Archive for May, 2013


Jessie Rogers

Party Like it’s $19.99! Fresh-Caught Wild Local King Salmon at the Best Price of the Season

KingSalmon

King Salmon season is at its peak of bounty and flavor! This Saturday, Sunday, and Monday ONLY, we are offering fillets of fresh-caught wild King Salmon at just $19.99 per pound–the lowest price of the season for this local fish. Just caught in Half Moon Bay and San Francisco’s Pier 45 and brought to us by our longtime friends at All Seas, this fish is great for grilling, broiling, and even poaching for brunch. King Salmon lovers will also enjoy this quick video of Bi-Rite head butcher Chili demonstrating his filleting technique. And try your salmon with his easy recipe for miso glaze.

HandleyPinotNoirThe ideal California wine to pair with this gorgeous California fish is 2009 Handley Pinot Noir, also $19.99. Lovingly crafted by winemaker Milla Handley in small lots in beautiful Anderson Valley, CA, this wine packs flavors of red berries and spice.

FreeSpiritFarmBlackberriesPerfect seasonal fruits to accompany your King Salmon and Pinot Noir pairing are apricots and blackberries. Try the extra-tangy, CCOF-certified Robada apricots from Frog Hollow Farm in Brentwood, CA, and Free Spirit Farm’s organic blackberries; these large, plump berries are exploding with juice and lightly-tart flavor.

This exceptional value on King Salmon is only available Saturday, June 1 through Monday, June 3, so be sure to stop by in the next three days! We look forward to seeing you.


Kiko’s Food News, 5.31.13

Unapproved genetically modified wheat was discovered in an Oregon field, posing a potential threat to trade with countries that have concerns about GM foods–not to mention that no GM wheat has been approved for U.S. farming: (Washington Post)

 Raw-milk guzzlers celebrated a Wisconsin farmer’s acquittal on three of four counts related to selling unpasteurized milk and cheese, bolstering hopes for legalization beyond the current legislation which for many states allows consumption on the farm, but not sale: (Wall Street Journal)

 I take the ever-changing buzz on foods-to-avoid with a grain of salt, but there seems to be some pretty graphic evidence against soda: (Fast Company)

 Although Wal-Mart has built its success on mastering logistics and supply chain, it’s had trouble keeping stores stocked amidst cutbacks on workers per store; a new program involving shelf audits shines a light on the importance of inventory in retail: (Bloomberg)

I love musing on caffeine’s habit-forming, personal nature–and what caffeine rituals say about our attitudes toward money and routine: (New York Times)

 In the spirit of Friday night, join me on the Amaro train! Here a skeptic starts by describing the stuff as ” bittersweet couplings of cough syrup and weed juice” but comes around to the magic they bring to a cocktail: (New York Times)


Matt R.

Celebrating and Saving the Savoie: Domaine Belluard et Fils

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Imagine if 16 square blocks in San Francisco (roughly 5% of Golden Gate Park) were planted with wine grapes! Now imagine that those 16 blocks were planted with the last remaining vines in the whole world of a particular varietal. Although not located in SF, that’s the case with Gringet, an extremely rare varietal that is only grown in a corner of the Savoie, France.

 

We’re not shy about having a soft spot for the Savoie here at Bi-Rite. This small region of Eastern France tucked into the Alps has a long history and a great food and wine tradition. In particular, the village of Ayse has faced major challenges: The once thriving wine industry in the region was nearly wiped out by a combination of disease and two World Wars. 375 hectares planted in Ayse in the 1760s were reduced to just 19 remaining hectares in 1962.

The Belluard family began farming in Ayse in 1947 with small vineyards of Gringet and some fruit orchards. Today, 5th generation winemakers Dominique and Patrick Belluard run this biodynamically farmed vineyard and own 12 of the last 22 remaining hectares of Gringet planted in the world. They’ve set out to preserve this nearly extinct grape, and now produce stunning wines that truly express the terroir of Savoie and the unique qualities of Gringet. They ferment and age their wines in concrete eggs and clay amphorae and age their sparkling wines themselves in house. (A rarity, as many sparkling wine producers outsource the ‘aging’ process to contracted cellars.) We’re so excited to welcome three of the Belluards’ wines to our shelves this week. As you can imagine, they’re all extremely limited so taste them while you can!
 
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NV Belluard Ayse Brut  –  $24.99
Gringet’s history is also remarkable: It is believed to predate the presence of Romans in the Savoie! Once mistaken for Traminer because it looks similar, Gringet has since been determined to be its own varietal and has a distinct flavor and texture. This sparkling is made in the Champagne method and aged on the lees for 2 years. Again, the Belluards insist in doing this themselves rather than outsourcing – a considerable investment in time and storage space. The wine has a stunning golden hue with aromas of apples, quince, and almonds. It has a light, nutty quality, chalky minerality, lush texture, and a dry finish; it’s very elegant and sophisticated!
 
BrutZero12009 Belluard Mont Blanc Zero  –  $34.99
Named for the iconic highest elevation in the Alps, Mont Blanc, this bottling is from a single low-yielding vineyard parcel. It’s a vintage bottling, unlike the Ayse, and is aged for 4 years on the lees before being disgorged. The term ‘Brut Zero’ refers to the fact that this sparkling receives no dosage (the mix of extra wine after disgorgement that is sometimes used to add some sugar back into the wine). The result is an absolutely bone-dry bubbly with fascinating balance of lush yellow plum, ginger, and tropical flavors alongside austere minerality and a crisp finish.
Only 3 cases available (at 18th location).

LeFeu12011 Belluard Le Feu  –  $44.99
This is the newest vintage of the Belluard’s bottling, Le Feu. The name translates to ‘The Fire’ and refers to the iron rich clay soils of this vineyard which dye the earth a fiery red color. This vineyard is also the Belluard’s best site with a steep south-facing slope and their oldest vines. The wine is fermented in stainless steel and aged in concrete eggs. The nose has aromas of singed herbs, lemon, white flowers, and almonds. The texture is mouth-coating with layered flavors of white peach, dried herb, and a lingering stone-like minerality.
 
Upcoming Tastings and Events at 18 Reasons:

 

Jessie Rogers

Everything You Need For Memorial Day

Here at Bi-Rite, we’re ready to help with your Memorial Day weekend grilling and grubbing! Just a heads-up, we are open all weekend from 9am-9pm, including Monday, May 27th.

On the Grill

We have gorgeous, fresh (just caught yesterday!) wild local King Salmon from Half Moon Bay–grab these fillets while you can. Chili recommends preparing this exquisite fish with tangy and sweet glaze for your broiler or grill.

ChilisMisoGlazedSalmon

Just in time for grilling season, we’re offering beef from Five Dot Ranch and SunFed Ranch in ribeye, porterhouse, New York strip, and rib chop cuts. Just ask our butchers which cut is best for your get-together. These meats are great with SFQ San Francisco-style Barbecue Sauce. And don’t forget to pick up Acme burger and hot dog buns, and all your condiments!

Salmon2      NewSteaks

On the Side

For sides, try some organic CA-grown bi-color corn – just arrived today! These ears are sweet and crunchy and the first of season. We also have peaches – perfect for grilling. Our produce team recommends yellow peaches; they’re firm and not overly-sweet. Yellow peaches stand up well to cooking and grilling, which brings out their natural sugars. We have two varieties from Balakian Farm: Super Rich and Spring Lady. Pair them with some tangy, creamy Point Reyes mozzarella cheese, hand-pulled by our friends at Farmstead Cheese Company. Short on time? In our cold case, you’ll also find our house-made Cabbage Slaw, Classic American Potato Salad, and a wide selection of ready-to-serve salads and fixings.

     SpringLadyPeaches      Corn

To Drink

A perfect libation to enjoy this holiday weekend is our May Cocktail of the Month – the Copa di Sangue. This summer-y creation comes to us from bartender, Jackie Patterson. Jackie has been on the SF bar scene for some time, having crafted cocktails at Orson, Heaven’s Dog, and Smugglers Cove. She’s won numerous awards for her inspired drinks and is now the National Ambassador for Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur. Her Copa di Sangue is a variation on a Pimm’s Cup with fresh strawberries and Meyer lemon. Come see us at either Market to grab everything you’ll need to mix up Jackie’s refreshing cocktail for Memorial Day Weekend!

Solerno

Something Sweet

For a delicious dessert on a beautiful day, nothing beats strawberry shortcake. Fresh from the Creamery, our buttery shortcakes are just the ticket. Pair them with farm-direct strawberries and a scoop of seasonal strawberry balsamic ice cream for an unforgettable treat. Also new this weekend? Cheesecake with rhubarb swirl – dense, creamy and decadent.

Bi-Rite Creamery Shortcakes     Sundae

You’ll find everything you need at our 18th St. Market and our Divisadero Market – have a yummy holiday weekend!


Kiko’s Food News: May 24, 2013

Wonder what it’s like to choose what goes on the shelves at Bi-Rite? This small grocery group also stakes itself on offering fewer options but standing behind every one of those options (and invests the same kind of time to do it!): (San Diego Union Tribune)

 Michael Pollan reconsidered the human body as “an elaborate vessel optimized for the growth and spread of our microbial inhabitants” and wonders whether the time has come to embark on collective “restoration ecology” in the human gut: (New York Times)

 As industrial agriculture and animal feedlots have spread around the globe, dead zones have spread exponentially along with them; can we save our coastal waters before they choke to death? (Food & Environment Reporting Network)

Speaking of dead zones, turns out the acidic whey created as a byproduct of yogurt can’t be dumped, as its decomposition robs oxygen from streams and rivers and can destroy aquatic life (unfortunately Greek and other strained yogurts increasingly in demand create the most whey): (The Atlantic)

A study released Wednesday documented for the first time how fish and other sea life have been moving toward Earth’s poles in search of cooler waters for decades, with broad repercussions for fish harvests worldwide: (Washington Post)

And if you’re wondering whether you’ve been in the Bay Area gastro-bubble long enough to lose perspective, scan through this reality check for food snobs and see how you measure up! (Grub Street)


Matt R.

Wine Blitz Weekend: Spritzy Summer Whites!

Blitz! Blitz! Blitz! Our Spring Wine Blitz is in its final days! Now through Sunday, May 19th, we’re offering 20% off purchases of 12 or more bottles of wine, with free delivery with San Francisco! This year’s Blitz is happening only at our 18th St. location, but we’re happy to take orders by phone (415-241-9760) or email if you can’t make it to 18th St. in person.

Here’s the final installment of our Wine Blitz Picks – wines we’re excited to have in stock for our spring sale. This weekend, we’re all about putting a little spritz in your summer! All of these wines have a little bit of natural effervescence making them all no-brainers for refreshing summer wines.

2010 Bengoetxe Getariako Txakolina  –  $17.99; Blitz Price  –  $14.39Bengoetxe Getariako Txakolina

Txakoli (say ‘chok-o-lee’) is the go-to wine for the people of Basque country Spain. With a long tradition, this style of wine has been made and drunk in copious amounts since the mid-1800s. It’s always light, crisp, refreshing, and bottled just before fermentation finishes resulting in a little bit of residual carbon-dioxide in the wine. The Basque people drink it by the gallon and with anything from local fresh fish to meat; and you should too! Bengoetxe is one of the only organic Txakoli producers in Basque country and is known for holding their wines back before release. The result is a slightly richer style of Txakoli with just a hint of effervescence. Crisp, tart lime flavors and a salty minerality make this very mouth-watering.

 

ameztoi2012 Ameztoi Rubentis  –  $21.99; Blitz Price  –  $17.59

Ameztoi is one of the best Txakoli producers in the area, with a picturesque location that overlooks the Bay of Biscay. They’re also one of the few Txakoli producers dedicated to staying traditional while other less-reputable wineries around them falsify the typical spritzy-ness of Txakoli by artificially adding CO2. They’ve experimented in bottling a rosé Txakoli, and we have to say it’s one of our favorite rosés every year! Light raspberry aromas and followed by flavors of tart blood orange, minerals, sea salt, and bracing acidity. We certainly understand why the Basque people drink this stuff by the gallon.

 

2011 Casebianche La Matta  –  $19.99; Blitz Price  –  $15.99la matta

Casebianche is a newer winery in Campania, Italy; it was founded by Betty and Pasquale Mitrano in 2000. They’re dedicated to organic viticulture, naturally made wines, and have produced some great terroir-driven wines from their small vineyard. This Spumante Integrale, is bottled unfiltered and unfined just before fermentation ends, trapping some residual CO2. Made from Fiano, typical to Campania, it has aromas of fresh pear, quince, and Meyer lemon. Just lightly bubbly, it’s medium-bodied with a dry-finish and flavors reminiscent of a tart, dry, cider. It’s very limited – grab some while you can!

Beat the crowds! Place an order via e-mail or give us a call at 415-241-9760 by Sunday to order your case. You can choose 12 bottles of your fave vino or mix and match! 


Casey

Final Days: Laura Parker’s ethereal exhibition “ROOTS”

It’s not surprising when a child stuffs a handful of dirt in her mouth. As soon as she discovers that she has a mouth that can taste and arms that have hands and fingers that she can control—in goes the dirt. In goes a pile of sand, food off the kitchen floor, and anything else that piques her curiosity. As adults, we might reprimand this little girl, brush off her hands and rinse out her mouth while saying things like “Yuck!” or “Dirty!”. But San Francisco-based conceptual artist, Laura Parker, encourages us all to re-consider this thinking with her installation piece, Taste of Place.

Laura Parker has worked in the realm of food and agricultural art for over 20 years. With Taste of Place, Parker offers “soil tastings” much like wine tastings, allowing people to smell, look and savor the soil while also tasting the food grown in it; sharing their findings and noting complexities. Parker’s installation asks two questions: How does soil touch our lives and affect our food; and why does it matter?

laura parker rootsBorn from a similar intent as Taste of PlaceROOTS: a solo exhibition by Laura Parker currently on view at 18 Reasons through May 30th,  encourages us to contemplate the microbial world below and aims to stimulate public dialogue about food production. Parker says,

“Like most people when I think of landscape I think of trees, plants and sky. But what of the world below—the one I can’t see? Everything we see is dependent on what we do not see: the soil, the roots, and the microorganisms. Our world, and that includes us, could not exist without the soil.”

Parker’s paintings are haunting and ethereal, earthy and tactile. Stories of the “world below” are etched the surfaces.  In one, ink cuts across acrylic naming microbial compounds. In others, ink cuts across wood transcribing excerpts of a Welch farmer’s notes on the soil from the 1930s; his observations in line with current conversations of soil—he, ahead of his time or us, behind. The surfaces of Parker’s paintings match the complexity of their subject matter and inspiration.

Parker’s ROOTS exhibition blends aesthetic pleasure with education to incite dialogue and awareness of the world below. Join us and let your eyes feast while learning little known facts. One interesting tidbit? Some roots of native perennial grasses can provide up to 80% of the organic matter that regenerates rich prairie soil; some of these grasses develop roots reaching 12 to 15 feet deep! Take on the Laura’s soil experiment yourself – gather some friends and arrange your own microbial tasting experiences.

When mind, heart, and palate have been awoken to what lies below and the necessity of its health, we may begin to ask our children with mouths stuffed full of dirt, “how does it taste?”

Exhibition Details

“Roots” by Laura Parker

In the 18Reasons Gallery: April 5th – May 30th

Open Gallery Hours: Saturdays 12-4pm

3674 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

 


Kiko’s Food News, 5.17.13

No farmers market in San Francisco has created more visibility and demand for Bay Area farmers than the Ferry Building–its 20th anniversary is worth celebrating tomorrow morning! (CUESA)

We may all agree that cooking at home more frequently can solve many a societal health problem, but how can people be enticed to prioritize spending their money and time on it? One solution, first raised 40 years ago, proposes that Americans be paid for cooking and other housework: (New York Times)

This week I was turned on to Cropmobster, a startup that’s dealing with agricultural and food surplus while addressing hunger and allowing farmers to become more viable; give them your email and you’ll get instant alerts whenever a farmer, grocer, or restaurant has enough excess produce to donate or sell at a deep discount: (Cropmobster)

The UN released a report that strongly suggests bug consumption as the way to curb hunger in developing countries and shrink waistlines in the Western world–guess I was testing the waters when I ate a cup of the bugs in this photo a year ago in Seoul! (San Francisco Chronicle)

 But do we actually need to worry about running out of food? With crops yields growing 1% or more a year and half the world’s food currently being wasted anyway, we may not have to resort to insects: (Forbes)

Check out the look on these kids’ faces when they taste a lemon or olive for the first time! This slow motion video reminds us how revolutionary food discovery is: (TEDx)


18 Reasons & Three Squares Merge to Hatch Formidable Force for Good Food Movement

18 Reasons is merging with Three Squares!

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3S logo hi res

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We’re joining forces to create one organization that will combine the innovative dirt-to-table education of 18 Reasons with Three Squares’ focus on making fruits, veggies and cooking skills accessible for working families and low-income communities. The combined organization will be called 18 Reasons and be based in the Mission District, but will serve communities across five Bay Area counties.

What is particularly exciting about this merge is that each organization’s programming will not change.  18 Reasons will continue to offer cooking, gardening and food policy education, community dinners, and our weekly 18th Hour café as part of our “18th Street Events” programming track.  In addition, we will now offer Cooking Matters, Three Squares’ nutrition and cooking classes that serve low income communities.  And just like that, we’ve created a unique model to engage eaters, cooks and gardeners of all ages and backgrounds across the Bay Area!

Questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us:

18 Reasons organizational questions: Sarah Nelson, sarah@18reasons.org

Cooking Matters: Sarah Nelson, sarah@18reasons.org

18th Street Events: Michelle McKenzie, michelle@18reasons.org

General info: 415-568-2710  and info@18reasons.org

For a calendar of all of our classes, please visit: www.18reasons.org

Please join us on May 16th at 18th Hour Café, our weekly drop-in cafe featuring wine, beer, and small bites. This week we’re hosting a special 18th Hour so you can meet the staff, board, and volunteers from both organizations. We will be there from 6-10PM making merry and we would love to see you! We also welcome supporters and friends to the annual Cooking Matters brunch on Saturday, May 18th at 11AM at Cesar Chavez Elementary in the Mission, where staff and board members will present the new organization’s vision.

More about Three Squares and Cooking Matters:

Three Squares was founded in 2011 to provide cooking-based nutrition education in low-income communities around the Bay Area, using the nationally-recognized Cooking Matters curriculum. Three Squares also created a community health worker program that trains residents of low-income communities to teach cooking and nutrition in their own communities, thus providing quality, culturally-relevant nutrition education as well as job opportunities. Over 75 community health workers have graduated from the program and gone on to teach; each year, Three Squares reaches nearly 2,000 low-income families.


Eleanor

Mum’s the Word: Custom Bouquets This Weekend!

custom bouquet

You choose, we’ll craft!

Mum’s the word – our flower crew is hard at work getting ready for Mother’s Day’s weekend! No surprise is complete without amazingly aromatic blooms, so swing by our bouquet crafting station at Bi-Rite 18th on Saturday, May 11th (9am to 9pm) or Sunday, May 12th (9am to 5pm). We’ll help you put together a beautiful, custom arrangement for mom, grandmom, and all the other mamas in your life.

garden roses

The garden roses smell amazing right now!

Spring is in full force! We have a huge variety of California-grown blooms — many of them grown within 100 miles of San Francisco.  This weekend, you’ll find lots of farm-direct, organic flowers from our friends at Thomas Farm, Full Belly Farm, and Oak Hill Farm.  Look out for beautiful organic sunflowers, cosmos, nigella, ranunculus, sweet peas, agrostemma and cornflower, all under $10 a bunch.

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Peonies are in full swing

Peony season is ramping up — be sure to grab a few stems. This late spring/early summer favorite  comes in a range of vibrant colors, from white to peach to pink to deep red.  We’ll also have the fleeting lily of the valley and lovely garden roses this week! Both are aromatic additions to any bouquet with their signature, intoxicating scent.

We can’t wait to help you make Mom’s Day blossom- see you on 18th!


Kiko’s Food News: May 10, 2013

This new photo series captures a week’s worth of groceries around the world to show the dietary habits of people in 20 countries; notice how prevalent American food products are, and which country is the most unhealthy of the bunch (wish I could say I was surprised): (Thought Catalog)

“A modern Walt Whitman with attitude,” Ron Finley is a celebrity urban gardener using his appearances on TEDx, the Russel Brand show and more to spread his message that edible gardens are the antidote to inner-city health issues and poverty with the tagline “if you ain’t a gardener, you ain’t gangsta”: (New York Times)

Seemed like only a matter of time before cooking schools got hip to the online party; now Top Chef, America’s Test Kitchen and a tech startup have launched online culinary programs: (Bloomberg Businessweek)

MyPetChicken.com is one of several multimillion-dollar retailers selling everything from chicken caviar treats to day-old birds to diapers for backyard coop owners: (NPR)

Chicago’s about to roll out a new “Chicago Grown” local food label, which backers believe will be the first label issued by a major city specifically to promote its urban ag culture: (Grist)


Double Dutch: A Tale of Two Remeker Cheeses

We just cracked two wheels of Remeker, our favorite Dutch cheese, and couldn’t be happier! Our Remeker comes from Jan Dirk in Gelderland, in the eastern Netherlands. This very special farmstead gouda is made from the milk of his beautiful herd of Jersey cows (they still have their horns!). Jan is as enthusiastic about soil health and worms as he is about great cheese; he began farming biodynamically in 2004. Focused on achieving balance with his land and animals, the quality of the rich raw milk (something of a rarity among Dutch cheeses)  is a testament to his cheesemaking success!

olde remekerWheels are pressed for 24 hours, and then brined for 36 hours (about half the time of many goudas) before maturation on the farm. Some wheels are released young, between 9-11 months, while others are aged 18 months or more.  Which would you prefer: the bright, egg-yolk savory quality of a younger cheese, or the deep hazelnut and burnt caramel notes of the aged? Either way, it’s a stunning cheese, but do come in for a taste and decide for yourself.  And remember: age really does matter!