Friday I drove back from Long Island, NY, where I gave my 14th annual Wine 101 seminar to the senior class at my alma mater. On the way home I stopped at a Fairway Market in Pelham, NY, mostly to browse, but also to try some more of their delightful selection of exclusive olive oils. I’ve already found three of theirs that I liked over the past 2-3 years, but since they are not in New England, I rarely get a chance to sample and buy them, except by online shopping. (You know that I get no remuneration for recommending places; I only do it because I love to share great sources of food and wine with fellow enthusiasts.) So far my favorites have been a San Carlos Extremadura Spanish oil (no longer available), one from Puglia, a Sicilian Barbera, and most recently, a Greek Koroneiki, with a nice, buttery finish and no lingering pepper taste.
Here is the olive oil display and the selection of of their bottles to taste.
Next stop was the olive bar, a stunning collection with variety and value ($5.99/lb.). I selected several different ones happily.
Of course, this is just a small corner of a giant store, with amazing selections of all kinds of foods. I spent almost an hour wandering around and exploring choices. Two more things struck me. One was this package of Kale chips; organic, gluten-free, vegan, and (mirabile dictu), mango-habanero flavored. I did not try it, but was astonished at the plethora of good-looking items from which to choose.
One other purchase I did make — and which was part of my reason for stopping — was Community Grains whole wheat pasta. This was mentioned only a few days earlier in a New York Times column, and we wanted to try some. I bought a box each of the Rigatoni, Fusilli, and Linguine. Last night I made the Rigatoni with asparagus, leek, shiitakes, garlic, carrots, and scallions, as a pasta dish — green salad on the side — and a Laura Aschero Pigato from Liguria for the wine. Tonight, Barbara did a vegetable soup including some of their Fusilli. Both dishes were very good. I’m not ready to give up white flour completely, but this is good whole wheat when we want it.