Just joined a car sharing deal with Zipcars.com this weekend, so what do you do? Shop! Sure who really wants to drive in New York, I mean I ride my bike and see how stupid people are, cell phones in ear, or coffee waiting to spill into their laps and singe the privates! No I don’t even like the radio, I want all attention, mirrors adjusted, seat in the right position….dot the i’s cross the T’s. Destination, that insane upper west side food emporium, Zabar’s. We usually will get our cheese and sausages there, but you never know what ingredient will grab your attention and you just have to have it! This day was actually calm, as we entered their weren’t that deer in the headlight looking crowd, stopping dead smack in the center aisle kind of browsing, no it was clear! I grabbed a cart, made my way over to the sheep and goat cheeses, just peripherally eying some phat almonds stuffed into some bursting green olives, food porn. I carefully made for my usual pick of chabichou de Poitou, the packaging so perfectly perforated so the cheese can breath and you can sniff. Then I almost gasped at the price of my all time favorite yummy cheese, Cypress Grove’s Humboldt Fog, it’s worth the sticker shock, especially when let out from the confines of the fridge to just get soft and gooey, it’s almost like a naughty candy bar from some sheep. By the time I had re-emerged from my cheese wandering I was suddenly surrounded by the tourists, you know the non New Yorkers who look more awe struck than me when shopping here, I heard one women exclaim how cheap the cheese was and how much you got! No kidding, this is Zabar’s sweety! My wife ahead of me called out and said I should take her ticket for the cheese counter and order her favorite blue cheese. Quickly I perused for my own blue cheese, not there, Roaring 40’s from King Island in Australia, according to my friend John Downes, they export this so much no one gets it over there, not fair I think? We should go local, by from farmers and make our own good cheeses, no?
Anyway, I remembered I had my camera and decided to snap some shots of the madding crowd and whatever I could, finishing up with my cheese purchase I turned to the deli/meats area and of course looked for a saucisson, these day’s it no longer possible to get French ones, what a bummer. So I found a D’artagnan saucisson sec, another one wrapped in paper was calling to me. Hand crafted, Artisan? Fra’mani salametto dry salame, made by Paul Bertolli, I like his book. I snap the aisle of cheese, the sausages and as I try to negotiate the corner who walks by but none other than Monsieur Z., that guy looks like a hermit or something from an R.Crumb comic strip, you should meet his brother too, he is on the east side!
We go straight for some Nova, or labled here as Novie, don’t ask about the sodium content please. I get a couple of slices, and we grab a whipped cream cheese with scallions for the schmear on the bagels, no I didn’t bake them this time! My miche is in the fridge retarding for later, instead we make for the bread counter, I look over my shoulder for Mr. Z in case there is a clause or policy about snapping food pictures? There I go snapping some bread porn, there are no more bagels, not to worry H&H is around the corner!
Sometimes you have to give in to your wifes shopping whims, not to often, but food well that I can handle.
Jean Michel Gammarielo
When we launched Stir the Pots in 2005, co-founder Jeremy Shapiro wanted Chef Jean Michel Gammarielo as one of our...