In Comfort Foods Entertaining Food and Drink The Truffleist Truffle Salt Vegan Vegan Foods

Celestial Seasoning: The Truffleist Truffle Salt

What would you lay on your dinner table in a perfect world?  Hormone-free this, free-range that and everything grown organically without pesticides and most certainly not in a lab.  Then if you want to get more specific, would my carnivores need that perfectly marbled twenty-ounce kobe ribeye with the meatiest five pound lobster?  Would my fellow vegans need those quintessential brussel sprouts roasted in a cast iron skillet with an equally exciting slice of avocado toast?  On that ideal table, the food temps would be perfect, the herbs fresh & buoyant and the wine & spirits top-shelf.  Randoms on my ideal table would have to include something crispy & french-fried and verdant & vine-ripened.  Then, I can't sit down comfortably to enjoy a smorgasbord of culinary savories without a well-balanced hot sauce, array of lively seasonings and exemplary condiments.  

This fantasy would most certainly put Truffle Salt by The Truffleist on my table.  Let me just preface this by saying that the first time I had truffles, I actually had real shaved black truffles and it was kismet on my palette.  Aromatic, distinct, balmy and comforting is the only way I can describe black truffles and it comes full circle in the Truffleist's Truffle salt, a specialty grey sea salt tossed with bits of dried black truffles and truffle flavoring.  That unique earthiness and depth that only black truffles can have is what reside in a jar of the Truffleist's Truffle Salt with an aroma so intense and cloying that it seeps through the jar systematically beckoning you to lace anything you sprinkle salt on with that lovely familiar essence.  For a Netflix night it goes over my popcorn, it brings wonderful fullness to my avocado toast and it gives great soothing warmth to my pizzas.  

Speaking of pizzas, my readers are no stranger to my being vegan.  This Truffle Salt gives great flavor to vegan pizza and vegan dishes by replacing through salt and black truffle a level of depth what many feel is missing from vegan cooking due to a lack of animal fats.  In getting serious about your seasonings as many vegans must get, this salt is truly a necessary one for the pantry that will truly become your salt of choice.  However don't just take my word for it.  Whether you are an ardent truffle fanatic or wonderfully curious and new to truffle-dom, discover the Truffleist's Truffle Salt and all of their uniquely truffled products here.  For now, just get some ideas like this one below for a superb vegan pizza I made with the Truffleist's Truffle Salt, and get to know how the salt'll make you swoon. 

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In Alcohol Review Cocktails Drinks Entertaining Farm One Food and Drink Ketel One Vodka Mixology Wines and Spirits

The Ones Have It: Ketel One Vodka X Farm One

Are you a gulper or a taster?  There are some who just throw back their food and drink as though the anticipation has gotten the better of them.  With those folks, the tender morsels of 'grilled this' and 'roasted that' together with the 12 ounces of 'something shaken' rather than 'something stirred' seem to have to go from gullet to stomach ASAP.  Then there are some that stop and savor the efforts of the chef, the expert concoctions of the mixologist and the glorious provisions that Mother Nature doles out from her kitchen.  

Food life is such a physiological experience where the goal is to be satisfied internally.  So the physical and mental along with how, why and what we ingest play such major parts to varying degrees in whether we will let our food linger over the palette and appeal to our senses or just mildly fly down our throats towards our goal of culinary satiety.  I implore folks to let their food and drink do their intended work all-around.  Let it have a balanced conversation with all our senses and find contentment in our tummies.  

Besides those intricate dishes with key decipherable flavors, one of the best ways to pinpoint and savor the sweet subtleties is with a wonderfully fresh cocktail.  Sure, a vodka and cranberry can be a great wind-down but when you add fresh herbs it calls for your senses to pay closer attention.  This was the case at an event I attended recently for Ketel One, the top-shelf premium smooth vodka, and Farm One, a local technology-based vertical farm in New York City that delivers rare and unique hydroponic farm fresh ingredients to your door in less than an hour.  The magic that happened this evening was how the crisp and clean Ketel One became the quintessential base for the interesting delectable herbs from Farm One in the hands of discerning mixologists.  

The evening titled "Grow Your Garnish" featured a great mixology lesson with Ketel One and Farm One herbs followed by an amazing edibles bar filled with many of the unique herbs the farm offers.  I was able to get my senses involved by handling the delicate herbs, smelling their essences and tasting them in their natural pre-cocktail states.  What's interesting to note is not only how these rare herbs call to mind similar-looking herbs with possible similar flavors, but also how they awaken your herbal sensibilites in relation to how you enjoy your vodka.  The refreshing and surprising flavors from oddly verdant herbs like purple opal basil, wood sorrel, Britton shiso, nepetella, Aztec sweet herb and pineapple sage not only gave exciting twists to mints, sweet notes and garden flavors but also served as a great complement to the smoothness of a clear well-executed vodka.  

It's also interesting to note that the skilled hands of the mixologists, who crafted original cocktails based on the edibles guests picked from the Farm One garden, were rooted by the satisfying weight of the Ketel One vodka and created a perfect cocktail trifecta.   You can find Ketel One on the top shelf at any bar, restaurant and wine & spirit retailer and Farm One can deliver you unique freshness through their website here.  I challenge you to sip and not savor.

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In Alcohol Review Cocktails Drinks Entertaining Fidencio Private Label Mezcal Food and Drink Mens lifestyle Mezcal Rosa Mexicano Wines and Spirits Winetasting

It's Not Over Until The Mezcal Is Poured: Fidencio Rosa Mexicano Private Label Mezcal

What do you do with the end of your day?  Hopefully it's not what you do with the beginning of your day.  The hope could be that the views of a crowded lunch counter are swapped out for sites of dinner with a view of the skyline.  Perhaps, the elbow to elbow fight for space on the subway can be traded out for a cigar & leather club chair with room for only your elbows.  Catching glimpses of the exhausted face staring back at you under the fluorescent lights of your company's washroom can hopefully give way to staring at an exciting new cocktail menu at your favorite restaurant under candlelight.  

So with exciting and new on the brain, let me tell you about a new undertaking from a Mexican cuisine staple that has satisfied and sustained the culinary cravings of many a New Yorker.  Rosa Mexicano, a New York City and now national staple since 1984 and the original establishment to make fresh guacamole table side, has a special new endeavor in the wine & spirit world that will make your dining moment a complete full-circle culinary experience.  This year marks Rosa Mexicano's 35th Anniversary.  So with celebration on the brain, enter the first-ever private label mezcal from Rosa Mexicano in partnership with the esteemed Fidencio mezcal in Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca. 

Appropriately named Fidencio Rosa Mexicano, this exciting mezcal is hand-crafted for over two years in bourbon barrels.  However, they're not just any bourbon barrels.  These barrels are from the Greenbrier Distillery in Nashville, TN, a single-barrel bourbon distillery that has been crafting quality bourbons since shortly after the Civil War.  The result is a 100% estate grown mezcal that merges classic technique along with the vast fluidity of agave varieties together with the seasoned ingrained loveliness that is rooted within delightful and valuable oak bourbon barrels.  What you taste from that result is simply pleasing.  The herbal smokiness of the first sip, letting the deep tingly sensation seduce your tongue and gums and taking the warm and smooth tenured gulp all leaves you with a pleasing and satisfying finish that is all part of the journey with this unique mezcal experience.  

On a blustery evening earlier this month I had the pleasure of truly discovering this delicious mezcal under the guidance of Courtenay Greenleaf, Rosa Mexicano's versed resident Master Mezcalier who showed me how to properly prepare your mouth, from tip of tongue to spreading over the gums, to enjoy the full essence of Fidencio Rosa Mexicano.  After the tasting, I picked Ms. Greenleaf's brain to see how she would pair this stellar mezcal with food to make the complete dining experience.  She recommended salty and rich carnitas and even pungent cheeses to compliment the clean but complex profile of this mezcal for something savory and dark chocolate with even hints of salt and/or nuts for something sweet.  Fidencio RM is a great satisfying sipper for any course of your meal or to use as a substitute in your favorite cocktails like a mule or and an old-fashioned.  

However, just don't take my word for it.  Fidencio Rosa Mexicano Private Label Mezcal will be available in-house on February 1st at all locations nationwide.  Plan accordingly and drink responsibly as this wonderful partnership is a limited release with only 36 cases available and split evenly throughout 10 of their 11 locations nationwide.  For more information on Fidencio Rosa Mexicano, to explore a culinary experience at Rosa Mexicano and for locations, head on over to their website here and plan a perfectly delicious end to your day.

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In Cocktails Cooking Drinks Entertaining Food and Drink Recipes The Ginger People Vegan Vegan Foods

Gingerly Counting The Days: Bottoms Up Ginger Beer

The holidays are over so if you're anything like me you're resting and recuperating before the next wave of corporate-sanctioned holiday temptations roll in.  How do you make it to another President's Day or how do you get through a solitary Valentine's Day without going overboard since soon St. Patty's Day will come knocking.  Cocktails are a way.  Not to suggest that a cocktail is the coping mechanism or the cure-all, but they sure suggest a better way to temporarily relax until the next rush of commercialism.  

But then why must I be so dark.  For holidays were in fact created to celebrate and commemorate our special days as a nation.  However, while we do honor the natures of those days, seeing what trumps the significance from them could turn anyone to mix, stir and pour over ice.  Enter Bottoms Up Unfiltered Ginger Beer from The Ginger People.  You know The Ginger People, those connoisseurs of all things ginger from candies to liquid shots to latte mixes to sauces?  Well their Bottoms Up ginger beer is a nice walk into that world with its sweet effervescence and familiar peppery delight that's both smooth and pleasant and completely doable as a refresher on its own or as a compliment to a grown and sexy cocktail.     

Actually, why am I talking?  Some people are lovers, not fighters and I'd rather lead to the water and not just tell you about it.  So check out the original recipe below featuring the tasty Bottoms Up Ginger Beer:

The Bomb 'Not-So' Tonic

5 ounces          Bottoms Up Ginger Beer
2 1/2 ounces    Brockmans Gin
1 tsp                 Fresh Lime Juice
3 splashes        Agnostura Bitters
1 wheel            Lime
1 wheel            Lemon
1 sprig             Mint

Fill a rocks glass with ice.  Pour in gin, lime juice then the ginger beer.  Stir then add the splashes of bitters and stir again.  Next garnish glass with lime, lemon and mint sprig.

This is a really refreshing drink that takes the mature vibe of a gin & tonic and mellows it out with sweetness and the underlying soothing heat of the ginger beer.  The strong floral notes of the Brockmans Gin shine so lovely in this drink and you get the full flavor of the fragrant ginger beer and gin which are nicely evened out by the subtle tart and bitter additions.  

I don't know how you mentally prepare for the onslaught of yearly holidays, but why not sip a cocktail while you explore your game plan.  Bottoms Up Ginger Beer is available now at and at most Wholefoods locations.

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