|Heaven in a Bottle|
|Features - Farmers and Markets|
|Written by Jon Ross-Wiley|
A couple of months back, when Local In Season had the pleasure of interviewing Rialto Chef/Owner, Jody Adams, we asked if there were any unusual products available that we might not be aware of. Her response: "Stony Brook in Geneva, New York is making butternut squash seed oil. It’s amazing." It sounded amazing, but I found it hard to imagine the exact taste experience. Chef Adams likened the oil to sesame seed oil in that it is intense in flavor, therefore only requiring a small amount in recipes. I was intrigued. Sure enough a couple of weeks after our interview was published, I received a message on Twitter (a "tweet" for those in the know), alerting me that South End Formaggio was going to be hosting a butternut squash seed oil tasting courtesy of the good people at Stony Brook. And good people they are indeed.
Upon entering Formaggio, I bee-lined it to the tasting table where I met Stony Brook owners, Greg Woodworth and Kelly Coughlin. They had just read Chef Adams' interview so, after sharing our love of all things Adams, we moved into a delightful chat about their product, company, and food. Over the course of our conversation, I think managed to sneak in about three or four samples...some on bread, some paired with various hard cheeses. Don't even get me started on the cheeses at Formaggio. That's another post altogether.
What hits you first is a definite rich, nutty quality, but the sweetness of the butternut squash settles in nicely on the tail end. It's flavorful enough to stand alone as a dipping oil, but its applications are many. I most recently used it to finish blanched asparagus in a grill pan. This was a nice alternative to olive oil or butter. Other customers have reported that even drizzling it over vanilla ice cream is worth a try. I haven't done that yet, but sweet, nutty, and vanilla is a winning combination any day. What does Chef Adams do with it? "We are serving an antipasto plate with cheese, roasted vegetables, seckel pears, pumpkin seeds and a little drizzle of this oil." Take my advice...you will find many uses for this oil once you taste it.
Visit Stony Brook at http:www.wholeheartedfoods.com