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Local Company Makes Entertaining Easy

The other day I stopped into Guercio’s for some produce and cheese. Without my children in tow I seized the opportunity to scour the shelves and read labels- something I rarely have the time to do. I was pleased to see a number of new products in the dairy case, but I was most excited to come across a product line called “Tastings” that bears a Buffalo address on its cute label.
At Guercio’s three of Tastings’ products were available, priced at $5.99 each. The first was a Heavenly Hazelnut Pesto made of roasted hazelnuts, basil, garlic, and oil. The second was called Aji a-Hot, a sauce made of Peruvian hot peppers, and the third was Olive Madness, the product I chose to bring home.
In order to test drive my find, I selected a box of crackers from the shelves at Guercio’s, one that I had never seen before. Sold in a cello bag accented by small brass grommets, Bello Rustico’s Italian crackers looked hearty enough to stand up to a tablespoon or more of a zippy olive mixture.
Bello Rustico crackers are available in a wide variety of flavors including rosemary, fennel, and sesame. For this particular tasting, I felt that the sea salt and cracked pepper flavor would be best. At $2.49 a package, they are an affordable alternative to the boxed crackers available at most supermarkets.

Olive Madness is a combination of minced olives (black and green), pimento, walnuts, basil, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and black pepper. I chose to form the spread into little quenelles and serve it atop the crackers with a little shred of Locatelli cheese.
Olive Madness is flavorful and rich, and less briny than I expected. The walnuts are difficult to detect but I think that they are responsible for the balance in this spread. The crackers did in fact stand up to the test and their firm, crisp nature kept them from growing soggy under the moist olive topping.
We will all be entertaining at some point this season- at the very least we’ll be asked to bring something along. If you’re interested in offering up a fantastic plate but don’t want to expend effort or money, this is a great addition to any celebratory table.
Click here for a video on how to make a quenelle.

250 Grant Street, Buffalo, 14213

Written by Bill Zimmermann

Bill Zimmermann

Bill runs Seven Seas Sailing school, and is a staunch waterfront activist. He is also heavily involved with preserving, maintaining, and promoting the South Buffalo Lighthouse. When Bill first started writing for Buffalo Rising, he wrote an article a day for 365 days - each article coincided with a significant historic event that happened in Buffalo on that same day.

View All Articles by Bill Zimmermann
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