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GIFT IDEA: Smoked Mushroom Garum For The Serious Cook

Noma’s Smoked Mushroom Garum was the first product for home cooks from Noma Projects, a food lab that was opened last year by the innovative, 3-Michelin-star Noma restaurant in Copenhagen.

Introduced earlier this year in the U.S., it quickly sold out. The latest batch is on the verge of selling out, so see if this wonderful condiment is a gift for anyone on your list.

Smoked Mushroom Garum is a vegan version of garum*, the fermented Roman fish sauce that’s been used for thousands of years as a key condiment and seasoning.

(What’s garum?)

As ancient Rome produced garum, so did other cultures rely on fish sauce. There are several different Asian fish sauces, of which Thai fish sauce, nam pla phrik, Vietnamese fish sauce, nuoc nam, are just two.

Check out these different types of fish sauce, all made from fermented fish.

Fish sauce—and Noma’s vegan version of it—is an umami food. (What’s umami?)

A splash of fish sauce in cooking, or a few spoonfuls over a cooked dish, makes a big difference in flavor. Any serious cook would love a bottle.

If you think you’ve never had fish sauce, how about Worcestershire sauce? Delicious, isn’t it?

Worcestershire is a British variation of Asian fish sauce that contains anchovies (the history of Worcestershire sauce).

Noma Project food scientists turned to koji† and mushrooms instead of fermented fish to create their umami-rich, vegan Smoked Mushroom Garum.

In addition to smoke and mushroom flavors, it stands out as not as intensely salty as typical fish sauces. But it does the trick!

Do you know someone who would appreciate having a bottle to play with?

There are recipes on the website, as well as many recipes to be found using garum. Here’s a collection for starters.

Don’t delay, it’s selling out again. Head to


[1] Smoked Mushroom Garum, an exciting new condiment (photo © Noma Projects).

An Ancient Roman mosaic of a bottle of garum fish sauce.
[2] An ancient Roman mosaic of a bottle of garum (photo via Coquinaria).

*Garum is derived from gáron, the name of the fish whose intestines were originally used to make the sauce.

†Koji is cooked rice and/or soybeans that have been inoculated with a fermentation culture, Aspergillus oryzae, also known as kōji mold although it’s a naturally-occurring fungus. It’s used in the making of alcoholic beverages such as saké and shōchū, and to ferment the soybeans used in making soy sauce.





Wine Chips: Gourmet Potato Chips Crafted To Pair With Wine

Wine Chips Potato Chips With Glass Of Wine
[1] There’s a flavor of wine chips to pair with your favorite wine (all photos © Wine Chips).

Wine Chips Potato Chips With Glass Of Wine
[2] There are four varieties in the Winter Edition Cheese Collection, (photo © Williams Sonoma).

Wine Chips Potato Chips
[3] Manchego potato chips pair with rosé, sparkling white wine, and full-bodied reds such as Tempranillo.

Wine Chips & A Glass of Red Wine
[4] At the end of the day, treat yourself to a glass of fine red and a few crunchy, cheesy potato chips.

Glasses Of Red Wine With Wine Chips
[5] A special gift idea: a bottle of wine with matching Wine Chips.


Our Top Pick Of The Week, Wine Chips, is also a pick for holiday gifts, hostess gifts, and anytime gifts for lovers of “gourmet” potato chips.

Cheese is a time-honored pairing with wine, and these artisan cheese-infused potato chips are made to pair with wine, with different cheeses. Think cheese with a crunch!

There are also non-cheese flavors, such as gourmet salts and meats like bacon and ribeye. (Ribeye chips!)

These handmade potato chips are crafted to pair with specific types of wine, from light whites to full-bodied reds and sparkling wines.

Produced in small batches in Southern California, the savory, sophisticated snacks are made from locally grown potatoes and premium cheeses sourced mostly from Wisconsin dairy farms.

The potatoes are lattice-cut into slices much thicker than the average chip, delivering a very satisfying crunch.

You don’t have to drink wine to enjoy Wine Chips. These thick, cheesy potato chips go well with any beverage—beer, cocktails, soft drinks—or no beverage at all. Just pop open the top of the canister and enjoy a few.

> The history of potato chips.

> The history of the potato.

> The different types of potato.

> The different types of cheese.

> The history of cheese.

All flavors are sold in collections of three, four, or five flavors. You can see them all here.

For this winter collection, you can also buy the flavors individually, one canister with three refills.

  • Asiago Potato Chips: This Italian grating cheese pairs well with Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and fruity reds such as Sangiovese and Zinfandel.
  • Blue Cheese Potato Chips: This chip has a distinct “big cheese” flavor that pairs nicely with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Port, and sweet dessert wines.
  • Manchego Potato Chips: This sheep’s milk Spanish cheese pairs perfectly with rosé, sparkling white wine, and full-bodied reds such as Tempranillo.
  • Smoked Gouda Potato Chips: The strong, smoky flavor and sweet saltiness of Dutch Gouda pairs nicely with Cabernet Sauvignon and most red wines. These chips are also delicious with Pinot Grigio, Rosé, and sparkling wines like Cava, Prosecco, and Sekt.

  • The Charcuterie Collection: Billionaire’s Bacon, Dry Aged Ribeye, and Spicy Calabrese.
  • The Salt Of The Earth Collection: Black Lava Jalapeño, Hawaiian Red Sea Salt, and Sel Gris (learn more about the different types of salt).

    Private Reserve refers to the special, exclusive, small-batch Wine Chips flavors that the company’s Batch Masters and Master Sommeliers create.

    Always seeking new, enticing flavors, they craft the flavors in the company’s gourmet Innovation Kitchen in Southern California.

    Members of the Club receive one unique and delicious flavor every month of these exclusive, limited-edition potato chips (recent examples: Serrano Cheddar, Sweet Coconut Curry).

    This is a unique gift for the potato chip lover who has a gourmet palate.

    There are Gold, Platinum, and Diamond plans. Here’s more information about the Club.

    Head to

    Looking ahead for reasons to celebrate with Wine Chips:

  • March 4th is National Snack Day.
  • March 14th is National Potato Chip Day.
  • May 25th is National Wine Day.
  • July 25th is National Wine and Cheese Day.
  • August 19th is National Potato Day.
  • September is National Potato Month.




    Make One Of These Bread Pudding Recipes For National Bread Pudding Day

    What are you doing for National Bread Pudding Day, November 13th? We’ve got recipes for sweet and savory bread pudding, below.

    First, a note: November 13th is also National Indian Pudding Day.

    We love Indian pudding, and strongly recommend that you try the recipe. But let’s focus on bread pudding.

    First, there’s some disagreement about National Bread Pudding Day. Yes, it is November 13th, but there are some dissenters:

  • Cook’s Info says that May 1st of May is Bread Pudding Recipe Exchange Day.
  • Maybe, but don’t confuse that with National Bread Pudding Day.
  • Cookbook author George Cleary says that May 15th is National Bread Pudding Day. Mr. Cleary, we’ll come over for bread pudding on May 15th if you like, but make more bread pudding on November 13th.

    Bread pudding is a custard with bread cubes. It originated in the 11th or 12th century as a way to use stale bread.

    At first the recipes were savory. Pieces of bread were cut or torn, combined with other ingredients (cheese, onions, mushrooms and other vegetables, bits of meat), topped with custard, and then baked until the top was set but the inside was soft and creamy.

    Over the centuries, as sugar became more affordable, sweet versions emerged as desserts.

    You can use any bread cubes—baguette, brioche, challah, cinnamon raisin, and panettone are delicious.

    For savory recipes, baguette, brioche, and whole grain bread.

    And yes, good old white bread works for both sweet and savory, if not as gloriously as the other options.

    The bread is drenched in a mixture of milk and eggs (the basis of custard), plus sugar, vanilla, and spices for sweet recipes. The result is somewhat similar in flavor to French toast but with much more custard.

    Bread pudding can be baked plain or with any combination of fruits, nuts, and chocolate (for sweet recipes) or herbs, vegetables, and proteins (for savory recipes).

    The dish can be served hot or cold, with or without whipped cream or a sauce, such as hard sauce or custard sauce (for sweet recipes) or cheese, mushroom, or other sauce (for savory recipes).

    Are you salivating for bread pudding? Check out these recipes.

  • Apple Cheddar Bread Pudding
  • Baked French Toast (part French toast, part bread pudding)
  • Challah Bread Pudding
  • Chocolate Bread Pudding
  • Irish Soda Bread Bread Pudding
  • Panettone Bread Pudding

  • Applewood Bacon & Chestnut Bread Pudding
  • Artichoke Bread Pudding
  • Butternut Squash Bread Pudding
  • Chestnuts & Applewood Smoked Bacon Bread Pudding
  • Cranberry, Pecan & Bacon Bread Pudding
  • Mushroom, Leek & Parmesan Bread Pudding
  • Mushroom & Radicchio Bread Pudding
  • Portabella Bread Pudding
  • Savory Sausage and Cheddar Bread Pudding
  • Spinach Bread Pudding With Lemon & Feta
  • Spinach & Garlic Bread Pudding
  • Spinach-Shiitake Bread Pudding

    Bread Pudding With Custard Sauce
    [1] Brioche bread pudding with hard sauce. Find the recipe in Foster’s Market Cookbook (photo © Foster’s Market Cookbook).

    Bread Pudding With Nuts & Raisins]
    [2] Bake it in a pan for clean rectangular portions. You can order this one online (photo © Mackenzie Ltd).

    Individual Bread Puddings
    [3] Savory bread pudding like this shiitake and spinach recipe replaces stuffing or dressing as a savory side. Here’s the recipe (photo © Food & Wine).

    Cranberry-Pecan Bread Pudding with Bacon
    [4] Cranberry-pecan bread pudding with bacon (photo © Food & Wine).






    GIFT IDEA: Chocolate Advent Calendar With A Playlist

    Here’s a way for chocolate lovers to sing their way through December: a chocolate advent calendar with a suggested playlist.

    There are 25 days to Christmas, 25 different bonbon* flavors, and 25 different popular holiday songs to sing as you nibble.

    This innovative idea is from Delysia Chocolatier.

    Pick up a piece of chocolate each day from December 1st through Christmas. Printed on the liner underneath is a song suggestion, with a snippet of the lyrics that inspired the flavor.

    There’s also a link to a daily online newsletter revealing the song that inspired the flavor of the day.

    The interactive webpage reveals the inspiration behind the day’s flavor, along with interesting song facts and trivia.

    Our recommendation: Head to YouTube and sing along as your favorite artists sing the song.

    So sing as you nibble: It’s a fun and interactive way to countdown to the holiday season.

    No one can be a Grinch with such a tasty and unique holiday gift. (But if it’s a gift, you have to give it by December 1st.)

    Head to
    > Advent calendar history.

    > Chocolate history.

    *Delysia calls them truffles, we call them bonbons. Here’s the difference.


    Delysia Chocolate Advent Calendar 2022
    [1] The advent calendar in a bright red box (photos © Delysia Chocolatier).

    Delysia Chocolate Advent Calendar 2022
    [2] Break off a piece every day and .






    Pumpkin Hand Pies With Salted Caramel Glaze, A Snack Or Dessert Recipe

    Pumpkin Hand Pies Recipe
    [1] It’s the season for pumpkin pie. How about hand pies? No need to slice (photos #1 and #3 © Colavita).

    Bowl Of Pumpkin Puree
    [2] Be sure you’re using pumpkin purée, not pumpkin pie filling (photo © Good Eggs).

    Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    [3] When you make a crust with olive oil, always use extra virgin (photo © The Fresh Market | Facebook).

    Canister & Spoon Of Dark Brown Sugar
    [4] Dark brown sugar has a deeper, richer flavor, due to more molasses content, than light brown sugar (photo © Grafvision | Panther Media).

    Koloa Spiced Rum Bottle
    [5] A small snifter of spiced rum pairs nicely with a pumpkin pie dessert (photo © Kōloa Rum).


    Pair these Pumpkin Hand Pies with Salted Caramel Glaze as a snack or dessert with coffee or tea. You can also pair it with a dessert wine, tawny Port, or a snifter or shot glass of spiced rum.

    This recipe uses extra virgin olive oil to make the pie crust, instead of another shortening. It was created by Colavita Olive Oil, which has many more recipes to enjoy.

    Prep time is 40 utes, and cook time is 30 minutes.
    Ingredients For 12 Serving

    For The Crust

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup ice water, as needed
    For The Filling

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cans (15 ounces) pumpkin purée
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground clove
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
    For The Egg Wash

  • 1 egg, beaten
    For The Glaze

  • 1½ cups light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • Optional garnish: coarse sea salt

    1. POSITION the oven rack in the center and preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    2. MAKE the crust. ADD the flour, 1/2 cup olive oil, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the 2 tablespoons olive oil and pulse until the mix resembles a coarse meal. Add the ice water, one teaspoon at a time, pulsing, until large clumps begin to form.

    3. POUR the mixture out onto a clean surface and, with lightly floured hands, form it into a ball. Then flatten it into a 4” x 1/2″ thick rectangle. Divide the dough into 12 equal parts and roll each into a ball. Keep covered until ready to assemble.

    4. MAKE the filling. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, white and brown sugars, egg, vanilla extract, and spices until well combined. Chill until ready to use.

    Note: Don’t over-whisk the pumpkin mixture as this will incorporate air that could result in the filling puffing up too much when baking.

    5. ROLL OUT each ball of dough on a lightly floured surface. Each round should be about 6 inches in diameter. Lightly brush the outer edge of each round with the egg wash. Spoon about 3-4 tablespoons of the pumpkin mixture into the center of each round. Fold the dough over the filling, forming a half-moon shape. Crimp the edges of the dough to seal, using a fork, or fold the edges back and create little pleats by pinching.

    6. TRANSFER the hand pies to the prepared baking sheet and lightly brush each with the egg wash, taking care to cover the edges, too. Bake until the dough is golden, about 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for about 15 minutes, then transfer the hand pies to a wire rack to cool before glazing. Put the baking sheet (or a fresh baking sheet) under the rack. When the pies are cool…

    7. MAKE the glaze. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, cream, vanilla extract, and salt. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon for about 6-8 minutes, until it begins to caramelize. Stir in the powdered sugar. Remove from the heat. The mixture should be thick but still pourable.

    8. DRIZZLE the glaze over the tops of each pie with a spoon, baster, or piping bag made from a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off. The excess glaze will drip off onto the parchment-lined baking pan.

    9. IMMEDIATELY sprinkle a few flakes of salt on top of the glaze.
    > The history of pie.

    > The history of pumpkin pie.

    > The different types of pie and pastry.





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