Overseas Sourcing Sabbatical (5/23 to 7/6) May 23 2017, 0 Comments
Attention! Temporary Shop Closure. Return in July!
Flotsam + Fork is heading to Europe on a multi-week product discovery and sourcing tour this summer. While we're away, between May 23 and July 6, we won't be able to process or ship any orders. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this might cause.
If you have questions, please send a message to info [at] flotsamandfork.com
New Arrivals: Catalonian Cutlery by Pallares Solsona April 12 2017, 0 Comments
OLIVE WOOD UTILITY KNIFE
These stainless steel and olive wood kitchen knives are made by hand in a workshop in Solsona, Spain, near Barcelona, where the Pallarès family has been making knives and blades since 1917. These knives are handy for cutting fruit, or at the table as steak knives. 7" and 9" Shop >>
ARAGON KITCHEN KNIFE
Beechwood and carbon steel. The carbon steel blade is lightweight, and will hold it’s edge longer than a typical stainless-steel blade. It will develop a lovely patina with use. 10" Shop >>
Happy New Year! Our Next Shipping Day is January 8th December 27 2016, 0 CommentsAny orders coming in between December 27 and January 7th will ship on the January 8th.
The F+F Guide to Good Gifting December 15 2016, 0 Comments
Order by Tuesday, December 20th for pre-Christmas delivery!
The F+F Guide to Good Gifting
Back in the shop:
THERIAS L'ECONOME PARING KNIVES
Our beloved multi-colored stainless paring knives are back in stock, just in time for all your last-minute shopping needs. Now available in 10 different hues, these lightweight and charming knives make a perfect, if somewhat pointy, stocking stuffer. Just $9.99 per knife in the shop.
New! L'Econome Paring Knives in Couleurs Vivant September 15 2016, 0 Comments
Now in Stock: Linen Twine from Germany December 30 2014, 1 Comment
We are excited to offer linen twine from the twine factory in Germany that we visited back in May. Traditionally used by butchers for sausage making, we think the colors and textures are perfect for gift wrapping!
HOLIDAY SHIPPING December 12 2014, 0 Comments
Order by midnight on Friday, December 19 for delivery before Christmas!
Snapshots from Holland June 20 2014, 0 Comments
We were lucky enough to experience perfect, sunny weather during our time in the Netherlands, giving us lots of opportunities for long walks and cycling trips around both Utrecht and Amsterdam. Here are a few snapshots from around town:
A lovely address in Amsterdam.
Great neon at a hardware store in the Jordaan district of Amsterdam.
More neon signs at De Witte Tanden Winkel-- "The White Tooth Store"-- on one of the "nine little streets" in the Jordaan, in Amsterdam.
A warm stroopwafel-- the most perfect food ever invented. "Eet smakelijk" means "bon appeitit!"
Fabric being loaded into a van at the Saturday fabric market in Utrecht. It is the oldest fabric market in the Netherlands, and began as a linen market in 1597.
A stained glass atelier in Utrecht. We saw beautiful stained glass everywhere in Utrecht and Amsterdam.
We also saw lots of cats, outside and in bars and restaurants.
A canal house in Utrecht.
And of course, frites! We had ours with mayonnaise and peanut sauce.
A Visit to Bürstenhaus Redecker June 18 2014, 0 Comments
On our recent visit to Versmold, Germany back in May, we were able to stop in and see one of our current vendors-- the brushmakers at Bürstenhaus Redecker. Felix Redecker, the grandson of the original brushmaker in the family, explained how the family got it's start making brushes for local farmers.
The oldest building where brushes are still made, now with the help of a high tech bristle inserting machine.
The wood branding iron for marking brushes with the Redecker logo.
Now Bürstenhaus Redecker sends their brushes to stores all over the world-- including Flotsam + Fork! See all of our German-made Bürstenhaus Redecker brushes here.
Inspiration: Cluttered Kitchens June 13 2014, 0 Comments
Though I love the look of streamlined, gleaming white kitchens, I have recently been more inspired by images of kitchens bursting with utensils, piles of pottery, and cluttered countertops. Perhaps this is because is it closer to how my kitchen is beginning to look?
Sneak Peek: Sibella Court, from Design*Sponge.
From Margaret Howell Houses, via Clear North.
John Derian at home, via The Selby.
Camille Becerra's kitchen, from T Magazine.
Wurstgarn: The Last Linen Twine Spinner in Germany June 11 2014, 0 Comments
During our recent trip to Holland (more on that later) we rented a car for a day and ventured across the border to visit the last linen twine manufacturer in Germany. After a few missed turnoffs, we arrived late and apologetic at the factory in the town of Versmold.
Once refreshed with coffee and cookies, Mr.Seidelmayer, the fifth generation owner, gave us an informational tour through the facility.
The majority of their production has traditionally been for the Germany meat industry. Because linen is stronger than cotton— each twine can hold between 20 and 70 kilograms of weight (that’s between 44 and 152 pounds!)— heavy linen twine is used to hang whole sides of pork, while unique color combinations of spun twine are used to differentiate between the various types of sausage.
We saw how the natural flax is spun from larger bobbins into smaller spools and balls on decades old machines in a surprisingly beautiful process.
The majority of the flax used by the factory is sourced from European countries, including the Czech Republic, Poland, and Belgium, however European flax is getting harder and harder to find.
In addition to sausage twine—or wurstgarn—the factory also produces a polished linen kitchen twine. We hope to carry both in the shop soon!
We're Back! May 29 2014, 3 Comments
Here are a few things we stashed in our suitcase: A handy graphic portfolio, sketch books from perennial favorite Claire Fontaine, a gold toothbrush from the coolest specialty shop ever, De Witte Tanden Winkel (check out their amazing neon sign), beautifully packaged Wilhelmina pepermunts, and handmade paintbrushes, said to last a lifetime.
We will be back with more from our trip soon!
We're Out Scouting! (And Delayed Shipping...) May 15 2014, 0 Comments
We're off to the Netherlands and Germany to scout new products for the shop, eat delicious food, drink tasty beer, and see some sights. Travel along with us on Instagram, Facebook, and sign up for our newsletter for the latest updates!
**Unfortunately this means that all orders placed between May 15th and May 28th will ship on May 29th. Sorry for the inconvenience!**
(Nederland stamp design by Another Something & Co.)
Q + A: The International Society for the Preservation and Enjoyment of Vermut April 07 2014, 0 Comments
Marti Kilpatrick is a freelance journalist and blogger who has spent the last three years living and working in San Sebastian, Spain. She writes most frequently about food, travel, and Spain, and spends her free time selling ice cream sandwiches, cookies, and donuts via her bakery bicycle called The Cookie, and promoting the culture of vermut through the International Society for the Preservation and Enjoyment of Vermut with co-founder and friend Maite Roso. Read more about vermut and the Society below, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with new projects and exciting news!
For the uninitiated, how would you describe vermut as opposed to vermouth?
Vermut is Spanish (and Italian) for vermouth. So it's the same! Although the concept and reputation of vermouth is very different here in Europe. Here it is seen as a pre-meal drink, an aperitif, to be enjoyed on its own over ice. In the States, vermouth has mostly been relegated to dusty liquor shelves and frowned upon by martini drinkers everywhere. At it's most basic, vermouth is a fortified wine, whose unique point is the inclusion of wormwood ('vermut' in German).
What is the role of vermut in Spanish culture? In Basque culture specifically?
Vermouth has a long tradition in Spanish culture. It's strongest in Madrid and Cataluña, where every Sunday families would head to the nearest bar after Mass to have a drink to pass the time until lunch. "Fer un vermut" is a Cataluñan phrase that means 'to do a vermouth' but is really used as a broad invitation to get a drink at midday. That should give you an idea of how ubiquitous the tradition is. Vermouth is not particularly Basque...whatever influence and popularity it has here comes from the Spanish side of things.
What prompted you to begin the International Society for the Preservation and Enjoyment of Vermut?
My friend Maite and I had been talking for months about doing an event around vermouth. Finally we said, okay, let's just do it, and even if it's not perfect, it will likely be fun. So as we were setting up the event, we thought, there should really be something bigger behind this. And I get so passionate about food, drink, and tradition. So we formed the society.
My journey in the world of vermouth started only about three years ago, a while after I moved to San Sebastián. I noticed old ladies were always drinking this incredibly colored beverage around 5 or 6pm. One day, I asked what it was and tried one. It was love at first sip.
How has the response been from locals?
Overwhelmingly positive! For our first event, people came from Barcelona and Bilbao, it was incredible. I think vermouth hits the sweet spot of something both nostalgic and modern.
What are your goals for the Society?
To have fun, try every vermouth under the sun, make thousands of vermouth converts and serve as an information hub for vermouth lovers everywhere. We are also experimenting with crafting some artisan vermouths, but that's secret....shhhh. ;)
Any recommendations for Americans looking to enjoy vermut? Best way to drink it? Best accompaniments?
Yes! Any vermouth you can get your hands on BESIDES Martini will be so much more herbaceous, flavorful, and true to real vermouth. In fact, there are some great American artisan vermouths out there (Imbue, Atsby, Uncouth, etc). For the american palate, sweet vermouth served alone may be shocking at first. If so, you can cut it with a bit of gin to take some of the sweet and herby edge off. Serve with an orange slice, an olive, and some potato chips to snack on.
Thank you, Marti!
Marguerite Cordelle of Studio Kokumi on Noma March 25 2014, 0 Comments
Studio Kokumi is the Paris-based design studio of Marguerite Cordelle, whose most recent project is the development and design of the new Paris restaurant, Coretta. After coming across her work online, we asked Marguerite to share a little more about her experience at Noma, in Copenhagen, where she photographed and conceptualized her Master Thesis. Read her words below:
My inquisitive mind brought me to Copenhagen for a very specific reason: the restaurant Noma, and its masterful chef, René Redzepi. I yearned to discover his cooking philosophy and in particular his method of representing time and space within his dishes.
The experience was a pleasure not just reserved for the stomach, but equally for the eyes and for the soul. Redzepi takes his patrons on a culinary journey through his "snacking," a journey that remains one of my most treasured culinary experiences. The plethora of small dishes Redzepi produces allows his guests to gain a better understanding of the world of Noma; a world constructed of the marriage of sustenance and beauty, seasoned with humor.
The final bite, called the Aebleskiver, was my favorite. I loved the playfulness that was expressed by the small smoked and salted Finnish fish that pierced the sphere as though it was swimming through it. The contrast between the filamentary nature of the fish and the roundness of the foam ball fried lichen makes the look of the fish much less frightening and instead, cheerfully invites you to chew his head off.
The philosophy of René Redzepi is based on the desire to immerse the customer in an environment conducive to the awakening of the senses; from the interior of the restaurant, to the attention and precision shown in the execution of the food, to the casual service expressed through the choice of dish ware. Noma offers a strong sensory experience and it is through this awakening of the senses that our intellect is activated. The dishes at Noma undoubtedly are speaking to not just our stomachs but to our souls as well.
Photos courtesy of Studio Kokumi.
Finds from Afar: Lotta and Per-Anders Jörgensen January 29 2014, 0 Comments
If you haven’t seen the glossy Swedish food magazine Fool yet, do yourself a favor and order one immediately. Fool is the creation of creative husband and wife team, Per-Anders and Lotta Jörgensen, who act as co-Editors in Chief as well as Creative Director and Photographer for many of the stories. Both have decades of experience working in magazines and photography, and they bring their experience to the superbly produced Fool.
But don’t expect a collection of how-to’s and recipes—as Lotta says, "Fool is different to other magazines on food, taking inspiration from fashion, design and popular culture…no high end fashion magazine would have sewing patterns for clothes. Gastronomy needs to be taken seriously but with humor."
Issue #4, “The Italian Issue” is out now. Read on for the Jörgensen’s favorite find from their recent travels around Italy. Thank you Per-Anders and Lotta!
Last year we traveled extensively all over Italy for our fourth issue, "The Italian Issue". We soon learned to arrive both with an empty stomach and lots of spare space in our luggage because hospitality is not taken lightly in Italy, where "no thanks" is not even an option.
Of all the excellent olive oils we were given, one stood out, coming from Restaurant Don Alfonso on the Sorrentine peninsula. After a winding road we came to Alfonso's and Livia's Capri-facing garden that resulted in a Fool spread on the bees there and the beehives with the best view in the world! In the incredible garden they bought in 1990 there is an ancient orange grove as well as six varieties of olive trees, mostly Sicilian Nocellara del Belice and Frantoia from Toscana.
These trees produce 1500-2000 liters of the most incredible and "real" olive oil we have ever tasted, an oil that at first is incredibly sharp, yet harmonious later, maturing like a fine wine, showing what a great olive oil should be. It’s impossible to cook food in this region if you don't have the best olive oil, and our oil is made from hand picked olives, individually selected when absolutely ripe, Alfonso says. We'd say it is worth a journey!
As Lotta and Per-Anders pointed out, this is a perfect contrast to the recent Food Chains infographic in the New York Times!öööö
Maastricht Earthenware January 20 2014, 0 Comments
Researching an upcoming trip to the Netherlands.
Images in a collection of "Maastricht earthenware decorations, 1836-1969," found here.
The Culinary Heritage of the Alps January 19 2014, 0 Comments
While reading though Fool Magazine #4, I found news that this book, previously only available in German, will be published in English later this year. Until then you can browse the book and it's beautiful photography online, or find a copy of Fool and read author Dominik Flammer's article on traditionally cured lardo in the Italian Alps.
New! From Poterie Renault January 03 2014, 1 Comment
We recently received a shipment from Poterie Renault to restock on some popular items and bring in a few new favorites.
Thank You From Flotsam + Fork December 31 2013, 0 Comments
Thank you all for following along with Flotsam + Fork this year!
2013 was great-- it's when we got our start after all-- but we're looking forward to an even better 2014.
Join our newsletter for a special New Year surprise!
Let's Celebrate: Free Shipping on Orders Over $100 December 13 2013, 0 Comments
One week left for shipping before the holidays! Orders will ship USPS Priority and should get there in time for Christmas, barring any unforeseen weather events or emergencies. The earlier you order the better! Happy Holidays!
Holiday Shipping Update December 09 2013, 0 Comments
Finds from Afar: Bette Kroening December 09 2013, 0 Comments
Announcing: Gift Wrapping! December 05 2013, 0 Comments
We are happy to offer free gift wrapping!
Drop us a line at email@example.com to let us know what to wrap and if you would like us to include a handwritten note. Note that some large or fragile items may be excluded.
Happy gift giving!
Finds from Afar: Justin Kennedy December 03 2013, 0 Comments
Today’s edition of Finds from Afar comes from my friend Justin Kennedy, a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Saveur, the New York Post, and Washington City Paper. Check out his new regular column The Brew on Saveur online to find out what to drink next, and read on to see what Justin picks up on his travels.
I’m not sure exactly how or when it began, but over the years I inexplicably became a junkie for tiny kitchen utensils. Unworkably short whisks, miniscule demitasse spoons, forks that are functional only in the tiniest of hands (of which mine are not)—my utensil drawer now harbors an immodest collection of petite gadgets. I use them to dip grainy mustard from small-mouthed jars, spear oily anchovy filets from tins, whisk-up single servings of sharp vinaigrettes and sauces.
They always make great travel mementos—they’re generally cheap, nearly unbreakable, and pack neatly for the trip home— and one of my favorite places to buy them is Les Touilleurs in Montreal, a gorgeous kitchen and tableware boutique in the ultra-hip Mile End neighborhood. Last time I stopped in, I bought a hammered stainless steel spoon, a miniature bamboo fork, and a 6-inch wooden scraper. I also picked up this elegant, circular brushed-metal bottle opener that’s so classy, I keep it on the top ledge of my stove, where it’s always on hand to crack open a cold beer.
In from Spain: More Trivets! December 02 2013, 0 Comments
We got more trivets just in time for the holidays!
Recipe: Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust November 23 2013, 1 Comment
Pumpkin pie with a gingersnap crust seems to be the recipe du jour this holiday season-- so I decided to bake a test pie earlier this week. I used this recipe for the crust and this recipe for the filling, and baked it in our Poterie Renault pie dish. It came out perfectly and the dish was just the right size. I've finally found my favorite pumpkin pie recipe!
We Love Packaging: Therias et L'Econome November 20 2013, 0 Comments
Sometimes the packaging is as good as what's inside:
Finds from Afar: France Edition November 18 2013, 1 Comment
At Flotsam + Fork we strive to bring you novel and unfamiliar items from far flung producers. On our travels we fervently hunt for inspiring products and the stories behind them. Sometimes, though, we must stay behind to mind the shop and let our friends do the exploring. Finds From Afar is a regular feature here on the Flotsam + Fork blog where we ask figures from the culinary world to share their favorite food-related discoveries. Who knows, you might find them in our shop one day!
Adrianna Fie is the creator and customs-wrangler behind Flotsam + Fork. In addition to tracking down fine housewares from storied makers, Adrianna is a part-time seller of cheese and cured meats at the Underground Butcher in Madison, Wis.
Here are a few of her favorite finds from a recent trip to France:
Pairing knives from E.Dehillerin
Don’t even bother asking the man behind the counter who makes them---he’s not telling. From the labyrinthine restaurant supply store frequented by the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Julia Childs, these lightweight and durable paring knives make the perfect Parisian souvenir. Not only is the carbon steel super sharp, it holds an edge exceptionally well. A staple in my kitchen.
Cidre Brut from the Breizh Café Epicerie
A cloudier, funkier cousin of the hard ciders currently taking America by storm (read more about American cider here). Unfortunately, a fine French cidre brut is hard to find stateside, so I always pack a bottle or four in my checked bag.
Cidre Bowls from Poterie Renault
Of course one cannot drink cidre brut from any old cup. The customary serving vessel is the low-profile, wide-mouth, stoneware bowl, like these delightful items from Poterie Renault in the Loire.
Inspiration from the Streets of Barcelona October 05 2013, 0 Comments
Incredible colors and signage.
Great sign; even better food at La Perla de Oro.
Beautiful blue crates outside La Boqueria.
A Visit to Poterie Renault October 05 2013, 1 Comment
Earlier this year, we ventured into the rainy Loire valley to search out an enigmatic source of French culinary pottery. After a few missteps, including a 120 km roundtrip drive to a deserted factory, we arrived at the up-and-running Poteries Renault on the Tuesday after the Pentecostal holiday. There we were treated to a factory tour by Monsieur Renault himself, and were able to see pieces in various stages of production.
Poterie Renault has been producing iconic culinary stoneware in Argent-sur-Sauldre since 1847 when Stanislas Renault opened his workshop on the grounds of the local castle. Production at the current site started in 1865. Each piece is formed from the dark grey local clay, and finished by hand. Some pieces, like the Parisian Pitcher, are still formed entirely by hand.
As the tour finale, Monsieur Renault showed us the old brick kiln where pieces were fired until recently. They now fire all pieces in a more efficient electric kiln.
We are happy to present the fine culinary stoneware from this family-owned operation in the heart of France.