What’s New In The North End Markets

dal mercato …

Yes, I know that this is a jewelry store, but…they have a fabulous new line of baubles made from Tagua, a seed from a palm tree only found along the Pacific Coast of South America. It has acquired the name of “Vegetable Ivory” because when it dries it acquires the same properties as Ivory. Also part of fair-trade and eco-friendly!
High Gear
204 Hanover St.

Torrone Fratelli Oliviero from Avellino – a nougat candy made from honey, sugar, egg whites and nuts. The soft variety is available with almonds in vanilla, chocolate and pistachio flavors, plain and chocolate covered. Also from Avellino, Torrone Di Gennaro, a soft morbido and hard friabile variety chocolate covered and layered with pan di spagna. The region of Abruzzo is also represented with the brand Properzi.

Croccante -nut brittle, is back – look for almond, mixed nuts, sesame and mixed nut with coconut varieties. This croccante is European style – lots of nuts held together with just a small amount of caramel!

Cedro – candied citron – these incredibly large citrus fruits are used in most Italian holiday cakes, breads and sweets.
Dairy Fresh Candies
57 Salem St

With the cool crisp air and holidays approaching – cinnamon comes to mind. Whether mulled in cider, hot coffee, an ingredient in your baking, or in your Sicilian tomato sauce…definitely try the true soft Ceylon cinnamon and you will never go back to those cassia hard sticks again!

Chestnuts are in from Italy – you can find them also at Alba Produce. Score the nut on its flat side and roast in a 350°F oven for about 20 min. The shell will curl back, revealing the sweet, starchy nut inside – don’t burn your fingers – eat – enjoy! Chestnuts can also be boiled in milk or broth and used in many other preparations from savory to sweet.

Fig Jam from Lebanon – A great accompaniment to salty sheep’s milk cheeses!

Dried lavender flowers are not just for potpourri. Many chefs are now infusing lavender in pastry cream, budino’s and gelati. Mix lavender with sea salt and use to season grilled lamb chops!

Pure oils of anise, lemon, orange, clove and cinnamon to use in your holiday baking. And for a fun present for yourself, try making your own liqueurs with the tiny bottles of flavorings.
Polcari’s Coffee
105 Salem St.

Our favorite fall fruits are now available –

Pomegranates – melagrana – – remove the ruby-red glassy seeds and enjoy the delicious tangy flavor on their own or simply sprinkle them to both enhance and garnish almost anything – salads, meat or poultry, soups, desserts. They add texture, spectacular color and are incredibly high in antioxidants.

Persimmons – cachi (pronounced kaki) You’ll usually find 2 types of these glossy red-orange fruit. The most common variety is Hachiya and is oblong, conical and looks somewhat like a giant orange acorn. The Hachiya is very astringent and powerfully bitter until fully ripe. When it is squishy soft, cut the stem top off and eat it with a spoon to enjoy its sweet luscious flavor. The Fuyu variety is smaller, rounded and tomato shaped. Because the Fuyu is tannin-free it will be non-astringent and can be eaten while still firm. Enjoy it in salads, sweet and savory, in desserts, or just eat it out of hand.

Prickly pears, cactus fruit – fichi d’India- this egg/pear shaped fruit is actually the berry of a prickly pear cactus. In the United States, the fruit skin ranges from green to dark magenta. Most of the fruit in our market has been mechanically de-prickled, but beware of some invisible stinging hairs. With a knife, remove the tough double layers of thick skin to reveal the red-violet interior. Serve chilled, peeled whole fruits for dessert (with a fork and knife). Inside the fruit will be tiny seeds, too hard to chew,, simply swallow them. You will be rewarded with a delicate flavored, sweet, refreshing fruit, low in calories and very rich in fiber.
Alba Produce
18 Parmenter St.

It’s back – Setaro pasta – this artisanal pasta has been made in Naples for 3 generations, since 1939. It rough exterior will hold your sauce and the fine durum hard wheat and spring water will give it an exceptional flavor and chew. The slow drying method preserves the nutritional value and taste.

Colatura – The essence of anchovy in its purest form. The Romans packed anchovies with salt in large wooden barrels, and allowed them to ferment for several months. The clear golden liquid drained from the bottom of the barrel was known to them as “Garum”. Excellent on linguine or spaghetti with a little garlic, crushed red chili flakes and a squeeze of lemon. Colatura is also wonderful in a Caesar Salad dressing, to replace the anchovies.

Columbus artisanal salume. This San Fransisco company has been making cured meats since 1917, using old family recipes with only the finest ingredients. Their artisan products, which are different than their supermarket brands, are so authentically “Italian” in flavor that
tasting them is like taking a trip to Italy without a passport!
Salumeria Italiana
151 Richmond St.

Jeff and Lisa have just imported several exceptional (rarely if ever seen in this country) liqueurs. All from Maurizio Russo, they offer new and interesting flavors for after the meal. Mandisa, is like golden honeydew ambrosia in a bottle. Tentazione, combines creamy chocolate with spicy peperoncini. Nocino, a walnut liqueur, is made while the walnuts are still green, before the shell hardens. And Finnet, flavored with wild fennel, invokes the flavors of the sunny Mediterranean. These are sure to create lots of lively conversation at your next dinner party!
V.Cirace & Son, Inc.
173 North St.

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