A Calming Tonic for a Busy New Year

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By Susan Able with photographs by Hannah Hudson – from our Winter 2015 Issue, “The Last Sip”

 

When Rano Singh welcomes you into Pansaari, her recently opened Indian spice store and grocery, you know you have arrived someplace special.Pansaari owner

The walls are covered with Indian tile, with long shelves of the freshest spices. Behind an inlaid marble bar, amazingly fragrant chai tea, South Indian coffee and her own kombuchas are served, as well as Indian food. A committed locavore, Singh buys her lemongrass and mint from a local farm, and the honey is from a beekeeper in Washington, D.C.

Pansaari feels more like the living room of a friend with very comfortable Indian furniture. It’s a place to linger in conversation and soak in the smell of fresh spice.

Singh explains that in India a “pansaari” is the spice grocery. The first consult for ailments is to the pansaari … Read More

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Winter White Mulled Wine

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Sponsored by Spice & Tea Exchange.

If you love to cook, The Spice and Tea Exchange is a perfect store to swing by anytime if you are shopping in Old Town or Annapolis, or weekending at the beach. Holiday seasonal gifts are aplenty here, it is hard to leave without trying something new–whether you are a spice and herb junkie and love trying new things, a discerning tea drinker or just love kitchen accouterments–almost certainly you’ll leave with new things for yourself and gifts for others!

Joy Quinn-Whalen is the owner of three Spice & Tea Exchange stores—in Alexandria, Annapolis and Rehoboth. After graduating from business school and working as a consultant, she started looking for a consulting entrepreneurial opportunity. After happening onto a Spice & Tea Exchange in Florida while on a business trip, she left with a big shopping bag and an idea for starting her own franchise. … Read More

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A Classic French Holiday Dessert: Bûche de Noël

A Bûche de Noël, interpreted by Caitlin Dysart, Pastry Chef of 2941.

A Bûche de Noël, interpreted by Caitlin Dysart, Pastry Chef of 2941.

By Caitlin Dysart, Pastry Chef of 2941. Photography by Reema Desai. From The Last Bite in our Winter Holiday Issue 2015.

 

A native of Springfield, VA, Caitlin Dysart is the award-winning Pastry Chef at reknowned French restaurant, 2941. Dysart won the RAMMY Award for Pastry Chef of the Year in 2014.

A native of Springfield, VA, Caitlin Dysart is the award-winning Pastry Chef at reknowned French restaurant, 2941. Dysart won the RAMMY Award for Pastry Chef of the Year in 2014.

Bringing the Whimsy of France to Your Holiday Table

The holiday season can be rough when you work in the restaurant industry, but my child-like love for all things Christmas really helps me get through it. I get excited for the music, the decorations, the family traditions and—most importantly—the baking. As a pastry chef, I have to plan ahead for the holidays, I’m drafting menus and sketching desserts as soon as Labor Day hits.

One of my favorite holiday desserts is the classic Bûche de Noël, … Read More

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Last Minute Shop Local Guide for Foodies

by EdibleDC Team

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We’re on the hunt for last minute gifts–aren’t you? Team Edible has made a list of our some of our favorites. You can’t go wrong with #buylocal!

Secolari Olive Oil

SecolariWith shops in DC and Bethesda, as well as Columbia and Towson, the oils and vinegars here are some of the best quality you will find. And addictive! Delicious flavors like basil and rosemary oils and grapefruit basalmic; any home cook would be thrilled with these delightfully packaged gift sets. Check out their truffle salt too!

Local Artisan Cheeses

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Cheese–a perfect hostess gift. Don’t know what to bring to your next holiday gathering? How about a spread of local artisan cheeses? Here is a list of some of our favorites you can pick up at Stonyman Gourmet Farmer:

  • Appalachian – Meadowcreek (Galax, VA)
  • Bay Blue – Chapel’s Country Creamery (Easton, MD)
  • Catoctin – George’s Mill
Read More
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Virginia Sparklers Rise to the Occasion

By Jennifer Knowles , special to EdibleDC

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Sparkling wine is extremely well suited to the table. Its complexity and texture make it an amiable partner to a whole world of cuisines, especially when using seasonal vegetables. While choosing a sparkling wine means deciding what will work best for your specific purposes, consider your local options this year.

Having worked with Virginia wines very closely for the past five years, I have been continuously impressed and excited about the sparkling wines making their way to the retail scene. Interest in this category is steadily rising as more producers try their hand at this challenging style of winemaking.

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Still wine is made during one main fermentation and can be released within a year, or less, after harvest. Sparkling wines go through two fermentations and also need lengthy aging before release, which ties up both winery space and equity. Of course there are … Read More

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Shuman’s Jelly Cake Serves Up Generations of Memories

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A Much-Beloved Cake Returns to Toast the Season

By Hope Nelson, special to Edible DC

Some sweets are simply synonymous with the holiday season. Peppermint bark? Check. Fruitcake? Well, yes, against our collective better judgment.

Around Alexandria, there’s another sweet treat that always finds its way to the dessert table around Christmastime: Shuman’s jelly cake.

Served at Shuman’s Bakery for more than 100 years, the cake (and its recipe) disappeared from the city when the bakery closed its doors in 2004. But in 2010, a new generation of the Shuman family resurrected the business – and the jelly cake – by opening an online store, and business has been booming ever since.

The resurrected Shuman’s started innocently enough – by some conversations over the dinner table, said Shuman’s Patrick Hagan.

“We started a Facebook page, and before you knew it, we had 100 or more Facebook fans, so we thought … Read More

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Savory Spiced Holiday Nuts from Peg’s Salt

 Pegs Salt

A delicious and addictive nut mix, perfect for entertaining and gifts! Peg’s Salt is is a blended salt seasoning with over 20 spices. A woman-owned business, Cass Cannon launched Peg’s Salt in 2012 and makes her product in Greenwood, VA from her mother’s family recipe. Peg’s Salt is all small batch made, and contains no sugar, fillers, MSG, gluten, or GMOs. It is also a perfect stocking stuffer for home cooks.

Available at all area Whole Foods Markets, Arrowine and Westover Market in Arlington, through Relay Foods and online at www.pegssalt.com.

Peg’s Salt Savory Spiced Nuts

Ingredients
• 2-1/4 cups (18-ounces) assorted unsalted nuts (E.g., raw peanuts, cashews, walnuts, pecans and almonds)
• 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
• ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper*
• 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
• ½ tsp. white sugar
• 2 teaspoons Peg’s Salt
• 1-1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Directions

Preheat … Read More

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Will You Have Food for Tomorrow?

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The Food for Tomorrow conference was held at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, NY. The organization’s mission is to create a healthy and sustainable food system.

By Mike Koch, special to EdibleDC

A few weeks ago I was among the attendees at the New York Times “Food for Tomorrow” conference at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Tarrytown, NY. It was the second annual event of its kind, bringing together food writers, food and agri-business entrepreneurs, academics, politicians, nonprofit leaders and, yes, a handful of farmers. I was honored to be among them and found the content both challenging and stimulating.

Four ideas persist as rattling presences in my mind:

One: We would do well to eat less meat—better said, we should only eat meats we procure from known, sustainable producers. The horrors and environmental impact of animals raised in … Read More

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The Science of Delicious

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by Jacob Dean, special to EdibleDC

Last week, National Geographic Live! hosted The Science of Delicious, a flavor-focused tasting event which examined the ways in which we perceive flavor and how flavor impacts our lives. Moderated by Pam Caragol, Executive Producer for the National Geographic Channel, the discussion complemented an identically-titled article recently published in the National Geographic magazine.

Over the course of two hours, guests were served a bento box, ramen, and a variety of sour-and-sweet cocktails prepared by Chaplin’s Restaurant (1501 9th Street NW), while listening to presentations from National Geographic Senior Photo Editor Todd James, biopsychologist Julie Mennella and Chaplin’s Restaurant co-owners Ari and Micah Wilder. science of delicious menu

For Todd James, the quest to capture flavor in photographs was challenging, “Really, when they handed me the story I had not a single idea in my head because it’s like, how do you see taste?” For James and … Read More

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Time for Local Christmas Trees!

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Make a memory and support a local farmer! Here’s your list of Christmas tree farms in VA and MD. To search for Christmas tree farms in Maryland, go here. For Christmas tree farms in Virginia, your list is here.

The weekend weather will be perfect for an outing to a local Christmas tree farm! Get outdoors, make some memories, support local farmers and get a fresh, local real tree that looks and smells beautiful. Real trees are a renewable, recyclable resource that keep unwanted waste out of our landfills and are good for the environment. Recycled real trees are chipped into mulch, putting nutrients back in soil.

Artificial trees are often petroleum based, overseas imports and end up in landfills forever. According to the Maryland Department of Agriculture, while growing, Christmas trees absorb carbon dioxide and other gases and emit fresh oxygen, unlike artificial trees which are petroleum-based. When … Read More

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