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Momofuku Milk Bar: Looking for several specialty products, please advise!!

ghettoMD Jul 20, 2012 08:34 AM


I have been recently cooking a lot from Christina Tosi's Momofuku Milk Bar cook book. It's fantastic but some of the recipes have some very peculiar ingredients that I don't see even in some of the larger supermarkets I frequent where I would expect to find them.

I searched a few of the threads on some of the products I am looking for in particular, then went out to the stores that the CHOW member(s) suggested and didn't find them there! I felt mislead and disappointed... so now I would like to start this board with the hope that some of you all who are doing the same thing as I am (maybe cooking from the same cookbook!) or just looking for some reliable advice on where to source these products can contribute where YOU have seen these... and then comment!!

(Also, ideally I'd prefer not to have to order online and have to pay shipping and handling. Although I am considering it for the feuilletine because I have no idea who sells this stuff-- maybe a professional pastry ingredient warehouse? OR I may have to venture and try Bravetart's recipe [http://bravetart.com/recipes/Feuillet...)..... :-


Here is the list:

1. Wilton glucose
2. Pistachio paste (Agrimontana or other) AND pistachio oil
3. Passionfruit puree
4. Feuilletine
5. Gianduja
6. Freeze-dried corn (powder)
7. Freeze-dried mixed berries
8. High-quality shelled pistachios
9. 72% Araguani dark and 55% semisweet Valhrona chocolate
10. Concord grape juice (Tosi says this is impossible to find and that it's up to the cook to make it him/herself... but I know some very resourceful people! I was even thinking of buying a concord grape plant and harvest it just to make a legit version of her PB&J pie... lol......)
11. Hazelnut paste (Valrhona or other)

Thanks in advance to all contributors... I hope to hear where I ought to forage about for this stuff!!

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  1. Kagemusha RE: ghettoMD Jul 20, 2012 08:47 AM

    #1, 3, 8, 9 aren't impossible to find. Where have you looked so far?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Kagemusha
      ghettoMD RE: Kagemusha Jul 20, 2012 09:54 AM

      For #1, I looked in Bulk Barn -- but maybe I am not looking at the right location. I went to the Bulk Barn at Hillcrest Mall in Richmond Hill to check if they had it, I saw somebody in another post I said they had seen the Wilton brand (which Tosi recommends) in that store.

      For #3, I went to McEwan, Pusateris, and Aren't We Sweet in St. Lawrence Market -- nothing, and no recommendations/advice from any of these retailers...

      For #8, I go to T&T to get bulk nuts but I'm not happy with the quality. I know it's lazy. But if I am going to pay for fully shelled pistachios, I don't want little bits of shell and skin... I am looking for pistachios that are ready to blitz or grind with no additional sieving or tamis-ing.. soooo annoying. Anything prepackaged and shiny and green would be ideal, but bulk is better because then I don't have to pay for the label...

      #9 I've looked online only. McCalls. Also qzina. But in health food shops and St. Lawrence market they do sell the stuff ("72% and 55% etc..) but it isn't labelled Valrhona. I am after the quality and the credibility of the name, plus I've used it in the past but haven't ever tried to source it myself... I am just trying to avoid S&H costs if possible. But if that's all there is out there, I guess I will have to settle for that...

    2. j
      julesrules RE: ghettoMD Jul 20, 2012 09:09 AM

      Isn't Welch's concord grape juice?
      There's been some previous threads on many of these topics, if you search for freeze-dried corn, for example. I ordered the glucose from Golda's kitchen, but I didn't think it improved the cookie results over using corn syrup.

      11 Replies
      1. re: julesrules
        ghettoMD RE: julesrules Jul 20, 2012 09:57 AM

        Hey, no, Welch's has sugars added (not to mention a whole bunch of other preservatives etc.), and Tosi mentions this in her book. She talks about the pre-made stuff (i.e. Welch's) as being like.. sickly sweet, and she's really after the real fruit flavor and says it's like, near impossible to find in stores? And she suggests amazon.com. But they don't ship to Canada.
        Like I said, haha, I was looking at buying a concord grape plant from a reputable seller I found through ebay.ca... but I am not sure now, I am just wondering if anyone else has had any luck sourcing it frozen, in blocks, or "natural", as in, simply juiced without any added sugars, preservatives or additives (unnecessary and probably resulting in adulterated flavor..)

        1. re: ghettoMD
          julesrules RE: ghettoMD Jul 20, 2012 10:23 AM

          You could just buy the Niagara grapes when they come in season at the end of summer, then juice and freeze. This seems more reliable than hoping a plant will produce in its first year.
          I don't entirely buy her insistence on certain things being just so given all the other crap she throws in her recipes ie/ butterscotch chips. I also don't believe Welch's 100% grape juice has sugar or preservatives, but obviously you need a premium, hard to find product to make a pie based on PB&J sandwiches.

          1. re: ghettoMD
            ylsf RE: ghettoMD Jul 20, 2012 11:36 AM

            Delete - typed by accident

            1. re: ghettoMD
              smartygirl RE: ghettoMD Jul 20, 2012 12:29 PM

              you can have the concord grapes from the arbour in my backyard if you want to pick them yourself. i harvested and made various things (pie, juice, jam, ice cream) one year, but the fact i'm too lazy to harvest them - my arms get tired reaching up like that - and there are always a ton of wasps.

              not ready till mid-late september, though.

              1. re: smartygirl
                ylsf RE: smartygirl Jul 20, 2012 12:59 PM

                If the OP doesn't take you up on your offer, you might want to consider contacting Not Far From the Tree. They harvest urban fruits/etc and give 1/3 to home owner,1/3 to food bank and 1/3 to volunteers doing the harvest.

                1. re: smartygirl
                  ghettoMD RE: smartygirl Jul 20, 2012 08:07 PM

                  wooow sounds awesome! let me know when. that's so cool that you grow them yourself. ;-)

                  1. re: ghettoMD
                    smartygirl RE: ghettoMD Jul 21, 2012 05:43 AM

                    it's not so much "i'm an awesome gardener" as "this is an old school italian portugese neighbourhood." i'm sure every house on the block had a grape arbour made from old plumbing supplies at some point. we've actually got i think 3 different types of grapes - concord, and two more red varieties that don't look quite the same.

                    ylsf, i actually thought about not far from the tree a couple of years ago, but they were only in the east end at the time - thanks for the reminder! i'd love to have some help with the grapes, and maybe trade for some cherries or something.

                    1. re: smartygirl
                      ghettoMD RE: smartygirl Jul 21, 2012 07:19 AM

                      soo respect that you grow them, still.. i have issues with zucchini etc in my backyard but im big into gardening and DIY. thanks for offering some of your grapes.

                      1. re: smartygirl
                        crawfish RE: smartygirl Jul 21, 2012 07:39 AM

                        Not far from the tree harvested my Concord grapes last year. They got 100 pounds and couldn't carry anymore! I juice as much as I can handle but I'm sick of making jam. I still have some from previous years, we just don't eat that much jam. Concord grape pie is really good, one of my favorite fruit pies. The juice is fantastic fresh but loses some appeal when frozen. I'm sure others would still like it but once you've had fresh it's hard to go back. Anyway, NFFTT is a fantastic organisation, I couldn't recommend them anymore highly.

                        1. re: crawfish
                          ghettoMD RE: crawfish Jul 21, 2012 07:59 AM

                          Thanks this is brilliant. I really appreciate this guidance. I will contact NFFTT for sure. :-)

                          1. re: crawfish
                            ghettoMD RE: crawfish Jul 23, 2012 11:31 AM

                            also i'd be really interested if you wanted to post that recipe for your concord grape pie. :-)

                2. y
                  ylsf RE: ghettoMD Jul 20, 2012 09:10 AM

                  Pretty sure I have seen Pistachio paste in Italian grocery stores before. Other ethnic stores should have it too. Same for the Gianduja. I don't have a specific recommendation but I will look out for it. Seems like some of these items should be available at St. Lawrence Market too.
                  Re: Concord grape juice, do you need pure juice? Costco sells "Newman's Own" brand grape juice which is from concord grapes. No sugar added - Thread on making wine from it - http://www.winepress.us/forums/index....

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: ylsf
                    ghettoMD RE: ylsf Jul 20, 2012 10:06 AM

                    Thanks, this is great! I will look out for that on my next trip to Costco. Gotta love Costco for some things. I hope they still have it. And yes what I am looking for is pure juice, no sugars added. Just the juice. Looking for the real essence of the concord.
                    And regarding the Gianduja, I saw it in Galati Market Fresh (on Leslie St.) but it was in a teeny tiny 7 oz jar. And it was really, really overpriced. I don't know... I am not sure it was the quality, but just that it was a gourmet-ish ingredient in a place that doesn't specialize in those things... I was thinking, maybe Bruno's would have some of these things?
                    I specifically called and asked Bruno's if they had pistachio oil, too, which I am looking for in addition to the pistachio paste, but they said they only had "macadamia nut oil, flax oil, cashew nut oil, pumpkin seed oil, agrumato lemon oil..." but no pistachio oil!!!

                    And I went to McEwan and all they have is a super small, super expensive vial of pistachio oil. Gahh. I feel like I can't win.

                    Thanks for your post though! I will certainly look into your concord grape tip!!

                    1. re: ghettoMD
                      DJFoodMMAn RE: ghettoMD Jul 20, 2012 10:19 AM

                      Highland Farms sells a wide variety of oils. Worth calling in to see if they sell pistachio oil.

                      1. re: ghettoMD
                        ylsf RE: ghettoMD Jul 20, 2012 11:39 AM

                        Did you try the places from this thread for the Pistachio oil -http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/424569

                        Pretty sure I have seen it at the Whole Foods in Oakville, but, again, going to be pricey wherever you find it.

                        1. re: ylsf
                          ghettoMD RE: ylsf Jul 21, 2012 07:24 AM

                          Hey thanks -- I clicked this link but it's dead??
                          And yea, it's too bad. I mean pricewise. I don't understand how a store can have like... every other weird/hard to find/obscure oil but not pistachio, it's really a rarity.
                          In Loblaw (Queens Quay and Bayview locations), McEwan, Galati, and Bruno's it seems they have porcini! cashew nut! macadamia nut! agrumato lemon!? argan! but no pistachio, or it's labelled "extra virgin" (which I do appreciate for quality's sake) but seriously I cannot pay for a dropper bottle of the stuff for like pushing $35. Yee.
                          Yesterday I was at the Bayview Village Pusateri's and this nice lady in charge of the bakery/pastry counter directed me to their specialty oils and they did have a very nice sized Roland brand pistachio oil-- I had been trying to get that brand to Canada through amazon.com trick maneuvers over the phone but ya... didn't work out :-S
                          and that was great finding it but I need to save up.
                          I wish I could find a store that sold the Love n' Bake nut pastes and schmears in-store though so I wouldn't have to consider ordering them...

                          1. re: ghettoMD
                            ylsf RE: ghettoMD Jul 23, 2012 08:55 AM

                            For some reason I can't click on the link but if I copy and paste it , it works. I will quote the thread for you though:
                            Big Carrot on Danforth
                            St. Lawrence Market - lower level
                            Cheese Boutique
                            5 Thieves - Yonge/Summerhill
                            Whole Foods

                            Permalink | Report | Reply
                            By thenurse on Jul 25, 2007 11:00 AM

                            1. re: ylsf
                              ghettoMD RE: ylsf Jul 23, 2012 11:32 AM


                    2. flying101 RE: ghettoMD Jul 20, 2012 02:36 PM

                      Freeze-dried corn powered you can't find, however... freeze tried corn kernels can be found at camping stores (I got mine at LeBaron in Markham http://www.lebaron.ca) they also have berries.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: flying101
                        ghettoMD RE: flying101 Jul 20, 2012 08:09 PM

                        thanks -- i will check them out for sure. I was disappointed when I went to Mountain Co-op on King St and they were all out... all they had were dried peas??? Weird. But thanks again for the tip!

                      2. c
                        Cup cake RE: ghettoMD Jul 22, 2012 06:48 PM

                        I bought some of the ingredients for the Milk Bar recipes from Golda's Kitchen. I found frozen passionfruit puree in a Latin store in Kensington Market. I didn't find freeze-dried corn but it can be ordered online. So far I haven't been thrilled with the results from the Milk Bar cookbook....and they are a lot of work! The recipes, however, are very creative/interesting so it was kinda worth it.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Cup cake
                          ghettoMD RE: Cup cake Jul 22, 2012 08:37 PM

                          which store in kensington market?? if you remember the name thatd be super helpful -- usually i get a lot of my latin goodies at perola's. let me know if u can recall it!
                          and yes i know golda's kitchen looks like a great site. if i have to do mail-order or internet i think that is where i'll source my things from, also kingarthurflour.com....
                          i'm thinking, though, instead of substituting cornflakes for feuilletine...
                          i did a little researching on what can be used instead, and i heard of people crushing up crepes dentelles by LOC MARIA.fr, they're these thin buttery crepe-waferish cookies, and i thought i might crush them up to try to mimic the texture...?
                          i know i can get those cookies at mcewan, or pusateri's, for sure. they've got to have them.

                          1. re: ghettoMD
                            Cup cake RE: ghettoMD Jul 22, 2012 09:01 PM

                            It was on the east side of Augusta mid-way up the street. I asked them if they had passion fruit puree and they pointed me to the freezer. Made a big difference compared to buying fresh passion fruit at Loblaws and getting very little. I made the cake using the cake rings and baking pan bought from Golda's. Crazy tall narrow cake that was a big hit.

                            1. re: Cup cake
                              ghettoMD RE: Cup cake Jul 22, 2012 09:22 PM

                              thats awesome to hear. im super excited to get this puree, was thinking of doing a larger version of the chocolate chip layer cake for my brother's bday. like 10" layers, 1.5x frosting and 3x crumb. (cause i'll eat 1/3 of it while constructing the thing) :-)
                              thanks for the info!!! ill be heading down there tomorrow.

                              1. re: ghettoMD
                                Cup cake RE: ghettoMD Jul 23, 2012 07:27 PM

                                A larger size version is an excellent idea! I would make it again but definitely larger.

                                1. re: Cup cake
                                  ghettoMD RE: Cup cake Jul 23, 2012 08:35 PM

                                  that is what i am planning, next week it's a double b-day in the family so im going to use the tips for the larger sized milk bar b-day cake from this blogger's post:


                                  she uses 10" cake rings for her layers and multiplied each quarter sheet pan by 1.5 times, and the crumb to a similar proportion, maybe it is x3? she triples the frosting to cover her cake perfectly... nice pics to follow along with as well!!

                              2. re: Cup cake
                                Vinnie Vidimangi RE: Cup cake Jul 23, 2012 08:32 AM

                                Passionfruit on St. Clair was $1.00 a piece last week. The cost of making your own would be breath taking.

                                1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                  ghettoMD RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Jul 23, 2012 11:34 AM

                                  you know what's crazy, i found 'recipes' for how to make your own passionfruit puree but no youtube videos or anything like that--?? i don't know if i'd be into it, because i want to get a big quantity of the stuff and dont want to go buying pounds of passionfruit if i'm going to be all crazy separating the little black seeds from the juice... i can imagine what an insano kitchen project that'd turn into.......

                          2. c
                            Cat123 RE: ghettoMD Jul 23, 2012 08:03 AM

                            Passionfruit Puree is available frozen at M and M Fruit and Grocery at 1263 Dundas West. I've bought it there both with and without seeds and it is very good.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Cat123
                              Vinnie Vidimangi RE: Cat123 Jul 23, 2012 08:06 AM

                              What quantity and how much? Sugar added ?

                              1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                Cat123 RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Jul 23, 2012 09:01 AM

                                I don't have any presently but don't think there is any sugar added. It is sold in frozen bricks of maybe a pound each. I honestly can't recall the price but it wasn't extravagant by any means. The store also has an amazing hot table of portuguese food.

                              2. re: Cat123
                                ghettoMD RE: Cat123 Jul 23, 2012 11:39 AM

                                thanks!! i think i found a good product though, 2801 keele st., at a place called Market-Tino-- they have passion fruit purees by Canoa and another brand, their website lists all their exotic fruit purees (and a whole lot of other latin grocery items) -- and it isn't frozen, it's sold in a squeeze pouch, i think 12 oz. it looks OK to me but im gonna head over there to see the specs (how much added sugars and how it compares to the product Tosi touts in her book as top choice -- Boiron/Capfruit)...

                              3. v
                                Vinnie Vidimangi RE: ghettoMD Jul 23, 2012 08:25 AM

                                I have in my hand a bottle of Kedem brand grape juice. The label says that it is made with Concord grapes and contains grape juice and potassium metabisulphite. " No added Sugar, Artificiall Flavors or Colors!" You can find this product in any grocery store in a Jewish area. It is used as an alternative to wine for sacramental purposes. It has an ordinary price.
                                Without a preservative I think that you will find only frozen from a grower in up- state New York or the like.

                                It sounds like the Momofuku cookbook suffers from foodie frenzy giddiness which turns ordinary sound cooking into an open budget quest for the Holy Grail. Surprise! the cup runneth over with Kedem grape juice!

                                My question. What recognition would this book have with the open budget giddiness? Who is responsible?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                  ghettoMD RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Jul 23, 2012 11:40 AM

                                  sweet. this is a good tip. i will start looking thru the kosher aisles of some of the supermarkets i know... never heard of the brand, but i really appreciate your help and listing of the ingredients!!

                                2. e
                                  eatravel RE: ghettoMD Jul 23, 2012 10:04 AM

                                  I recently purchased some pistachio paste at Gasparro's on Bloor, that butcher shop.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: eatravel
                                    ghettoMD RE: eatravel Jul 23, 2012 11:42 AM

                                    hey thanks for the note on the pistachio paste. would you say the price is competitive? like, compared to... er, if i ordered from king arthur flour's website (the love n' bake products, their nut pastes and schmears).

                                    1. re: ghettoMD
                                      eatravel RE: ghettoMD Jul 23, 2012 07:23 PM

                                      $5.99 for about 1 cup. It's a pistachio spread, however. 70% pistachios, package says it's lightly sweetened.

                                      1. re: eatravel
                                        ghettoMD RE: eatravel Jul 23, 2012 08:36 PM

                                        that's alright. thanks!

                                        1. re: ghettoMD
                                          eatravel RE: ghettoMD Jul 24, 2012 09:13 AM

                                          It separates a bit too, so there is a layer of oil at the top. Depending on how much oil you need, might be a 2-for-1!

                                        2. re: eatravel
                                          albanis RE: eatravel Oct 25, 2012 01:17 PM

                                          That sounds like a good deal. I buy the Turkish pistachio spread and its a bit more. They have Gianduja at Fiesta Farms and Grande Cheese.

                                    2. TorontoJo RE: ghettoMD Jul 23, 2012 12:58 PM

                                      The Niagara Juice Company makes a line of grape juice called Gesundheit, that is pure grape juice with nothing added. They do a baco noir and a vidal. Neither are concord grapes, but they are wine grapes and local. May not be a bad alternative if you can't find or make what you want.

                                      The web site has places to buy in Toronto (really just Pusateri's and one other location):


                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: TorontoJo
                                        ghettoMD RE: TorontoJo Jul 23, 2012 02:42 PM

                                        thanks. this is great

                                        1. re: TorontoJo
                                          ylsf RE: TorontoJo Jul 24, 2012 06:51 AM

                                          This is delicious juice too just for drinking purposes.

                                          1. re: ylsf
                                            TorontoJo RE: ylsf Jul 24, 2012 07:22 AM

                                            Yes it is. I like mixing it with club soda.

                                            1. re: TorontoJo
                                              wano RE: TorontoJo Jul 26, 2012 05:24 PM

                                              fresh shelled pistachios can be found at any middle eastern grocery. try Arz Fine Foods or the stores around Yonge north of Steeles. Amazon.com ships just about anywhere including Canada, you just have to pay more for duty and shipping.

                                              1. re: wano
                                                ghettoMD RE: wano Jul 27, 2012 08:47 AM

                                                Ok, I will check those places out. Just at the moment I am without a food processor so I don't think I can blitz an adequate paste together.. I know it is possible to make it by smashing the nuts with a rolling pin in a bag or in a mortar and pestle but I am looking to get paste, just for now. But thank u anyway for the tip

                                        2. y
                                          ylsf RE: ghettoMD Aug 5, 2012 10:59 AM

                                          Was just looking through the Spring 2012 Issue of Edible Toronto the other day and there is a whole article on grape juices in Niagara and specifically regarding Concord grape juice:

                                          Here is the online version of it:

                                          Sounds like other commercial/easily available juice will work for your needs but I will leave up this link for future reference. In case the article gets deleted online these are the sources they listed:

                                          Concord Mountain Farm juice: (905) 563-1835
                                          Available at: Lake Land Meats, 1226 St. Paul St. West, St. Catharines;
                                          Grimsby Farmers’ Market (May to October).
                                          Honey Valley Farms juice: www.davidhoney.com
                                          Available at: Honey Valley Farms seasonal stand, 2131 King St., St. Catharines; Welland Farmers’ Market (year-round); Pelham Farmers’ Market (May to October).
                                          Wiley’s Juices: www.wileysjuices.com, 1607 Eighth Ave., St. Catharines.

                                          I think I had the Wiley's one last year at the Grape/Wine festival. Definitely tasty!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: ylsf
                                            ghettoMD RE: ylsf Aug 5, 2012 02:36 PM

                                            Thanks for this! I contacted nfftt too and that was successful bcos the representative I sent the email to was super helpful in explaining nfftt's practices and how I could get ahold of some quality Concords from a grower associated with nfftt.
                                            I really appreciate all your help thx again!!

                                          2. v
                                            vladivostok RE: ghettoMD Oct 25, 2012 06:47 AM

                                            Hi! I'm thinking about making the Banana Cake, but some of the reviews I've read mentioned that a lot of her cakes are overly sweet. Have you made it? I'm also at a completely loss as to where to find hazelnut praline paste and hazelnut paste! Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. :)

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: vladivostok
                                              ghettoMD RE: vladivostok Oct 25, 2012 09:06 AM

                                              Hey, yes I did make the banana cake -- it was really moist and I thought it was worth the effort of sourcing out all the ingredients.

                                              Hmm. Hazelnut praline paste, I didn't buy but actually made my own, but hazelnut paste you can find at Whole Foods Unionville (it's brand new, I checked it out yesterday and am soo psyched to return.. they've got everything. They've got all the nut oils, pastes, and butters Tosi calls for in her Milk bar recipes. Also their bulk foods section is excellent too, they have shelled pistachios in bulk and you could totally make a hazelnut praline and grind it into a paste, unfortunately I didn't see a hazelnut praline paste but I saw hazelnut butters as well as things like marzipan and gianduja, high-quality stuff.)

                                              Good luck with the banana cake! It looks stellar when unwrapped, the bright faux yellow layer of banana paste looks awesome contrasted with the whitishness of the cake itself and the dark chocolatey ganache layer.. yumm.

                                              Whole Foods Unionville
                                              3997 Hwy-7
                                              Markham, ON
                                              L3R 5M6

                                              1. re: ghettoMD
                                                vladivostok RE: ghettoMD Nov 2, 2012 05:03 PM

                                                Thank you so much for your help! I think I'll make both the hazelnut praline paste, and the hazelnut paste. I'll have to check out Whole Foods for the gianduja. I'm so excited to start making (and eating) this!

                                            2. a
                                              annnnn RE: ghettoMD Oct 29, 2012 02:13 PM

                                              You can find freeze-dried corn at Whole Foods (I think it says that in the book too, which is how I knew to go there).

                                              I've also seen it for sale at the Fresh & Wild at King and Spadina.

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