The class was called The Scrumptious Pantry: Cooking Seasonally & Locally in Winter and showed that it's possible to eat local foods in the winter by cooking with pickled vegetables, which isn't something I had considered before. Inger also attended the class, which made it even more fun.
The class began by Michael Gloriso giving us a brief history of his family's store. Three generations of Glorioso family members currently work in the store, including the three founding brothers who are 90, 88 and 82 years-old.
Glorioso's opened on February 14, 1946 and remained in the same 3,100 sq ft space for 64 years, until relocating to its current 20,000 sq ft home in December 2010.
Lee Greene, owner of The Scrumptious Pantry, taught us how to make three delicious dishes with pickled vegetables. The pasta had pickled lemon cucumbers, the pizza had pickled beets and the quiche had pickled Beaver Dam peppers.
Michael Matousek of Hinterland Brewery presented the beer paired with each dish. Although I generally don't like beer, the Maple Bock was very good. Hinterland makes their own maple syrup, which lends a subtle maple flavor to the beer, and it also has a slight smokiness from boiling the sap over an open flame.
Prior to the class, I didn't think I liked quiche, but I have a feeling that I never had a "market quiche" as Lee called it, which is a lot of vegetables with just a little egg to hold it together.
The Beaver Dam pepper was a main quiche ingredient and a pepper I hadn't heard of until I saw news of a Centennial Celebration this past fall. Seeds for the pepper were brought over from the Austrian-Hungarian empire in 1912 and it's currently considered an endangered food because so few farmers are growing the peppers.
After class, Inger and I stocked up on the ingredients needed to make the recipes that Lee demonstrated, including several Scrumptious Pantry items. I'm hoping to make all three dishes this week...we'll see how that goes :) I also picked up my favorite Glorioso's frozen ravioli, which is such a tasty, quick meal.
I really like The Scrumptious Pantry labeling, which has photos and names of the farmers that grow the ingredients. For example, Carlo in Italy who grows the wheat for the pasta, Alison & Alex in Illinois who grow beets, John in Wisconsin who grows Beaver Dam peppers and Jenny & Rink in Wisconsin who grow lemon cucumbers.
I could see people experiencing sticker shock when shopping at Glorioso's, but I think Joe Glorioso said it best in a Journal Sentinel article - "Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten."