Monday, December 10, 2007

Calendars Galore!

All the 2008 calendars are in the Coop -- we've got something on every subject from cute puppies to the phases of the Moon to revolutionary politics, so stop by the display and pick up some hot dates : )

-- Elinoar

Amish Soup Chickens!

New Item: Stewing hens from Lancaster County Farm Collective! These tough old birds used to lay eggs at a farm outside Quarryville, in eastern Pennsylvania.

You wouldn't want to try to roast or broil one of these, but there's nothing better than an elderly hen for your soup pot -- older birds have more flavor per ounce than young ones. Try one in your favorite chicken soup recipe and find out what you've been missing all these years!

-- Bill, Meat & Poultry Guy

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Fig and Date Almond Cakes

mmmmm . . .cakes

Freshly pressed by hand in Valencia, Spain. Excellent paired with cheese or sliced thin, added to salads.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Local Items of the Week

Tilsit from Harpersfield, NY
Ron and Corrine Brovetto have done it again with two new Tilsit style cheeses from their small dairy farm in upstate NY near the Catskill Mountians. I visited them last weekend and saw the "cave" that they age the cheeses in and tried some new raw-milk varieties they were working on. This week we got in Rosemary Tilsit and Cranberry Tilsit. Both are brilliant and compliment full, rich holiday flavors.

American Vintage Wine Biscuits
Delicious little biscuits perfect for cheese or eating all by themselves. Made right here in NYC - Long Island City to be exact - Right now we have Red Wine and Black Pepper and we'll try out some new flavors as the holidays progress.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Amy's Kids Meals

New in the freezer case is Amy's Ziti meal for kids. It is gluten and dairy free, contains some broccoli and a small dessert. -Click here for more info on this product-

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Holiday Items just in . . .

Available now in the butter case for all your holiday and baking needs: Buerremont 83% pastry butter at the low, low price of $2.94/LB. Made in the cultured French style in New England. Get it while we have it. The sample table in the membership office thought it was great.

Cacao Noel Chocolate Semi-Sweet Bar A rich 52% cocoa liquor chocolate bar for baking, confections and eating! – 7oz for $1.46

Cacao Noel Chocolate Noelettes Delicately rolled dark and white chocolate batons. Great for decorating desserts, ice cream and beverages. 2oz packs for $1.74

Valrhona Chocolates – A wide assortment of bars, cocoa and gift boxes for the holidays. Priced to move!


Friday, November 09, 2007

Thanksgiving Turkeys at the Coop

FRESH turkeys available beginning
Tuesday, November 13th

Plainville Farms Pasture-raised (New York)
16 to 24 lbs., $2.35 lb. (November 15)

Eberly Certified Organic (Pennsylvania):
8 to 24 lbs., $3.67 lb. (November 16)

FROZEN Wise Kosher Certified Organic (Pennsylvania):
12-24 lbs., $3.45 lb. (November 13)

Stonewood Farm Pasture-raised (Vermont):
16 to 20 lbs., $2.35 lb. (November 19)

Murray’s (Pennsylvania):
12 to 24 lbs., $2.42 lb. (November 13)

Bell & Evans (New Jersey):
8 to 26 lbs., $2.14 lb. (November 13)

Jaindl Farms (Pennsylvania):
10 to 16 lbs., $2.25 lb. (November 13)

All the above are delivered FRESH, except for Wise Kosher. All are locally raised, hormone- and antibiotic-free.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Current Out-of-Stocks in the PSFC Freezer Section

Dear Co-Owners and Co-Workers,

This stuff is all out of stock from our distributors for various reasons:

Boca Burger Garden Vegetable
Frontera Roasted Vegetable Pizza
All of the Ling Ling Products
Natural Sea Crab Cakes
Omega Salmon Burgers
Perfect Addition Chicken Stock
P.J.'s Chicken Burrito and Breakfast Burrito
Putney Butternut Squash, Mushroom and Spinach
Quorn Gruyere Cutlet
Shelton Turkey Sausage
Tandoor Chef Naan and Chana Masala
All of the Bell and Evans ChickenApplegate Chicken Pot Pie

This stuff has been discontinued by our distributors for whatever reason:

Cedarlane Garden Enchilada, Vegetable Lasagna and Three Layer Enchilada Pie

Always a bit chilly,
The Freezer Guy

Friday, October 12, 2007

PSFC Globe-Traveling Produce Update for 10/12/07

Here's what's new from around the world and around the globe. And please don't yell at me about the food miles; these are some concessions for the sake of variety and adventurousness

Local cherry and grape tomatoes are winding down, so we have added Lady Moon grape tomatoes, and Del Cabo sugarplum tomatoes.

Organic asparagus from Argentina

Rambutan from Guatemala. (Think gorgeous, hairy, expensive lychee). Eats like a lychee

Black Mission figs and North American blueberries are ending. Organic Fair Trade blueberries may start soon.

Organic hachiya persimmons are slowly starting. They are the kind that must be ripened until marshmallow soft.

Organic pomegranates

Organic pluots, the flavor fall and the flavor gem arrived this week. Many members decided that the flavor gem, a pluot that is a cross between an apricot and a black plum, was really a plum. It is not, it's a pluot. Looks like a plum, but it's a pluot. Really, it's a pluot.

PSFC Local Produce Update for 10/12, 2007

Here's what's new and local this week from local organic farms:


Kiwi berries-the no fuzz, no peel cousin of the traditional kiwi. Pop them in your mouth and eat them like grapes.

Loose spinach has returned from the Finger Lakes, and most of the bunched spinach is from the Catskills.

Brussels sprouts on stalks have begun. We have found some worms in the early harvest, so we might have a gap in availability.

White and orange cauliflower are now available from Hepworth Farms and Finger Lakes Organic Growers Cooperative. To the members who wonder how can cauliflower be orange, I say how can cauliflower be white?

Amy Hepworth has harvested the last of her sour gherkins, a tiny cucumber about the size of a grape tomato.

Lima beans and okra have returned for perhaps a last hurrah from Lancaster Farm Fresh Coop.

Limited supplies of various local sweet potatoes have arrived. Most of them are the beauregard variety. Jewel is the California word for beauregard.

Winter squash making their first appearance of the season:
Hubbard (red, blue or green)
Red kuri (AKA orange hokkaido)
Sweet dumpling and carnival (both in the acorn family)
Sweet mama (variety of buttercup, but it often doesn't have a cup!)
Black futsu (a perfect squash for all of your black futsu needs)

News from the minimally treated apple orchards of Amy Hepworth:

Cortland and Spartan are ending. Empire and Mutsu (New York state calls them crispins) arrived this week, and Jonagold and Stayman Winesap begin next week.

Fall Frozen Ground Beef Blowout!

We've got more locally-raised, grass-finished ground beef in the Coop freezer than we know what to do with, so we're putting it on sale! All frozen Hardwick, Natural Acres, Slope Farms, and McDonald Farm ground beef is priced to sell at $3.50 a pound...down from nearly five dollars, and more economical than most square supermarkets' ground chuck. So put meatballs on the menu and stock your home freezer with some of the best hamboiger in Brooklyn!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Please bring your reusable shopping bags

Today the Washington Post has a terrific chart on the environmental cost of paper and plastic shopping bags. -Click here to see the chart-

The chart details the costs of production of these bags. Very interesting--paper leaves a much bigger footprint than plastic, and you already know about the havoc plastic bags create in the environment. But please read the fascinating and colorful chart, and you'll never forget to bring your string bag, Chico bag or Trader Joe's bag with you when you shop.

I personally enjoy seeing the wide variety of bags members bring to the coop. Some members are still using bags we sold many years ago but are no longer being manufactured. When I see a great bag I frequently ask the shopper where they got it and often it is from a supermarket in Europe. So we have to catch up! At the Coop we are working on improving our shopping bag selection.

And thanks to the very many Coop members who do bring their own bags. I'm sure none of you are among the 70% of Americans who do not know that plastic bags are made of petroleum (re the Post).

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

PSFC Frozen Foods Update for 10/9/07

Howdy Coop Shoppers:

We have a few new items for sale in the frozen foods section of the Coop.

Look for:

Amy's Single Serve Cheese Pizzas

Alvarado St. Bakery California-Style Sprouted Bread. Made of: Sprouted Organic Whole Wheat Berries, Filtered Water, Wheat Gluten, Honey, 100% Pure Barley Malt, Organic Millet, Organic Oats, Sea Salt, Fresh Yeast, Soy Based Lecithin, Sprouted Organic Corn, Sprouted Lentils, Sprouted Organic Soy Beans, Cultured Wheat.

Wholly Wholesome Pie Shells. These ready to bake pie shells are made with organic ingredients.

Morrison's Soups: Clam Chowder and Seafood Chowder. These are soups from Maine made with many Maine ingredients.

Monday, October 01, 2007


Lancaster Farm-Fresh Coop of Quarryville, Pennsylvania, which has been supplying the Coop with homegrown spuds and other fresh produce for the past three years, is now bringing us lean ground bison and delicious bison dinner sausage. This free-range, grass-finished local buffalo will be replacing the Canadian ground buffalo now sold in the refrigerated meat case (we'll continue to carry the buffalo rib-eye steak).

The new bison is being sold from the frozen display case in Aisle Three; we're negotiating with the Pennsylvania farmers to get it to us fresh.

Grill, broil, or pan-fry the sausages and serve with mashed potatoes and onion gravy for a Yankee take on the traditional Brit meal of "bangers and mash."

2 medium yellow onions, peeled & sliced from root to stem
1 tblsp butter
1 tsp paprika
1 tblsp flour
1 cup beef or chicken stock
Salt & freshly ground pepper

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat; add onions and slowly saute until limp and beginning to color, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with paprika, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle flour over wilted onions, stirring, and cook until the raw flour scent dissipates. Slowly stir in stock, making sure lumps of flour dissolve into a smooth sauce, and simmer until the texture thickens into gravy.

Serves 1-2.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Transition to Local Fall Vegetables

As the days grow shorter and cooler, the nights grow colder, and the sun's rays become less direct, the conditions for growing local vegetables get much worse and much better. The cold-intolerant vegetables such as cucumbers, summer squashes, and beans are rapidly winding down, and tomatoes will soon be at risk. Green leafy vegetables that wither and burn under the scorching summer sun can now begin to thrive. Collards, kales, mustards, lettuces, etc., are healthier, happier and greener and will be abundantly available from local sources. Root crops, some of which we haven't seen since the spring, have begun to arrive. Recent local organic arrivals include:

Bunched arugula
Mei Qing Choy
Loose and bunched spinach
Broccoli rabe
Turnips loose and Japanese bunched
Loose Carrots
Blue and Fingerling potatoes
Acorn, Buttercup, Butternut, Carnival, Delicata, Kabocha, Spaghetti, Sweet Dumpling, and Sweet Mama Squash.

September 25, 2007 PSFC Produce Update

Transition to Fall Fruits

Stone fruits are winding down now and the last reliable peach is gone. We still have local minimally treated nectarines for a brief time, and we'll have a plum or pluot or two for the next month. Melons will get scarce and expensive soon, so it's time to look forward to a transition to apples and pears and continue to enjoy the grapes.

Local minimally treated apples now include the Cortland, Golden Supreme, Honeycrisp, Jonamac, and Spartan, with Gala beginning next week. Our first local organic apple is the Macintosh (in 3# bags).

Local minimally treated pears include Bartlett or Bosc (in 3# bags), Devoe, Red Bartlett, and Seckel.

We have two local grapes with seeds, Niagara and Concord, from Fino Farms in Milton, NY. We have a very limited supply of organic Concord grapes from Finger Lakes Organic Growers in NY, and from Cevaj Farm in Northeastern PA. In addition to our mainstay organic seedless red and green grapes, we now have the Ribier, a black grape with seeds.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Beef Brisket Available

Rosh Hashanah begins on Wednesday, September 12, and we've been busily building up a stock of beef brisket for members' holiday needs.

Fresh brisket from local providers who bring us 100% grass-fed beef—Hardwick Farms, Slope Farms, and McDonald Farm—is available fresh in limited quantities, and there's plenty in the Aisle Three freezers. Prices range from $4.89 to $6.68 per lb. depending on the farmer.

Shop early enough to defrost!

—Bill the Butcher

Friday, August 24, 2007

Local Produce Runs Wild in the PSFC Produce Aisle

The organic tomato season is now at its peak. The heirloom varieties are far too numerous to mention, but they include red, yellow and orange brandywine, garden peach, green zebra, moskvich, lemon, cherokee purple, costoluto genovese and many more. The cherry tomato mix includes many different varieties as well. The appreciation of all of the tomatoes is experienced by sight, taste, and aroma, but I also find the numbers interesting too. We are providing for sale this week:

1,800 pints of cherry tomatoes
3,00 pounds of red tomatoes
650 pounds of heirloom tomatoes
1,050 pounds of plum tomatoes
875 pounds of orange and yellow tomatoes

Most of these tomatoes come from Hepworth Farm in Milton, NY, and some of the heirlooms are coming from Finger Lakes Organic Growers Cooperative.

The local fruit season is transitioning from stone fruits to apples and pears. The first local apples of the year are the minimally treated Paula Red, Tydeman and Ginger Gold from Hepworth Farm. Also from Hepworth, we have the Clapp Pear and from Finger Lakes, the organic Harrow's Delight Pear.

Other new items from local organic family farms:

Ground cherries (aka husk tomato or cape gooseberry)—a close relative of the tomatillo, looks like a miniature tomatillo but is a sweet tart fruit. Peel the papery husk and eat fresh or use in salads, like a tomato, or add to a fruit salad. They can be dried or made into jelly.

New York State Garlicis finally here. We are hoping for a much greater supply this year. These are the hard neck variety. They are superior to the easier cheaper to grow soft neck, and are absolutely packed with essence of garlic flavor, rather than just garlicky heat. Weigh a bulb in your hand, and you will find it to be surprisingly heavy

Purslane—In the USA this vegetable is considered to be a weed, but it is considered to be a vegetable elsewhere as in Asia and Europe. If you look it up in Google, you will find that most of the references relate to its eradication, rather that its culinary use. Use the leaves raw in salads or cook gently much as you would use spinach, or add it near the end of the cooking of soups or stews. This vegetable is valued for its high content of omega-3 fatty acids and is also a good source of anti-oxidants.

Japanese Turnips with tops have returned. They are limited now and will be sporadically available into the fall.

PSFC Produce Update for August 24, 2007: A Hill of Beans

All of the following beans are from local family farms. In addition to green and yellow (wax) beans, we are currently carrying:

Dragon Tongue Beans (limited)—similar to a flat Romano bean, but yellow with purple streaks. May be eaten raw or cooked like a green bean.

Purple Beans—like green or yellow, but a deep purple color.

Lima Beans (very limited)—to be shelled and cooked. Actually lima beans must be cooked as they are unsafe to eat raw.

Tongue of Fire Beans—I have read that the pod is edible, but I couldn't eat it. I would shell the beans and cook them.

On Tuesday we will add:

Edamame or edible soy beans- most of the soy beans grown in the USA are used as the base for tofu, soy milk, etc. A very tiny percentage of the crop are actually a distinctly different variety, the edamame, or edible soy bean.
As a fresh vegetable, they are very limited, and have a very short growing season. Boil or steam in the shell. Then press the bean out with your fingers or suck them right out of the shell.

Cannelini Beans—We will have these for the first time ever this Tuesday. They need to be shelled and cooked.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Notes from the PSFC Freezer Case, August 22 Edition

Some wonderful new frozen food options are now available in the freezer aisle. Check out:

Moosewood Spicy Penne Puttanesca — pasta in a vegan tomato sauce with kalamata olives, capers and cayenne

Fairfield Farms Kitchen's Lemon Chicken Piccata with Wehani Rice —organic!

Fairfield Farms Kitchen is affiliated with Moosewood, and they use many Northeastern-grown ingredients in their dishes. -Click here for more info-

The Coop is now carrying three items from the Berkshire Bakery:

Four Cheese and Roasted Garlic Pizza
Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Pizza
Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

The Berkshire Bakery is a small bakery nestled in Western Massachusetts. Word on the shopping floor has it that these pizzas are pretty tasty.

For those of you looking for a non-Amy's burrito alternative in the frozen burrito section, check out PJ's Burritos. We've got two kinds: Chicken Burrito and Breakfast Burrito with Sausage. These burritos are made with organic ingredients.

We have another Morningstar Farms fake meat product available now as well: Griller Crumbles. Ground fake meat for all your ground fake meat needs.

Have you been hankering for a gluten free frozen bagel? Why not try: Glutino Plain Bagels.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Summer Meat Sale!

Gargantuan, Gi-Normous Summer Meat SALE!

Frozen Meat Only!

ALL LOCAL MEAT in the Aisle 3 black freezer is on sale for $2.99/Lb.

(Priced as marked. Sale does not include Stonewood Turkey.)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

PSFC Produce Update for August 8, 2007

New items this week:

3 new minimally treated local fruits from Hepworth Farm this week are the shiro, a small juicy yellow plum, and the prune type plum. We have beautiful donut peaches, the first we have ever gotten from Hepworth and they are a sweet juicy treat.

The Sycamore label of non-organic honeydews have arrived. Many members are aware of this August honeydew, generally the best of the year.

We have fresh organic lima beans from Burkholder Farm in Pennsylvania.

We have a tiny amount of organic All Blue potatoes from Busy Bee farm in Pennsylvania.

Organic rhubarb, a difficult crop in the very hot weather has returned for a brief run.

Brand new item from Hepworth farm is the organic Mexican sour gherkin which we will be marketing as a mini gherkin. For description and photo of this heirloom cucumber see

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

PSFC Produce Update for August 2, 2007

Fair Trade Organic Bananas—We are at our summer low level for organic banana sales, averaging only 180 cases or 3.5 tons per week. For over a month now, we had enough access so that all of them have been Fair Trade.

Organic Red Tomato—While supplies last we have field run early harvest local ripe red organic tomatoes for only $.74 per pound.

Ginger from China—The California Department of Health has warned consumers not to eat fresh ginger from China after the California Department of Pesticide Regulation detected aldicarb sulfoxide, a pesticide not approved for use on ginger. The Coop does not carry this ginger, or any fresh produce from China. We did get in a couple of boxes at the beginning of this year, and it was not very good ginger. Fear not, if you think you had some back in January, as the flu-like symptoms of contamination would have occurred within the first hour of ingestion and disappeared quickly, within a few hours. In the spring, having heard reports of questionable integrity or purity of Chinese fresh produce, we stopped buying any of it. That occasionally has meant that we had no organic garlic at all, as most of the springtime worldwide supply of garlic comes from China.

The local produce items tally today: 97 local items, 72 of which were grown organically on small family farms.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Currants and More! — PSFC Produce Info for 7/26/07

We have today for the first time, local, organic fresh currants. Fresh
currants, in the gooseberry family, are berries that look similar to grapes
but are very tart. They are commonly used for making jam.

Local organic purple potatoes have begun. Today we received Purple Majesty,
from the Farm at Miller's Crossing, in Hudson, NY.

We have a limited supply of local sugar snaps from Migliorelli Farm in
Tivoli, NY. Enjoy them now before the season (soon) ends.

Today's organic Rainier cherries, from Washington, are fabulous, even this
late in the cherry season. They may be the last organic cherry of the year,
although we may have limited access to more of these next week.

We are only buying the best local organic corn that we can get, and have not
been able to get enough. Some coming in on Friday and a good deal more (but
still not enough) arriving on Saturday

Creme Cremaillere Ice Cream

Three flavors of locally-made Creme Cremaillere ice cream are now available in the ice cream case:

Chocolate, Coffee with Cream, and Vanilla.

These french-style ice creams are very custardy, and they come from nearby Bedford, New York.

Summer Beer Updates

Having a BBQ in the Brooklyn heat?

Check out the 5 Liter Mini-Kegs we now have in the beer section:

Einbecker Pilsner
Kostritzer Schwarz


And the highly recommended beer selection of July, as chosen by the PSFC's Beer Buyer:

Dogfish Head Festival Peche

It's peachy!!

Some Yogurt Case Updates

New in the Yogurt Case:

Kortright Creek Yogurt — goat milk yogurt from the Catskills. The milk comes from Stone & Thistle Farm, and the yogurt is processed at Evans Creamery. The Coop currently carries the cup size of this delicious yogurt in maple, plain and raspberry flavors.


In other yogurt news, Wholesoy has discontinued their Drinkables, so we will no longer be able to carry these.

Also, we are still unable to get quarts of Stonyfield's Banilla yogurt. However, we have begun receiving Stonyfield Lowfat Strawberry quarts after a long period of not being able to get them.

Look for New Organic Dried Fruits Hanging in Aisle 2A

Greetings Park Slope Food Coop Shoppers:

We've recently begun carrying a few new dried organic fruits that come prepackaged from International Harvest. Look for them hanging up in Aisle 2 above the bagged dried fruits and nuts:

Go Melon! — A mixture of dried cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon

Go Watermelon! — Dried organic watermelon

Go Strawberries! — Dried organic strawberries

These new items are hanging alongside a variety of other dried fruits and nuts that you may not have noticed given the height from which these items hang. Take a look up and down Aisle 2A for an assortment of dried fruits and nuts.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

PSFC Produce Update for July 25, 2007

Monday 7/23

Champagne grapes have begun. They are the tiny, delicate, very sweet grape whose season lasts only a few weeks.

Fine quality organic artichokes have returned. They are very expensive but they are the first really good ones that we have seen in weeks.

We have very limited access to local organic radicchio. This week we are trying California product. So far we are eating it almost as fast as we can buy it.

Organic local loose spinach has returned. Not the baby-type individual leaves, this is the mature stem and leaf cluster at a substantially lower price.

Local loose organic broccoli crowns have begun, and despite the hot growing conditions, look beautiful. They come from Pedersen Farm in the Finger Lakes, and Hepworth Farm in the Hudson Valley.

The first new crop sweet potato has arrived. The Japanese is the first, and the jewel will start on Wednesday. The red garnet will not be reordered until the new crop has become available (date unknown).

Tuesday 7/24

Monstera deliciosa, each wrapped with a description and how-to-eat-it guide, will be here for about a month. It's a strange thing, with a sort of pineapple banana flavor. You could instead buy a pineapple and a banana, and eat them together, but you would miss the opportunity to amaze your friends and family and regrettably, support your local fruit fly.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

PSFC Produce Update for July 19, 2007

There are many changes on the local front:

Organic and conventional green peppers are now local

Minimally Treated fruits from Hepworth Farm:
Cherries have ended
Peaches and Methley plums are new
Apricots start 7/24

New organic local items:
Suyo, tasty jade, striped Armenian, regular, kirby and lemon cucumbers
Green and yellow beans
Nappa, green, red and savoy cabbages
Stunning (but limited) green and burgundy okra
Red and yellow spring (yeah, summer) onions
Cherry, grape, red and yellow plum, heirloom, red and yellow tomatoes
Long hot peppers
Various eggplants

Corn—All of the organic corn arriving on Friday 7/20 is locally grown, and we may be able to source all of it locally soon.

Peaches—We haven't been pleased with the quality of the conventional peaches in the last 2 weeks. We may try again soon, but in the meantime can offer an excellent Eastern peach with the minimally treated one from Hepworth Farm.

Garlic Scape supplies will end next week.

New local items coming next week:
Blueberries from Grindstone Farm (the ones that say "Grown for the Park Slope Food Coop" on the label)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Roberts veggie booty recall

FDA issued a recall of Robert's veggie booty because it "has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

PSFC Produce Update for June 27, 2007

New local organic items 6/25-6/27:
Kirby cucumbers
Freshly dug garlic stalks
Patty pan squash
Nappa cabbage
Garlic scapes
have returned in abundance

New organic items:
Plum varieties- showtime, red raven, and santa rosa
Purple potatoes

Other news:
Minimally treated local white cherries
Campari tomatoes have returned
Excellent organic corn is back!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Wholesoy drinkables no more

Wholesoy drinkables have been discontinued by the manufacturer, citing poor sales. They actually were pretty popular at the Park Slope Food Coop. Wholesoy will continue to manufacture the soy yogurts.

Friday, June 22, 2007

PSFC Local Produce Update!!

New this week, local and organic:

All summer squashes are now local:
Yellow zucchini
Yellow squash
Patty pan
Roly poly
Magda (cousa)

Kirby cucumbers
Garlic scapes
(the flower stem of the hardneck garic, which have already
sold out, but will return in abundance on 6/25)
Minimally treated red cherries (white coming 6/26)
Radicchio (Indigo and Verona varieties) First time ever at the Coop!

What Happened to the Watermelons?

We enjoyed an early and long harvest of Florida red and orange organic seedless watermelons. Although the season for the orange ones ended a few weeks ago, members are still raving about them and asking for more. The red ones were as good a Florida watermelon as one could hope for. After selling several tons per week, abruptly, there were none available. So what happened?

Toward the end of the Florida season and before the beginning of the Georgia harvest, we rejected many, many 750 pound bins that were delivered. We tasted watermelons each time. Some were over-ripe, or not ripe, or too pale, or fermented, or just "good enough". We decided that "good enough" was not good enough, and we couldn't be certain that the melon that you would have dragged home and then dragged to your picnic, would even be "good enough".

On Friday, 6/15, we received the first of the Georgia harvest, the sugar baby grown by Lady Moon Farm, which we assessed to be flavorful, pretty good, but very ripe. Five thousand pounds vanished by Sunday. We ordered more for 6/18, but rejected them, because they were now too ripe.

We tried a red seedless from California on 6/20 and rejected them because they were only a little sweet and refreshing, but not enough so. If you bought one, you would probably eat it, but you wouldn't be that happy about it.

On 6/21 we tried a different watermelon, this one from Calavo, the excellent avocado grower. They are sweet, refreshing, and juicy, with a good texture, but they are a trace short on flavor (only a trace), and they are very big. This watermelon is actually good enough for the Park Slope Food Coop. We do hope the quality of the Georgia crop improves, and look forward to the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania harvest in mid-July.

Local ground pork ON SALE -- $2.99 lb. (down from $4.90) while supply lasts.

Perfect for
Ma Po Tofu with Noodles
Kefta on Skewers
Stuffed Eggplant
Thai Salad with Mint and Cilantro
Meat Pies

....Or anything for which you’d ordinarily use GROUND BEEF.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Grape Harvest

It is easy to forget about all the work that is required to bring food to the table. We take fresh grapes for granted and expect that they will available most of the year. The Washington Post today covered the workers harvesting grapes in Mexico in 100 degree heat.
-Click here to read the article

Allen says we primarily get our organic grapes from California, with the exception of a few weeks in spring when they come from Mexico. I don't know if and how harvesting conditions currently differ in California from conditions in Mexico. According to Joe Holtz, the Coop supported the United Farmworks' Union (UFW) boycott of grapes for more than 20 years by not selling California grapes at the Coop. The UFW charged the growers with unfair labor practices--basically not allowing them to unionize the workers who were then working under unsanitary and unsafe conditions. The boycott drew a lot of attention to the primarily migrant workers' plight, and some improvements were made. When the UFW shifted their focus from workers'rights to their claim that the grapes were poisoned by pesticides, the Coop began buying organic grapes.

Coop Facts: Allen says that right now we are selling about 1800 lbs of organic red grapes and 1400 lbs of organic green grapes per week. He says prices will drop in July and sales will increase. The NY state organic grape season is obviously limited to the fall. California organic grapes are available from late spring to just before Christmas, and occasionally we get organic grapes from South Africa. Allen then fills in with nonorganic grapes from Chile.

Have you noticed how grapes now always come packaged in a zip lock bag? The bags help protect the bunches of grapes and prevent loss from grapes that typically fall off the bunch with handling. (At the Coop, no one would ever want to buy those loose grapes even though they were usually perfectly good, and they were bagged up and given to the soup kitchen.) But the downside is you probably wind up buying more than you would have if they hadn't been bagged and maybe you have grapes spoiling in your refrigerator now. Don't let that happen. Eat them while you read the article and appreciate.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Veggie booty has moved!

Robert's snacks are now being sold above the ice cream freezer with the ever popular snack packs of Pirate Booty and Veggie Booty still being sold in stacks at the end of the ice cream case.

We had been getting wheat-free Chaos, but Roberts discontinued that product so now we are back to the regular Chaos. Actually how we sell Chaos is rather chaotic. We are still selling the small snack bags of Chaos at the back of Aisle 7A, while the larger bags are above the ice cream freezer. Tings and Super Veggie Tings are also there. Lack of selling space is always an issue at the Coop.

Aberdeen Hill Hocks

Those devilishly talented pig farmers at Aberdeen Hill have just delivered
another treat for us—fresh and smoked pork hocks.

These much-loved tidbits are cut from the shank (leg), full of connective
tissue, and some of the toughest meat on the hog. But added to a pot of
slow-cooking beans, collards, or sauerkraut, hocks become meltingly tender
and impart magnificent flavor.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

New flavored Equal Exchange Coffees

Look for Equal Exchange French Vanilla and Hazelnut Creme, in Aisle 5B on the shelves below the packaged tea. We are only carrying this coffee ground in vacuum sealed packages. When we sold the flavored beans, members would grind it in our one coffee grinder, inevitably leaving behind aromatic traces that 99% of our members do not like. These are Fair Trade, but not organic, coffees.

Coffee grinding tips:
1) Select the type of grind before you add the beans. Very important.
2) Put the tabbed side of the bag at the back and make sure it raises the lever.
3) When it stops grinding, gently tap the machine so that all of your beans go through and all of the grounds are in your bag. This is also important. No one wants to buy someone else's choice and a lot of coffee is wasted and goes into the tray below.
4) And thanks for putting up with our pesky coffee grinder--it is overburdened by the volume we grind each day, especially by users who do not know how to properly use the machine. We've been told that a more heavy duty grinder than the one we already have does not exist.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ciao Bella --New Lower Price

Ciao Bella, our local gelato/sorbet company, would prefer that we get their product from our national health food distributor, United Natural Foods (UNFI). This would allow them to eliminate local delivery trucks, with all the Big City hassle, and boost the sales with the national distributor.

Consequently, we are being given a lower price from UNFI. I hope that they are able to keep up with our needs or else we may have to ask Ciao Bella to deliver again, at the higher price.

Price drop: from $3.54/pint to $3.04, a saving of 50 cents/pint!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Kosher Hot Dogs Now Available in the Freezer

Now Available in the Coop's Freezer Case:

Wise Kosher Frozen Chicken Hot Dogs
Wise Kosher Frozen Beef Hot Dogs

Try out these new dogs and let us know what you think!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

BBQ Sauces

Bar-B-Bar BBQ sauces. New This week (actually we had them on Memorial day
weekend . . .)

New Orleans Smoky Blues - Molasses, Tomato & Mesquite Melange
Kansas City Special Select - Orange, Chili & Molasses
Caribbean Calypso - Mango, Chili & Ginger
Out of Afrika - Apricots, Garlic, Ginger & Chili
Bushman's Tucker - Apples, Honey, Onions & Garlic

Friday, June 01, 2007

This Week's Local Produce Arrivals

This has been a great week for local organic produce arrivals at the Park Slope Food Coop.
Here are the different produce items we've received this week from different local farms:

From Various Hudson Valley Farms, we got:

Baby Spinach
Baby Arugula
Japanese Turnips
Various Radishes
Broccoli Rabe
Bunched Arugula

From Hepworth Farms:

A stunning array of gorgeous heads of Baby Lettuce
Lamb's Quarters

From Grindstone Farm:


From Fingerlakes Organic Growers Cooperative:

Pineapple Mint
French Radishes
Garlic Scallions

From Blue Heron Farm:


From Various Lancaster, Pennsylvania Farms:

Red Leaf Lettuce
Green Leaf Lettuce
Romaine Lettuce
Lacinato Kale
Mustard Greens


And coming in next week:

Organic Red and Green Grapes from Southern Calfornia

Comings and Goings

No Longer Available: Taj Kasmiri sauce
but Coming Soon a good selection of Poonjabi chutneys, sauces, etc.

No Longer Available:JustPikt grapefruit juice in the freezer
Welcome Back American Flatbread Pizzas in the freezer. American Flatbread pizzas are so popular they had trouble keeping up with demand.

And speaking of popularity--GTS kombucha is also having difficulty keeping up with demand. We sell 80 plus cases of it a week from the yogurt cooler, order it three or more times a week and still often our distributor isn't able to bring us all we order. If you want to purchase a case, that is ok, but please remember to take one bottle out of the case, scan it and multiply by 12. This keeps our inventory correct. Kombucha now ranks as the best seller of our worst tasting products. Hey, it is good for you!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

New Items Available in the Freezer Case!!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please check out these new items we're trying out in the freezer case.

And as always, you can provide feedback and ideas for new items in the product suggestion book at the Coop's entrance.

New Items in a Coop Freezer Case Near You:

Jolie Ravioli—all natural cheese ravioli in totally fun shapes

Goya Banana Leaves

Lifestream Flax Plus Waffles (cold pressed)

Alvarado Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

Cheese of the Week: Tuma Persa

Now on offer in the Park Slope Food Coop's Cheese Case:

Tuma Persa

Extremely rare/Limited production!!! Unknown to the USA until recently!

It is made by only one producer (Salvatore Passalaqua) in the hills near Palermo, Sicily, who began making this cheese after he found an ancient recipe.

This cow¹s milk cheese has a very complex flavor profile.

Although very tasty, it is never salty.

It is earthy and fragrant & has a genuine rustic appearance !

It has a unique, pleasant "peppery" finish !

Kevin O'Sullivan, Receiving Coordinator in charge of Juices and Household Items, Speaks:

Some new products that we've added:

Volcano Organic Juices From Italy:
Blood Orange Juice Organic
Tangerine Juice Organic

Both a little tart…

Earth's Best Organic Juice Packs:
Apple, Strawberry Pear, and Apple Peach Banana flavors

Ginger People's Ginger Smoother Drink.

Laundry Detergent:
We made room for another shelf, so we were able to add a few varieties that members have been asking for.

Seventh Generation High Efficiency Liquid Laundry Detergent, Lavender Scent
Seventh Generation Laundry Power

Planet Liquid Laundry Detergent

We also added a few items from Biokleen, which is a new company for the Coop, but has a good reputation (and pretty packaging):

Biokleen Laundry Powder (50 Loads)
Biokleen Oxygen Bleach Powder
Biokleen Bac Out Enzyme Spray

Last but not least, we added another shelf in aisle 3 to add more choices of oil, specifically Olive Oil. Many of these will rotate. Some may become PSFC staples, but keep an eye out and try some of the new oils on offer.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Recall of Maranatha sesame tahini

Maranatha is recalling its sesame tahini because of the possibility of it being contaminated with Salmonella. The press release of May 26 stated that there have been no confirmed cases of illness to date.

The Coop only sells Maranatha raw sesame tahini, 16 oz size. If you have purchased this product, you may return it for a refund.

For further information call: 1-800-883-8312

New Compact Fluorescent Bulbs For Sale

Park Slope Food Coop shoppers looking for compact fluorescent bulbs can look at the rows of hanging bulbs above the yogurt case.

Some new compact fluorscents have come in recently:

A 15-watt compact fluorescent bulb shaped like a regular 60-watt household bulb with equivalent luminosity. Price: $4.78 each.

A 9-watt compact fluorescent bulb shaped like a regular 40-watt but a little bigger. The 9-watt compact fluorescent gives off light equivalent to a regular 40-watt bulb. Price: $4.54 each.

We will also be carrying 4-bulb packs of mini spiral compact fluorescents that will be retailing for $7.85 each.

We've got other compact fluorescent bulbs on order with our suppliers, and as they come in, you'll be able to find them hanging above the yogurt case.

Beef Kebabs

Svmer is icumen in,
Lhude sing cuccu!
Growe_sed and blowe_med
And spring__e wde nu,
Sing cuccu!

We may not have any cuccu in the poultry case, but over in the mammal case, the wintery beef stew meat has blossomed into summery beef kebabs, ready for the grill.

This lean beef—cut from the round primal—needs a good acidic marinade. Try giving it a 3-hour bath in fresh lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil enlivened with sliced onion and garlic, chopped parsley and oregano. Skewer, alternating the marinated beef with chunks of onion, cremini mushrooms and colorful slices of sweet pepper, and grill over a hot fire for 2-3 minutes per side for medium-rare, brushing occasionally with reserved marinade.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Pig Sale!!

Available now in the freezer:

Smoked Ham
Ham Steaks
Irish Bacon

Were $6.00/lb.,

Now: $2.99/lb.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New Local Organic Items in Produce This Week, Plus Other PSFC Produce Tidbits:

Coming into the Coop from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania:

Romaine Lettuce
Green Leaf Lettuce*
Dandelion Greens
Baby Arugula
Bunch Spinach


Coming in from Hudson Valley Farms Hepworth Farms and Lucky Dog Farm:

Baby Arugula
Baby Spinach
Baby Gailan (Chinese Broccoli)
Baby Lettuces

*some but not all of these items are local; we're still also receiving some from beyond the range of local produce at the Coop.

Organic Sugar Snap Peas:

5/24 from Mexico
5/25 from Pennsylvania


Current Watermelon Rating from the Head Watermelon Taster of the PSFC Produce Department:

9.1 out of 10


And fresh in today from California: Organic Apricots


Current Organic 1 Pound Strawberry Sales Velocity: 480 1 pound packages per day.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Produce News—New and Incoming Items as of Thursday, May 17

We have a steady supply of Local Ramps (wild leeks) coming from Fingerlakes Organic Growers up in the Fingerlakes region and Lucky Dog Farm in the Hudson Valley.

The Coop's first Apriums came in this week—a cross between an apricot and a plum. Unlike the pluot, the aprium is more like an apricot.

Wild Fiddleheads began on Wednesday, May 16.

Local Organic Bunch Spinach will be arriving on Friday, May 18.

Local Loose Baby Spinach and Local Loose Baby Arugula will both be coming in on Saturday, May 19.

Local Produce Once Again Highlighted In Green on the Produce Aisle Menus

Hanging at either end of Aisle One, you can look up and find large print-outs of the daily produce menu. Every item available in the produce aisle that day will appear on these menus. If you can't seem to locate something you're looking for, these large lists are the best first place to look to see if what you're hoping to find is currently in stock.

Now that the weather is warming up and local farms are starting to send their bounty our way, we're resuming the practice of highlighting all local produce offerings in green on the large produce menus. Every item on these lists that appears highlighted in green comes from within 500 miles of the Coop.

We update these lists every day during the week, so you can rely on them when you want to know what the Coop is currently carrying in the world of produce.

New Cheeses Now Available

Fourme D'Ambert

Even self-professed haters of blue fall for this gentle, voluptuous, curdy beauty. Critics call it Saga for Grownups, but the good stuff is miraculous: rich, thick, liberally pocked cylinders of blue beneath a smooth, firm rind smelling of cave. Milky yet complex, leathery and earthy, it has none of the fierce residual pepper of better-known Roquefort. Go light and sweet, with thin slices of pear and a Tawny Port.

Tomme Crayeuse

This chalky tomme could be just another Tomme de Savoie-wannabe. Produced in Savoie, it's got that dank, mold-dappled rind and the same mountain-fed cow milk, but two stages of aging catapult it into mushroomy epiphany. First, it lounges in the sauna, warm and saturated with humidity to loosen the flesh into marshmallow cream. Then, a visit to a cooler but equally moist cave teases out those earthy, lactic inclinations, preserving an inner core of milky crumble. The final wheel is pure mushroom butter with a rind smattered with gorgeous powdery yellow mold, the result of cellulose in the cows' diet. A spicy red Syrah could deflect the intense richness of flavor.

Bleu de Gex

Blue de Gex today is still produced in the small mountain dairies that employ the traditional methods that have been handed down from the 14th century. It is produced only from the Montbeliardes or Pie rouge de l’Est cows which graze on these mountains. Although the smell is faint, this cheese is characterized by its nutty taste. The rind is very fine and yellowish. The ivory white dough has evenly distributed green- blue veins. The pate is creamy, almost crumbly when touched.

Salers De Buron

Untouched for centuries, this authentic recipe is made only from the Salers cows that graze in the Cantal pastures at more than 930 meters above sea level. The diversity of the flora and many aromatic plants in the area give a specific taste to both the cheese and the milk. Production is difficult and requires all the skill of the few fromagers that are able to make it. Raw milk that has been aged 10 months in the “Salers” or tiny stone huts that dot the mountains of Cantal make this compact dry cheese unique among all French cheeses.

Cantal Entre Deux

A more industrial production makes Cantal less unique than Salers, but still an excellent example of a pressed curd raw milk cheese. Believed to be 2 or 3000 years old and quoted in many roman writings, Cantal has changed little but is no longer used as currency in the south of France.

Sechon de Pays

Really dense in your mouth with richly tangy finish - Try it. You will love it.

Maroilles Quart

Said to have been created by monks in the 10th century, Maroilles is a powerful cheese. A sweet taste lingers in the mouth as the golden pate leaves an oily residue.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cornichons, Garlic and Green Olives Mix Discontinued Due to MSG

Hello Cooperators,

It's a sad day in the Olive Case.

For the past few weeks, we've been carrying a mix of Cornichons, Garlic and Green Olives. Judging by the astronomical sales figures, many PSFC shoppers have been partaking of this mix.

This morning, we discovered that the Cornichons, Garlic and Green Olives mix contains MSG.

MSG is an additive that the Coop chooses not to carry. The Coop adheres to the Center for Science in the Public Interest's guide to food additives. You can find this list in full at: -Click here for more info-

We do our best to insure that every product on the shelves contains no ingredients advised against on the CSPI's additives list. There are a few exceptions that the General Meeting has voted for—items like sugar, salt and caffeine, for example. Historically, the Coop has consistently avoided items containing MSG. On the rare occasion when an item containing MSG has made it through our inspection radar, we have immediately ceased carrying the offending item once the discrepancy is discovered.

The Coop will not carry the Cornichons, Garlic and Green Olives mix until we are able to find a version of the mix that does not contain MSG.

New Offerings in the Meat Department

We've got a new supplier of naturally raised, antibiotic-free pork: Aberdeen Hill Farm.

They're providing us with lots of surprises in addition to the pork chops, roasts and cuts that we actually order.

Look in the meat case at the back of the Coop for:

Hot Dogs (beef & pork)
Ham Hocks
Irish Bacon
Canadian Bacon
Hot Italian Sausage
Neck Bones
and Lard (at $2.99/.lb, look for the sign)


Also, for those of you interested in the latest on Dine's Farm, we're still waiting for them to get federal approval for their processing plant for mammalian meat. We're able to get their chickens, but we have to wait for them to get through this approval process before we can carry products from their cows and pigs.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Yogurt News

From Sarah Beek, the Coop's yogurt orderer:

Some of our members (especially the kids) may have noticed the absence of Stonyfield Farm’s Banilla and Strawberry flavors in the quart size, as well as the O’Soy baby 6-packs. It turns out that Stonyfield is building a new plant and due to some “engineering snafus”, they have been unable to keep up with production on those items. Look for the O’Soy in May and the return of the Banilla and Strawberry quarts at the end of June.

Also, Stonyfield told us that they were unable to source enough organic milk to keep their nonfat products organic. (They haven’t been organic for some time.) They have plans to change this however, and are taking an active role in convincing farmers to go organic. Their long-term goal is to once again have an organic line of nonfat yogurts. (But it might take years.)

Sick of Stonyfield? They may be the largest but they definitely are not the only producer of organic yogurt. Check out Butterwork Farms, Hawthorne Valley Farms, and Seven Stars Dairy, all local, and without the stabilizers and fewer of the sugars that Stonyfield generally uses.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Travel Size Toothpastes Now Available

The Coop is now carrying the following flavors of travel-size toothpaste:

1. Desert Essence: 3 oz. Fennel Flavor

2. Weleda: .44 oz Salt Flavor

3. Tom's of Maine: 1 oz Peppermint Flavor


Fresh Local Lamb is Back in the Coop!

Here's Bill the Butcher with the latest from the meat department:

As of April 23, 2007, the Food Coop has begun carrying fresh lamb and pork from Aberdeen Hill Farm! Every other Monday (in order to alternate with our other farmers) we will receive the meat from two whole lambs and hogs.

The following text is adapted from the LocalHarvest website.

Aberdeen Hill Farm of Stanley, New York, is a small family-owned and operated farm, growing pasture-raised beef, lamb, and pork in the Finger Lakes region.

The utmost care and compassion for our animals is taken, to insure not only the quality of the products that our customers receive, but that you can also know that both your well-being, and our livestock’s well-being, always come first.

Beef and lamb are naturally fed on a mainly grass based diet. In order to insure both flavor and texture, we supplement with a very small amount of locally raised grain. By doing this, we can perform tasks like shearing and trimming without stressing the animals out, and they get accustomed to us working with them.

No antibiotics, steroids, or hormones are ever used. All processing is done at a small family owned and operated shop that has a USDA inspection.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Notes from the Freezer

The freezer boasts a few new products. Here's Caleb with the latest from the frozen foods department:

Look for:

Woodstock Frozen Sugar Snap Peas
Rico M. Panada Broccoli and Cheddar and Mushroom Knish Empanadas
Alexia Mozzarella Stix
Quorn Gruyere Patties

Coming Soon:

Kim and Scott’s gourmet frozen pretzels. I’m going to start with the traditional Bavarian style, but they offer some stuffed pretzels that look great and will most likely find their way into the freezer.

Also, I’m looking into more waffles so keep an eye out.


Deep Palak Paneer

Sadly Leaving:

The Ecofish company is getting rid of the Grab n’ Go tuna and mahi mahi due to low sales. We will once again get the Aquasource tuna but I am going to have to find another mahi mahi. Health is Wealth Mexican Munchies and Veggie Munchies are being replaced by the pretzels mentioned above due to sales.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Time to Bring the ol' Blog Back

Time sure flies, doesn't it?

Today is April 18, 2007, and it's time we recommenced updating anyone and everyone about the products available (and, sometimes, unavailable) at the Park Slope Food Coop.

Welcome back, everyone.

For today's product updates, let's go to the land of olives and cheese. Here's Yuri, the Coop's intrepid olive and cheese buyer, with the latest and greatest in the olives and cheese cases:


Marinated Garlic, Cornichons & Green Olives. Delicious sweet garlic - not too spicy. . .



A semi-soft cheese produced from the milk of Guirra sheep in the Mediterranean region of Spain near Valencia. This cheese is cured in cheesecloth and when fully aged, provides a sweet flavor with a mild butterscotch overtone. Considered to be a traditional farmhouse cheese, Malvarosa cheese is white in color with a smooth buttery texture containing
very few small open eyes.


Semi-firm goat cheese from Catalunya bathed in vegetable oil and charcoal and aged 60-90 days. The rind is gray where the surface mold mingles with the charcoal, Texture is creamy and the sweetness of the milk comes from the exclusive use of Murciana goats. Earthy, Full-flavored and tangy at the finish.

La Peral

Lightly blued, rare and delicious mixed milk cheese hailing from the village Illas in Northern Spain. Also known as Queso Azul Asturiano, La Peral is made from pasteurized cow's milk to which sheep cream is added. The wheels are then aged for sixty days in Asturian caves. La Peral resembles an Italian Gorgonzola and has a strong olive flavor and pungent aroma. Its slightly crumbly texture becomes significantly creamier in the finish. Pair this cheese with Viognier, Port, or Spanish desert wines.


Our intention moving forward is to bring members as much up-to-date information as possible about what's available on the shelves in the Coop. Keep checking back to learn more about what's on offer in every aisle of the PSFC.