Sauces and Soups Sure to Please

Jonathan Leal, Milo Whole World, deliciously savory products, made in Ohio. Their products include Barbecue Sauces (Their Cherry flavour is out of this world, and most loved by Peter on Chicken Thighs. Ketchup enhanced with Dill Pickle and Bourbon, and Famous Kream Mustard, are sold under the Brownwood Farms label, a business Milos acquired last year from Michigan and relocated to Ohio.  Milos is a frequent winner of SOFIS and other Awards – when you sample you’ll know why. 

Eric Ersher and his partner have spent the last 10 years perfecting a most humble product line, Soups and Broths. Their Trade Name, Zoup! Their objective, which they have certainly achieved , was to create Soups and Broths of such high quality that were good enough to occupy space on the Menus of their Customers, most of which are Restaurants.  Their Beef and Chicken Broth can be heated just for drinking.  Chicken Pot Pie and Portobello Bisque are examples of truly luxurious soups.


Food Tradition and Inspiration

Ed Mitchell and his extended family involvement  with Southern BBQ goes all the way back to the Slavery Era in the small town of Wilson NC.  Read their fascinating story told by Ryan Mitchell and his father Ed in their just published Ed Mitchell's Barbecue: Celebrating the Eastern North Carolina Whole Hog Barbecue of my African American Ancestors. The family will begin a new era when they open their first real restaurant, planned for next year.  In the meantime you’ll be enchanted by the story of the family and their cast of characters.  You can also get their sauces to use at home.  Amy Witzigreuter  has a very different story.  Seeking a way to deal with the dietary needs of her son she created a unique Granola product line at her home in Youngstown OH.  Peter does not have the need for Witzi Raw Granola in his own diet.  He just loves the flavor and the crunch at Breakfast time.  Be sure to try Lemon Raspberry. They make Trail-mixes too!

Krill for Humans; A Fine Fish Purveyor For Home Delivery

OTM just loves Seafood, so we could not resist when we heard about the availability  of Krill as a consumer product – we thought Krill was the favorite food of Whales.  So we couldn’t wait to find out the story of Krill as People Food.  We connected with Alfred Nasti, Vice Chairman of Krill Arctic Foods, a business founded to exploit this fascinating and highly nutritious taste treat.  The sample Alfred sent to us was in the small tins reminiscent of the packaging of Seafoods from Spain, Portugal etc.  Don’t be surprised if you fall in love with Krill!  During COVID We had trouble satisfying our Seafood Lust, and we were thrilled to connect with a Boston-based Seafood supplier who was willing to provide OTM with a periodic shipment of top quality and wide variety.  We continue to enjoy Deep Frozen and Superbly Packaged shipments every  few weeks. Such as Octopus, Calamari, Farmed Salmon from Scotland and New Zealand, beautiful Cod, Hake, Halibut from Norway – eat your heart out!!

Allergy-Free Cooking, No-Brainer Spicing

Kayla Cappiello, Easy Allergy-Free Cooking, navigates lactose intolerance, celiac disease, a nut allergy and more, with Simple and Safe Everyday Recipes for Everyone. Dr. Mike Hernandez, award-winning Casa M Spice, offers an amazing array of powdered spices to go with any given protein--Beef, Hog, Fish (Hooked), Lamb (Good Shepherd), Poultry (Pecking Order).

Delicious Convenience

Lisa Shkolnik and Ann Daw, Brooklyn-Based Crepini; Kat Kavner, Heyday Canning Company, elevated, globally-inspired sauced canned beans.

The Best Portuguese Market in the USA and Another Exceptional Cocktail Book by Andre Darlington

Michael Benevides, Portugalia Marketplace, Fall River, MA; Andre Darlington, The Unofficial Big Lebowski Cocktail Book, dedicated to the Dude and celebrating the Cult Classic Film’s Silver anniversary. 

Greek EVOO, Italy-Inspired Pottery:

Diamantis Pierrakos and his brother expand the production of Greek Native Olives from their family-owned farm in the South Peloponnese region, producing fruit with high phenolic properties, harvested early to yield unique characteristics. Their US Manassas VA-based operations provide storage for the EVOO produced at the Greek groves. Production also includes infused oils and vinegars. Laconiko, the company, has received more international Awards that any other Greek EVOO. 

Susan Gravely discovered the elegant pottery produced in the Amalfi Coast region of Southern Italy more than 40 years ago and decided to start a business. Vietri is an extremely successful USA importer of Italy-created and executed- designs. Susan describes her venture in a beautifully illustrated book, Italy On A Plate, accompanying the narrative with memories, recipes and menus that showcase Italian style, artistic legacy and authentic traditions.

Two Engaging New Cookbooks

Lizzie Stark,  Egg: A Dozen Ovatures; Heather Mubarak, Stuffed: The Sandwich Cookie Book 

OTM Quarterly Conversation with Ori Zohar

Every calendar quarter OTM Speaks with Ori Zohar, Founder and Partner of Burlap and Barrel, about the latest in single origin Spices. And this weeks episode continues this tradition. Each seasonal shipment includes 4 full-sized jars of spices, including pre-releases of brand-new spices and new harvests of our favorite spices, as well as a delicious collaboration food product, plus recipes and spice stories (and a free-shipping code for your next order)

For this episode, we focus our conversation with Ori about Heirloom Sugars such as Panela Cane Sugar from the Mountains of Colombia and Wood Fired Maple Sugar from the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.  Ori told us that  the sugar adventure took more than two years, and the results are available through the Spice Club , and they will be sure to  enliven your morning Tea or Coffee.  We can’t wait for what B&B will have next time.

Thngs You May Not Know About Chocolate

Monica Rogan, Goodnow Farms, much-awarded Goodnow Chocolates and Fine Chocolate Industry Association Board Member, introduces the new FCIA Fine Chocolate Glossary—a work in progress; Alak Vasha, Co-Founder, with husband Kushal Choksi, of Elements Truffles--makers of herb- and spice- infused Chocolates, aligned with the Ancient Science of Ayurveda, as well as Drinking Chocolate--all free of dairy and refined Sugar.

How Sweet They Are: Chukar Cherries And African Bronze

Pam Montgomery, Chukar Cherries, a company named for birds native to the Yakima Valley and other parts of the inland Valleys of Washington State, where this delicious fruit flourishes. An innovative Team specializes in glorious combinations of Cherries, Nuts and Chocolate; Paul Whitney, African Bronze, a business using the local wild honey culture to create profits supporting local communities. The product line includes raw honey with unique therapeutic value as well as honey infused with herbs and spices of exceptional flavor.

OTM Explores New, Unique Snacks and Deep-Flavored Drinks

Looking for something new in the world of nibblies?  Ann has become an instant Fan of Popadelics, Snacks that are a True Surprise, a Genuine Taste Sensation.  Who would have thought to make them out of Mushrooms?  “Fungal Snacks” made from Mushroom Chips are just the ticket, ask Ann who loves this powerhouse  line of Crunchy Shiitake Chips – try these flavors; Truffle Parm, Twisted Thai and Rad Rosemary.

And the Deep Drinks are Colorful Beverages reminiscent of lemonade styles enjoyed in many of the countries of the Middle East.  You can count on both Startling Colors, as well as Fabulous Thirst Quenching Flavor.  These Drinks definitely live up to their Brand Name Deep Love/Deep Water.  The Founder, DJ Rassech, actively supports many Charitable Causes.  OTM enjoyed his story of how Deep has grown from humble beginnings.  


Cheese, Historic and Modern, European and American

Jesse Cover discusses Le Gruyere AOP, from Switzerland, often considered “World’s Best Cheese,” prizewinner of numerous international competitions, reflecting more than 10 centuries of artisanal production. Pat Ford presents BeehHive Cheeses, products of a Pioneering Family Team, among the first to rub unique ingredients on the rinds of Creamy Base Cheddars made in the mountains of the State of Utah. Pat Ford presents BeeHive Cheeses, products of a Pioneering Family Team, among the first to rub unique ingredients on the rinds of Creamy Base Cheddars made in the mountains of the State of Utah. Try Barely Buzzed, Queen Bee Porcini, Hatch Chile and Pour Me a Slice infused with Bourbon.  What next?

Two Brilliant New Cookbooks

Skye McAlpine, London and Venice, A Table Full of Love; Recipes to Comfort, Seduce, Celebrate & Everything Else in Between; Christine Flynn, Good Earth Winery and Farm, Niagara Canada, A Generous Meal; Modern Recipes for Dinner.

OTM Discusses Amazing Fruit Purees and Chocolates for Diabetics

Perfect Purees are both the Name and Flavors of Outstanding Fruit and other concoctions for Restaurants and Bars from this like-named California enterprise.  Try them in your favorite Cocktail, maybe your very own formula. Perfect purees from California (Napa Valley) enable show-stopping fruit flavors.  The newest in their Zest Collection is Lime. 

All the way for Vancouver Canada come Very special Chocolates for diabetics, without sugar (they use stevia, instead) beautifully designed and hard to resist.  Ross Chocolates available widely in the USA and other countries.  Spokesman Phil Hemmings tells the Diabetic story of how The Founder Owner made his dream a reality.  OTM’s favorites are those draped in Dark, and named for Impressionist painters.


2023 Produce Trends

Robert Schueller of Melissas, US largest (and most innovative) Produce Supplier, based in Southern California, makes his Annual Visit with OTM, talking Specialty Produce trends and newest Products for 2023.

Among the items discussed are baby potatoes, always a favorite, from Dutch Yellow to Baby Red and Gemstone, these tiny Jewels are actually grown in Idaho, and can go straight to the plate after gentle cooking. Chayote Squash and Chinese Eggplant bake beautifully.  In the berry department, Pine Berries once only grown in Britain are now being grown Stateside.  Japanese Strawberries are great Hostess gifts in their native land, but at $5 apiece, must be considered a special treat.  Dragon Fruit now comes in more colors, both the Skin and Flesh.  Pink Pineapples are delicious as well as  dramatic in appearance, and for the pocket book.  Melissas takes advantage of opposite hemispheres with Cherries from Tasmania, way down under.  And Cotton Candy grapes  make for a sweet addition to the fresh fruit bowl which Ann often makes for Peter’s Breakfast.  Be sure to check  Melissa’s for frequent additions to what they offer –

Jay Buchsbaum, Royal Wine Corporation, discusses Kosher Wine

The World’s largest Kosher Wine business, the Royal Wine Corp, took root in Eastern Europe, grew and eventually settled in Bayonne NJ. It now manages a vast portfolio of vineyards and also sources wines from grapes grown by others. According to spokesperson, Jay Buchsbaum, all Royal products follow Kosher principals, but many wine lovers favor Royal’s fine wines for their quality and variety, not because of the Kosher certification. Stars  from Royal’s portfolio include Chardonnays, Cabs, Moscato and Reserve bottlings from Lake County CA, one of the most recent AVAs. Look for Royal wines on the lists of Top Restaurants and at your local wine merchant.

Remarkably Delicious Specialty Foods

Lisa King, Brownie Points—Brownies of every sort, from the Original Basic Chocolate & Blondies to Fudge, Truffles, Pavlova, Bourbon-infused & more, all gorgeously packaged and ribbon-wrapped; Tom Bannister, Tom’s Perfect 10 Granola, a top take on cereal or snack.

Say Cheese Please!

Jeanine Egan, The Cheese School of San Francisco, uniquely the only school in the US devoted exclusively to all things cheese, announces: a new collaboration with Daily Driver; a relocation to a greatly expanded space in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood; and hugely expanding programs. The only institution of its kind in the USA, The School promises to be a one stop for Cheese enthusiasts and Professionals alike. Dennis Kaser, Le Gruyere DOP, explains what makes Gruyere so very special and why it has won recognition as World’s Best Cheese at numerous international Competitions.  

Drink to Me Only:.Meet two Notable Beverage Companies

Kate Kissell, Steeped Coffee; Kevin Sherman, Tractor Beverage: Steeped Coffee uses a proprietary process to create the Coffee Equivalent of a Tea Bag, combining that process with special roasts, to make a very fine cup indeed; Tractor Beverage’s mission is to displace ‘Big Soda,’ with a broad range of flavors—all Certified Organic, Pesticide- Free, Non-GMO--and Delicious! 


Edible Economics

Professor Ha-Joon Chang, a prolific author of books well known for their humor as well as their insights into the history of Economics, Food and related topics, discusses Edible Economics (EE), his latest contribution to the field. His distinguished Teaching and Research career began in his native South Korea, followed by teaching positions at Cambridge University and, most recently, at the London University School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).


Focus on Korean Heritage: Brilliant Cookbook, Classy Rice

Sisters Leah Su Quirpga and Cammie Kim Lin, (Serious) New Cook: Recipes, Tips, Techniques; Ryan Kim, Kim’C’s Market, upscale Korean ingredients, including freshly-milled rice.

Two Craft Distilleries Redefining How they Produce America’s Traditional Bourbon and Rye

Pursuit Spirits took a big risk to Develop  a Bourbon, that the World hadn’t seen yet, Winning  Double and Single Gold Awards in the 2022 John Barleycorn Competition.   Their Pursuit United is a blend of 3 different Mashbills from Bardstown KY, Finger Lakes NY and undisclosed TN.  Even more differently Pursuit has raised capital ($2.5m worth) specifically for the purpose of  providing input to their own Blended production.   King’s County Distilleries marches to the proverbial Different Drummer. The first Distiller 0f the modern era in Brooklyn, Kings produces a Plethora of Bourbon and Rye blends including unusual ones containing Peat and Chocolate, and several sold at Cask strength. OTM has been enjoying this great variety of America’s  favorite tipple, and we’re sure you will too.

Two Fascinating New Books packed with Ideas sure to enhance your Dining Pleasure

Andy Murray grew up in a large and busy family, which cooked and ate together for decades.  His just published Eat, Drink and Be Murray chronicles these Culinary Adventures, which are captured in his  newly published biography  Eat, Drink and be Murray. No relation to Tennis Andy and Movie Star Bill, this Andy enchants with stories of his life in the Kitchen in cities around the USA.  His Culinary adventures will have you thirsty for more of the same, and will send you rushing to your favorite food emporium to emulate Chef Andy in your own kitchen.  And you’ll  feast on long forgotten treats. Heloise Brion’s Franco American Roots combine to foster a convivial atmosphere with recipes to match, and memorable ideas to enhance table settings for every occasion.  Find the excitement in Miss Maggie’s Kitchen.

From The OTM Archives: A Dedication to Charlie Trotter

This week’s program is dedicated to On the Menu’s interview with Charlie back in
the early years of our Podcast. and a recently released Documentary, now
available,’The Rise and Fall of Charlie Trotter’. Here’s where to find the film.,
The pandemic may have delayed plans for the theatrical release of a
documentary about legendary Chicago chef Charlie Trotter, but soon the general
public will finally get to see the film. Critics have already screened Love,
Charlie: The Rise and Fall of Chef Charlie Trotter with the Sun-Times critic Richard
Roeper gushing, giving the movie 3  1 ⁄ 2  stars. The movie, written and directed by
Rebecca Halpern, was lauded as it made its way through the festival circuit last
year. The film shows Trotter’s ascension to an internationally known chef and as a
kitchen leader whose anger vexed his staff. Trotter’s Lincoln Park restaurant was a
culinary destination from 1987 to 2012. The chef died in 2013. Anthony Bourdain
and Julia Child make appearances in the film. Several high-profile Chicago chefs
including Grant Achatz (Alinea), the late Homaro Cantu (Moto), Giuseppe Tentori
(GT Fish & Oyster), and Graham Elliot worked in Trotter’s kitchen.
Our Interview makes up today’s OTM Episode. Sadly we did not have the
opportunity to record the promised sequel.