Tuesday, August 31, 2010

NPR Pitango Gelato Story

This morning I was snoozing through a 5:30 am wake up. I am not sure which cycle it was, maybe the first or second, but the alarm clock started up just as a story came on about Pitango Gelato. Steve Inskeep introduced the story and needless to say I was awake! Click on Pitango for the NPR story. At the end of the story something resonated with me. The venture capitol person being interviewed said that they are trying to figure out if artisan can become mainstream. The interviewer then follows up with a summary of the concept of whether or not high quality ingredients can be used and then sold at a high price.
Will artisan go mainstream? This poses an interesting argument. What is artisan and what is mainstream? I can think of several artisan companies that are in the mainstream. LaBrea breads from the west coast, and many of the fine cheeses produced domestically and abroad still maintain a method of production that is not much different from when they started out. The difference is that they just make more. There are many craft beers on the market today and many chocolate companies that use rustic techniques to produce their products. Small food companies make quality food using techniques that they have to use, because they can't afford the alternative. They may also believe that certain techniques produce the best quality product. Most of the time ingredients and technique are what make things taste better than the mass produced stuff. I am not sure that the issue is whether or not artisan can go mainstream or not it is whether or not the artist can produce enough to be in the mainstream.
The other issue brought up in the story was whether or not high quality ingredients can be used and then sold at a high price? Recently the New York Times ran an story from Julia Moskin on the price of artisan ice creams. How can they justify the $10.00 pint? Price is based on many factors. The use of high quality ingredients commands a higher price at the end. There is no other way about it. The issue is will people pay for it? When I ran a small shop I used to make cranberry chicken salad. People placed orders in advance for weddings and parties. It was very good. We used the highest quality ingredients available. When food reps would come in and notice that I was using Hellman's they would always offer their product for half the price with the slogan, "they will never know the difference." The other brand was cheaper and would increase my profits but it was not as good as Hellman's. And my customers could taste the difference. I had an offer to use already cut celery, and chopped onions, but in the end the cheaper foods would never amount to a better product, just a cheaper one. I never had to try these products because I already knew. You can't use cheap products and then charge a high price. Not many people run food costs at home or do the math on potion costs when they cook a meal. Bacos or bacon? I think we all know that you can't fake the real thing and it is worth every penny.
I got up, had my tea and breakfast then headed off to make more gelato. I'm not worried about artisan going mainstream. I just hope that there is not the same silly debate over artisan as there was over organic. Remember that? At first it was organic then certified organic and then biodynamic, and now it has settled on local. Which has always made more sense. Let's leave the titles out and just enjoy good food, made with quality ingredients, that are made locally.
Thanks for supporting Madisono's

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Blueberry, Peach and Nectarine at Findlay

I spent a good part of Tuesday processing fruit from my parents store for some new flavors. These will be dipped at findlay and served at Prima Vista restaurant. Don't look for them in pints but if you want a pint to take home just ask. The Findlay staff will be happy to assist you.
Many of you know that Madisono's is a partner with Sustain Brands. Sustain brand foods are popping up all over town. Many of them are sold at Madison's @ Findlay 110 W. Elder St. They have salsa, fresh salsa and some soups. If you click here, there is a link about Sustain Brands if you want to know more about them and their philosophy on foods.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Big Award for Madisono's!

The sign says it all. A big thanks to Cincinnati Magazine for the award. I am grateful for such and award. Did you know that we make our own gelato bases from scratch? This means that all of the ingredients are mixed and then pasteurized at the plant. Did you know that we make four different gelato bases? They are neutral, chocolate, dark chocolate and cinnamon. The sorbet bases are also made from scratch. Each sorbet has it's own recipe. This is why Madisono's tastes so good.
This past weekend was quite busy. Saturday morning I set up for the Lady Distance Classic 5k/10K run in Blue Ash. The morning was cool and crisp. We sampled mango sorbet, lemon basil sorbet, dark chocolate gelato, French vanilla gelato, and caramello with sea salt gelato. Thanks to all of you who stopped by for samples. We will be back next year with some new flavors. If you shop at Whole Foods you would know that this past week was local week and that means demos. I traveled to Columbus on Saturday to the Dublin store and sampled to the masses. What a great event! I brought home some organic dog treats and met some great people. Sunday was another demo at the Upper Arlington store which turned out to be a great day too. Thanks to all of you who sampled and purchased Madisono's. Yes the Maple Nut with Brown Sugar is crazy delicious. I am looking forward to lunch on the land in September.
On Tuesday of this week I am going to make some peach, nectarine and blueberry gelato. I got some great fruit from my parents store at Findlay Market and can not wait to offer them to all of you. They will be available for dipping this weekend. Thanks again to Cincinnati Magazine for the award.
Thanks to all of you for your support.