Spring has Sprung and it’s Time for Fruit Tarts!

Fresh FruitIs there anything better than a beautiful fruit tart full of fresh, seasonal fruit? Well, maybe just that delicious buttery crust that can become the vessel for the fruit.

Tarts are relatively simple to make, and can have a dramatic presentation on your dessert table. The secret to a perfect fruit tart is to wash and strain your fruit in a colander, and then to pat it dry with a towel to remove any extra liquid in the fruit.

We are going to take you step by step through two tart recipes that are perfect for spring. And remember, tarts are playful and fun! Feel free to use either crust and filling together, and any of your favorite fruits and jellies to glaze. Read the rest of this entry »

Canning with Marisa McClellan

Marisa McClellan - Local Food Writer

Marisa McClellan – Local Food Writer, Canning Expert, and Blogger Extraordinaire

This Saturday, we are excited to welcome Philadelphia’s own Marisa McClellan, author of the nationally renowned blog Food in Jars, who will be signing copies, in our store, of her debut book of the same name.

Our talented staff member Mandie, inspired by Marisa, gives us this interesting personal vignette of her introduction to canning. We think you’ll enjoy it!

I first became enamored with the idea of canning and home preserving shortly after I started working at Fante’s. I knew nothing about preserving at that time, since no one in my family had ever even considered it, and my interest was piqued when I noticed people purchasing huge amounts of Ball jars, usually at least two to four cases at a time. Curious, I asked one customer what they were planning on doing with all those jars. The customer replied, “I’m canning tomatoes from my garden.”

I was baffled. Why would you do that? You can buy canned tomatoes at the grocery store, I thought to myself. But my curiosity was piqued. As the summer went on, more and more people began buying Ball jars, and I kept asking. “I’m making pickles,” one customer told me, or “I just bought a bushel of peaches, and it’s jam time!” Soon my mind was bursting with inspiration of all the wonderful things I could fill my pantry with.

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Learn to Garnish

Use some simple garnishing techniques to create a beautiful healthy fruit salad for your next dinner party

In the culinary world, presentation is almost everything. Sure, your food needs to be delicious, but if it doesn’t look appetizing, good luck getting anyone to try it!

One way to add some presentation glitz to your plates is with edible garnishes. Flower designs made from vegetables like carrots or onions can take a simple salad to the next level. Now, some chefs go all out on the garnishing front, creating pieces that can more properly be called art. If you’re just starting out, designs like that might be above your pay grade – so let’s talk tips for novices.

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Pit Stop

Continuing the Americana theme (USA! USA!), let’s talk about cherries.

George Washington Chopping Cherry Tree

Step 1: cherries. Step 2: throw off the yoke of a tyrannical monarch.

The cherry is a cousin to the nectarine and plum, and while it has about 1,000 different varieties, less than 10 are commercially produced. While most home cooks are used to canned cherries, there is really no substitute for fresh cherries when preparing a meal.  Today, we’ll show a few items to get rid of the pit, and tasty recipes to follow after.

The popularity of fresh cherries has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years,  likely in part to emphasis on local, fresher foods. However, it can safely be assumed that George Washington wasn’t the first person angling for this delicious fruit.

Cherries can be traced back as far as  600 B.C. in China, where they were a delicacy reserved for high society. Their American origins can be traced beyond the Washington-tree-chopping-fable, to when Henry VIII brought them to England from Flanders. No, not Ned Flanders; Flanders, France to be exact.  Cherries followed the English colonists to our shores in the 1600’s.

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It’s June. It’s hot. We all have those days where we mentally project ourselves to somewhere like this tropical island.

Vacationing in the tropics remains a dream for most of us, but the tastes of the tropics are close at hand in the form of tropical fruits like bananas.

Bananas are used year round in mostly dessert-forms. However, they can be key in other applications like grilling, where the banana leaves can be used as a wrapping.

We like to carry unique products, like the Bananza slicer we featured on Facebook earlier. Not only are they neat and fun, but functional as well. They can help us execute some of the recipes we find throughout the dog days of summer. You don’t need to slice your bananas for these recipes;  just get cookin’!

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