Daily Archives: August 19, 2011

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

I am reading,   Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton. It’s a fantastic read. Here is a paragraph from the book.


“Michele- and I live for this kind of old-world genius- took a stack of large clean dish towels out of the drawer and opened each one, set a finished platter on it, and then by drawing the four corners of the towel in and knotting them he created a built-in carrying handle and a way of keeping the food wrapped to carry it to the car. No Saran, no foil, no Tupperware,  Beautiful Salentino pottery wrapped in heavy, clean dish towels. This is one of those old-world anachronisms, like when your mother would hard-boil eggs in the morning and pop them in your coat pockets, piping hot, to keep your hands warm on winter mornings as you walked to school, and then you had part of your lunch ready in your pocket when they cooled by midday-that retains such beauty and efficiency and clever simple invention that you never let it go, even with the advent of plastic wrap and the microwave oven.”

I love that paragraph. It’s so true. Saran wrap, foil and paper cups have become so common and efficient that we use them without any thought of a different way. The paper cup has become a dominant fixture in our society. At most of the big chain coffee shops you can’t get coffee in anything other than a paper cup. I chuckle when I walk past a Starbuck’s and see everyone sitting at their tables drinking from a sealed paper cup. It’s so odd and it takes away from the experience of sitting down to have a cup of coffee.

I never felt this way until I visited Europe and had coffee in a Cafe at the Madrid airport. There was not a single paper cup to be found. Everyone was sitting or standing at the bar enjoying their drink. I saw no one running with a paper cup in their hand to catch their plane. If this is Old-World or Old School then that’s what I am. At Fiore Market Cafe we want  that type of atmosphere for our guests.

I buy our extra virgin olive oil in a 25 liter drum. I then fill individual glass bottles with the oil for use in the kitchen. It’s more expensive to do it this way, but it feels right. It feels Old World. It’s the way the Italians have been doing it for centuries.



You can also buy the oil in half liter bottles for $11,95. Refills are $8.95