I love the bite of balsamic, but sometimes hesitate to use it, especially when entertaining, because of the brownish stain it leaves on lettuce, pasta, potatoes, chicken. Problem solved with white balsamic. This zesty one, from Modena, Italy, is made with trebbiano grapes, and aged 12 years.

- Maureen Fitzgerald
B.R. Cohn White Balsamic Vinegar, $19.99 for 12.7 ounces, at the Cooking Company, 10 Mechanic St., Haddonfield, 856-795-2433.

Towels as art

In addition to the very fine teas at Premium Steap, owner Peggy Stephens is now carrying a new line of Marimekko products, including these beautiful linen/cotton towels, made in Finland; pretty enough to frame.

- M.F.
Marimekko tea towels, two for $23, from Premium Steap, 111 S. 18th St., 215-568-2920.

Pot pie pursuit

The quest for great chicken pot pie is a favorite cold-weather sport, and I've discovered a winner at Northbrook MarketPlace in the heart of Chester County. Made fresh on Saturdays only for the casual downstairs market (a favorite stop for weekend cyclists craving doughnuts), this flaky puff-pastry pie is filled with gently smoked chicken from Northbrook's smokehouse. The smoky tang is unique, but the bisquey cream sauce and fresh veggies alongside the meat really make this pie a decadence worth stopping for.

- Craig LaBan
Chicken pot pies $8.99, Saturdays at Northbrook MarketPlace, 1805 Unionville-Wawaset Rd., West Chester, 610-793-1210.