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Well Hello There, Calabrian Figs! New, Cool Delicacies to Blow your Mind (They Blow Ours)

We’re got some tremendous new stuff gracing our shelves this fall. From pumpkin pesto to the best pasta of our lives, you’re in for a treat:

Fairway has just imported the glorious fig products of ARTIBEL, the pride of Italy’s Calabria region, where figs and hot chiles RULE. Fig-lovers rejoice! Calabria to the rescue! 

You must try the FIG CONDIMENT in the cool bottle – meant to be poured over cooked fish, shellfish, lobster, fruit salads, green salads and ice cream and sorbets.  There are 3 of them – orange/chile, balsamic, and mint. And there are the jars of the brilliant Calabrian red pesto, extra fig jam, 5 different marmalades —  of chiles and of the local Belmonte tomatoes,  of the local Tropea onion, of the local clementine and mandarin oranges, a cream of chestnuts, a pumpkin pesto and little teeny hot Calabrian red chiles.

We also imported the Artibel fig cakes in several different shapes – logs, balls and loaves.  These are fabulous served with cheeses and cured meats.  Finally, there are jars of preserved Calabrian figs in natural syrup and baked figs in a natural molasses, both of which are a knock-out served with ice creams and sorbets.

FILOTEA PASTA:  We found this pasta from Ancona, the Adriatic-jutting elbow of the Italian region Le Marche, and angels sang.  Ancona is a superb city for food, certainly seafood, and it’s the only Italian city where you can see the sun rise AND SET on the sea.  FILOTEA is ‘artisanal production’ pasta – smallholder crop durum wheat, fresh eggs from free-range Le Marche chickens, cut on dies that leave a rough texture that really clings to sauce, hand-packed (no factory production line machinery), short cooking time.  We declare that FILOTEA is the best pasta we have yet to taste.  Anywhere.  All of it, we repeat:   Handmade with fresh eggs from free-range Le Marche chickens:  Linguine, fettuccine, spaghetti, pappardelle, pennette and squid ink chitarra (guitar strings).

And then there’s EMPORIO GOURME’– a whole gorgeous line of jars of grilled preserved vegetables from an artisan in Milano, Italy.  They are beyond superb.  They are a celebration.  Serve them with all manner of antipasto, with toasts and cheeses and cured meats.  These big fat jars are hand-crammed with extraordinary examples of Italian onions, sweet peppers, Prataioli mushrooms, tomatoes and Roman-style artichokes.

All these things are pretty enough and cool enough to make great gifts. Or keep them around for emergency snacks with cocktails, easy dinner, and general culinary joy.


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