November 25th, 2013
The lingonberry is a berry that most of us know from shopping for furniture at a large Swedish retailer. But it is native to all of the Northern hemisphere - from Scandinavia to Russia and Canada - and it does also grow in the wilds of Alaska, Washington State and some parts of Oregon. In contrast to the Scandinavians, which have managed to domesticate the lingonberry in a successful commercial cultivation program, it is not commercially cultivated in the US.
For our Heirloom Fruit Curd Lingonberry - available exclusively at Whole Foods Market - we use wild foraged lingonberries from Alaska and Washington State. They burst with a vibrant, bright berry flavor, just the right balance between tart and sweet. If you like cranberries, you will love the lingonberry!
You can showcase this amazing flavor in an elegant holiday dessert that is not only delicious, but easy to prepare: a trifle. What I love about trifles is that they can be prepared in single serving bowls. Everyone loves a little sweet to finish a meal, but after enjoying a big holiday feast very few of us still have room for a big dessert serving and I personally am overwhelmed when I see a full pie or trifle bowl appear at the end of the meal. You can also serve your single portion trifles in vintage champagne or liquor glasses for an added affect.
Lingonberry Trifle w. brandied apples
Ingredients (serves six)
for the apples
2 cups chopped apples
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salted butter
1 Tbsp brandy
for the cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup Scrumptious Pantry Heirloom Fruit Curd Lingonberry
4 oz Gingersnap cookies
Method: (1) In a pan, melt the butter, add apples & sugar and cook over low heat till soft. Take of heat and add a tablespoon of brandy, (2) Whip heavy cream, fold in zest of lemon and SP Heirloom Fruit Curd Lingonberry, (3) In small single serving bowls layer lingonberry cream, crushed gingersnap cookies, brandied apples, crushed cookies and lingonberry cream, (4) finish with a dusting of nutmeg.
November 7th, 2013
Our biodiversity is at risk. In the US, we have lost 90% of historic varietals since the 1800s. That is why, at Scrumptious Pantry, we are always looking to preserve rare heirlooms and the true flavors they have to offer.
This month, our new Heirloom Fruit Curds showcasing rare wild foraged heirloom fruits (lingonberry, huckleberry, paw paw) and our Heirloom Cranberry Sauce are being launched nationwide with Whole Foods Market. A great opportunity to hit the road, meet like minded eaters, farmers, seed savers... and more than anything else bring home some unusual heirloom seeds, which might be grown locally by dedicated farmers or a family safeguarding the heritage of their ancestors. We want your seeds! We'd love to hear your stories about the varietals you grow, family recipes you use them with and hopefully you share some seeds for us to take back to Chicago, grow it, share them forward - and see if we cannot help its survival by making a delicious packaged food product with it.
Check back here and on our facebook and twitter for the schedule of the Great American Roadtrip and at which Whole Foods you can meet us when - we will give you a sample of our new Heirloom Fruit Curds and Cranberry sauce, too. And if you have any suggestions of farms to visit, people to meet along the way, let us know!
Tomorrow, Friday Nov 8, we will start the three week trip in Boston, continuing to NYC, DC, Houston, Austin, Dallas, Denver, LA and San Francisco. A lot of cities to savor true flavors!
We hope to see you on the road!
Friday Nov 8 - BOSTON
Whole Foods Market Charles River Plaza, 181 Cambridge St, 3-6pm
Monday, Nov 11 - NEW YORK CITY
Tuesday, Nov 12 - WASHINGTON, DC
Whole Foods Market Tenley Circle, 4530 40th Street, 10-1pm
Whole Foods Market Gaithersburg, MD, 316 Kentlands Blvd, 10-1pm
Saturday, Nov 16 - HOUSTON
Monday, Nov 18 - AUSTIN
Tuesday, Nov 19 - DALLAS
Thursday, Nov 21 - DENVER
Saturday, Nov 23 - LOS ANGELES
Tuesday, Nov 26 - SAN FRANCISCO
July 9th, 2013
The Beaver Dam Pepper Celebration is here again! In collaboration with Slow Food Chicago and Slow Food WiSE we are happy to present an extravaganza of menu specials, tastings and community potlucks in Milwaukee and Chicago.
The pepper is a rare heirloom varietal, brought to Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, in 1912 by Joe Hussli, an Hungarian immigrant. It needs to be trellised cause the fruit grows 9 inches long, hence it is more labor intensive than modern varieties. It is on the Slow Food Ark of Taste as an almost extinct varietal. But - as with everything heirloom - the flavor is SO MUCH BETTER than that of hybrid peppers. They have an amazing flavorful heat that slowly builds up and then mingles. Read the story of the pepper here!
We are honored that the following great Chicago chefs are showcasing the Beaver Dam Pepper in a menu special from September 19 – 22 . From a Beaver Dam Pepper infused drink, to a cauliflower dish w. pickled peppers and a chocolate truffle with the Beaver Dam Pepper & Michigan cherries, you will be able to enjoy this rare local heirloom in many delicious variations!
PLUS: Beaver Dam Pepper Celebration FAN CARD: if you Eat It To Save It at five of these participating restaurants from 09/19-22, you will receive a FREE jar of Scrumptious Pantry's Heirloom Pickle Beaver Dam Pepper!
The following Chicago-area restaurants will offer menu specials:
Big Jones w. Heirloom tomato salad, Anson Mills Farro Verde, Prairie Fruits Chèvre, Pickled Beaver Dam Peppers
Billy Sunday w. Atlantic Crab fondue with pickled Beaver Dam Peppers and herbed flatbread
Green Zebra w. Beaver Dam Pepper Hash with salt roasted Red Thumb fingerlings, fried egg, and an apple shallot jam
Katherine Anne Confections w. Beaver Dam Pepper truffle with Michigan Cherries, FEW bourbon, local wildflower honey, and bittersweet chocolate
Marion Street Cheese Market w. Beaver Dam pepper relleno, goat milk ricotta, sweet corn grits and pepper consommé
Uncommon Ground Devon w. Beaver Dam Pepper grilled cheese: brioche bread, butterkaese & chihuahua cheese, Beaver Dam Pepper jam & roasted Beaver Dam Depper sausage
Uncommon Ground Clark w. Beaver Dam Pepper stuffed with a local wild mushroom risotto and a garlic parmesan sauce
Standard Market w. Beaver Dam Pepper Slaw: a crisp symphony of peppers, cucumbers, carrots, snap peas, and Scrumptious Pantry Beaver Dam Peppers, marinated in a sweet and tangy mustard vinaigrette.
The Beaver Dam Pepper will be available to taste the weekend of 09/22 &22 in the following Chicago area retailers
Marcels Culinary Experience
Plus, join us at various Whole Foods locations the following days and times
South Loop, Chicago 09/19 from 4 to 7 pm
3640 N. Halsted Street, Chicago 09/20 from 5 to 7 pm
1550 N. Kingsbury Street, Chicago 09/20 from 5 to 7 pm
30 West Huron Street, Chicago 09/21 form 11 to 2 pm
500 E. Ogden Ave, Hinsdale 09/21 from 12 to 3 pm
201 63rd Street, Willowbrook 09/22 from 11 to 2 pm
760 Waukegan Rd, Deerfield 09/22 from 11 to 2 pm
1640 Chicago Ave., Evanston 09/22 from 4 to 7 pm
20281 N. Rand Road, Kildeer 09/28 from 11 to 2 pm
Heirloom Flavors Potluck, September 22
If you are inspired to play with the pepper in your own kitchen, you can purchase fresh peppers at Green City Market and Logan Square Farmers' Market at the booths of Radical Root Organic Farm, Majestics Nursery and Montalbano Farms, as well as at the Dill Pickle Food Coop in Logan Square. Scrumptious Pantry’s pickled Beaver Dam Pepper is available at all Whole Foods Stores and other selected retailers around Chicago.
We’d love to taste your Beaver Dam Pepper creation at the Community Potluck on September 22 – if you do not have a chance to bring a Beaver Dam Peppers dish, fear not! The theme is “Heirloom Flavors”, so every dish that either incorporates any heirloom variety or showcases a family recipe, is more than welcome. The event is BYOB. In the spirit of environmental sustainability, please bring a plate and silverware! Glasses are provided.
Scrumptious Pantry, 3230 W. Fullerton Ave (Logan Square)
Tour de Menu, September 21 (& Milwaukee Cocktail Week, September 22)
The following Milwaukee-area restaurants will be offering menu specials
Great Lakes Distillery
will craft a Beaver Dam Pepper Cocktail for Milwaukee Cocktail week's launch event on 09/22
In Store Tastings 09/21
BEAVER DAM PEPPER CHAMPIONSHIP
These beautiful Beaver Dam Peppers are growing strong in Marye's garden. Are you growing the Beaver Dam Pepper, too? You should join the Beaver Dam Pepper Championship! All you need to do to participate is to tweet or post pictures of your plants & peppers growing on Scrumptious Pantry's or Slow Food Chicago's Facebook or twitter using the hashtags #BeaverDamPepper #Pepperazzi. If you grows the largest Beaver Dam Pepper you will win a Scrumptious Pantry gift basket valued at $100, and the title of "Beaver Dam Pepper Champion". The Beaver Dam Pepper Champion will be announced at the Chicago Community Potluck on September 22.
May 23rd, 2013
Hello, I am Seulki Go. I am working as a marketing intern at the Scrumptious Pantry through an exchange program sponsored by the Korean government. I am 22 years old and a senior in Ewha Woman’s University in Korea. I came here to the USA for one year to learn about American culture, especially American business culture. Fortunately, I got the chance to work in this great company with nice co-workers. From working here at Scrumptious Pantry, I have learned not only about cultural differences but also about healthy foods.
During the internship, I participated in many festivals such as the SlowFood Chicago Annual Meeting, the Good Food Festival and the Green Festival. It was very impressive for me to see that lots of people are interested in healthy and organic products. Actually, I thought that Americans like fast food and junk food. But, many people care about what they put in their belly and how they nourish their body - many more people than I thought.
Similarly, in Korea, people are also concerned about “well-being” which is a new lifestyle making health in body and mind the top priority. Because of that, Korean consumers are growing more and more interested in organic and healthy food, too.
Hence, I learned that “healthy” is the key word all over the world at present. I didn’t know much about heirlooms and was not that much interested in healthy food before I came to work at the Scrumptious Pantry. But, now, I am pretty much interested in that and I want to educate my Korean friends and American friends who don’t know well about heirloom, organic, and healthy foods.
So, I am enjoying the opportunities to introduce people to the healthy products of the Scrumptious Pantry, which are heirloom and organic foods from family farmers. Hopefully, I can get more chances to talk about healthy food and introducing our products. I look forward to participating in the Farmer’s Market, and lots of other upcoming events. I hope to see you at the Farmer’s Market soon!
May 3rd, 2013
Our pickled Beaver Dam Pepper is super versatile for many tasty appetizers and snacks - in a bloody mary, with polenta cakes for an elegant finger food or try it in this recipe mixed with gooey cheddar cheese and Italian sausage on a potato skin!
May 2nd, 2013
The time has come for you to join Slow Food Chicago, Slow Food WiSE and Scrumptious Pantry in the Beaver Dam Pepper Celebration this year, and if you’re wondering how you can participate then you came to the right place. Join our Beaver Dam Pepper Championship! Who will grow the largest Beaver Dam Pepper this year and become the Beaver Dam Pepper Champion 2013?
Participating is easy - First you need to obtain a Beaver Dam Pepper seedling! If you are in Chicago take advantage of the Peterson Garden Project's plant sale May 10th – 12th. In Milwaukee, you will find Beaver Dam Pepper seedlings at Webers Garden Center, 4215 North Green Bay Avenue or at the Village Green Street Fair in Wauwatosa on June 1 at the booth of Slow Food WiSE.
Seedlings will give you a kick start, but if you don't have a chance to get your hands on one, planting a seed should hopefully still work - though you will get less peppers and get them later (order seeds at Seed Savers Exchange
Then, find the perfect place to plant your Beaver Dam Pepper. You will need a 1 ft. square plot in your garden. Even a large planter on your sunny front porch would work. The pepper takes about 80 days to come to fruit and may require trellises, as the peppers can grow up to 9 inches long!
And finally, the last step to participate in the Beaver Dam Pepper Championship is to watch your pepper grow and report its progress by posting photo updates of your growing peppers on our Facebook page or on twitter using the hashtags #BeaverDamPepper #pepperazzi. We also hope you will be sharing recipes you come up with. And if you have questions and need growing tips, our farmer team will give answers on Facebook and twitter, too.
The Beaver Dam Pepper Celebration will culminate in a weeklong extravaganza from September 16-22nd: we'll have awesome Chefs in Milwaukee and Chicago preparing special dishes with the Beaver Dam Pepper for our Tour de Menu, pop up at Farmers Markets with our roadshow - and we're organizing a huge & fun Beaver Dam Pepper Community Potluck in Chicago. The winner of the Beaver Dam Pepper Growing Competition will be announced at the potluck on September 22 - up for grabs is a Scrumptious Pantry gift basket valued at $100.
Will you be the 2013 Beaver Dam Pepper Champion?
April 24th, 2013
Spring is finally here and with that comes Beaver Dam Pepper growing season! What a better way to kick off this year’s Beaver Dam Pepper Celebration than to head over to Chavez Elementary School on Earth Day to build a learning garden to teach these kids the importance of sustainability and biodiversity.
We were excited to build plots together with the teams from Kitchen Community and Hyatt. Soon, seeds will sprout and a colorful selection of vegetables will celebrate local food – among them our Beaver Dam Pepper! Kids all over the city from different schools will also be joining us in growing the Beaver Dam Pepper. Growing of this heirloom variety will help kids understand the rich history heirlooms have and why it is important to preserve this nearly extinct pepper.
With the Beaver Dam Celebration just around the corner we invite our local community to get involved in growing the pepper in their own organic gardens to celebrate biodiversity. Do you have your Beaver Dam Pepper seeds yet?
This year we are adding a growing competition to the Beaver Dam Pepper Celebration. Who will grow the biggest Beaver Dam Pepper ? It might be you who is up for the title of Pepper King or Queen! You will be able to track everyone’s progress and share photos of your plant through our Facebook page.
We look forward to having a Beaver Dam Pepper growing competition with the Learning Garden/Kitchen Community schools, the Peterson Garden Project's five Chicago area community garden, Slow Food's Preserve Garden - and you! - to see who can grow the biggest Beaver Dam Pepper! After all, its size (it grows up to 12 inches long), is what is threatening the pepper's survival. Contact us if you need help finding Beaver Dam Pepper seeds or seedlings.
Note - You do not have to be in Chicago to participate and celebrate this awesome heirloom pepper!
December 7th, 2012
And they are off.... the first December shipments of our Heirloom Club are on their way to our subscribers! What's our heirloom club you ask? It’s a subscription of our delicious heirloom foods, one item shipped to your door every month filled. You will also receive recipes on how to cook with it and the story behind each one. Subscriptions are available for 3 months or 6 months. Our heirloom club is the perfect gift that keeps on giving though out the year, not just December.
How do we choose what to send? Well it depends on what month it is! During the spring and summer, we would send pickles, salts, ketchups, etc. For fall and winter you might receive our pastas, spreads etc. It is never gonna get boring!
And the product of the month is…. Our Balsamic Dressing Sauce!
Here are some tasty ideas for hor d’oeurves with our Balsamic Dressing Sauce that will be great holiday party pleasers -
Brie and Balsamic: Place a slice of your favorite brie on a mini toast and drizzle with our Balsamic Dressing Sauce. Simple and easy!
Side Salad: Mix together your favorite mixed greens along with candied walnuts, blue cheese, dried cranberries, and drizzle with Balsamic Dressing Sauce.
Skewers: Marinate your favorite cut of steak, chicken, or pork with our Balsamic Dressing Sauce. Cook however you desire and serve. Present it by cutting in thin slices and layer nicely.
Marinated Veggie Panini: Cut veggies into long strips and marinate for 3 hours with our Balsamic Dressing Sauce. Bake, broil, or grill the veggies till done. Put veggies on focaccia bread and drizzle with the Scrumptious Pantry Extra Virgin Olive Oil and place in a hot griddle pan or panini press. Cut and serve
In addition to being a gift that guarantees many tasty moments, your support as a club member has big impact on our farms, too. We can commit to buying larger amounts of produce, if we know that we have your support. So we can work more closely with our farms to custom grow better ingredients.
Month 1: Extra Virgin Olive Oil blend
Month 2: Farro Pasta & Durum Wheat Pasta
Month 3: Heirloom Pickles Beaver Dam Peppers
You can become an Heirloom Club Member by subscribing to one installment (3 months, $69) or two installments (6 months, $129).
November 16th, 2012
Canning, pickling, jamming - all great ways to put up produce at the height of the season, when it is full of flavor and every bite is a pleasure. When did we start relying on all-year round deliveries of mediocre produce from around the world? The kind that gets put on a boat when it is still unripe, gassed in special containers so it will arrive in our supermarkets magically ripened? Personally, I am not a big fan of out-of-season, far away produce. I much rather munch on storage crops (root veggies and squashes offer a great variety all winter long) - and enjoy food that was put up when it was in season.
And that does not only refer to cans of tomato sauce. I love to cook with pickles. There is much more you can do with a pickled veggie than limit it to being a side to a sandwich. Good pickles have the perfect balance of acid and salt, which makes them a great ingredient in many dishes, as a refreshing palate cleanser component. For the next few weeks we will be sharing ideas for finger food with a pickled twist - just in time for holiday entertaining!
Today's recipe for polenta cakes w. Beaver Dam Peppers comes from a very talented chef and great supporter of eating local, seasonal and supporting heirloom varietals: Tom Leavitt of White Oak Gourmet.
For next week you can look forward to the recipe for tuna & bean puree bites w. Lemon Cucumbers!
Polenta cakes w. pickled Beaver Dam Peppers Serves 25 as an appetizer
2 1/2 c chicken stock
3 cups water
1/2 t minced garlic
1 1/2 c polenta
4 oz butter
2 T mascarpone
2 T minced chives
Salt & pepper
Beaver Dam Peppers
2 T minced shallots
1 T olive oil
2 T white wine
1 T minced parsley
(1) Boil stock, water & garlic in a four quart saucepan. (2) Whisk in polenta, cook 25 - 35 minutes, stir frequently and thin as needed with more water.Consistency should be fairly loose. (3) When cooked, stir in butter, chives, mascarpone and salt & pepper to taste. (4) Pour out onto two 13 x 18 jelly roll pans and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate four hours or overnight.
(5) Drain peppers and slice into thin strips 1”x1/4” (6) In a saute pan heat olive oil on medium, add shallots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. (6) Add peppers, turn heat up to medium high and add wine. (7) Cook until nearly dry and remove from heat. Season with salt, pepper and parsley. Hold in refrigerator until ready to serve.
(8) To assemble, using a 11/2” round cookie cutter, cut out rounds from the polenta in the sheet pans. Dredge with all purpose flour and fry in a griddle or frying pan on medium until browned on both sides. Polenta rounds may be served at room temperature. (9) Top rounds with about 1 teaspoon of Beaver Dam Peppers and serve.