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Jul 20, 2012 08:34 AM

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


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 [ :-


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

    1 Reply
    1. re: Kagemusha

      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. 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

        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 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 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

          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

              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

                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

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

                  1. re: ghettoMD

                    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

                      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

                        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

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

                          1. re: crawfish

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

                2. 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 -

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: ylsf

                    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

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

                      1. re: ghettoMD

                        Did you try the places from this thread for the Pistachio oil -

                        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

                          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 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

                            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

                    2. 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 they also have berries.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: flying101

                        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. 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

                          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
                          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, 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

                            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

                              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

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

                                1. re: Cup cake

                                  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

                                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

                                  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.......