- Villa Manodori Cherry Balsamic
- Martelli Pasta
- Mead and Meads Maple Syrup
In an etiquette article from Conde Nast Traveller magazine, Robert Hickey of the Protocol School of Washington notes the right gift should be “a distilled symbol of your relationship.” Now you and your host or hostess probably have a common love of food and even of the products we carry at Cheese Plus so here are three gifts we enthusiastically recommend.
- Villa Manodori Cherry Balsamic. Aged for eight years in dark cherry wood, this artisan balsamic has tart notes followed by a thick balsamic sweetness that’s been described as “addictive.” Produced in very small quantities by Massimo Bottura of Michelin-star winning Osteria Francescana restaurant in Modena, Italy, this makes a bold salad dressing over spicy greens or use as a finishing drizzle on risotto or roasted pork. It’s absolutely divine over Negranti Dairy Sheep Milk Honey flavor ice cream.
- Martelli Pasta. The Martelli family in the tiny Tuscan town of Lari makes only four cuts of pasta. What makes them our favorite dried pastas is that this is truly “slow food.” It’s kneaded with cold water then dried for up to fifty hours hours at 91-97 degrees to make this intensely flavored pasta more firm and chewy. The long curing process plus being extruded through traditional bronze dyes creates a more textured pasta that “grips” the sauce. Always in the same yellow bag since 1926, your host will love this.
- Mead and Mead’s Pure Maple Syrup. Winter and Jude Mead run their small family sugaring house in the Canaan Valley of Connecticut wth the highest standards of stewardship. Making great maple syrup is a slow process of removing the water from the freshly tapped sap through reverse osmosis. The sap is then boiled until it has exactly 67% sugar content and triple filtered, resulting in a syrup that is very complex and rich yet light with a clean sweetness. This is nothing like the pancake stuff from that famous aunt. What’s more, its beautiful clear Italian glass bottle with an embossed maple leaf helps turn this liquid gold into a perfect present.