Thursday, December 24, 2009
In other brew news, we are blowing through the holiday beers. We've got some swell gift packs on the display shelf as well as a couple gems like the Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza and the Dieu du Ciel Solstice Hiver.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Turkeys, organic and non-. Ducks, and duck breasts. Rabbits. Whole beef tenderloins. Legs of lamb, bone-in, bone-out. French racks of lamb. Geese show up on Monday the 21st. Spiral-cut hams: bake 'em for dinner, or just leave 'em out on the sideboard with a loaf of good bread and the mustard-pot.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
So I'm sitting here listening to Jack Wagner's mega-hit "All I Need," which you may remember from the eighties when music was music and blackberries were fruit. His poignant words made me think of all the new products in the freezer and what one might say to themselves in aisle three while shopping. If "All I need..." is a new burrito, then look for the EVOL brand (formerly Phil's) Cilantro Lime Chicken burrito. A new addition added to meet the needs of certain General Coodinator's hunger for new and exciting hand-held vittles. If "All I need..." is a two pound bag of big, wild, frozen shrimp, than head to the meat freezer. We got two different brands of uncooked, shelled and devained shrimp from Mexico which is a responsible choice as far as Seafood Watch is concerned. Take a quick walk to the left if all you need is some new breakfast ideas and check out the free range turkey sausage from Stonewood Farms. Walk to the left and you might find that all you need is some five cheese, whole wheat ravioli from the Ravioli Store. And, if "All I need..." is some new ice cream, than it might actually take "...just a little more time to..." decide because there's a lot going on in there. A few weeks ago a member suggested a honey vanilla ice cream from Haagen Dazs. While I was checking this out online, I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only was the name clever, but Honey Bee Vanilla supports saving the bees! I'm running out of inspiration. The song is only a few minutes long and I can't write that fast. The other new ice creams include Coconut Bliss pineapple pints and chocolate bars, and the favorite of a certain freezer fan, Haagen Dazs Rocky Road. Ciao.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
The Coop is bursting at the seams with some amazing holiday and winter beers. Get them while you can because many had to be special ordered months in advance and when they run out, they're gone for a whole year.
Most all of these holiday gems can be aged to very good effect. Keep them cool and in the dark and they will treat you well in the coming years.
Here are some of the beers that are on the display shelf now:
- Brasserie De La Senne X-Mas Zinnebir
- Haandbryggerie Christmas Ale
- Jenlain Noel
- Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza
- La Choulette Noel
- Mahr's Christmas Bock
- Mikkeler Santa's Little Helper
- Nogne-O Winter
- Nogne-O Peculiar
- Nogne-O/Jolly Pumpkin/Stone Holiday Ale
- St. Bernardus Christmas
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
December is shaping up to feature some of the best of the Midwest.
From the Wisconsin Dairy Cooperative comes Dante. Aged at least 6 months and made from pasteurized sheep milk, it is slightly sharp, nutty and almost a bit meaty in flavor.
Dunbarton Blue is an earthy cheddared-blue, open air cured, giving it the feel of an English cheddar, but spiked with the delicate, subtle flavor of a fine blue. Made by Chris Roelli in Southwest Wisconsin.
Marieke Penterman moved to Thorp, Wisconsin in 2002 from her native Holland. No one makes Gouda live the Dutch. No one. Add to that farmstead fresh milk and unique wooden aging shelves and voila! Real Wisconsin Gouda. We have the one year and Foenegreek varieties currently.
Made with their own homestead milk, Saxon Creamery creates some of the most original, beautiful cheeses available anywhere. And now the Coop has two: Green Fields - a semi-soft washed rind raw cow's milk cheese. And Big Ed's - a young, mild, yet flavorful table cheese.
Monday, November 30, 2009
The days of too much are upon us – richly larded meals, holiday parties o’ plenty. ‘Tis the time of year to ride the savory-sweet express. As an antidote to this delicious mess, I offer a quiet and rare selection of tart, dry, palate-en-living beers. These are light, refreshing beliner weisses, Flemish reds, and lambics.
I love the tart beers and tend to serve them as the champagne course. They play well with the wine crowd and are more affordable than the usual champagnes or white wines that are recommended for appetizers and salads. All of these beers are relatively low in alcohol, another plus when you have a lot of merrymaking ahead of you.
Here is a shortlist of what will rotate on one corner of the display beer rack, more description to follow:
- Brauerei Weihenstephan1809 Berliner Weisse
- Rodenbach Red
- Bruery Hottenroth Berliner Weisse
- Hanssens Mead the Gueuze
- Hanssens Oudbeitje Lambic
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Van Engelen amaryllis and paperwhite bulbs are here. These bulbs come with a flower pot and potting soil and instructions. They are high quality--we've been selling them for years without complaint. If you start them now, they should be blooming in about 6 weeks. They do best in sunny window in a cool room. They should be planted soon as they are programmed to grow and will burst out of their box toward light if neglected. They will keep for a few weeks in the dark in the refrigerator. This is the only shipment of bulbs we'll be getting--they don't ship as the weather gets cooler
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Turkey Shmurkey I say. This time of year has much more to offer than some big old bird. The freezer alone is a veritable cornucopia of festive vittles. There's familiar faces like Adirondack Creamery's pumpkin ice cream, apple pie from Vermont Mystic Pie Co. and vegan pumpkin pie from Wholly Wholesome. Oh, and don't forget the Tofurkey. What forward thinking host would even think of leaving out their vegan/vegetarian friends. I shudder to even think of it. The freezer would also like to welcome some new members such as Gillian's gluten free pie shells, Vermont Mystic Pie Co. pie shells, and peppermint ice cream from Adirondack Creamery. This ice cream is pretty awesome. The peppermint pieces floating around in there are made just over the river and through the woods (locally).
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Buy your 2009 turkey early!!! Why? Because veteran Coop Thanksgiving shoppers know they need to pick theirs early to get EXACTLY the size and style they want. The smaller birds sell out especially quickly.
All turkeys are delivered fresh, except for the frozen Wise Kosher Organic. All are free-range, locally raised, hormone-and antibiotic-free. Some are from smaller farms than others, though NONE are raised by those evil farmers you read about in the papers. Some are certified organic. See listings by date for details.
Tuesday, November 17
FROZEN, Wise Kosher Certified Organic (Pennsylvania)
10 to 24 lbs., $4.85 lb.
Thursday, November 19
Bell & Evans (New Jersey)
8 to 26 lbs., $2.31 lb.
Friday, November 20
Plainville Farms Pasture-raised (New York)
16 to 24 lbs., $2.75 lb.
Eberly Certified Organic (Pennsylvania)
8 to 24 lbs., $4.25 lb.
Koch Certified Organic (Pennnsylvania)
8 to 24 lbs., $3.96 lb.
Monday, November 23
McDonald Farm Heritage Breed (American Bronze) (New York)
12 to 26 lbs., $4.26 lb.
Stonewood Farm Pasture-raised (Vermont)
12 to 20 lbs., $3.12 lb.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Behold - new kale chips have arrived at the Coop, and they are made locally. Sure, the Coop defines local as anywhere within a 500 mile radius, but what do you call it if it's made half a mile away? I'd say that's loco local. The new raw kale chips are from NY Naturals, the natural food store on Flatbush & 6th Avenue, and are delivered to us -- freshly made! -- several times a week. They are selling for a very fair price: $4.84 for a 3.5 oz package. Look for them in Aisle 7 in the small chip section.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
LA Times has a review of the various "milks" you can find in our dairy case and in Aisle 3A. It gives a nutritional profile of each and, for those of you with allergies, also what each does not contain. Soy is no longer the only non-dairy alternative to milk. The new "milks" have cut into sales of soy milk at the Coop.
Grab a glass of O.J. before rushing out the house each morning? Persuade your kids to drink one too? Buy Tropicana because it is not made from concentrate? "Not from concentrate" seems to be a term of art--it actually is pasteurized, stripped of oxygen and stored in huge aseptic tanks. When it is packaged for sale, "flavor derived from orange essence and oils is added to make it taste fresh," according to Alissa Hamilton, whose book, Squeezed: What You Don't Know about Orange Juice, has just been published by Yale Press. The citrus juice industry is dominated by Pepsi (Tropicana) and Coca Cola (Minute Maid), and the juice is increasingly being imported from Brazil.
The Smart Choices food labeling program is being phased out as reported in NYTimes. A major concern with the program was that the largest food companies (Kelloggs, General Mills) were applying the label to highly processed foods. The FDA is allegedly considering establishing standards for front of the box nutrition labeling.
And in case you missed it, the work requirement at the Park Slope Food Coop made the Metro section today (and the online version, Friday). The online version has a terrific evening photo of the coop compared to the dreadful drawings in the print version. Lots of comments--
Friday, October 23, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
VOTE! T-SHIRT! CONTEST! VOTE! T-SHIRT! CONTEST! VOTE! T-SHIRT! CONTEST!
The entries are in for the Coop’s first-ever T-shirt design contest, and now it’s time for you to vote for your favorite(s).
Check out the entries and vote online or in person at the Coop.
The winning design will be made into a T-shirt to be sold at the Coop in time for the holidays! (Did we mention the lucky winner gets a year’s worth of FTOP shifts?)
Monday, October 19, 2009
Two Cheeses from Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes Station:
Just North of the San Francisco Bay, Mt. Tamalpais rises like a monument to Northern California's natural beauty. In deference, Cowgirl Creamery named its signature cheese MT TAM. It's a smooth, creamy, elegant, 10-oz, triple-cream - made with tasty organic milk from the Straus Family Dairy. MT TAM is firm, yet buttery with a mellow, earthy flavor reminiscent of white mushrooms.
Cowgirl Creamery captures the essence of West Marin with its Red Hawk, a triple-cream, washed-rind, fully-flavored cheese made from organic cow's milk from the Straus Family Dairy. Aged six weeks and washed with a brine solution that promotes the growth of a bacteria that tints the rind a sunset red-orange, Red Hawk won Best-In-Show at the American Cheese Society's Annual Conference in 2003.
Two Cheeses from Bellwether Farms in Sonoma County:
Carmody is an artisanal cow's milk cheese made with the milk from Jersey cows. The cheese is aged for at least 6 weeks. This gourmet cheese has a golden color, a smooth texture and a wonderful flavor with buttery intensity. As it ages the flavor becomes sweeter with hints of caramel.
Rich and buttery with stiff notes of tart yeast to balance it, Crescenza is modeled after the centuries-old Italian cheese, Stracchino di Crescenza. Bellwether's Crescenza is a soft-ripened cow's milk cheese without a rind to hold back the luscious ooze. Spread it over crackers, bread, fruit -- anything you want imbued with creamy intensity.
And Three cheeses from Redwood Hill Farm in Sonoma County:
Camellia is a luscious, goat milk Camembert-style cheese. It has a mild, buttery flavor and firm texture when young, becoming softer and more complex with age.
Crottin has a wrinkly, geotrichum candidum rind, a fluffy texture and robust, earthy flavor.
Redwood Hill Raw Goat Milk Feta is a pure raw goat milk formed it into blocks by hand. It is then brined for 18 hours before being bagged for aging.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
So I know it's not that cold yet but it will be soon and you need to be prepared. You can't expect to make it through your day in a freezer fueled by salads and berries anymore. You need a good warm meal if you want to even have a chance of getting through the frigid months ahead. What is the best weapon in this war on cold? CHILI! Normally I would suggest putting a big pot on the fire and making your own. Such practices build character and are good for the community (don't be selfish, you need to share the pot of chili) but when you have Manhattan Chili Co. at your finger tips, I say go for it. Less time in the kitchen means more time fighting the good fight!
Currently there are three different kinds to try, with the possibilities of more to come in the future. High Plains Turkey is a medium heat chili filled with tomatoes, corn, and white beans. Totally Vegetable is a mild vegan offering with kidney beans, bell peppers, corn and peas. Finally, we have Ginger Chicken. Ginger Chicken? We were also a bit skeptical about this one. "What is this impostor doing here? This stuff has ginger and mushrooms in it. We were given strict orders to eat chili!" After extensive testing and research, we have approved this chili for deployment to your bellies. Eat well, smile at your friends and most importantly, stay warm.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
So what products made the cut: Fruit loops and Fudgsicles. I haven't noticed the Smart Choice label on any products that the Coop carries--maybe Kellogg's Raisin Bran is too, too healthy. But then I haven't looked.
Have you tried these delicious new Lebanese products yet? Made in the neighborhood at Tripoli Restaurant on Atlantic Avenue—now that's LOCAL!
NEW PREPARED FOODS FROM TRIPOLI RESTAURANT:
Mujadra Burgule (lentils with cracked wheat) Pint- $3.93
Mujadra b’ riz (lentils with rice) Pint- $3.93
Wara Anib b’ zeit (vegetarian grape leaves) 8 oz $3.80
Baba ghanouj 8 oz $3.75
Hummus 8 oz $3.15
Bamia b’ zeit (okra w/tom & pomegranate) 8 oz $3.33
Khair ‘b leban (cucumber salad) pint $3.15
Spinach pie 2 piece- $4.11
Foul m’damas (fava beans and chickpeas) pint $2.42
Baklava 4 oz. $3.63
Rice Pudding 4 oz. $3.63
Black Olives (in the Cheese case) $2.52/lb
NEW NON-REFRIGERATED ITEMS INCLUDE:
Ancient Tree Olive Oil 750 ml $9.68
Distilled Rose Water 250 ml $7.05
Distilled Orange Blossom Water 250 ml $7.05
Pomegranate Nectar 350 gm $7.87
(Non-refrigerated items are currently being stocked on the display end cap across from the chicken.)
Ancient Tree Olive Oil Soap 5.33 oz $3.03 (located in aisle 5A)
Valley Thunder is raw mixed milk cheese (cow and sheep milk) hand milled in a process similar to traditional Cheddars. Crumbly but smooth - cave-caged a minimum of 9 months.
Oldwick Shepherd - is a raw sheep milk cheese in the Ossau-Iraty style - semi-firm and smooth with a nutty flavor. Cave-aged a minimum of 3 months.
Nettlesome - another mixed raw milk cheese with stinging nettle leaves. Smooth texture and chive-like flavor and aroma.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Our previous supplier of the Pur products was recently sold, and we were unable to get the Pur replacement filters. Karen tracked down a new supplier, and we expect to be able to get these filters on a regular basis.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
The coop does indeed sell a low-grade saffron, packaged by Roland, hanging in Aisle 2A over the bulk spices.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Monday, September 07, 2009
It's not smooth or milky. But no, it's not like eating cocoa-dusted ground glass either. Taza chocolate is grainy, crunchy, chocolatey, not too sugary, with a hint of vanilla. And that's all that goes into it, all organic and minimally processed. It's produced by a small, environmentally- and socially-responsible company based in Massachusetts. Find it on the display endcap across from the Coop Tees.
Also look for Taza discs—for hot chocolate, cooking or eating out of hand. They come in flavors like yerba maté, guajillo chili and salted almond. Don't bother looking for instructions on how to turn those discs into hot chocolate anywhere on the packaging. It's not there. But it's here, from Taza's website. You won't see it below, but Taza's detailed recipe mention something about adding rum, bourbon, tequila, vanilla...
We just replaced the Marcal facial tissue "cubes" with Field Day tissues. The Field Day tissues are softer than Marcal, yet made of 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Please consider making the switch from Kleenex, which has no recycled paper content. And you'll save money--Field Day is at least 40% cheaper than Klennex.
You can download Green Peace's recommendations for purchasing paper products here.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
You may have noticed the cured meat item next to the new prosciutto and pancetta down in the meat cases. The La Quercia brand. And you may have wondered, what the heck is Speck?
Speck is a smoked prosciutto from the Tyrol, a region on the border of Italy and Austria. After being cured in salt and spices, the ham is cold-smoked, using a hardwood like beech or (as ours is) applewood.
Okay, so what does this mean to us?
In short, it means we now have a delicious and comparatively low-fat alternative to smoked bacon, which can be used in dishes that call for prosciutto or pancetta but in which you want a hint of smoke flavor. Or in dishes that use smoked ham or bacon, but you want to strike a more subtle note.
The classic Roman pasta all'amatriciana is a fine example. This simple combination of bacon, onion, and tomato benefits enormously from the flavor of speck. The other night I sauteed 3 ounces (one package) of speck, chopped, in a tablespoon of olive oil. When it began to color I added a chopped onion and a few gratings of black pepper. When the onion went transparent, in went a half-dozen large quartered plum tomatoes. A half-hour of simmering yielded a thick and aromatic sauce to be stirred into cooked linguine and topped with grated asiago. Best all'amatriciana we ever had...and I've made in in the past with everything from deli ham to guanciale.
When we sampled the La Quercia pancetta and prosciutto, we didn't think speck was something that would become a Coop favorite. But after tasting it, everyone here agreed that it certainly deserved to be.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Now that they are about to disappear as it will soon no longer be the season....... Smooze! coconut ices have been a big hit this summer. They come in shelf stable packaging, ten to a box, that you freeze. Four flavors--passion, mango, guava and pineapple. The aseptic package is admittedly difficult to wrangle: you need kitchen shears rather than kiddie scissors.
They are vegan, relatively inexpensive, not too heavy on the calories (70) and refreshing. But soon they will disappear along with the ever-popular Cool Fruits pops, so stock up now.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Q:So what IS all this fancy stuff anyway?
A: The rear end-cap is where we put strange and mysterious items that don't have a regular spot or we're trying out or that are seasonal or temporary.
Q: No, you didn't hear me. What IS it?
A: Oh, I'm sorry I misunderstood. On the top shelf there are vinegars and oils, the next shelf is honeys and condiments and . . .
Q: Could you just go through each item please?
A: I thought you'd never ask.
On the top left of the case are some lovely vinegars ranging in price from cheap to very expensive.
From right to left are Delouis Bordeaux wine vinegar - a great mid-priced salad vinegar, Mutti tomato vinegar - unique and inexpensive, two wine vinegars from Unio in Spain: Cabernet and Moscatel, and the Benimosu Purple Potato vinegar from Japan - very expensive and hard to find.
At the end, on the right is Verjus Du Perigord - a great item to use in place of cooking wine or a pan de-glazer.
The Casa Forcello mostardas, compotes and confitures are cheese condiments that will expand your cheese plates and make a splash at you next dinner party.
The mostardas (whole fruit and pectin, flavored with mustard essence) are available in Plum, White Watermelon, Crab Apple and Green Tomato. These are great paired with roast meats and hard cheeses.
The Compotes (Pumpkin Ginger and Strawberry Balsamic) are excellent paired with fresh goat cheeses and chicken dishes.
The Blood Orange Confiture - captures the essence of the fruit, with just the right amount of zest - it is the perfect accompaniment to many, many foods.
On the next shelf down are an assortment of syrups and glazes.
On the left is a line of vinegars and savory toppings from Vincotto. We carry the Original, Orange and the Fig Vinegar.
The next in line is Terra de Espana Sherry Glazes - amazing on roasts, chicken or poured straight on ice cream!
Saba. What can I say? Its cooked grape must, similar to the vincotto, sweet and mellow - great drizzled on beets!
Crema Balsamico - a white balsamic reduction. If you know what it is, you know how expensive it is.
Pomegranate Molasses - a middle eastern syrup that makes a great tangy dressing when mixed with olive oil.
This shelf has a few items that you should know about.
The first is the various quince pastes (Membrillo) that we carry - original and Plum. Serve with hard Spanish cheeses - a classic with Manchego.
Date Almond Cakes. Another lovely addition to any cheese plate.
Dill and Fennel Pollen - Italian cooks swear by these products - they add them to everything. Tell me what you add them to.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Our determination to find the finest cured and smoked goodies for the Coop Protein Case has led us to La Quercia Artisan Cured Meats. La Quercia products have been praised by the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Bon Appetit, and slews of those terribly famous celebrity chefs you see on the teevee. Vogue food critic Jeffey Steingarten wrote that La Quercia makes "the best American -- or imported -- prosciutto I've ever tasted." The meats are produced through traditional dry-curing, using only sea salt -- no lactic acid, nitrates, or nitrites. Made from humanely raised, anitbiotic-free Berkshire pork.
We're carrying the following items, all presliced and in 3-oz. packaging.
Prosciutto Americano: dry-cured ham sliced thin, and usually served uncooked as an antipasto, or on sandwiches.
Pancetta Americano: pork belly that has been salt-cured and spiced (bay, pepper, juniper). Often used to flavor other dishes, especially pastas such as carbonara and all’amatriciana.
Speck Americano: juniper-flavored dry-cured and smoked ham originally from Tyrol, a region partially in Austria and partially in Italy. The light smoking (over applewood) differentiates it from the sweeter prosciutto. Use like prosciutto, or as a substitute for bacon.
Due to lack of space in the Red Meat Case, look for La Quercia in the 12-foot Poultry Case, down near the terrines, pates, and other charcuterie.
Toma Celena - A recent American Cheese Society winner in the Best European Style Cheese category, this natural-rind, semi-hard cheese is very nutty and complex. It goes well with hearty red wines and flavorful beers like Ommegang's Rare Vos.
Here we are cutting open a wheel in the basement.
Toma Con Brio - A nod to the bloomy rind cheeses of France, Cooperstown adds a unique twist by making the wheels double thick. Single cream (less that 60% milk fat by weight), but with a wonderful consistency and earthy flavor. Pairs well with dry Chardonnay or thick, heavy porters.
Jersey Girl - We all have a certain New Jersey girl that we have a secret crush on, don't we . . .?
This one is made with the Colby procedure (similar to cheddar, but does not undergo the cheddaring process), but is much more flavorful because the milk is raw and from a single herd of grass-fed Jersey cows.
"Scape" From New York - No, this one does not star Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken, it stars plenty of New York State garlic scapes all mixed into a raw milk cheese aged just 60 days. The Park Slope Food Coop is the only place you'll find this cheese in NYC.
I've never tasted anything like it. Addictive and flavorful, I don't think you'll be able to get enough.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
- Versatile: Not just for salad, they also work as marinades, over veggies, etc.
- Not just for Raw Foodists: Use them on cooked vegetables or meat.
- Low Calorie: Only 5 calories per serving -- not bad, considering the typical salad dressing has somewhere around 100 - 150 calories per serving.
- Low Carb: No added sugar
So try them already! They are in our Egg/Tofu case because they are refrigerated.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
New in the Coop: So Delicious Coconut Milk. Half-gallons. Original and Vanilla. Refrigerated. Delicious.
Made by Turtle Mountain (the same company that brings us those amazing non-dairy frozen desserts), their website claims that this is "The world's first coconut milk beverage." Certainly an interesting newcomer to the non-dairy milk scene, only time will tell whether coconut becomes a regular in the line-up that currently includes soy, rice, hemp, and nut milks. Look for it in the Milk/Juice Case next to the Almond Breeze.