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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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The History Of Soup

Posted: September 29, 2007
by: T.Alexander

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
by: T.Alexander

Hot off the press - just for you....bon appetit!

GourmetStation, the leading national merchant for gourmet dinner gifts, upscale gourmet meals and fine food gifts, announced the introduction of their new Soup of the Month club.

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.”

About GourmetStation

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.


Contact Information:
Donna Lynes-Miller
Founder & President


New Recipe Program At Gourmet Food Revolution

Posted: September 19, 2007
by: T.Alexander

The most influential ways in which we use the Internet are called "killer applications". Email has been called a killer application and let’s faces it; it has changed the way we live, work and communicate. I think there is another killer application and that is recipe sharing. It’s never been so easy to dream up a fascinating themed dinner party and find your menus and recipes on the web. I remember the days when I first started kitchen keeping – Betty Crocker was about it unless I wanted to purchase a library of recipe books.

There are lots of recipe sites out there, but I don’t necessarily trust all of them. Many are quick recipes placed on sites with the primary aim of selling advertising. I want a recipe that comes from someone’s heart. Maybe a recipe passed on through many generations with a good story behind it. I’ve found a place where you can take your story along with your recipe and enter it in an interactive environment. It’s the most novel and original way of collecting authentic recipes I’ve found. We need your help in populating the site. Our very own guest writer, Robert Jackson with Gourmet Food Revolution, brought the idea to me. Robert’s great site is dedicated to helping us with our entertainment needs including dinner party planning, etiquette, hiring a butler or personal chef. Some of us may be more inclined to “do it youself” and if you do, the recipe system will be perfect for you. Just click on this link and follow the easy instructions. Robert was kind enough to allow me to be one of the 1st submitters so I learned a couple of lessons I’ll share with you. If you have a back-story, like how the recipe was developed, who handed it down to you, etc. collect your thoughts & write them in Word of Notepad. Below your story write the recipe. Make sure you have included everything. A quick copy/paste will allow you to transfer the information to Robert’s recipe file. If you have a picture, make sure to include it. A picture is worth 1000 words!

Readers will be able to comment on your recipe, rate it – and you can share information back & forth. You can also categorize your recipes under headings like Thanksgiving, or just general. Go ahead. Here is the link again.


Don’t miss out on the fun!


Food Adventures in France

Posted: September 15, 2007
by: Chris Card Fuller

There are moments in life that one never forgets - especially when it
comes to trying French gourmet treats for the very first time.

I will always remember tasting my first French croissant.  It was in
1966, arriving in the early morning hours at Paris's Orly airport.
We had a quick half hour before we'd be catching our connecting
flight to Nice. Four huge, flakey croissants were set down on our
table.   I had never before seen a croissant which we called
'crescents' because they resembled a crescent-shaped moon.  The first
bite didn't disappoint as my mouth was treated to that delightful
combination of flakey texture, crunch and rich butteriness that makes
a good croissant stand apart from all other breakfast treats.


In the old days, croissants achieved that buttery richness with the
help of goose fat, but nowadays,  you can order your croissants at
the bakery either 'nature' or 'au beurre'.  Of course the butter
dowsed croissants are the more expensive - and the more caloric.
'Nature' or natural croissants can be equally tasty - minus the guilt
factor.  Still, a croissant should be reserved for special occasions
like Sunday breakfast.  Start making a habit of daily croissants
while visiting France and watch your trousers start to cling too

Some other French specialties I tried before I ever left the
U.S.A.    I can never forget the first time I tried either of these
dishes:  snails, or 'escargot' and frog's legs.
A little restaurant in Telluride, Colorado, called Chez Pierre (back
in the 1970s) is where I first tried a plate of escargots in their
shells.  And although the idea of eating creatures that slide across
the ground, using their antenna for GPS seemed slightly unappetizing,
the first bite of garlic-butter drenched escargot convinced me that
the pleasure of eating snails was   the delight of a myriad of
textures hitting the tastebuds, the tongue and the teeth all in one
fell swoop.

Frog legs appeared on my plate in the USA also.  And they do taste
surprisingly like chicken.  However, when frog legs are perfectly
sauteed they have a firmness  which contrasts perfectly to the
crisply fried exterior.

Veal sweetbreads I also tried for the first time in the United States
- although nowadays you will no longer find this delicacy made from
pancreas or thyroid glands on U.S. menus (the pancreas organs have
all been snapped up by pharmaceutical companies).

Vichysoisse, a cold potato soup served in a chilled bowl, usually
decorated with chopped parsley or chives is another dish one rarely
sees on restaurant menus, but it used to be a standby for elegant New
York restaurants in the sixties and seventies (it's also a soup you
won't find in many French restaurants these days!).

All this early introduction to French cuisine should have prepared me
for even more outlandish specialties I had yet to encounter once I
had became firmly ensconced on French soil, but nothing could quite
get me in the mood for some of the more adventurous choices such as
Tete de Veau (or Calf's Head).   This was a specialty of Normandy.
Add to that Tripe a la mode de Caen or Tripe,  Pig's Jowl, Calf's
Foot, Ox Tongue, Pig's Feet, and sausages composed of everything but
the kitchen sink - and I seriously considered on some occasions
becoming a strict vegetarian.

Some of these dishes I have tried - and others I'll leave to the true
enthusiasts.  In the meantime,  croissants still remain one of my
favorite treats - and when I'm feeling particularly naughty - I'll go
all out and order my croissants  'au beurre'.

Chris Card Fuller



American Specialty Foods - Visit American Feast

Posted: September 8, 2007
by: T.Alexander

GourmetStation menu recipes were consumer tested in 1998, almost 10 years ago. Two themes were tested, an international spin with menus from four regions and a home-town spin, menus from the famous Aunt Bee’s Kitchen from The Andy Griffith Show. The international menus won the research by a landslide so GourmetStation launched in 2000 with Parisian, Tuscan, Cajun & Asian-Fusion menus. In 2006 a GourmetStation affiliate said, “why don’t you launch an Americana style menu”? With the passing time since the consumer research and the very different political climate almost 10 years later, we decided to give Americana a try. The menu personality was branded with a great outdoors theme, entrees from field, sky & stream and is now climbing into #3 position in terms of popularity. Now what does all that say? Consumers are returning to their roots? They are realizing that there are exciting culinary experiences right at home? Appreciation for Americana fare has come full circle? How about all of the above!


This back-story brings me to the point of this post. I have discovered a web site and blog that will bring you all the warmth, excitement and variety you could imagine – American Feast. Now we’re not just talking Americana style recipes and the like….we’re talking about a holistic approach to American food from the sustainable family farm to the table – something you will not find in any other online or offline location. American Feast is the brainchild of Jeff Deasy. Here’s what Jeff says about his concept – “Our new company is dedicated to presenting our customers with the best possible selection of specialty foods from all regions of the United States. We want to give our customers the best of American fare for the joy of home cooking and entertaining family and friends.” Jeff gets our vote for achieving his goal.

I won’t steal all the thunder from your site visit, but would like to point out a few items that I found of special interest. First is the whole notion of sustainable foods and sustainable agriculture. American Feast does a great job in this blog post of informing us about the official definition of sustainable agriculture as Congress defined it in the Farm Bill in 1990. I think we all understand in general that we’re talking about balance between human demand, environmental concerns, renewable resources, economics and sustainability of the American farm lifestyle.  American Feast gently reminds us that the successful implementation of the philosophy depends upon consumers and the choices they make every day…..purchasing from those sources that practice sustainable agriculture as often as we can will determine the quality and potential of the food supply we leave our children. Bravo American Feast. (You can also purchase books such as Is Our Food Safe: A Consumer’s Guide To Protecting Your Health and Environment.)

You can also shop at American Feast. The sweets caught my eye – first the Schoolyard Sugarbush organic maple syrup from upstate New York. Not to mention Ghana’s organic chocolate. I’m going to make a purchase as soon as I finish this post.  You can keep up with food news on American Feast blog where there are many categories to browse such as organics and tips for travelers and vegetarians. For American Specialty Foods, check it out – American Feast. Congratulations Jeff & Team. Job well done!


Veuve Clicquot's Cellar

Posted: September 2, 2007
by: T.Alexander

Sandy Kingsley, like many Delicious Destinations readers, loves the good life and wanted to share an experience and a web site with you that you are bound to appreciate and enjoy. Sandy and her husband recently went to France, and because they are both wine and champagne lovers, they went to Burgundy, Champagne….you get the idea.

There are many wineries to visit in France and each one takes a different approach to providing an experience the visitor will cherish among their holiday memories. The people at Veuve Clicquot’s cellar not only served champagne (as you would expect of a good host), they actually taught Sandy and her husband a few tips on how to present and enjoy their beverages they way they were meant to be enjoyed.


Their web site is a work of art including the history of champagne making going back to the Roman times, through the crowning of French Kings at Reims, to modern production and distribution processes. Their Essentials categories also help readers understand what is really champagne through a standard set I 1935! No fooling around here. Sandy asked that we check out their link to visits where we can set the stage for what is included in their tours. The history appeals to me the most …"ancient Roman gallo chalk cellars in Reims.” Thanks Sandy! A visit to Venue Clicquot is on the must list.