A Hard Cider That Takes Its Cues From Sake
Wölffer Estate Vineyard has a deep portfolio of ciders, but its latest one, Oishii Cider, stands apart. It’s crystal clear, and the first whiff and taste reveal a subtle slice of apple. Made in collaboration with the local sake maker Brooklyn Kura, Oishii Cider is slowly cold-fermented with sake yeast, giving it a sake-style profile at 13 percent alcohol without surrendering the apples. (Oishii means delicious in Japanese, but the apple variety Delicious is not used for the cider.) Chilled, it’s a fine aperitif with a whisper of sweetness and pairs beautifully with Brie-style cheeses.
Wölffer No. 139 Oishii Cider, $11 for 375 milliliters, wolffer.com.
A Shortcut to Japanese Udon Soup and Short Ribs
Ipsa Provisions, the high-quality frozen food company, has introduced two home-style Japanese dishes, developed with the chef Maiko Kyogoku. The chicken udon soup is nicely populated with chunks of dark meat and vegetables, and there are chewy udon noodles to boil separately and add. The short ribs are boneless, meaty and tender, and vegetables like kabocha squash, daikon and rainbow carrots add color and variety. Both would be extremely time-consuming to prepare from scratch; a package of rice comes alongside. But be prepared to ramp up the seasonings for the broths — some soy sauce for starters, with salt, togarashi pepper, chopped scallions or whatever else strikes your fancy.
Braised Short Rib Kakuni, $27, two to three servings; Chicken Udon Soup, $25, two servings, eatipsa.com.
A New Market for Pilar Cuban Eatery
Pilar Cuban Eatery, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, has a new offshoot. This cafe and market is stocked with sandwiches, soups, breakfast empanadas and desserts, to eat in or take away. Mercado Pilar also offers an abundant selection of prepared foods that signal Cuba, like yuca with mojo, chickpea soup, mojo-marinated rotisserie chicken and passion fruit flan. Grocery items include olive oil, pimentón, sofrito, mojito mix, olives, charcuterie, tinned seafood, cilantro sauce and sherry-garlic butter. There are 10 seats indoors, and there will be about eight outdoors; it opens Friday.
Mercado Pilar, 397 Greene Avenue (Bedford Avenue), Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, 718-623-2822, pilarny.com.
The Long History of the Fulton Fish Market
When what is now called the Fulton Fish Market opened in 1822, butchers dominated; it took another decade or so for fish to figure importantly among the wares and eventually define the market. Jonathan H. Rees covers such details, in great depth, in “The Fulton Fish Market: A History.” It’s a fascinating, scholarly — though sometimes repetitive — account, filled with lengthy digressions on subjects like oysters, menhaden, freezing methods, trawlers,turtles and terrapin — and also organized crime. Mr. Rees makes the point that what fishermen caught determined what Americans ate. The wholesale market moved to Hunts Point in the Bronx in 2005, leaving developers to recast the neighborhood for residential, commercial and tourism use, so the story doesn’t have a real conclusion.
“The Fulton Fish Market: A History” by Jonathan H. Rees (Columbia University Press, $30).
Barware With Italian Flair
Is your home bar holiday-ready? If not, the Metropolitan Museum of Art Store has introduced a handsome collection of gleaming etched stainless steel barware inspired by Italian cavalry armor. Despite the 16th century nod, the pieces are more Art Deco than Renaissance. The collection includes an ice bucket, pitcher, cocktail shaker, a snack bowl set and tray, any of which would be superb for gift-giving.
Italian Armor Etched Stainless Steel Barware, $80 to $180, store.metmuseum.org.
Bonbons With Thanksgiving Flavors
The chocolatier Ursula XVII, whose chocolate boutique is on the North Fork of Long Island, has created a decorative collection of bonbons with Thanksgiving in mind. Butternut squash with marshmallow, pecan praline, corn cream, bacon-bourbon, brown butter-sage and cranberry are the flavors, in an assortment of six for $20 (or 12 for $39). Be generous in your purchase, and set them out with (or instead of) dessert on feast day, or bring a box to the host.
Disset Chocolate, Thanksgiving Collection, 28080 Main Road (New Suffolk Road), Cutchogue, N.Y., 631-734-8387, dissetchocolate.com.
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