Our 2013 Foodie Faves

Small-batch, Hand-made, Hyphenates That Ruled:

  • High Road Ice Cream – High Road produces seriously delicious ice creams and sorbets. Under the direction of CEO and chef Keith Schroeder their culinary team blends their own mixes in-house in small batches, resulting in sweet treats like no other. If it was me I would make sure you have a pint of Brown Butter Praline or Pistachio Honey Ricotta at all times in your freezer.
  • Beekman’s Mortgage Lifter Pasta Sauce – Decades after Marshall Cletis Byles paid off his mortgage with tomato seeds, Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge continue to grow these amazing heirloom tomatoes in their gardens at Beekman 1802 Farms. It’s these fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes, along with real garlic, summer onions, and herbs, that add flavor to every jar. Beekman 1802 Farms also honors its ties to small farms by donating 25% of the profits to small American farmers.
  • Central Market Tamales – Tamales are a tradition here in Texas and everyone knows someone who's grandmother, aunt, friend, co-worker makes the best tamales, but we think our six delicious flavors, like Beef Honey Chipotle or Chicken Pibil, will rival just about any of your favorites.
Personal-sized Party of One Perfection:
  • Calorie Conscious Dinners for One – These meals, made fresh daily, by our Central Market Executive Chefs, deliver the same Central Market quality you trust and taste you love, but with a ingredient tweaks to make each meal less than 700 calories.
  • Tiny Pies – They may be tiny in size, but these handmade, handheld treats are big in flavor.  Austin-based Tiny Pies, creates pies that are made from old family recipes with the highest quality all-natural ingredients sourced from local-area farmers markets and merchants.
Bright Flavors from Beyond Our Shores:

  • Passport Brazil – We opened our minds and mouths this April for passport Brazil and have not looked back since. Bright colors, fresh fruits, bold coffees, and sweet treats were just the beginning. Pão de Queijo and Cocada de Forno were so popular they are still available to this day. As well favorites like our 100% Pure Young Coconut Water sourced from a single coconut plantation in sunny Brazil.
  • Belberry Fruit Vinegars – The recipe possibilities for all of the fine Belberry products are endless. Their history dates back to 1956 in the Flemish city of Kortrijk with a request for an ancient marmalade recipe at the local market. Created without sacrificing tradition or fine quality, these royal vinegars, marmalades, and preserves are also now endorsed by the Queen of Belgium. 
  • Compagnia Del Montale Balsamic Vinegar – Saying Compagnia Del Montale balsamic is “from Italy” is a little like saying Tex-Mex comes “from the United States.” Our Specialty Food Buyer unearthed this award-winning balsamic in Modena, Italy, one of only two Italian cities certified as producers of true balsamic vinegar. Modena vinegars are made with a higher proportion of balsamic than other vinegars. It's that higher concentration that gives Compagnia Del Montale Balsamic Vinegar it's rich, dense, smooth-yet-tart taste.
Eating Your Spinach is Just the Tip of the Iceberg:

  • Moroccan Barley Salad – Using grains from all over the globe, our Executive Chefs created new palate-pleasing salads, like the Moroccan Barley Salad, that combine tastes in an entirely new way.
  • Chard Kale Orange Salad – A delicious mix of rainbow chard, kale, orange segments, golden raisins and Texas pecans topped with smoked chili mint dressing, then up your protein by simply adding a bit of chicken or salmon to your salad.

DIYS (Done In Your Store):

  • In-house Roasted Coffee – We began sourcing select green coffees from Brazil and Colombia and are now working with farmers and importers from around the world to create an assortment of great coffees that we roast in our Austin Westgate store and now available in all nine stores. 
  • Great Grain Breads – Flax & Chia Seed and Seedsation Bread are both soft and delicious. The Seedsation bread is full of toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds with the crunch of millet, then sweetened with honey and molasses. May I suggest toasting and then topping with butter and your favorite jam.
  • Sour Cream Pound Cakes – These pound cakes weighing in at just a little over a pound and a half, all start with a batter that has both sour cream and butter to help increase moisture and add to the amazing flavor. Clearly absent from the list of ingredient list are preservatives, which is why the cakes will be made fresh daily, in each store.
Super Savory Salt
  • Selezione Tartufi Black Truffle Salt – What’s so special about this imported Italian wonder? Take it from me, you won’t even have to open the jar before your nose will know. The heady aroma perfect for a perfectly grilled steak and a fully-loaded bursting baked potato gets your mouth watering from 10 paces. Or maybe that was just me. Either way, this Foodie’s fairy dust is a must-have for any kitchen maven.

Get Your Verve Back at Dallas Lovers

We could all stand to get back on track healthwise in January. Whether you made lofty resolutions or you routinely stay in shape, a boost in the ol' endurance department is surely welcome at the start of the year.

Christmas Dinner’s Done. What About Breakfast?

If you’re the cooking type, you’ll fall in love with Short Stack Pancake Mixes and Syrups. Who doesn’t love pancakes anyway, right? And these down-home, Southern-inspired flavors will make your morning — Sweet Potato, Meyer Lemon Blueberry, Bourbon Salted Pecan. Each flavor is made with real ingredients like real sweet potatoes, blueberries, Meyer lemons, Kentucky bourbon and crunchy Georgia pecans. Pour yourself a warm cup of coffee or an A.M. glass of sweet tea, and get mixing. 

You can also unleash your inner chef, or your invisible chef, with The Invisible Chef Making Mixes. Serve up a batch of sweet Cherry Chocolate Chip, Apple Spice, Peaches & Crème, or Lemon Poppy Seed muffins.  Or treat your guests to savory Bacon Cheddar Onion or Parmesan Herb muffins. Since you’re already in holiday mode, why not bake a few Chocolate Peppermint muffins. That sounds to me like the perfect companion to a cup of rich hot chocolate! 

If you’re not the cooking type, heat up a dish of RoRo’s Cranberry Walnut Cinn-A-Rolls. Here’s all you need to know: A) Cinnamon rolls! B) Handmade in Dallas and frozen fresh! C) Flavored with real cranberries and walnuts. D) Ready in minutes.  

No time to whip up something special with your own two hands? No worries. Fresh-made breakfast trays are as close a call to your Central Market’s Catering Desk.

Browse our Catering Menu for ready-made platters such as:

  • Our signature muffins
  • Fresh bagels
  • Breakfast tacos
  • Breakfast sandwiches

Choose your perfect first meal of the day and order by calling your store!

A Taste of Tuscany

The French term terroir explains most of it… the thought that the natural environment where food is produced is inherently responsible for the flavor of the food itself.  The land that makes up Tuscany is oh so perfect for producing great food.  So much so, that several food products from Tuscany are protected under a designation from the European Union.  They use the IGP designation to designate a geographical zone for production of the item.  And DOP to designate products that are wholly produced in a geographical zone.  Three of my favorites IGP and DOP products to use this time of year from Tuscany are Olio Extravergine di Oliva Toscano IGP (Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil IGP), Prosciutto Toscano DOP and Pecorino Toscano DOP.
 
It’s a long name for a really fabulous bottle of oil.  When you see the Green TOSCANO label and the IGP blue and yellow logo on our bottle of Central Market Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil, it is a guarantee of quality.  To qualify for the designation, the olives must be 100% from Tuscany, and the oil can only be from the first cold pressing.  Then the oil must pass a multitude of tests of sensory and chemical make-up.  That pretty, numbered band around the neck of each bottle really sends a strong message about what’s inside.  With our Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil, you get a rich and voluptuous oil with a strong note of butter and a bit of green grass.  It is a great oil to dip a piece of bread into or finish a plate of pasta.
 
Prosciutto is the Italian word for ham, but it’s not your ordinary ham.  Prosciutto Toscano bears the DOP logo on each leg signifying its ties to the region.  Only pigs born, bred and slaughtered in Tuscany are used in production (along with a few other zones nearby.)  And the curing method for the hams goes beyond what is allowed for other Italian prosciutti.  In addition to sea salt, the Tuscan ham is coated with pepper, juniper and myrtle as it ages taking on those aromatics.  The resulting ham has a delicate flavor with nuances beyond the pleasantly porkiness.  Prosciutto Toscano also keeps its moisture during the aging process.  Use this prosciutto as you would others…wrapped elegantly around a breadstick, strewn across the top of a hot pizza, toss small diced bits into a pasta dish or just eat it out of hand!
 
The third item on my list of favorites from Tuscany is the incredibly versatile Pecorino Toscano DOP.  Again, that DOP on the label lets us know that this cheese is a guaranteed to be 100% sheep’s milk from a specified grazing zone where they feed on Tuscany’s verdant pastureland of grasses and herbs and the breeds are those Tuscan breeds best for milking.  These ensure a consistent quality of cheese when you Pecorino Toscano on the label.  These cheeses are sold in a range of ages.  Younger cheeses will be more white to light yellow in color with a pliant texture and mild, milky flavor.  Older cheeses will be straw-colored and much firmer in texture.  Use the younger when you want a richer, more mellow flavor in your dish.  The older will provide a nuttier and more forward element of flavor.  Interchange them to subtlety change your recipe.  Or do as many Tuscans do and pair these simply with a dab of honey.

Enjoy a sampling of all of these products in store, on Friday, December 20th from 11:00AM – 6:00PM

A Taste of Tuscany

The French term terroir explains most of it… the thought that the natural environment where food is produced is inherently responsible for the flavor of the food itself.  The land that makes up Tuscany is oh so perfect for producing great food.  So much so, that several food products from Tuscany are protected under a designation from the European Union.  They use the IGP designation to designate a geographical zone for production of the item.  And DOP to designate products that are wholly produced in a geographical zone.  Three of my favorites IGP and DOP products to use this time of year from Tuscany are Olio Extravergine di Oliva Toscano IGP (Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil IGP), Prosciutto Toscano DOP and Pecorino Toscano DOP.
 
It’s a long name for a really fabulous bottle of oil.  When you see the Green TOSCANO label and the IGP blue and yellow logo on our bottle of Central Market Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil, it is a guarantee of quality.  To qualify for the designation, the olives must be 100% from Tuscany, and the oil can only be from the first cold pressing.  Then the oil must pass a multitude of tests of sensory and chemical make-up.  That pretty, numbered band around the neck of each bottle really sends a strong message about what’s inside.  With our Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil, you get a rich and voluptuous oil with a strong note of butter and a bit of green grass.  It is a great oil to dip a piece of bread into or finish a plate of pasta.
 
Prosciutto is the Italian word for ham, but it’s not your ordinary ham.  Prosciutto Toscano bears the DOP logo on each leg signifying its ties to the region.  Only pigs born, bred and slaughtered in Tuscany are used in production (along with a few other zones nearby.)  And the curing method for the hams goes beyond what is allowed for other Italian prosciutti.  In addition to sea salt, the Tuscan ham is coated with pepper, juniper and myrtle as it ages taking on those aromatics.  The resulting ham has a delicate flavor with nuances beyond the pleasantly porkiness.  Prosciutto Toscano also keeps its moisture during the aging process.  Use this prosciutto as you would others…wrapped elegantly around a breadstick, strewn across the top of a hot pizza, toss small diced bits into a pasta dish or just eat it out of hand!
 
The third item on my list of favorites from Tuscany is the incredibly versatile Pecorino Toscano DOP.  Again, that DOP on the label lets us know that this cheese is a guaranteed to be 100% sheep’s milk from a specified grazing zone where they feed on Tuscany’s verdant pastureland of grasses and herbs and the breeds are those Tuscan breeds best for milking.  These ensure a consistent quality of cheese when you Pecorino Toscano on the label.  These cheeses are sold in a range of ages.  Younger cheeses will be more white to light yellow in color with a pliant texture and mild, milky flavor.  Older cheeses will be straw-colored and much firmer in texture.  Use the younger when you want a richer, more mellow flavor in your dish.  The older will provide a nuttier and more forward element of flavor.  Interchange them to subtlety change your recipe.  Or do as many Tuscans do and pair these simply with a dab of honey.

Enjoy a sampling of all of these products in store, on Friday, December 20th from 11:00AM – 6:00PM

Chocolate Sale? Sweet!

Willie’s Cacao Bars, 2 for $6                      
We love the high-quality chocolates produced by Chef Willie Harcourt-Cooze. As a passionate supporter of the small farmers that grow his cacao, Willie’s Cacao bars are made with chocolates from Madagascar, Peru, and Cuba, among others. Each bar is 100% single-origin cacao and made with beans selected and roasted by Willie’s team. Willie’s Cacao Bars are also great in recipes calling for bar chocolate! 
 
Bovetti Christmas Chocolate Bars, $4.99
You need to look no further for the ultimate stocking stuffers. Chocolatier Walter Bovetti began producing chocolates decades ago, and now continues his craft in the Bordeaux region of France.  We’re featuring six Bovetti Christmas chocolate bars made from both dark and milk chocolate, all with festive images of gingerbread men, Christmas trees, ornaments, and more. Two words: Edible Décor.
 
Les Chocolat de Pauline Bars, $4.99
Les Chocolat des Pauline fine bars and filled chocolates are the creations of chocolatier Jean-Michel Mortreau based in the Nantes region of France, just southwest of Paris. Each bar is made with single origin cacao blended with high concentrations of cocoa butter for a smooth, creamy texture, even in the darker bars. Pauline chocolates are 100% organic and come in environmentally friendly biodegradable packaging. 

Made Exclusively for Central Market Indulgent Bars, 2 for $5
Our chocolate experts set out to create a delicious chocolate bar that also happened to be fun. The result? Four new bars guaranteed to wake up your taste buds: The Kitchen Sink (my personal fave, made with chocolate, pretzels, nuts, a hint of chile, and a few other taste treats), and three others: The Hatch Bar (as in Hatch chiles), Peppermint Brownie, and Sweet Potato Chip. Each bar is unique to Central Market and new twist on the classic chocolate bar.
 
Hope and Greenwood Confections
Purveyors of splendid goods, Hope and Greenwood is a small English confection maker with a quaint shop in London, near Covent Garden. Hope and Greenwood makes traditional English treats, such as bonbons and tea cookies, in great giftable glass jars and boxes.
 

Give Your Favorite Foodie the Gift of Chocolate

We worked with these two iconic European brands to create great gifts for the foodie – or the chocolate-lover – on your Christmas list. Prestat owners Bill and Nick Crean collaborated with our team of Central Market Foodies to select the unique flavors of filled chocolates which create an assortment you will only find at  Central Market. Prestat Chocolates are known around the world for their quality and flavors like passion fruit, caramel sea-salt, and Earl Grey tea, and the London chocolatiers have created gift boxes to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee, as well as a special gift box to commemorate the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  

Galler gift sets feature a collection of the great Belgium chocolatier’s shareable mini bars in dark, milk, and white chocolate with flavors like coffee, praline, and crispy hazelnut. You’ll also find all Galler Chocolate Bars and Tablets on sale through December 24!

Give Your Favorite Foodie the Gift of Chocolate

We worked with these two iconic European brands to create great gifts for the foodie – or the chocolate-lover – on your Christmas list. Prestat owners Bill and Nick Crean collaborated with our team of Central Market Foodies to select the unique flavors of filled chocolates which create an assortment you will only find at  Central Market. Prestat Chocolates are known around the world for their quality and flavors like passion fruit, caramel sea-salt, and Earl Grey tea, and the London chocolatiers have created gift boxes to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee, as well as a special gift box to commemorate the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  

Galler gift sets feature a collection of the great Belgium chocolatier’s shareable mini bars in dark, milk, and white chocolate with flavors like coffee, praline, and crispy hazelnut. You’ll also find all Galler Chocolate Bars and Tablets on sale through December 24!

Celebrations on the Half Shell

All over Italy on Christmas Eve, families gather around a table laden with a centuries-old feast. The menu differs from region to region and family to family, but The Feast of Seven Fishes is a tradition celebrated by Italians and those of Italian heritage alike.  To get a taste of the feast, consider a few recipes from Mary Lanzi-Martini, the manager of the Cooking School in San Antonio, who cooks the feast for her family each year.

The Italians are not the only ones to enjoy the bounty of the sea this time of year, Oysters are de rigueur for Christmas and New Year's celebrations in France. In winter, outdoor food markets and restaurants display icy platters of freshly shucked oysters decorated with bright yellow wedges of lemon. And on Christmas Eve, the French, Portuguese, and some New Orleans natives serve oysters and other luxurious treats such as lobster and escargot at a dinner known as Réveillon, which comes from the French word for "waking" as the dinner involves staying awake until midnight and beyond.

The last night of the night of the year is a time to summon good fortune for the year to come and to splurge a little. Oysters on the half shell washed down with white wine or Champagne are part of the celebration once again in France. While in my opinion there is no luxury so simple as a perfectly steamed lobster. You can pick them up live in store or let us steam them for you, and then all you need is a simple drawn butter and your loved ones close by.