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Welcome to delicious Destinations, a GourmetStation blog. Through the charater of T.Alexander and occasional real-life guests, our aim is to share with you light-hearted fun ideas about food, gift giving, entertaining and culture. At the same time we would love you hear from you. Please share your experiences from home or abroad.
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Gourmet Gift Of The Day Award
Posted: June 1, 2009
What a nice surprise! The Food Team at Gourmet Gift of the Day Blog selected our International Soup Sampler as a winner. Here's what they have to say:
"I love to sample a number of foods when we go out for dinner. I especially like buffet-style dining so I can try a little of this and a little of that before deciding what to eat. That’s why I particularly like the samplers offered by Gourmet Station...." Read More
You know, soups at GourmetStation were an afterthought. When we launched our brand in May 2000 our core offering was a 4 course dinner for two featuring soups. The feedback on the soups was so positive that we launched an entire soup gift category including soup gift certificates and soup of the month clubs. Bon appetit!
Soup Delivery – Soup Gifts For Cold Weather
Posted: November 19, 2008
Cold weather is here and soup time is upon us. Soup Gifts are a great way to show your love, especially this time of year. Each of our Soup Delivery offerings include six individually portioned servings of Gourmet Soups in spill proof containers, six mini baguettes and six bake-your-own gourmet cookies. Cookie flavors are Amaretto, Cappuccino, Double Chocolate Caramel and Macadamia Nut & White Chocolate. Delicious!
We have found that our Gourmet Soup Gifts make excellent Food Gifts for the seniors in our lives. Just recently we introduced a Home Style Gourmet Soup Gift. We asked ourselves, how popular can chicken noodle and butternut squash soup be? To our surprise this Soup Gift has been a hit – sometimes you can’t beat good home style cookin’. A Gourmet Soup Gift can be much appreciated as a “get well gift.” All our Soup Delivered configurations are delivered in complimentary gift packaging and set the stage for the gourmet experience.
One of our most popular holiday offerings is the Soup of the Month program. Our Soup of the Month Club allows your gift recipient to receive a soup configuration from our Parisian, Tuscan, Cajun, Fusion or Americana menus each month for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months. We never expire our certificates and skipping a month is allowed. Soup of the Month Clubs have become quite popular and we believe we have the best in terms of quality and taste.
The History Of Soup
Posted: September 29, 2007
No matter what you call it, soup is excellent cuisine; especially when fall and winter approach. Ever wonder what the word soup means? The underlying word is one of soaking from the Latin verb suppare. Yes, this is very similar to the German root sup, as pronounced sup and supper in English. These terms eventually evolved to the noun suppa and in old French, eventually passed on as soupe.
For efficiency it is no wonder that various meats, vegetables and broth were combined in a large pot to invent new exciting flavors and textures. Our ancestors survived by leaving nothing to waste. Today soup is less of a left-over meal and more of a gourmet treat.
Soup is referred to by many terms through the cultures of the world. For example, the English borrowed from the French bisk to create bisque – a thick soup usually in a pureed form and many times containing crayfish or lobster. Consomme is derived from 16th century French culinary terms and refers to a clear soup, similar to broth served hot or cold at the beginning of a meal. Chowder goes back to the 18th century and is referred to a fisherman’s stew such as New England clam chowder. It is believed that chowder is derived from the French caldron. Sailors threw in their catch to make a communal stew.
Today this history is wrapped into our modern diets with gourmet soups that are enjoyed as meals in themselves. Additionally when busy shoppers are seeking unique food gifts, soup gifts often fill the bill. That’s where GourmetStation comes in. They offer a wide array of soups gifts such as their international sampler that includes gourmet soups from Parisian, Tuscan and Cajun menus. Their most recent food gift offering is a Soup of the Month club for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months….hundreds of years of food culture exquisitely wrapped and delivered every month.
GourmetStation, Provider Of Upscale Gourmet Dinners & Food Gifts Announces New Soup of the Month Program
Posted: September 22, 2007
Hot off the press - just for you....bon appetit!
With fall and winter just around the corner, GourmetStation announced an extension of their highly successful soup gift program, Soup of the Month certificates. The exciting new program offers busy shoppers yet another gourmet food gift option, gourmet soups delivered monthly for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months.
Featured gourmet soups include Bistro Mushroom & Sherry Wine soup from their Parisian menu, Italian Wedding Soup from their Tuscan menu, Lobster Bisque from their Cajun menu and many more. Each gourmet soup gift includes six soups, six bake your own gourmet cookies and six mini baguettes. Prices start at $49.99 plus shipping.
“Designing the Soup of the Month program as an extension to our line up of food gifts was fun,” says Donna Lynes-Miller, founder and President of GourmetStation, “Our goal was to take the basic tenants of our already successful Dinner of the Month program and incorporate a product that our patrons love, gourmet soups.” Lynes-Miller went on to comment “our Soup of the Month program is just in time for holiday shoppers in search of a unique upscale food gift.”
GourmetStation delivers a delicious in-home dining experience complete with the flavor of travel to an exciting cultural destination. The online retailer offers the unique opportunity to give or receive a unique gourmet food gifts to mark a life-cycle occasion or just to take a night off from cooking. GourmetStation offers multiple regional menu options including Parisian, Tuscan, Cajun, Fusion, Americana as well a Romance menu and seasonal menus like Thanksgiving dinner delivered, Christmas dinner delivered, and Valentine dinner delivered. The wide variety of destination themed food gifts is designed to spark the imagination of both the giver and receiver. Each chef-inspired gourmet dinner is intended to provide a dining experience similar to that of its regional inspiration.
Internationally themed three and four course gourmet meals, and soup gifts are delivered anywhere in the United States. Deep-chilled gourmet dinners and gourmet soups require only 30 minutes preparation. Some dinner gifts include European blend coffee or organic tea, after-dinner candy, floating candle and matches. Prices for gourmet dinner gifts and soup gifts start at $49.99 plus shipping. Gourmet gift certificates, including Dinner of the Month certificates, Dessert of the Month certificates and Soup of the Month certificates are ideal for birthdays and anniversaries. For more information, visit www.GourmetStation.com or call 1-888-944-9794.
Spicy Gazpacho & Creamy Vichyssoise – Soup Gifts
Posted: July 19, 2007
Soup never fails to hit the spot but when it’s 90 degrees outside, the thought of hot soup just doesn’t work. So how do we keep our soup appetites satisfied in summer? With cold summer gourmet soups, of course.
I’ve chosen two cold gourmet soups to bring to your attention…gazpacho & vichyssoise. Vichyssoise is a cold French style soup made of potatoes, leaks, & scallions and is usually cream based. StarChefs.com is nice enough to share this recipe for vichyssoise from Julia Child. Some versions of vichyssoise are pureed but I actually like the chunks of potato – especially when thoroughly chilled / they have a nice bite.
About.com gives us this nice gazpacho soup recipe – you can see all the garden fresh veggies & that is why, no doubt, it is hailed to have antioxidant benefits. My favorite part of gazpacho soup is the cucumbers and cilantro topping. Oh so fresh.
Now there’s a lot of shopping, chopping and preparing in these recipes before you can enjoy these two cold summer soups. So I recommend you consider GourmetStation’s cold summer soup sampler. The sampler includes 3 servings of gazpacho, 3 servings of vichyssoise, six mini baguettes and six bake-your-own chocolate caramel cookies. Six cool refreshing meals for only $59.99. If your purchase is for a soup gift, remember we ship nationally and all food gifts are delivered in elegant gift packaging. We even includes free ceramic soup spoons. This gourmet food gift will really get their attention this summer. Bon appetit!
Asian Soups & Soup Gifts
Posted: July 6, 2007
According to our friends at Wikipedia, Asian soups are generally categorized as savoury or sweet with the quality of a savoury soup being determined by its fragrance or umani. Umani (旨み、旨味、うまみ) is Japanese and is one of 5 basic senses of the tongue. Many soups in Asia are eaten or drunk for flavor, health benefits and revitalization effects.
Since many Asian soups are eaten as one of the main dishes particular attention is paid to the soups' stocks. In the case of some soups, the stock ingredients become part of the soup. Chinese use 3 basic kinds of stock: white (lightly blanched pork bones), shandong (ham) or chicken. Japanese use kelp, skipjack tuna, or a combination of both for their soup base.
GourmetStation has it’s version of Asian soups now in a soup gift that includes 6 portions of gourmet soup, 6 baguettes and 6 bake your own gourmet cookies. Essentially the soup gift is six light meals to be enjoyed throughout the week. The Asian Fusion soup gift includes 3 Spicy Thai Vegetable Soup portions, 3 Coconut Curried Chicken, baguettes and cookies. Although dairy products are not usually used in Asian soups, the coconut curried soup uses a small amount of skim milk giving the coconut enhanced texture akin to silk. Delicious. Try it yourself or give as a unique food gift.
Soup Trends & Soup Gifts - Bound To Please
Posted: January 4, 2007
Specialty Food Magazine is a great source for fancy food trends. I just read an article in their November/December 2006 issued called “The New Look Of Soups: Hearty, Healthy, Ethnic.” And it starts out with a little cocky advice – “move over cream of mushroom.”
So what’s new with soups? Specialty Food Magazine based their opinion on research and here’s what they have to say about what’s new:
Ethnic flavors (like ramen Japanese noodles with a new twist / more on that subject)
Old classics made over (like chic ingredients added to say, cream of tomato soup)
More meat options
Heartier, healthier ingredients (so your favorite soup recipe become a new stew recipe)
Low sodium, high flavor (this trend gets my vote)
Specialty Magazine goes on to say “Chefs too are upping the ante, creating fresh buzz around certain soups by adding chic and artisanal ingredients. Hot restaurants such as Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York City are redefining ramen, a Japanese noodle soup commonly known in America as a dried, instant product. The restaurant attracts long lines of every nationality waiting to eat ramen studded with high quality trendy ingredients such as Berkshire pork belly and locally grown Swiss chard.”
Which bring me to my next bit of exciting news. GourmetStation is offering free 2nd day shipping on their soup gifts through December 31, 2006. Not only does your gift recipient receive free shipping, they receive their gourmet food gift in a stylish cooler and the soup gift goes a little further than a soup gift. All configurations include six delicious soups ready to heat on the stovetop along with six mini baguettes and six bake your own gourmet cookies, like Amaretto, Cappuccino or Macadamia Nut. Delicious.
Free Soup Spoons With Soup Gift Purchase
Posted: October 4, 2006
I have a complaint for the inventers and manufacturers of cutlery. Spoons are too tiny. Soup is one of my favorite cold weather meals, and approaching the bowl with tiny spoons is annoying. The solution? Deep-welled Asian style soup spoons. Now our friends in the East really know how to eat soup. Through October 30th when you purchase a GourmetStation soup gift your gift recipient will receive two of these delightful spoons with their order. And mind you they are the nice ceramic type – not the plastic ones.
Our soup gifts are configured with six 12 ounce portions of delicious soup, six baguettes, and six bake-your-own gourmet cookies. My favorite offering is the International Soup Sampler with soups from our Parisian, Tuscan & Cajun menus. If you don't have a gifting occasion at the moment, order for yourself & keep in the freezer for a quick delicious meal. Bon appetit!
Ruscuisine.com - More Than Borscht
Posted: September 24, 2006
Today when I think about my growing up in a fearful world separated by politics and cold war (yes, I'm telling my age) I think about lost opportunities to share customs and culture, especially food culture.
Such is the case with Russia. As I grew up in the 1950's and 60's, I loved Russia. Communism and cruel politics kept us from the truth, but Hollywood let me see a glimpse of Russia in Doctor. Zhivago. That was all I needed to begin my romance with Russia, cold war or not.
I have a friend who journeyed with her father to Moscow and returned with stories about warm people, a beautiful country, splendid architecture, and delicious food. If you can't travel to Russia at the moment, travel vicariously through a wonderful site I've round called RusCuisine.com.
The site is not just about cuisine. It touches on history, dress, and other traditions. For example, click here and you can purchase a beautiful authentic Russian dress. If you are a history enthusiast, you might enjoy this brief account of Peter the Great and the enlightened city of St. Petersburg.
But back to food for a moment - after all that's what Delicious Destinations is all about. The Russian recipes are well organized into categories such as appetizers, breads - even a wild game section. The recipe I've selected to highlight is most fitting for this time of year, Borscht from Kiev. To make this recipe correctly you are instructed to make your own stock so go for it. Bring a little of Russian into your kitchen today with RusCuisine.
Gourmet Soups & A Little Asian Soup Trivia
Posted: March 30, 2006
Our appetites and taste buds tell us when it’s time to transition from soup to ice cream. Right now the US is about ten degrees below normal – some areas are even experiencing below freezing temperatures at night. So I’d say we’re still in the soup season.
First - a little fun. SoupSong is a web site devoted to soup fans. You’ll find soup recipes galore for hot soup and cold soup. You may discover Shakespeare’s sentiments about soup and movies on soup. Heck, you might even want to check out the cabbage soup diet also called the Dolly Parton diet. There’s also a section on using soup as a complete gourmet meal.
My favorite section of SoupSong is Soup Etiquette. Did you know it is proper to tilt you soup spoon away in Britian but toward in France? The Chinese allow slurping soup, but the Europeans do not. This is an important point and we’ll find out later.
Alright, now back to the practical way to enjoy soup. You may enjoy it yourself, give it as a gourmet gift, or do both. We are approaching spring so I recommend lighter soups in the Asian category. Here is a soup recipe, Chinese Gingery Chicken Soup equipped with a story, easy enough if you want to make a batch yourself. But if you feel like making a special connection with a special person, consider a soup gift from GourmetStation. Our soup samplers cover the globe from France to Italy to the Land of the Cajuns. Today I recommend the Asian Fusion soup sampler with three servings of Spicy Thai Soup with Water Chestnuts, three servings of Coconut Chicken & Rice Soup, six mini baguettes, and six Macadamia Nut bake-your-own cookies. Want to know the real reason I’m recommending this Asian Fusion soup collection? Because it’s OK to slurp!