Product Spotlight

Stagg Jam & Marmalade Has Its Heart In Louisiana

Early this summer, we began selling Stagg Jam & Marmalade — a brand new product made in Brooklyn but “born in Louisiana,” as its label proudly states. Candice Ross left a career in architecture to start the company, which she named after her grandfather, a farmer, father, mechanic and maker who “lives a life filled with love and simplicity,” says the Stagg web site. We called up Candice recently to ask her about her jams, the food scene and her decision to switch paths, in search of a life similarly filled with what matters most. 

*In response to the devastating floods in Louisiana, Stagg Jams has announced that now through Sept. 1, 100% of the proceeds from sales of marmalades (Lemon, Orange & Grapefruit) on the Stagg site will be donated to the United Way of Acadiana, to help with rebuilding efforts.

Let’s talk about that Banana Jam. We’re in love.

It’s magic. (Laughs.) I make it, so, obviously, I know how it works. But I’m still always like: Wow! I am convinced that it’s the vanilla bean. There’s organic vanilla bean, and I think it makes everything just pop.

When I first moved to the city 11 years ago, like every 23 year old, I had no money. Like, at all. And I was working at this architecture firm and would have to go on site a lot, and I ended up getting into this habit of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, legitimately, every single day. They’re cheap, you throw them in your bag, they don’t go bad. But I had this problem with the bananas, because they would go brown. I’d buy a bunch of bananas, because they were cheap, and they’d go brown.

And it was around the time I’d started making jam anyway, and so I thought: I’ll just make them into a jam.

Banana Jam- w spoon-01

Very functional Banana aside, how do you choose your flavors?

They just kind of come to me. Basically, they’re something I would want to eat. For example, I think the Seasoned Sorrel is really kind of a good one. When I moved to Crown Heights, I kept  Continue reading

A Bloody Mary that Captures the Taste of Summer

Kingsley Amis, a prolific writer and, by his own estimation, one of the foremost drunks of his time, had much excellent information to impart on the subject of drink.

“The Bloody Mary,” he wrote in his 1983 Everyday Drinking, “is a delicious and most sustaining concoction, universally popular, just the thing for a Sunday morning party or pre-brunch session — or indeed any time when the afternoon is vacant.”

When mixing up a batch for a party, Amis advised going to a bit more trouble than the barest-of-bare vodka + tomato juice + Worcester sauce. (“Perfectly good as that is,” he added.)

We concur. But understanding the desire, on a wobbly Saturday morning, for minimal effort and maximum enjoyment, we decided to stop by the farmers’ market for the sweetest, juiciest, mid-summer tomatoes we could find and mix up a batch of Bloody Mary Mix that’s the very essence of summer. And to which you can simply add ice and either vodka or tequila.

The mixture is now in our beer fridge, along with a variety of conversation starting (or full-mouth conversation-ending) mixed pickles: watermelon rinds, cornichons, garlic scapes, ramps.

And still additionally, for those who like a good thing done exactly right, we made some fresh celery salt, which you can pour into a dish and dip the damp rim of your glass into.celery salt

Beer lovers may instead turn to the Michelada, otherwise known as the Beer Mary: a Mexican lager paired with Bloody Mary Mix. Interesting pickles and a salted rim again make for a more-perfect outcome. (El Sully from 21st Amendment Brewing is one of our favorites cervezas, and we’ve stocked the fridge with it.)

Whichever your beverage of choice, we hope we’ve offered a relaxing entryway into the weekend. Or, a welcome finish to what you started the night before.

Amis advised, in his 1973 On Drink: “About 12:30, firmly take a hair (or better, in Cyril Connolly’s phrase, a tuft) of the dog that bit you. The dog, by the way, is of no particular breed: there is no obligation to go for the same drink as the one you were mainly punishing the night before.”

However, he added, “A lot of people will feel better after one or two Bloody Marys. Simply because they expect to.”

pickles

 

 

Ciao, Mortadella and Provolone

Mortadella has been made in Bologna since the Roman Ages. It’s a celebration of well-fed pigs from a town nicknamed la grassa — literally “the fat,” suggesting a living high on the hog. It’s one of the most celebrated delicacies from arguably the most celebrated food region in Italy.

A type of sausage, Mortadella begins with finely ground pork. Its name is thought to come from mortarium — a mortar — which is how it was originally ground.

In 1661, Cardinal Farnese of Bologna established the rules and methods required of a true Mortadella di Bologna, and among these is a meat-to-fat ratio of seven to three and an even distribution of lardons — the distinctive white spots of fat—on each light-pink slice. (According to a number of sources, don’t stress that fat. It’s the same kind of good fat that’s in olive oil.)

Golfera, a family of fourth-generation butchers, makes its Chiara Mortadella using only pigs born and raised within 50 miles of their facility. The pigs are raised without antibiotics, and it’s the only imported Italian Mortadella we know of that’s made without preservatives.

Golfera uses a traditional recipe that combines the finest cuts of pork and high-quality fat with only ingredients made in Italy. A classic Mortadella recipe calls for white pepper, salt, peppercorns, coriander, anise and often pistachio nuts and wine.

At Bklyn Larder, we take fragrant, thin slices of Chiara Mortadella and pair them with a Ciabatta from Balthazar Bakery, Provolone Piccante and a spicy Calabrian chili mayonnaise — and then press it on the panini grill.

Golfera describes what it does as “new charcuterie, classic flavor.”

On this last day of #sandwichmonth (we’ve been having fun celebrating — check out our Instagram), we’re so delighted to bring back this Larder original. We think of it as “classic sandwich, favorite new lunch option.” •

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Want to keep reading? Our Roast Beef, Chicken Cutlet and Ham & Gruyere are pretty spectacular, too. 

Norwegian Baked Is Knekkebrod for Brooklyn

To grow up in Scandinavia is to know the smell of baking crispbread.

“If you’re from Sweden, Denmark or Norway, your grandmother has a recipe for crispbread,” says Hedvig Bourbon, the founder of Norwegian Baked, a brand-new business providing Brooklyn — and Bklyn Larder — with Knekkebrød, Norway’s version of crispbread.

Bourbon’s grandmother baked, and so did her mother. But she rediscovered homemade knekkebrød while visiting an aunt a few summers ago.

“She was baking knekkebrød, and it smelled so good and was so delicious — I got completely addicted!” laughs Bourbon.

She returned to Brooklyn and, while raising her young family, began experimenting with recipes (unlike her aunt’s, her recipe calls for olive oil), consulting Norwegian food blogs and comparing notes with friends in Norway.

“They were all like, ‘We’ve been baking it the whole time!’ But I had been living away for so long and I had no idea they were making it too!”

Norwegian Baked

Eventually, she settled on a recipe using organic dark rye flour (“so it’s wheat free”), oat bran and pumpkin, sunflower, flax and sesame seeds.

“In my family we will have it for breakfast with butter and jam. For lunch I usually have it with a salad, or on the run with butter — I really love butter — or with cream cheese or a little bit of peanut butter or hummus. My favorite thing, though, is to have it with Jarlsberg. Or cheddar cheese,” explains Bourbon, when asked how to eat Knekkebrød.

“And when the kids come home [from school] I have a big tin of it, and they either snack on it straight or with Nutella. Basically, it just follows us throughout the day!” Bourbon says, with another ribbon of laughter.

It’s hard to imagine the same being said of the version most Americans are acquainted with.

“Finn Crisps, Wasa — these are the worldwide, mass-produced versions. What I’m making is the homemade version of the knekkebrød, the traditional one. In Norway you can buy it in the bakery stores,” Bourbon explains.

Norwegian Baked

“And really, when I make it, I have to take some of the seeds, and mix it with the water and the olive oil, and then I have to quickly spread it on the baking sheets, because if it sits too long, then the oats and everything sucks up so much of the water that it becomes too thick to spread out. So, this version would be so hard to make a mass-produced version of. It really would always have to be artisanal, I think.”

With such an addictive snack now available, Brooklynites may want to stock up on Brie, Roquefort, goat cheese and wine — other pairings Bourbon suggests.

“It’s very versatile and then it’s just so healthy, because of the seeds and the grains,” she adds warmly, “and it doesn’t have anything in to make it last a long time. It’s pure. You can feel good about eating it.” 

Bklyn Larder now proudly carries Classic and Sea Salt versions of Norwegian Baked Knekkebrød. Can’t make it in? Click here to shop online for cheeses and crackers.

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Biscuit and Egg Sandwich

The lights in our bakery flicker on early. Each morning, our bakers mix up a fresh batch of buttermilk biscuits. It’s a classic recipe that we make with buttermilk from Argyle Cheese Farmer, a family farm in Argyle, NY.

It’s high and flaky and deserves no less a companion than a square of fresh frittata, made with Shelburne Farms 2-Year Cheddar, scallions, a splash of cream and fresh eggs from Pennsylvania.

If you have a sniffle, if you got a raise, if you’re madly in love or mourning the loss of a music legend … this is the sandwich to start your a day.

Happy Friday, friends.

Ps: Did we mention? You can add a quarter-inch-thick slice of bacon to the biscuit sandwich, or our house-roasted ham.

Pps: Really like bacon? Know someone who does? Allow us to introduce our Bacon Sampler: Four bacons from around the country — from Missouri, Virginia, the Berkshires and Wisconsin — delivered with free shipping.