It's Cyber Monday -- are you shopping? Whether you're clicking around for deals today or waiting until later in the season, Formaggio Kitchen has some great gift ideas for the foodie in your life (or you!). From cheese to charcuterie to chocolate, you'd be hard pressed to find a specialty food item on this list that isn't a complete knockout. Shop away, food lovers!
Do you have a food lover, budding chef, charcuterie aficionado or chocolate fiend in your life? Short on gift ideas? Not to worry – we’ve got you covered! Our staffers thought long and hard to come up with their top picks for what they would give to food-loving friends, family members and loved ones – here are the results...
Photo by Formaggio Kitchen
Feeling a little carb'd out after Thanksgiving? Here, have a salad. We won't tell anyone there's bacon, blue cheese, and maple syrup on it.
My favorite thing about this salad is that it works well when served warm or cold – just depends on your preference. It’s low maintenance. Which is so unlike me. Pears are so perfect and ripe right about now that I left them completely plain, sort of just accompanying the salad. A hint of salt and pepper goes a looooong way when sprinkled on top.
Get the recipe
Photo by How Sweet It Is
Ever been frustrated by a flimsy wedge or ball of mozzarella crumbling against your grater? The geniuses at Real Simple have a solution for you! Store the piece of cheese in the freezer for several minutes before grating, and it will shred like a charm.
Grating mozzarella and other soft cheeses can be tricky. Try this simple tip.
Since many respected artisan cheesemakers in the U.S. happen to be women, it's easy to forget it's not that way in other countries. In Italy, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese master Catia Zambrelli is not only the sole female maker of the heralded cheese, but has had to masquerade under her husband's name for years in order to make a living -- the farmers only trusted the team if there was a man in the business. Today, it's a different story.
Catia Zambrelli has been working at the Bertinelli Dairy for three years, a family business which has been producing milk since 1895.
"Today my professionalism is acknowledged, but it has taken a lot of work and sometimes bitterness to be fully respected as a cheese master," she says.
Photo by BBC
Herb-y, marinated cheese is a wonderful treat, and even more wonderful when made at home. The best part? All you need to whip up this elevated snack is yogurt, herbs, and oil. Say hello to your new host gift.
Last week for Viva - The New Zealand Herald, I shared this fabulous recipe for home made creamy and tangy yoghurt cheese rolled in freshly chopped herbs and lemon zest. The balls are then layered in a glass jar and topped with extra virgin olive oil.
Sometimes I like to add a little chopped chilli, and olives to the coating, which also tastes fantastic. This fresh cheese is truly wonderful for spreading on bread or crackers, and is incredibly easy to prepare.
Photo by Petite Kitchen
Confused about kosher dairy? Let Madame Fromage give you the lowdown, who, until recently, was unclear about the subject as well. And if you're a fan of Vermont Creamery, you're in luck -- their cow's milk products are not only certified kosher, but stay that way because of their individual packaging.
Hooper maintains her kosher certification — at her own expense — by following guidelines, like keeping kosher and non-kosher equipment separate. Her goat cheeses, for which she is famous, are not kosher for this reason. Honestly, this was fascinating news to me. I envisioned daily visits from a holy man who would bless stock rooms full of Vermont Creamery dairy. Hooper ensured me that there’s no such dial-a-rabbi.
Photo by Madame Fromage
You may want to think twice the next time you blame your afternoon nap on the turkey, and instead take a peek at your cheeseboard. Cheddar, parmesan, and mozzarella all have higher amounts of tryptophan than the Thanksgiving bird, with mozzarella clocking in at .603 grams of tryptophan per 100 grams of cheese (turkey registers at about .246, for perspective).
Blame your post-Thanksgiving dinner food coma on the turkey? Other foods have way more tryptophan, and doctors say too many carbs may be the culprit, anyway.
Photo by Alissa Scheller for the Huffington Post
Yes, you read that right. A couple of curious chemists came up with a new kind of cheese using human-grown bacteria found in stinky places like armpits, nostril walls, and the bottoms of feet. Each cheese supposedly smells, and tastes, like its human maker and takes on the unique chemical characteristics of the individual.
"The project compares the odors between man and cheese, questioning why what is prized in one is reviled in the other. "Can knowledge and tolerance of bacterial cultures in our food improve tolerance of the bacteria on our bodies?" the gallery asks, posing one of the great questions of mankind. The cheese is not meant to be eaten, but visitors were allowed to take a grand whiff of the stinky objets d'art. "
Photo by Huffington Post
Searching for a healthful (but still delicious) holiday dish? Nealey Dozier from The Kitchn suggests giving whipped cauliflower with crème fraîche a whirl. You'll be so smitten, you may just leave those mashed potatoes behind.
I've been wanting to develop a lightened-up recipe to counteract all of the butter-laden dishes I've been consuming, but I am not one who is willing to sacrifice flavor in an attempt to "cut back." (I'd rather just eat less of the real stuff!) Thankfully this recipe doesn't skimp on heavenly taste or texture. Heck, if you don't tell anyone it's virtuous, nobody will be the wiser.
Photo by The Kitchn
Thanksgiving is a time for enjoying the strangest of dishes with zero abandon. Green bean casserole with questionable ingredients? Sold. Pineapple Cheese Casserole? Yup. What are your holiday guilty pleasures?
As my generation got older, we started contributing and, one very special year, my cousin Julian brought pineapple cheese casserole. I approached it with caution, then felt like a fool when I realized how delicious it was. As the years passed, my cousins, siblings and I scattered, moving too far away to return for the holiday, or marrying and spending the day with partners. Julian never brought the casserole again, at least not on a year when I was there.
Photo by Anne Postic