Dried Chestnuts—castagne secche–are dried in Italy using a smoking technique which renders them a bit sweeter, a tad smoky, and less floury in texture than regular roasted chestnuts–albeit not as flavorful. They do, however, make a great shortcut in recipes where they are to be added to other ingredients, such as in stuffings. Reconstitute dried chestnuts like any dried bean or legume by soaking them in water for least an hour, or even overnight, before cooking with them. After they’ve been reconstituted, you may use them in quantities equal to those called for with fresh chestnuts. Store them in an airtight container.
Dried Fruits—an incredible selection of dried fruits have arrived: peaches, apricots (Turkish and Californian), plums, mangoes, cantaloupes, figs, pears, apples, pineapples, cranberries, tart cherries, golden and dark Thompson raisins, currants, prunes, dates (Medjool, Algerian and Iraqi), figs (Greek, Californian and Turkish), and sun-dried tomatoes. Not only are all of the above great for baking and cooking, but they also make nutritious snacks.
Silver and Gold Confetti—whole almonds coated in sugar and dipped in thin layers of real gold or silver, traditionally used for weddings and anniversaries or any celebratory event. Silver Dragees—metallic silver candy balls (non-toxic, but the FDA still recommends they be used only for decoration) that add a beautiful touch of elegance to cakes, cookies and candies.
Pumpkin Fudge—often better than pumpkin pie, especially when the crust gets soggy! This autumnal fudge tastes like sweetened pumpkin with a just a hint of seasonal spices. Try it; you might forgo the pie entirely!
DAIRY FRESH CANDIES
57 Salem Street at Cross; 617-742-2639, or mail order through www.dairyfreshcandies.com and 800-336-5536