Spring Cleaning

I am going to be evicted from my apartment in two months! The owner of my building decided that because my unit is so nice that he is going to hand it over to the new building managers and gave me the obligatory 60 days notice to get out. Although this is quite devastating, I have decided to take this opportunity to eat all of the strange and unusual shelf stable products that have been accumulating in my pantry for the past 2 years. Some are items bought around San Francisco, others I brought back from several international culinary excursions to Greece, France and Spain. My favorite part of travel is having the chance to visit the regular supermarkets and buy up packaged goods that normally would sell as a high-end imports in the bay area. I have 56 days left to finish off all of the foreign imported goods, most of which I will probably never find again!

Dinner tonight was whole wheat pasta combined with a jar of Tomasso’s marinara, made exclusively for Tomasso’s Pizzeria in North Beach, San Francisco. I purchased this jar on a culinary tour of the city last July. The sauce was enriched with a can of Palirria Eggplant, bought at my local Greek supermarket (which also sells 4 different kinds of brined feta cheeses!)From the same market I have a bag of Greek Dakos and directly from Greece, a box of Moussaka mix.More recently, from the World of Flavors CIA-Napa Culinary conference I acquired a box of Chios Gum Mastic, the natural resin that is excreted from the trunk and branches of the schinos tree. As I dug through the shelves I found a 1 lb jar of 100% pure organic maple sugar from Coombs family farm that I picked up at the very end of the 2008 IFT show in New Orleans.  For dessert I have a box of Promolac Crema Catalana that either came from Spain or from the international section of Draegers Supermarket (not sure which) and some Marks & Spencer Christmas pudding from 2007.I still need to use up my ultra expensive truffle oil from Maison de la Truffe and a can of Grand Jury brand “Cassoulet Toulousain au Confit de Carnard”.

To pair with all of these wonderful foreign packaged goods I have some interesting wines to choose from. There is a bottle of Hungarian Pinot Noir, some Italian Bianca Lancia and when everything is gone, I can celebrate with a bottle of Charles Du Roy Champagne, picked up in Rheims last April.

About Rachel Zemser