So much of what we love about small batch food is knowing who is making each delicious bite. And we want you to get to know the makers, too. We kicked off this maker series by introducing you to Tonewood in Vermont and now we head south, to Brooklyn, New York, the home base for Michelle Lewis and Spoonable handcrafted caramel sauces. We’re talking flavors like classic salty (called one of the best food gifts under $20 by BuzzFeed), spicy chili, chewy sesame, peppered orange and flowery lavender. Oh, and butterscotch!
The best part? Spoonable pairs with sweet and savory dishes. Michelle suggests a Boston butt slow cooked in a glaze that includes Spoonable chili caramel or pairing the classic salty caramel with artisan cheeses. Meet the maker below and then enter to win your own sample of all five caramel flavors. Can’t wait for the giveaway? Do some Spoonable shopping on Eat Boutique now.
Q: When did you start making food and what inspired your food?
A: My Mom is French from Morocco and a very great cook so wonderful food was the norm growing up. Talking about food and thinking of menus was just everyday talk. My sister and I watched and helped my Mom in the kitchen so the constant exposure made it easy to segue into our own kitchens as adults.
My style foundation is definitely Mediterranean – heavy on the vegetables, very comfortable cooking fish, in love with lentils and a preference for rare. Lots of travel and living overseas, particularly five years in China, has also influenced my style and flavor choices.
Q: What is a great way to use your small batch food item or a favorite recipe that uses it?
A: I’m really enjoying trying it as a marinade on meats and in savory dishes these days. For sweets my current favorite is caramel apple balls. I shred Granny Smith apples, crush pecans, add some lemon zest and heat whichever of the caramel sauces I want to make it thicker. Then I mix it all together and roll balls finished with a coating of powdered almonds or pecans. They’re beautiful with an espresso at the end of dinner.
Q: Where is your boutique food business located and what are some of the tastiest local or nearby eats (or drinks!)?
A: The Spoonable kitchen is in an industrial section of a Brooklyn neighborhood called Sunset Park. I’m more knowledgeable about the neighborhood where the Spoonable office is (my apartment in Clinton Hill!)
Beny’s Delice at 903 Fulton St. has the best croissants in all of New York. They’re the perfect size with a firm, flaky crust, a generous buttery flavor and a soft, but not mushy, center.
Il Porto on Washington near the Navy Yard has a delicious simple pizza with prosciutto, arugula, mozzarella and shaved Parmesan pizza. The cheese is on the light side and the fresh arugula gives it a fabulous tang.
For a small but inventive menu as well as really excellent classic martinis I like No. 7 at 7 Greene Ave.
Q: What other small batch food items do you love to eat?
A: I’m partial to the pickles from Gordy’s Pickles out of D.C. (not with caramel sauce!), the pretzels from Pelzer’s (works with our caramel sauce but also on their own), NuNu’s chocolates and Granola Lab’s granolas (any of them). But that’s just a short list!
Q: What’s most important to you (handmade, small batch or local ingredients)?
A: Most important to me is the quality and taste of the ingredients we use. Chemical preservatives, additives, corn syrup etc are out obviously. But I may choose a non-organic butter over an organic one if the taste or texture of the organic one is not as good. For instance Spoonable uses Plugra butter. It’s a European style butter made in the U.S. and has 83% butterfat. Plugra is more expensive than most high-end butters but it is mass produced and it is not organic. However its fat content is higher than most butters and, more importantly, it has an incredibly rich, robust, buttery flavor. So that’s the one that goes into Spoonable.
All answers provided by Michelle Lewis.
Craving some Spoonable? We don’t blame you. Enter to win the full line of caramel sauces in 4 oz size plus a Valentine’s Spoonable tote bag. Try all four ways to enter by Friday January 25, we’ll pick a winner, and Michelle at Spoonable will get you those sauces in time to whip up a treat for Valentine’s Day! Pick up the classic salty caramel from Eat Boutique today!
1) Enter once by leaving a comment on this post answering this question: What sweet or savory treat will you make using Spoonable caramel sauces?
2) Enter again (two times could be your charm!) by following @eatboutique on Twitter and tweeting: I entered to win a caramel sampler from @SaucyCaramel and @eatboutique. More here: http://www.eatboutique.com/?p=9855
3) Enter a third time by “liking” Eat Boutique on Facebook and leaving a comment on the post that showcases this blog post.
4) Enter a fourth time by subscribing to the Eat Boutique email list at the very end of this post or in the right hand column and leave a message here to say that you did!
All entries must be made by Friday, January 25 at 11:59pm, and a winner will be chosen and notified by Monday, January 28. Spoonable can only ship to US residents. There’s not much time so leave your comment now!
Photos courtesy of Spoonable and Eat Boutique.
Eat Boutique discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers. We share recipes, maker stories and city guides to eating boutique. We host tasting events and markets for food makers, cookbook authors and food fans. We craft seasonal, regional gift and tasting boxes and sell individual items that you can order in our new shop.