes from the aging process, which generally takes between 3 months to 5 year or more. It’s this aging process that determines the flavor differences of these cheese; the younger the cheese, the milder the flavor. We will focus on smaller format younger pressed curd cheeses both American and European like Taleggio, Queso de Mano, Appalachian, and Dry Jack. Join us on Friday, March 27, 6pm, and try our samples of pressed curd cheese, and learn the details of how the process contributes to their final flavors and textures.

Reserve your seat here


Mastering Mozzarella at Zingerman’s Creamery

Come and learn the secret to making terrific fresh mozzarella from the experts! Stop by the Creamery on Saturday, March 28, at 2pm, and we’ll show you the ins and outs of making this simple, yet delicious cheese. You’ll learn how to pull balls of fresh mozzarella from curd, stretch string cheese, and create rich, creamy burrata. Perfect on pizza, super on a salad, or amazing on its own, this versatile cheese is as much to make as it is to eat. Adults and children over 12 are welcome. Don’t miss it!

Reserve your seat here


Bonus March Sunday Tour at Zingerman’s Creamery

**On Sunday (April 5th), we’ll be hanging out with the Easter Bunny, so we’ve moved our monthly Creamery tour ahead one week!**
Join our cheese and gelato makers on Sunday, March 29, 2pm, for an hour-long adventure as we transform local milk into delicious cheese and gelato. You’ll watch our fresh mozzarella stretched into shape, taste our cow’s and goat’s milk cheeses while our staff explain the cheesemaking process, and sample our delicious fresh gelato. After the tour, make time for tasting our selection of American cheeses and provisions, as well as house made gelatos and sorbets in our cheese shop.

Reserve your seat here


Erev Passover is Friday, April 3rd!

We’re cooking up all the traditional foods for your Seder! These special Jewish foods will only be available for a short time so don’t miss out on the chance to try something new. The Yemenite Charoset, made with ginger, almonds, apples, dates, raisins, and sweet kosher wine, is Ari’s favorite and really popular around the Deli.
Check out the Passover menu here.
To ensure availability, please call in advance.
Passover foods will be available Friday April 3rd beginning at 11am.
(None of our prepared Passover foods are kosher.)


See you soon!

Food, Food Artisans

Lottie Talks Zingerman’s

The Deli’s Maddie LaKind interviews Tim Mazurek of Lottie + Doof

I can’t recall how I first discovered food blogs. I know my first exposure came about five years ago, but outside of that, its all a giant, wonderful blur. I remember thinking at the time how at home I felt among these writers, people who love food, love travel, and love using their experiences to connect with others. Today I follow upwards of twenty blogs and am constantly on the hunt for more.

Among the few blogs that first caught my eye was Lottie + Doof. Curated by Chicagoan Tim Mazurek, the blog is a stunning collection of eye-catching recipes, drool-worthy pictures, travel stories, and musings on everything from feminism to food politics. In addition to being an excellent writer, photographer, and general food connoisseur, Tim is a major Zingerman’s fan and a frequent visitor to the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses. I had the good fortune of connecting with Tim recently via the comments section of his blog. We struck up a conversation about the Detroit/Ann Arbor food scene, and we began to delve more deeply into his relationship with Zingerman’s. Here is what he had to say on the subject.

How did you first hear about Zingerman’s?

Aren’t we all born with the knowledge of Zingerman’s? I guess at some point the catalog became a regular staple in our house and I loved reading it and ordering strange things like pine syrup or some crazy honey.

What’s your most memorable moment at Zingerman’s?

On my very first trip to Ann Arbor, we completed the Tour De Food [alas, retired -ed.], and were very proud of our accomplishment. I still have the t-shirt somewhere. It was impressive to see this food empire that had only ever existed in catalog form for me. Everywhere we went we were welcomed warmly and given lots of samples. Some kind person even took us on an impromptu tour of the bakeshop, and I really loved that. It was definitely love at first sight.

What Zingerman’s products or dishes would you rank as your favorites?

I’ve liked everything I’ve tried, so this is tough. I am a big fan of the apricot rugelach, and always pick up a package for the road. All of the cookies, really. And all of the bread, and sandwiches, and…

Most notable service experience at Zingerman’s?

I love the market section of the Deli. Everyone is so helpful and encourages you to try things. Their excitement about the food is contagious. A lot is said about the great customer service at Zingerman’s, but until you actually visit for yourself you can’t understand just how wonderful it is.

Favorite deli sandwich of the moment?

Either the Cowboy Reuben or the Hot BLT.

Corned beef or pastrami?

Pastrami.

New or old pickle?

New!

Cake or pie?

Pie, always pie.

Buttery hard cheese or creamy soft cheese?

Definitely a hard cheese, preferably with some crunchy little bits of tyrosine.

Fried chicken or mac and cheese?

Fried Chicken, but not an easy choice.

Cup of brewed coffee or cappuccino?

Brewed coffee

Chocolate bar or peanut brittle?

Peanut brittle, by a mile.

New features or recipes on the horizon from Lottie + Doof ?

“Keep Lottie + Doof Weird” is my motto for the future. I’ve been doing this for a while now, and times have changed. Food blogs are not a novelty anymore. I think it is important to keep things interesting.

Tim Mazrurek - Lottie and Doof

For those of you who haven’t yet had the privilege of reading Tim’s blog, I insist you hop right on over to Lottie + Doof and pay a visit. You won’t be disappointed. Thank you Tim for sharing these memories with all of us.

Cheers!