Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It melts. It stretches. It's Daiya.

If you haven't heard about Daiya Vegan Cheese yet, your vegan street cred is seriously in question. Daiya, which contains no casein, no soy, and no common allergens, has literally been sweeping the nation and acquiring a cult-like following for its melt-ability and flavor. It first appeared in restaurants (like our local 'Snice on Fifth Avenue) a couple years ago in vegan sandwiches and pizzas, then in vegan retail products (vegan cheese pizza, anyone?), and now -- finally -- in retail packs. The Coop has actually had it available for a few months already in the cheese case (Kevin has been enjoying "quesa-daiyas", grilled cheese sandwhiches, etc.). The newly available product is an 8 oz. bag of shreds. Ready for your vegan cheesy melting pleasure. Look for it at the Coop in the Milk/Juice/Non-Dairy Case, all the way to the right with the other non-dairy cheeses.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Fat Toad Farm Goat Milk Caramel (Cajeta)

Alright, I put it on the shelf. I didn't want to. I wanted to keep it all to myself. I didn't even want to let you know about it - but they made me do it. Fat Toad Farm Goat Milk Caramel (aka crack in a jar - aka Cajeta) is on the shelf with the other sweet stuff endcap in aisle 7.

I put the two sample jars we got in the staff room the other day and I literally had to pry the spoon out of Jorge's hand to keep him from eating the whole thing in one sitting.

Fat Toad Farm recommends using this stuff as a topping for desserts, but we liked it right out of the container spooned into our greedy little mouths. It wouldn't be bad on toast or even cardboard for that matter.

OK, I've said enough. Please don't buy this stuff so there's more for the staff. Thanks!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Capriole Goat Cheese

So . . .we've carried Capriole Goat Cheese for about the last 3 months with little fanfare. But we need to let you know how special these cheeses are.

We have two Capriole cheeses on the shelf right now and will get more as they become available.

O'Banon is an Indiana version of a French Favorite. Hand-ladled and then wrapped in chestnut leaves soaked in Woodford Reserve Bourbon, O'Banon is lighter than it's French counterpart and fresher tasting. O'Banon is creamy and dense with a unique flavor that leaves a crisp bite on the palate.

Sofia is a dense and supremely tangy chevre that is beautifully marbled with ash. The soft gray whorls and undulations of vegetable ash make slices of this dense cheese a stunning addition to a cheese plate.

Fresh-cured Olives

The coop now carries 4 variety of fresh-cured olives.

What are fresh-cured olives, you say?

These are olives that have never been heat-treated, or lye-cured. The olives we normally get in cans or large buckets (the Cerignolas, Picholine, 5-type, and Provencal) are pasteurized and stripped of a lot of the natural flavors. They've also been washed of all the naturally occurring olive oils that help preserve and flavor them. The black olives from Morocco are salt or dry-cured. These are packed in salt for at least a month and the olives tend to lose a lot of the natural flavor and texture.

The four fresh-cured olives that we carry are:

Castelvetrano - a bright green olive from Italy, most notably in areas around Sicily. Harvested when it is young and brine cured, the Castelvetrano provides a mild and slightly salty flavor when served as a table olive or for use in salads.

Coquillos - long considered one of the most versatile and well-known olive varietals on the market and the traditional ingredient in the classic Ni├žoise Salade, Coquillos are harvested in Spain and cured using artisanal methods in France. (This can actually sometimes include soaking the olives in brine for up to twelve months to remove the bitterness!)

Pistou - Soupe au Pistou, a minestrone-like summer soup that includes white beans, green beans, tomatoes, summer squash, potatoes, and vermicelli is the inspiration for this mix of olives, cornichons and pearl onions.

Tournante - as autumn progresses, the olive turns from pale green to yellowish green and then to brownish pink when it is known as l’olive tournante or ‘turning olive’. These "in-between" olives are a delightful fresh alternative to the green/black conundrum.