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Not since I returned to the USA after spending three heavenly months in Tuscany, near Florence, did I enjoy a gelato as much as when I tasted Talenti Gelato e Sorbetto’s  newest release: Sea Salt Caramel. It is not only up to par with Italian gelato in Italy, but it rivals their best!

Smooth and with depth of taste, it rolls on the tongue like cold, creamy silk, it has a long finish and, best of all, it is not cloying like other Dulce de Leche ice creams from trendy brands after which I have had to down a pint of ice cold water.
 
Is it the salt that mitigates the sweetness? Or the quality of the milk? As with all Talenti gelati, great care was placed in sourcing all-natural ingredients for this new flavor. The Sea Salt Caramel gelato features rich Argentine milk caramel (dulce de leche) made exclusively for Talenti,  Fleur De Sel — the prized sea salt from France— and tiny chocolate-covered sea salt caramel truffles.
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All of Talenti gelati e sorbetti are made artisanally with fresh, hormone-free milk and cane sugar—no high-fructose corn syrup  here —and are sold in recyclable containers with easily screw-on lids for all flavors.
 
A healthier alternative to regular ice creams and other frozen creamy desserts,  Talenti’s Sea Salt Caramel gelato and all of its other flavors,  contains  about 30% less fat than regular ice cream.   Talenti is made with all-natural and raw ingredients, sourced locally and from around the world—hormone-free milk, chocolate from Belgium, fresh whole Tahitian vanilla beans from Papua New Guinea, select coconuts from the Philippines, and real Argentine dulce de leche. Suggested retail price: $4.99-$5.99.
 
Talenti which  began as a gelato store and café in 2001 in Dallas, Texas,  on the model of a turn of the 20th-century  Italo-Argentine heladeria , has grown into a best-selling gelato brand in the country. With 18 delicious flavors of gelato and sorbetto, Talenti continues to grow in distribution and today is available in well over 15,000 stores nationwide.
For a full list ofTalenti products and to find a retail location, go to www.TalentiGelato.com.
 

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cocktail tree sushisamba

Enjoy a game of “She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not” as you sip on flavor-packed cocktails this Valentine’s Day.

For a limited time only SUSHISAMBA lovers can take their cocktailing experience home. By popular demand, the exclusively-crafted Cocktail Tree will be available for purchase for $250 (includes 12 glasses).

The "tree" has quickly gained popularity on SUSHISAMBA menus nationwide as the perfect way to sample the restaurants extensive beverage menu. The tree's are created for SUSHISAMBA by Designer, Avii Kendi of Metal Dimension. Each tress is hand made from forged steel and completed with blackened patina and a custom satin lacquer.

Available for purchase on line at www.sushisamba.com , this cocktail tree is a must-have for any hostess with the most-est or that special someone this Valentine’s Day.

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By now Thanksgiving is barely a thought and all antennae are pointing to Xmas and to affordable presents.  One of the best gifts to give your loved ones and friends is a Sachi bag.
 
It sounds like Satchi, the elegant.classic and top-notch leather fashion bags which first originated in Shanghai.  But these are Sachi, without the t.
 
They’re gorgeous, original, fashionable and… totally insulated. What better way to tote around your lunch?
 
I got a cool pink one with a dark brown rim for my 20-something daughter who said that it was too nice for sandwiches only and that she was going to use it as a purse! Coming from another century, I never seem to land the right accessory and for once, she fully appreciated a fashion gift from me.
 
Good bye brown bags and plastic bags. I am now taking a super cool zebra-patterned Sachi bag to work. No one knows what’s in it: a left over spinach quiche; a salad with a pouch of dressing; a bottle of homemade carrot/apple juice; a peeled orange alongside my wallet, eye glasses, my cell phone and a little cosmetic bag.
 
And when not at work, I just love showing off with these original bags (around $19.99)
 
For information or to purchase directly, call Sachi Bags at 262-537-2191. They are also available at www.Amazon.com   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  oil aska
 
Aska Eleivana? Is that in Gipuzkoa - the Euskadi language from the Basque country in Spain - or some other ancient Magyar-rooted language?
 
“It’s an Estruscan word meaning ‘Container of olive oil’,” explained producer Alessandro Tognetti at a tasting at Bice, Hotel Vitor in south Beach. “They were the ones who established olive cultivation between 600 and 550 BC all over the Mediterranean, beginning with Italy...” he continued as Chef Rosario Corrado from Bice,  his wife and daughter looked on with rapture.
At “Alex”, his Michelin-rated restaurant in Tonfano, Marina di Pietrasanta, Tuscany  Mr. Tognetti created a sensation and a media blitz when he started drizzling it over products imported from the US like Alaskan King Crab, Stone Crab and Maine lobsters. "if I import food from the US and Italians love it, the US will love importing my olive oils," he chuckled.
  
oil aska 2Olio Extra Vergine di Oliva 100% Italiano "Aska Eleivana"  is a blend of oils entirely produced from olives grown in Tuscany from the varieties Moraiolo, Leccino and Frantoio. He says he sources the best olives from the best groves and has a permanent contract with different “frantoio” or olive presses around the region to provide him with the pick of the crops. “This way, I don’t have to rely on just one or two producers whose groves can be affected by weather or diseases, and I can ensure a steady production for export,” he says.
 
The Aska Eleivana labels are paintings by Domenico Monteforte, a renowned Tuscan artist whose works are exhibited at Palazzo Madama in Rome and  who, Tognetti says, contributes  his designs to the labels of Sassicaia, the Super-Tuscan produced by Antinori in Bolgheri.
 
Two labels: Excellence and Prestige (both approx $25 for 1 pt.0.9 fl oz.) are complex and well-balanced, buttery, herbal and fruity — one more peppery than the other—,  both with 0.34% acidity —well below the required 1% for extra virgin olive oils) aand are well suited to finish seafood, grilled meats, steamed vegetables, pastas and salads.
 
For information on where to purchase and on tastings, contact: Alessandro Tognetti at info@askaeleivana.it  or 305-898-8346, or his importer Paolo Benassi at pbenassi@maritimeholdingsgroup.com   or 954-624-8204
For general information: www.askaeleivana.it
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  savory 1

Come Thanksgiving and the holidays and suddenly the broths take center stage.

Too busy to make them from scratch and not brave enough to face the taste of salt, metal or other seasoning?  San Francisco's Savory Creations has come up with a solution:  a new chicken broth concentrate that has no MSG, is gluten-free and is prepared with natural ingredients. “It tastes like roasted chicken – in liquid form,” writes  Carolyn Jung of the Mercury News.

Indeed Savory Creations has a homemade flavor and doesn’t have as much sodium as other canned or cubed products. And even if you make your own chicken soup, sometimes it doesn’t have the depth of flavor that you want..,” said Carole Kotkin, Culinary Director of the Ocean Reef Cooking School and a food columnist for the Miami Herald, after trying the product. “ A pack of their soup makes it come alive,” she added.

Savory Choices comes with a range of different broths -  all-natural chicken, turkey, beef and vegetable broth reduced down to create a concentrate, without additives. The package is easy to store and use – they come packed in tiny stick pouches, 12 to a box. Each mixed with one cup of water makes one cup of broth. They sell for about $6.

 You can use the concentrates in a number of ways to make soups other than chicken soup and to bring up the flavor in dishes. I make a delicious quinoa pilaf or a risotto by squeezing a pouch of either chicken, beef or vegetable concentrate in the boiling water. 

I like the fact that there’s no waste, since they are measured by cup, including the demi-glace concentrate. “Demi glace is a wonderful thing to have on hand,” explains Mr. Kotkin.   It can bring home cooking up to a restaurant level in just one squeeze instead of reducing a homemade stock for hours and hours.”     

But again, the holidays are coming up and here are some tips to make a yummy gravy with the Savory Choice turkey broth to deglaze the pan and make the gravy.

According to Mr. Kotkin’s recipe:  dissolve 2 stick pouches of turkey broth in 2 cups of water;  pour off all but 2 Tbsp fat from roasting pan; add 2 Tbsp flour and stir with wooden spoon scraping the bottom of the roasting pan. Then add the turkey broth, bring to a boil, whisk briskly and pour through a strainer…

Savory Choice broths are sold at Whole Foods Markets, Publix, Winn Dixie and other major and gourmet markets.  Savory Creations International is a subsidiary of Meto Corp., a food export company in business for more than 30 years in the Bay Area. www.savory-creations.com    

  

 

Food & Wine Talk Radio

 GELATO WORLD TOUR, RIMINI 2014, ITALY
 
Achile Sassoli, Director of Gelato World Tour
and Gelato Artisans:
James Coleridge, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Abdelrahman Al Teneji, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Matthew Lee, Austin, Texas
Ahmed Abdullatif, Kingdom of Bahrain
Stefano Versace, Miami, Florida
 
 
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The House of Mandela Wines from South Africa

 
 

Chef Scott Conant: Scarpetta

 
 

Mark Schatzker, author of The Dorito Effect, The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor

 
 

Elizabeth Minchilli, author of  Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City.  

 
 

James Beard Award-winning wine journalist Lyn Farmer on: Garnacha from Carinena; the next great wine

 
 

Cindy Hutson,chef/owner, Ortanique and Zest, author of From the Tip of My Tongue

 
 

Lidia Batianich, celebrity chef, TV host, author and restaurateur 

 

 

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