Filtering by Category: Ingredients

How New Haven’s Salsa Queen Became the State’s First Black Female Brewer (via CT Magazine)

Features Ingredients Brewery CT Beer Beer

Connecticut Magazine

We love celebrating local CT entrepreneurs. Connecticut Magazine gives a shout out to this trailblazing woman who’s shaking up the primarily male dominated craft brewing industry. We also hear that Rhythm beer will be available at Chef Chris Scott’s highly anticipated Birdman Juke Joint in Bridgeport.

Craft beer needs more diversity. The realization hit New Haven’s Alisa Bowens-Mercado five years ago while she was at a beer festival. She didn’t mean diversity in terms of more women and minority ownership of breweries; not yet anyhow. Back then she was thinking about diversity of flavor.

At that festival, every beer she tried was either too hoppy or too sour for her taste. She felt the craft industry needed more approachable options for drinkers like her.

“I want to make a beer that, when I go to a beer festival, that I can drink,” she told her husband.

Four years later Rhythm Brewing Co. was born and Bowens-Mercado, owner of Alisa’s House of Salsa, a dance studio in New Haven, became Connecticut’s first female African-American brewer. This month, as she celebrates Rhythm Brewing’s one-year anniversary, the company’s flagship product, Rhythm Unfiltered Lager, is available at more than 200 locations across the state. Bowens-Mercado is also getting ready to start distributing it in the Bahamas.

Mystic Cheese Co. Opens in Groton, CT: Artisanal Cheese Shop, Wine, Beer & Classes

Ingredients Features Openings Groton Cheese Specialty Market

Elizabeth Georgian

In an unusual but convenient industrial park in Groton, just near the Groton Airport, Mystic Cheese Co. is opening a new location this month to serve homemade and artisanal cheeses to the after-work crowd and cheese connoisseurs alike. Upon stepping into the front doors at the new site of Mystic Cheese, visitors are welcomed into a cozy tasting room in which they can perch on barstool seating that offers glimpses into the impressively sized cheese maturation room.

The feeling that the owners, Brian Civitello and Jason Sobocinksi (former owner of the beloved Caseus Cheese), have tried to create with their events and cut to order cheese is relaxed, fun, and unpretentious. Mystic Cheese has definitely accomplished this with their communal tables, friendliness, and awesome narwhal logo. By doing this, their overall aim is to attract people to the world of artisanal cheeses by offering cheeses at multiple price points, cheese-centric food, and educational classes.

Newtown's Maple Craft Works With Breweries & Distilleries To Make Award Winning Maple Syrup

Ingredients Features Ingredients Local Artisan Local Farm Dessert

Connecticut Magazine

Connecticut Magazine features a great local vendor who skillfully combines maple syrup and local distilleries. 

When people try Maple Craft Foods’ bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup for the first time and taste the all-natural sweetness of the Vermont syrup layered with subtle smoke and caramel flavors imparted by aging in bourbon barrels, their reactions are often visceral, Dave Ackert says.

Watching new fans “ooh” and “ah” their way through this tasting is the best part of the job for Ackert, who owns the Newtown-based company along with his wife Eve, father Paul, and friend Bill Begany, of Begany Design.

Bourbon barrel maple is the company’s flagship product, and though it does not contain alcohol, it is the offspring of the burgeoning craft beer and distilling industries in Connecticut.

Rise Brewing Co: Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Made in CT

Ingredients Features Ingredients Coffee Brewery

Brett Levy

Years of drinking bland and commonplace cups of coffee began to take a toll on Connecticut natives and founders of RISE Brewing Co., Hudson Gaines-Ross, Grant Gyesky, Jarrett McGovern, and Justin Weinstein. In 2014, they decided to take matters in their own hands by hitting the drawing board in their New York City apartments. Bean after bean, one roast and cold-brewing method after another, they finally created a cold brew coffee, making them the founders of RISE Brewing Company. Traversing the concrete jungle with their product, they asked experienced mixologists if it was the real deal. One day, in a Brooklyn café, the espresso machine broke; RISE cold brew came to the rescue, and was a hit amongst the customers. The product became available for purchase in July of 2017.

Field Trip Premium Beef Jerky Opens 1st Retail Shop in Westport

Ingredients Features Ingredients Snacks Specialty Market Openings Westport

Stephanie Webster

On December 11th, premium jerky & snack brand Field Trip opened its first store at 153 Post Road East in Westport CT.  The 500-square-foot space will be the company’s first ever brick and mortar establishment.  You can find Field Trip jerky in 50,000 retails outlets nationwide, but this is, and will be their ONLY dedicated store.

The first 1,000 customers over the weekend of December 15th/16th will receive a free meat stick if they mention having read about us on Westport Moms, Dan Woog, CTBites, or via WestportNow!

"OOPS I Ate My CBD:" CBD Infused Gourmet Chocolate Bars

Features Ingredients Local Artisan Dessert Chocolate Specialty Market Homepage

Stephanie Webster

There is a lot of buzz going around regarding CBD, and also quite a few misconceptions. CBD, is one of the chemicals in cannabis, but unlike THC (also found in Marajuana), CBD is a non-psychoactive compound that is emerging as a very popular wellness ingredient. The plant extract, often consumed as an oil under the tongue, is now the featured ingredient in high-end products including body lotion, olive oil, cold-brew coffee, infused water, and even dog treats. Local start up, “Oops I Ate My CBD” is leveraging this emerging trend to create gourmet hemp infused chocolate bars, which come complete with 50mg of CBD per serving. The bars are made with 99.6% pure hemp derived CBD Isolate, and contains zero THC. Hence it is legal in all 50 states…and the chocolate is delicious. (Plus, I was VERY relaxed after my tasting)

Cross Culture Kombucha Opens Kombucha Taproom and Brewery in Danbury

Restaurant Ingredients Brewery Tea And Coffee Danbury Openings

Kristin L. Wolfe

Cross Culture Kombucha just opened its doors in Danbury. It’s the first Kombucha taproom and brewery in the state, and they’ve been welcomed with open arms and growlers ready to fill. The light, effervescent drink has been around for ages but has most recently seen the limelight as a non-alcoholic alternative; one that is both really delicious and packed with healthy goodness.

Friday Froth: Kent Pils, Two Roads Spills on Area 2, And A Hazy IPA That Kills

Features Ingredients CT Beer Beer Garden Beer Brewery

James Gribbon

This week in Friday Froth we're going to toss back a beer in the middle of a trend, a new creation in an old style, and some brewery news which leads us to an aged beer.

And now, as another James May say, the nyeewws:

I recently was among the first few dozen civilians to ever see the inside of Two Roads' new mixed fermentation secondary brewery, Area 2. First announced in 2016, this new on-site facility in Stratford will focus on sour, barrel aged, and wild ales - all the little organisms bursting with possibility, and voted most likely to make your wine or Bud Light drinking friends say "This is beer?!?"

The Westport Farmers' Market Opens May 17th w/ Great Vendor Lineup, Food Trucks + "Chopped At The Market"

Features Ingredients Farmers Market Westport

CTbites Team

As a proud sponsor for The Westport Farmers' Market, CTbites is pleased to announce, the 2018 summer season.

While it’s fair to say this long, cool spring has taken a toll on many of us, Westport Farmers’ Market shoppers and vendors have especially felt its bite. We’re happy to report the wait is over; the vision of supporting the best market in the area is in sight. In just a over a week, on Thursday, May 17th, the Westport Farmers’ Market will return for its 12th year 50 Imperial Avenue.

There will be new faces among other vendors, too, including Grateful Food Company offering plant-based fare, and Norm Bloom & Sons with local oysters. In addition to new faces – even those whose identity is still a secret – familiar favorites will return, including last winter’s newest guest vendor, Cross Culture Kombucha, who will be pouring booch on site, and farm favorites Sport Hill; Fort Hill; Riverbank, Two Guys from Woodbridge; Sankow Beaver Brook; Ox Hollow; Beltane; Woodland; Rose’s Berry; Aradia; and Muddy Feet Flower Farm.

Friday Froth: 12 Connecticut IPAs And A Sweep At The 2018 Blind Beer Awards

Features Ingredients Friday Froth Beer CT Beer Events

James Gribbon

Being a beer writer, as you'd expect, has its perks. For a few years one of these was being chosen to serve on a panel of expert judges at the Connecticut Blind Beer Awards, a competition between a dozen local beers which takes the popularity contest aspect out of the equation by serving each from unlabeled, color-coded taps. The event is held each year at the Blind Rhino in South Norwalk, and while brewery representatives are on hand in case their brewery wins one of the awards, they are sequestered away from public view in the bar's basement to bottle share, play beer pong, and perform impromptu interior decorating with some cans of spray paint they found, until the Experts Choice and People's Choice are handed out. I had no formal connection with the awards this year, attending instead as a civilian, and drank all twelve of the CT beers on tap. Here is how that went.

CT Guide To Raw Milk: Why Raw and Where To Buy in CT?

Features Ingredients Ingredients Farm to Table CT Farms Local Farm

Luke Shanahan

I submit that raw milk might just be the most real of all foods. 

Start with the fact that milk is the only food created specifically to feed something. (Honey doesn’t count, as the pollen honey is made from has its own agenda.) Synonymous with nourishment, raw milk is the first food most human beings—all mammals—ingest. And raw milk, for it to be free of any off flavors and to be safe to drink, requires painstaking care to produce. Every little step in the process matters.

The subtle and intricate flavors in raw milk, the very opposite of the one-note flavor of pasteurized milk or, worse, the waxy cardboard taste vacuum of skim, come from the undenatured biocomplexity in unpasteurized milk. When I read chemists-for-hire claiming, on behalf of big commercial dairy, that there isn't that much nutritional difference between pasteurized and raw, I choose to trust my palate. Well, my palate and the biochemists who say that the difference is real and considerable. 

Ivy’s Gourmet Offers Completely Unique Granola You'll Want To Eat All Day

Features Ingredients Ingredients Local Artisan Breakfast

Sarah Green

Move over, all you factory-produced, sugar blasted, oat-heavy granolas - there’s a new-chew in town. It’s just about that time of year when your pantry could use a purge so make some room for Sarah Tamm’s small-batch delights; time to stock up on IVY’S GOURMET granola.  With a predominance of fruits, seeds and nuts as the base for all her granola blends, Tamm uses dynamic spice combinations to brighten the palette and creates interesting flavor profiles - both sweet and savory. Sure, you can purchase Chocolate Almond or Cinnamon Raisin if the “norm” is what rolls your oats. But why not be daring and try something out of the ordinary? Curry Cashew, by chance? Strawberry Rosewater? Sarah Tamm has created bold and satisfying artisanal granola, sold in several sizes from snack to bulk.

Stew Leonard’s Chocolate Bunny Milk is BACK March 20th

Ingredients Features Specialty Market Holiday Ingredients

CTbites Team

Yup...It's back for Easter. A half-gallon glass jug of Stew’s Chocolate Bunny Milk will be available for $5.99 starting on March 20, 2018 at all six Stew Leonard’s locations.  Stew Leonard’s signature farm fresh milk is mixed with creamy milk chocolate to create a sweet, irresistible chocolate milk that tastes just like a classic chocolate Easter bunny.  Stew Leonard’s milk is delivered fresh to our stores from award-winning dairy farms in upstate NY and is free from artificial growth hormones (rBST) and antibiotics.  The milk will only be available for a limited time. 

Local Ingredients: The Araucana Egg, A Wild Blue Wonder

Features Ingredients Ingredients Local Farm Specialty Market

Luke Shanahan

Writer Luke Shanahan contemplates the virtues of a truly excellent fresh egg with Lloyd Allen of Double L Market. 

Consider the egg. 

Any serious cook knows its singular importance in the kitchen. Many cooks—serious and novice alike—remember the egg as the first thing they ever learned to cook. 

In the book The Next Course, rock-&-roller chef Marco Pierre White, who at 33 became the youngest cook ever to be awarded three Michelin stars, reveals his country side when he suggests that scrambled (gulls) eggs with celery salt served with mayonnaise—an emulsion of egg yolk, acid and oil—may be a worthy last meal on earth.  (Here's a handy list of local CT farms that produce fresh eggs.

Cheesemonger Subscription Box Launches From Fairfield & Greenwich Cheese Co.

Ingredients Features Cheese Delivery Service Home Delivery Gift Guide

Stephanie Webster

Fairfield & Greenwich Cheese Company have introduced a subscription cheese box service that curates small batch, artisan and traditional cheeses and delivers them, freshly cut, to the doorsteps of food lovers across the nation.

Cheesemonger Box will curate a selection of small batch and traditional American and European cheeses for monthly home delivery, launched this winter as the first cheese subscription service of its kind.

Founders Laura Downey and Chris Palumbo, co-founders and owners of Connecticut cheese shops Fairfield & Greenwich Cheese Company, are launching the service with the goal of “spreading the cheese love across the country” and empowering customers to “become the expert” on artisan cheese. 

CTBites On The Boat: Grace & Darkness Oyster Stout Release And Oyster Roast At Half Full Brewery, Jan. 21

Features Ingredients Beer CT Beer Brewery Seafood

James Gribbon

We'd left the dock in South Norwalk in utter darkness to harvest oysters in one of the oldest, most productive oyster fisheries in America. Jordan Giles of Half Full Brewery in Stamford shucked a few on the steps of the Grace's pilothouse and handed one to me. The Copp's Island oyster had been at the bottom of the Sound minutes ago.

The "Why" is tripartite: I've always loved oysters (and can apparently add them to skiing and air travel on the list of things I'll wake up at an evil hour for), I had never been on an oyster boat, and Half Full brewery will host their second ever Grace&Darkness oyster stout can release and oyster roast on Sunday, January 21 at noon. These oysters were to be the main attraction.

Stew Leonard's Christmas Cookie Milk Back For The Holidays

Ingredients Features Holiday Specialty Market Ingredients Kid Friendly Kids

Stephanie Webster

Stew’s Christmas Cookie Milk will be back in stock at at all Stew Leonard's stores in Connecticut this week.  This is the second consecutive year they’ve sold this special milk. 

Stew Leonard's Christmas Cookie Milk is sweet, creamy milk that has the same flavor as a sugar cookie that’s been dunked in milk.  It comes straight from award-winning dairy farms in upstate NY and is free from artificial growth hormones (rBST) and antibiotics.  This milk goes from the farm to each of our stores in as little as 24 hours. 

Stew Leonard's Christmas Cookie Milk is available only for a limited time and is sold in a ½ gallon glass container for $5.99.  

Brown Dog Fancy Organic Ketchups and Mustards: Killer Condiments! (sponsored post)

Features Ingredients Ingredients Specialty Market Local Artisan Homepage

CTbites Team

When Connecticut food adventurer Kyle Rothschild can’t find an ingredient he likes, he makes his own. That led him to his latest venture: Brown Dog Fancy, a line of organic ketchups and mustards that shake up traditional notions of what makes a great-tasting condiment and marinade

Timing is everything in a kitchen, and Brown Dog Fancy’s arrival to the local food scene couldn’t be better.  Cooks, and the people who eat their food, have demanded organic, high-quality, and ethically sourced poultry, meat, and fish for years. Yet, far less attention has been paid to the condiments that accompany them.

“We spend so much time buying responsible and sustainable main ingredients, but then we marinate or top them with condiments that are full of fillers and words I cannot begin to try and pronounce. I want to know what’s in my food, and I think other people do, too,” says Kyle, who began making condiments for weekly beach barbeques that he and his wife, Sarah, hosted for friends near their Stamford, CT, starter home.

Donut Crazy Launches the “Cruffin” Croissant-Muffin Hybrid

Ingredients Features Bakery Dessert Kid Friendly Breakfast Doughnuts New Haven Shelton Westport Bridgeport Homepage

Stephanie Webster

Donut Crazy, a local, family-owned eatery specializing in unique donut flavors (lovingly called Dailies & Crazies), announced a tasty new menu item called the “Cruffin.” The croissant-muffin crossover is the company’s way of celebrating the first sugar-filled year of its New Haven location near Yale University. The “Cruffin” will be available at all Donut Crazy locations for $4.25, starting on Friday November 3, weekends only and while supplies last. 

The “Cruffin” has quickly become the food world’s newest bakery obsession, much like the “Cronut” before it. The buttery, flaky pastry is shaped like a muffin and filled with different flavors. Donut Crazy plans to offer coconut, dulce de leche, chocolate mousse, and pumpkin. More exciting flavors to come!