10 great local foodie products to help soothe Clevelands cold January bluster – cleveland.com

Posted: January 3, 2021 at 12:53 pm

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Welcome to 2021 at last. Though theres still a lot to do to get back to normal, its a brand-new year filled with optimism and fresh possibilities. A clean start, lots of positivity, and..and then it all comes crashing down. Because no matter what else is going on, the year always, inevitably, without fail, begins with January. Bummer. Whether youre contemplating the bleak wasteland from home, or dragging through the snow, slush, and ice on the way to work, its interminable.

So, as a public service, were going to help you through the dread January doldrums with 10 new, or at least newish, ways to ease through the month, deliciously. Despite the pandemic, theres a lot happening on the North Coast, and these culinary enterprises represent some of the very best of whats fresh to eat in town.

This is the season of self-help, and right here is a great therapeutic place to start. Its good for you and great for the local economy. With enough applications of some these inspired and indulgent edibles, we might be able to breeze through Januarys long days journey and move briskly on to February, which can be just as grim, but is shorter.

Bean pies from Bean Pie Heaven LLC. (photo courtesy Bean Pie Heaven LLC)Bean Pie Heaven LLC

Bean Pie Heaven LLC

Bean Pie Heaven LLC began its existence as a fund-raising opportunity for the Islamic School of the Oasis in Cleveland. Sister Rasheedah Abdur-Razzaq eventually took over the business, and made the bean pies her own, reformulating the recipe based on navy beans to make it more healthful and flavorful. Bean pies have a long legacy in the Islamic-American community as a key element of a nutritious diet, promoted by the Nation of Islam founders. Abdur-Razzaqs hand-crafted pies are just sweet enough and properly succulent, the artfully fluted crust tender and flaky. Originally selling from her front porch, with the help of her husband and children, she repurposed a vintage barber shop into a spacious bakery, where everyone can feel safe to come and enjoy a touch of heaven. There, she turns out sweet potato pies, peach cobbler, pecan pies, cheesecakes, rich buttermilk pies, and glamorous meringue-crowned lemon pies as well as her legacy bean pies. It is a place of good temptationsas Abdur-Razzaq herself says, so dangerousYa Allah help me! We know that feeling well.

Bean Pie Heaven LLC 1120 East 105th St. Cleveland, OH 44108.

216-862-9740 Call/text for hours and to order ahead (recommended). Curbside pickup available. Text to request price list.

Cleveland Chocolate Co. owner and chocolate maker Rebecca Hess. (photo courtesy Cleveland Chocolate Co.)Cleveland Chocolate Co.

Cleveland Chocolate Co.

You may remember Rebecca Hess as the chef who made the late-great-and-still-lamented Arcadian Food + Drink the unforgettable dining experience it was -- for way too brief a time. Well, shes back, this time applying her taste and talent to the fine art of single origin chocolate. Lucky us. It all started with a tropical fruit CSA that included fresh cacao pods. She soon fell in love with the process of making chocolate and now, shes says, its been really cool seeing how much joy chocolate can bring someone, and to be able to handcraft each bar with care from start to finish is something really special. Working out of Tremonts Fairmont Creamery in a storefront that is the very model of a modern day confectionery, all bright white and shiny stainless steel, she crafts her organic fair trade chocolate bars from cacao pods from Ghana, Belize, Haiti and other key sources around the world. Each bar, identified by country of origin and varying percentages of cocoa, has identifying tasting notes similar to wine and whiskey (the pleasant ones, like strawberry, honey and butter, no dirt, dill, or dirty socks).

When youre at the shop, or other places around town that stock the bars--check website for locations get a variety and organize a chocolate tasting with your family or a few close friends. Pick a mix of solid chocolate and inclusion bars. If you can, try the 70% dark Dominican Republic bar, deep rich silken chocolate with hints of strawberry and peppercorn, and the exotic Golden Mylk bar, a soft white chocolate made with cashew and oat milk, layered with crystallized ginger, then sprinkled with turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and black pepper. No matter which you choose, they all have that really special taste of pure luxury chocolate.

Cleveland Chocolate Co. 2306 West 17th St. Suite 4, Cleveland, OH 44113

http://www.clevelandchocolate.co 440-465-0883 Curbside pickup and online ordering available. Also available at stores, hotels, and restaurants around town.

'Flaming' Fred Stoldt of Fred Hot LLC. (photo courtesy Fred Hot LLC)Fred Hot LLC

Fred Hot

Who could resist a jar full of what looks like dusty chards of broken colored glass with a label displaying a wild-eyed screaming demon head with flaming hair and the immortal words FRED HOT HOT GLASS CANDY: Jalapeno Lime, Habanero Orange, Ghost Pepper Cherry? Ok, I almost passed it up myself the first time I saw it. But then, circling back, I had to have it. You will, too. In the interest of full disclosure, the Jalapeno Lime flavor is kind of bogus. You could give it to your toddler, if toddlers were allowed jagged-edged broken lollipops, which is the basic construct of HOT GLASS CANDY, and she wouldnt even flinch. But the Habanero Orange Flavor has a nice creeping heat, and the Ghost Pepper Cherry is worth every incendiary moment it spends tearing up your mouth. Feel the burn, indeed. Hot glass candy is the brain child, or more like the mutant offspring, of Fred Stoldt, a charming voluble Euclid police officer who develops volcanic edibles on the side. The glass candy is really just a one-off for him. When you check out his website (www.fredhotspice), youll find an entire flaming empire of pretty hot stuff. You could pick one new hot sauce, pickled vegetable, atomic spice blend, sriracha cheese powder, or pepper jelly for every day of the month, and still have a few left over for February. My personal favorite is Himalayan Hell-Fire, 4 oz. of pure Himalayan pink crystal salt blended with the hottest pepper in the world!!! The Carolina Reaper!!! Salt and lots and lots of pepper all wrapped up together. Again, who could resist?

Fred Hot LLC P.O. Box 23423, Euclid, OH 44123 http://www.fredhotspice.com

216-410-4403. Available online and in local stores, refer to website for details.

Marchant Manor Cheeses Henley, Elmstead Ash, and Lapworth Peppercorn Camembert (photo courtesy Marchant Manor Cheese)Marchant Manor Cheese

Marchant Manor Cheese

You would think pathology would not be the typical path to cheese maker and monger, but when purchasing Marchant Manors elegant ashy chevres and creamy peppercorn-layered Camembert, you can rest assured there are no pathogens lurking, thanks to Kandice Marchants medical training. A practicing pathologist at the Cleveland Clinic, she is counting the days until she can segue full-time into the cheese shop on Lee Road thats having a soft opening during the holiday season before going dormant again until future notice. A cheese course gifted to her by her late husband several years ago inspired her to delve deeper into the art of cheese. Encouragement from Trevor Clutterback at Ohio City Provisions pushed her further. He was so impressed with her sample cheeses that he made a match between Marchant and his own partner dairy in Stark County. And now shes doing a deep dive using Guernsey, Holstein, and goat milk to turn out sophisticated multi- textured cheeses of intriguing nuance and complex flavor. Shes also working the other end of the cheese spectrum, producing super premium versions of the simpler pleasures of fresh ricotta and cottage cheese. All this bodes well for Clevelands expanding cheese community, particularly when Marchant will be able to permanently open her shop, a charming mash-up of French Provincial and dairy barn, when her whimsical neon sign will fulfill its promise, and the cheese doctor will be in attendance full-time.

Marchant Manor Cheese 2211 Lee Rd. Cleveland Heights, OH 44118

marchantmanor.com Refer to website for details.

Nosh Butters

In 2018, NOSH began with a single food processor and a pantry full of nuts in Sam and Lauren Trohmans Cuyahoga Falls home kitchen. As Sam describes it, Lauren has a food and nutrition degree and Sams an entrepreneur who thought it would be a good idea to try making pistachio butter at home and seeing if it was any good. And it was! From there the business quickly evolved into a small-batch manufacturing operation and now NOSH butters are available online and all over the north coast, with a brick and mortar shop soon to open. As for that pistachio butter, its now Pistachio Almond Butter, and it is good. Unlike other mixed nut butters, this one has a pistachio punch that gives it real panache. Great on toast, it also begs to be turned into elegant pistachio almond butter cookies.

Not content with just one esoteric butter, Sam and Lauren have now launched six varieties of natural nut butters. 2Seed Almond Butter with hemp, chia seeds, dates and coconut oil packs healthy omega fatty acids, iron, protein, and healthy fats and Golden Cashew Almond Butter provides, as Sam points out, the closest thing to a warm cozy hug that food can offer. Featuring cashews, almonds, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, and maple syrup, it could be a prescriptive therapy for those in need of immediate succor in sandwich form on a snowy afternoon.

Nosh Butters 3345 State Rd. PO Box 3672, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223 http://www.NOSHbutters.com 440-732-2215. Available online and in local stores, refer to website for details.

Pat's Granola a la yogurt parfait (Pat's Granola)Pat's Granola

Pats Granola

Pat Bennett started making granola more than 25 years ago when faced with making healthier snacks for her school age sons who were all athletes. They were always hungry after school and before sports practices, so I made granola as a way to feed them the right kind of fuel to optimize their energy. Pat ultimately ended up with three varieties of granola. Ginger Spiced, with molasses, maple syrup, spices, and coconut oil added to gluten-free oats, dried apricots, cherries, cranberries, and almonds is the perfect mix of delicious and healthy for January, when you need a bit of quick energy to shovel the drive, knock those icicles off the eavesagain.or just take a brisk walk around the block to drive off cabin fever.

Granola making is Pats encore career. A 64 year-old African American woman, she turned her love of food and cooking into a strong and growing small business on the north coast. Her enthusiasm for independent businesses and ability to work collaboratively have put her in the forefront of small business enterprise here in Cleveland. But she still has time to come up with new flavors of granola. Later this year, she will be offering subscriptions for frequent buyers. In the meantime, shes busy distributing Ginger-Spiced, Peanut Butter, and Tropical granola blends. That mix, including dried pineapple, banana chips, and sunflower seeds, sounds like a fun summer treat for if/when we can run freely around the neighborhood again!

Pats Granola 891 East 185th St. #19513 Cleveland, OH 44119 http://www.patsgranola.com 917-623-7230. Available online and in local stores, refer to website for details.

Picnic Hill co-owner and chef Shawn BrownPicnic Hill Gourmet Market

Picnic Hill

Picnic Hill covers a lot of ground. Since it opened in Fairmount Circle in Cleveland Heights in January, 2020, this charming establishment has offered breakfast, lunch and dinner to eat in, or carry out, with lovely daily specials and wine and cocktails as well. Plus a gourmet market with beautifully curated products for cooking, baking, charcuterie and just plain snacking. And, most importantly for us in January 2021, when were looking for something to make our lives a little less humdrum, something Michael Miller and Shawn Brown, the proprietors, call Picnic Fresh. Similar to Blue Apron and other delivery meals you cook yourself, but so much better because everything is fresh and local. Go on their website and pick the number of people youre cooking for and choose one, two or three meals of your choice for the week. Each meal has about six steps and takes 30 minutes each and costs around $13/person. The particulars are all laid out on the site in an easy to follow format, but suffice it to say that you can fill the month with well-directed freshly cooked home-made dishes such as Three Cup Chicken, Sheet-Pan Roasted Salmon Nicoise Salad and Crisp Tofu and Sweet Potatoes. Tasty and fun, right?

Picnic Hill 20621 Fairmount Blvd. Shaker Heights, OH 44118

http://www.picnichillmarketcafe.com 216-795-5660 Refer to website for details.

Charlie Eisenstat Making a Pour Over Coffee (pourcleveland.com) Pour Cleveland.Pour Cleveland

Pour Cleveland

Charlie Eisenstat has been the lodestar, and the rock star, of all things coffee on the north coast since he opened Pour Cleveland in 2013. In mid-March, after closing down the shop that had introduced international roasters to local fans, Eisenstat decided to pivot to promoting five of his favorite European coffee distributors on his website.

There are several ways to get these fresh seasonal coffees. One of the best is to caffeinate with 250 gram bags shipped two or four at a time once a month. Its dealers choice as to what you get, but the coffee whisperer knows his stuff and chances are youll be thrilled. However, if you really want to curate your subscription, Eisenstat says, For anybody who is curious or interested but isnt sure what to get, we have chat features on the site that go right to me so I can make recommendations based on what exactly the customer is looking for. This is part of what I miss most about being in the shop: connecting customers to coffees that completely blow their minds. Well, regular shipments of mind-blowing coffee seems like a great way to get through Januaryand subsequent months. Im signing up now.

http://www.pourcleveland.com Refer to website for details.

Stir Studio Kitchen in Tremont (Stir Studio Kitchen)Stir Studio Kitchen

Stir Studio Kitchen

Decidedly not your mothers cooking classes, Stir Studio Kitchen offers group experiences that emphasize the fun rather than the fundamentals of cooking. Thats the whole point of Stir, according to founder/owner Charlie Denk. Our guests undoubtedly learn a lot when they spend an evening with us, but our classes are unapologetically focused on entertainment, fun, and providing a unique, hospitable experience. Our studios are super chic, we crank up the music, and our instructors radiate energy. There are public and private classes being held in the schools kitchens in both Tremont and Chagrin Falls, but you can also get the Stir experience on Zoom. So round up your funner friends and settle in for a very entertaining evening. Drinks sound de rigueur here, you can bring your own regardless of the setting.

The menus reflect an intriguing variety of interests. Theres a seasonal evening featuring cozy pork roulade and butternut squash puree, a Mexican menu with scratch chorizo and handmade tortillas, and Knockout Gnocchi, make-your-own gnocchi to serve with herb pesto and baked meatballs. For remote classes, theres a written packet distributed before hand that includes the recipes, ingredients, equipment, and instructions. People can either shop for themselves or Stir can provide pre-measured ingredients packages. Regardless how you do it, its bound to be an indelible experience. Denk and his instructors work hard to make sure their guests have fun. I like to think Stir is a very special business with incredible people. Were a bunch of kids who work our absolute tails off and are genuinely setting out to reinvent the entire cooking class industry in the US.

Cheers to that!

Stir Studio Kitchen 4461 Lorain Ave. Cleveland, OH

http://www.stirstudiokitchen.com 440-829-3136 Refer to website for details.

Whoa! Dough

We all have friends who are gluten-intolerant. Most of us have friends who are lactose-sensitive. Many of us have friends who are vegan or keep kosher. Or cant eat eggs. Or wont eat GMO foods. For all those friends, you now have one snack that will make every one of them very happy. Whoa! Dough cookie dough bars are all that and still shockingly tasty. Todd Goldstein, founder of Whoa! Dough and self-described Cookie Dough King has always been a foodie. He says, my earliest memory was at six years old working with the baker at my grandfathers restaurant in downtown Cleveland. After graduating college, I moved back to Cleveland and started LaunchHouse and have spent the last 10 years working with entrepreneurs and small businesses. In 2011, I was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance, which began my hunt for healthy, gluten-free products. My sons were born in 2015 and 2017 and later diagnosed with gluten-intolerances, increasing my desire to create a gluten-free treat my family would enjoy. So in 2019, Whoa! Dough was born. Six of the most popular flavors of cookies in a dough bar that can be eaten chilled, but are shelf-stable so can be stashed anywhere to be snacked on later. You can also bake them, 350 degrees for 3 to 5 minutes, if you want the non-raw experience.

So, how are they, really? Really, they are very good. At warm room temperature, when they become just a little gooey and develop the sugary texture thats so attractive in cookie dough is when they are best. The sugar cookie, peanut butter chocolate chip, and brownie batter varieties are a very convincing comfort food for consumers of all persuasions, and are going into my most favored snack list rotation. But if you dont believe me, look at the numbers. On November 1, 2020, Whoa! Dough started growing its retail presence nationwide. Since then, according to Goldstein, brick and mortar store sales have grown over 100% and online sales by 500%. So try them yourself, and when you do, pick up a few more for when you go for a brisk winter walk with your gluten-free vegan friend. Theyll be touched that you were so thoughtful and impressed, that, finally, theres a fun indulgent snack that you can enjoy together.

Whoa! Dough 675 Alpha Drive, Suite E, Highland Heights, OH 44143

http://www.whoadough.com 216-338-3000 Available online and in grocery stores throughout the country. Refer to website for details.

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10 great local foodie products to help soothe Clevelands cold January bluster - cleveland.com

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January 3rd, 2021 at 12:53 pm

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