If you order an ordinary chocolate milkshake or banana split when the same menu includes tobacco-scented sodas and peppercorn floats, does that mark you as cowardly and dull -- or very brave?
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Balsamic can be used as a glaze for meats, can be drizzled atop fruits, and can even go great alongside less conventional meals, such as grilled cheese or oatmeal.
With my first taste of fresh pasta, freshly harvested vegetables barely blanched and dressed with luscious and fruity extra virgin olive oil, I thought I'd never be the same. Well, indeed, I wasn't.
Every fall, as the sugar content of the grapes at Rocky Hill Farm in Sonoma becomes ideal, a group of old friends gathers for the harvest -- not to make wine, but to make balsamic.
There are numerous labeling conventions, numerous methods of production, numerous claims of authenticity, and a boggling range of quality and price.
If you have never savored the rich, tender, beefy (never gamey) flavor of a lamb loin chop, you are missing what I consider to be the best nugget of red meat in the world. Period. Really.
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