Seed + Mill Halva
Seed + Mill
With international travel plans on hold indefinitely, we are looking for other ways to experience land far from home. One of my favorite elements of visiting a new country is trying new foods, and all of this authentic food is available to be shipped throughout the country.
Cakula Kula and Ko
Kula and Ko
A century ago, Taiwan was one of the world’s largest pineapple exporters and pineapple cake was invented by a local bakery to preserve surplus pineapple by cooking it into jam filling for short cakes. Today, pineapple cake is a typical Taiwanese treat with more than a dozen well-known brands including SunnyHills and Chia Te. Some variations mix winter melon with pineapple for sweeter stuffing, though I prefer the sharp fiber stuff that SunnyHills likes. For a Hawaiian touch, Honolulu-based Kula & Kō uses local pineapple at their cake bar, squeezing all the pineapple flavors in each of the six bar boxes. They are also available at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Waikiki Beach and macadamia nut butter crust cake is a revelation. For the first time, because COVID-19, they were sent nationwide – email [email protected]
Seeds + Halva grinder slices
Seed + Mill
Halva sesame is very popular in Israel, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iran, and vegan and sweet gluten-free have been enjoyed for thousands of years throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean. When Lisa Mendelson moved to the United States from Israel, she lost the halva from home and opened Seed + Mill with two friends, grinding fresh tahini (sesame butter) at the Chelsea Market. Rose oil, chopped Turkish pistachios, raspberries and ground coffee beans are just a few of the flavors that are stirred by hand through tahini and sugar to make a soft but fragile halva Seed + Mill cake.
Makku Blueberry Makgeolli
Makgeolli is the oldest form of alcohol in Korea, a combination of low-sweet and cream fermented rice, living culture and water dating from the 10th century. Most of the commercially available makgeolli or “rice beer” in the United States are full of artificial ingredients, but Korean-American Carol Pak has just launched America’s first makgeolli craft – Makku – inspired by hundreds of micro makgeolli micro factories in South Korea. Makku is smooth and mild on the palate, balancing the right sweet and sharp flavors, and comes in three flavors – original, mango and blueberry. Makgeolli also makes an amazing ice cream taste – try Noge’s Ice Cream makgeolli blues ice cream, made with lee makgeolli and blue spirulina. Owner Hannah Bae specializes in Korean flavors such as golden and black sesame, roasted rice and dalgona coffee.
Gourmet Bateel dates from Dubai
Date has become a key ingredient in protein bars and is praised for its low glycemic index among health-conscious Americans in recent years. However, this sweet and chewy fruit traces its origins back to the Middle East, where dates have been loved as natural sweets for thousands of years. Dubai-based Bateel is the world’s leading palm planter and supplier, which is cultivated in Western Saudi Arabia and filled with roasted nuts, candied oranges or maybe dipped in chocolate. Butter cakes filled with chopped peanuts and palm paste, ma’amoul, are another popular treat, traditionally enjoyed after fasting during the month of Ramadan or Lent and pressed with wooden molds. Date Bateel has only been available in the United States since 2017, with its American headquarters in Birmingham, Michigan and plans to open a boutique in Houston later this year.
Carving Cinco Jotas Ham
Ibérico ham is considered by many to be the best gourmet ham in the world because of its soft, savory, and rich marble. Ibérico is a rare breed, only found in Spain and Portugal. They have smaller litter, produce less meat per pig and for high-quality ham, jamón ibérico de bellota, pigs are fed 100% seeds, giving their meat a unique spicy taste. Cinco Jotas has been healing and carving the best ham in Spain for five generations, since 1879, and now you can order sliced ham or shoulder bones to be sliced at home from anywhere in the world.
Mama’s hot sauce is hot
Belize Tourism Agency
Belize is one of the world’s largest producers of habanero chili and the Belizean hot sauce from Marie Sharp or Hot Mama’s is sure to add any dish. Both are women’s family-owned businesses and Marie Sharp celebrates their 40th anniversary this year, producing smoky, sweet and spicy hot sauce for international fans from their small factory in Stann Creek, Belize. The ancient Mayans and Aztecs would preserve this precious paprika by drying it and using it in savory mole sauce. Today, habanero hot sauce is used for everything from rice and beans to creole bread to johnnycakes. Both Marie Sharp and Hot Mama also make chutney, red and green habanero pepper jelly and tropical fruit jam.
Biltong South Africa is jerky which tastes better and is softer. While beef jerky is cooked and heated for hours, it is dried in the air for two to three weeks, seasoned with simple ingredients like vinegar, pepper and coriander, then thinly sliced without added sugar. In South Africa, game meats such as ostrich, kudu, and springbok can all be used to make biltong, but Kalahari Snacks survives with the best cuts of beef, sliced with seeds. These four paleo snack flavors include real chili, fairy fairy, garlic and lime.
Lakrids and Bulow
Lakrids and Bulow
The Nordic countries like their licorice and Lakrids by Bülow from Denmark who specialize in luxury licorice wrapped in chocolate and various flavored shells for a lighter introduction to polarizing sweets. Founder Johan Bülow thinks that Scandinavian treats are underappreciated and have produced the entire spectrum of licorice flavors outside Copenhagen for more than a decade. There is coffee, passion fruit, caramel and chocolate flavor, along with uncoated sweet and salty varieties. He even created red licorice inspired by American Twizzlers, but with natural fruit. For more licorice fun, try white chocolate, licorice and sea salt bars by the only Omnom chocolate maker in Iceland.
Tea connoisseurs will enjoy esoteric Japanese green tea from Kettl, many of which are rarely found outside of Japan. Kettl works with small-scale farmers throughout Japan, many of whom have been producing hereditary tea, and they also offer pots of tea, cups and matcha whiskey to prepare your tea. There is the first harvest shincha, regional sencha variations, gyokuro which are harvested by hand and traditionally grown, oolong, genmaicha, and a dozen matcha varieties.
Kettl Matcha Latte
Bokksu is a one-stop shop for authentic Japanese snacks and teas, partnering directly with local family makers to bring their delicious products and stories to culinary lovers around the world. A monthly retail subscription box offering several dozen carefully curated snacks accompanied by cultural guides and tea pairs. The Bokksu Market has more than one hundred different sweet and savory items available at certain times for one-time purchases as well. Some highlights include matcha warabi mochi, Camembert cheese cake from Tokyo Cheese Factory, matcha Kit Kats, and uni rice crackers.
Scottish Bread Meat Cakes from Ackroyd
Ackroyd’s Scottish Bakery
Ackroyd’s Scottish Bakery has cooked Scottish meat made from scratch and grilled food for three generations, including scones, biscuits, pasties, and the largest selection of Scottish savory pies in the country. The shop in Redford, Michigan started as a butcher shop in the late 1940s that served Scottish people, before developing into a nationwide bakery. They specialize in handmade Scottish meat including haggis, black pudding, beef and meat, all made in small batches using traditional recipes and techniques. Meat pie with a very fragile crust is the main comfort food.
Like Bokksu, Chibundle is an artisanal Filipino food gift box company founded by two food lovers from Manila in 2018. “We are excited about our small local producer in the Philippines that has great products but the US market hasn’t noticed it,” said co-founder MJ Yap . Chibundle works directly with small businesses, importing typical Filipino flavors such as honey-roasted pilinut, mangosteen preservatives, mushroom chicharróroom, and dulce de leche salted eggs in curated gift boxes along with product descriptions and greeting cards by Filipino artists. When international holiday travel is still verboten, sweet and savory snacks from this faraway land are the next best thing. .