Foodoscopes — August 2016

All illustrations by Erin Filson.




LEO July 23 – Aug 22 — Happy Birthday, Leo! August is giving you the gift of excess energy and enthusiasm, which you can channel into any number of your passions—your leadership qualities will obviously take center stage for this, and this will undoubtedly be a significant month for you. When the spotlight is pointed at you, make sure you’re setting the example of dining perfection at every meal! Think extravagance, because you’re a Leo, but also combine an element of humanity by pinpointing what your food goals really are. Do some major research on the free-range chicken industry in the US and decide for yourself if it’s really something you should be supporting or not. You can utilize your magnetic charisma and laudable actions to affect those around you, and who knows? You just might take up a foodie cause that will give you a larger purpose.

Colston Bassett Stilton from Nottinghamshire, England. Rich, decadent, full of flavor, and with Leo-like idiosyncrasies, it’s the world’s fanciest AND laziest appetizer, whether you stuff it into dried dates or smear it on a square of dark chocolate. Bring on the praise, not the precision.


VIRGO Aug 23 – Sept 22With the sun shining bright in Leo, Virgo is left to bask in the glow of warmth and renewal. This is a positive month for you, friend, and you’ll be feeling more secure and confident than ever! Grab ahold of these sunny feelings, and take up a new project to keep the smiles coming – open your fridge or pantry, and take a good look at the things you consume every day. Do you know where they come from? Have you read the full ingredient list? Take up a stance on added sugars or preservatives, do some research, and decide what Virgo truly needs to be the happiest, in and out of the kitchen. This month is a great time to meet new people, and you might just stumble into some positive social interactions by voicing your securely grounded opinions! It probably wouldn’t hurt to cook up something to illustrate your views, like ethically-farmed cocoa bars with organic nuts and oats. Responsibility CAN be delicious!

Sweet yet complicated, (sound familiar?), Blake Hill’s Andalucian Apricot and Orange Chutney is full of nothing but goodness—seriously! Try this award-winning, artfully crafted condiment on washed-rind or Alpine cheeses with a stronger flavor. We recommend Ardrahan from Ireland, and Schnebelhorn from Switzerland.


LIBRA Sept 23 – Oct 22The power of pure judgement and quiet confidence reside in Libra this month, and August is looking good for you, indeed. As the sun beams down, let it warm up any half-baked notions of food conscientiousness that may be lingering in you, and use your many skills to inspire change and (of course) great eating! If you haven’t already, take a major look at the organic farming industry to gather all the information that you can about the standards, practices, and pitfalls of the trending awareness surrounding organics, and make an informed decision about how to stock your pantry. This is the perfect time to team up with others who feel the same way, and you’ll get more accomplished with many hands making light work. Share your opinions about local farming at a local farmer’s market, or engage your butcher in a discussion on organic meat. Just be sure to leave plenty of room to grow and adapt, and you’ll be an expert in no time at all.

Imported from Italy and tasting all the while like strong tradition and jammy perfection, grab a jar of Composta Di Fichi fig and balsamic vinegar jam and a wedge of Cravero Parmigiano or Fontina val d’Aosta for a flavorful, unforgettable snack.


SCORPIO Oct 23 – Nov 21 — Resourceful Scorpio, full of determination and self-empowerment, August is a month for change. You know full well that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. If you’re stepping in the direction of change, with the sun in Leo at your back, others will follow and you just might take over the world! Now is a great time to look into your past and learn from both your triumphs and mistakes—this might give you a big hint on how to move forward with your do-good rampage. Are you aware of the ongoing battle between the FDA and cheesemakers across the US about raw vs. pasteurized milk cheeses? Hit up the Internet for both sides of the story, and form an opinion about the matter. If you know a physician, or someone who’s pregnant, ask about their personal beliefs on the issue and make a well-informed decision for yourself. You might even start a petition of your own!

For something outside the box and full of promise, reach for Caviaroli olive oil beads as a new pairing option. Small pearls of perfect, organic olive oil, this jar might be the ultimate illustration of change and misconception. Try simply over pasta, with grated Pecorino Romano Locatelli and fresh parsley.


SAGITTARIUS Nov 22 – Dec 21Happy August to you, Sagittarius, and may this be a month full of promise! You’ll be finding pleasure in the smaller things these days, and even if you’re on a budget, you can maximize your happiness with a bit of planning. Healthy and responsible eating can get expensive quickly, but a simple change of habit will go farther than you think. Look up a list of super foods and the latest research on the best things for your body with a supermarket circular by your side. You’d be surprised at how easily your nutrition stars will align with summer sales on produce and dry goods at the local shops. Don’t fret if blueberries and avocados aren’t on special every week, either—think big picture this month, and spend your energy only on the issues that matter. Little changes can make a HUGE difference.

Simple. Effortless. Affordable. Three words that equate to some of the best meals of your life! Try Tait Farms Blueberry Preserves for the ultimate superfood condiment that can be anything you might dream of, from morning starter to marinade. Pour over pork tenderloin before baking for an incredible summer spin on meat roasts, or dollop onto locally made Brie cheese, like Buttercup Brie from Lawrenceville, NJ, for an easy stunner of a snack.


CAPRICORN Dec 22 – Jan 19 — August is a sunny, warm, and beautiful time of year, but clever Capricorn knows that even the best things aren’t always as they seem. This is an interesting month for you, dear friend, and you can choose to conquer it with the right attitude. Change is swirling in the atmosphere, and might send a few surprises your way—a new friend out of an old enemy, perhaps, or a bitter disappointment that may turn into a disguised blessing? Don’t let yourself lock horns with too many people, or your own hidden self-doubt, before considering all the possibilities. Start in the kitchen, and take a second look at the things you feed yourself. Are you paying attention to your body’s response to fats, gluten, starches, and meat? Do what Capricorn does best, and analyze everything you eat. Make small changes at first to see how you’re affected, and use the research to catapult your eating into expert mode. Be careful when jumping to conclusions, though, and maybe try seeking some second opinions this month!

Complex Capricorn deserves something undoubtedly good to carry through a changeful month – our absolute favorite addition to any cheese or meat is Fig and Acacia Honey Jam. Simple in concept, with untold amounts of promise, turn to this little jar of goodness when you-know-what hits the fan. Perfect with Gouda and cheddars, or go full-throttle on some funky blue cheese, like Roquefort Papillon.


AQUARIUS Jan 20 – Feb 18 —Let’s talk about love, baby; let’s talk about you and…meat? It’s time for social butterfly Aquarius, which isn’t the norm, but man are you good at it. Use that innovative spirit to throw the social backyard bash of the season, and go for the unusual to wow your guests. Grilled sea bass, dandelion jam, lamb chops, and marinated broccolini just might become new favorites. A new moon on the fourth means the conclusion of some things that have been bothering you, so get out and celebrate the freedom from all restraint. Don’t go too crazy, now, and make sure your breakfast habits are on point to take you through each day with a solid start!
Halloumi, the grill-able cheese from the island of Cyprus! With it’s high melting point, you can throw it into a variety of creative marinades and then grill it up – you know you’re always looking for another way to wow. Try a halloumi grilled cheese (get this!) where the cheese is the “bread”, and some tasty veggies are the “cheese”! You wild thang, you.


PISCES Feb 19 – March 20 — Some say that advice is like homegrown tomatoes—everyone has some, and they’re all trying to give ’em away for free! For Pisces this month, however, it might pay off to listen to those you trust and take some well-intentioned suggestions. If you’re feeling like you’re caught between a rock and a hard place, turn to loved ones and esteemed colleagues to help you make some decisions, especially about what you’re eating in August. If you haven’t been following the trend of GMO vs. non-GMO (genetically modified organism) products, it’s time to do some research. Visit a local farmer and ask his or her opinion about the matter, and collect the thoughts of health professionals and foodies around you. Only after doing the footwork should you decide for yourself, and then take a closer look at your refrigerator. Who knows—you just might change your life forever!
Go for gold with a tiny but powerful jar of Black Truffle Spread with the Di Bruno label. This delicacy of the mushroom world comes from foraged truffles, free from the challenges of today’s farming techniques, and sniffed out by expert dogs or even pigs! Earthy, pungent, and truly delightful, this creamy spread can top a Brie, stuff a chicken, or enhance asparagus to the point of perfection!


ARIES Mar 21 – Apr 19 August is for Aries, but only when you put your mind to conquering all challengers this month! We know you’re up to the task, and we have some hopefully helpful advice to make this a productive and emotionally wealthy time for you. It’s important to stay organized, both mentally and in your day-to-day affairs, and you may need to make some important distinctions between what’s worth your time and what’s not. When it comes to cooking, your multi-tasking and leadership skills make you a worthy opponent, but when’s the last time you really read the labels of your go-to ingredients? Added sugars and hard-to-pronounce additives can plague even the most delicious things, and we all know you’re too smart to play into the hype without doing the background check. Take more time to shop, and be wary of marketing ploys to cover up quality with quantity! It’ll pay off in the long run, and clever Aries will be all the happier knowing you’re doing the right thing.
The KL Keller company is wholly dedicated to producing items with the utmost integrity, no additives, and high production standards that sync with traditional methods. Go for the Basque Cherry Preserves, made with the elusive black cherry and a bit of natural sugar and lemon juice, for a feel-good treat that feeds both body and mind.


TAURUS Apr 20 – May 20 — August may not be the easiest month for dear Taurus, full of doubt, worry, and a hard look at life that could be potentially devastating. But we have full faith that when your beliefs and grit are tested, you’ll come out the victor and step into the summer sun with nothing but power! When you face the tougher questions this month, remember that quick decisions and poorly-thought-out conclusions can land you in a heap of trouble. Take your time, try to avoid self-doubt, and feed your soul with peace and patience. With all the hurdles you might face, this is a time to revert to foods that comfort and remind you who you are. Stick to time-honored recipes and wholesome ingredients, all backed by smart thinking and healthy choices, but not dictated by fad diets and cheap advice. There’s nothing a bowl of homemade mashed potatoes and gravy can’t fix! Stay strong, and remember that even when realism seems like pessimism, there’s a pot of stew at the end of every rainbow.
The TISHBI company, located on a decades-old vineyard in Israel, is a shining example of comfort and good intentions in a single jar. The Cherry Shiraz Preserves are additive-free and high in excellence, and let’s face it—a bit of red wine can’t make a tough month worse!


GEMINI May 21 – June 20 — This month is truly indicative of the Gemini spirit, with two sides to every story and the tendency to start and stop, push and pull. While it may seem tough, a little bit of patience and time will smooth everything out, and you may be drawn to some very important people while you navigate the stop and go nature of this August. Have you been paying attention to the ups and downs of the milk industry? Heaps of dairy producers are crowding the market, causing the price of milk to plummet—great news for the savvy consumer, but hard times for smaller dairies. Talk to those around you and the people who you hold in high esteem to gather information and opinions, and then look inside yourself to see how you feel about the issue. Focusing on the ups and downs of this particular challenge might help you navigate personal situations, and the drive to support local dairy farmers can give you the courage to boost your own consumer confidence. Ask your grocer what options you have for supporting local communities and maybe form a group of fellow observers to spark some change!
Focus on the balance of sweet and savory to remind you of the good that can come of tumultuous times—try Blake Hill’s Moroccan Plum and Fennel Chutney for a deliciously illustrative condiment, perfect with heartier red wines, whole grain crackers, and Finocchiona salami!


CANCER June 21 – July 22

Reach for the stars, Cancer, for there’s not much stopping you this month! August is for achievement, and we believe you can move mountains with a bit of preparation. You’re in the swing of summer, and perhaps you have a belated birthday trip planned that might have more of an impact than you expected. Be on the lookout for higher purpose, even when you think it’s time to relax, and you’ll be surprised to find the pleasure in a working holiday. When visiting exotic places, remember that the food changes with the scenery. Ask the locals what their favorite things are, and maybe get someone to prepare you a traditional, regional meal. Delve even further by asking a foreigner’s opinion on the food industry in general—your eyes might be opened to a challenge you were unaware of, and taking up someone else’s concerns will help you to forget (or conquer) your own back home.

How fitting to focus on something imported this month, to remind Cancer to think outside the home! Try Les Moulins Mahjoub Harissa Spread from Tunisia, a beautifully made red pepper blend with spices from halfway around the world. Savory and unique, it pairs well with chicken, hearty breads, olives, and mozzarella sandwiches.