Christmas and Hanukkah Food Traditions

When I was small, I got to have two Christmas dinners; one was classic American, with ham and all the traditional sides, and one was an Italian version. I’m always fascinated by other people’s food traditions; after all, the food makes the holiday. I asked around the office to find out what my co-workers and their families eat for Christmas and Hanukkah.

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Fresh Adventure: Watch the Video on How We Sourced 2014’s Olio Novello

Our team of sourcing experts just got back from Sicily, where they celebrated the first harvest and press of the season, hand-picking our own custom blend of olives to make a unique olio novello (new oil) exclusive to FreshDirect. Ken, our specialty merchant, described this ready-to-use oil as “fresh, vibrant, and luscious.” This limited-time delicacy is blended, pressed, and shipped from Italy within a week, meaning it’s as fresh and tasty as can be. Pairing ideas and videos on how we sourced our olio novello after the jump!

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Our Trip to a Local Cranberry Bog

It’s always such a joy to join the merchant teams on their #freshadventures, where they meet amazing farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and producers. Just recently, I had the thrill of joining the produce team on their visit to Pine Barrens Native Fruits, a fifth-generation cranberry farm in southern New Jersey.

Brenda, the bog’s owner, and Tom, the bog’s right-hand-man, gave us an extensive tour of the farm, which has been in the family since the mid-1800s and was founded by Brenda’s husband’s Great-Aunt Lizzy White.

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Fresh Adventure: Wild Alaskan Salmon Run

Our fish team recently headed out to sea in Alaska to learn about the local fish species. In addition to catching a 45 lb king salmon (the largest catch of the day!), the team landed halibut, Alaskan red snapper, and cod. Our Senior Fish Buyer, Mike Kanter, shared his first-hand fresh adventure with us below:

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Finn’s FreshDirect Birthday Box

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Finn checks out his birthday gift!

Earlier this year while I was helping to launch FreshDirect’s new pet shop, I couldn’t wait for its arrival on the site for one main reason: his name is Finnegan and he’s my black pug.

The samples would come in and I’d think, “Finn would love this!” And my dog has very discerning tastes (just kidding—he would eat anything given the opportunity).

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Finn pleads to have the box opened for him!

When my FreshDirect order arrives every week, he looks on with curiosity, circling the boxes and sniffing for exciting items. But last Sunday, his 4thbirthday (yes, I celebrate my dog’s birthday), he got a box all to himself.

When placing Finn’s birthday order, I decided to go with two types of treats and two new toys. He’d already rotated through any toy samples I brought home, and I could tell he was itching for something new and exciting….

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Meet and Greet with Chef Tina Bourbeau

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Chef Tina Bourbeau

Here at the FreshDirect headquarters, we’re lucky to work with many interesting people who share our passion for food.

One great example is Chef Tina Bourbeau, Executive Chef/Senior Director of Research and Development here at FreshDirect.

I sat down with Tina to find out why she went into the food business in the first place.

FD: What was the inspiration to make food your business?

TB: Cooking is the only profession I’ve ever had, and I am grateful that I get paid to do what I love and am deeply passionate about — anything else seems like torture.

FD: What was the road that led you to FreshDirect?

TB: After studying at Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School (now I.C.E.), I started cooking my way through various NYC kitchens. My first job was at Oceana – while still in school. This was when anything less than a 6-day work-week wasn’t even a consideration. I was the first woman to work in that kitchen (boy, times have changed!)….

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