Vendor Blender: Token Confections

Happy Stormy Monday!

We sure hope you slept well amidst a tumultuous noisy night, we sure as hell didn’t. We’ll just go ahead and accept its one of those groggy testy Mondays and deal with it. However it was a beautiful, if ridiculously hot, weekend and a few GFM vendors were sharing their delicious wares at Brooklyn Lyceum’s Food and Craft market. Did you get to stock up on your kimchi and soda and tempeh? If not make sure to come out to the next market May 22! It’s bigger than ever and will probably blow your mind. We are hoping it will.

We are also very happy to present this week’s vendor blender: Token Confections

WHAT IS TOKEN CONFECTIONS?

I’m in publishing, which is similar to being unemployed, so I started making gourmet caramels for a little extra cash. I have about half a dozen flavors, which I rotate depending on the season, and I’m just about to introduce a dark chocolate butternut crunch to the line-up.

HOW DID THE INSPIRATION FOR IT COME ABOUT?

About a year ago I took a confection making class at The Institute of Culinary Education (I highly recommend their recreational classes), where we learned how to make all sorts of sweets—truffles, bon-bons, butternut crunch, turtles and of course, caramels. I love working with chocolate, but not as much as I like working with sugar. There’s a lot of chemistry involved, which I find intriguing.

WHERE DO YOU SOURCE YOUR INGREDIENTS?

Whole Foods and my local farmer’s market. I use a French chocolate and glucose (caramel needs a liquid sugar to give it that nice chewy texture and I prefer to use a cane-based glucose over corn syrup), which I get from an importer in Redhook.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE AND CARE TO SHARE A RECIPE?

My favorite is whichever flavor is the newest! I just finished tweaking my latest recipe, which I’ll debut this summer—crème fresh caramels with honey and walnuts, topped with a citrus fleur de sel. I’m pretty into that right now.  Here’s a good, basic recipe to start.

You’ll need:

A candy thermometer (it has to go up to at least 400º degrees)

A Silpat or similar non-stick baking sheet placed over a heatproof tray

A tart frame

Ingredients:

1 cup cream

1 and 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter

1/4 cup water

In a tall thick-bottom pot, combine sugar, glucose and water and mix until ingredients are slushy. Begin to cook over a med-high flame. With a pastry brush and water, wipe down any sugar granules stuck to the sides of pot (they can cause the caramel to recrystalize). At this point, do not stir anymore. Let the mixture come to a boil and continue to simmer until it turns golden amber. Remove pan from heat and add the butter. Let it sit for a minute, then stir. Be careful: the moisture from the butter will release as soon as you stir it. When butter is melted, add the cream. Whisk together until the mixture is emulsified and return to a med-high flame. Insert the thermometer into the pot and continue to cook, stirring only occasionally, until mixture reaches 240º (if you prefer a chewier caramel, you can take it as high as 250º). Remove the pot and gently stir until bubbling ceases, then pour into frame. When caramel is firm to the touch, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (overnight is better). When the caramel has set, cut into squares. Refrigerated, they’ll last about three weeks.

If you’re making chocolate caramels, add the chocolate in with the butter. Other flavors—vanilla, liquor or spices—work best when added to the cream before you start.

WHAT DO YOUR CARAMELS GO WELL WITH? WHAT DOES IT NOT GO WELL WITH?

Caramel goes with everything! Sugar is a real team player, that’s why I like it so much and caramel pairs well with pretty much anything. I like the peanut butter caramels served with sliced pear or a crisp Granny Smith apple and the salted chocolate caramels are delicious with red wine or port.

WEBSITE? CONTACT? WHERE ELSE MIGHT WE FIND YOUR AWESOME FOODSTUFFS?

For now I’m selling at local markets like GFM and in the future, who knows? I can be reached at tokenconfections@gmail.com.

Vendor Blender: The DP Chutney Collective

Hello Greenpoint Food Marketers!

Happy Rainy Monday. We are deep in prep mode for some super amazing event coming up in the next few weeks. Make sure to check out Brooklyn Lyceum’s Food & Craft Market this weekend where a few GFM vendors will be sharing their delicious foodstuffs alongside handy crafters. We’ll have announcements for other events soon!

Today’s weekly Vendor Blender presents The DP Chutney Collective!

What is The DP Chutney Collective?

It began with the now familiar story of getting laid off during the economic downturn . After too many weeks spent in faux-speakeasies, I decided to start a micro-business hawking the chutneys I’d been making for years as gifts for close friends and family. It’s called a collective because I make more than chutney and because I’m fortunate to have a wide network of supportive taste testers and helpers with very creative suggestions and strong opinions.

The D P Chutney Collective is an ever-expanding line of exotic condiments produced here in Greenpoint. On a very small scale we’re trying to introduce chutneys to people who don’t typically eat them or else relegate them to Indian take-out meals only. Or conversely, provide them for diners with a taste for big, bold flavors who can’t find a decent chutney selection elsewhere. We like to think of The Collective’s chutneys as culinary exclamation points to any meal and filling a void in the market (albeit a quirky, niche one), brightening charcuterie/cheese boards and backyard bbqs everywhere.

How did the inspiration for it come about?

I grew up in the South where the pickle/relish/condiment tray is a staple at most meals. Then 20 years ago I moved to NYC and fell in love with the vast range of Indian/Indonesian/South Asian food available and began cooking it at home. Chutneys, sambals and sauces quickly became the favorite things to make. After a brief stint cooking in a restaurant in London I gained deeper knowledge but realized I’d rather cook and sell my own product than deal with kitchen egos.

Where do you source your ingredients?

As much as possible from local, sustainable farms and small businesses. Our cider vinegar comes from an orchard in Greene County, NY, the honey from a tiny, family-run apiary in the Finger Lakes region, the jars from Roebling Street! We’re building new relationships with lots of NY and NJ farmers so roughly 75% of our produce will be sourced from within a 90 mile radius this summer. Plus we have friends with vegetable plots in Brooklyn community gardens we hope to soon plunder! The Collective uses 20+ different spices in our full range of products and those are purchased from Mountain Rose, an amazing online source for traceable Fair Trade products.

What is your favorite and care to share a recipe?

Right now is all about Spice Route Citrus Chutney with small chunks of really good Parmesan or aged Provolone, served with aperitifs. Plum Ketchup is going everywhere, from home-made fries to a glaze on roast duck and chicken, and we never make an omelet without the Sweet Tomato and Black Mustard Seed Chutney.

A lot of the chutneys take a long time to cook and a large number of spices to develop deep flavors. The recipe below for a Rhubarb Chutney is easy to make and good with fish and vegetarian meals.

RHUBARB CHUTNEY

2 lbs washed and sliced rhubarb
2 large onions chopped fine
8oz sultanas
8 oz demerara sugar
10 whole tomatoes cut into quarters
1 pint of malt vinegar
2 tablespoons of butter or olive oil

1. Fry the tomatoes in a large pan on a medium heat until they are soft
2. Add the rhubarb, onions and sultanas and stir. Bring to the boil and stir all the time, use a wooden spoon. Keep it at a low simmer.
3.Add the sugar and simmer until the sugar dissolves.
4. Pour in the vinegar, mix all the ingredients and simmer until the chutney starts to thicken.

This chutney will also go well with all cold meats, cheeses, pasta and bread.

What does your chutney go well with? What does it NOT go well with?

Chutneys marry well with most cheeses, roast chicken and other poultry, rice and beans, burgers of all types . . . almost anything, anytime you need a sweet/spicy contrast to a savory dish. Chutney never met a pork or lamb chop it didn’t love. Some are better with specific partners; for example, Blueberry Chutney has a natural affinity for venison and wild game and strong, aged dry Gouda or ultra creamy Brie and Camembert. Other than cheese I would not suggest chutney with dessert. Oops! Some have told us they love the Kerala Pineapple Chutney on vanilla ice cream.

Why the decision to share DP Chutney Collective at GFM?

GFM and Brooklyn’s locavore movement were major inspirations behind the formation of The Collective. It’s a dream to be able to sell these chutneys within a block of their origin. The entire GFM community is so embracing and kind and adventurous when it comes to the palette; we’re proud to be participants.

Website? Contact? Where else might we find your awesome foodstuffs?

Check out the blog at www.thedpchutneycollective.blogspot.com for more info, recipes, suggested food pairings etc. You can also email us there and order chutneys online. Soon we’ll be on the shelves of several NY metro area shops and right now most of the line is carried at an amazing specialty store in Atlanta called Tuckaway Downs. This is just the beginning . . .

Vendor Blender: Sandwich Friend

Hello Greenpoint Food Market Fiends!

Happy cool breeze Monday! We are still reveling in the afterglow of last week’s amazing market and can’t WAIT for the next one to arrive May 22nd. We’ve run out tables with swift urgency, and we hope you’ll prepare to attend with empty bellies and curious tastebuds.

Til then, this week’s Vendor Blender highlights the one and only Aja Marsh, aka Sandwich Friend!

What is Sandwich Friend?
Sandwich Friend is my sandwich shop creation where I make one-of-a-kind, gourmet sandwiches for the GFM masses (for now– talks of a shop/cafe are underway).

How did the inspiration for it come about?
I was a strict vegetarian for several years and still do not eat much meat, and I’d grown tired of the same 3 vegetarian sandwich offerings found everywhere. I mean how many times can you eat some variation of hummus and sprouts or mozzarella-tomato-pesto or grilled veggies with cheese before growing sick of them? The answer: not very many. While not all the sandwiches I make are vegetarian, I do get weary of boring sandwiches. Sandwich Friend is anything but boring.

Where do you source your ingredients?
I try to work as closely with the seasons as possible. My ingredients are primarily local and organic– including locally sourced artisan bread when possible– I shop at the Greenmarkets and natural foods stores. I also love to feature ingredients sourced by GFM vendors– I’ve used pickles, jams, chutneys, chocolate, and the like from my fellow vendors and it’s really made the sandwiching that much more fun and special.

What is your favorite and can you share a recipe?

I never liked being asked about “favorites” only because I never really do the same thing twice– there are too many food-ventures to have! But, the only thing I haven’t yet forayed into with Sandwich Friend at the GFM is pressed or grilled sandwiches. Those can be really great, but even at home I don’t have a press. But I do love the broiler. One open-faced sandwich I whipped up one day in the summer was with a leftover bagel, some spicy hummus, sliced avocado and red peppers, topped with some feta cheese and cilantro. I sprinkled it with salt and pepper, broiled it until the cheese browned and ate it with a little salad of mesclun and seckel pears. Yum.

Two of the favorite sandwiches I’ve made for the GFM are the Coq au Kasbah– a Moroccan inspired chicken salad with homemade preserved lemons, olives, kale, and other yumminess. In February I detoured a bit from my generally pretty healthy sandwiches and created The Lonely Hearts Club– two kinds of sliced turkey, lettuce, tomato, mayo, chiccarones, and maple-infused bacon grease on sourdough. Amazing.


What do your sandwiches go well with? what does it NOT go well with?
Sandwiches are great because they go with pretty much anything and stand alone on their own. I put many of levels of flavor into these sandwiches so that they can really be their own thing. That being said, chips, cookies, pickles, veggie sticks, and/or a yummy drink are always nice accompaniments.

Why the decision to share Sandwich Friend at GFM?

It’s been the best way for me to combine my desire to get to know other people in my neighborhood and food community with expressing myself creatively through food in a more personal way and get feedback on some of my zany ideas. I think the GFM has been such an important opportunity for the community to come together around a universal, delicious theme.

Spring Awakening Recap

Greetings Sun Blushed Fans of GFM!

We cannot doubt you have done nothing but relish in the gleaming sun this weekend, not to mention shining in the afterglow of eating way too many delicious goodies at Saturday’s market! We were completely astounded, and slightly claustrophobed by the enormous turnout. Blessed and grateful are we. We cannot thank you enough for the support you have been showing GFM thus far, giving our homey vendors the opportunity to share their cherished recipes with the community, all building that needed support for self-sufficiency, sustainability, and success!

And we will now announce THE NEXT MARKET : MAY 22nd!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS and please spread the word! Separate post and facebook invite will be created shortly. Have you also joined our facebook group yet? If not, please do and share the love and gluttony!

And without further ado, a short photo recap of what we consumed is below. Check our flickr page for more and see you May 22nd!

Mushroom, pesto cashew ricotta, and sundried tomato Pizette by Electric Blue Baking

Hot Fireman’s Pear Jam with chipotle by Anarchy in a Jar

Wasabi Sunseed vegan pate by Cobra Pate

Pulled pork buns by Red Cook

Variety of onigiri flavors by Creme

Spring themed cookies by Sugarbuilt

Stout and Peanut Butter ice cream by Milkmade Ice Cream

Delicious and healthy as hell Sandwiches by Sandwich Friend

Kimchi and Beef empanadas by La Tia Faby

Spicy bacon marmalade. Need we say more?

Lavender Meringues by Baked by Bub

Breathkilling Kimchi by Banchan Terroir

Refreshing Jalapeno Agave Butter by Skimkim

Soda flavors of all kind by Pumpkin & Honeybunny

Gluten free ginger cupcakes with lime curd and coconut frosting by You Can’t Eat Bread?!

An AMAZING performance by The People’s Champs

Vendor Blender: La Tia Faby

Hello GFM lovers!

We hope you are as high and ecstatic about the sun and warmth as we are, we’ve been frolicking non-stop all weekend soakin’ up some sun. We’ve got tan lines to prove.

The next market is THIS SATURDAY and we cannot WAIT to share all the goodies in store. Come by, say hi, eat some grub, and frolic with us!

For this week’s vendor blendor, we are proud to introduce to you, La Tia Faby:

What type of foodstuffs does La Tia Faby provide?

Empanadas, cake pops, cookies and other random baked goods like pao de queijo.

How did the name come about?

The name was inspired by how I got into baking. I have a huge family that gets together every Saturday night for some Argentinean bbq and bibimbob- we have birthdays almost every week and I was always baking the cakes… hence, La Tia Faby.

How did the inspiration for the products come about?

I love empanadas-  You can find them everywhere in Buenos Aires and I missed having them around. They are perfect for a meal or just a snack. My mom has a recipe I stole and modify to make my own.

Where do you source your ingredients?

I get most of the empanada ingredients at the Union Square green market; otherwise, at local grocery stores.

Can you share a recipe?
I recently developed a kimchi sausage empanada that will kick your taste bud-ass. I’ll have it at the next GFM- hopefully people will enjoy it as much as I do.

This will make about 20 empanadas

For the dough, you can use frozen ones or make your own:
3 cups of all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cups of cold butter cut into small pieces
1 egg
4-5 tablespoons of ice cold water
Place the flour, salt, butter and egg into the food processor. Blend until you form a nice uniform dough and add the water as needed.
Chill the dough for about 1 hour
Roll out the dough about 1/4″
Use large cookie cutter (about 5″) to cut the dough into the discs.
Keep the discs in the fridge until you’ll use them

For the filling
4 cups of chopped kimchi
1 large onion, chopped
6 italian spicy sausage without the casings
3 cups of chopped and cooked glass noodles
20 empanada dough discs
1 large egg (beaten for brushing the empanadas)
Cook the glass noodles following the package instructions. Rinse them and cut into 1 inch pieces (it’s easier if you use shears)
In a large pan with veggie oil, cook the sausage and break them into bite size pieces.
Once the sausage is half way cooked, add the kimchi and onions
The kimchi and onions will cook in the sausage oil.
Let the sausage cook all the way
Add the cooked glass noodles and cook for another 2 minutes while mixing all the ingredients
Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, otherwise the dough discs will break.
Preheat the oven at 425 degrees
Fill each discs with about 3 tablespoons and seal with water and fold over to create a tight seal.
Place the empanada on a cookie sheet with parchment paper
Brush the empanadas with the egg for a nice golden color
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown
Enjoy!

Why the decision to share your goods at GFM and where else might we find your goods?
No brainer -The Greenpoint Food Market is a great place for people who want to share their love for food. Hopefully you’ll find me in Dumbo this summer and I make goods to order on latiafaby.blogspot.com

Spring Awakening: April 10th!

Greetings friends of Greenpoint Food Market!

We hope you are staying high and dry during Spring’s glorious love showers and celebrating the season for renewal, growth, and life.

April 10th, we will present the next market with uncontainable excitement as we present SPRING AWAKENING. Join us for a hippiefied day of flowers, patchouli, butterflies and eat some vegan granola bars!

This just might be our BIGGEST market day yet, the church will be PACKED with all sorts of goodies from ice cream to pork buns, vegan pate to bacon marmalade. People’s Champs will be performing between 2 – 3pm, mixing jazz, soul, funk, hip-hop, dub and samba to create new hybrids. Fellow Greenpointer Cowboy Mark will be at the makeshift dj booth pumpin’ some beats.

It is PIVOTAL that we see you at GFM on April 10th. We thrive on your curiosity, your hunger, your tastebuds, and your support. Please go on and SPREAD the love to all your friends and family. Join our FACEBOOK group if you haven’t done so already, an event invite has been set up there as well.

And below is a full roster of vendors you’ll find sharing their homemade deliciousness at Greenpoint Food Market. YUM.

Thank you and see you then!

Anarchy in a Jar
Brooklyn Brine
Sugarbuilt
Taza Chocolate
Skimkim
Arirang Kimchi
Red Cook
Green Pirate Juice Truck
Bacon Marmalade
Marshmallow Crack
Bullfrog Eats
Creme
Electric Blue Baking
Milkmade Ice Cream
Sandwich Friend
Mombucha
Crazy, Salty, Sweet
Lizzie Biscuits
Rapscallion Cultured Vegetables
Token Confections
Sourpuss Pickles
Kings County Jerky Co.
Cobra Pate
The Soup Spoon
Regal Vegan
Bean & Apple
Morta di Fame
Creme Fatale
La Tia Faby
Fanny & Jane
Afternoon Delights
DP Chutney Collective
Wee Bites
Molly’s Chocolates
Pumpkin & Honeybunny
Banchan Terroir
Woodside Bakehouse
Goobie Dust Confections
Lidzertort Bakery
You Can’t Eat Bread!?
I Heart Keenwah
Nuts + Nuts

Baked by Bub

Victory Garden NYC

Vendor Blender: Mombucha

Hello lovers of Greenpoint Food Market!

We are one day behind in featuring this week’s vendor for our weekly vendor blender. Hope you will forgive us for the delay. Please gather and welcome Mombucha.

What is Mombucha?

Mombucha is my little renegade home-brewed kombucha operation.  I’ve basically figured out a way to brew up to 20 small batches of kombucha in my kitchen and then bottle them in liter bottles for the people in the neighborhood.  I’ve been BLESSED to have the opportunity to sell at the Greenpoint Food Market and now I do home deliveries once a week for all my little Mombuchkins.

How did the inspiration for it come about?

My mom’s really the main inspiration for all this, hence the name “Mombucha.”  She’s been brewing this funky stuff for us since we were kids and I HATED it but later in my adulthood starting wondering why I wasn’t getting sick anymore and realized it was from drinking this stuff daily.


Where do you source your ingredients?

I use a very specific medicinal recipe handed down from my mom’s mushroom guru, Ruth, whose daughter relies on kombucha to stay alive.  She has an incurable liver disease and the cleansing property in kombucha is the only treatment that seems to work.  So basically I use bottled distilled water (from wherever sells it the cheapest), organic sugar, and PG Tips brand black tea.  That’s pretty much all you need to make this stuff, that and a starter culture which was handed down from my mom.  After you make your first successful batch, you can subdivide the culture and start multiplying  it for more and more brews.

Can you share the process? Perhaps a recipe?

I can share the process because it’s sooooo simple.

1.) Boil 3 quarts of distilled water.
2.) Add 2-3 cups of organic cane sugar to the boiling water and let it boil for 5 minutes.
3.) Turn off the heat and add 4 tea bags.
4.) Steep and let cool and transfer the sugary brew into a 4 quart pyrex bowl.
5.) Once the brew has cooled to room temperature, add 4 ounces of a previous batch of kombucha and your culture.
6.) Cover with an old t-shirt secured with an elastic band and put it away in a well-ventilated, warm, dark place.  The cultures are like plants but without the sunlight.  They prefer humid warm places with lots of room to breathe.  I know a lot of people who put their batches in their cupboards which definitely works.  I have mine on top of my kitchen cabinetry with a humidifier and space heater going to regulate the temperature and humidity at all times.

What does Mombucha go well with? what does it NOT go well with?

Mombucha is best just on it’s own.  Since it’s unfiltered, undiluted, unpasteurized, raw kombucha, we recommend one only drink 4 ounces of it per day in the morning on an empty stomach.  Since there is a trace amount of alcohol in it (.5-1.5%), I’ve mixed some insanely delicious kombucha cocktails using bourbon, whiskey, and scotch.  I’ve also used Mombucha to deglaze a pan as the base of a chicken stew I was making.  The alcohol in the Mombucha worked just like wine and gave the stew a fantastic savory sweetness.  I’ve heard of people using the cultures as soap and even to make fabric!

What are the benefits of Mombucha?

There are SO many benefits to drinking Mombucha but since the FDA doesn’t quite know what to make of the stuff, there haven’t been very many tests done to verify these purported benefits.  The main benefits are that it helps your liver clean your blood, lowers your cholesterol, gives you the daily B vitamins you need, regulates your digestion, helps your skin and nails, and gives you a totally awesome kick in the morning.  There’s a whole big repost of the kombucha wiki on my site for all the benefits and scientific analysis and even risks.

Why the decision to share Mombucha at GFM?

Not too much thinking required to wanting to be part of the grooviest food market in the Northeast!  I’m a resident of Greenpoint so I wanted to get in front of my neighbors and spread the good health vibes to those around me.  I’m in the process of expanding the reach of Mombucha but I’ll always opt for manning the booth at the GFM no matter how big I get (((crosses fingers))).  Anyway, come see me there on April 10th or email mombucha@gmail.com for a try!

Vendor Blender: Taza Chocolate

Hello sticklers for GFM!

Happy Monday per usual, hope you enjoyed a most glorious weekend. We spent our Sunday roaming endlessly through the neighborhood, tanning at Transmitter Park, munching at Paulie Gees, indulging at Van Leeuwen’s ice cream shop, buying one too many books at WORD, and trying on that pretty dress at Dalaga. It’s a gloomy Monday but nothing like gettin’ you chipper with chocolate, stone ground badass chocolate, that is.

Meet Taza Chocolate. They’ve been with us since the beginning and we love them for that. And because their Guajillo Chili Mexicano is orgasmic.

What is Taza Chocolate?

Taza is a small bean-to-bar chocolate maker, and the only producer in the US of 100% stone ground, organic chocolate. We roast, winnow, grind, temper, and mold our chocolate in house and by hand. We use organic and sustainable ingredients to craft our chocolate.  Our mission is to craft the highest quality premium stone ground chocolate in a socially and environmentally responsible way.

How did the inspiration for its creation come about?

Back in 2006, Taza Chocolate was born out of a desire to combine the Mesoamerican tradition of chocolate with a modern, high-quality product manufactured in a socially responsible way.
In 2005, our cofounder Alex Whitmore traveled to Oaxaca to steep himself in the history and culture of Mexico. He learned about the pre-Columbian cacao rituals in Latin America, and the customs that surrounded the transformation of cacao into a drink. Having grown up eating European-style chocolate candy, Alex was surprised and inspired by the simplicity of the Oaxacan treatment of chocolate. He was really compelled by the minimal processing and traditional method of stone grinding the beans… so much so that he was moved to start a business dedicated to crafting artisan, Mexican-style chocolate in the United States.

Alex and cofounder Larry Slotnick, who worked together at Zipcar before starting Taza, decided early on that they wanted to start a company with a conscience. Taza Chocolate would be sustainable – not just financially but environmentally, and community-focused. After considering models in use in the coffee field and analyzing the current state of the chocolate industry, Alex and Larry set to work on a business plan. Their company, Taza Chocolate, would produce 100% stone ground, organic chocolate using only the best ingredients while compensating growers fairly for their work.

Where do you source your ingredients?

Taza’s cacao comes from a small cooperative in the Dominican Republic with a hearty and diverse tree stock called La Red Guacanejo. Our sugar is sourced from an innovative company in Brazil called the Green Cane Project. Aside from making remarkable organic cane sugar, they process the spent cane fiber to power their factory and the nearby town. We use true cinnamon (not cassia) and whole vanilla pods, both organic and biodynamically grown, from a tiny plantation in Costa Rica called Villa Vanilla. The same care and passion goes into the sourcing of all our ingredients.

We cultivate direct relationships with our growers, to bring us the highest quality ingredients while ensuring fair wages and work practices on the farm.

How is it made? Care to share a recipe?

Our chocolate making process is unique. Taza chocolate is stone ground and minimally processed, and we don’t conch. We use authentic Oaxacan stone mills instead of steel refiners to grind our cacao. We hand-chisel each millstone with a pattern specifically designed for grinding chocolate.  Since the surface of the stone is slightly uneven, bits of cacao and sugar remain in the finished chocolate.  These bits pop with explosive flavor, and give our bars their distinctive rustic texture.

I don’t think most people have a stone mill, so a recipe probably won’t help.  But there are lots of recipes on our website.

Suggestions on how to consume this beauteous product? What does it go well with? What should we NOT eat it with?

Unwrap the bars and eat them!  Joking aside, excellent chocolate goes with just about everything.  Eat it on its own, feature it on a dessert platter with beautiful artisanal cheeses and fruits, bake delectable brownies with it, or use it in savory dishes like molé or chili.  And of course, our Mexicanos make delicious chocolate drinks, both hot and iced.  Our Roasted Cacao Nibs are a way to get a chocolate fix that isn’t sweet, and are incredibly versatile.  Stir them into yogurt, sprinkle them on salads, use them to crust a steak or pork roast, add them to banana bread….. and on and on!

What should you NOT eat with Taza Chocolate?  Well, not much… but I’d say, fake food.  Aspartame.


Why the decision to share your product at GFM?

We’re inspired by the same things GFM is – foods that are fresh, hand-crafted, and artisanal.  We’ve found it to be a wonderful place to talk chocolate and real food with like-minded customers and fellow vendors.

Vendor Blender: Sourpuss Pickles

Happy Cloudy Monday GFM Fans!

We’ve been teased with spring’s appearance for a few days and we are not very happy, not very happy at all, with this week’s misbehavior from the sky. We are sitting and waiting patiently for warmth and flowers, and we cannot wait to celebrate with you at the next market April 10th!

Today’s Vendor Blender is dedicated to Sourpuss Pickles who has been with us from the very beginning and makes some pretty damn good pickles.

What is Sourpuss Pickles?

Sour Puss Pickles: Three Words.

We are a small batch pickling company currently located in Crown Heights.  We are a highly seasonal, local, buzzword, buzzword, buzzword, operative with the simple intention pickling the best produce available in this region, with the utmost care — as if we were pickling for our own cellar.

How did the inspiration of such a concoction come about?

We had been pickling on a casual level for a few years, mostly using the products we made as gifts around the holidays or birthdays ect. Everyone loved our pickled ramps, and it became kind of an inside joke at parties that we would arrive with a jar in tow.

This past year we decided to throw our hat in the proverbial Brooklyn pickling ring.  Not only can Brooklyn boast of having the highest per capita of journalists, writers (fiction and non) and bloggers of all varieties, it seems that it may well possess the highest per capita of small pickle operatives as well.  Exciting stuff!

Where do you source your ingredients?

All of our ingredients, with the exception of the spices, are sourced locally.  We work with farms from Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey and, of course, New York.

How is it made? Care to share a recipe?

Most of our varieties are made with vinegar brines, and then sealed in shelf-stabilized jars.  We also have malo-lactic fermented vegetables, larger format refrigerator pickles and a handful of relishes.

Creating the brine is the creative part of the process.  Typically, it is a concoction of vinegar, water, salt, sugar and a variety of spices.  It really depends on the flavor you are aiming for.  For instance, if you want a spicy wax bean, using a hot pepper (some fresh variety) of choice in the brine and slow cooking the flavors together, then adding a dried pepper in the sealed jar usually creates a good result. The blending of flavors takes time and pickling is often a true test of patience.

One of our favorite, and simpler, recipes is our roasted beets.  We roast off the beets first, then peel them and cut them in somewhat uniform shapes. We then add them to a pint or quart jar with our brine of apple cider vinegar, water, salt, sugar, juniper berries, mustard seed, cinnamon, fresh ginger and fresh thyme.  We then seal the jar, store for at least a month and then, voila, we have pickled beets.

Suggestions on how to consume this beauteous product? What does it go well with? What should we NOT eat it with?

Fortunately for us, pickles go well with everything.  Morning, noon, nights, and especially late nights, with a libation of choice, are all good times to savor a pickle, a jar or even two.

We always suggest enjoying our products like ramps or the more acidic relishes with a fattier meat like pork or duck, our beets and asparagus along side a charcuterie plate and our variety of cucumbers, beans and curried cauliflower as a snack on their own.

We would probably refrain from eating pickles with, well, um…cereal.  On second thought: cereal, granola, oatmeal – whatever your choice – probably suites one of our sharp, acidic varieties just fine.

Why the decision to share you product at GFM?

In all seriousness, GFM is one of the few outlets where a group of like-minded individuals can gather together and share their food passions.  Brooklyn is definitely the elephant in the room when it comes to progressive, sustainable food practices, and it’s nice to finally step out of the kitchen or away from the farm and share all these creative efforts in an intimate setting like GFM.

Vendor Blender: Cobra Pate

Hello GFM fans!

We hope you enjoyed a glorious weekend. It was near torture thinking summer was so close, yet so far.

We’re spending the week stretching our legs for the bike ride, designing postcards, looking for bands to perform, and figuring out how to fit all our vendors in the church for the market April 10th. Prepare yourself for the spring awakening of your life!

Until then, enjoy today’s Vendor Blender, courtesy the silly film collective/master vegan pate makers:  Cobra Pate.

What the hell is cobra pate?
Awesome sauce for your next ninja bedtime love fiesta.

How’d you come up with the name?
The Goddamn Cobras’ hot films don’t make themseles – this is our preferred fuel source.

How did the inspiration of such a vegan concoction come about?
Jables learned the art of pâté making from a noble pâté rajguru, who taught him to source local ingredients from small farms and his own garden. After traveling around the world and living on a cashew ashram in Ecuador, Jables ended up back in New York at an opportune time, when there is a revived demand for fresh, local, creative food.

Where do you source your ingredients?
From the shores of the Pacific, to the trees of Vermont, to the Rooftops of Greenpoint.

How is it made? Care to share a recipe?
Here in the Cobra Den, every one of the pâtés is made with a generous helping of Cobra Magic. We start with raw, organic tree nuts and add rich, delicious locally grown veggies & the world’s must alluring spices to make every Cobra Bite uncommonly good.

Suggestions of how to consume this goodie?
Via body shot, via web chat, via mouth to mouth.

Any new flavors at your beckon call?
SECRETS ARE FOR BEING SECRET. Come to the next Greenpoint Food Market to uncover the riddle!

Why the decision to share your product at GFM?
Why wear sexy clothes? Why hang out with the cool kids? Why make out with the hotties? Do these questions really need to be asked?