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recipes

  • Make Your Own Cinnamon Syrup

    Customers at our Napa shop sometimes ask us why we carry cinnamon chips, as well as the more familiar powdered and quilled (“stick”) cinnamon. This week’s recipes are part of the answer — but first, a little bit about where we get this magnificent spice.

    Basically, cinnamon is tree bark — the most delicious tree bark in the world. Both Ceylon “true” cinnamon and its widely-used cousin, Cassia cinnamon, are harvested from trees in the Cinnamomum family. The bark of Ceylon cinnamon is more delicate than that of Cassia, which provides sturdier quills for cinnamon sticks. But when chipped or powdered, they both are bursting with cinnamon flavor and fragrance.

    Our favorite of all is Saigon cinnamon: It’s the strongest Ceylon cinnamon available in America today, and we think it has the richest flavor as well. Continue reading

  • A Saucy Journey

    Some of the most famous culinary dishes in the world are made with sauces without them, the dish wouldnt exist. For example, Eggs Benedict wouldn't be Eggs Benedict without the Hollandaise sauce, and the classic lasagna and moussaka dishes wouldn't be the same without the renowned bchamel sauce. But a sauce doesn't just have to be thick and creamy; it can also be spicy like the sassy Mexican salsas and pesto sauces.

    IMHO, a sauce is as fundamental to great cuisine as is the preparation. So I decided to take you on a cyber trip around the world to visit a few countries to discover some of the unique sauces used in cooking. Continue reading

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