We’ve been in Massachusetts for almost two months now. It’s been a heckuva transition but we finally are starting to feel settled. A sure sign of this being the fact that we already have a few favorite spots. I guess it’s not right to use the word ‘favorite’ since we’ve really only experienced a small percentage of what the area has to offer.
We do most of our grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s but, every once in a while, we like to go to Whole Foods and check out the abundant local products that they stock. The Fresh Pond location in Cambridge is especially bustling and for that reason, we tend to avoid it. However, due to the size, it does have an expansive selection of New England goodies. Many of them are lovingly crafted in within a hundred mile radius.
One of the things I miss the most about Princeton is The Bent Spoon. They make a dark chocolate sorbet that is, so far, unmatched. Their hot chocolate is superior to any I’ve ever had. This is coming from someone who doesn’t normally even care for hot chocolate. Batch is another small scale artisan ice cream producer that operates in the Jamaica Plains area of Boston. They did a combined effort with TAZA Chocolate over the weekend at their factory and storefront located in Somerville where they gave out free sundaes. We’ve been to TAZA a few times and it’s a remarkable operation. It’s the only direct trade chocolatier in the U.S. You don’t have to go to the factory if you’re having a craving because their trademark wheels of chocolate are available all over the area. I’ve seen it for sale at several boutiques and cafes as well as Whole Foods. I didn’t get a free sundae but Chris humored me and we drove to the dreaded Fresh Pond Whole Foods because they sell Batch products. They didn’t have many flavors but even if they did, I still don’t think the decision to go with the Salted Caramel would have been a difficult one. Holy Moly! Bent Spoon also has a salted caramel ice cream but Batch easily wins this one. I am proud to say that there is still some left in the freezer because the temptation to throw entire Batch down the hatch was fierce! I love some salty sweet goodness. The salted almond chocolate at TAZA is also a favorite.
The big box in the back is still waiting to be eaten. The small freezer containing these gourmet mac and cheeses from The Good Tastes looked too amazing to pass up! There was a wild mushroom flavor but figs are a major passion of mine. I plan on serving this up with a salad and some crusty bread either Thursday or Friday.
With all of these decadent treats, it’s a good thing that we’ve also joined a local gym here in town!
(4/29) Edit: We finally got around to throwing the mac and cheese into the oven on this past Tuesday and while the ingredients were of excellent quality, I found the overall taste to be a bit lacking. I did enjoy the crispy crumb topping though. I added some salt and it helped. Brie isn’t an especially salty cheese which was probably the issue for me. According to the box, they also have a black truffle mac and cheese and I want to go there!
(5/21) Edit: I found The Good Tastes on sale at Whole Foods and decided to try the wild mushroom (with a hint of truffle). Chris gave this one an A+. He definitely wants me to continue to occasionally purchase it. I have a small jar of truffled salt that I added which made it quite good. I enjoyed it more than the fig and brie variety. I think the main issue for me, it just needs a bit more salt which is an easy fix. Obviously this might not be a shared sentiment and there are some folks who can’t have a lot of salt so I don’t mind adding it myself.