Mostarda and Misozuke: Two Awesome New Products Giving Me The Shivers

Another day in the life of Fairway Market: ridiculously cool new products arrive. Of course, that is after our team spends time in the far reaches of Chicago and Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam, and beyond–searching for the universe’s most fabulous foodstuffs, befriending the growers and artisans, and getting the goodies on our shelves as fast as possible–and at crazy good prices.

Today, we’re introducing:

Mostarda di frutta di Cremona

Though what Italians call mostarda does contain mustard, it’s unrelated to the neon yellow stuff that gets slathered on hot dogs and such.

Mostarda di Cremona is fruit—bright oranges, little pears, pineapple, apricots—preserved in syrup, jacked up with mustard oil and cane sugar, mixed with wooden paddles. Cremona, in Central Lombardy, has been home to mostarda for many hundreds of years. This rainbow-bright, lavishly–almost cartoonishly–beautiful sweet/hot dish was all the rage with the Renaissance aristocrat set.

A dramatic condiment meant to accompany boiled meats and stews, even eel.  We love to serve it with cheeses and prosciutto, salami and coppa, pates and terrines; in fact, we love the sweet, tangy flavor, too – not just the colors — the way it cuts the richness and brings out the flavors of cheeses and cured meats. 

Find it at the Fairway deli counter, near to the cured hams and such.

Misozuke

Steve pulled out this scoopable tofu months ago. “You gotta try it.” And if Steve says you gotta try something, you’d be a fool not to.

It looks like any old soft-ish tofu, but the taste hit me sideways and lingered. It’s a two-year aged delicacy from Japan’s Fukuoka district. It gets funky, savory, even a bit cheesy with all that time fermenting.

In Steve’s words:

“This is miso-cured tofu, a centuries-old Japanese tradition that is known only to connoisseurs of Japanese cuisine.  It is rightfully expensive because it is so painstakingly created and so incredibly fragile.  It is more delicate than a soufflé, as rare as a fresh truffle, and is beyond delicious.  It sort of reminds us of FOIE GRAS.  Custard-soft, a remarkable mouth-feel, we would urge you to serve it as a hallowed accompaniment for cocktails, or cold sake, or even the white wines that thrill you.  Just cut your hunk into slabs and let them ride aboard rice crackers.”

Serve with a small crowd–this remarkable substance deserves your complete attention. It’s that special.

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