Monday, December 27, 2010
With a flurry of activity, Coop staffers and early morning receivers cleared the driveway and sidewalk in front of the Coop this blustery morning. However, we only received two small deliveries. But the store is well-stocked because so many members went away for the weekend. Several tractor trailers were turned back within blocks of the Coop because the streets were blocked by all those Brooklynites who felt compelled to drive themselves into a snowbank and then left their vehicles blocking the streets.
We're ready for deliveries tomorrow. Don't miss your shift. Park in our cleared driveway at your peril!
Monday, December 20, 2010
Dieu de Ciel Solstice D’Hiver (Montreal, Quebec) An American style barleywine that is dark in color with a reddish tint. It has a sharp bitterness that is offset by notes of cherry, malt, and caramel. You can taste the high abv in this one. Try pairing with something nutty and sweet, like a fruity cookie.
Kerkon Bink Grand Cru (Belgium) This Belgium Strong Ale is strong by today’s standards, ranking at a 13% abv. It pours almost as dark as a stout thanks to its holiday assortment of winter-dried fruits. Think figs, raisins, and Ebenezer Scrooge on Xmas morn.
Oppigards Winter (Sweden) A very drinkable winter ale with that pours a warm copper color with a creamy head. Notes of hop, citrus, and black tea make for a full-bodied flavor, but without that I’m-too-full-to-eat-now feeling. Pair with funky cheeses, apricots, and your favorite dark, seedy bread.
Stella di Natale Troll (Italy) A dark, Belgium-style strong ale with a warm combination of cocoa, spice, and toasted malt to unwind with by your real (or imaginary) fireplace. Serve in a trappist glass and enjoy slowly so none of the subtle notes go unnoticed. Then, go to bed.
‘T Smisje Kerst (Belgium) This Dark Strong Christmas Ale definitely wins the award for cutest label, but what’s inside the package is just as good. A dark amber pour with a creamy head that delivers a yeasty, hard-candy taste. It finishes with a hint of smokiness.
Baird Jubilation (Japan) The first Christmas Ale to hit stateside from Baird. Pours an almost-transparent amber, has a nice fizz, and is chock full of honey, cinnamon and spice.
Baird Dark Sky (Japan) A very rich, dark imperial stout, chock full of a toasty hoppiness thanks to being brewed with a variety of 5 different hops and 8 types of malt. A chemistry experiment gone right! Pour into a round glass, lament over the darkness of the beer sky, and enjoy.
De Struise Tsjeese (Belgium) Fast drinkers be warned. This light, clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg Christmas ale, with it’s earthy-yet-crisp base, goes down as easy as that first glass of eggnog. But with its 10% abv, it demands to be savored!
Haandbryggeriet Nissefar, “Father Christmas” (Norway) This is a thick glass of Norwegian night, packed tightly into a bitter hops explosion. After adjusting to the hops, take the next sip to notice notes of pine. Low on carbonation, it is a bit like drinking a pint off the cask.
St. Feuillien/Green Flash Biere L’Amitie (California) A collaboration of impressive brewers, this Belgian style Pale Ale is seasonal for the southern states. Rich with citrus, coriander, and dry hops. A perfect medium-bodied pour.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Contrary to some beliefs, all garlic is NOT equal.
Have you tried our local Organic Elephant Garlic from upstate? A relative of the leek, many people mistakenly believe to be a giant variety of regular garlic. The contrast in flavor is often likened to the difference between leeks and onions; sweeter and generally less intense. From raw to roasted, it can be enjoyed in nearly any savory dish.
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
The coop is now selling Kettle Tia chips, a delicious Dorito-esque chips. We will carry four flavors - Zesty Ranch, Chili con Carne, Salsa Picante, and Nacho Cheese. We also have a new sweet flavor of Stacy's Pita Chip - Cinnamon Sugar. Happy winter party and football season!
Friday, December 03, 2010
Thursday, December 02, 2010
400lbs (768 cups) Organic Cranberry
800lbs of Shallots
1500lbs of Leeks
1750lbs (2,100 bags) of Non-Organic Cranberries
3,200 pounds of Mushrooms
3600lbs of Brussell Sprouts, 310 Brussell Stalks & 450lbs Baby Brussell Sprouts
4,400 Bunches of Kale
4,439 (bags and cups) of Herbs (1019 Organic , 3420 Non-Organic)
3/4 tons of Pumpkin
1 ton of Beets
3,300 stalks of Celery
1 1/2 tons of Cauliflower
4 tons of Winter Squash (1 3/4 tons of Butternut)
5 tons of Carrots
5 tons of Onions
5 tons of Clementines (1981 boxes = 64,000 clementines)
5.75 tons of Sweet Potato (287 cases)
6 tons of Potato (235 cases)
9+tons of Local Apples 481 cases
9 tons of Bananas (432 cases = 50,000 bananas)...may seem like a high number, BUT it's actually a seasonal low.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
We have fifty-some unsold Thanksgiving turkeys, now FROZEN HARD and DISCOUNTED (price is as marked). Take this opportunity to buy an American Bronze heritage turkey -- $2.95 lb. CHEAP -- for the winter holidays. Defrost in the refrigerator for at least four days before roasting.
We will not be bringing in any fresh turkeys until these sell out...in any case, we won't be getting any more fancy heritage birds, which were raised just for the Coop by McDonald Farm, in NY's Finger Lakes region. Consider these facts well, my friends.
There are also a few Countryboy Farm turkeys (also raised just for us, in Lancaster, Pa., by Amish guys) and Eberly Organics left. Also frozen and discounted. But they're mostly heritage. You've always wanted a heritage, haven't you?
Cooked Salad Shrimp, wild-caught from Oregon, low contaminant levels. You'll be pleased to know that bycatch of sea turtles and other endangered species is rare in the cold waters of Oregon, and the shrimp population assessment and management involve limiting the number of fishing vessels to avoid overfishing. Just in time for holiday entertaining, these peeled, steamed tiny shrimp are perfectly cooked and just the right size for canapés and shrimp salad. They are succulent and briny-sweet. (They're great stand-ins for lobster in lobster roll "sliders!") If using in soups, fried rice, gumbo, etc., add the shrimp at the last minute so as not to overcook.
Clams on the Half-Shell from Ben Tre, Vietnam. Hand-harvested using rakes to minimize environmental damage and bycatch. The Ben Tre province clam fishery is operated and managed by a cooperative formed by local fisherpeople. It is the first small-scale, community-based fishery in Southeast Asia to get MSC certification. The frozen clams on the half-shell have been scrubbed, de-sanded and pre-cooked. Great for clams casino or paella. Or shuck for pasta, soups and chowders.
Alaska sole, trawled from the Pacific where sole population is healthy and has considerably less exposure to mercury and PCBs. It has a silky texture and buttery flavor, making it an excellent candidate for the simplest of preparations, like pan frying or broiling. Much like tilapia or trout, the fillets are thin and much leaner than salmon or tuna, so it's best to use them frozen to preserve moisture, or thawed just so you can cut them into portions. You don’t have to remember to defrost; just fire up the stove. And yes, Joe, they bake beautifully. Salt, pepper and brush with olive oil while still frozen, place fillets on well-seasoned pan (or a cookie sheet lined with Silpat), in a very hot oven, 15-20 minutes, add capers and lemon segments.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Yes. Well. People seem to want to eat turkeys at Thanksgiving, so I suppose we'd better lay in a few.
Today we have on hand 37 Wise Kosher Organic, ranging from 12-18 pounds, priced at $4.92 a pound. We also have 200 Plainvilles, same size range, at $2.79.
Tomorrow we get the Bell & Evans and Murray's turkeys. 8-24 lbs. $2.44.
Friday the excitement rises as we see the arrival of the Eberly Organic (perennial Coop fave, 8-24 lbs @ $4.31), and something new for us: 250 birds specially raised for us by the Amish poultrypersons at Countryboy Farm of Lancaster, Pa...part of the Lancaster Farm Fresh Coop ($2.72). No idea about the size range, since we bought their entire rafter.
We round things off on Monday, Nov. 22, with the extremely popular birds of Vermont's Stonewood Farm (12-20 lbs, $3.32), and -- for the third year -- the American Bronze heritage turkeys ($4.32) that Peter McDonald and his family grow for us up in the Finger Lakes, at McDonald Farm. Peter's solved the fox-in-the-henhouse problem this year, so we expect to receive the full 180 he started with last spring. Enough for all the heritage-fancying foodies in the Coop, we hope.
All these birds have been delivered FRESH, except for the kosher ones. And, needless to say, all are free-ranging, locally raised, hormone and antibiotic free.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Plymouth Artisan Cheese Co - we're carrying the Original Plymouth, which is sharp with notes of butter, fruit and nuts. And also the East Meadow with a mellower flavor and subtler texture. Look for these in the new cheese case.
5 Spoke Creamery - we're carrying all three of the kosher certified pre-wrapped cheeses that they have to offer: Herbal Jack, Redmond Cheddar and Welsh Cheddar. Also in the new cheese case.
Dancing Cow - check out Bouree, a washed-rind wonder and Lindy Hop, a light creamy blue.
Lazy Lady Farm - new in from Laini is Mixed Emotions. You can't miss this. Get it while you can. A natural rind mixed milk cheese reminiscent of Tomme de Savoie, only lovingly crafted by leftist-leaning Vermont homesteading goat farmers. Unbelievable.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
It is hard to miss the snappy Vermont Mystic apple pie box in the ice cream freezer. As the staff No. 1 Picky Eater (and a pretty good baker), I recommend this pie. The ingredients include Cabot butter, King Arthur flour and a flavorful mixture of Empire, Northern Spy and Cortland apples. Unlike most frozen pies, this pie is frozen immediately after it is assembled but it is not baked. When you pull this pie freshly baked out of your oven, you will not be disappointed and your kitchen will smell wonderful. The price makes this pie a steal for your holiday table. You could pass the pie off as your very own homemade, but then don't forget to hide the box.
Divine Advent calendars are here. Each window yields a small piece of milk chocolate. The cover of the calendar illustrates the story of the harvest of chocolate in Ghana, leading to the Nativity scene. Window opening starts December 1st!
Dancing Deer gingerbread house kits have also arrived. A good deal of assembly is required--including baking the dough. But that gives you an edible house that is actually tasty. The kit has the template, the dough mix, ginger people cutters and royal icing mix. You provide the gumdrops and other decoration. A percentage of the price is donated to organizations that aid the homeless.
The coop is awash in gold coins--the milk chocolate kind. Hannukah begins December 2. Our gold coins are made of Fair Trade Chocolate by Divine.
Now is the fleeting moment at the Coop when amaryllis and paperwhite bulbs are available. After next week, we will not receive anymore closer to Christmas because Van Engelen will not ship in colder weather.
Purchase now and plant or take the bulb out of the box and store the bulb in a cool place. Everything you need is in the gift box. Don't wait too long to plant the bulb--it is programmed to sprout soon and will start growing out of the box, even if left in the dark
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Food waste--how much food do you throw out of your refrigerator each week? NYT covers an interesting book by Jonathan Bloom American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food." In addition to crops left in the field, spoilage during shipping and supermarket waste, one study found that up to 40% of food waste happens in the home. It appears we are less ambitious when it comes to cooking the food that we enthusiastically purchase. Increasingly people are concerned about food safety and are unwilling to eat less than pristine food. Food in the landfill creates methane, and that green stuff you are throwing away is actually money. Not to be a total scrouge, but we all might want to reevaluate just how festive the groaning holiday spread is.
Because of our picky food coop shoppers, our produce is frequently culled. We have at least one or two large soup kitchen pickups six days a week. And we compost tons and tons of spoiled produce each year in the local community gardens. No dumpster diving here!
Thursday, October 28, 2010
But actually every month is Fair Trade month. New products: Natural Nectar's biscuits, slathered with Fair Trade chocolate. They did not stint with the chocolate, and this classic French "biscuit" is very good, indeed.
We sell lots of Fair Trade chocolate.
Equal Exchange chocolate comes in lots of flavors--the Panama dark is the Coop's favorite. But don't hesitate to try the new chocolate caramel crunch. Of course, we sell hundreds of pounds of Equal Exchange coffee purchased from farmer-owned cooperatives around the world. Soon they will be introducing a new line of teas.
Madecasse chocolate was developed by a former Peace Corps volunteer who worked in Madagascar. The chocolate beans are grown and made into chocolate in Madagascar. Almost all other chocolate is made from beans shipped to Europe. This provides jobs in the country of origin and allows them to reap the added value. Raw cocoa beans are relatively cheap--the finished chocolate is not. Madecasse has a salt and chocolate nibs bar.
Divine chocolate is very popular at the Coop. And now that we are approaching the holidays, their boxed mints, gelt coins and their Advent calendar with some bits of chocolate behind the windows are all available. They have some new holiday bars in sparkling packaging: dark chocolate with orange and ginger and milk chocolate with spiced cookies. Divine products are very tasty as well, and the chocolate is from a farmer-owned cooperative in Ghana.
We sell lots of Wholesome Foods Fair Trade sweeteners: light and dark brown sugar, raw sugar, agave, and honey. Please consider using these sugars for all of your holiday baking.
Friday, October 15, 2010
A dark green leaved romaine splashed with wine-red speckles. Imagine dipping a paintbrush in red paint and giving it a hard shake onto your romaine lettuce. You've got the picture. Your taste buds will like it too, for its rich buttery flavor.
These are organic and come from Lancaster Farm Fresh Coop in Pennsylvania.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Saturday, October 02, 2010
New salsas, locally made, riffing off the five boroughs theme. Brooklyn of course is hot, Manhattan is mild and pure, Staten Island mild and green, Queens medium and tropical and the Bronx burnt and hot. Make of that what you will. Their interpretation of salsa is sauce--and Queen's tropical is a curry sauce, not the standard corn chip dipping salsa.
The Brooklyn Salsa Co guys told us they were sourcing their tomatoes from Amy Hepworth this summer. Their website has recipes on how to use up that jar of salsa quickly--ranging from Buffalo burgers to Manhattan Michelada (1/2 jar salsa, can of Pabst Blue Ribbon + lime). Save the better beer to drink with the Buffalo burgers.
The salsa is made at Glen Industries. Their website says they provide opportunities for individuals with varying abilities. Brooklyn Salsa is currently sold on the back endcap, across from the poultry case.
Friday, October 01, 2010
Where has all the Sabra gone?
To Virginia. That's right folks, the Sabra manufacturing plant has been moved from Queens to Virginia. That's one of the reasons we decided to try out a new local brand called Sonny & Joe's.
Here's a little more history:
The original Sabra Blue & White Foods was started in Queens, NY in 1986. In 2005 the international food company, Strauss Group, bought a majority share share in Sabra Blue & White Foods. Then in March 2008 PepsiCo and Strauss Group formed a joint-venture partnership (PepsiCo has a 50% share) and renamed Sabra Blue & White Foods to Sabra Dipping Company. This year Sabra Dipping Company also built a new manufacturing facility in Richmond, Virginia and moved the production south (the headquarters remain in Queens.)
So what makes Sonny & Joe's worth trying? It's local for one--made in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in small batches so we get the freshest they have to offer. Try it, we think you'll like the fresh taste, creamy texture. You may even like it better than Sabra!
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Red's 11 oz burritos are now in the freezer case. Red's burritos got a thumbs up from the hardworking (and hungry) staff. Nutritional info suggests each burrito is two servings--so go find a friend or eat the 600 calories by yourself. Sour cream is the killer ingredient. Four flavors: rice & bean, turkey mole, chicken and steak.
Root beer float and peaches n'cream are Alden's ice cream newest flavors. Their vanilla is our top selling ice cream. It's organic and the price is right. The nutritional profile suggests you go out and get twelve friends to share a 48 oz tub--then there are only 160 calories per half cup. The tag "All Natural" is coming under increasing scrutiny. Organic tapioca syrup is natural--but is it natural that it is in Alden's ice cream?
Ben & Jerry's went further down the slippery additives slope--the Center for Science in the Public Interest didn't think that it was fair that they call their ice cream "All Natural" while containing un-natural ingredients like maltodextrin. The company, which sold out to Unilever long ago, recently agreed to drop the "All Natural" from the front of their containers.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Here's a sweet story about Ronnybrook, if you want to know more about them.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
There have been some quality issues with the small kettle chips so I discontinued them for the time being. We are now carrying 4 flavors of Dirty Chips: Sea Salt, Jalepeño, Sour Cream & Onion and Salt & Pepper. We also have Boulder Chips in 3 flavors: Totally Natural, Malt Vinegar and BBQ. Also, we carry locally made North Fork potato chips in BBQ and Salt. All the small chips are aisle 7.
Also there are 2 new large-sized tortilla chips in the produce aisle. There are "Fiesta Sized" 22 oz Garden of Eatin' White Restaurant-Style Corn chips and 16oz RedHot Blues.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Ever feel disappointed that the fresh jalapenos lack bite? I'm not a fan of garlic, but instead use hot peppers as my most basic seasoning, regardless if I'm cooking Indian, Italian or Chinese. So rather than take a chance, I always buy habanero, or Scotch bonnet, peppers whenever they are available. They never disappoint. I sometimes find myself coughing when the pepper hits the hot oil and volatile fumes are released--but it is an easy way to clear the sinuses. It is a good idea to wear gloves when chopping hot peppers. The oils can stay on your hands for some time, and it is very painful if you happen to rub your eyes.
A Perk of Our Evolution: Pleasure in the Pain of Chilies is an amusing article in the New York Times. Apparently we humans are the only mammals foolish enough to seek out hot chilies to eat. Habanero peppers can be found in the mixed hot peppers sold at the Coop.
Amy Hepworth says it is time to bring out the canning jars--she is discounting her plum tomatoes this week. We'll be selling them for $21.78 for a 25 lb case. Which is less than one dollar a pound--a great price for organic, local tomatoes.
We've got the Ball jars--sold above the potatoes in Aisle 1A.
The internet is full of canning How To's and lots of recipes--here's one site. Pasta sauce, salsa, tomato jam. If you are too timid to jump right in, you can get prepared for next year by attending the Brooklyn Skills Share home canning class being offered on October 9. (Along with ice cream making, bike repair, crochet, claw hammer banjo intro ....)
Whaaa--do we really need this? Wall Street Journal reports that Aqua Bounty Technology has developed a salmon that grows twice as quickly as normal and is likely to be approved by the FDA.
The article also describes the Enviropig (the proposed critter on the left), being developed by the University of Guelph in Canada. This little piggy is being engineered to be a dynamo phosphorous processor, requiring less phosphorous in its feed, and thereby decreasing the amount of phosphorous in its waste. And voila! that makes it environmentally friendly!
More detailed information on the FDA salmon hearings and genetically modified crops was also reported in the same issue.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
- Park Slope Food Coop in Fortune magazine this week.
- Joint pain supplements-glucosamine and chondroitin : Do they work? Maybe not according to a recent study reported in the British Journal of Medicine and summarized in the LA Times. Conclusion is that they may have a placebo effect and do not appear to be harmful. Except maybe to your wallet.
- BPA: Article in NYTimes indicates that despite "extensive" research, whether or not BPA is harmful has not been conclusively proven, and therefore no ban on its use. BPA has been implicated in various maladies, from cancer to childhood obesity. Let's hope it is not as dangerous as some claim, as we all have been extensively exposed to BPA.
- Less soap, better for your dishwasher and wash machine and the environment Appliance repairman states in NY Times that because newer appliances use much less water and are more efficient, we should significantly reduce the amount of soap we use. Excess soap leaves clothing stiff, clogs dishwashers and wastes your money.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Friday, September 03, 2010
We did a taste comparison of all the Buffalo milk Mozzarella that we were carrying and this one was above and beyond anything else we tried.
Enjoy while the tomatoes are still cheap and plentiful.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
How about Organic Bistro Wild Alaskan Salmon?? With cranberry pilaf and broccoli. yumm....
TV Dinners have never gotten so healthy!
Everyone has been going (lady) gaga over Annie Chuns seaweed snacks, well now you can get your WON-TON fill with Annie Chuns Cilantro and Chicken Wontons, right next to the Ling Lings.
Pizza Pizza! No, it's not Little Caesars... it's Tofurky Cheese Pizza, made with Daiya Cheese!! Sayonara Amy's Rice Crust Pizza (sorry you Amy-Lovers... dont worry, there's still the single serving version).
On a sweeter note,
Get this summer treat (year around really) before Haagen Daz decides to pull it! My favorite of the season, Haagen Daz 5 Lemon has little lemon zest with a delectable creamy taste. Give it a whirl!
Daphne's Baking Company- Chocolate Rasberry and Lemon Tarts
These little delicatessens pack a punch, let me tell you. they come two in a box and can be found in the middle shelf in the ice cream case. They're a perfect little dessert for the new season.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Daniel, master sausagemaker of Westchester county, ranks #3 in the "charcuterie" section of the 50 Best Website. His beef and pork saucisson chubs disappeared from our meat case after he made a decision to cut production, leading our members to fear the wurst. But, ever the culinary experimenter, Daniel turned his talent from terrines and pates to the humble tube steak. Now his magie de saucisses returns to the Coop's shelves in the form of one of the best hot dogs we've ever tried. Break out the moutarde et cornichons.
-- Bill the Butcher
Friday, August 13, 2010
Coop chocolate lovers are sophisticated--the best sellers are the very dark chocolates and chocolate with salt is second.
The bearded Mast Brothers in Williamsburg used to have a corner on the chocolate w/salt market--pricey at $5.57 per 2.5 oz. Chocolove recently introduced a very popular chocolate (55%) with almonds & salt= $1.89 per 3.2 oz. Lindt's Excellence dark chocolate/touch of sea salt = $2.12 for 3.5 oz. Equal Exchange rings up at $2.84 for 3.5 oz. and is the only fairly traded chocolate in this group. (These are current August prices.)