By Nancy Smorch
In our challenge to find good food this past weekend in Orlando, we ended up making quite a few trips to Whole Foods. We are always assured of finding good quality, healthier food there. And, since we weren’t familiar with the local coffee shops, Whole Foods provided a great alternative to Starbucks. I can easily spend quite a bit of money in Whole Foods, but I always walk away inspired by the variety of products that I can’t find elsewhere.
Take for example, the chunks of parmesan cheese imported from Italy (of course). It’s the best I’ve found, and I use it in my minestrone soup, fresh tomato soup, and on our fresh cheese plate with Michigan honey, olive oil, bread, and crackers. If you’ve never drizzled honey on top of cheese along with some bread or crackers, you must try it. I got the idea from a wine bar in Grand Rapids, Michigan, while out with friends (the Reserve). A couple of the recipes I use also call for simmering the rind of the parmesan cheese in the soup, so this particular cheese works for that as well.
Whole Foods also has a pretty good wine selection (although not much in terms of Michigan wines - we’ll have to work on that!), so we stocked up on some wine while there. This weekend they had some new products in the pasta section, so I picked up some heartier, different-shaped noodles, and made spaghetti with them that night for dinner. Although I make spaghetti quite a bit, the new pasta gave a different (and delicious) twist on a good ol’ stand by.