Pasta, Pasta, Pasta
Yes, Pastaworks makes its own fresh pastas, but sometimes recipes call for dried pasta and we are pleased to carry Italy's best.
What shape are you?
Fusili, Pennine, Orecchiette del Prete, Maccheroni al Torchio, Trofie, Penne Rigate, Orzo, Carareccia, Maccaroncello, Lumachine, Trenne, Cannolicchi, Gnocchette, Pasta al Ceppo, Chitarra, Spaghetti and...
Years ago, when we first met Federico Giuntini from the wonderful Chianti Rufina estate Selvapiana, we commented that he used Selvapiana’s luscious olive oil like many americans used catsup: he poured it over everything he ate. We were re- minded of this when we read an issue of the Ecologist: “Olive oil has joined the ranks of tomato ketchup, mayonnaise and marmalade to become a national staple [even in the UK]. Demand has soared. Between 2000 and 2005, UK sales increased by 39 per cent...[and] 2006 became the first year in which the amount of money spent on olive oil exceeded that spent on vegetable, sunflower and all other types of cooking oils.”
This is all good, no? No. Yes, there are many documented positive health related aspects as a result of consuming olive oil, but increased demand for olive oil has also led to changes in how olive trees are cultivated and how olive oil is produced. Growing olives on an industrial scale, especially in parts of Spain (where Jaen and Cordoba provinces produce 40% of total world production), brings with it envi- ronmental hazards with long term effects.
According to the Ecologist article, soil erosion and desertification, chemical pollu- tion, water shortages and the loss of biodiversity have all adversely affected the olive growing regions of the European Union. Intensive tilling, inappropriate weed control and soil management programs have led to increasing run off pollution in the Mediterranean. Already depleted ground water supplies are further taxed by the expansion of irrigation. Mono-crop agriculture (in this case the expansion of olives and the consequent reduction of cereals, mixed cultivation and woodlands) results in the reduction in biodiversity and the total numbers of flora and fauna.
So, what’s a person to do? Is this just another polemic without solutions? Are we in the pay of the margarine conglomerate? Is ketchup the new olive oil? No, no and no! For the best quality, look for organic and artisan produced oils. Extra-virgin and cold pressed are the key words, but knowing where the oil comes from and who actually produces it are just as important as knowing where the rest of your food comes from (and who produces it). Labels can be confusing (sometimes on purpose), so feel free to ask the staff if you have any questions. And usually, we have an array of oils, with different flavors and price points, open to taste. From Spain, look for, Castillo de Canena, Olivar de la Luna, Unio and L’Estornell. From Italy, we like Trevi, Gianfranco Becchina, Capezzana and Pianogrillo.
Ayers Creek Preserves
Anthony and Carol Boutard's organic farm is located just outside of Gaston, Oregon. On roughly 100 acres they raise an amazing variety of crops, from grains to legumes to fruit. Their current range of preserves,including Loganberry, Raspberry and Purple and Rapsberry are simply wonderful. Pectin free, they all convey the essence of their respective fruit origins.
Bluebird Grain Farms Organic Emmer Faro
How the Etruscans found their way to Winthrop, WA. we don't know. But, we are pleased to feature this hearty NW grain. The dark, plump, chewy berries of this ancient grain add sweet, full-bodied flavor to salads, pilafs, soups and risottos. A perfect partner to braised meats and roasted vegetables.
Castillo de Canena Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Although it is the olive of Catalonia par excellence, Arbequina olive oil is also to be found in other parts of Spain; the Balearic Islands, Extremadura and Andalusia. The fruit is small and round and the tree of medium size, leafy, and of a dark green colour.
Castillo de Canena stands out for its roundness, complexity, intensity and fine body. Flavors and aromas of lemon, artichoke tomato leaves and olives. Finishes on the palate with a slight spiciness.
Fino in Fondo Salami
We are very pleased to introduce you to Fino in Fondo Salami from McMinnville. In 2007, Carmen Peirano and Eric Ferguson took over the legendary Nick's Cafe (started by Carmen's father). Their goal was to bring the Italian tradition of cured meats to Oregon, incorporating tried Italian recipes while using Oregon raised, free range, antibiotic free hogs.
Currently we stock individual sticks of Soprassata, Tartufo,Calabrese, Finocchiona and Gentile, and "deli" sizes of Finocchiona and Soprassata that can be sliced for you at the service counters.
As with our cheeses, olive oils and deli meats you are always welcome to ask for a taste.
Freddy Guys Pure Hazelnut Oil
Fantastic locally produced hazelnut oil recently featured in the New York Times.
Olympic Provisions Salami
Olympic Provisions, Portland, OR., produces a variety of Spanish, French, Italian and Greek inspired salami. The Loukanika and Saucisson d’Arles were recently named "winners" at the Good Food Awards in San Francisco.