Review November 5, 2004 - Joanne


As promised the order arrived 2 days after ordering. Everything but the Mario Batali sauce arrived unscathed. The seal on the sauce had broken and was leaking slightly it seemed to be fine and I put it in the refrigerator. I had ordered the small blueberry coffee cake in a cardboard box and they shipped the wooden box at no extra charge. I could see it could be painted and reused (it has the logo stamped on top.). The Grains of Paradise comes in a jar not a tube.

1 - il mongetto vendemmia (harvest) sauce
Interesting nutty flavor. Good texture. Really unusual. Contains: tomatoes, toasted Piedmont hazelnuts, tuna, capers, extra virgin olive oil, and a bit of sugar, vinegar and salt. Would order again – but just 1 bottle. I don’t want this every night or even every time I eat pasta.

1 - 18oz jar mario batali's basic tomato sauce
Good quality but not spectacular. If you encounter it try a bottle. Not worth searching out – there are as good sauces readily available.

1 - 1.3 lb wheel of gubbeen cheese in wooden box
The best before date was October 28 th. When we opened the cheese it was covered in soft mold. As it’s a washed rind (we looked it up) we washed it and then cut it. It certainly was ready to eat – a bit past it’s prime – the cheese was a nice creamy color in the center and closer to gold near the rind (and tough). Wonderfully flavorful but mild. We’ve had it from Artisan or Dean & DeLuca before and I can’t say that this one showed better.

1 - 300 g jar wild asparagus
Preserved in salt, water and citric acid they taste “pickled” I rinsed them in cold water and lightly sauted in oil olive. They could easily be put in a Salad Nicoise. They are good quality asparagus and they were preserved well… just we aren’t used to canned vegetables so they aren’t a big hit here and the fact of being wild is pretty well obscured by their being preserved.

1 - 1.5 lb handmade cinnamon raisin bread
A bit dense but lots of raisins. The crust is very hard. Not tons of cinnamon. Jack, the CR connoisseur, did like it a lot.

1 - 1 lb stone-ground mexican chocolate
Like Abuelita or Ibarra. Better quality. An aquired taste which I still can’t get hold of. It’s the whole Mexican chocolate category in general not the product. This is a good product.

1 - nosher (smaller) blueberry buckle in a fun cardboard box
Made with eggs, flour. Butter, sugar and blueberries it tastes good. The blueberries have sunk mostly to the bottom and are well integrated into the cake so they don’t stand out. You can see there are blueberries but you don’t taste them. The crumble on top is hard. The buckle is more cake than bread style and therefore quite dense. It’s certainly couldn’t be described as light or fluffy. It is tasty but we wouldn’t seek it out.

1 - 1 lb bag of freshly roasted papua new guinea
Yum. Very balanced. Not too much of anything. Great acids but not overpowering ones. I was impressed with the first pot. Will order again when I place another order with them.

1 - 1lb bag of carolina gold rice
A heritage food - an heirloom variety of rice. Tastes like rice. We didn’t find any particular nuances special to it.

1 - grains of paradise 82 g tube
I used these in a mill to spice up the rack of lamb we had for dinner. The lemony aspect is pronounced in the scent but did not come through in the cooking. The good news is the pepperyness is there but it’s lightened making it a great spice to use for Jack who doesn’t enjoy pepper. I love these. 05/05 we’re out! Need to order more and soon!

1 - 40 g jar wild australian lemon myrtle
Smells vaguely like lemon verbena. Will update when I use it. Sprinkled on Brussel Sprouts. No flavor at all. It's really great in a court bouillion or where something is steamed. Try using it like dill.

Note: I love Zingerman’s coffee. It’s freshly roasted and tastes fresh. I’ve tried 3 pounds and haven’t been disappointed. I’ve been exhilarated. I’ll be ordering again soon!

Click here to read about
our June 2005 order

Click here to read about our Zingerman's Z Club order

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