As the darkness of winter lifts and spring stirs to life, seek out these local food and drink finds this season.
This classic Egyptian condiment is a blend of roasted almonds, sesame seeds and spices. Dukkah is often mixed with oil and served with bread, but it also makes a flavorful crust for chicken and salmon. $6.99. Available at Kimberton Whole Foods, 2140 Kimberton Rd., Phoenixville, 610.935.1444, kimbertonwholefoods.com and online at nannassecret.com.
FAZZOLETTI WITH FAVAS
Springtime marks the beginning of the new growing season, and favas are among the first foods to appear. Chef Luke Palladino mixes the tender green beans into an entrée with fazzoletti pasta, pesto and shaved Grana Padano cheese. $21. Available at Palladino’s, 1934 E. Passyunk Ave., 267.928.4339, lukepalladino.com.
HONEY BOURBON BLUEBERRY JELLY
This blend of Bulleit bourbon, Beechwood Orchards blueberries and honey is more complex than your average jelly. Nonetheless, it makes for a superlative grown-up PB&J—especially when you add a slice of crisp local bacon. $6.50. Available at Metropolitan Bakery, 262 S. 19th St., 215.545.6655, metropolitanbakery.com
KLUB MED SPICE BLEND
This terrific dried seasoning from local spice gurus at Parable Flavors is made from local oregano and mint. The bold ingredients of Turkish food inspired this mix. Swirled into Greek yogurt, it makes an instant dip whose sunny herbal notes will take your taste buds to the Mediterranean. $10. Available at Fair Food Farmstand, 51 N. 12 St. (in the Reading Terminal Market), 215.386.5211 and online at parableflavors.com.
Created by Dock Street Spirits (sister business to Dock Street Brewing Co.) the new Vicio mezcal is a welcome addition to Philly’s craft spirit scene. Floral and smoky, it’s suitable for sipping but will also make a mean cocktail. Bartenders around the city, including those at José Pistola’s and Growlers, are mixing and pouring it now. 750 ml bottle is $49.99. Available throughout Pennsylvania via special order by calling 800.332.7522.
Not all chocolate milk is created equal. The creamy and deeply chocolaty drink from Ironstone Creamery combines whole milk from grass-fed Jersey cows with organic cocoa powder and organic cane sugar for an exceptional dairy-rich treat. $3. Available at the Easton Farmers’ Market, 325 Northampton St., Easton, 610.330.9942, eastonfarmersmarket.com.
Andrew Wood, chef at Center City’s Russet, is known for his serious commitment to cooking local food. Turns out he has another specialty: fresh pasta. It’s a skill he learned from a Piedmonttrained mentor, and now he’s paying that precious know-how forward with a oncemonthly class at Russet. The three-hour session starts in the kitchen, where Wood demonstrates how to mix up, roll out and cut his egg-yolk-rich dough. Students each get hands-on experience making the noodles. While Wood cooks up the class’s handiwork, students move to the dining room for antipasti before sharing a pasta feast, family style. “I want people to walk away feeling confident they can make pasta at home,” says the chef. In fact, his favorite part of the class is actually after the fact, when he spies photos on social media of his proud students’ independently made fresh pasta. $85, BYOB, visit SideTour.com for tickets. —J.M.
1521 Spruce St.
TEA TIME THREE HOUSE-MADE
BLENDS YOU’LL CHAI FOR
By Caitlin Honan
A killer chai tea latte, made in-house and not from a box, is surprisingly tough to find. Step into a coffee or tea shop and you’ll likely see the warm, spicy drink on the menu, but this hot concoction is too often crafted from premade mixes. Not so at our favorite haunts. After sipping through chai lattes of all kinds, here we present some of the most delicious from-scratch options.
THE RANDOM TEA ROOM & CURIOSITY SHOP
At this Northern Liberties tea destination, a cup of chai masala includes hints of fresh ginger, brown sugar, vanilla, whole milk from Maplehofe Dairy in Lancaster County, Harmutty Assam tea and rose water for a sip that lingers on the tongue and tingles the throat. $5.25 small; $5.75 large; $9.75 per pot.
713 N. 4th St., 267.639.2442; Tuesday through Sunday, 10am to 8pm.
This South Philly spot serves a masala chai latte that’s perfectly light with a pleasant amount of froth. The spice is subtle. With a sip comes a touch of clove, cinnamon, cardamom and sugar. $3 small; $3.50 large.
1819 E. Passyunk Ave., 215.465.1000; Monday through Friday, 7am to 3pm, Saturday and Sunday, 8am to 3pm.
GREENSTREET COFFEE CO. CAFÉ
This shop played with many recipes, finally landing on a harmonious blend of sweet and spice (think heavy cinnamon and nutmeg) for its chai latte. The addition of citric acid to the invigorating Assam tea is the trick, they say, creating a wonderfully light, smooth drink. $4.
1101 Spruce St., 610.504.3934; Monday through Friday, 6am to 8pm, Saturday, 7am to 8pm, and Sunday, 8am to 8pm.