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A New Collaboration! – Real Good Food Condiments

We are happy to announce a new collaboration! This time we join forces with Real Good Food, a local producer of different kind of condiments. From this month on you will find three different varieties that you can use to enhance the flavour of your favourite meals! Do you want to know what is it about? Let Nicole, creator and founder of the brand, tell us about her project.

"I have travelled the world for 20 years, living across five continents and learning new flavours along the way. Living in Schiedam I missed some of the punchier flavours from her time in Asia and Africa and memories of my childhood in Australia. Flavour bomb condiments were the answer to creating family meals everyone could enjoy; for a Dutch husband that craves boerenkool or a broodje kaas and a two year old that is still exploring new flavours". Nicole had a simple answer with condiments created from her food memories with local ingredients to adjust meals to each taste.

At Little Plant Pantry you can find three different condiments, each one of them created to be used in various types of food:

  • Curry Bomb: spiced oil with crispy curry leaves. Liven up a stamp pot, scatter over a traybake, or mix through a mayonnaise, the possibilities are endless. Perfect for a simple soup, like lentil or pumpkin cream. Then add a spoon of curry bomb at the table. Mind blowing!
  • Funky Vegan Sambal: Malaysian style sambal perfect for Nasi Lemak, funky fermented shrimp flavour but totally vegan.
  • Yum Phrik: Thai-inspired chili oil, with an aromatic blend of thai chili, makrut lime leaves, roasted rice, ginger and lemongrass. Inspired by the flavours of laab, yum phrik makes the perfect sauce for a salad, rice bowl, or mixed through rice or noodles. Try mixing a spoon through vegan yoghurt for a simple flavour packed dip.

Not sure which one to choose? Then come by this Saturday 15th of April to our shop. We will have a tasting with Nicole and her delicious condiments. You will be able to taste and share your impression, know more about the story of Real Good Food and discover a bomb of flavours! From 13:00 to 15:00 at Little Plant Pantry.

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Crispy Chili Oil – La Lia

Did you know that aside from the regular oils we have in our shop you can find this authentic and handmade asian crispy chili oil? Eva Lia, a Dutch-Singaporean culinary creative and founder of La Lia Crispy Chili Oil tells us about her beginnings in this adventure. "Crispy Chilli Oil has always been my absolute favourite Asian condiment. It just lifts up any dish! But when I found out that my beloved store-bought chilli oil was full of chemical preservatives and unnatural ingredients, I knew I had a mission."

What she did? She asked her parents for her Grandma's recipe and spent uncountable hours in the kitchen to recreate it. Not an easy task considering that in her family the concept of a recipe is quite different from what we know as such."There is no communication in exact spoon measurements or let alone a recipe with the exact amount of ml. is given" she says. "We talk in ingredients, and communicate in 'a little bit of this and a little more of that" kinda recipes. Lucky enough with my determination and the help of my parents we have my grandma's recipe on paper!"

 

 

Still having a lot of respect for the family recipe, Eva wanted to give it a personal touch, adding more texture to the already praised original recipe. She tells us the secret: "Creating a scrumptious good crunch by adding the perfect amount of toasted buckwheat kernels [gives] that satisfying crunchy texture. I also made sure to toast the chilli flakes as an extra step which gives that extra layer of nutty aroma and taste."

The result? An extra crunchy chili oil full of flavour that transports us to the Asian continent at the first taste. However, it is a fairly versatile product that can be used in your daily meals or favourite snacks. Available online and at our shop.

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What is Organic Hyper-Artisanal Pasta?

organic pasta amsterdam

Everyone loves pasta! Especially organic Italian pasta that, above all, is made in a hyper-artisanal way. But what does that mean exactly?

For Federico & Christina, pasta is an agricultural product that reflects a way of living. According to them, the mode of its production tells a much bigger story. During our webinar they explained how they started UnEttaro and what they mean when they talk about food created in a hyper-artisanal way. Unettaro is their small family farm in Italy that produces a micro harvest of durum wheat, Saragolla Turchesco, and the highest quality of pasta every year. This ancient unhybridized wheat is grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides on their one hectare of land.

Craving pasta already? Check out their products here:

At Little Plant Pantry, we had the pleasure of interviewing Christina & Federico to learn more about the origins of their farm and products. Read the full Q & A to know more about how organic hyper-artisanal pasta is planted, grown, produced, and sold to stores like ours.

Q: How did you come up with the idea of producing pasta?

F & C: Four years ago, we decided to start cultivating one hectare of abandoned land next to our house in the hills of Offagna in Italy. We wanted to prove the value behind a small piece of land and produce our own food from it.

So we decided to grow wheat and transform it into pasta. We were not expert farmers or pasta makers. But we were, and still are, curious about the food that we eat. We thought that the best way to discover pasta was to make our own. This was the beginning of UnEttaro.

Q: Why is organic pasta important?

F & C: Pasta is a very simple product. It is only made with two ingredients: wheat and water. So if there are any chemicals used to grow wheat, they will automatically end up in the finished product, the pasta we eat. For us, it was crucial to make a pure product that will not be harmful to the body and to the soil. Not only do we refuse to use chemicals but we also allow our field to rest after each harvest. Thus, the soil has the time to regenerate.

Eating organic pasta is not only good for our body, but also for the environment. Organic agriculture starts from the idea that we are all part of the same ecosystem. Therefore, every action we take towards the environment will have a direct consequence for us and for all the other parts of the system. Polluting the soil is like polluting the mother that feeds you. It’s crazy, but that seems to be a widely adopted practice presently.

Our goal is to fight that, one hectare at a time.

Q: How does artisanal pasta make a difference to a healthy diet?

First of all, what does artisanal pasta mean?

We asked Federico and Christina to describe their production process and have summarized the artisanal pasta making practice in these three points:

  1. Slow drying process: 72-96 hours (depending on the type of pasta). What artisanal pasta makers dry in 3 days, the industrial process speeds up to 3 hours.
  2. Low drying temperature: under 50 degrees in rooms with natural air flow. The industrial production process implies drying pasta over 100 degrees under industrial fans. The high drying temperature leads to the destruction of nutrients in the final product.
  3. Extrusion of the dough through bronze dies.

And why is organic pasta good for a healthy diet?

  1. Better raw materials. Adopting the artisanal procedure means that you must use good quality, high-protein wheat, otherwise the pasta will not keep its shape and will fall apart. In other words, because this pasta isn’t highly processed, you can’t hide the defects of raw materials. The industrial process allows companies to use low quality wheat that can be made into any shape under high temperatures. But this comes at a cost.
  2. Pasta is easier to digest. Starch doesn’t crystallize during the drying process as it happens during the industrial production. Hence, artisanal pasta is much easier to digest.
  3. Richer in nutrients. The delicate transformation process preserves the nutrients contained in the wheat, such as Lysine, an amino acid that is good for our diet.
  4. Tasty and always “al dente”. The slow transformation process and low temperature preserve the natural taste and aroma of wheat. The pasta can be cooked  “al dente” and eaten with nothing more than good olive oil.

Q: What's the connection between delicious organic pasta and sustainable agriculture?

F & C: In its essence, pasta is an agricultural product. And it has memory. At each stage of its transformation from the seed to a cooked dish, every person in the chain gives a new interpretation to what has been done before.

Naturally, the quality creation starts in the field. Like good wine and cheese, pasta also carries the signature of its makers. As consumers, we should be aware of how, where and when it was made and by whom.

But good quality durum wheat isn’t enough alone to make a good pasta. It is the responsibility of all the transformers (the miller, the pasta maker, the chef) to protect the work done by the farmer and express its maximum potential in their respective craft.

Therefore, we believe that only by recognizing the crucial role of the farmer, we’ll be able to achieve a virtuous model. A model that is sustainable for the environment and for all those who play a part in the quality production chain.

In conclusion, only if consumers are truly aware of the whole production chain, they will be able to fully experience the joy of a delicious pasta dish.

We hope you got a glance into sustainable agriculture practices and will be able to appreciate the full value of Christina & Federico's amazing pasta. Now that you know more about how and why they produce their organic hyper-artisanal pasta on their micro farm in Italy, you can try their products and see if you can tell the difference for yourself!