|Bear Pond Farm|
My interest in the ingredient list was two-fold - I wanted to know what combination of ingredients proved to be so interesting to my palette and so devastating to my wallet.
Ingredients: brined artichoke hearts, non-GMO canola oil and extra virgin olive oil blend, pecorino romano cheese, jalapeno pepper, dried garlic, whey, concentrated lemon juice, citrus fiber, black pepper, guar gum, citric acid, and rosemary extract.
The "little black dress" of my food wardrobe included all of those ingredients with the exception of citrus fiber (would grated lemon peel work?), guar gum and citric acid.
I invite you to step into my food laboratory:
|Lori's artichoke pesto on left...Bear Pond Farm Artichoke Pesto on right|
I had a bag of Trader Joe's frozen artichoke hearts which I microwaved until thawed. I transferred them to my food processor and added olive oil, grated Romano cheese, jalapeno pepper, garlic and black pepper. Obviously, I was missing a few key ingredients and used frozen versus fresh artichoke hearts (a soon to be available in-season spring vegetable!). I also forgot to add lemon juice which I think adds a lot to the amazing flavors in Bear Pond's version. I agree that my pesto looks tired and boring compared to the masterpiece on the right, but this was my first attempt & it got me thinking...
Specifically defined sauces are a food fixture in many cultures. Salsa is the Mexican term for sauce and is often comprised of cooked or uncooked vegetables and/or fruit, tomatoes, onions and chili peppers. Pesto is derived from the Italian verb "to pound" and is most commonly made with basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and grated cheese. Coulis is a French term for puree and generally consists of pureed fruits or vegetables. Chutney is an Indian condiment made of fruits and vegetables mixed with vinegar, spices and sugar.
Whether you call a blended vegetable or fruit dip a sauce, a salsa, a coulis or a chutney, you can take just about any vegetable or fruit, put it in a food processor with a few key ingredients (olive oil, vinegars, lemon juice, spices...) and you have a formula for a great condiment that can be used in a variety of savory or sweet ways including:
- Sandwich spread
- Pasta topper
- Veggie or chip dip
- Mixed with grains such as quinoa or barley
- Pizza sauce
So, Bear Pond, despite my sticker shock, I have to thank you for your amazing product, for your flavor inspirations and for compelling me to think about the basic formula behind a sauce that delivers not only a great vegetable delivery system but also many creative meal dividends.
One final "clothes-ing" thought for those of you who know The Food That Fits is based on fashion theory. Scarves, wraps, shrugs, shawls, ruanas and ponchos are like the sauces of the food world. Their names are rooted in culture but they provide a similar function -they add a bit of personality to an outfit, an extra layer for warmth and, if you are functionally fashionable, they do both!
|Anthropologie scarf from last spring|