The Broder family loves sourcing the best Italian ingredients--carnaroli rice, truffle products, olive oils, etc.--for its Italian restaurant and deli and wants to introduce you to some of its favorites at its Food Lover's Tour of Italy this Saturday, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at Broders' Pasta Bar.
Molly Broder and her sons will share food samples and stories about their artisan producers--cheese, salume, preserved vegetables, pasta, and risotto--as guests graze and sip Italian wine. The event, which costs $15 in advance and $20 at the door (call 612.925.3113 for tickets) is a showcase for items sold at the deli, though some will appear in specials in both Broders' Cucina and Pasta Bar. There will be door prizes, discount coupons (for use at both the deli and pasta bar), and recipes, as well.
The Hot Dish touched base with Molly Broder to find out more about the "food finds" she's most excited about this year.[jump]
Below are a few of the favorite items Broders' directly imports and Molly Broder's tasting notes. She also noted loving a few products she doesn't import directly but that are still hard to find, including balsamela (rich deep, dense, syrupy vinegar made only from apples but in the balsamic style) and Juni (a cheese studded with juniper).
Peperoni Cruschi These are dried, fried chili peppers made with only olive oil and salt that you pop in your mouth like chips. Incredible nibble with a glass of wine before dinner. I couldn't stop eating them as we were noshing before Thanksgiving turkey last week.
Red Eggplant, Sun-Dried Zucchini, and Lampascione It really is eggplant with a red skin, preserved beautifully in a jar--eye candy as well as incredible flavor. The farm I import these from does minimal processing so the great taste of the vegetable is retained. The Italians have much to teach us about 'putting up'. They are true experts. In the same vein and, from the same 'slow food' farmer, I have the most incredible vegetables in jars, including sun-dried zucchini (texture is firm and flavor is so deliciously concentrated) and lampascione (wild onions in the hyacinth family).
Wild Chicories These are chicories in oil that we will be tossing with orrechiete for tastes at the show but that would be equally fabulous on bruschetta.
Capers We have the best farmer capers for tasting the true bud straight from Sicily--again minimally processed in herb-scented oil so they are not overly salty or vinegary.
Figs Fig salame enrobed in chocolate is new this year along with return favorites fig molasses and fig balls (this season's fresh figs, slow roasted to caramelization then wrapped in fig leaves to cure). We sold out rapidly last year and will be sampling them at the event.