A Fork on the Road

Big local flavors fill tiny Miami Shores shop


If you go

Place: The Village Stand

Address: 216 NE 98th St., Miami Shores

Contact: 305-707-0318, thevillagestand.com

Hours: 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday

Prices: Cheeses $5-$25, bread $6.25, jam $9.89, granola $10.99, ice cream $3.50-$10

F.Y.I. Grab bag baskets of assorted products are offered every few weeks for $49-$59.


Sweet Tomato Chutney

This chutney with the texture of thin jam would be good with the breads or crackers at The Village Stand.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped

4 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Heat oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add spices and fry until they crackle, 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, garlic, sugar, vinegar and salt to taste. Increase heat to high, bring to a boil and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Lower heat and simmer until starting to thicken, about 30 minutes. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Per tablespoon: 44 calories (13 percent calories from fat), 0.7 g fat (0 saturated, 0.5 monounsaturated), 0 cholesterol, 0.3 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 0.4 g fiber, 2 mg sodium.


A flower-bedecked vintage stove beckons from the window of The Village Stand, a tiny gourmet shop in Miami Shores filled with locally produced jams, cookies, crackers, coffee and chocolates.

South Florida seems the perfect place for owner Alison Duran, whose French-Canadian mother met her Dominican father in New York. She grew up in the Dominican Republic and relocated here, where she met her Cuban-American husband, Jorge Espinosa. Their 2-year-old shop grew out of their discoveries at local farmers markets.

Samples of olive bread, cheeses and kale chips are freely offered and can be shared at a communal table. Imported cheeses and chorizo can be paired with local rosemary sea salt pecans, Crackerman flax seed crackers and Pascale’s small-batch preserves are made in copper pots by a French expat (try mango lime ginger, grapefruit lemon or pear with vanilla and cardamom).

Other homegrown products include Jerk Daddy scotch bonnet sauce, zesty Pika sauce made with rocoto chile peppers, Cao crystallized ginger dipped in chocolate, Laurie’s Pantry multigrain maple granola, Ethical Bounty vanilla almond butter and Om Nom Nom rolled oat cookies.

There’s also Petite Bite coconut and sweet potato balls, Glaser Farm peanut butter, Pop Nature gourmet popsicles (mango-basil, creamy Key lime, café con leche), and Roc Kat ice creams in honey lavender, dark chocolate and vegan toasted coconut flavors.

Linda Bladholm is a Miami food writer and personal chef who can be reached at lbb75@bellsouth.net.

Miami Herald

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