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Special Deals Just for Us
10 Percent Off Absolutely Anything From Gustiamo
You know when people talk about the food tasting better in Italy? That’s because it often is. And while it’s tough to replicate the flavors of Sicilian almonds or fresh-picked San Marzano tomatoes or real deal balsamic — you can find them in the United States — especially from Gustiamo.
This is stuff you can’t find in the grocery store; the products they’re importing are super small batch — made with superior Italian ingredients that aren’t grown for mass-production. Yes, it means they’re more expensive. And in this case, it also means they’re exceptionally good. I could live on their anchovies packed in salt (and I kind of do). Use the code “GustiLovesBittman” at checkout to save 10% on your order.
Here’s Our Favorite Knife Sharpener
New to us, and something we’re now totally into, is the Brod & Taylor knife sharpener, with its spring-action sharpening bars. (The company says they’ll last at least five years.) These allow you to adjust sharpening to the angle of the blade, from fillet-sharp to a rugged chopping knife. Check it out here (it’s $59).
Spice Up Your Dishes With Condiments from Wellspent Market
You’ve met Robin Koda from Koda Farms along with Nikki Guerrero of Hot Mama Salsa. In addition to a jar of Hot Mama Smoky Coffee Chilie Oil and a package of Kokuho Rose Heirloom Rice, a handful of other products make up the West Coast Female Founders’ Collection. It includes:
Akadi Mild Sauce, a West African marinade with ginger, garlic, African peppers, and spices from Portland-based Fatou Ouattara originally from Bouake, Côte d’Ivoire. She describes it as “a little sweet and a little salty, a little savory, and a little tart.”
Nong's Khao Man Gai Sauce, a positively addictive Thai chicken-and-rice sauce from restaurateur Nong Poonsukwattana. You can read about her in The Washington Post, watch her story, and check out her podcast, “Riding Tiger,” here. Nong also won an episode of the Food Network’s “Chopped” in 2014 and was named a James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef: Northwest in 2019.
Daybreak Seaweed Spicy Seaweed Flakes, according to the Wellspent folks, this combination of “Alaskan Wakame sourced from regenerative ocean farms and chipotle peppers grown organically in California yields an earthy, savory, salty seasoning with a spicy kick perfect for sprinkling on rice bowls, noodles, avocado toast, and anything else that needs a bit of oceanic goodness” from Catherine O'Hare and Avery Resor, the duo behind this Oakland, California-based company.
One Stripe Chai Me At Home Loose-Leaf Tea Blend, from Portland-based Farah Jesani, who notes that as an Indian, drinking chai is as much a part of her routine as Americans’ coffee habit. But versions she’d find at U.S. coffee shops were too sweet, so she decided to make her own. All of the spices in her chai are certified organic and ground fresh before production. In addition, she direct-sources tea from an organic and biodynamic fourth-generation family-owned farm in Assam, India.
Bobbie's Boat Sauce Classic, an umami pour-on-anything sauce Robin Rosenburg developed at sea, made of onions, garlic, and ginger, sautéed with jalapeños, then simmered with spices, tomatoes, Thai chiles, lime, and vinegar.
Kitchen Tools We Love
The Always Pan: Our Favorite Nonstick Skillet
About the Always Pan: Most of us on the team have it and have been cooking with it for a while now. We’ve concluded that it has the best nonstick coating of any pan we've ever used. (And we’ve used a lot.) The pan is billed as the same or better option than something like eight pieces of cooking equipment you probably have in your kitchen -- and is priced accordingly. Well: It’s certainly versatile, and we’re in love with the coating, which the manufacturer says is proprietary, ceramic, non-toxic, and long-lasting. (And for what it's worth, the pan, which is aluminum with a ceramic shell, is really good-looking.)
Thermapen: Our Go-To Instant-Read Thermometer
I know we talk about the Thermapen a lot, but there’s a reason for it: It’s awesome. I swear this thermometer has a brain. Take it out of the chicken, which it’s just registered at 170 degrees, and it immediately goes to room temp (I check the thermostat, and it always matches). I think about the thermometers I used to use and I laugh. Also, they’ve got a lot of cool colors, if you care about that sort of thing (points to self).
Most Things From OXO
Turns out, we use a lot of OXO products. Mark is a big fan of their coffee maker, box grater, and manual food processor (above), in particular, but we have yet to go wrong when it comes to their stuff.
Burlap & Barrel Spices
I have cooked with Ethan Frisch, founder of spice company Burlap & Barrel, and he’s serious about sourcing the world’s best spices and treating producers right. He’s also a great guy and a terrific cook. His spices are second to none.
Mr. Espresso Coffee
I have a coffee obsession: I’ve written about Oakland’s Mr. Espresso and their wood-roasted coffee before. Their beans make coffee that’s as good as anything I’ve ever tasted, and the fair trade/organic list is overwhelming. I mean, you could just read it and weep, or you could order coffee for yourself or some coffee-addicted loved one.
Odds and Ends
Some Books by Some Guy
Ok, so maybe I’m a little bit biased, but I’ve written a lot of books over the course of my career and I think they’re all pretty good. Here’s the complete collection.