Eighteen years ago, Italian-born Fabio Chizzola traded fashion photography for farming, when he purchased an heirloom apple farm in upstate New York, where he now runs Westwind Orchard year-round. While summer and fall are easily his busiest seasons, with spring spent preparing for both, Chizzola tells us about the peak, all-too-brief harvest he looks forward to each winter: maple syrup.
“We’re mainly an apple orchard. We make alcoholic cider, we serve food, allow folks to pick their own apples, and we also grow some plums, raspberries, blackberries, Asian pears, make jams, and harvest honey—we’ve widened our set of crops over the years, because you never know if there will be frost in the spring, and how or if that will affect each. In the beginning, I would split time between the city and the farm, but now it’s been some time since I’ve fully relocated here. I work sixteen-hour days. Especially in the summer, it’s just nonstop.
Before farming, the calendar year and summer used to signify a month back home in Italy—now, I vacation in the winter. Winter, for me, is when I take care of myself—I have more time. But we’re open all year. And at the end of my property, I have more than two hundred maple trees. A few years ago, I was crazy enough to say, “Okay, we’re not busy in the winters. Why don’t we get busy? We can try to make maple syrup with the trees.” So now we don’t have as much of a break in the winters. [Laughs]
To harvest maple syrup, we have sap lines set up, which tap all of our trees and collect [it] into a series of large buckets. We work with the weather: If it’s too cold during the day—let’s say, 20 degrees [Fahrenheit]—the sap won’t run because the trees will freeze over. When it’s above 32 degrees during the day, and below that at night, that’s when it’s prime time for maple syrup. Here, where we’re up north, but not too far from the city, the peak season will happen in the next few weeks and last up to the start of March. But it really depends on the microclimate of where you are. In Canada, they have at least two and a half months of maple syrup.
Tapping the tree is quite simple: We go maybe an inch and a half in, and then we just let the sap flow and collect it. Forty gallons of maple sap will yield one gallon of maple syrup. Sap is basically water with 1.5 to 3 percent sugar content, so we boil that off and reduce [it] in a giant evaporator until the sugar content is closer to 68 percent. By then, the color deepens and the texture is much thicker. We make two types: a normal maple syrup and one that’s aged in bourbon casks for a smoky taste. The second one’s my favorite. I’ll put it on granola in the morning; we also use maple syrup on one of our pizzas, a sweet one with ricotta, apples, and whatever fruit is in season. It’s fantastic. It’s all-natural, but it’s a sugar, of course—you can’t really have too much of it.”
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How can one shape America’s proverbial melting pot? Mayukh Sen, a James Beard Award–winning food journalist and professoTaste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in America (W.W. Norton), out next week.
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Dimly lit restaurants are no rarity in New York. But at Abigail’s Kitchen in Greenwich Village, reduced visibility isn’t exactly for ambience. Twice a week, chef-owner Abigail Hitchcock offers Dinners in the Dark, for which she blindfolds her guests before they enter the dining space, then serves them a multicourse, seasonal menu
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American ranches have increasingly been raising Wagyu, a full-flavored beef swirled with thin veins of fat that’s celebrKnights Valley Wagyu, a company co-founded by real estate developers Adam Gordon and Will Densberger, raising exemplary cattle goes hand in director’s council at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where he was immersed in the principles of deep ecology:
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Single-use plastics are the epitome of throwaway culture, centered around convenience and profit at the expense of the eAccording to the NRDC, approximately half of the 300 million tons of plastic produced annually worldwide—nearly equivalent to the weight of t
During China’s Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220 C.E.), pu-erh tea was transported along the Ancient Tea-Horse Road, an age-old trading route that once extended 1,400 miles from ChinaCamellia sinensis var. assamica in mountains of the Chinese Yunnan Province—that are roasted, rolled, and dried in the sun. They’re then fermented in osheng pu-erh ferments naturally and matures over many years like a fine wine, while the ripe and earthy shou pu-erh is incubated in a moisture-rich environment that accelerates the aging process, which concludes within a few months. Typ
Jon Gray, along with chefs Pierre Serrao and Lester Walker, form the Bronx-based culinary collective Ghetto Gastro, whose work celebrates their native borough while seeking to elevate its stature within global culture through immersivEp. 2 of our Time Sensitive podcast, recorded in early 2019.) Through imaginative storytelling, experiential activations, and product development for clien
Even if you’re not a sommelier or a wino, there are enough champagne memes these days for you to know that the bubbly faD.M. Brut, a sparkling wine that’s made in the Champagne method—which is to say, fermented in the bottle itself—but with a “BraziObrigado!, making for an apt gift. Sure, Dom Maria’s sparkling wine may not be champagne proper, but we’d happily raise a glass asaúde to a round of this.
Among the sundry forms of comfort we’ve sought during the pandemic, perhaps nothing soothes faster than a piping-hot pizRoccbox can cook a perfectly-crispy-crust Neapolitan pie in just 60 seconds, with its up-to-950-degree oven and cordierite stonRoccbox Wood Burner 2.0, a detachable device that adds oomph to its signature oven, with its ability to reach top temperatures even faster, andOoni Pro, which can be heated with charcoal, wood, or gas, and Camp Chef’s double-walled Italia Artisan Pizza Oven, built to mimic the performance of the wood-fired brick variety (it can also be used to bake bread or roast meats). How
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In 1989, friends Deborah Fleig and Linda Tetrault started running the store at Ten Thousand Waves, a spa-centric sanctuaFloating World Artisan Sake Imports to bring Japan’s finest brews stateside. Their knowledge shines through the company’s wide-ranging website catalogue, Akishika Okarakuchi variety, made by just five people at a tiny, 134-year-old establishment nestled in the mountains between Kyoto and OsakMukai, a label run by one of the few female tōji (master brewers) working in the industry today. Libations for more adventurous palettes include Kaze no Mori (“Wind of the Woods”), a floral, fruity, unfiltered sake with a cult following, and a dry, earthy sake from Mutemuka, a brewery in Kochi Prefecture, that’s aged for six months and has a distinctively nutty aftertaste that smacks of cacalist of distributors before holing up for the holidays.
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The award-winning African-American Jewish author and culinary historian Michael W. Twitty got his start in food writing Afroculinaria, as an outlet to document and celebrate the rich cultural histories of African-American fare and the vital role they haThe Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South—not to mention his open letter to Paula Deen, in 2013, that went viral, even as it was left unanswered by the disgraced Food Network host. Reflecting upon his own bsaid in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “It’s also simply survival—through the mental fortitude of humor, the mental fortitude of memory, and the mental forti@thecookinggene) to keep abreast of what he’s cooking up next: a new non-profit called the Muloma Heritage Center, located on South Carolina’s historic St. Helena Island. Dedicated to educating visitors on African Atlantic culture, c
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Sichuan cuisine, named for the subtropical province of China where it originates from, is characterized by a diversity omálà (a portmanteau meaning “numbing and spicy”), is marked by deep and pungent, peppery notes that you not only taste but fethe U.S. considered Sichuan peppercorns to be contraband; nowadays, you can find the little pink orbs in trendy cocktails that play on its citrus and camphor-like aromas. As thThe Mala Market, an online purveyor that stocks top-grade ingredients directly from Sichuan province. Here, in one fell swoop, you can blog of recipes to kick-start your culinary adventures.
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Several months into the pandemic, the restaurant industry remains among the hardest hit in the U.S., with scant evidenceparticularly those run by BIPOC entrepreneurs, who have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus-related losses—their fates lie directly in continuing sales. Eat Okra app, founded by New York couple Anthony and Janique Edwards in 2016, which gives a boost of visibility to Black-owned b
The 20th-century futurist, theorist, inventor, and architect R. Buckminster Fuller was a tireless visionary and radical thinker who wrote dozens of books and proposed theoretical designs advocating for Synergetic Stew: Explorations in Dymaxion Dining, a collection of recipes and anecdotes originally compiled by Fuller’s friends as a surprise gift for his 86th birthday
Tamy Rofe, a sommelier who owns Brooklyn’s farm-to-table-y Latin American restaurant Colonia Verde with her husband, Felipe Donnelly, operates by a matra borrowed from her mother: “La comida compartida sabe mejor.” In English, it means, “Food tastes better when shared.” From the eatery’s lived-in aesthetic to its signature Sunday general store,” selling and even delivering nearly every ingredient on its menu alongside prepared meals and grill boxes—a way for Co
Lexie Smith is an artist and baker, though it’s only relatively recently, after years of working in restaurant kitchens and balanciBread on Earth. Her work often takes on various forms, from performance and installation to photography, writing, and publishing, all
After years in various kitchens, working his way up from dishwasher to cook, and ultimately chef de partie at Eleven Madison Park, Matt Jozwiak left the fine-dining world behind in 2017 to start Rethink Food NYC, a nonprofit organization that partners with restaurants and grocery stores to reduce excess food and make nutritious, Ghetto Gastro and Jozwiak’s former boss, chef Daniel Humm—as collaborators in its mission to fight food insecurity and foster a more
Extolled by New York City’s finest restaurants, from Daniel to Eleven Madison Park and abcV, as well as a growing coteriDavocadoguy, is seemingly everyone’s go-to guy for the best avocados. He keeps his supply consistently stocked and perfectly ripene