Thursday, April 18, 2013

Lake Wine&Spirits Best Cheese Shop For 2013

Our friends at Lake Wine and Spirits (404 West lake Street, 612-354-7194) are way tickled that City Pages has chosen them Best Cheese Shop for 2013. CP said they have a "friendly, helpful staff," and an "unpretentious corner-market vibe."

"A fairly recent (and sorely needed) addition to Minneapolis's Whittier neighborhood, Lake Wine and Spirits is your one-stop shop for a Friday night party run or an evening in with a block of cheese, a baguette, and two bottles of wine."

We'd like to think that we had something to do with CP's choice, so pick up some Smokies, Sweeties, Naughties, Hotties, and Stuffies while you're getting the cheese, baguette, and vino.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Recipe, 3 Weekend Demos

We'll be at three stores this weekend, introducing Barsy's Almonds to new friends.

Friday, 11-1, we'll be at both Mississippi Markets in St. Paul, 1500 7th Street West, and 622 Selby (Selby at Dale).

Saturday, 12-3, we'll be at the Edina Whole Foods, 7401 France Avenue South. It's Local Vendor Day, and we'll be helping the Edina WF celebrate its First Anniversary.

Here's a recipe for Barsy's Almond Berries. Thanks again to Jeanette and Christopher for this tasty treat.

1 pint Strawberries (I know we're rushing the season, but I'm tired of winter!)

1/2 pint blueberries

1/2 cup of your favorite Barsy's Almonds (Call me conservative, but I'm going with Sweeties. Don't let me stop you from getting a little daring, though, with -- say -- Hotties.)

1 cup amaretto liquer

Mix berries together in a bowl. Pour amaretto over the berries and toss well. Cover and chill. Sprinkle almonds on top before serving.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Creation of Barsy's Almonds

Maybe it would be a good idea to talk about what we're talking about here.

The Barsy's website,, says this about Barbara and Jason:

            Tired of working in an office for someone else,
            they were determined to start a business of their
            own. But what kind of business?

They had been the creative team for a business-to-business mail order company which its founder had bootstrapped from himself, an accountant, and a shipping-receiving guy to a thirty-some-employee, eight-digit concern. In failing health, and not up to the challenges presented by the Internet, the founder sold his brainchild to a company full of bean counters that buys going concerns from people who know what they're doing. It was the turn of the millennium.

The two hung in there for a few years. In 2008, they took a recipe of Barbara's -- Smokies -- to Minneapolis' Midtown Farmers' Market. Smokies were a hit!

What are Smokies? Here's what the website -- -- says:

         Sometimes called our “regular almonds”, these are
         the first almonds we sold and they’re still
         our most popular. They feature a deep hickory flavor
         that’s been called “vegan bacon”. The delightful
         crust is nutritional yeast, believe it or not.
         Wonderful with beer!

That "delightful crust" gives Smokies the savory, umami flavor that rockets Smokies to the next level of sensation. (Umami is a Japanese word for one of five basic flavors, along with sweet, salty, bitter, and sour. It's the one they didn't teach me in fifth grade science.)

At the Midtown Farmers' Market Barbara and Jason realized they might be able to fulfill their dream of freedom and self reliance.

Customers suggested a cinnamon almond. Always alert for the surprising, subtle twist, Barbara and Jason covered almonds with the spices of chai lattes, and invented Sweeties. (Barbara has always made a fabulous cup of tea!)

They also created Naughties, Hotties, and Stuffies. A very bright niece suggested a maple-flavored almond, named Sappies, but so far the motif seems to be names that only just get by the censor.

More on Barsy's flavors later.