Hey, remember before Christmas when we told you about how FreshDirect was out of many basic products and was having trouble offering prompt delivery times? And how it might have been because of an exodus of illegal immigrant workers after a Homeland Security probe of the company? When we asked a rep for the popular grocery service about the issues, we were cryptically told to "plan ahead and to double-check available times." Now, though, FreshDirect brass are finally addressing the problem. Regular users with e-mail logins were sent a letter late yesterday telling them that this month, the company is "going to have a harder time meeting your food needs" than usual. The letter explains the labor issues and employee shortages they've been battling. Which is all well and good, but if it means we are going to have to carry an entire spiral ham on the M14 bus back from Whole Foods tomorrow, we might just have to move back to the suburbs.
Forget the Led Zeppelin reunion the real news today is the arrival of ibérico ham on our shores. Angelica Intriago, VP at Despaña, the tri-state’s only supplier, says that on Friday she got a mere twenty of the 300 “pata negra” (black foot) hams shipped to the United States after Spanish purveyor Fermin finally satisfied FDA export standards. Her supply has already dwindled to to the point where she is now only selling it by the slice at $99 per pound if sliced by hand and $90 per pound if sliced by machine, which warms the meat up undesirably (it’s best if eaten at room temperature). For that you can thank restaurants like Mercat, which is selling it at cost at $14 per plate a price which will double after a weeklong introductory phase.