Our Favorite Food Discoveries of 2012


In between photo shoots, recipe testing, and story scouting, our editors have to eat — and they’re always on the lookout for delicious new discoveries. Here, the ingredients, kitchen tools, and restaurants that sparked our obsession this year.

photo courtesy of Might & Main

Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland, Maine: They just opened in July, and they do a lobster roll that redefines lobster roll. They do it in a steamed kind of bun which works out to taste like Wonder Bread with a hint of sourdough.

“Another favorite is rosti — we had this in Switzerland and Austria and I don’t know why it isn’t all over menus here … the best hash brown-ish dish with mushrooms, or egg, or whatever on top.”

–Yolanda Edwars, Executive Editor

“I’m not sure this is new this year, but it’s new to me: NOBU Dry Miso Seasoning, made by Hikari Miso. It accents like salt but with a deep and rich tang. I love it sprinkled over simply grilled fish.”

wusthof super slicer

“We just got a Wusthof Super Slicer in the test kitchen and I love it. I have been using it on a photo shoot to cut all sorts of cakes. The blade is thicker than that of most serrated knives, so it’s got some heft and breaks through bread crust like a dream.”

–Jennifer Aaronson, Editorial Food Director

“The Castelvetrano Olives with Preserved Lemon and Celery Leaves at Rich Table in San Francisco are the best bar snack/simple cocktail food, and they would be super easy to duplicate at home.”

– Jessica Romm, Lifestyle Editor


antica formula vermouth

“I’m loving Antica Formula Vermouth – it’s not really a discovery, more like a vow renewal. It’s made from a way-old recipe, isn’t cloyingly sweet, and makes Manhattans and Negronis even better (if that’s even possible). I’m also really into Aperol (it’s this year’s Campari). It’s lighter on the palate and a great summer drink with seltzer.”

–Shira Bocar, Food Editor, Whole Living

“Nashville’s CatBird Seat — opened by Eric Anderson and Josh Habiger. Delicious food. Awesome restaurant playlist. Great conversation if you want it, since you’re so close to them you can literally sit and talk with the chefs. Plus their beverage director, Jane Lopes, is incredible. Her pairings are spot-on, thoughtful, and really blew my mind (bourbon washed wine glass paired with food — insanely good!)”

–Lauren Tempera, Assistant Food Editor



“After years of removing the juicy red arils from a pomegranate by submerging it in water and breaking it apart, I learned Martha’s easier (and much more fun!) way just a few months ago: Cut a pomegranate in half horizontally then, with your hand underneath the cut side, hit the top of the pomegranate half with a heavy metal spoon or ladle. At first just a few arils come out, but as you continue hitting it, the airls loosen from the membrane and just start pouring out!”

– Merritt Watts, Senior Food Editor, Everyday Food

Paesano extra virgin olive oil is my new house brand. It’s inexpensive enough that I don’t feel pain in my heart when I use it for cooking, but it’s also great for vinaigrettes and finishing cooked dishes. It’s got a full body and a smooth finish, with no bite at the end.”

–Greg Lofts, Senior Associate Food Editor

Aleppo Pepper from Dean & Deluca

“I love Aleppo pepper. It’s a red pepper flake from Syria that is somewhat smoky and gives a little heat without being overly painful. I use it in pasta, vegetables like kale … it almost goes with anything.”

–Stephen Orr, Editorial Gardening Director

“For me, 2012 has been the year of the fig! I keep a big jar filled with the plump, dried figs at home and after some experimenting created a new treat that has become a big hit: a dried fig stuffed with a whole roasted hazelnut and chocolate-coconut oil ganache, dipped in dark chocolate and crushed hazelnuts on a bay leaf. I was inspired by ‘fichi al forno’ in Florence, Italy’s San Lorenzo market.

–Christina Tobia, Associate Project Manager (and etsy seller Tobia Bakes)


Nunya Sauce from Marination, Seattle

“A couple of months ago I got my hands on a jar of Nunya Sauce, the signature condiment of Marination, Seattle’s favorite Hawaiian-Korean taco joint. I started by putting this garlicky, umami-rich mayonnaise on a chicken sandwich, and immediately found myself planning my meals around it.”

– Jennifer Anderson, Digital Food Editor


Sudachi - David De Bacco

photo courtesy of David De Bacco

“We love using sudachi, a citrus fruit similar to yuzu, to make Japanese pickles. We add sliced cucumber, soy sauce, sake, katuso bushi (or bonito flakes), and the juice of one sudachi, and let them marinate in the refrigerator. They are delicious with rice.

“This year we also discovered very tiny, colorful hot peppers at Eckerton Hill Farm at NYC’s Union Square Greenmarket. We’ve been adding them to homemade pesto from our garden. My husband roasts them in the oven, chops them up, and then adds them to a small bowl of olive oil. We drizzle a little of the pepper oil (and some chopped peppers when feeling adventurous) onto the pesto before serving.

–Melissa Ozawa, Senior Gardening Editor


Comments (2)

  • So excited to see one of our favorite local restaurants, Eventide, featured on this list – the food & the space are both amazing!

  • I’ve had the hazelnut stuffed figs dipped in chocolate from Tobia Bakes – FANTASTIC! It makes a great unique and special present, very unique and VERY SCRUMPTIOUS!

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