Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Firstly, let’s talk about the Leelanau Brewing Company of Michigan. The Gold Harbor Golden and Whaleback White are amazingly delicious, complex, and in a way, easy. I guess it’s easy when you taste that good. They are handcrafted by Ron Jeffries, one of the best craft brewers on the planet. Just try them, they're expansive and subtle. Think champagne course.
My other favorite is the Penn Kaiser Pils, 2008 GABF gold medal winner. This beer is clean, crisp, and has a nice bitter closure. That sounds like a trite explanation of a pilsner but this triple-decocted bit of loveliness is really gooooood. Try it! It’s easy with food.
Monday, December 15, 2008
GIFT PACKS: We also have a variety of gift packs on the front display. Usually, these packs are the same price as the beer would regularly be and they throw in a free glass.
GIFT BOTTLES: We can special order large (1.5 or 3 Liter) gift bottles so please speak to Anngel if you want a very special bottle for the holidays.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Park Slope Food Coop T-shirts have returned! Our T-shirts are made by Organic Apparel (based in Denver) of certified organic, "homegrown" (in the U.S.) cotton, spun and manufactured in sweatshop-free facilities in the U.S. They are hand dyed for each order using a low impact, cold-wash dye-bath method. Colors may vary from dye lot to dye lot, as many factors figure into the dying process (i.e. what the city of Denver decides to put into their water each day, temperatures, etc.). The printing has been done by Denver Screen Print & Embroidery using a more environmentally friendly water-based printing method. You won't believe how soft and supple these T-shirts are! We have a variety of men's and women's cuts in small, medium, large, and extra large, and 2 different designs—the old Coop design slightly modified and a new design created by the Signage Committee—and a large selection of colors. The T-shirts don't seem to shrink in washing, but be forewarned that they do run small.
Plans are being formulated for a T-shirt design contest, likely to happen sometime in 2009. Stay tuned for details.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Strong dollar means lower cheese prices
Take advantage of the strong dollar to purchase Italian and Spanish cheeses at a lower price starting this week. Look for (among other items) Taleggio, Drunken Goat, Fontal, Gorgonzola, Pecorino Romano, Ricotta Salata and Parmigiano Reggiano with new lower prices as well as (this week only) 1 year Manchego at the (new lower) 6 month price!
Monday, December 08, 2008
If your steak seems a little stiff, just defrost overnight in the fridge (or quick-defrost in a bowl of trickling water in your kitchen sink).
Please do not re-freeze this beef.
Sorry for the inconvenience. Everything'll be back to normal on Dec. 17.
Friday, December 05, 2008
We have about 100 14-18 lb. turkeys available at this price, and until we sell out, we won't be getting any fresh ones, so if you're looking for an Xmas/Solstice turkey, this is your safest bet. And that price is pretty amazing.
The USDA recommends a refrigerator defrosting time of 3-4 days for birds this size. Keep it in your freezer until then.
-- Bill, the poultry/meat buyer
So there's this guy Bill (not the butcher) who brought us some salmon a couple weeks ago. The salmon is pretty great and is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. This week he brought some cod. It's also pretty great and certified. He also has some sea bass that we'll be carrying soon.
Waffles and Pancakes
So there are these guys Janssen and Meyer aka, De Wafelbakkers, who make waffles and pancakes. They used to make waffles in Holland and send them to America. Demand was high so they built a bakery here. Now you can get them here in our freezer! We have the A+ Whole Grain Spelt Waffle made with sweet potatoes and the Whole Grain Pancake.
Lasagne and Gnocchi
So there's this guy Caeser. I think he's kinda famous for some stuff he did a bunch of years ago like conquering the salad or something. Well, he hasn't stopped his quest for supermarket domination as evidenced by his new company Caesar's Pasta. He was generous enough to give us some gnocchi as well as a wheat and gluten free, cheese lasagna. WF and GF!? What a thoughtful guy.
Friday, November 14, 2008
I just ordered a bunch of Cabot cheddar in various flavors, including Horseradish, Habanero, Super Sharp, and Tomato Basil - They're $2.84 for a 8 oz piece wrapped in parchment. Perfect for your Thanksgiving table or anytime. They're on the bottom of the cheese case in the back (it'll be our secret).
First of all, don't forget your pie crusts. That stuff can take a lot of time out of your turkeyday. We have Oronoque deep dish pie crusts and we also have the organic Wholly Wholesome crusts . If all that chopping or pumpkin can opening isn't in your plans, we have Vermont Pie Company ready to bake apple pie and Wholly Wholesome vegan pumpkin pie.
For the vegetarians who will not be dinning on turkey, the Tofurkeys and Quorn Turkey Style Roasts are back.
Finally, our ecologically minded friends at Stahlbush Farms have brought us sustainably grown Cranberries.
For those with tamales on the mind:
This is big folks! Pork has found it's way into the freezer! Single serve, organic tamales from El Bravo in Chicken Mole and Red Chili Pork varieties.
For the kids:
So I was trying to fill some space in the waffle section and Kevin suggested Belgian waffles. I thought this was a great idea but it turns out the product was discontinued. Boo. While I was searching though, I came across Van's Mini Chocolate Chip Waffles. I think they're gonna be big.
For the fans of fish:
North Pacific, wild caught salmon. Though this product hails from China, it has been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. It is skinless and at $2.14 for eight ounces, is a steal compared to Henry and Lisa's salmon.
For those wondering where the Raw Ice Cream Co. ice cream went:
The chocolate came back this week and Mark, the owner, tells me that more flavors will be coming soon. There was a delay while he upgraded his facilities and staff, but he assures me that we'll be getting a steady supply again.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Enjoy the perfect match of Rogue Morimoto Soba Ale and the cheddar washed in glory of the beer itself. Enjoy! Brought to you by Yuri and Anngel. . .
Monday, October 27, 2008
No, the Park Slope Food Coop is not a rapacious retailer, forcing Santa down your throat by Columbus Day weekend. We just want our members to be able to get all the basics they need for a holiday meal. And that means that you need to start stocking up on supplies now. Our basement cannot hold the amount of food required if everyone were to wait to shop until the last week or even the week before Thanksgiving.
Prime example: frozen pie crusts. Our supplier always runs out Thanksgiving week. So we try to stock up ahead. Have you ever been inside our basement freezer? By the end of the week all the shelves are full and there are 4 to 5 full U boats clogging the space, making it hard to send up all those pizzas and frozen berries. There is no room for six more carts full of pie crusts waiting for you to buy them at the last minute. So please buy your pie crust now. You're not sure if you are the one bringing the pie, buy the pie shell anyway. It keeps very well in the freezer and doesn't take up too much space. Buy the frozen peas and broccoli and vanilla ice cream now too.
Dry goods to purchase in advance: chicken stock, canned pumpkin, dried mushrooms, olive oil, pasta, packaged bread crumbs or dressing, evaporated or condensed milk, maple syrup, corn syrup, brown and white sugars (please consider purchasing the wonderful Wholesome Foods Fair Trade sugars we sell in Aisle 2A), chocolate chips, flour, parchment paper (Aisle 2A), cheesecloth, vanilla, spices including cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, rosemary, thyme, etc. Dried cranberries, apricots, and other dried fruits keep well in a glass container in the cupboard. Pecans, walnuts and other nuts can be refrigerated or frozen. Dried fruits and spices take time to bag and there may not be enough workers to meet the demand during the holiday week. And there is only so much space for workers in the food processing area and everyone wants cheese and olives too. Don't forget the crackers.
Cheeses, olives and smoked fish keep for weeks refrigerated. I refrigerate my corn meal and flour. Butter freezes very well, eggs have a shelf life of weeks. Heavy cream is also hard to get from our distributors holiday weeks--hedge your bets and buy ultra pasteurized Organic Valley heavy cream--it has a shelf life of weeks. A lot of produce stores well too--buy your potatoes, squash, shallots, garlic, pearl onions and fresh cranberries..
Get a leg up--buy your chestnuts early, roast and peel them and store in the refrigerator. Or sit back and buy the peeled chestnuts in the jar on the front end display across from the eggs. Don't forget the beer, Martinelli's sparkling cider, San Pellegrino limonata, chocolate truffles. Your cousins are going to remember the terrific hard cider you brought to the dinner last year--don't disappoint them. Only problem is: remember, this is the Thanksgiving stash.
Get rid of all the leftovers in your refrigerator. You need to make room so that you can buy your turkey as early as possible. Turkeys will start being delivered the Friday before Thanksgiving. Turkeys delivered the week of Thanksgiving are not going to be fresher; they are all butchered at least a week in advance. We max out our coolers for the turkeys. This means every time we need to send up butter, someone has to drag out 3 or more heavy carts of turkeys to get at the butter in the basement.
For the vegans, Tofurky "turkeys" will be in the freezer. The flatten Road Kill Fresh Tofu "turkeys" will be sold next to the tofu in the egg case. Buy them as soon as you see them.
It is not fun shopping at the Coop during the holiday season. Even if we have everything you want, we probably won't have the workers to stock the shelves. And who can get near the shelves to stock when the lines wrap around the store. Consider going in late to work one morning during the week and do your big shop then. Late week day evenings are generally not too busy either. The Coop does open at 6 am on Saturdays and Sunday mornings.
You can do quick grab and go shops if you don't have anything to weigh, three items or less. Pick up your turkey, pumpkin pie and fresh cream and head to the cashier, bypassing all the checkout lanes. If you plan ahead, you won't have to go to one of those Really Expensive Stores to get the special ingredients that make your holiday. Besides, they would also have long lines and no heavy cream. If all else fails, you can lie low and shop Thanksgiving Day, 8 am to 2:30 pm.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Zero calorie soda
We have been carrying the Stevia sweetened soda called Zevia for several months now at the Coop, and it is popular. Only Zevia is not alllowed to be called a soda because the US FDA regards stevia as a supplement. It is not clear to me how Zevia has managed to exist under this ruling.
Despite the FDA's position, many people consider Stevia to be a natural sweetener. It is a plant grown widely in Paraguay and Brazil. In recent travels to South America, I have seen stevia commonly used in both of those countries. It is a popular sweetener and sold in large containers in grocery stores. Stevia is also widely used in other countries, such as Japan.
We sell stevia itself in the Aisle 4B, with the supplements. With Stevia, a little goes a long way.
The LA Times published several articles on stevia in August, detailing some of the politics of artificial sweeteners. Apparently Cargill, Pepsi and Coke are lobbying to use stevia while NutraSweet and others want to keep their hold on the diet soda market.
-Click here for more info in LA Times-
Friday, October 24, 2008
-Click here for more info-
In case you haven't seen it, what you've been waiting for...it's finally here! On the shelf near all the non-dairy yogurts, we've added So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt in 4 different flavors - Blueberry, Strawberry Banana, Vanilla, and Plain. This yogurt is totally dairy free (vegan friendly) and doesn't even have soybeans in it. Right-O!
Also, we just started getting Adirondack Creamery pumpkin ice cream and the people agree it's pretty great!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
New in this week - Pecorino Tartufo - typical of the Umbrian region of Italy, combining sheep's milk with aromatic truffle shavings to make a unique and delicious cheese. Pair Pecorino Tartufo with a Chianti Classico
"Sottocenere" translates to "under ash" because covering cheese in ashes is a traditional Venetian way of preserving cheese. This particular cheese has herbs and spices added to the ash, like cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, fennel, licorice, and coriander, all which add to the cheese's flavor. Studded with slices of white and black truffles and rubbed with truffle oil, the semi-soft cheese is supple and aromatic.
Cypress Grove, the Humboldt County goat-cheese producer that makes the wildly successful Humboldt Fog, celebrates its 25th anniversary in business this year. And with that milestone comes a new product from this creative enterprise, a truffled goat cheese christened Truffle Tremor.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
For our gluten free friends: individual pizzas from Foods by George and apple cinnamon waffles from Van's.
For the kids (and grownups who like their food in the shapes of stars and dinosaurs and such): Broccoli Littles from Dr. Praeger. They are similar to the Dr. Praeger pancakes but smaller and way more awesome.
For our burrito buddies: Spicy Tofu and Potato burrito from Phill's Fresh Foods. They're bigger than Amy's burritos and Kevin says they're pretty darn good.
For the raw ice cream lovers: raw, vegan ice creams from the Raw Ice Cream Company. This guy Mark makes it here in NY and it's pretty great stuff. Right now we have chocolate, mint chip, and vanilla.
New fruits and veggies: Blueberries and cauliflower from Stahlbush Island Farms. Sustainable stuff from an island in Oregon. They seem like good folks.
Gouda - Farmers - Aged 3 years - Holland. As is typical with more aged cheeses, aged Gouda tends to be harder in texture than a young Gouda; in fact, it has a texture more similar to Parmigiano-Reggiano. The interior, or paste, is more deeply colored than that of a young Gouda; in a Gouda aged for roughly two years or longer, the paste becomes more of an amber, or yellowish-brown. The flavor is complex: intense, butterscotch-caramel, salty yet on the sweet side (it is often described as caramelized or toffee-like)
Leyden - Cumin Cheese - Holland This cheese, like its cousin Edam, has a rich heritage, and extraordinary quality goes into each step of Leyden cheesemaking. Just like Edam, it is made from rich, skimmed milk, but this is where the similarities end. Leyden cheese has the additional ingredient of creamy buttermilk and is a deliciously firm, subtly spicy tasting dairy treat - unique in its flavor because of the cumin and caraway seeds used to season it. As Leyden cheese ages, the cumin seeds draw out whey from the curds, so it has a drier, firmer texture than Edam. In Holland it is known as Cumin Cheese, but because of its popularity around the city of Leiden it is exported, under the name of Leyden.
Ubriaco Prosecco - Italy A raw cow's milk cheese from the Veneto region in Northeast Italy, home to the Prosecco growing region and several superb sparkling and still wines. During the maturing process, it is covered by Prosecco grape must (skins), giving the cheese a sweet, delicate aroma of the wine and complex finish.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The founder and owner of Cafe Rebellion, Kerry Appel, is retiring and will no longer be roasting coffee in Colorado for the Coop. I always enjoyed calling Kerry and hearing his cheerful greeting The Human Bean company! It was often difficult for him to hear our order over the clatter of the roaster.
Kerry went to the Chiapas region of Mexico in 1994 to document how the Fair Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Mexico was affecting the indigenous people of Chiapas. After making several documentaries, he was asked to leave by both the U.S. and the Mexican government. So he decided to return as a businessman and establish direct trade between the citizens of Chiapas and the U.S.
According to Kerry, his coffee was grown in cooperatives under the Organic and Fair Trade standards in Mexico, but was not certified in the U.S. as that would have entailed paying the certification fees in both countries. He also sold us the honey bees made from coffee flowers--Zapatista honey.
Please appreciate all the labor that it takes to make a cup of coffee. -Click here for photos on Kerry's website taken in 2006 that detail the backbreaking work of harvesting, cleaning and transporting coffee beans.-
Ron, the bulk guy, plans to replace Cafe Rebellion with other high quality, fair trade coffees.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Soda Stream selzter makers are finally here--sold in Aisle 2A, top, next to the Vintage seltzer--which we hope we will sell less and less of. The Soda Stream chargers are superior to the Isi siphons, which we are no longer selling.
-Click here for more info-
The company is a little difficult to do business with--they don't return calls and lose orders. Right now we have lots of seltzer makers but we are waiting on a back order of chargers. We expect the chargers will arrive soon. Used chargers should be returned to desk on the second floor of the Coop and you will receive a deposit refund of $9.99.
There will be an followup article in the CSM on the environmental costs of keeping your clothes clean.
-Read all about it-
Friday, September 19, 2008
...more than you can shake a stick at. It seems everyone is making an Oktoberfest and a pumpkin beer these days and we seem to have most of them. Dogfish Head, Weyerbacher, Wolaver’s, Blue Point, Stoudt’s, Smuttynose, Brooklyn, and Southern Tier are some of the local varieties. I’m trying to squeeze in a couple German Oktoberfests like the Ayinger and Hacker Pschorr. Let me know which ones you like and which are seasonal dogs.
Schmanyway, so far we’re the only store that has ‘em and I plan on keeping them stocked as a regular item.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Aecht Schlenkerla Ur-bock (1678)
The uber-smoke beer is Schlenkerla. This German brewery uses local, aged beechwood logs to smoke the malts that give this rauchbier it’s distinctive, um, smoky flavor. The Ur-bock is full-bodied with a good malty sweetness and yes, lots of smoke from start to finish. 6.5 ABV Great with smoked meats, dark bread, and I liked it with grilled lamb too. If you like Lagavulin you might like this. I’m thinking a good smoked gouda might do it proud.
Leipziger Gose (1738)
This beer survived the Iron Curtain! This un-filtered, un-pasteurized brew from the Saxon town of Goslar is a lemony, refreshing wheat beer (60% wheat, 40% barley) with salt and coriander added to the mix – off course in delicate quantities. 4.5 ABV. This beer has a nice acidity that makes it a good match for I think, milder, creamier cheeses. Yuri and I will get back to you on that… Some (Germans) think it’s a good match for potato soup, schnitzel, cucumber salad, and fried calamari. Anyway, it’s refreshing.
Vuuve is a Belgian Wit (60% barley and 40% wheat malt) with coriander and fresh organic orange peel. This wit is classically fruity, spicy, and citrusy on the palate with a long lingering finish of the aforementioned coriander and orange peel. 5.0 ABV The brewer, Johan Brandt is an artisan and doesn't use any chemical products; every brew may be slightly different. (Info courtesy B. United)
This mustard ale from Johan Brandt released first in 1999 is a tribute to the then 130-year-old Wostyn mustard factory. 7.0 ABV A strange brew, this has a little sweetness and then a bit of astringent mustard at the end. I have to try this beer again but it brings to mind memories of good medium-bodied cheese, pate, mustard, and cornichon; don’t quote me on that.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Good new for all of the fans of the formerly Woodstock Water Buffalo yogurt. It's back and it's new name is Bufala di Vermont. We currently have plain, maple, and raspberry. The luscious cappuccino and black currant flavors are not being made at this time but, a rep from the company hinted that cappuccino would be the next flavor on the roster once they get their operation at cruising altitude.
We're also bringing some of the delicious Ronnybrook products from upstate into the case. Look for peach and blackberry drinkables as well as peach and coconut yogurts.
And lastly, Dahlicious Mango Lassi has made a big splash in the drinkable section, check it out, there are little bits o mango inside.
Bad news is that Siggi's Skyrr yogurt continues to be out of stock. They have been having production problems that apparently are taking a while to resolve. We order Siggi's twice a week, so, as soon as it's available we will have it.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Produced as a Italian farmhouse cheese from cow's milk, Bra Duro Cheese is a "sister" cheese to the Bra Tenero cheeses which differ only in the length of aging. A Bra Tenero cheese will be aged for slightly less than 2 months while a Bra Duro cheese ages for 3 months at a minimum and longer for some cheese producers enabling a sharper flavor to develop. The term Duro is the Italian word for rough or rugged, which is used to describe the coarse outer rind. Darker yellow in color and semi-firm to firm in texture, Bra Duro Cheese provides a cheddar-like flavor from a paste that is filled with numerous small eyes. Sharp and somewhat nutty tasting best describes the flavor from this cheese. It is a good cheese to use for snacking or for grating as a topping on pasta and casseroles. When paired with wine, this cheese goes well with a medium-bodied red wine or an amber beer.
Mahon, from the island of Menorca, is one of a few cow's milk cheeses from Spain. Mahón boasts a certain sharpness, and its lemony, salty flavors evince the rural Mediterranean seascape. Its rind contains a hard, crumbly cheddar-like texture and darkens as the wheels age. At peak, Mahón is tangy, intense and delicious. Pair this cheese with Madeira or Tempranillo.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Castelrosso is made using the milk of the Pezzata Rossa and Bruno Alpina cows and is aged in underground cellars for at least three months during which time it develops its crusty rind that is mottled with grey, white and yellow molds. The rind contrasts beautifully with the interior which is pure white. The aroma is earthy and lactic, the texture is moist but slightly crumbly and the flavor is a balanced combination of lactic flavors and lemony brightness. As it ages, the interior will darken from the outside edges toward the interior and those sections will give bigger flavors of nuts and earth.
Autor Cheese is a raw goat's milk cheese from Quatratondo, 60 km outside of Valencia. Raw goat cheese is curdled with thistle rennet and aged 60 days in an underground cavern. Depending on the season the cheese can be creamy, flaky or runny. The flavor finishes grassy, herbal and citrus-y.
Malvarosa was first imported to the U.S. in August of 2004 to save the nearly extinct Guirra sheep. The paste is firm, but buttery, and incredibly rich and sweet. Aged for a minimum of three months; careful cheesemaking and gentle pasteurization preserve the delicate flavors.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
The production of Strachitunt gourmet cheese follows an ancient 2-curd technique. The mixture of the warm morning curd with the cold evening curd promotes the formation of mould. The rind is wrinkled and thin with a light-brown color. The Strachitunt cheese paste is pale or straw-yellow. It has an aromatic, mouth-filling flavor and a attractive nose of 'autumn leaves' and hazelnuts. Pair this cheese with Sauternes, Sémillon, Sauvignon blanc, or Muscadelle.
VerdeCapra - A new (so new there are no pictures) Blue goat cheese. I tried this at the fancy food show last week and I thought we should have it here as soon as possible. It's a creamy and tangy Pasteurized cheese with a moisture level similar to Gorgonzola Dolce.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
This week some of the things that I've bought for you are:
Produced with milk from Castilla Leon and aged in El Escorial. Firm blue. Sheep's milk. Very salty. Has a hard to describe unique taste. Do not plan on kissing anyone for a while after trying this one.
A soft-ripened pastuerized cow's milk cheese from the producer that makes the Tallegio. Has a smooth, full flavor and a powerful aroma.
Made in the mountains of Leon, Spain, this tangy cheese is made from pure Alpine goat milk. Uniquely molded into a long brick shape, the cheese is covered with a natural mold and
develops a creamy consistency over the three month aging process.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Look for all of these brands (and Olde Cape Cod which I'll put out next week) scattered around the store.
Summer suds are celebrated heartily by the Germans and their Weissbiers (aka Hefeweizen) comprise a huge portion of summer seasonal brews.
The south German weissbier is made by adding wheat to the mix and yields a characteristic banana, clove, or sometimes bubblegummy flavor due to the particular yeasts used in the fermentation processes.
Look for these fine examples at the Coop: Schneider Organic Edel-Weisse, Ayinger Brau Weisse, Brooklyner Weisse, Pinkus Organic Hefeweizen, Long Trail Hefeweizen, Ebel’s Weiss Beer, Stoudt’s Weizen,
While Belgian brewers are usually known for rich, fortifying beers that keep you warm in winter, they maintain a good balance with light and refreshing Wit, Blanche, or White beers for summer. Belgian whites are usually spiced with coriander and orange flavors.
Beers of this variety at the Coop are: Allagash White, Ommegang Witte, Avery White Rascal, Leelanau Whaleback White, Victory Whirlwind Witbier, Weyerbacher Blanche, Wolaver Wit, Otter Creek White Sail, Long Trail Belgian White, to name a few.
American brewers have always been quick studies and have taken off and riffed very successfully on traditional styles. Some breweries hew closely to their German or Belgian roots while others jump off with their own blends of summer beers.
Though American brewers are known for pushing beer to the limits of flavor, creativity, and experience using juiced up amounts hops, malt, yeast, or sugars, in the summer many brewmasters lighten their touch to match the season and produce more delicate offerings. Some are truly good and others seem like hapless attempts at lager or wheat beers. Let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re having a barbeque or kicking a ball around the park check out some of these light hitters.
We are looking into other products that might be similar in function, form, and safety.
We will post on the blog as soon as they are in so please check back here for info rather than calling the office.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
This week we've got some great new(ish) local cheeses from NY state and Vermont.
First up are three great cheeses from West River Creamery in Londonderry, Vermont. The first, named after the town it's made in, is the Londonderry English-style Farmhouse Cheddar. Raw Milk, aged in cloth - good stuff. 2nd is an old favorite, Three Mountain - also raw milk, but washed-rind and creamy delicious. Also available is a Pre-cubed marinated Feta in oil (which I double-bagged for your protection!) and herbs. We tried some today and the verdict was unanimous. . .amazing!
From upstate (well, Poughkeepsie) New York are two cheeses that we've known and loved from Sprout Creek Farm. Ouray is an earthy buttery cheese with sweet floral flavor and edible rind. And Batch 35: smooth, with an open texture - pungent, and earthy. A crisp coppery rind sheaths a straw colored interior of this smear-ripened cheese. Also try the Sophie - a goat milk cheese that will blow your mind.
In the Pre-packaged section of the case look for Green Hill from Sweet Grass Dairy, a pasteurized cow's milk cheese, soft-ripened with a white bloomy rind.
Rest assured that we are ordering all of the flavors everyday and as soon as they are available we will have Siggi's back on the shelf.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Blue Horizon Thai-style shrimp spring rolls and pesto shrimp farfalle entrees.
Evergreen organic wheatgrass juice.
Amy's margherita pizza. Amy's veggie pot pie pocket. Amy's mac and cheese kids meal with broccoli.
Seeds of Change mushroom risotto.
Pika's carrot ginger soup.
Buenatural cheese enchilada.
Morrison's clam chowder and seafood chowder are back.
New products in the ice cream freezer:
Ciao Bella gelato sandwich with chocolate gelato and chocolate chip cookies.
Lemon gelato with lemon poppy cookies.
Adirondack Creamery almond English toffee ice cream. Chocolate walnut ice cream.
Ronnybrook ginger creme brulee. Butter pecan.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
The slow and steady march of change has come to the isle of cool serenity known as the yogurt case. We are trying bit by bit to bring in more local yogurt. New York is the third largest dairy-producing state (behind California and Wisconsin), and of course that means some things have to go.
Over the past few months we have added more flavors from the Evans Farmhouse organic line. It's often a mix of flavors based on production so look for a rotating cast of characters with plain, lemon, raspberry, and maple making up the bulk of our offerings. They recently discontinued the magnificent blackberry. Evans is both an organic dairy and organic creamery based in the Catskills. As a creamery they produce and package the Kortright Creek goat yogurts (also from the Catskills) that we offer in plain, maple, and raspberry flavors.
We've expanded the Liberte line, starting with the organic flavors of strawberry, raspberry, and vanilla. We then added Liberte's goat cheese-style yogurts of the honey, raspberry, strawberry, and plain varieties. Liberte is a local brand as it is within 500 miles—milk from a Vermont cooperative and produced in Quebec.
Recently, we've also added a couple of the Siggi's yogurts: plain, pomegranate passion, and orange mint. Siggi's makes an Icelandic-style of strained yogurt called Skyr—it's not unlike a strained Greek yogurt and it's made from New York state milk.
Fage Total yogurt, one of our top-selling products in the case, has switched its production over to a New York facility so that it no longer has to import its product.
Sky Top is a New York state product that has joined our yogurt-y crew recently and is hopefully coming out with a low-fat variety in the coming months.
Our other yogurts that are sourced and produced locally and have been stalwarts include Hawthorne Valley, Stonyfield, Butterworks, Coach Farms, Erivan, Old Chatam, and Seven Stars.
Some of the yogurts that have been discontinued recently are Cascade Fresh small cups—my reasoning is that they are at a similar price point to Stonyfield, a product that is both organic and local; Cascade Fresh is neither. Woodstock buffalo yogurts have also been absent because the company has ceased to exist. We are eagerly awaiting their next incarnation.
Pickles sold in aisle 6 are in vacuum-sealed jars since they are not refrigerated.
In produce news…
What is it about mineola tangelos that make them appear puffy? The easily compressed malleable skin is characteristic of tangelos and are not a reason to give them to the soup kitchen. It is an indication of maturity. So enjoy!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The mind-blowing beer sale continues...
This sale has been going on for about a week but will end when what we have on hand sells out. One of our distributors is doing some spring cleaning/rearranging (no joke) and they are having a beer warehouse version of a stoop sale. PSFC is the early bird cleaning up on seasonals and bits and pieces at 50-70% off regular prices.
Here's what we have at $0.71 a bottle: Weyerbacher Double Simcoe, Great Divide Denver Pale Ale, Great Divide Hibernation, and Great Divide St. Bridget's Porter, and a couple cases of Otter Creek Spring Kolsch.
At $0.61 a bottle we've got two cases of Thomas Hooker Irish Red left as of this posting.
At $0.50 a bottle we have Sprecher Winter Lager (this is a 16 oz. bottle people!) and one case of Southern Tier Old Man Winter.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Cali and Colorado may be the #1 and #2 biggest producers of craft beer in the country but as a region the Northeast is giving them a run for the money. (Somebody do the square miles to barrels of beer conversion please!)
At any rate, the coop hasn't been promoting local beers per se but, I just wanted to draw attention to the wealth of local products that are on the shelf. There will always be Stone (CA), Oskar Blues (CO), Samuel Smith (UK), the Belgians, and the growing cadre of fine Midwestern brewers and I will continue to make these beers available but, as Northeasterners we certainly have cause for pride of place and beer.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
You might be surprised to learn that much of the higher prices that you experience right now in produce is entirely normal and what you should expect in April and May, and follow a pattern that happens every year. (But certainly worse than ever this year.) The world food shortages and highest fuel costs ever have coincided with the predictable, seasonally normal high prices to produce a "perfect storm."
At the General Meeting on April 29 I reported that organic broccoli had gone to over $4.00 a bunch. I predicted that the price would soon fall as the current growing regions begin to warm up. Today the price is $2.52. There is every reason to be concerned about the future of our food, its cost and even its availability, but don't forget that late spring is when produce stops growing where it has all winter and is just starting up where our warm weather supplies come from, including of course, our local farms.
Here's what's locally available so far (not much):
Minimally treated apples continue to be available from Hepworth Farms: empire, fuji, golden delicious, honeycrisp, jonagold, mutsu, stayman winesap.
New York State organic asparagus started May 14, and the New Jersey conventional started on the 15th.
Other conventional local items are dill, arugula, mint and parsleys.
Sporadically available local organics include dandelions, mustards, arugula, spinach, lettuces, shallot greens, watercress, radishes, rhubarb, kale, pea tendrils and collards.
Fiddlehead fern supplies remain strong, but the local ramps are already winding down.
Remember that you can learn which produce is local by checking elsewhere in our website, or on the individual shelf signs, or by looking for the green highlights on the produce banners at either end of the produce aisle. Seek out the local items, learn how to eat something new; in exchange for a fair price, you will get the freshest, finest foods and do a little bit to keep local family farms alive.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Paradise Farm PA- tarragon
Elm Tree Farm PA- wild watercress
Chesapeake growers- green mustards, radishes, kale and spinach
All are limited quantities and only sporadically available.
We are hoping for some daylily shoots and nettles from Amy Hepworth and will keep you posted.
**Caution: Daylilies, especially the raw shoots, may cause digestive distress in some people. Eat only 5 or 6 shoots to gauge whether you are sensitive to them.
Use the shoots raw in salads, or sauté, steam, stir-fry, deep-fry, bake,
simmer in soups, or pickle.
Do you remember that the Park Slope Food Coop made the news when a member found a frog in her spinach? We all would like to think that that was a unique event but see this link.
Monday, April 07, 2008
Managing Director, Oké USA:
Dear banana eaters, sellers and concerned persons,
As many of you know, our organic Oké USA fair trade bananas come from El Guabo, a cooperative of 500 family farmers in coastal Ecuador. Since late January, the region has experienced devastating flooding. One co-op member's son was killed, roads and houses were damaged and several farmers have lost all of their plantings.
The Oké USA staff and I are asking you to join us in supporting the farmers of El Guabo by raising $20,000 to buy a Bobcat Excavator that the co-op will use to drain the flooded farms and do preventative maintenance to mitigate the impact of future floods.
All contributions are tax deductible, courtesy of Oké co-owner Red Tomato, a tax-exempt non-profit, and will go directly to fund the purchase of the Bobcat. The Bobcat fund has been seeded by another Oké co-owner, Equal Exchange. We are already more than 10% funded!
Finally, please remember that fair trade is a powerful part of sustainable development, the key to minimizing the impact of natural disasters.
Thank you for your concern, your contributions and your solidarity with the farmers of El Guabo.
-Click here for more info and to make a donation.-
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Chard and collard and lettuce prices are likely to climb. On any given day, any of these items may become temporarily unavailable. Random fluctuations of supply or price, even when they feel extreme, are entirely normal, but often unpredictable.
We all have to remember that we live in a part of the world where if we were to run out of broccoli for a day or 2, we would still have dozens of alternative green choices. While in other parts of the world people are dying for lack of bread in countries that have little previous experience with daily hunger.
I'm going to continue to scramble to get what we need but I am realistic that our part of the world is changing too and I fear that random commodity shortages may become a more common occurrence for us.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Bulk rice prices at the Food Coop haven't increased since last December but be prepared for an increase.
The Christian Science Monitor has a very interesting article on the horrific effect of grain shortages around the world. Rapidly increasing oil prices which cause increases in price of fertilizers and cost of transportation coupled with severe droughts in Australia and the Ukraine.
According to the CSM, Vietnam, India and Pakistan have banned grain exports in an attempt to protect the supply of these basic foods for their poorest citizens.
-Click here to read this alarming article-
Monday, March 24, 2008
OKé organic fair trade bananas come from small farming cooperatives in Ecuador who own part of OKé USA. Since late January, our farmer partners have experienced devastating flooding caused by heavier than usual seasonal rains. Some farmers have lost all or part of their land due to the flooding. The Zaruma family of 5 brothers, who live entirely off of their production, lost their entire 18.5 acre farm. Some farmers have experienced even more difficult losses including William Vitonera who lost his 14-year-old son in a surging river that changed its course due to the floods. The flooding in Ecuador has been so catastrophic that in early February the President declared a national state of emergency.
Here at OKé, we are trying to help our producer partners in any way we can, including advance payments to the co-op so it can provide emergency credit to its members. The farmer co-ops are also working with additional credit agencies to facilitate replanting of farms. The farmers also want to start lobbying local authorities to improve watershed management and start dredging rivers in order to avoid these problems in the future.
During times like these, it makes me really proud to be a part of an organization with farmer co-owners. Within the conventional banana trade, these disasters often leave farmers without a market, as traditional companies flee to source from different countries.
Our ownership structure is sincerely our most unique quality. This structure is what creates long standing relationship and a culture of commitment whereby we stand by our producer partners even when “inconvenient” difficulties arise that create gaps in our supply chain. We hope that you will do the same and stand by us during this difficult time.
Overview of Damage of Ecuador Flooding
A bird's eye view of loss in Ecuador:
51,300 people affected
3,645 people evacuated
490 experienced property loss
24 provinces affected
OKé Farm damage
25 acres of organic farm land
300 acres of conventional farm land
4% decreased production
6-9 month estimate to recover from damages
If you would like to see additional pictures of the Ecuadorian floods,
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
A simplified explanation of the process is that oxygen in the cooler is reduced from the approximately 21% in our atmosphere down to about 1%, and replaced with nitrogen. The carbon dioxide levels are controlled and the humidity is maintained at a very high 95%. Conditions may vary slightly depending on the particular apple being stored.
As we approach the new year, we may experience some diminishing in quality of the apples that have been stored in regular refrigeration for the 2 or 3 months after their normal harvest time. If we haven't had access to CA apples yet, you may think that your apple was not worth trying anymore. If you don't give up, you will find that the apples are back to their post-harvest quality and will remain pleasing until their supply is exhausted.
Controlled atmosphere storage has evolved since farmers in England began this practice prior to World War II. This is a routine and approved practice for certified organic apples.
—Allen Zimmerman, Produce Buyer
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Several weeks ago the conventional price started to climb, until last week when a 40 pound box of conventional bananas actually cost $5.00 more than the organic. Now the organic price is climbing and availability is becoming problematic.
It is becoming harder to find the bananas that we like, the Fair Trade, and we are forced to buy whatever we can get, including bagged and Dole.
Our price has been about $.69 per pound for so long. So long to that. The organic banana price will approach $1.00 per pound by March 10th and we don’t know where it is going.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Thursday, January 31, 2008
From Allen Zimmerman, produce buyer:
I received the following "News Flash" from a supplier on 1/29/08:
Dole Switches to Bio-diesel Fuel
After five months of testing, Dole Fresh Vegetables Co., a division of Dole Food Co. Inc., Westlake Village, Calif., has converted all of its harvesting equipment in Salinas, Calif., and in Yuma, Ariz., to B20 bio-diesel fuel, according to a news release. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined that B20 bio-diesel, a domestic renewable fuel for diesel engines that is derived from natural oils, has 20% less unburned hydrocarbons than conventional diesel as well as less carbon monoxide and particulate matter, the release said. "Being good stewards of the environment is very important to Dole, and this includes reducing emissions and using alternative sources of energy," said Kevin Fiori, Dole's senior vice president, agriculture operations. "Those of us in agriculture, who depend on the environment, land, water, and air quality to grow foods, are keenly aware of the importance of applying sustainable agricultural practices," he added.
The person who sent it to me was impressed that Dole made such an important environmental contribution. I was also impressed, but mostly because Dole managed to look "green" while possibly not helping the environment at all. I responded to my supplier:
"I’m not sure, but I think that bio-diesel may be worse for the environment than petroleum. Especially since it allows giant corporations to claim that they are green. Bio-diesel, so heavily dependant on corn, encourages mono-cultural farming, the acquisition of small family farms by giant corporate farms, is very involved with genetically engineered corn, uses tons of petroleum fertilizer. A good deal of the corn is grown overseas, for example India, where land is diverted from food production, and water is diverted from local consumption to irrigation."
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Cold weather in current growing regions, Florida, California, Texas, and Mexico, have led to various crop shortages and higher prices. Rain, wind, mud, and frost will affect the availability of many green things for a few weeks. Among the items that are most affected are artichokes, arugula, basil, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, cilantro, chard, collards, cucumbers, dandelion, escarole, all kales, leeks, lettuces, okra, parsleys, radishes, scallions, and spinach. The severest shortages will affect availability of salad mixes and baby spinach. All tomatoes are scarce, expensive and why do you all need to eat tomatoes in the winter anyway? Let this scarcity problem inspire you to try something new, and to continue to support our local family farmers by eating more roots.
The period of time beginning a week before Halloween and ending a week after New Year's is a time of extreme stress for the produce department. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year's require a great deal of handling of special orders, special items, special quantities, and oh so special needs, that it would be impossible to write during this period. In addition, our local abundance ends and we transition our sourcing for each item, one by one, to far away places, just when the peak shopping, cooking, and eating season occurs. I apologize for the lack of information during the last few months.