Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunbeam candles--new scents

Sunbeam candles are now available in new scents and as votives. Only essential oils in the scents and all the wicks are cotton. The company is located in the Fingerlakes region in NY. They use solar panels and try to do the right thing for their employees. You like your beeswax Buddha red--they've got it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Amy's here--we've got corn!

Julie's early Friday a.m. snapshot of one of our favorite local suppliers, Amy Hepworth, bringing us as much corn (gunny sacks), tomatoes (brown boxes) and white peaches (white boxes) as they are able to cram into their truck. Very fresh, very tasty and grown with the least amount of chemicals possible in upstate New York. We get deliveries from Amy's farm several times a week.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Falafels to go...

Make your own pita sandwiches--original and spicy falafels are now in the deli case.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Produce... fresh, mostly local

Just caught Allen, Coop's produce buyer, coming up from a quick shop downstairs. What is he buying? Cherries--both Rainier and red, although he thinks the red might be better. And lychees--now is the season for them. They are coming from Florida.

If you walk by the coop early in the morning, you'll see the produce trucks lining Union Street. Our produce is very fresh and there is lots to choose from. A few highlights from Allen and Julie:
  • corn from upstate NY from Amy's Hepworth's neighbor--grown under integrated pest management (IPM).
  • Amy's minimally treated yellow peaches
  • Amy's minimally treated apricots--small, slightly tart, but full of flavor
  • purple striped tomatillos for an intriguing salsa
  • burgundy snap beans from Lancaster county
  • blueberries exclusively packaged for the Park Slope Food Coop from Grindstone Farms, NY
  • gigantic striped Suyo cukes

Crackers to try

Edwards rice "toast" made of purple rice and black sesame seeds is a light foil for cheese or as a substitute for pita bread for dipping. It is gluten-free and crispy. Found in Aisle 6B.

Another interesting line of crackers is called Miller Damsels. They are made with stone-milled grains including: charcoal spelt, rye and sourdough oat.

vegan marshmallows

We are now selling Sweet & Sara's vegan marshmallows in the deli case, on the shelf above the ever popular and tasty Steve's key lime pies. And Sweet & Sara's vegan rice krispy bars are on the end display, near the express checkouts.

Ball jars for canning, storage

Ball jars are in stock for canning and storage needs. Available in quarts, pints, half pints and 4 oz jelly jars. Nothing like canning in hot, humid weather, peach juice running down to your elbows.

Thursday, July 08, 2010


mmmmm gelato.

TALENTI Toasted Almond Gelato and Black Cherry Gelato.

soooooo delicious.

enough said.

more deliciousness to come. stay tuned...

New Parm Price!

Many of you may know that the price that the coop sells Parmigiano Reggiano for is amazing. One of the lowest in the city if THE lowest. . . .

Well, it just got lower. Was $9.24, now $8.52. I bought all the wheels I could get my hands on, so this price should last a while. If you don't see Parm in the bin, page out and we'll get some up to you "molto rapidamente"

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

No sandals while working at the Coop

We all know that it is hot but you need to protect your toes while working at the Coop. Please don't wear sandals. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Pasteurized Goat Cheeses

The coop is offering two pasteurized goat milk cheeses (by request - you know who you are, pregnant ladies!).

The first is from Italy with a natural rind and a taste redolent of the Tuscan sun - Capra Valtellina. . . aged 4-6 months, flavorful, complex and great shaved in salads or enjoyed on its own.

Also available is Abrigo. It borrows the simple pressed curd recipe that is the Spanish idiom, and a traditional cheese form called tronchon. It makes the cheese look like it was stolen from a cathedral. The paste is verging on hard, and is very dense, with a salty, creamy flavor highlighted by a moldy note and a metallic tang.

Sampling commences immediately!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Keeping cool...

In the heat of the season, some of our most refreshing beverages have been in short supply, namely coconut water and kombucha. Most of the kombucha brands have been pulled because of their actual/potential alcohol content of up to 5%. The manufacturers are rushing to reformulate their products.

It is more difficult to determine exactly why coconut water is in such short supply. Rumor has it that a mega-beverage corporation has purchased the major coconut water repacking facility in Brazil, or maybe it is in Peru (remember, this is a rumor). And allegedly mega-beverage only wants to package its own coconut water and control its distribution. And too bad for VitaCoco and Zico. We scramble every week to try to get coconut water in some size on the shelf at the coop. We were successful at procuring and selling more than 700 containers of VitaCoca 17 oz last week.

Cool Fruits, a shelf stable fruit juice pop, has also not been available. For the past several years, the manufacturer is seemingly caught by surprise that yes, it is summer, and yes, maybe they should ramp up production. The distributor says Cool Fruits should be available this week, next week--soon.

Alternative cool downs:

We do have Smooze, a tropical juice and coconut water ice pop. It is refreshing. no fat, low calorie and cheaper than an ice cream bar. The flavors are mango, passion fruit, guava and pineapple. Smooze pops are also shelf stable, come ten to a box, and are sold on the end cap across from the eggs case. Fresh out of the freezer, they are quite satisfying. And they are not just for kids. As reported in the NY Times, a cold slushie just before exercise can enhance your performance. So grab one and go...

And then if you need a potassium boost after all that sweating, pick up a seaweed snack packaged by Annie Chun. They are also sold on the same end display with the Smooze. These toasted nori strips come in two flavors: sesame and wasabi. We're having trouble finding storage space for these wildly popular seaweed snacks--partly because the packaging is excessive. Similar products by Maine Sea Coast and Eden are sold hanging in Aisle 6B.

And what could be more refreshing that a bitter chocolate covered mint creme? A Fair Trade honey company, Heavenly Organics, is manufacturing these excellent mints. They are 35 cents, located in Aisle 7A, in a green box in the chocolate section. They taste great frozen.

And don't forget watermelon. Can't lug one of those monsters home--page out and see if another shopper would like to share one with you.

And finally, don't try to get too cool.
During a heat wave, Con Ed is incapable of powering all the air conditioners and computers and recharging all the cell phones and other electrical devices that are drawing power. This could result in a Brown Out or a total meltdown Black Out. We have already experienced a limited Brown Out at the Coop during the recent heat wave. Park Slope is apparently a huge electrical drain. A drop in electrical power is a major concern for us here at the food coop.

So please don't leave rechargers plugged in or air conditioners on when you are not home. Fewer lights feel cooler. Pull the shades. Consider using fans rather than air conditioning. Nah, too hot? But if there is a Brown Out you won't have the option to use a fan or have a refrigerator to dip into for some of those refreshing treats. Con Ed has more energy saving tips--follow them and you'll save on your monthly bill, too.

Mark your calendars for 2011 Sour Cherry season

No more sour cherries at the Coop this year. You may have missed them--it is only a short season, several weeks in June.

I love sour cherries--just to eat out of the box or to use in desserts. And I love the fact that sour cherries are so fragile that they cannot be shipped any distance, and therefore we are limited to the local cherry season. Unlike their robust and bright cousins the Bing cherries, sour cherries don't have a thick skin and puddle together in their wooden quarts.

But sour cherries do have an intense flavor--definitely tart, but so tasty. They are the only cherries that should be used for a cherry pie. I prefer crumbles to pies--eliminating the crust also eliminates a lot of calories. In making the crumble above, I did not add any thickener such as corn starch to the juicy cherries, because I did not have to worry about having a soggy crust. I used almond meal, wholewheat flour, Fair Trade sugar, butter and a little nutmeg to make the topping. It came out tart, but I knew I wanted to top it off with Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream. A very delicious combo.

You don't need a cherry pitter, although I looked at cool multi-cherry pitters online. A co-worker suggested using a straw, and it worked. The process is a little messy, but I was surprised at how quickly I was able to pit a quart of cherries for this small crumble.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Grate Britain Biscuits

(this post copied directly from the Fine Cheese Co website)

All-British Cheddar Biscuits

made with freshly grated Wookey Hole Cave-Aged Cheddar. Real English Cheddar, hand-made in the West Country by Ford Farm. Wrapped in cloth for long maturing. Aged in the caves at Wookey Hole, Somerset. Its mellow, deep flavour captured to put the Grate into Grate Britain ®.
All-British Stilton Biscuits

made with freshly crumbled Long Clawson Blue Stilton ®, the king of British cheeses. National treasure and international star. Made, as tradition dictates, by Long Clawson Dairy for almost 100 years. Full in body, rich and robust in flavour, it puts the Grate into Grate Britain ®.

Painted Goat Farm

Here's some facts about Painted Goat Farm:

Painted Goat Farm is a goat dairy and artisanal cheese producer located in the hills of Central New York State, near Cooperstown.

Pasture/forage-based farm abiding by organic and environmentally sustainable farming principles and natural animal husbandry.

Here's some words about the Fresh Goat Cheese we are now selling:

Tangy, light, and rich, creamy fresh and flavors with garden chives and garlic and fig and rosemary.