Growing up, my grandmother would flip through a stack of hand-written recipe cards before every meal. She took the time to sit on her porch or looking out of the window in her living room -- basking in the moment, the flavors still fresh in her mouth from the meal just finished, and simmer on life and what she had left in the fridge. She was a patient woman, doing just about everything by hand and steadily moving step to step, following the notes on the card she had memorized but always kept sitting perched on the flour bag. She did this three times a day, 6 days a week.
In our family, food is life. While the last dish from the meal we just finished was being wiped dry, the question of what was going to be had for the next meal was asked. The time not spent in the kitchen was spent going to the grocery, to the bakery, or to the butcher -- picking up what we were going to go home and make next. From stories of those who knew food best, from those who dug it from the ground or those whose craft turned it from mere ingredients to well-crafted goods, I learned how to move through life the way food grows. You work with the seasons, knowing that there are far more transitions and the unexpected than you'd think; you can't be afraid to get your hands dirty from digging up to digging in, and sit with a sauce until it's flavor is finished.
Food not only taught me, it was handed down to me. My grandmother was the one who taught me how to peel a potato; my neighbor taught me how to make a mean sauce; my mother taught me how to knead dough. I lived in a place where food wasn't just a lifestyle, it was the stock of our history, the base of who we were and where we came from.
Stories like this have inspired us to look at our own lives, at what our own families have taught us when it comes to food. And it's multiple generations of almost a dozen different families that have come together to celebrate the most magical memories made around both simple and stoic ingredients.
Meet our latest seasonal flavors & the recipes that give us the most nostalgia:
Cinnamon Pear Balsamic Vinegar: Pear orchards are one of the most magical places. One of our favorite harvests to help out on, we use pears for just about everything. But our favorite recipe we remember from our kitchens growing up is Pear Pie. Sliced up and soaked in toasted cinnamon and olive oil before getting baked, this warm flavor was all we could think about when we decided to make a Balsamic to celebrate some of our tastiest holiday traditions. Buy a bottle here!
White Truffle Extra Virgin Olive Oil: We spent as much time playing outside as we did in the kitchen. Foraging for fun included food some days, as we discovered how many wild ingredients we could eat. From Pine Needle Tea, to Dandelion Flower Salads, our dishes grew funky. But no matter what, our favorite ingredient to dig up were mushrooms. In fact, as adults, mushroom hunting has become even more fun. This flavor is an ode to some of our greatest fun: the grand fungi forage. Buy a bottle here!
Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar: The Sicilian Lemon is a more common lemon, grown with greater girth and better paired with the Trebbiano grapes we use for our white balsamic vinegars. This flavor is being launched in two weeks, as we're currently finishing bottling this gem. Stay tuned for the official launch & the story about why we went with this classic ingredient to make such a bold bottle.