Introducing the Bklyn Larder Picnic Pros

Headed to a picnic? Planning a party? Wondering which cheese goes best with a green lawn and some chilled rosé? Or maybe how the Argus Ciderkin compares to the Nine Pin Hard Cider?

Please allow us to introduce Kristina and Gizella, aka, our resident know-it-alls, keepers of the details and serious, serious Picnic Pros. (Yes, uppercase letters are in order.)

Kristina, our assistant manager, is the definition of delightful — and no detail gets by her. Can’t find something? She knows exactly where it is and is probably already wrapping it up for you. Gizella, our general manager, has been with Larder since day one. She’s wry and dry and really pretty magical. That cheese you had at that party that one time? She knows what it is. And she knows one you might like even more.
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Father’s Day: 5 Gifts That’ll Make You Dad’s Favorite

Last minute shopping? No judgment here. You’ve still got a few days to send dad a gift he’ll love. Need ideas? We’ve got lots, like these five. Just order by the end of Tuesday, and they’re guaranteed to arrive by Saturday.

Ultimate Food Club

This is the gift that keeps on giving — you can choose whether dad will receive it for three, six or 12 months. And that’s not even the ultimate part! We call it the Ultimate Food Club because it’s the best of all worlds. It’s a fantastic cheese, an incredible salami, a perfect chocolate bar and a freshly baked seasonal loaf cake from our in-house bakery (seriously, we bake them up for each order and ship them off the moment they’re cooled). Every month! In the summertime that might mean a strawberry coffee cake and in the winter a chocolate babka or apple cake.

In a world of bills and junk mail, there is little nicer than finding the postman’s left a recurring gift of the best that the food world has to offer. Price: Starts at $229 for 3 months of delivery.

2 A Jack Rudy Cocktail

Jack Rudy Cocktail Co.

Jack Rudy Cocktail Co.

We have been selling and drinking and thoroughly enjoying Jack Rudy Small Batch Tonic for some time now. But we must admit, when the chaps over at British GQ named it one of the best tonics on the planet, we felt a bit validated. Or maybe just tipsy. Anyway, it’s a concentrate of quinine, from the Cinchona Tree, to which this family-run company adds a mix of botanicals and a touch of cane sugar.

This tonic is a gift in itself. But we’ve also become quite taken with Jack Rudy’s recipes. Include a jar of Luxardo Cocktail Cherries and/or some Scrappy’s Grapefruit Bitters, and dad is well on his way to a refreshing end to his holiday. Price: Starts at $22. 

3 The Brooklyn: Williamsburg

The Brooklyn: Williamsburg

The Brooklyn: Williamsburg

The Williamsburg is one of our most popular gift boxes and for great reason: It’s a touring taste of the borough, from Red Hook (Early Bird Granola) to the Navy Yard (Salty Road Taffy) to our shop on the border of Park Slope and Prospect Heights. Dad’ll think of you when he pours his morning bowl of granola, when he slathers Empire Mayo on his sandwich at lunch, and when he snaps into a bar of Mast Brothers’ chocolate after dinner. Price: $49 (ships FedEx Home for $10.99)

 4  Franz Heuber Cheese Apron


Franz Hueber for Bklyn Larder

The graphic designer Franz Heuber has a spectacular eye for pattern, composition and unusual beauty. He created a series of posters for us, highlighting some of what we do (gelato, sandwiches, beer, etc.), and one of those we turned into a sturdy, splashproof apron. It’s just the thing for grilling up sausages (we’ve got fresh ones if you’re in the neighborhood), avoiding the messes of dinner prep or preparing an evening cheese plate.

Bonus points go to anyone who sends dad the apron and the four cheeses it highlights: Swiss cheese, Roquefort, L’Amuse Gouda and Toma della Rocca. Price: Apron only, $25.

5  Snacks for Two


Snacks for Two

You can buy dad dinner, or send Snacks for Two — our most popular gift box, two years running. Anchored by two half-pounds of incredible cheese, it’s salty (salami), sweet (Medjool dates), tart (Wickles Pickles), umami (house-roasted almonds) and just a touch decadent (dessert is six housebaked chocolate shortbread cookies with a sprinkle of sea salt flakes).

It’s perfect for picnicking (it even includes a tote bag, for carrying everything to the park), or popping open a bottle at the dining table and making a meal of. Mom may thank you, too. Price: $129 (includes free 2-day shipping; only ships on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays). 

Flowering Chive & Buttermilk Vinaigrette

We have some beautiful, seasonal vinaigrettes in our dairy case right now. (And by beautiful we mean holy cow, run-don’t-walk, everyone-in-your-house-will-only-want-to-eat-salad delicious). They’re good.

There’s a Flowering Chive & Buttermilk, as well as a Ramp & Bacon.

And while salad dressings don’t beg for instruction, we thought we’d set a high salad bar (as it were), and Patrick Shaw-Kitch, our resident chef, whipped up a somewhat Cobb-inspired salad to show how one might put his fresh vinaigrettes on display.

We’re calling it:

The Bacon, Egg & Cheese Salad

1 bunch green romaine lettuce, cleaned

4 strips of cooked bacon (we use Burger’s Smokehouse Steak Cuts)

3 soft-boiled eggs, peeled but not cut (bring the water to a boil, put the eggs in, cook for 6 minutes, remove the eggs and immediately transfer them to an ice bath; let them cool completely before peeling them);

2 small radishes, thinly sliced (we used a mandoline, but a knife is fine, too)

3 ounces of Stichelton (or Stilton, if you prefer pasteurized; both are available in-store at Bklyn Larder, or most fine cheese shops)

Bklyn Larder Flowering Chive & Buttermilk Vinaigrette or Ramp & Bacon Vinaigrette


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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.” •

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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