Specialty Foods

Some people can’t pass a shoe store without buying a pair or three of shoes. Other folks buy sunglasses to match every outfit they own.  And whenever I happen upon a great gourmet shop or online source for gourmet ingredients, I have to buy something.  Fortunately, this is a very tasty habit so my wife doesn’t grumble when I come home with the latest specialty salt or aged vinegar or truffle oil.  I can add just a little of these “gourmet” ingredients to my cooking to take it to a whole new level. 
 
Find articles here on many specialty items, from caviar to finishing salt.  Learn how to purchase these ingredients, how to store them and get some great ideas for how to use them to really elevate your cooking.
 

Sherry Vinegar

March 19, 2014 2 Comments
Sherry Vinegar

Why Is It So Hard To Find Sherry Vinegar? Have you ever had a recipe call for sherry vinegar and when you get to your local food market, you can’t find it. What makes this vinegar so elusive? You go to your local supermarket and you can find 15 varieties of Balsamic vinegar and other […]

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Interview with Andrew Hillman of Rastelli Direct

February 11, 2014 0 Comments
Interview with Andrew Hillman of Rastelli Direct

  I had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Hillman of Rastelli Direct, a major player in the food-service business providing high end products to consumers and restaurants. Rastelli Direct has been doing some marketing on the Reluctant Gourmet and sent me some of their products to try out and have some fun with. I thought […]

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Hale Indian River Groves

September 21, 2012 1 Comment
Hale Indian River Groves

As a kid, I remember visiting my grandparents in Florida around Easter time and enjoying fresh oranges and grapefruit that I picked myself from my grandparent’s trees. It is a memory that comes back everytime I enjoy a really fresh orange or grapefruit. Now I can get that same memory back by ordering a box […]

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All About Espresso

September 17, 2012 1 Comment
All About Espresso

Interview with The Coffee Couple Every once in a while you meet someone who really knows their stuff and loves what they do so much you can’t help get excited when they talk to you about their subject. In this case, it wasn’t someone, but a couple who call themselves The Coffee Couple and I […]

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Fresh Pressed Olive Oil

September 16, 2012 13 Comments
Fresh Pressed Olive Oil

What You Need To Know About Fresh Pressed Olive Oil A Conversation with “The Olive Oil Hunter,” T. J. Robinson Let me start out by saying this is a long interview but if you are into gourmet products, especially olive oil, you’re going to want to read every word. Who is The Olive Oil Hunter? […]

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All About Making Stock at Home

September 16, 2012 0 Comments
All About Making Stock at Home

The Importance of Making Your Own Stocks Contributing Food Writer Mark R. Vogel One of the first lessons of any cooking course is learning how to make stocks. Stocks form the basis of most sauces and soups. A stock is basically the liquid that eventuates from simmering bones and/or meat with vegetables, herbs, & seasonings. […]

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Cooking Stocks at Home

August 18, 2012 0 Comments
Cooking Stocks at Home

The Importance of Cooking Stocks & Stock Reductions Why are stocks and stock reductions one of the first things students at cooking school learn how to prepare? Anyone who wants to be a better home cook, I suggest you learn how to make simple stocks, broths and stock reductions.  Once you learn how to make […]

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All About Truffles

August 18, 2012 1 Comment
All About Truffles

The Diamonds of the Kitchen Contributing Writer – Chef Mark Vogel Truffles are a subterranean fungi that flourish via a symbiotic relationship with the roots of certain trees, e.g., beech, hazel, oak, etc. They are not mushrooms which are a completely different fungi. They are also not to be confused with the chocolate confection that […]

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Espresso Cappuccino Machines For Home Use

June 5, 2012 1 Comment
Espresso Cappuccino Machines For Home Use

Buying an Espresso or Cappuccino Machine This is one of those luxury items that every kitchen doesn’t need but if you like cappuccinos and lattes, is great to have around. Years ago before I was married, I dated a young lady who loved to go out for espresso. …Well next thing you know I own […]

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Is Chicken Stock the Same as Chicken Broth?

June 10, 2011 66 Comments
Is Chicken Stock the Same as Chicken Broth?

The Difference Between Chicken Stock and Chicken Broth I am constantly asked, “What’s the difference between chicken stock and chicken broth?” Many cooks and chefs use the words “stock” and “broth” interchangeably.  I have done a lot of research on the subject to clear up this issue, both for myself and for my readers.  My […]

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