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Entries in Specialty Market (121)


Colchester’s Cato Corner Farm Expanding its Artisanal Cheese-making Operation via CT Magazine

Colchester cheesemaker Mark Gillman has a lot of irons in the fire. For one, he and his business partner (and mother) Elizabeth MacAlister were recently awarded two significant grants: one from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the other from the state Department of Agriculture. The combination of these awards will fund important functional changes at Cato Corner Farm, their 75-acre, 45-cow cheesemaking operation.

The grants will effectively double the amount of cheese-aging and production space at the farm, support the construction of a cooler specifically designed for blue cheese — which requires storage temperatures about 10 degrees lower than other cheeses to develop its ideal creamy texture without an ammonia flavor — and for a new and improved retail shop.

Another new addition to the farm will be a pasteurizer that will allow milk acquisition from other local farms in order to develop a new line of cheeses.

Read the complete article at


Winfield Street Italian Deli in Norwalk (sponsored)

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw CTbites’ review of my deli and wanted to express my thanks to them and give their readers an inside view of the deli and my desire to purchase it and transform it into my vision.

In 2015, after years of working late nights at high end spots such as Lambs Club, J House, Barcelona Wine Bar and my own Bistro Seven, I decided I wanted a break from the tiring and often showy restaurant scene. I wanted to serve good food and have a real connection with my patrons, staff, vendors and neighbors, without all the drama in a fine dining restaurant. I wanted something simple where I could be really myself with customers and staff. I heard of Winfield Deli and how a great chef, Pietro Scotti, served amazing sandwiches for over 20 years in this tucked-in spot, and had a blast at it. I wanted that too. I was no fan of delis because they were often dirty with an over-crowded menu, but I thought I could make my own version of a deli and elevate the deli concept to something closer to the Salumerias of Italy. Without pretension, I took over the little spot and gave a small face lift, keeping historic signs and equipment intact.

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The Westport Winter Farmers’ Market Opens Nov. 12th At Gilbertie’s

Folks in Fairfield County have no need to put away their farmers’ market bags or head to the grocery store just yet. For while the temperatures might be dipping and leaves dropping, farm-fresh food is still in abundance. The Westport Winter Farmers’ Market will return for its 6th season to Gilbertie’s greenhouses at 7 Sylvan Lane beginning Saturday, November 12th and continuing through March 11th from 10 to 2. 

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Garelick & Herbs Opens in Southport: Prepared Food, Eat In, Smoothies, Noodle Bar & More! (sponsored)

Garelick & Herbs Southport have opened the doors at 3611 Post RoadAfter 23 years of happy success in the original flagship store in Westport, G&H opened their entirely unique space a few steps up the Post Road at the Westport/Southport border.

Owners, Jason and Paola, have always had the philosophy that good food creates a good mood, but now Garelick & Herbs is adding good space – Vaulted ceilings, and a light filled atrium designed to look like a barn made of glass, set the tone that the G&H Southport location will be THE destination for daily gourmet good food. The modern-industrial eclectic vibe lends itself to Fairfield County aesthetics.

It is almost 10,000 square feet on 2 levels, more than double the size of their former flagship store. The marketplace is accented with an exciting new juice and smoothie bar, an antipasto bars to graze in or take out and expanded breakfast and lunch options. Our noodle bar adds a wonderful spice and flavor. The in-house bakery will be downstairs at this location, so be prepared for the wonderful aroma of signature items like ruggalach and soft black & white cookies. “We are excited to have the bakery right under our noses”, said Paola Garelick.

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10 Questions with Fjord Fish Market's Jim Thistle 

Oh so many fish in da sea! And that’s only the beginning....what kind of fish do you want to prepare? Do you know how to prepare it? Oh, yeah, and where should you go to get this fish, short of heading out into open waters yourself? And wait, and here’s the $100,000 question: is the fish you are buying everything it says it is? Good grief. It’s almost easier dating and looking for *those* fish in the sea. Well, fear not, CTBites sat down recently with one of the Big Fish out there, Jim Thistle of Fjord Fish Market, and he helped guide us through seemingly murky waters...

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5 Things You Should Know About Bees & Honey via Red Bee's Marina Marchese

With cooler weather around the corner and Rosh Hashanah just past, it’s time to reach for your honey pot. If your summer was full of honey-themed cocktails and BBQ’s, it’s quite possibly still on the kitchen counter but if you enjoy honey “only in my tea when I’m not feeling well” it might be in the darkest corner of your cupboard most likely crystallized. No, it is not spoiled and you don’t have to throw it out. Right now, honey is having a moment as the next artisanal food superstar. Partly because bees are disappearing – you’ve heard about colony collapse sparking a beekeeping craze and partly because honey is believed by many to relieve symptoms of colds and seasonally allergies.

Honey is the only food made by an insect that humans consume and although it was found in the tombs of the Pharaohs, honey can last forever if stored properly – in a cool, dry place, yet it will loose its delicate flavors and health benefits over time. Most people think that honey is honey is honey but it’s not. I’m going to help demystify the flavorful world of honey so that you can be an informed honey connoisseur and navigate your way around the delicious and diverse world of natures oldest and only raw sweetener. 


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Double L Market: Westport's First Farm Stand Turns 30

Lloyd Allen’s Double L Market in Westport is celebrating its 20th year. The market, now in its third location near Hillspoint Road, is the “original” farmstand. Described as “eclectic” it has weathered every storm and outlasted the competition thanks to a very dedicated group of followers. “When you’ve done this for as long as I have you get to know a lot of people and what they want. We want to be able to offer the best!” Allen told me.

“We were a farmstand and farmers market long before anyone else - before it became a thing. We were wild, and on the side of the road, in the open air and having lots of fun doing it.” Although Allen and his staff are no longer on the side of the road, and are now in an enclosed air-conditioned corner store, a little bit of that wildness still remains. “We are still having a great time,” he added. “You meet people who are passionate on both sides of the market - the growers are passionate about producing the best and our consumers are passionate to find and eat the best.”

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Citarella Greenwich - Fresh from the Dock to your Table

“I’ll meet you at the front gate at 5am.”

This email, which I received from Joe Gurrera, the owner of Citarella, required setting the alarm for 3:30am, grabbing two cups of coffee and driving the hour to the Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx. Visiting the new Fulton Fish Market was something I have always wanted to do, mingle with the best purveyors of the freshest and best selection of fish, just hours before it arrives at stores and restaurants in preparation for the day’s fare.

The history of Citarella dates to 1912, when a small fish shop opened in Manhattan. Over seventy years later, in 1983, Joe Gurrera purchased the shop and Citarella was born. Joe’s passion for fish started when he was a small boy venturing, in the dead of the night, to the original Fulton Fish Market. It was during these nightly excursions that he educated himself on the various fish and, more importantly, how to choose the best of the best.

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The Uber-Guide to Connecticut’s Asian Markets

“From wonder into wonder existence opens,” said Laozi, the founder of Tao Buddhism.

He might have been speaking of the joys of the table, so central to Asian culture for millennia---and to Connecticut foodies today. 

Almost 160,000 people of Asian descent call Connecticut home, and a considerable number of grocery stores in the state support the diverse cooking traditions of China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. True to both their Asian roots and the universal principle of making the best of fresh ingredients, quite often the most modest such store will have a produce section and a fish section---in one case, at least, featuring live fish.

Your guide to the best East and Southeast Asian markets of Connecticut appears below.

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DiFiore Ravioli Shop: Three Generations of Italian Cooking, In Hartford & Rocky Hill

Most people look forward to taking it easy and traveling in their 60s. But at age 62, Andy and Louise DiFiore had a different retirement plan in mind. They opened DiFiore Ravioli Shop on Franklin Avenue, in Hartford’s Little Italy back in 1982.

Their son Don explains, “My parents were always the home gourmet types. Back in those days, they weren’t called foodies, but they had a lifelong love of food. My dad had been an executive in the office machine world almost his whole life in sales and marketing. And he was probably looking at this more as being a retirement thing for income. Just like a little boutique store. But they stayed with it. My dad would be in the store until he was in his late 80s. And my mom stayed in the store till she was 90. She’s 95 now.”

Then, about five years ago, Don’s father was in a nursing home and his mother was getting too old to run the store any longer. They were going to close it. Then Don’s eldest sister came back home from Chicago to help. “She threw the option at me—do you want to do something with it? Geez, I don’t know.”

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