As I write this, the first light snow is falling from the sky, and it really feels like sweater season. I often dread the beginning of this cold weather. I miss the farmer’s market, the madness of the holidays are looming over my head, and, I’m just plain cold. This year is different. The weather cooled very gently and after nine years of working at Caputo’s for the holidays, I’m feeling shockingly calm—almost zen, if you will.
So as the holidays approach and the snow starts to fall more frequently and in bigger doses, let’s enjoy it with our best friends and family over treats and nibbles. You’ll need a cocktail too, of course. Here’s how we’re enjoying the transition to winter:
CHEESE: Ossau Iraty Reserve
One of the most-celebrated and well-known Basque cheeses is made even more delicious in the hands of Caputo’s own affineuse, Antonia Horne, in the chilly comfort of our Cheese Cave. Ossau Iraty arrives in great condition to eat immediately. It tastes mildly grassy and sweet, and is a great choice for the table when you crave the comfort of a creamy, alpine-style cheese. But this is Caputo’s after all, so, of course, we couldn’t just let you settle for a good cheese. We want you to experience great cheese, and we want everyone to know first hand how our caves affect and improve even the most delicious wheels. Antonia gives the ultimate TLC to Ossau for six months. That sweet, grassy cheese transforms to have a deep, complex, brand new flavor. Ossau Reserve offers newly developed notes of caramel and browned butter with a still-perfect interior and more interesting and aromatic rind.
Enjoy this with your favorite cheese accouterments and wine alone, or get your cheese geek on and try the original Ossau and Ossau Reserve in a side-by-side tasting to see exactly what the differences are. You’ll want to hug Antonia afterwards. I always do.
CHOCOLATE: Solstice Chocolate
We give you one, fantastic chocolate almost every month, but this month is special. Here why:
- We couldn’t agree on one Solstice bar. We didn’t have time to sell tickets to the WWE-style brawl it would take to select one, because of…
- SOLSTICE CHOCOLATE FEST. That’s right. Our 4th annual Chocolate Fest features our first locally-made chocolate. Each bar will be featured in a dish made by a talented local chef in a sweet or savory application, plus all proceeds will be donated to the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative (read more here).
- Have you had Solstice? Could you pick one? Of course not, and neither could we.
Solstice is locally-made and has been blowing our minds. We’ve never seen the kind of support for a local chocolate like this. Solstice is on the menu of some of the best restaurants downtown, and it’s being used by Chocolatier Blue for its amazing chocolates. What’s more, Solstice is crafting chocolate with a no-waste and eco-friendly operation.
Bitters are the future, friends. Seriously. Local bitters are even more exciting. Imagine, little ol’ Utah making top-tier, high-quality bitters. Yeah, it’s happening.
Beehive Bitters is making a small selection of bitters that belong on the bar cart of any cocktail enthusiast. Not much for cocktails at home yet? You’ll find these bitters behind the best bars in the city, or you can add them to your personal pantry for cooking, baking, and marinading. The Beehive Spiced Orange Bitters is the perfect welcome to the cold weather. I’ll be using this in everything from plays on hot toddies to cranberry sauce. I’m even experimenting with turkey brine recipes that call this. The possibilities aren’t just endless, they’re exciting and, more often than not, quite rewarding.