Wednesday, June 30, 2010

All tied up in a pretty package

Between a wedding and a death, traveling internationally and a trade show for work, there was Tchaikovsky by the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center. The soloist Mikail Simonyan was mesmerizing.

The two biggest trends at the fancy food show seemed to be ‘local’ and ‘smart foods’ (aka, foods to prescribe to cure your ailments). And lots of truffles, though that trend has been riding high for a few years now.

Pastificio dei Campi, and Italian pasta company from Gragnano, has gone to great lengths to connect the pasta makers with their customers. Their website features a 'total tracking system' where you can enter the expiration date from your box of pasta and see not only when it was made, but when the grain was seeded, the date of harvest, the faces of the farmers and the field where the grains were gathered, and where the mill and pasta factory is located via google earth. The packaging is really nice- all in boxes (several different serving sizes) with a cover that slides off for easy opening and closing. Their goal was to make it easy for chefs to open a drawer under their station and reach into the pasta box and grab what they need. Though I'm not sure how practical the commercial kitchen idea is, it'll work great for the hope cook who doesn't want to use an entire box all at once.

I also got to meet Susannah Trilling, from Seasons of My Heart in Oaxaca, Mexico. They produce mole pastes and chili jellies. She published a great book back in 1999 about Oaxacan food, which is now out of print. I'm glad I asked about it- they have a stockpile of copies, so I'll be able to get some.

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