Phin & Phebes's Ice Cream Is a Perfect Holiday Treat

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Phin & Phebes
If you thought ice cream season went out the door with warm weather, think again: The right flavor can provide the perfect complement to everything from pumpkin pie to potato latkes, and the holiday lead-up, according to at least one producer we spoke with earlier this year, is one of the busiest times of year for frozen dairy. So pick up a pint of Phin & Phebes vanilla cinnamon and bring it to your next holiday dinner party instead of the usual cheap bottle of wine -- you'll be the most popular guest at the table.

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BjornQorn: Bard Grads Cook Up Solar-Popped Popcorn

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BjornQorn
In the epic quest to find the perfect snack, New Yorkers may want to take a turn into Brooklyn to buy a bag of BjornQorn, a bold popcorn looking not only to become your go-to nosh but maybe even to save the world.

Former freshman dorm-mates at Bard College, Bjorn Quenemoen and Jamie O'Shea combined Bjorn's corn-farmer roots and Jamie's solar technology to cook up a healthy, low-emission, high-flavor snack. BjornQorn is made with organic corn, popped in a solar kettle, and flavored with nutritional yeast -- an ingredient not well known in the world at large but a favorite seasoning among vegetarians and vegans for its cheesy, nutty flavor and high protein and vitamin levels.

We caught up with Quenemoen and O'Shea to talk popcorn, love at first sight, and the "dirt cheap kits" they're developing to bring their solar-cooking technology to places like Senegal and India.

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More Cider Please: CIDER Act Would Be Good News for New York Apple Farmers

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Cider Week via Facebook
Although hard apple cider tends to get the most attention during the fall months when apples are in season, the sweet, alcoholic nectar is actually available all year -- a godsend for apple farmers because it can be made from otherwise unsellable apples, and it provides a reliable, year-round source of income. And if Congress passes the CIDER Act -- introduced to the house by New York Congressman Chris Collins and backed by Senator Chuck Schumer -- local farmers might need to raise a glass of their own product to celebrate.

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After 30 Years, Ciao Bella Makes Gelato the Good Old-Fashioned Way

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Caio Bella via Facebook
Gelato ladies at Caio Bella's 30th Anniversary Party earlier this month

Back in 1983, when Little Italy was still a neighborhood, Ciao Bella began scooping gelato on Mott Street, and it's been a fixture there ever since. And just weeks ago, it celebrated 30 years in business with a free gelato party at the Old School on Mott. That's a major milestone, so we caught up with CEO Carlos Canals to chat about his company and how the ice cream business has changed since Ciao Bella's humble beginnings.


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Totally Buzzing! Today Is Honey Day on the High Line

Categories: Artisans

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Hannah Palmer Egan
Honeybees at Brooklyn Grange's Navy Yard Rooftop Farm
Between the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder, the varroa mites, and various pesticides, fungicides, viruses, and other problems plaguing honeybee populations around the world, keeping an apiary strong and healthy these days is no easy task.

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Chocolate, Whiskey, and Cigars at Cacao Prieto This Summer (PHOTOS)

Categories: Artisans

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All photos by Hannah Palmer Egan
Cacao Prieto, Widow Jane Distillery, and Botanica occupy a single corner lot in Red Hook

Daniel Preston is not one to screw around, but the self-educated inventor-turned-aerospace-engineer-turned-chocolatier-and-distiller also has a flair for life's finer pleasures. At Cacao Prieto and Widow Jane Distillery, Preston is quietly turning out seriously smooth, well-crafted chocolate, rum, and whiskey, produced and packaged in small batches under one Brooklyn roof.

Next door, Preston's warm-season cocktail bar, Botanica, serves up craft beers and cocktails using house-made spirits, infusions, and other lovingly crafted local ingredients. The whole operation sits on a corner lot on a cobblestone block near the water in Red Hook and opens daily for tours and tastings.


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Deal Alert: High Line Soda Bar Opens With $1 Off Sodas Today

Categories: Artisans, Deals

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Brooklyn Soda Works

At the High Line, fancy soda goes beyond your grandma's cherry-lime rickey. The park's first soda bar opens today at West 15th Street, and it features locally made, creatively concocted flavors from Brooklyn Soda Works, including apple and ginger, hibiscus and mint, lemongrass and lime, and the High Line special, tart cherry.


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Brooklyn Brine's Pickle Shack Replaces Root Hill Burger in Gowanus

Categories: Artisans

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Brooklyn Brine
The Brooklyn Brine crew will open Pickle Shack in August.
In the latest incarnation of Gowanus culinary intrigue, artisan pickle-maker Brooklyn Brine announced plans yesterday to open Pickle Shack around the corner from their brinery on President Street. According to owner and chef Shamus Jones, the restaurant will open in late July or early August and serve "elevated pub fare" at the former Root Hill Burger address, 256 Fourth Avenue, which abruptly shuttered two days ago after seven short months in business.

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People's Pops, Kelvin Slush, and Delaney Barbecue: A Small-Scale Food Revolution at Brooklyn's Pfizer Plant

Categories: Artisans

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Egan
"Should I turn the music down?" People's Pops founder Joel Horowitz asks as we embark on a tour of his ice pop manufacturing kitchen in Brooklyn. As explanation, he adds, "You don't make a tasty ice pop without loud music."

People's Pops headquarters is located at 630 Flushing Avenue on a nondescript stretch of road sandwiched between the Marcy projects (Jay-Z's provenance), Woodhull Hospital, and the sleepy, southernmost extension of Hasidic Williamsburg. Originally the Pfizer world headquarters, the building spans a city block, and it employed over 2,000 people in its heyday. In a corner lab several stories up, a doorman, somewhat wide-eyed and jabbing his index finger at the ceiling for emphasis, tells me, "They invented Viagra right up there!"

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