A few words on Trockenbeerenauslese Vinegar

January 30, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Posted in What I do: | Leave a comment

When I’m lonely at the deli, I start to run a mental checklist of the strange things in jars that would be in my dream pantry.  The dream pantry has no price limits or practicality.  Which is exactly why a 250 ml. bottle that we sell for sixty bucks a pop is on the top of my list.  Here’s a little snippet I just wrote for the Zingerman’s Marketplace website.

Gegenbauer Bouvier Trockenbeerenauslese (Trok-in-beer-in-aus-lez-uh)

Trockenbeerenauslese is a German ice-wine, the name means “fruit selected of dried berries.”  The wine is thick and sweet remniscent of honey and apricots, once the wine has matured for eight years in the barrel, Gegenbauer turns it into vinegar.  Trockenbeerenauslese is one of the most tedious wines to produce, and the vinegar making process is no stroll in the park.  The residual sugars left in the wine can easily override the acetic acid producing bacteria.  The folks at Gegenbaur watch it like a hawk during the first 24 hours… and then the vinegar gets an additional five years of aging.

Next to the balsamico tradizionale  we keep under lock and key, the Trockenbeerenauslese vinegar is (in my not so humble opinion) the most beautifully complex on the shelf.  Sip it after dinner to cleanse your palate, the low acidity makes it enjoyable on its own.  Or – use a drop of it on seared scallops, or to add a sweet undertone to a butter sauce.

Cheers and happy eating, Katie G


Upcoming Tasting!

January 30, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized, What I do: | Leave a comment

Steep! Regional Tasting Series: A New Year of Chinese Teas

In the year of 2737 B.C., a wild Camilla Sinesis leaf fell into the Chinese emperor’s cup of boiling hot water, and thus tea was born.  Come for a fun filled night of our tea experts Katie and Ji Hye dropping Camilla Sinesis leaves into your boiling hot cup of water!

We will celebrate the Year of the Tiger as we taste through the three-thousand year old history of this enticing drink.  This tasting will highlight the diverse range of Chinese teas, brought to us by the award winning tea importer Rishi.  And since no celebration can go without a feast, we will taste the foods that showcase the Deli’s hidden gems–our secretly delicious Asian products.

Teas we will taste:

  • Silver Needle
  • Dragon Well
  • WuYi Oolong
  • Keemun Golden Buds
  • Golden Yunnan
  • Vintage Pu-erh
  • Jasmine Pearl

Foods we will eat:

  • Steamed Pork Buns with braised pork belly and Rick’s Picks Pickles (vegetarian option)
  • Traditional Chinese Tea Eggs with Forbidden (black) rice
  • Stem Ginger Shortbread with Robert Lambert’s Five Mandarin Marmalade

If you are in the area, I hope to see you there!

Cheers, Katie

Good Morning

January 30, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Posted in Cooking | Leave a comment

Hello People,

This morning I have not a hot cup of coffee, but a cup of warm chicken broth in my favorite yellow mug.  I can’t think of a better way to start a day off.

I woke up at eight this morning to check on the chicken I had left to thaw in a bowl of water.  The goal was to chunk the bird up into eight pieces for a Sunday night fried chicken.  But even segmenting a whole chicken leaves waste.  I was left with the entire backbone, wing tips, and giblets.  As I walked to the trashcan, I had a better idea.

In the past when I’ve made stock, its been an ordeal.  But this time, I followed Micheal Ruhlman’s recipe for everyday chicken stock out of his newest book “Ratio.”  The recipe calls for one part carcass to three parts water (I guestimated), an onion, and a few carrots.  The onion you quarter with the skin on -the skin gives the stock a richer color.  I covered the pot and let it simmer for a couple hours, throwing in gray sea salt until it tasted delicious.  And so, the garbage-bound chicken scraps, onion, and handful of stolen baby carrots from my housemate, turned themselves into a rich, fatty, delicious homemade chicken stock.

The dissected chicken is taking a 32 hour bath in Calder Dairy buttermilk.  Tomorrow night it will meet its tasty end, as its flour dredged skin fries itself into crispy deliciousness abed a cast iron pan full of peanut oil.

Cheers, Katie

Hello Friends

January 20, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Posted in Cooking, Gardening, Travel, Uncategorized, What I do: | 1 Comment

My name is Katie.  I like to cook, bake, eat, drink, brew, steep, grow, and teach.  So one day I woke up and said, “hey self, how about a blog?”.

Well, actually I’ve been blogging for years, but in the last  few years my forays into the world of food have gone from a part-passion, into a full time career.  I work at Zingerman’s Delicatessen in Ann Arbor Michigan.  At work, I keep my hand in as many pots as possible, so I sell the the best cheeses, meats, olive oils, vinegars, teas, coffees, and all of the other extraneous weird things in jars that line the walls of the deli.  When I’m not on the floor, I’m writing about food, teaching for our public tasting program, and creating artwork for our merchandising department.

I’m one busy little Gastronerd.

And so I’ve created this blog to share with the world all of the things I love about food.  I hope to write about cheeses I love, nerdy food facts, the classes I’m teaching, what I’m making at home, restaurant reviews, the hopes and dreams I have for my victory garden, my adventures in the world of homebrewing, my crush on Micheal Pollen…

Sound good?

Until next time,


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