Thursday, December 18, 2014

Just Your Cup Of Tea

One of the most consumed beverages in the world is without a doubt tea. Though it may not seem like that would be the case here in America, in other parts of the world tea is the preferred drink of choice. With the many variations of tea that can be brewed in the world, there are countless types of tea that can be experienced from many countries. Chile is one of the countries that produces their own organic tea by a company called Garden Of The Andes. We, The Gourmet Import Shop, work closely with Garden Of The Andes to help make their teas available to America as well as other countries. Come join us in this blog post as we discuss the Garden Of The Andes company and their history, the process of how their tea is made, benefits of organic tea, as well as other tidbits of information that may be of interest. Head on past the break to read on!

Garden Of The Andes field of chamomile flowers

Monday, December 1, 2014

Add Some Spice To Your Life

In the world of gourmet food, many chefs and food lovers aim to create the most tasteful dishes. What supports them in this quest for deliciousness and can make a great difference in their recipes are unique ingredients. This is especially true when an ingredient's full potential has not been fully tapped and is just waiting to explode onto the culinary scene. This is where importers (such as us, The Gourmet Import Shop) who find the best from around the world and make it readily available. One such special ingredient hails from Chile by courtesy of the company named Etnia. It is a native spice called merquén (or merkén). In this post, we explain more about Etnia, what merquén is, the Mapuche people, and what the Fair Trade concept is that Etnia practices. Read on more past the break.

Seared Salmon with Merquén Crust, Quinoa Salad

Friday, October 31, 2014

Sweet Nectar Of Life

In case you weren't already aware, diabetes and obesity is a growing concern in not only America but also the rest of the world. These can be attributed to the over consumption of sugar based foods and drinks like soda and juices. Many people are seeking alternatives to the synthetically produced sweeteners, and then indulge in all these substitutes. There's a growing popular concept that the things you consume which come from nature itself is a lot more beneficial than the man made ones....and in this case it would be the artificial sweeteners. 

Banana Oatmeal Pancakes with Melted Peanut Butter & Nectavé Agave Nectar
Photo by Catherine Kung

That's where the need for a "healthy sweet" comes in to play. While that may sound like an oxymoron to some, those things actually do exist in the world. Agave nectar is a prime example that gives you a good sweetener as an alternative to synthetic sweeteners. Nectavé organic agave has been booming in popularity throughout the years both in the restaurant industry and for personal use. You may see some of these even sitting on the table in a restaurant for customers to use instead of the classic maple syrup. In this post, we will discuss the company of Nectavé, differences between other sweeteners as well as other agaves, benefits of using agave nectar, and many other tidbits. Read on more about this wonder liquid past the break.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Putting Your Eggs In The Basket

There's no doubt that noodles are an internationally renowned staple of food. From Asian cuisine like ramen and chow mein to the classic Western spaghetti and penne, noodles come in all shapes, types, and forms from all around the world. This leads us to the legendary noodle type, pasta, whose origination is first referenced in Italy. In this post, we will be taking a look at the unique Italian egg pasta type courtesy from our supplier La Pasta di Aldo. Keep on reading below as we cover the company La Pasta di Aldo, keywords in pasta ingredients, what makes egg pasta special, and some cooking & tasting suggestions.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Aged Before Beauty

In the world of gourmet foods, there is one particular factor that most food enthusiasts look at (depending on the item), and that is how much it has aged. The most well known and popular ones that would come to mind for most people are cheeses and wine. To some people the stinkier the cheese is, the better it tastes. When wine is aged considerably, changes in their aroma, taste, and color take place surpassing even its original incarnation. Balsamic vinegar can also be aged, and it's a bigger deal than you probably even realize. Just like with aged wine, getting a product to achieve the status as a true, aged balsamic vinegar has strict processes and requirements set by European standards. We at the Gourmet Import Shop have been importing such products from our Italian supplier, Mussini, who are experts in this field and have great knowledge in this industry.

In this post, we will go over a brief summary of who Mussini is, some Balsamic Vinegar 101, the meaning of IGP/DOP, Mussini's Coin System, and Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale versus Condimento. Grab some cheese & wine and head past the break to read more about aged Italian balsamic vinegar.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Panettone: The Hot Item This Coming Season!

Italian Panettone, Mussini Style

Note: Mussini Panettone will now be only available on a special order basis only. Minimum amount required will be a pallet's worth. Please contact us directly if interested.

Have you heard about panettone? Unless you are knowledgeable about gourmet foods or Italian cuisine, you probably may not have heard about this gem....and that's where this blog post comes in! The Gourmet Import Shop is going to be importing this directly from our Italian supplier, Mussini, in preparation for the holiday season this year. Read on to learn more about Mussini, the history of panettone, and more down below.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Walk To The Beat Of Your Own Drum

Minox Stainless Steel Fusti

As the gourmet food scene continues to grow in the United States, you will most likely see a lot of unfamiliar and peculiar items that are not normally found in the local grocery store. This is not limited to just food products however. In this post we will be covering one of the hottest trends that's been gaining popularity this year, the Italian fusti (pictured above). We are in a partnership with our Italian producer,  Minox, to bring these beautiful stainless steel containers to the American market. The response by our customers has been outstanding. Read more after the break for details about Minox, the definition of NSF, the significance of welding, stainless steel types, and a few more other related tidbits.

Don't forget to also check out our other post titled True As Stainless Steel for more up to date fusti information!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice!

This month we are spotlighting our friends from Down Under, Henry Langdon. Henry Langdon is an Australian based specialist food company with customers in Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Asia.....and now the United States! The Henry Langdon products that we import into the U.S. include a range of salt rubs, aromatic spices, chai tea, and blended flavored sugars. 

Did you know that we're doing a Monthly Special on all Henry Langdon products for May? Well now you do! You can find all these by heading over to our online retail store The Gourmet Import Shop. Each photo that has a product in it will be a clickable link to go straight to its page on the retail website for ease of access. 

Henry Langdon, Founder
Who is Henry Langdon?     

Henry Langdon (pictured to the left) was a United Kingdom native and came over to Australia in 1852 with his wife and infant son. A year before they arrived, gold was discovered in the city of Melbourne and demand for a variety of wares were high.  Langdon was ready to sell household items which included champagne, chocolate, and brandy.

Their line of imported goods had increased in diversity such as matches, honey soap, castor oil, cocoa, china, and crystal by the late 1800s. Then in the 1900s, H J Langdon & Co (officially called at this time) dipped into specializing in teas, herbs, spices, pickles, olive oil, essences and preserved ginger. 

In 2007, the gourmet food and beverage brand was launched leading to what the company is now like in this era. With over 5 generations of family members, the company has an operating history of over 155 years. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

All Live For Olive!

     When you think of Italy, what things would first come to mind? The more common answers would most likely be along the lines of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Colosseum, their amazing food, and even wine. But there is another dark horse that many people may not even realize is an essential product in Italian gourmet foods: olive oil. Believe it or not, olive oil is BIG in Italy. Some may even consider ranking it high up there with wine and balsamic vinegar. This leads us up to this month's Gourmet Gab topic which focuses on our Gradassi brand of olive oil from Italy.

Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil

     In this post, we'll cover various topics which include terms you may have heard but did not quite understand what they mean, the Gradassi and C.U.FR.OL brand, and more in depth information of our Gradassi products. Head on past the break to read on. (Note: Images with product in it are clickable links to our Gourmet Import Shop online store where you can buy them directly)


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Honey, I'm Home!

It is sometimes asked what is sweeter than sugar, and the majority of people would probably answer "honey".....and that's what we'll be discussing today! In case you have been out of the loop, we have received some new products from a Brazilian company called Novo Mel who produces honey made from the rain forests of Brazil. With the varying plant life in their rain forests, many varieties of flowers bloom which in turn means various honeys can be extracted from these exotic plants. And the result of that are these:

The honey jars you see above (from left to right) come from the Orange Blossom, Cipo-Uva Blossom, Wildflower, Eucalyptus Blossom, and the Capixingui Blossom. But before we get into details about these let's go over some of the basics of this sweet substance, in general.

Honey is usually made up of glucose & fructose (monosaccharides; aka simple sugars) and water. It can get even more detailed with even more scientific terms, but we'll try to keep it short and sweet.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Eat To Your "Red Hearts" Content!

Happy Valentine's Day!

And welcome to The Gourmet Import Shops blog! Our goal with this blog is to bring as much information as we can to the readers. Education in the world of gourmet foods is something we believe should to be shared to those seeking it. If you are one of these people, you came to the right place! Keep coming back to find out what goodies we have to share.

Since Valentine's Day is today, we wanted to highlight one of our products which was a big hit the weeks leading up to the legendary special day. If you haven't seen this yet, take a look at this beauty:

How's that for creativeness? This is our special seasonal Donne Del Grano Red Hearts pasta imported straight from Italy, and this easily became our top seller for late January/early February. This pasta is an artisanally hand made pasta with natural ingredients. There is no artificial coloring used for the bold red you see, but instead consists of tomatoes and/or chili pepper powders.

As mentioned earlier, this is a seasonal pasta and is currently available while supplies last. But hey, it doesn't have to be limited to only Valentine's Day right? There's still special days like birthdays, wedding anniversaries (take note of this husbands!),  or simple get-together parties.

We'd love to hear feedback or questions about this particular item. If this pasta inspired the creative chef in you to make an inventive dish or even something simple, we're always happy to hear from you. Feel free to comment, email, post or whichever is your preferred method of communication (handwritten letters are always nice too). We've got our retail website which you can find by clicking here which shows all the imported gourmet products we carry. And for a little teaser, we've got some new products from Italy on its way to join our growing lineup of products. Stay tuned!