Made the rounds of some of my favorite places today. First stop West Side Market, where I picked up andouille and chorizo sausages, saffron and arborio rice, and a little wheel of goat camembert. The place was mobbed. Also ate a felafel. Next stop Farkas Bakery for Napoleans. It smells so incedibly good inside becaise no walls separate the kitchen from the front of the shop. Note to self: when I need cheering up, I should just go there and inhale deeply for a few minutes Then back to the East side where I bought prosecco- Italian bubbly- at The Grapevine. I love this town, I really do.
Monthly Archives: December 2009
I’ve just discovered the most fantastic dessert. The official name is Engadiner Nusstorte. But at Zoss The Swiss Baker (12397 Cedar Road), the only place to get it in the Cleveland area, this excellent cake has been rechristened St. Moritz Nut Torte, a handle with more style that’s much easier for Americans to say.
Essentially it’s a caramelized walnut pie, similar to pecan pie but much much better and without the cloying over the top sugariness of corn syrup. A traditional creation from the southeastern part of Switzerland, the torte features a rich, buttery double crust with a cookie taste and texture. The filling is made with cream, walnuts, honey and sugar, a sweet but not too sweet combination that’s velvety smooth like frosting except for the nut chunks. The finished product is dense and a small slice is more than satisfying, so a little goes a long way. Delicious on it’s own and picture pretty, the torte is especially nice with a dollop of real whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
What’s especially amazing about this cake is how well it keeps. I had a piece cut from one made weeks earlier and would never have known that it wasn’t freshly baked. This makes it ideal for gift giving and shipping. Also good to have on hand for serving unexpected company or bringing to a holiday gathering.
Kurt and Barbara Zoss only make this labor intensive preparation during the holiday season, and cakes must be special ordered. Call 2160368-4055 to make sure there’s one for your table, and one- or more- for some lucky people on your list.
These remarks from Mark Erickson, Vice President Dean of Culinary Education at The Culinary Institute of Education, struck me as particularly profound and representative of what is at the heart of Cleveland Ethnic Eats.
The challenge for chefs today is to not only be aware of authentic cuisines, but to truly understand them. Our customers are now well-traveled and culturally savvy, and they have come to expect a variety of world flavors, whether they’re dining out or shopping at the supermarket.
At the same time that we learn about new cuisines, it becomes our responsibility to protect and maintain our culinary heritage. Many traditions that have been passed from generation to generation are in danger of disappearing because of the fast-paced world in which we now live. Therefore, our approach to ingredients, cuisines and fundamental cooking techniques continues to be key to all culinary professionals — no matter how innovative and experienced we may be.
We would not be where we are today if it weren’t for the work of those who came before us, and one can say that the past and the future are equally important to the culinary arts. That’s why our chefs and instructors are exploring both, through diverse, innovative research initiatives. They’re seeking to shed new light on the underlying science of our craft, preserve the art of time-honored culinary traditions, and share those results with the industry.