September 15, 2013
Foodie Fun in New Bedford
If you are facing yet another week’s menu starring chicken with rice and macaroni and cheese, I have good news.
How do these dishes sound?: Salmon noodle salad and broccoli salad with bleu cheese and creme fraiche. Cured ham and fresh pea farfalle salad with Fondo Di Toscana Parmigiano Reggiano. Baby arugula and rice salad with apple wood bacon. They are not on the menu of one of the South Coast’s fine restaurants. They are about to be on your table!
All the gourmet ingredients you’ll need for these dishes and many more can be procured from Sid Wainer & Son Gourmet Food Outlet in New Bedford. With a little effort, you can turn their gourmet and specialty foods into week night meals. Yes, you can.
When you enter the Gourmet Food Outlet, you are greeted by a receiving line of little jars of pesto imported from Italy. Turns out that pesto can have pizzaz! In addition to your traditional basil variety, Sid Wainer’s pesto parade includes arugula, tomato, artichoke, pumpkin, and spicy pepper pesto.
The exposed brick interior is full of surprises. For example, I give you what I call the wall of funky grains. Tucked into only a smidgen of the outlet’s space, this wall packs in healthy whole grains of all colors and origins, many of which may be new to you. Try Bamboo rice, kamut, purple sticky rice, Chinese black rice, or Himalayan red rice, and I ask you…what does one make with buckwheat groats? The mission of this place is to help people find out!
France has contributed significantly to the treasure trove of wares at Sid Wainer. You may especially appreciate their vinaigrettes (mango, raspberry, and tomato with espelette pepper) and their mustards (whole grain, herbs de Provence, and traditional). Of course, the mention of this country of great gastronomic history leads us to the subject of cheese. Hold onto your hats, head past the cash registers, and behold the cheese room. Yes, this is correct, a refrigerated room of cheese.
Entering this room, you are transported into every travel show you have seen in which a fourth generation cheese monger is explaining the art and subtleties of cheese making and tasting. You’ve stepped into a wonderland of artisan cheeses. Wax covered wheels and triangles wrapped in parchment proudly display their origins: Greece, Italy, France, England. The choices are mind boggling: ash aged Cammbert, smoked Gouda, Provolone, Cheddar and Mozzarella, brie, Roquefort, crusted goat, Chevre Chocolat, pecorino with walnuts…the list goes on.
The spirit of culinary adventure follows you as you move into the produce room. Choose from locally grown micro greens or take a chance on some more unusual items like blue basil, rainbow chard, spearmint tips or watermelon radish. Take a risk on some of the scariest looking mushrooms you’ve ever seen: black trumpet, french horn, shimeji, maitake and hedgehog mushrooms. Top it all off with edible flowers such as rose petals, marigolds and pink orchids.
If you are afraid you won’t know what to do with your purchases once you get them home, visit the Sid Wainer & Son Gourmet Outlet on a Saturday! Each Saturday affords customers the opportunity to sample dozens of delicious dishes prepared using products from the store – each with its own recipe card to take home. The company’s chefs are there to answer your questions and provide inspiration.
Top chefs call from around the world to procure gourmet products through Sid Wainer’s wholesale department. For those of us lucky enough live on the South Coast, these treasure are just a short drive away!
While you are in the great whaling city treating your palette to new tastes, why not also try a wine tasting before you head home to cook? Enjoy!
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