12.14.2013

CHAI PEANUT BUTTER



Yes. You read that right. In my old Harlem neighborhood (old as of last week), I used to visit a sidewalk food stand (now known as a "pop-up store") selling gourmet items. Riley-Land is run by gracious, enthusiastic people who seriously love unusual flavor combinations, as do I. They're building up their audience so they can open a bricks-and-mortar store. It is a rare pleasure to find such high quality, distinctive treats.

What first caught my eye were some beautiful wood cutting boards and bamboo linen napkins. But I don't need any more of those. Not yet. On closer inspection, a jar of Chai Peanut Butter proved irresistible--handmade in Durham, North Carolina. Absolutely delicious. I happen to love peanut butter on graham crackers. (Nabisco being the only graham that doesn't have a cardboard aftertaste--at least so far, until Riley-Land finds someone to reinvent that staple of my so-called diet.)

It is snowing out today in New York City. Riley-Land company delivers by Fed Ex anywhere. You won't be disappointed, I promise. Check out their blog, too, for instant gratification, featuring a terrific recipe for Roasted Almond Thumbprint Cookies. If only my own bricks-and-mortar kitchen were finished. 

18 comments:

Heather in Arles said...

Admittedly, this left me whimpering with longing so I just might have to cave and have this fedexed to la Belle France, making it the World's Most Expensive Peanutish Butter. Because, I do love the very fine food that I can buy here in Provence but sometimes, a little fusion, a little vision goes a loooong way! I wonder if anyone has tried cooking with this yet?


Dominique, I loved your response to my previous comment, so made my photo visible so that you can see that your choice of colors is spot on! Bon Weekend!

And ps. Graham Crackers are definitely a "below the belt" mention to any expat!

Judith said...

I love their section, "Functional Art," as a thing that is both useful and beautiful makes me happy every time I use it. Agree about the Nabisco graham crackers -- I tried some from Whole Foods the other day which tasted like sawdust. I hope the kitchen project is completed soon. My husband, a retired engineer, who is now a carpenter in his second life, takes great pains to make sure a kitchen remains usable during construction. For example, for his current client, he reconnected the sink so she doesn't have to go without it until Home Depot delivers the new counters in a couple of weeks.

Judith said...

Ahhh, I sense a pattern here, Heather. You-know-who in Morocco always requests Cheez-its in his care packages.

SlowLoveLifeDominique said...

What a thoughtful and kind thing to do. I wish your husband were working in Manhattan, and no doubt he thanks his lucky stars that he will never have to do so. And agree about that functional art section. I can now think about the leaf-shaped cutting board I splurged on in a spasm of nostalgia for a kitchen, from a Canadian shop, in an entirely new way.

SlowLoveLifeDominique said...

AND a gorgeous dog, too. I absolutely love this picture. I am longing for a big dog, and the kind of life in which I could also keep one company. I just wrote a piece for a magazine called Garden & Gun, in Charleston, about teaching a friend's lab how to swim, off all things. They are putting it into a book. I'll let you know when the magazine is published (even though yes, it will be a link to an article.) Sigh.

William said...

Now, now, Dominique, stop with the sighing - there is no such thing as a bad link.


Garden & Gun is a fantastic magazine. I tell people about just how fantastic it is here and I get a lot of odd looks because of the word 'Gun' in the name.


Julia Reed is one of my favorite contributors and also one of my favorite guests on Morning Joe. She'd be a fun gal to knock down a Scotch or six with sometime.


I look forward to your posting the link to the article. No sigh.

Joseph Riley Land said...

Dominique - this is a beautifully written piece and I am so honored that you chose to share us with your readers. This weekend's snow kept me inside and I was home, disappointed and frustrated because I was missing out on one of the best shopping days of the year. And then orders started coming in... so fast I couldn't believe it. Someone posted on Facebook that they had read about us on your blog. I searched, found it, remembered your face and was so incredibly touched. Then reality snapped me back into my place, I called Big Spoon Roasters and warned them we were going to sell out of chai spice and made plans to get more this week. For a small business like mine, you changed the entire course of our holiday season. That isn't hyperbole. Thank you. Thank you to the readers who went to my site and bought. Thank you to Judith for loving "functional art." Thank you to YOU for really - truly - making my sullen day shine with sunshine!
joseph riley land,
owner of Riley/Land [A Gourmet Pantry]

dterrydraw said...

Oh, Isn't Julia Reed funny? I love her voice. I've got a note here on the desk to let her know that, contrary to a remark she made on NPR, "The Gentleman's Companion" (two volumes on eating and drinking your way around the world) is back in-print. This should make her funny AND happy.
----david terry

dterrydraw said...

Oh,....Small World, indeed. I haven't been messing around with anything but work for at least a week, but Heather (see below) wrote this afternoon from Arles to let me know about this posting of yours from NYC. Who says good news doesn't travel fast?


I lived in Durham for 26 years until we moved fifteen miles out in the country a year ago. The owner/founder of Big Spoon (the folks who make your chai peanut butter), Mark Overbay, is well-known & much-loved by devotees at the farmers' markets hereabouts. Moreover?.....he's born&raised in Kingsport, TN, which is about 15 miles from my own, upper East Tennessee home-town.


I bet he and Joseph Riley are both happy boys just now. Selling out is a problem to be envied.


Congratulations,
David Terry
www.davidterryart.com



P.S. I never tasted any sort of peanut butter until I was in college. One of my two brothers is deathly-allergic to the stuff, and my mother found it easier to simply tell ALL of us that we'd swell up and choke to death if we so much as handled a peanut-butter cookie, much less ate one.

Joseph Riley Land said...

David,
Well this Tennessee guy is certainly happy. I'm from West Tennessee, but went to college in East Tennessee (Sewanee). And while I met Mark when I embarked on this journey, he's good people. His nut butters have been a huge part of RIley/Land's growth, as people buy, fall in love and then come back and get more. If you haven't tried the nut butters, you really should. Personally, the peanut pecan is my favorite.
joseph

William said...

She seems great - would love to have drinks with her and Jon Meacham sometime. They seem to be partying buddies when they are together on Morning Joe.

William said...

I hope you aren't going all Miele and Gaggenau and Calacatta marble in your new old kitchen!


Sub-Zero is overhyped, but a great product.


Splurge on a nice AGA range and stick to the basics otherwise.


GE and Kohler are fine. Waterworks is overrated.


I would also splurge on NANZ hardware. It's expensive, but worth it.


Developer and architect of high-end condominiums here, so this is my business, and yes, I put Miele and Gaggenau in my apartments, but they are overrated. They just happen to be what condo purchasers want to have, so I do it under protest.

dterrydraw said...

Hey, Joseph, Well,what a surprise (as the circles grow smaller and tighter)....


I know West Tennessee well (particularly Bolivar), although it's as far from my hometown as you can get without going into another, less trapezoidal state.


I, also, went to Sewanee (class of 1982). Just last night, I was trying to explain it to a new friend (female, born&raised&educated in NYC, non-observant-but-intensely-self-identified Jew, biochemist), and she finally said "I just don't GET it.....why would anyone WANT to go there?". I told her that I went because it was pretty much just like home, only without any resident/supervising parents. Of course, being from Washington County (my family's lived there since the time it wasn't yet a county and the state was about a year old), we've always thought that Sewanee was in "MIDDLE" Tennessee (home of ruinous horse-racing, whiskey, and scheming, Democrat New-Dealers).


I've had Mark's peanut/pecan butter, by the way (it was a gift from Durham foodie-friends). Folks love him/it hereabouts. Coincidentally enough, one of the state's three largest/oldest pecan trees grew in this front yard for about 200-plus years (the house is 220 years old) until this past Spring, when a freak mini-tornado took it down. We've still got six almost-as-old pecan trees around the house; perhaps I should give Mark a call and tell him he can fight with the squirrels (as you might guess, we have PLENTY) for the harvest each fall.


Ecce Quam Bonum, etc......

David Terry
www.davidterryart.com

dterrydraw said...

Oh....just to continue in the Sewanee (Otherwise known as "The University of the South") vein that's infiltrated/taken-over this thread?......


Jon (like me and Joseph Riley) ALSO went to Sewanee.


A few years ago, I got the widespread reaction I'd hoped for when, during his somewhat tumultuous/controversial last-days at Newsweek, I publicly (as in....on the alumni message-board) defended him on the grounds of his being "just as cute as button. How in the world could anyone be mean to him?".


I can't recall if there's a "h" in his name. If not, he'll be the only man I know who omits the "h" without being either Scandanavian or gay. Of course, my experience is necessarily limited, parochial, and purely anecdotal.


just as sincerely as ever,
David Terry
www.davidterryart.com

dterrydraw said...

I hope this doesn't post twice (it seems to have gotten lost the first time around, a minute ago), BUT?....


Just to continue the Sewanee vein that seems to have infiltrated this thread?....


Jon Meacham (like Joseph Riley and me) ALSO went to Sewanee (otherwise known as "The University of The South").


I once raised the fuss I'd hoped for when, during his final & somewhat controversial days at Newsweek, I publicly (as in...on the alumni message board) defended him by declaring that he was "just as cute as a button! How could anyone be mean to him?"


By the way?....I can't recall if he spells his first name with an "h". If not, he's the only man I know of who does so without also being either Scandanavian and/or gay (need I emphasize that, to my knowledge, he's neither?). My experience is, of course, necessarily limited, parochial, and anecdotal.


Just as sincerely as ever,
David Terry
www.davidterryart.com

Sheryl said...

So, so happy to have these CONVERSATIONS back! I have missed Dominique, David, William and all the other great conversationalists here. I also can hardly wait for more pictures and info on your new space, Dominique. It really will be lovely to begin to settle in to "home" again. I love peanut butter on graham crackers. When you discover an organic, tasty graham cracker, please let us know immediately! Christmas Blessings and a Happy New Year in your new home! Sheryl in Puget Sound

Heather in Arles said...

Dominique, when we got Ben (the Golden in the photo), we were still travelling a lot for work. But, we found a great pet sitter that we believe in (she is a vet's assistant!) and he was always so happy there.
And I know that having a dog of any size (I actually think big dogs - if they are calm - are less work than the little ones) in NYC is challenging but certainly doable. I know from experience! Just a thought or two to munch on...

sarah finnie robinson said...

No surprise that Riley Land is all sold out of this stuff now! They say they'll restock ASAP. Meantime I ordered a couple of other goodies. Thank you for introducing us to this wonderful provisioner, DB!