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Kiko’s Food News, 8.30.13

Will burger prices go up if fast food workers’ wages are increased? I think they darn well should, as they’ve been artificially low when you consider the lesser known costs that go into putting food on our plates: (Los Angeles Times)

Walmart will soon offer full benefits to its employees’ domestic partners, including those of the same sex, in all 50 states; as they control about 35% of the American grocery market, I say this qualifies as Food News, and even if this is a “business decision”, I’ll take it! (Forbes)

 As cities start banning foam containers, Dunkin Donuts is getting with the program and taking action to replace their horrific styrofoam cups with ones that have a better environmental footprint while, of course, keeping the price cheap: (San Francisco Chronicle)

Colleges are beginning to offer fitness- and wellness-themed dorms that offer exercise, nutrition and substance-free pledges: (Washington Post)

A look at how five current international food insecurity emergencies have the potential to impact hundreds of millions of people and dramatically escalate complex emergencies: (Devex)

As summer winds down and we look to squeeze the best out of its produce bounty, this article came in with a good dose of inspiration, such as cutting the greens off so they stop drawing moisture from the veggie: (Greatist)

Kiko’s Food News, 8.23.13

A recent survey found that 20% of Aussie kids think pasta comes from animals, and 27% think yogurt come from plants….shocking, but when I stop to think about it, I had no food education in school either! The people behind Jamie Oliver’s Foundation and Food Day (Oct. 24) are working to put food education in every school: (Huffington Post)

Whole Foods is shifting its strategy to shed its “whole paycheck” reputation by emulating discount tactics used by traditional supermarkets; will this train customers not to buy on full price? (Wall Street Journal)

Oakland-based Revolution Foods, which supplies school cafeterias with healthier prepared foods, has entered the grocery sector with new Meal Kits that differentiate themselves through ingredients standards; as opposed to Lunchables, their Ham and Cheddar can claim to be made with ham from animals raised without antibiotics, no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or high-fructose corn syrup: (New York Times)

If the goal of food stamps is to eat as well as one can on a low budget, its understandably hard to imagine our tax dollars going towards buying Ho Hos and Ding Dongs; shockingly though, a recent online poll found that more Americans are annoyed by the idea of food stamps being used to buy expensive food than to buy junk food: (Huffington Post)

Could labeling eggs for what they really are cause way more people to buy cage-free? New proposed legislation would require eggs from caged hens in the U.S. to be labeled just like they are in the E.U., with one of three choices: “eggs from caged hens”; “barn eggs”, or “free-range”: (Take Part)



Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Menus

We are pleased to announce our menu for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This menu will be available from Tuesday, September 3 through Saturday, September 14 from both 18th Street and Divisadero Bi-Rite Market locations. View a .pdf version of the menu here.

To order, please call, or order in person from our Deli service case. Pre-orders must be placed 48 hours in advance of pick-up date. All other orders are available on a first come, first served basis. To reach 18th Street, call  (415) 241-9760; for Divisadero, call (415) 551-7900

From Our Kitchen

Matzo Ball Soup in a Rich Chicken Broth  $8.99/quart

Organic Chicken Liver with Caramelized Onion and Egg   $3.99/half pint

Potato and Early Autumn Squash Latke  $4.99/each

Pear-Buttermilk Noodle Kugel with Maple Syrup  $8.99/pound

House Made Apple Sauce  $3.00/half pint

Sephardic Late Summer Zucchini Frittata with Feta, Fresh Mint, and Dill  $4.99/slice

Green Beans Almondine with Meyer Lemon Oil  $8.99/pound

Smoked Whitefish Salad  $6.99/half pint

House Smoked Wild King Salmon  $34.99/pound

Five Dot Ranch Pomegranate Braised Brisket  $19.99/pound

Raw Meats

BN Ranch Beef Brisket: 100% grass-fed, lean   $8.99/pound

Five Dot Ranch Beef Brisket: Grain-finished, highly marbled  $7.99/pound

Atkins Ranch Boneless Leg of Lamb  $12.99/pound

Organic Chicken Livers  $3.29/pound

Sweets from our Creamery Bakeshop

Braided Challah  $4.99/each

Round Raisin Challah  $5.99/each

Coconut Macaroons  $4.99/bag

Kosher Wines
Enjoy these selections with your holiday meal

2006 Domaines  Bunan  Côtes de Provence  $24.99

2009 Baron Herzog Chardonnay $16.99



John Herbstritt

Plate Tectonics and Biodynamics at Hirsch Vineyards

Hirsch3During a recent field trip with the Bi-Rite Wine Team to Hirsch Vineyards and Winery near Cazadero on the Sonoma Coast, I couldn’t help thinking about the pace of change in California wine. Things are always in flux here. We seem compelled to try new things every vintage: winemakers experiment with fermenting and aging their wines in concrete eggs, not using sulfur, spreading strange potions in their vineyards. These are all things that yield exciting results. But the very earth beneath us is also in a constant state of motion.

The San Andreas fault runs along the Pacific coast, just to the West of the Hirsch vineyards, rending and crumpling the land into hills and divots and creating ridges that dart this way and that. Here the Pacific plate slides underneath the North American plate, exposing ancient rocks and transforming the soil composition in the process. The ridges also create the microclimate that makes fine wine production possible. Perched above the fog line, but just on the edge of where the clouds normally burn off in the Summer, the sun is allowed to break through and nourish the vines, but it’s cool enough to ensure a long steady growing season. Perfect for pinot.

hirsch4Measuring change on a human scale is a bit more intuitive. Organic farming is great step toward eliminating chemicals from our land and from our bodies, but it can also be seen as merely a replacement; taking out one chemical and replacing it with a new one. Biodynamicists see farming as a practice that can work with nature instead of against it. Methods such as planting cover crops, composting, applying preparations to the soil that promote the growth of friendly soil bacteria, and planting the right crops next to each other, when coupled with a view of the vineyard as a natural environment that interacts with and is contained in the surrounding “uncultivated” land, result is minimal impact on the land. It also happens that this process can create some pretty compelling wines.

Biodynamics represents an ideal in farming. The folks at Hirsch have begun to move toward that ideal, but are still in the process, finding out how to best implement these practices on their land. They’ve already figured out how to work with the ever-shifting landscape. Their newest vineyards are mapped into blocks based on soil type and exposition that work with the curves and slopes of the land. These blocks are picked and fermented independently, offering an ever more specific sense of terroir. Ultimately, this is Pinot Noir’s (and Chardonnay’s) greatest asset: the ability to translate the soil into your glass. Fruit is nice, but without earth, you have juice, not wine. Everything that Hirsch does is geared towards the end result. They’re definitely on the right path.

2011 Bohan-Dillon Pinot Noir $39.99
HirschBohanNamed after the road that runs by the winery, this is a blend of some of the younger vines from the estate vineyards and some fruit from neighboring vineyards. Aromas of orange peel and spice with lots of fresh berry fruit. It’s lighter-bodied and bright. Serious for an entry-level wine—with enough depth to make a couple years’ ageing worthwhile—but with enough verve to be great at the table tonight.

2010 San Andreas Fault Pinot Noir $59.99
HirschFaultA blend of fruit from the Western and Eastern ridge. It’s meant to encompass the vineyard as a whole and is Hirsch’s signature wine. The 2010 vintage was extremely cool, highlighting the brightness and savor of the wines rather than the fruit character.  More texture, savor, and grip than the Bohan-Dillon, this will age on the long term beautifully.

2011 Chardonnay $54.99
HirschChardA Chardonnay for people who think they don’t like Chardonnay. With bracing acidity balanced by tons of texture and depth, this drinks much more like a white Burgundy than most CA chards. At 500 cases / year, this is one of the smallest production estate wines at Hirsch. The grapes all come from an extremely steep plot that juts up on the West ridge of the Hirsch property. The wind forms a microclimate that makes it distinctly cooler than any other part of the vineyard and so perfect for Chardonnay. Delicious to drink right now, but will also greatly reward those of us who are patient enough to wait…

Kiko’s Food News, 8.16.13

Do you enjoy “tooth-rattlingly crunchy” chips or “chewy” drinks? If so the Big Food companies are on to you, as they’re learning that texture is often as important as taste or flavor in consumers’ food choices: (Wall Street Journal)

The first non-profit grocery store, operated by a food bank, has opened in Santa Rosa, CA and hopes to give low-income customers a more “dignified” shopping experience at prices that beat major grocery stores: (Press Democrat)

 If you’re already on the amaranth train, you’re ahead of the curve: this bushy plant, which Science Magazine named “crop of the future” in 1977, has nutritious seeds that can be made into a flour and may help reverse Mexico’s trending obesity: (National Geographic

The Obama administration released long-awaited proposals aimed at ensuring that food imported to the US–up to 15 % of our food supply–meet U.S. safety standards; domestic importers would for the first time have to vouch for the food-safety practices of their overseas suppliers: (Press Telegram)

A juicy deep dive into how San Francisco’s Good Eggs runs business, and a preview into a new market that will have roaming cashiers like an Apple store: (SF Weekly)


New PUBLIC Label Jams


This year’s stone fruit harvests have been incredible! To take advantage of the bounty and stellar quality of the seasonal fruit from our local producer partners Masumoto Family Farm, Full Belly Farm, and Van Dyke Ranch, we have created three new preserves for our PUBLIC Label line.

PUBLIC Label Masumoto Nectarine Preserve
A lot of people worked together to create this wonderful nectarine preserve. The recipe was developed by our very own Shakirah Simley. Shakirah is a jamming expert and recent Zagat 30-Under-30 Food-World Up-and-Comers honoree, as well as Community Coordinator for Bi-Rite. She went down to Monterey to collaborate with Jordan Champagne of Happy Girl Kitchen to produce this awesome preserve.

The fruit comes from Masumoto Family Farm in FresnoDavid Mas Masumoto and his family have been farming in Fresno for more than 100 years! They are viewed as pioneers among their peers for farming the best-tasting nectarines and peaches in California. Their farming is environmentally responsible, economically viable, socially just, and the flavor profile of their peaches and nectarines is exceptionally rich and sweet. The consistency of this preserve has a loose-set texture, due to an extremely low sugar content. Mas’ Le Grand Nectarines are naturally very sweet, and Shakirah carefully ensured that the flavor profile of his fruit was highlighted. The result brings the best Mas’s Le Grand Nectarines to a spreadable fruit that’s perfect with scones, muffins, or on toast.

PUBLIC Label Shak’s Rustic Peach Preserve
Another preserve created with guidance and recipe development from Shakirah Simley, in addition to production from Jordan at Happy Girl Kitchen. Simon, who heads up our Produce Team, sourced the organic peaches from Full Belly Farm in the beautiful Capay Valley (Northwest of Sacramento). Full Belly Farm has been certified organic since 1985, and they strive to support local food systems and create a strong local food economy.  The variety of peach used in this preserve is the Sun Crest Peach–a freestone peach that has a bright-red blush over its yellow skin and is fragrant and juicy. This is a chunky, spreadable preserve that showcases the bright flavors of the Sun Crest Peach, with added zip from lemon and orange zest.

PUBLIC Label Royal Blenheim Apricot Jam
Our collaboration with Happy Girl Kitchen and Van Dyke Ranch in Gilroy has produced a fantastic jam. The rich fruit, with a perfect balance of sweet and tart, is the very essence of an ideal apricot. There is no better fruit than a Royal Blenheim Apricot to make the transition from whole fruit to luscious jam. On toast, mixed with yogurt, or as a glaze on a pork loin, ways to enjoy this is limited only by your imagination!

Come on by to sample these preserves and savor the best of the season’s stone fruit in a new way!

Matt R.

August Winery of the Month: Martian Ranch Winery

martian1It’s an exciting time for California wine! The variety of styles produced and grapes grown here in CA is expanding beyond juicy Pinot Noir, ripe Cabernet Sauvignon, and oaky Chardonnay; not that these wines don’t have a place, but it’s great to see California’s potential beyond those steadfast traditions!

One of the winemakers leading this change and daringly exploring California’s wine potential is Nan Helgeland of Martian Ranch Winery. Nan and her husband, the award-winning writer/producer Brian Helgeland (Mystic River), always dreamed of making wine, so they bought property in Los Alamos and have released their first vintage, 2011. Nan and her winemaking partner Mike Roth are dedicated to biodynamic farming, native yeast fermentation, and minimal additions of sulphur. Nan and Mike are also dedicated to exploring varietals in CA beyond Pinot Noir, which is so ubiquitous in Santa Barbara. Her vineyards are planted with mostly Rhone and Spanish varietals – all grapes that do well in the hot, dry, rolling hills of Santa Barbara County.

The name, Martian Ranch, is both an homage to Nan’s sons, Martin and Ian, and perhaps a nod to the foreignness of the kinds of grapes she’s using in California. Or as she puts it, “The Martian seen occasionally on the premises is as much as mystery to her as it is to anyone else.” Try these exciting, restrained, vibrant, and food-friendly wines and help support the next generation of California winemaking! And don’t miss our upcoming Mini Wine Blitz, next Friday, August 23rd at 18 Reasons, where you’ll get to taste and order a few wines from Martian Ranch, among many others!

2012 Martian Ranch ‘Down to Earth’ Rosé – $16.99
martian2This is our kind of rosé! It’s based mostly on Grenache, much like our beloved Provencal-style rosé, but the ‘alien’ addition here is a bit of Tempranillo, a typically Spanish varietal. The nose is everything you’d expect in a rose from Southern France with a bit of added cherry and spice qualities. Dried herbs, tart cherry, and watermelon all combine on a dry and crisp palate that’s an easy pairing for a leisurely afternoon in the park!

2011 Martian Ranch ‘Uforic’ Albariño – $19.99

is a grape native to Galicia, Spain where it makes light, crisp, and brightly tart white wines that are a perfect match for any of the fresh seafood that abounds in Northwest Spain. Martian Ranch’s Albariño is a fresh take on this Spanish varietal. It’s aged in foudre (large used barrels) for six months giving a richer texture to this sometimes overly austere grape. Floral and stone fruit aromas are followed by a richly textured palate and a solid acidic backbone that is sure to stand up to anything from poultry to pork!

2011 Martian Ranch ‘Redshift’ Syrah – $21.99
martian4The Martian Ranch ‘Redshift’ is a great homage to the Syrah’s of the Northern Rhone. 95% Syrah blended with just 5% Viognier (not unlike Côte-Rôtie!) is fermented and aged in a combination of old and new French oak. Rustic dried herbal notes lead to a mid-weight palate that’s rich and full of dark blackberry and baking spice flavors. Just like Edwin Hubble’s discovery that the universe is expanding by observing the Red Shift phenomenon, we’re glad that Martian Ranch is expanding California’s Rhone-style credentials!

Upcoming Tastings:

18th Hour Cafe On Thursday, August 22nd, we will be pouring a selection of wines from Martian Ranch Winery! 6-10PM, Drop-In.

Tasting of wines from Martian Ranch Winery: Friday, August 16 6:30-8:30PM at Bi-Rite Divisadero. Space is limited, RSVP here to reserve your spot.

18th Hour Cafe – Every Thursday, 6-10PM, Drop-In.

Mini Wine Blitz – Friday, August 23, 6-8PM, Ticketed

Kiko’s Food News, 8.9.13

Nine years ago Congress asked the FDA to establish a definition for “gluten-free”, and this week they finally detailed the requirements: for a product to be marketed as “gluten-free”, “free of gluten,” “without gluten” or “no gluten” it must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten: (Washington Post)

 A study found that scientists who judge the safety of food additives work for the very additive manufacturers they’re supposed to be regulating, and there’s no requirement that they notify the FDA when they make a new additive: (USA Today)

 Uber cabs have caught on like wildfire, so what about an “uber” for food delivery? A New York City food co-op startup is scaling up the sharing of homemade food (with no money exchanged) to an entire city; the meal swapping aims to skirt the top-down regulation, processed meals, wasted leftovers, and anonymous relationships of our food system: (The Atlantic)

 To see the world through the lens of home cooking, this photographer snapped grandmas in their kitchens alongside the most typical dish they feed to their families (remind me not to go to grandma’s house in Iceland or Norway!): (Demilked)

Picking up a friend at the airport just got a lot more fun: many airports are now allowing food trucks to set up shop in or near their cellphone lots! (USA Today)


Jessie Rogers

Film Night: “My Name is Inigo Montoya…Prepare to Dine!”


Heading to Film Night at Dolores Park to see The Princess Bride tonight? We’ve got great recommendations for park-perfect snacking! Swing by and grab some easy-open PUBLIC Label Barbera wine! Pair it with locally-made Summer cheeses, salami, and rustic baguettes for the perfect movie meal. Complete the picture with salty favorites like Chunky Pig Candied Bacon Caramel Corn and Rusty’s Surf City Chips. And stop by the Deli counter for tonight’s complete house-made Dinner menu!

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Kiko’s Food News, 8.2.13

Thousands of fast-food workers across the country have been holding one-day strikes during peak mealtimes to demand much higher wages; none of the nation’s 200,000-plus fast-food restaurants are unionized, and the national campaign is asking for a living wage of $15/hour: (New York Times)

The Chronicle’s restaurant critic of 25+ years reflected on how technology has changed the way diners interact with restaurants and each other to alter the dining scene over the course of his tenure: (San Francisco Chronicle)

The average Frenchman these days eats only half a baguette a day, compared with almost a whole baguette in 1970 and more than three in 1900; to reverse this trend, the bakers’ and millers’ lobby is championing bread as promoting good health, good conversation and French civilization: (New York Times)

Have you noticed limited release ales, house coffee blends, signature oysters and other one-of-a-kind products named and customized for your favorite restaurant? These partnerships with small food makers are the newest way restaurants are brandishing their local chops: (Fox News)

Ever heard of an eggocado? Do avocado pancakes sound as velvety smooth to you as they do to me? Here are ways to get our favorite good-fat laden fruit into places I wouldn’t have guessed: (Huffington Post)