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Purveyors of Fine Meats and Cheeses

July 23, 2013

Before we get started, I have to say that you all are amazing. Reading through the comments yesterday, I was really impressed with the level of discourse on such a heated topic. Wow. Seriously, I feel lucky to have you as readers and as participants in this conversation.

Okay. Gushing aside, there’s some business that you should know about. Katrinella’s has closed. The Hong Kong Bakery is reopening tonight on Wolf Road (and I fully expect it to be awesome). Guilderland Restaurant Week is happening now (but the real treat is a discount class with dinner at Different Drummer’s Kitchen). But if you are going out to eat in Guilderland, it should be to Sushi Tei  because they are offering $1 pieces of nigiri through July 30 in celebration of their anniversary.

I’m also behind the eight ball because yesterday’s previously scheduled post got preempted by the news from last weekend. Tomorrow is the last Ask the Profussor before I leave town for the year. And I’m up to my neck in boxes. Soon, it will be time to pack the plates and cookware. Then I’ll be totally screwed

But last Friday it was hot and I didn’t feel like turning on the oven even to simply reheat a store bought roast chicken. So what’s a food-loving family to do? The answer was cold cuts.

This was an amazing dinner. Out of pure sloth we totally skipped any kind of vegetable or grain and went straight for the good stuff: meats, cheeses, bread and wine. Maybe it wasn’t the most balanced meal in the world, but a night or two of indulgence isn’t going to kill you.

The only problem was that Young Master Fussy has never liked the cured meats or cheeses from The Cheese Traveler. The cheeses were either too creamy, or too funky, or too gritty. Yet I was convinced that if I had him work closely with Eric, we could find something to love.

Meats were a bigger problem. The dried meats that I love just proved to be too chewy for my boy to be enjoyable. And that’s when I had an inspired idea. My kids never get bologna, mostly because the stuff in the supermarket is crap, but Rolf’s makes their own. After giving each kid a nibble, they wanted to go home with as much as we could carry. But I also wanted to give them a tasting of some of Rolf’s hot smoked hams, which they also loved.

I was being good. You know, not buying anything for me. But then I saw a little pint of German potato salad. And I just had to have it. The kindly woman behind the counter wanted to know if I wanted anything else. My honest answer was, “Really, I want some teawurst, but I can’t get any now.” Turns out, they just made a set of mini-teawursts that were just a quarter of a pound each. How could I say no?

These German delights went into the portable cooler and we headed off to The Cheese Traveler. The cured meats for the adults consisted of the amazing, rich and savory La Quercia Tamworth Prosciutto and some tender, smokey Bresaola. Those were easy to choose. The cheeses were more challenging.

After a few questions back and forth and a few different samples, Eric honed in on a wheel of Gotthelf Emmentaler for the boy, and he loved it! There was much rejoicing. I knew that Mrs. Fussy would appreciate a creamier version of Humboldt Fog aged goat cheese called Lake’s Edge, and I nailed that pick. To round out the selection, we found a harder sheep’s milk cheese from Salerno, Italy called Canestrato which Young Master Fussy also enjoyed.

For the record, Little Miss Fussy enjoys it all.

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The bread was a challah from New Mt. Pleasant Bakery. And the wine was the current vintage of Hudson-Chatham’s Baco Noir, which was light bodied enough to go well with everything, and had enough acid to cut through all the fat.

It would have been awesome if I could have swung by Adventure in Food Trading to say goodbye to the team there. On Sunday I stopped into Fin hoping to try a dish or two off their new menu, only to be told Sundays the chef has off. But at least I tried to say goodbye to Pete and Dora before I headed out of town, so I want partial credit.

While I’m gone The Grocery in Troy will open, as will the Whole Foods. Then there will be even more options for great meats and cheeses in the region. And when that happens, you’ll have no excuse for not making a dinner out of cold cuts worthy of finer restaurants everywhere. It’s such a pleasure to have a delightful meal without cooking, having to do the dishes, or leaving the house. A time at the table where you can eat with your hands, and savor all of the powerful aromas by some of the world’s greatest foods spread out before you.

I’m going to miss these places while I’m gone. But I do here there may be a pork store or two somewhere in New Jersey. It’s just going to be a matter of finding a good one.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2013 12:08 pm

    We’ll miss you too, Dan! You may not be able to swing by, but we can still imagine you stopping by and taking tours with us through our cheese coolers and talking about all of your different food adventures. :) We’ll be here when you get back.

  2. July 23, 2013 9:33 pm

    fin – your fishmonger will keep the perpetual fishsticks in the freezer for you.

  3. Susan L. permalink
    July 23, 2013 11:15 pm

    Do you have a reliable vehicle that gets decent gas mileage? You’re going to need it where you’re headed. No one seems to walk in that neck of NJ. I’d like to suggest you check out SWAGAT South Asian Market on Rte. 130, north of Bordentown. Also suggest you avoid infamous Mastoris Diner, considering your take on quantity-of-food served.

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