The order below is the second or third order I've placed with Formaggio Kitchen this year. Their customer service has been excellent. Orders arrive quickly and generally as expected - if not the items in question were replaced immediately.
Formaggio Kitchen Update:
Order Date: Wednesday June 21, 2006
June 22, 2006 Delivered
The first box was left by the carrier for hours in the sun and the Hooligan was damaged. Formaggio Kitchen replaced it happily and it arrived the next day perfectly. The 2 500g jars of Raphael Framboise arrived as 2 250g jars and they send the missing 2 jars along with the Hooligan the next day.
What we ordered:
Chocolat Durand (32pc)
These fun chocolate boxes have numbers screened in edible gold on each piece which correspond to the flavored chocolate ganache inside. The chocolate is well crafted in an elegant style with high quality chocolate and subtle flavorings. They didn’t last long. If you are looking for pronounced flavored chocolate this is not the maker for you – if you like chocolate with a subtle hint of something this is a winner.
Potato Chips - Les Chips d'Allauch
These potato chips were good – really good. Very thin and crunchy – on the oily side though. I wouldn’t seek them out but would buy them if I saw them or would add to an order
Stockan & Gardens Orkney Oat Cakes - Thick
I somehow don’t like these as much as others I tried. They don’t have a great depth of flavor for me.
Kayak Cookies - Chocolate Salty Oats 6pk
These Kayak cookies are fabulously expensive and fabulous. Really really good. Would definitely order again.
Raphaël Framboise - 500g
My favorite jam. They sent 2 250g jars. I can’t find a superior raspberry but I keep looking. Unbeatable.
Raphaël Cerise - 250g
The cherry is also very very good and I would order it again.
Ascutney Mountain - 1/2 lb
Arrived in great shape. Read more about it in our Master Cheese List.
Hooligan - 1/2 lb
From Cato Corner. The first one arrived melted (as pictured above) and was quickly replaced with a perfect piece. The customer service at Formaggio Kitchen is exemplary.
Poschiavo Spaghetti 500g
Good. Not the best ever but good.
Felice Flour Tipo "Burrato" 1kg $10
The one item I haven’t tried yet.
The order was placed on a Sunday and we received it by FedEx on Tuesday before noon as expected. Everything was wrapped well but the vinegar bottle had smashed and covered everything in vinegar - fortunately the bubble wrap was all that suffered. Customer Service at Formaggio Kitchen sent out a replacement vinegar right away. All was well. (The rest of my comments are italicized.)
Jams & Preserves Four Red Fruits [Selection d'Alice Confiture (Languedoc, France)] $8.95
Strawberry, Raspberry, Red Currant, and Cherry “An exceptional jam, each jar is bursting with fresh fruit and flavor. All are wildly delicious.” A good flavor mix. Hard to pick one fruit out but probably raspberry. But not an exceptional jam. A good jam - I’ve had better.
Confiture Framboise (250g) [les Confitures de Raphael] $8.95 Tastes of strawberries with a touch of sweetness. A bit on the runny side. Fruit is bright red. Not quite as an intense “strawberry” taste as I had hoped for but it’s not too sweet which is great.
Confiture Artisanale de Pamplemousse (250g) [les Confitures de Raphael] $8.95 – Grapefruit Preserves
“Artisinally made jams from a variety of fruits. A delicate use of sugar lends to a beautiful, full flavored condiment that is not too sweet. Raphael Guillo-Lohan, who lives in Saint Coulomb, is a young man quickly making a name for himself in the world of French cuisine.” Haven’t Tried Yet
Ciliege [La Confettura dell'Azienda Agraria San Benedetto (Montepulciano, Italy)] $10.95 “Luca Peruzzi's outrageous jams, made on his Tuscan farm from organic fruit cooked the same day as harvested. The purity of this fruit shines through, as sugar is used only sparingly, if at all. A terrific choice for inclusion in a cheese plate.” Cherry Preserves I can imagine this on a cheese plate but it does nothing for a slice of toast. It’s brown with a slight reg tinge and not appetizing at all to look at. The spare sugar makes it tart so paired with something with a bit of sweetness or pungent taste would work well. It probably shows the fruit off well – but it’s not exactly the kind of “cherry” you were thinking of eating in June. This one is tart and a bit bitter and acidic.
Cheese Brebis Pardou (Aquitaine, France) [Cheeses of France] $23.95 ”A fermier sheep's milk cheese, with a huge full flavor that lingers on the tongue. An excellent example of just how good sheep's milk cheeses can be. Handcrafted in Vallee D'Ossau.” This was good but not memorable.
Comte Marcel Petite "Fort Sainte-Antoine" [Cheeses of France] $17.95
”From the high altitude Jura region in southeastern France. The Montbeliard cows graze on meadows teaming with pissenlit, or wild dandelion. Aged 10-14 months for a dense, creamy texture and fruity flavor. Aged by Marcel Petite. Jack was unimpressed. His standards for Comte are Jean d ’Alos aged Comte. This did not excite him.
"Fromageries Marcel Petit
Enormous Wheels of cheese rest in the galleries of the old military fortress of Saint Antoine. With continuous cool temperatures the Comte wheels mature for 8 to 18 months in the fortress cellars. More than 40,000 cheese wheels weighing 35kg each are pampered like babies, daily turned, abraded, brushed and examined. The taste of the matured cheese varies depending upon altitude of the meadows and what grows on it and the season."
Tea Caramel "Caramel" [Dammann Freres Bulk Teas] @ $9.50 Definite Caramel nose to the dry tea and hot tea has a velvety caramel flavor. If the tea gets too strong it’s overpowering – so beware.
Decaf Vanilla "Vanille Detheine" [Dammann Freres Bulk Teas] $12.00 Not that excited about it.
Cassis "Cassis" [Dammann Freres Bulk Teas] $9.50 Overpowering Black currant fragrance and taste. For me this is a once-in-a-while tea and more afternoon than breakfast. I don’t like it that much with toast and jam/honey. But maybe with a savory sandwich? I threw the rest out.
Assam Superior [Dammann Freres Bulk Teas] $9.50 Not that excited about this Assam. Sort of ordinary.
Chocolate & Cookies Cubotto Cuor di Cacao [Venchi Confections (Formerly Cuba Venchi)] $18.95 “When the two great chocolate companies, Cuba and Venchi, formed a partnership a few years ago, the result was some of the best chocolate ever produced. A bag of bite-sized chocolates--75% cocoa shell filled with extra-bitter chocolate creme. These are, quite simply, amazing. A chocolate for true afficionados, these are an elegant finish to any meal.“ Dense Dark chocolate with a truffle like center. Really good but would not seek them out again.
Selection d'Alice Chocolate Biscuits, and Chocolate-Orange Biscuits [Selection d'Alice (Languedoc, France) Cookies] $8.95 each “A variety of artisan biscuits and cookies collected from different regions of France and packaged under one label. This line has been a consistant favorite in our stores for its tender, buttery sweets made with the finest ingredients.” The cookies are thin and crisp. The orange perfect with a cup of tea. Chocolate with coffee. I ordered the plain chocolate – they sent chocolate mint. Made with butter, eggs, sugar and flour, and tasting fresh. Would not seek out.
Balsamic Vinegar Antiqua 15 year "Riserva Speciale" 250ml [Balsamic Vinegars] $47.95 “Only 2000 limited edition hand-blown glass bottles of this precious vinegar are released each year. Each is accompanied by a delicate glass dropper. A special treat and a terrific gift for the food lovers in your life.“ Arrived shattered so that the whole order was soaked in about 1 inch of Balsamic Vinegar. Fortunately the tea was carefully wrapped in plastic and the cheese had a plastic layer as well. Cookies and Chocolates were in cellophane and everything else was heavy glass and unbroken. So they are reshipping the Balsamic Vinegar. The Customer Service was great - no question as to how the diffculty was to be resolved. They immediately offered to replace and reship the broken item.
Not excited about this vinegar. It doesn’t show much distinction dressing things. I’ve tried asparagus, tomatoes, salad and chicken. It has a raisiny sweet taste as it should but what flavor there seems lost on even the plainest of food.