TasteCamp At Hudson Valley: Cider

    "In early eighteenth-century New England, the most popular alcoholic drink, in terms of volume, was locally produced cider. Throughout much of this period, cider served as a currency. It was used to pay salaries and product prices could be quoted in barrels of cider." --Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol by Iain Gately When Europeans settled in America, apples were one of t ...

    By Richard Auffrey/ The Passionate Foodie

    Thursday Sips & Nibbles

    I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I highlight some interesting wine and food items that are upcoming. ********************************************************** 1) The Met Back Bay is once again launching its “Boston Hot Chocolate Experience” featuring Taza Chocolate on Friday, November 28.

    By Richard Auffrey/ The Passionate Foodie

    TasteCamp At Hudson Valley: Some History

    And another TasteCamp has ended. In New York, I've previously explored Long Island, the Finger Lakes & the Niagara Escarpment, and now can add the Hudson River region to my travels. The Hudson River Region AVA was formed in 1982, and you can roughly divide it into 3 areas, the Lower Hudson Valley, Mid-Hudson Valley, and the Upper Hudson Valley.

    1 readers - By Richard Auffrey/ The Passionate Foodie

    Farm Stand in Hudson Valley: Big Rock Farms

    Prior to our first winery visit of TasteCamp,we arrived about two hours early to the area so engaged in a little exploration. In Stanfordville, we stopped at Big Rock Farms, a roadside farm stand, to see what we might find, and it turned out to be a worthy destination. There was an outside area full of local fruits and vegetables, and a small building where you could find mor ...

    1 readers - By Richard Auffrey/ The Passionate Foodie

    Alpamayo: Peru in the Berkshires

    While driving home from the Hudson Valley, we were on the Mass Pike in the Berkshires and decided to stop and grab lunch somewhere. I didn't have a specific destination in mind, and didn't know the area well. From a quick check on the map on my iPhone, it seemed there were a number of restaurants in Lee, so we pulled off the Pike and drove down Route 20 into Lee.

    By Richard Auffrey/ The Passionate Foodie

    Rant: TasteCamp Multiplicity

    TasteCamp 2014, the sixth annual event, is now over and it is time to reflect on my wine-tasting weekend in the Hudson River Valley region of New York. I've also been contemplating the event in general, looking back at the prior TasteCamp events. I've attended five of the six TasteCamps, missing one only because I was attending the Kentucky Derby. I think that's a valid excuse.

    2 readers - By Richard Auffrey/ The Passionate Foodie

    Sake News

    Kanpai! Here is another short list of some of the interesting Sake articles that have been published lately. It is great to see more and more coverage for Sake, though I recommend that anyone seeking to publish a Sake article check it at least a few times for accuracy. A few basic errors continue showing up in introductory Sake articles, and those errors would be easy to elim ...

    2 readers - By Richard Auffrey/ The Passionate Foodie

    José Maria da Fonseca: Portuguese Pride

    Extending back 180 years, to its founding in 1834, José Maria da Fonseca is a family-owned Portuguese winery with one foot firmly planted in its rich history and traditions, and the other foot stepping forward into the future. My own experience with their wines extends back as well. About eight to nine years ago, in the wine blog I wrote before I began The Passionate Foodie, ...

    2 readers - By Richard Auffrey/ The Passionate Foodie

    Kavalan: Taiwan Whiskey

    During the last approximately hundred years, Japanese whiskey has taken the world by storm, winning plenty of international awards and thrilling the palates of whiskey lovers everywhere. It is not the only Asian country which is involved in whiskey, and you will likely soon hear more and more about an island in Asia which is producing world quality whiskey. The island of Taiwan.

    2 readers - By Richard Auffrey/ The Passionate Foodie

    Red Heat Tavern: The Food & Drinks (Part 2)

    How does food taste cooked in the Josper Charcoal Broiler Oven? Red Heat Tavern, located in Wilmington, opened in March 2014 and is owned and operated by the Burtons Grill restaurant group. It is easily accessed from Route 93, or you can get there via Route 129. The restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner, and on both times when I visited, the restaurant was very busy, a ...

    3 readers - By Richard Auffrey/ The Passionate Foodie

    Thursday Sips & Nibbles

    I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I highlight some interesting wine and food items that are upcoming. ********************************************************** 1) On Saturday, November 1, the Olé Restaurant Group is celebrating the Day of the Dead holiday with traditional fare and customs.

    3 readers - By Richard Auffrey/ The Passionate Foodie

    Red Heat Tavern: Josper Charcoal Broiler Oven (Part 1)

    It is the only one of its kind in Massachusetts, and one of only three in New England. It is an intriguing piece of equipment, and it perked my interest enough to learn much more, delving deeper into its origins and capabilities. All this excitement over an oven, An oven? This fascinating oven is the Josper Charcoal Broiler Oven and is part of the kitchen at the Red Heat Tave ...

    4 readers - By Richard Auffrey/ The Passionate Foodie

    Americans, Don't Ignore Farmed Seaweed

    For most Americans, their sole familiarity with eating seaweed is when they dine at Japanese restaurants, from seaweed salads to sushi. Most non-Asian restaurants rarely use seaweed as an ingredient and it is also rare for Americans to purchase seaweed for home cooking. Why is that the case? Why isn't seaweed for popular, especially with current efforts to get people to eat m ...

    3 readers - By Richard Auffrey/ The Passionate Foodie

    Rant: Vodka's Dying, Long Live Whiskey!

    Three years ago, vodka reigned supreme and its future seemed bright. How matters have apparently changed in a short time. From 2010 to 2011, the vodka category grew by volume about 6%, selling about 65.8 million cases and making it the most consumed spirit in the U.S. During that same time period, the growth of some other spirits included: rum rose 1.3% (25.8 million cases), tequila rose 3.

    5 readers - By Richard Auffrey/ The Passionate Foodie

    Gran Reserva Rioja: The Beauty of Aged Spanish Wine

    My love of Spanish wine is well known, from Basque Txavoli to Sherry, from Albarino to Mencia. They make excellent wine at all price points, and have some intriguing indigenous grapes. The country is rich in wine history, and there is much diversity to be found. I've traveled to Spain three times, including to the Rioja region, and would return again in a heart beat.

    6 readers - By Richard Auffrey/ The Passionate Foodie

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