Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Wednesday, July 24

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« Friday Foodporn: Orange Garden (Re)visiting Spiaggia »

Event Mon Apr 29 2013

Foodie's Delight: The Pastoral Artisanal Producer Fest

Heritage Pig2.jpeg

Pastoral, the local cathedral of fine wine and cheese, does a huge public service to the City of Chicago by finding the best small, artisanal producers all over the country and making their products available to eager foodies in a well-curated, one stop shop for all things delicious. Last Saturday, Pastoral did us one better by bringing many of their featured cheese, wine, bread, beer, confections, and charcuterie makers to Chicago for a one day tasting extravaganza and love-fest at the French Market. For cheese followers and amateur gourmands, it was a chance to meet favorite culinary superstars and to find a few new ones.

A few highlights from the event:

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One of many goat cheeses featured at the festival, from Prairie Fruits Farms in Champaign, IL.

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The Marcoot Sisters of Marcoot Jersey Creamery sampling their Farmhouse Gouda.

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Exotic truffles from Katherine Anne Confections in Logan Square pack a punch!

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Smoking Goose Meatery showing off their stagberry salame, duck sausage, and the blue ribbon for Best Booth Display.

Heritage Pig3.jpg The demo event "Butchering For Better Barbeque" drew a large crowd. Here, Rob Levitt from Butcher and Larder shows how to break down a Heritage pig.

The highlight of the event for me was discovering Zingerman's cream cheese. After hearing owner Ari Weinzweig lament that Philadelphia had all but defined what cream cheese could be to most Americans, I knew I had to taste the real deal. Zingerman's version is made by hand with local milk and cream, has no added stabilizers, and is allowed to drain slowly and naturally. The result is something closer to a thick creme fraiche-- tangy and rich, but mild enough to eat with a spoon (and who can say that about the foil-wrapped blocks you get at the supermarket?). I took a tub home and used it like I would ricotta, on crostini with radishes, sea salt, mint, and olive oil. Delish!

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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