It's been a while since I've posted any truck updates and so I'm going to do so in two parts. Part 1 is updates on some happenings of individual trucks/owners and then Part 2 will be regarding Sacramento ordinances and industry news.


After only about a month of the Crave Taco truck being on the road it disappeared and came back re-wrapped a third time with the new Krushburger wrap. (Wrap 1 = Miniburger, Wrap 2 = Crave Taco)
According to owner Davin Vculek, there was so much demand for the Krushburger truck that they decided to go ahead and have two of them and forgo the Crave Taco, at least for now. So don't be confused when you see them tweeting two locations for the same lunch hours. 

Meanwhile, the Krushburger restaurant over at the State Lottery building is tentatively scheduled for a January 9th opening, but Davin says that's not for sure. You know how these things can go. You need to get inspections and finish last minute tweaks. One fun feature, they'll be one of the few places in town with the new Coke Freestyle machines. I got to experience one of them at the Five Guys Burgers in Salem, OR. You choose which flavors you want to mix into your soda. There's even peach, vanilla, and grape flavorings. You can get crazy and have a peach vanilla Coke or grape limeade. 

OM Karmabile

I'm told by Voltair that the Om Karmabile will be off the road for a few weeks while it undergoes a new wrap and menu change. It's still going to be Indian fusion, he says, with a look at better branding. 

My sous vide filet with wine chestnut sauce
If you watch enough food television, then you know about sous vide. All the top chefs seem to be doing it, as well as a lot of the higher end local restaurants. This makes it seem like it is only for the hoity toity who can afford it. No, it's not some kinky, weird sex act Sous vide is just a method of cooking

"Sous vide" means "under vacuum". It's a way of cooking in a vacuum sealed pouch, submerged in a water bath, at a constant, regulated temperature for extended periods of time. This ensures that the entire sealed item is evenly cooked throughout versus having the outside cooked more than the inside.  
note more cooked edges to less cooked middle
The best example is steak. Normally one cooks steaks on a grill or in a pan in such a way that the outer edges are cooked more than the center, which is the last to get heat. Your edges could be considered well done from the sear, then medium, graduating to the center that is medium rare. The chef learns to judge how cooked a steak is by time, touch, and sometimes using a thermometer. Usually your steak takes less than 15 minutes to cook. 

sous vide = even color throughout
With sous vide, you submerge the sealed steak in a water bath of 130-139 degrees (if you like medium rare) for a few hours.  Eventually the entire steak will have equaled the temperature of the water to reach that medium rare state throughout, edge to edge. The downside is that it doesn't look very pretty and so you need to do a quick sear in a skillet to give it that nicely browned surface for appearance sake.

Thing is, TV makes it seem really complicated and expensive. Those top chefs and fancy restaurants have very expensive sous vide machines that keep the water temperature constant while they go and do other things. Remember, some sous vide dishes can take over 24 hours!

But it is possible to McGuyver your own sous vide system at home. The trade off is that you need to be constantly available to monitor your water bath temperature.

French fries have graduated from side dish to entree lately among the local food trucks. Why eat them on the side when you can have them as your whole meal?

"Fry meal" is a term I came up with to describe these fries as entrees. Start with a base of French fries and then top them with a meat and assorted toppings. A traditional example would be the classic Chili Fries.

The fry meal concept got hot amongst the trucks when Johnny Breedlove of the California Love Truck  introduced his Carnitas Fries. He starts with shoestring French fries which are topped with carnitas (obviously), guacamole, sour cream, and a chipotle honey slaw. I love these fries! So much so that I have a hard time ordering anything else off his truck if they are on the menu. And at this point, they've become so popular that I think he's now in a position that they have to be a constant, regular item.

I will tell you what makes Johnny's fries the best and perfect base for his fry meals - he salts and peppers them! It's the addition of pepper that gives them that extra taste edge. I rarely find a restaurant or truck that adds pepper to their fries. It makes such a big difference.

He's had such success with his Carnitas Fries that he's added more fry meals.

Cali Love Fries come with chicken, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, and some cheddar cheese on top. These are his second most popular fry meal.

His Kim chi Fries come with pulled pork in a chipotle sauce, kim chi, caramelized red onions, cheddar cheese, and Sriracha sauce.

Then there's the ol' standard Chili Fries with chili, cheddar cheese,  and red onions. 

Others have created their own versions as well. Fuzion Eatz sometimes has Asada Fries - marinated steak, black beans, cheese, guacamole, and mango salsa. They are not a regular menu item, so they aren't always available.

Addison's Originals has the Pele: fries, cheese skirt, kahlua pork, sauce.

El Matador does California Fries with home fried potatoes (because he doesn't have a fryer), Mexican rice, choice of meat, pico de gallo, cheese, and crema.

photo by

The Broderick restaurant, by owners of the Wicked Wich truck, has Banh Mi Fries - slow roasted pulled pork, pickled vegetables, jalapeños & house made citrus caramel sauce. These were recently praised by I'm looking forward to trying them as I love banh mi sandwiches.

So many to choose from to suit anyone's taste. Myself, I plan to try each and every one!

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Last week I posted a recipe for Chestnut Eggnog Ice Cream after I went to the store and they were all out of whipping cream. My original intent had been to make a chocolate chestnut ice cream. Now, with whipping cream in hand, I have done that one too.

I choose to be lazy and buy the chestnut puree ready made from the Eastern European grocery store. If you would like to make it yourself while the chestnuts are currently in season, the recipe isn't that hard. Here is a chestnut puree recipe for you. 

And since I've been on chestnuts lately, I will remind you of my very favorite recipe, the European style flourless chocolate cake that uses chestnut puree as the base.

Chocolate Chestnut Ice Cream
  • 1 cup chestnut puree
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups whipping cream
Cooking Directions
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the chestnut puree cocoa powder, vanilla, and sugar until well blended. Add whipping cream and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Pour into ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions.
Truffles with edible gold
Holiday gift idea

Relating to Spamarind Dinner

When it came to trying to think of a dessert that might use Spam, I thought of Garrett's bacon truffles over at Vanilla Garlic. Why not sub the Spam for the bacon?

So basically that's what I did. I took a slice Spam and cut it into very small cubes and then fried them up like bacon to get crispy. I then drained them on a paper towel and used them for the truffles. I took them to work and let people try them before I told them what it was. Only one person figured that it was some sort of meat. Everyone found them pleasantly acceptable and no one spit it out.

The saltiness of the Spam actually is a nice addition to the chocolate. Enjoy!

Spam Truffles - alteration of Garrett's recipe

1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup of fine chopped fried Spam
8 ounces of 60% or 70% chocolate (chips or well chopped)
cocoa powder for rolling

1. Finely dice some ham until you have 1/3 cup. Cook in a skillet until crispy, but not burnt. Place on some paper towels and press, being sure to soak out all extra grease.

2. Place heavy whipping cream in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat and bring to just under a simmer. Take off heat.

3. Sprinkle in chocolate and cover for 5 minutes, allowing the chocolate to melt in the hot liquid. Stir gently until combined. (This is called a ganache.) Fold in the chopped spam.

4. Pour into a bowl and cover. Refrigerate for 4 hours.

5. Using your hands dusted in cocoa powder and a teaspoon roll out balls of chocolate about 1/2-1 inch in diameter. Roll in cocoa powder and place on a plate. Store in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Tip: You can also spray your hands with Pam to help with the rolling and then roll them in the cocoa.

This last Thanksgiving we chucked out the turkey in favor of prime rib. It was the first time I had ever cooked one and it was delicious! We bought a 13 lb. roast at Costco and then I followed the directions on this great website dedicated to cooking prime rib.  Little did I know how easy it is to do. It's just expensive. Still, enjoying a properly prepared, beautiful piece of meat is very satisfying on both the stomach and the ego.

Here's your opportunity to enjoy some choice cuts of meat and seafood, use a discount, and get a chance at a $50 gift card for a future order. Not such a bad thought. After all, we like to indulge ourselves for the holidays.

Certified Steak & Seafood Company's commitment to their customers is simple: Offer the highest quality products at the best price and back it with a 100% guarantee. They source directly with no "middle man" making their supply chain the shortest in the industry. This allows them to maintain the highest quality standards all the way to your plate.

On top of this, they sample all products at the moment of final packaging and have a world-renowned laboratory test for various types of adulteration or contamination. This ensures that the food you purchase is pure and safe.

Certified Steak & Seafood Company has a $25 off coupon and it is good all the way through January 2013. Get something nice for Christmas Eve and something different for New Year's Eve. 

You can also enter to win the $50 GC by tweeting: "Enter to win. @CertifiedSteak is giving away 20 $50 Gift Card to Certified Steak & Seafood."

My favorite steak is a really good rib eye. What's yours?

Disclosure: This sponsorship is brought to you by Certified Steak & Seafood Company who we have partnered with for this promotion.

chestnut eggnog ice cream with cacao nibs

I generally don't eat ice cream once the weather gets cold, but I wanted to try a chestnut ice cream. My grocery store was out of whipping cream, so I grabbed a carton of eggnog on a whim. The beauty of it is that eggnog has all the sugar and spice taken care of.  You can't get any easier than a two ingredient ice cream!

Often when I make ice cream I take it out of the maker when it is soft serve consistency and transfer it to a container to freeze. Fully frozen, some ice creams can be icy hard, depending on the ingredients. This ice cream remains a soft hard, making it easy to scoop out without bending any spoons. 

You can find chestnut puree at any Eastern European store around town. You could make it yourself from fresh chestnuts, but I'm guessing all but a handful would rather take the easy way like I did.

Chestnut Eggnog Ice Cream
  • 2 cups eggnog
  • 3/4 cup chestnut puree
Cooking Directions
  1. Whisk eggnog and chestnut puree together. Pour into ice cream maker and process according to instructions.
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Enotria Restaurant and Winebar on Urbanspoon

2012 marked my 25th anniversary of living in Sacramento. Originally it was supposed to be just a stopover as I intended to eventually go to Los Angeles and try to get into movie production. I had been told that the Central Valley was the armpit of California and so I had low expectations for Sacramento. Yet here it is 25 years later and I can tell you that I LOVE Sacramento and can't imagine living anywhere else now. 

Over these many years there have been some businesses and restaurants that have weathered the economic storms. Only a few have managed to endure where others succumbed. One of those is Enotria

When I was married (and I've been divorced for 12 years now), my husband and I used to go to Enotria for special occasions. Back then Del Paso Boulevard was kinda gangsta and seemed an odd place for fine dining. The space was cramped, the building old. Then they renovated in 2010 and the new space is wonderful. What once had been the parking lot was turned into the wine bar/entry with comfy lounge seating to wait for your party or your table. The patio (which I've never experienced in all these years), is large with a nice waterfall feature. The hostess will take you down the long hall that connects to the dining area, which occupies the same space as the old days, but remodeled. 

I was thrilled when they announced that the new Executive Chef was to be Pajo Bruich. Bruich had been gaining notoriety for his innovative and creative cuisine that didn't seem to have a home. He did pop-up events and then was at Lounge on 20 for a while, but he needed a proper place here in Sacramento. We couldn't afford to loose this culinary talent to the Bay Area or Napa. It's almost like a slap-to-your-forehead "Aha!" that he should be at Enotria. It just seems like a perfect fit.

I decided that I would treat myself for my birthday and use a very old Enotria gift certificate I had. I don't have issues with dining alone, especially since I'm a bit selfish with coupons/gift certificates. I want to use the full value on myself! And so I did for my birthday.

If you are looking for a recipe software program, then I highly recommend MasterCook. I got my first copy about 12 years ago. I entered in all my family recipes and some favorites I found through the years. Several new pcs and a couple of crashes and they were forgotten about. I still had them in backups, but I couldn't open them on newer systems. This month I broke down and bought the latest version - 9. With that I was able to finally see my recipes again.

One of the lost recipes that was in the backups was one for chicken pate. I had found it somewhere years ago and decided to use it with leftover turkey for a holiday party. This weekend I had another holiday party and was happy to have stumbled upon the lost recipe.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can use leftover chicken. I went and got a rotisserie chicken for dinner the other night and used the rest for this pate. It's also great because you can use it as a base and doctor it up with spices to your own creative imaginations.

I took it to our blogger potluck and it was well received. The biggest fan was two year old Eva. She kept going back for more. The adults seemed to like it too. Let's just say that I didn't have any leftovers to bring home.

The recipe is good on its own, but I wanted something for a little extra garnish, so I added a few capers which added a nice bit of extra saltiness to each morsel.

Chicken Pate

2 t parsley, flat leafed
1 t tarragon, fresh
1 red onion, 2 inch piece
5 oz cooked chicken
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
6 tbsp unsalted butter (I use less. It's to help create the creamy spreadability, so add to make it to your desired consistency.)
1 ts salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

Process ingredients in a food processor until finely pureed and well blended. Taste and adjust seasonings. Pack into ramekins and chill. May be stored four days in advance.

I really like Swagbucks- let me count the ways. So far I have earned enough to get the following over the years:

  • FIVE $25 Itunes gift cards that I use for my nephew and godson
  • TWO $50 Southwest Airlines giftcards
  • a $10 Barnes & Noble giftcard
  • Dings to cover/protect my notebook pc and Droid phone
  • a heart rate monitor watch
And now you can earn $6SB for every $1 spent on!

What is Swagbucks? It's a website that rewards you with Swagbucks for doing simple things like searching the internet, shopping, playing games, watching videos, answering surveys, etc. Swagbucks have a sort of cash value. For instance, you might earn $11 SB just for Googling "black garlic". And I say Googling on purpose. Once you put their toolbar on your browser and search via the toolbar or from their webpage, it is actually using the Google search engine. You will get the same search results, so why not get $SB for it? You get a $SB for answering the Daily Poll and you can get $SBs for watching  videos. It's all good.
    You can also use your $SB to enter raffles for prizes like giftcards, game systems, Kindles, and more.

    And yes, you get $SB for referrals. So all the Swagbucks links I've provided do have my referral code in them.  But here's a bonus for YOU - if you decide to join, use the code NOVEMBERSB (by Dec. 1st) and you'll get an additional $80 SB instantly.

    Here's a breakdown of all the ways that I know to earn $SB:
    • Searching the internet via their toolbar or website
    • Shop!
    • Daily Poll
    • Take surveys
    • Daily Deals - such as Groupon,, etc
    • Shop via their associated partners including such big sites as Overstock, BestBuy, and more
    • Print coupons for groceries, etc and get $SB for each one printed
    • Watch videos
    • Play online Flash Games
    • Sign up for special offers like newsletters or subscriptions
    You can also grab $SB from special codes that show up in Twitter, Facebook, code hunts, etc. There's Twitter Trivia and other fun contests where you can win $SB.

    So....Why not sign up for Swagbucks?  You're gonna search the internet and shop on Amazon anyway, so why not get paid for it?
    I recently teased my brother, "Why can't you date women without any dietary restrictions?" His ex-wife is vegetarian. Others have had allergies. His current girlfriend is allergic to gluten and eggs and she was joining us for Thanksgiving.

    Now I'm pretty used to cooking gluten-free now, but I have avoided doing the whole vegan thing. Not that egg allergies make you a vegan, but eggs are such an important part to baking, that I wasn't sure how well my recipes would do without them. 

    I ended up making two desserts for her. One was this version of the sticky toffee pudding I had made a couple years ago.  It came out just as dense and moist as the original. My second recipe also came out well. Vegan baking isn't so hard after all!

    Gluten-free Vegan Sticky Toffee Pudding

    Cooking Directions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a springform pan and set aside.
    2. In a small bowl, mix together flax seed and water. Let sit to gel.
    3. Put the chopped dates, cinnamon sticks and water into a high-sided saucepan and bring to a boil. Let simmer while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
    4. In a mixing bowl, use a hand blender to cream together the sugar and Earth Balance spread. Add the flax seed mixture, xanthan gum, and GF flour and blend until smooth.
    5. By now the dates should be nicely softened and the water thickened. Remove the cinnamon sticks. Add the baking powder and be aware that it is going to foam up. Mix together and then pour the whole date mixture into the batter. Blend them together well.
    6. Pour batter into springform pan. Bake for about 30 mins or until a cake tester (or toothpick) comes out clean. Poke holes into the cake using a skewer.
    7. Take 1/2 c of toffee sauce and pour over cake so it will soak into the holes.
    8. Cut and serve warm with additional toffee sauce on top.

    • 100 grams light corn syrup
    • 200 grams light brown sugar
    • 150 grams vegan margarine
    • 100 ml soya cream
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    Cooking Directions
    1. To make the sauce: melt the syrup, margarine, sugar & vanilla essence in a small saucepan & simmer for 5 minutes without stirring. Leave to cool slightly & then stir in the soya cream. Prick the pudding all over & pour half the hot toffee sauce over the pudding.

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    Samosa Garden on Urbanspoon

    There are those restaurants where you have your favorite item so that you order it every time - even though you might be missing out on other great items on the menu. You are narrowly focused on this one dish that you know and love. The same can be said about places. You make a trip to a town you go to infrequently and you just have to go to that special spot. It's like you are drawn to it by a giant magnet.

    When I go to Berkeley the restaurant I  am drawn to is Vik's Chaat. Sometimes, for better or worse, I just can't go because of the hours they keep. But if they are open, I'm there to either eat or pick up items I can take home to eat later.

    Chaat refers to Indian street food. When the sun goes down, the people come out and stroll the streets socializing. All along the streets are vendor carts selling all kinds of street snacks. Before or after a show or movie, people will stop for bites to eat.

    Vik's Chaat is definitely a find, but what about Sacramento? Where can one find chaat here? I found out recently when Maneeza and Suzanne took me down to Florin & Stockton to a small place called Samosa Garden.

    Samosa Garden is one of those hole-in-the-wall kind of finds in a dreary strip mall. You enter to find a display case filled with Indian sweets (which I wanted to take a picture of but forgot). After that is a buffet table. They do sell lunch/dinner combos of food, but this place is known for the chaat and that's what we had for our lunch. With three of us we ordered five items totaling about $17 and we still had leftovers. I was impressed.

    As someone who is not all that knowledgeable about Indian food, I won't get terribly critical about the dishes. I will say that this was good food, but not great food. But there's a time when one has those cravings and if you have a craving one day for chaat, then here is where you can find it locally.

    All of our items were vegan, as is typical of a majority of Indian food. I forgot to take a picture of our three samosa, large and filled with chunks of spiced potato. It was served with a cilantro chutney and a sweet chili sauce. They were tasty, but I've had samosa with much flakier pastry.

    This is the Pani Puri. You open a hole in the puffs, fill it with the chickpea/potato mixture and sauces and then eat it down. I prefer the pani puri at Vik's Chaat better. The tamarind water just wasn't as nice here.

    The Aloo Paratha. Aloo refers to the potato filling. This was my favorite item of the day. It's similar to an Afghani bolani in that it is their flatbread with a filling that you then can add a topping smeared atop. Here you see it with yogurt.

    This is the Bhel Puri and is Maneeza's favorite. It has different sort of crispies, onion, spices, and then a tamarind sauce. I liked it because I liked the addition of onions.

    We also shared a Masala Dosa. It was also filled with a potato filling and had mint and tomato chutneys with it.

    As I think about places I'm drawn to when I'm in certain areas, that would usually be Huong Lan at Stockton & 65th for banh mi sandwiches. But now I've got another place that might pull my attention on occasion - Samosa Garden.

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    Fennel is a new ingredient for me. I recently got a bulb of it in my CSA box. I also had a couple ears of corn that I had forgotten about in my refrigerator. Thus I wanted to combine the two. I happened to have a blood orange infused olive oil that worked great for this. I also had some lemon salt to sprinkle atop the serving. All in all, a great, refreshing salad.

    Fennel Corn Salad

    1 bulb of fennel, sliced, core removed
    1/4 cup chopped fennel fronds
    1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, chopped
    1/4 cup red onion, chopped
    kernels from 2 ears of corn, cooked
    1 Tablespoon olive oil
    3 Tablespoons lemon juice
    freshly ground pepper to taste

    Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss to thoroughly coat apple and vegetables with the oil and lemon juice. 

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    CF Cheng Chinese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

    Update 4/9/13: A regular customer friend has told me that the entire staff has turned over, including the chef. The food is no longer as good. This review is now outdated.

    Typically when you want to go out for great, truly authentic ethnic food, you go where the natives eat (so to speak). For Chinese, that usually means somewhere in the south area, maybe on Stockton or Freeport Boulevards. These will be the places where they have taped up photos of the dishes on the wall for the non-Chinese customers because the menus will all be in Chinese and the servers don't speak English. The tables will be filled with Chinese patrons eating dishes made with jelly fish, strange vegetables, and parts of animals that most Americans would never consider eating.

    Recently I was taken to "the best Chinese in town" by my new co-worker, Flora. She is a Chinese immigrant and has recently moved here from Los Angeles and it soon became apparent she was a foodie. She's been making friends among the Chinese community in town and they are the ones who told her of CF Cheng' Natomas. After trying it herself a couple of times, she agreed and took me to treat me to dinner.

    CF Cheng's is located off Arena Boulevard not far from the arena itself. It's in one of those complexes where there is also a Massage Envy and a Mel's Diner. The style is Cantonese. The restaurant itself is small, clean, and new.  It is only able to seat about 40 people. My coworker had called to make a reservation for two, something I thought a bit odd for a small Chinese restaurant. But, she says, it is often packed with a long wait and she figured she better call to see if they would take a reservation.

    Habesha Restaurant on Urbanspoon

    The first time I had Ethiopian food I was in college in Portland and didn't care for it. As far as I was concerned, it demonstrated the poverty of the country to me as it was all mush. Not a good first impression.

    But one does grow older and wiser. Add to that the fact that people just rave about the Ethiopian food found in Sacramento at Queen of Sheba. I have yet to dine there myself, but recently did venture to another spot, Habesha on Fair Oaks Boulevard. I had bought a half-off coupon that was about to expire and so I invited Suzanne to join me for dinner.

    Habesha is tucked away at the back corner of a strip mall behind Ettore's on Fair Oaks Boulevard. It's a casual place that has a counter and they sell everything from breakfast fare to smoothies. Apparently it had been a gyro cafe in a former life. We found a table and quickly noticed that the owner had printouts of the favorable Sacramento News & Review review under the glass of every table. Before I had arrived I had checked out the Yelp reviews to find them a mixed bag with most complaints about service. No such troubles were to befall us.

    We decided to stick with the easy way out and ordered the combination platter shown at top. But to start, I couldn't pass up the lamb samosas. I prefer my samosas with meat versus vegetarian and these lamb ones were fantastic. They were filled with finely ground lamb that had a good amount of spicy heat to them. They were served with a cucumber sauce to cool your tongue down. This worked very well as they were the perfect counter to each other.

    During college I worked in a gourmet pasta shop in Portland. I learned all about fresh pasta and sauces and ate well for a college student. It was at this shop that I had my first experience with panforte.

    Panforte is Italian for 'strong bread', yet it's not a bread at all. The best description is that it is an Italian fruit cake, although it is really closer to a candy than a baked good. It's so rich that you only eat a sliver at a time. Like all those jokes about fruit cakes lasting for years, panforte will last a long time. It was because of this that it was often carried by travelers in the Middle Ages. You can store it in a cupboard, no need to refrigerate, for weeks.

    Recipes for panforte vary as much as each region of Italy. Every family can have their own closely guarded recipe. The beauty of it is that you can put all sorts of stuff into it depending on what you have or what you like. There will always be nuts, usually almonds and hazelnuts. The nuts are kept whole and not chopped up. The varying ingredients could be: raisins, dried figs and/or apricots, and candied citrus peel. There is also a lot of spice, so this is another area where you can doctor to your tastes. Some even it get to be spicier by adding pepper.

    The addition of chocolate didn't apparently start until the 1800s. In Italy you will find versions with and without chocolate. Myself, I've only ever had the chocolate version.

    Because the flour in a traditional panforte recipe is only used to help bind the ingredients, panforte is perfect for gluten-free adjustment. If you choose to make this with regular flour, just put 3/4 cup flour instead of the tapioca and coconut flours.

    Finally, panforte is usually done in a springform or round pan. I was testing this panforte for another project and so I did it in a shallow cookie pan.


    1 cup roasted hazelnuts, skins removed
    1 cup almonds
    1/2 cup chopped dried figs
    1/2 cup raisins
    1/2 cup chopped candied citrus

    1/2 cup tapioca powder
    1/2 cup coconut flour
    1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

    3 ounces of semisweet chocolate
    2/3 cup honey
    1 cup sugar
    powdered sugar for dusting

    Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

    Generously grease a springform pan. Set aside.

    In a large bowl, mix the nuts and fruit together. In a small bowl, combine together the tapioca and coconut flours with the cocoa powder and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the fruit and nuts and mix together to coat the nuts and fruit.

    Put the semisweet chocolate pieces in a small, microwave proof bowl. Microwave for a minute at a time, stirring each  minute, until the chocolate is melted.

    Put the sugar and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Keep heating until the mixture reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Add the chocolate and mix together.

    Take the hot chocolate/honey mixture and add to the fruit/nut mixture. Mix quickly until incorporated. Quickly pour into the springform pan.

    Bake at 300 degrees for about 35-45 minutes or until the top starts to blister and bubble. Remove and cool on a rack. When it is cooled but still warm, remove the sides of the springform pan. Dust the top with powdered sugar. Let cool completely before serving. 
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    How does a grocery chain celebrate its 30th anniversary? They open their first store in California. Today The Fresh Market opens at 9 a.m. with a Parmesan wheel breaking. Located at 2030 Douglas Boulevard (near the Macaroni Grill), it is on a busy thoroughfare where many will surely stop on their commute.

    I apologize for the horrible photos. I forgot my good camera and had to use my smartphone. 

    Based in Greensboro, North Carolina, The Fresh Market stores are mostly east of the Mississippi. After this first store in Roseville, the second will be in Palo Alto, then Santa Barbara. The company's focus is on bringing the best in perishable (fresh) products to their customers with the best customer service.