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Gourmet Food & Wine LBYM Style
Old 06-16-2011, 07:55 PM   #1
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Gourmet Food & Wine LBYM Style

Thought I'd post a link to a new food blog that focuses on finding high-value (though not necessarily cheap) specialty foods. It's very low-key - something I did because friends and family are always asking me about where to find deals on things they taste at my house.

There are tips on olive oil and vinegars, finding and brewing the best coffee and tea (my areas of professional expertise), good boxed wine and a few other things.

Because Better Exists

Enjoy!

Kevin
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:20 PM   #2
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Cool! I just subscribed to your RSS feed. I am a foodie but it's impossible to find the good stuff locally. So I really appreciate the links to specialty e-tailers. Chocosphere, where were you when I needed you?
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:51 PM   #3
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A very timely post Kevin. We just moved to Denver and are exploring the grocery stores to find the things we like. Compared to NJ, it is very hard to find some foods here (especially ethnic foods), but I think, with effort (and a few extra bucks), we'll find what we need.

I must look into Costco again. It didn't work for us in NJ because their packaging was just too big for our needs.
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Old 06-16-2011, 09:09 PM   #4
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This is from the blog:

Brewing Great Coffee at Home Without Turning Into a Geek

I don't know if this is intentional or unintentional humor, but this guy is a prototypical geek.

How did obsessive men ( I say men because they are almost always male) endure life before modern post 80s consumerism enabled such highly differentiated geekiness?

Ha
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:02 PM   #5
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Thanks Kevin, I have it book-marked. Gonna have to dive deeper into this later.
I liked the section on box wine - as you say, cans are a wonderful way to package beer, but the stuff put into it is usually not special. Some micro-brewers are starting to do it, but it's expensive.

I'm going to have to study the Tequila section, but it did 'inspire' me to have a sample of some that friends with relatives in Mexico brought back for me, it's a Reposado, Corralejo label, tall blue bottle? Sips nicely, but I know next to nothing about Tequila.

-ERD50
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Old 06-17-2011, 06:13 AM   #6
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:36 AM   #7
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I'm sure there always have been lots of ways to be geeky. Alchemists, for example?

I tend to like this kind of person, because I prefer people who are very enthusiastic about their interests (I'm also the grown-up who is instant buddies with the little fellow or gal who knows all the names of the dinosaurs, rocks & minerals, etc). The only difficulty comes when such people are also obsessively neat, since I am naturally untidy.

For the OP: Thanks for posting the link. I wish there were a way to e-mail food and drink - they cost so much to ship.

Amethyst

Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
This is from the blog:

Brewing Great Coffee at Home Without Turning Into a Geek

I don't know if this is intentional or unintentional humor, but this guy is a prototypical geek.

How did obsessive men ( I say men because they are almost always male) endure life before modern post 80s consumerism enabled such highly differentiated geekiness?

Ha
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:02 PM   #8
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Not great, but provides 85% of the enjoyment of a better wine, $2.51 at Safeway
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:31 PM   #9
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Old 06-17-2011, 02:03 PM   #10
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A very timely post Kevin. We just moved to Denver and are exploring the grocery stores to find the things we like. Compared to NJ, it is very hard to find some foods here (especially ethnic foods), but I think, with effort (and a few extra bucks), we'll find what we need.

I must look into Costco again. It didn't work for us in NJ because their packaging was just too big for our needs.
Check out "ethnic food row" over on S. Federal Blvd. for lots of Asian and Mexican markets. For specialty foods, St. Killian's Cheese in the Highlands neighborhood is tiny but phenomenal, and they are two doors down from Mondo Vino, the best wine store in the State. Marczyk's market is another gem.

Agree with you on Costco package sizes...often go in with friends. The savings on Reggiano Parmesan and EV olive oil alone pay for our membership and we're just a household of 2.
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Old 06-17-2011, 02:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
This is from the blog:

Brewing Great Coffee at Home Without Turning Into a Geek

I don't know if this is intentional or unintentional humor, but this guy is a prototypical geek.

How did obsessive men ( I say men because they are almost always male) endure life before modern post 80s consumerism enabled such highly differentiated geekiness?

Ha
Well Peet's, which started the specialty coffee revolution in the U.S., got going in 1966 - about the same time as folks began to discover good cheese, bread, small producer wine and all the rest. Geekiness in coffee as in all else is a relative thing. In my article I recommend a $20 blade grinder and simple manual coffeemakers that all cost between $15-50. No waste-of-money @120 Keurig K Cup machines, let alone $2000 home espresso makers, no fussiness in brewing. But I'll grant you compared to cracking open a jar of Taster's Choice it's geeky.
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:19 PM   #12
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Geekiness in coffee as in all else is a relative thing.
Real coffee geeks roast their own beans, which is economical, since green coffee beans are cheaper. You can pay a lot for a roaster, but you can get by with a cheap popcorn popper.
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:54 PM   #13
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Well Peet's, which started the specialty coffee revolution in the U.S., got going in 1966 - about the same time as folks began to discover good cheese, bread, small producer wine and all the rest. Geekiness in coffee as in all else is a relative thing. In my article I recommend a $20 blade grinder and simple manual coffeemakers that all cost between $15-50. No waste-of-money @120 Keurig K Cup machines, let alone $2000 home espresso makers, no fussiness in brewing. But I'll grant you compared to cracking open a jar of Taster's Choice it's geeky.
Í didn't mean to be critical, and especially I didn't mean any criticism of you. You are clearly providing a desired service. It's just that the whole foodie/winie/single maltie thing seems kind of overdone. Remember the cigar geekiness of 10 years or so ago?

Seattle is coffee central, and I really like coffee. I started drinking espresso at the Cafe Med on Telegraph Avenue in the early 70s. I got an aeropress when you mentioned it in an earlier thread, and I love it. But I have settled on Trader Joe's cheapest Dark Sumatra roast. It is good enough that I enjoy it as much as any other coffee I get, except one place in downtown Seattle that has the best espresso, always. I don't check the temperature of my water, and I sure don't know the mineral content. Even if I could discern a difference in the coffee, the hassle factor would put overall enjoyment on the downslope.

Also, I kind of wonder how well most of these things could be differentiated from their competitors in a blind taste test, by any creature other than a bloodhound.

Anyway, you clearly know a lot about all this, and more power to you!

Ha
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Old 06-17-2011, 05:37 PM   #14
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Looks interesting, I added it to my favs and will read from time to time and see where it goes. I liked the coffee and wine in a box posts. Thanks!
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Old 06-18-2011, 10:08 AM   #15
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You're 100% correct Greg Lee, and that's why I recommended Sweet Maria's (.com) for green coffee beans in my coffee post. With a $20 hot air popcorn popper you can have better, fresher coffee than from any specialty store for half the price.

Ha Ha, I totally get where you're coming from. I have friends "in the business" who travel with a dual-voltage hot water kettle, hand-cranked grinder (Hario Slim preferred) and an Aeropress. WAY too much hassle! Strange as it will sound coming from me, there are actually a few (very few and select) instant coffees that taste better than 90% of the fresh brewed stuff you'll find. The best I know of is Alta Rica from Nescafé, which they make for the European market from high-altitude Central American beans. You can get it via mail order:

Nescafe Coffee

Starbucks' Via Instant Colombian is also pretty good, but the price per cup is ridiculous unless you buy it at Costco (even then it's still twice as much as the Nescafé and not as good). Trader Joe's does an excellent job with its coffee program and the Sumatra is an especially good choice.
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Old 06-18-2011, 10:59 AM   #16
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I recommended Sweet Maria's (.com) for green coffee beans in my coffee post.
Sweet Maria's is a nice site -- lots of info and a user forum. However, they won't sell me green coffee beans because of a little problem that's not going to affect many of you. Hawaii has special restrictions on bringing in green coffee, for fear of some diseases and pests, even though coffee is not raised here on Oahu. Following is where I buy: BlackGold Coffee Home
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