Socially responsible chocolate? Sarah Endline, a Michigan native and founder of Sweetriot has created what she calls "the world's first consumer line of dark-chocolate-covered cacao nibs." This week, she returns to her home state, bringing her creation with her. Bandying the slogan, "Out with the bar and in with the bean," Sweetriot spins its wares as a "socially responsible alternative to the traditional, processed bar or truffle." (And here we thought the calories in our Hershey bar were enough on our conscience.) The curious are invited to indulge their sweet tooth by sampling Endline's confections at Zingerman's specialty food store in Ann Arbor. At Zingerman's, 620 Phoenix Dr., Ann Arbor on Friday, April 28, 3-7 p.m. and Saturday, April 29, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Canfield in a cup The people who brought you Rivertown Bagel and Deli have moved their whole operation to the Medical Center, rechristening it Midtown Corner Café. The eatery offers fresh baked products, soups, made-to-order sandwiches and local coffees. Already getting a brisk delivery and take-out trade from the Medical Center, the owners hope to attract Wayne State University students with a lounge atmosphere and wi-fi. Open 7 a.m-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. At 113 E. Canfield, Detroit; 313-832-7900.
Eat the Page
We're waiting for Spanish food to gain local popularity. Tapas seem to be the first wave, now available locally at a few venues, including Vicente's in Detroit, Sangria in Royal Oak and Tu-Can Tango in West Bloomfield. The New Spanish Table by Anya von Bremzen (Workman Publishing Company Inc., $22.95) explores this exciting cuisine from "the tapas bars of Madrid to farmers, winemakers, home cooks, Mediterranean paella shacks and the best chefs on the planet." We'd pay this much just for the book's Paella 101 lesson and the mouthwatering photos.
Speaking of Spain (and with summer approaching) now's the time to hone a good sangria recipe. Here are the basics. Begin by making simple syrup, equal parts of sugar and water. Heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Try a cup of each. When it cools to room temperature, add a cut-up lemon and lime and orange. Refrigerate until making the sangria. Combine a bottle of full-bodied red wine with a half cup of the simple syrup and some of the fruit. It's good enough to drink as is, but possible additions are a splash of brandy or orange liqueur like Campari, or fruit juice and some club soda. Add ice just before serving.
Most recipes that call for tomato paste require one or two tablespoons, leaving you with most of a can that ends up getting pitched. If you love to squeeze the most out of what you buy, now you can get your tomato paste in a tube. Use what you need and refrigerate the rest in its airtight package, which will keep at least until you need another portion. We've also found anchovy paste, ginger, garlic and wasabi paste in this convenient form. Don't forget to put the cap back on.Know of any new restaurants, special dinners or food-related events? Let us know. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org