Saturday, October 31, 2009

Does Italy Celebrate Halloween?

Well it is Halloween in America and all across the country, children are dressing up and going door to door "trick or treating" for candy. While this practice is the norm for us Americans, its roots come from Europe when immigrants came to America bringing their cultural traditions.

In Italy, Halloween has been becoming more and more popular and while children are not yet going door to door, Italians are spending more and more money on Halloween decorations and parties. All Saints Day is the more popular holiday which was created by Pope Boniface IV to replace the pagan holiday honoring the dead. Even today, the Catholic Church condemns the Halloween celebrations as an American pagan holiday despite its European origin.

While its popularity grows in Italy, Halloween probably won't surpass All Saints Day as the dominant holiday but young adults are increasingly enjoying dressing up and being festive. This is a good indication that Italians are welcome to trying new festive cultures while never abandoning their own.

The more festive holiday Italy observes that people dress up is Carnevale, which is Italy's version of Mardi Gras which occurs in the spring. The holidays haven't changed but how they are observed has. So in truth, All Saints Day is the main holiday in Italy while many still have costume Halloween parties. Halloween has become another money making opportunity for Italian businesses and it's appeal and profitability ensures it's growth, yet for a country where Catholicism is still highly influential, All Saints Day trumps devilish Halloween in Italy.

For all of those going out tonight..... Have fun and be safe.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Espresso Machine Winner

Congratulations to Muriel Reynolds of Pembroke Pines for winning the Saeco Espresso Machine! Keep checking our ads and blog for more give-aways.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Eh Cumpari - Una Bella Canzone

Eh, Cumpari! is a novelty song sung in a Southern Calabrese dialect. It is a cumalitive song where each version contains all the previous verses (like the 12 days of Christmas song). It was adapted from its traditional roots in 1953 and reached as high as #2 on the Billboard Charts.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Stone Crab Claws ~ Tis the Season

Today, October 15th, marks the start of the season for stone crab claws. Stone crabs are found along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, which makes Florida famous for harvesting them. They are mainly harvested off the southern tip of Florida’s peninsula from Sarasota to Fort Lauderdale. Since today is the first day fishermen are allowed to drop their traps, stone crab claws will be available to buy tomorrow, October 16th. Stone crabs are captured commercially with traps which are re-baited every other day. Florida law forbids fishermen taking the whole stone crab. They are allowed to take claws at least 2 3/4 inches long and are required to return stone crabs safely to the water. The stone crab can regenerate its claws three to four times.

Stone crab claws are available in 4 sizes: Medium, Large, Jumbo, and Colossal. Stone crab claws are cooked immediately after harvest, and are then delivered fresh to Doris Market everyday. Fresh cooked can be eaten within three to four days if packed in ice or stored in the coldest part of a refrigerator. Be sure to freeze only claws that are completely intact and free from cracks in the shell. The shell will protect the meat for up to six months in the freezer. When you are ready to eat them, thaw the claws in the refrigerator. The quality will be compromised if they are thawed under running water or at room temperature.

Stone crab claws can be accompanied by many different sauces depending on your tastes. The sweet meat of a Florida stone crab can be eaten unseasoned or paired with melted butter. You can pair stone crabs with a tartar sauce or cocktail sauce. A great sauce to pair the sweet meat with is a spicy mustard sauce, which we make homemade at Doris Market and is available at the Seafood Counter. There is an article in the Sun Sentinel Food Section today on these different sauces, which include recipes. Here is the recipe for the spicy mustard sauce thanks to Chef Mike Rakun at Truluck's Resturant in Fort Lauderdale.

Spicy Mustard Sauce:

- 1 cup Hellmann's Mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Coleman's mustard (dry mustard)
- 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon A-1 steak sauce
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

With an electric mixer on medium speed, mix mustard and mayonnaise. Add remaining ingredients and beat until mixture reaches a creamy consistency. Makes 1 1/4 cups.

To crack the shell:

Use a crab cracker or mallet (which can be purchased at Doris Market instore or online) or the back of a heavy spoon. Remove the cracked shell pieces, leaving the meat attached to the moveable pincer. Remember there is plenty of delicious meat in the knuckle of the claw.
For your convenience we will crack the claws for you upon request.

Serving amounts:
About 2.5 pounds of cooked stone crab claws yield 1 pound of meat. 3 claws is an average amount per serving.
Stone Crab Claws quick facts:
-Firm texture
-Sweet meat
-Low fat
-Extra lean

The Stone Crab season lasts through May 15th, so make sure you stop by your local Doris Market and grab some stone crab claws while they are available.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lou Monte: Pasquale the Italian Pussycat

And now, the sequel to Pepino the Italian Mouse; Pasquale the Italian Pussycat.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fresh Olives are in!

It's that time of the year when fresh olives are available for those who wish to cure their own. The availability of fresh olives lasts until sometime in November so come to your nearest Doris Italian MArket & Bakery and get them while you can. Check with your Doris Italian Market Produce Manager about pricing and availability. If you need tips on how to cure your own olives, check our post from August this year or just click HERE.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Octoberfest - Italian Style

While the Germans may have made their beer synonymous with the month of October, the whole world has adopted the month of October to enjoy beer in general. While Italy is known for its fine wines, the consumption of beer is rapidly growing; even though that amount does not yet rival its neighboring countries. So to help those who wish to observe Octoberfest with Italian beer, here are three beers that you can find at your nearest Doris Italian Market & Bakery.

Peroni Beer is one of the oldest breweries in Italy. It was established in 1846 by Francisco Peroni and was acquired by SABMiller in 2003.

While Peroni is the top selling beer in Italy, Moretti Beer, established in 1856, is quickly gaining ground. Available at Doris Italian Markets is the Standard Birra Moretti and La Rossa. If you get a chance to visit Italy, there are many microbreweries opening up throughout the country and the quality is said to be superior.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Nutella - Heavenly Hazelnut Goodness

I grew up on Nutella. What is Nutella you ask? Nutella is a spreadable hazelnut chocolate spread. It's origin comes from pastry make Pietro Ferrero whose name adorns many products today including Nutella. In the 1940s, there was a cocoa shortage due to the rationing during World War II, so Mr. Ferrero added hazelnuts to extend the chocolate supply. The original form of Nutella came in a foil wrapped loaf and the formula would later be altered to become a spread that came in a jar. Today Nutella is sold world wide and is, in my opinion, the equivalent in Italy as compared to Peanut Butter in the U.S.

My mom used to make my siblings and me sandwiches for school. There were times that I wanted nutella sandwiches. I cannot tell you how many kids were converted after first being repulsed by the appearance of hazelnut chocolate being spread on bread and then to be blown away by the addictive taste.

Nutella's popularity in the states has definitely grown. Every year, fans all over the globe celebrate World Nutella Day. Kobe Bryant of the LA Lakers endorsed the product and it can be found in many grocery stores and of course it can be found in any Doris Italian Market & Bakery. If you don't live in South Florida and cannot find a store that sells Nutella, you can purchase it through our online store. Simply click HERE to purchase Nutella.

For those of you who like to replicate, I have taken the liberty to post a couple of recipes to make your own Hazelnut Spread


Makesabout 1 1/4 cups
Active time:15 min
Start to finish:15 min
April 2008
You might not realize how simple it is to make the classic hazelnut-and-chocolate spread at home. This version has a more nuanced flavor than the store-bought stuff, with a softer texture. It stores really well—you don’t even need to refrigerate it—so don’t be afraid to make a big batch. Watch Goldfarb demontrate how tapioca maltodextrin can turn this spread into “Nutella” Soil.
200 g (7 oz) well-mixed canned hazelnut-praline paste (see cooks’ note, below)
100 g (3.5 oz) unsalted butter, softened
75 g (2.6 oz) 64%-cacao bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped and melted (see Tips)
a gram scale; a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment

  • Beat praline paste and butter in mixer at medium speed until smooth.

  • Beat in melted chocolate until smooth.

Cooks’ notes:
To ensure that hazelnut-praline paste (candied-hazelnut paste) is well mixed, purée entire contents of can in a food processor before measuring.
“Nutella” keeps in an airtight container in a dark, dry place at cool room temperature up to 3 months.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread (easy version)
Yield: about 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups)
2 cups whole raw hazelnuts1 cup powdered sugar1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powderup to 1/4 cup vegetable or nut oil1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place hazelnuts in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Toast until the skins are almost black and the meat is dark brown, about 15 minutes. Stir the nuts halfway through baking to ensure an even color.

  • Since the skin is bitter, you’ll want to discard them. Wrap the cooled hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel or paper towel, and rub until most of the skins have come off. Don’t fret if you can’t get off all the skins.

  • Process nuts in a food processor, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until they have liquefied, about 5 minutes. First, you will get coarsely chopped nuts, then a fine meal. After a little while, the nuts will form a ball around the blade, and it will seem like you only have a solid mass. Keep processing. The heat and friction will extract the natural oils, and you will get hazelnut butter!

  • When the nuts are liquified, add in the sugar, cocoa and vanilla. Slowly drizzle in enough oil to make a spreadable consistency. Since the mixture is warm, it will be more fluid now than at room temperature.

  • Transfer the spread to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for1-2 months. For best results, stir the chocolate-hazelnut spread before using.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread (caramel base)
Caramel instructions from Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts by Alice Medrich
Yield: about 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup sugar1/4 cup water2 cups whole raw hazelnuts1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder1/2 tsp vanilla extract1/8 tsp salt

  • Preparation: Line a baking sheet with foil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Make the caramel: Combine the sugar and water in a 3- to 4-cup saucepan. Do not stir again during the cooking. Cover and bring sugar and water to a simmer over medium heat. Uncover and wipe down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush or a wad of paper towel dipped in water. Cover and cook for 2 minutes, or until the sugar is completely dissolved. Uncover and cook until the syrup turns a pale amber. Test by spooning a drop or two of the syrup onto a white saucer. Swirl the pan gently, continuing to cook and test the color until the syrup darkens to a medium amber color.

  • Pour the caramel immediately onto the lined baking sheet. Tilt sheet to spread caramel as thinly as possible. Let harden completely, about 15 minutes.

  • Toast the nuts: Meanwhile, place hazelnuts in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Toast in the oven until the skins are almost black and the meat is dark brown, about 15 minutes. Stir the nuts halfway through baking to ensure an even color.

  • To get rid of the bitter skins, wrap the cooled hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Rub until most of the skins have come off, but don’t worry if some remain.

  • Make the nut butter: When the caramel is completely cool, break it into pieces and pulverize in a food processor. Try to get the caramel as fine as possible at this stage (it won’t get finer once you add the nuts).

  • Add the nuts and process until they have liquefied, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Be patient; the nuts will go from a fine meal, to forming a ball around the blade, to nut butter. Add the cocoa, vanilla and salt and process until smooth.

  • Transfer the spread to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for1-2 months. For best results, stir the chocolate-hazelnut spread before using.


Please use whole raw nuts, and toast them yourself to intensify the flavor. Pre-toasted or pre-chopped nuts are often spoiled.
To further intensify the nut flavor, use unrefined nut oil (for version 1), which is tan in color. Refined nut oils have the color and flavor removed. Peanut oil is especially cheap in Chinese supermarkets. I bought 20 ounces for $2.38! There’s a lesson: if you’re looking for a “gourmet” ingredient, try an ethnic market.
To make any standard nut butter, use this procedure but omit the powdered sugar, cocoa, vanilla and extra oil. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 2 tbsp granulated sugar. Try making your own cashew butter: you may never go back to peanut butter again! (

You can have Nutella by itself, on fruit, bread, crackers, etc. I love nutella with bananas. But don't take my word for it. Try some for yourself! For more information about Nutella, check out or visit one of our locations.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Gourmé Mist - Natural Oil or Vinegar Mister

Doris Italian Market & Bakery is proud to carry a new item that is sure to make your kitchen adventures more fun and environmentally friendly. The Gourmé Mist Olive Oil Misters and Vinegar Misters were created locally in the state of Florida by two women Sherene & Simona. Their goal was to create a product that is "healthy for consumers and safe for the environment". The result is this innovative continuous spray bottle that is environmentally friendly. While it sprays like an aerosol spray, the Gourmé Mist does not contain any alcohol, chemical propellants, or additives that makes choosing this product over aerosol cooking sprays a no-brainer. Doris carries the following varieties of the misters:
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar
  • Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar

For more information check out the product's website:

For a quick demo, check out the following video:

If you were at our Grand Opening Celebration at our Sunrise location, you would have had an opportunity to sample the product. But if you missed out, do not fret. Demonstrations are scheduled in our other locations. The next GourméMist demonstration is scheduled on Saturday, October 10th at both our Coral Springs & Pembroke Pines locations. The demo will begin at about 12 noon. We look forward to seeing you there! If you show up early at Coral Springs, visit our bakery and purchase some gelato by the scoop. Or just simply wander around the store and get some great ideas for dinner.
See you in our stores!

Luna Mezzo Mare / Lazy Mary

Luna Mezzo Mare was a traditional Italian song sritten by a Sicilain seaman by the name of Paolo Citorello in the 1920s. Lou Monte would later create the lyrics to " Lazy Mary" to the music of "Luna Mezzo Mare".

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Gelato in the House!

It's TIME! That's right folks. The wait is over. The Coral Springs location is now offering gelato by the scoop. If you want to see the current flavors available, click HERE. Prices as of now are as follows:
  • Small - $2.99
  • Medium - $3.75
  • Large - $4.50
  • Pint - $8.99
  • Cone - $2.99
  • All gelato purchases must be made at the counter

As mentioned, espresso and cappuccino will soon follow. Come on in, buy a cup and enjoy it outside at our tables.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Win a free Saeco Espresso Machine!

Win this beautiful Saeco Brand Nina Bar Espresso Machine. For specifications, simply click on the image or click HERE. Enter at any Doris Italian Market location. If you do not have an entry form, simply click & print the one below and fill out. There are collection boxes at each Doris location. The drawing is to be held on Columbus Day. Good Luck to all!