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Archive for February, 2015


Simon

Citrus For All!

California grows more varieties of citrus than any other state— from the large Valencia Orange orchards near the border of Mexico, to the small Satsuma Mandarin orchards in the foothills of the Sierra. There’s a flavor for everyone! At Bi-Rite we strive to have a wide selection of great tasting and sustainably grown citrus that can be eaten in a number of different ways.

Mandarin Mania
Mandarin season usually starts in California in the beginning of November with the easy-peeling, refreshing Satsuma Mandarin and ends with the seedless, candy-like Pixie Tangerine in April. There are a handful of other varieties that hit the Bi-Rite shelves in the interim. The little seedless Kishu Mandarin from the mountains of Ojai, California has everyone excited from neighborhood kindergarteners to world-class San Francisco Chefs. Toss it in a green salad or a fried rice dish to add a sweet and juicy flare. Some of the other mandarin varieties that are just making their way to the market: Gold Nuggets, Murcotts, Pages and Clementine. All of these exciting mandarin varieties also make for a fun time with the juicing machine.
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Orange Crush
There are three varieties of oranges right now that are so delicious it’s hard not to eat all three on a regular basis and spread the love. Cara Cara Oranges, aka the Pink Navels — from Tenalu Farm in Porterville, California — have been out of this world and their middle acid and sweet juicy flavor make them a perfect addition to a chicory salad. Tenalu also grows wonderful Heirloom Navel Oranges that have a little more acid than the Cara Cara but are also a bit sweeter. The Moro Blood Oranges are just getting started and with their nicely balanced sweet/tart flavor and berry-like tones they may be the most versatile piece of citrus in the kitchen. The Fennel, Blood Orange, Avocado Salad from our cook book Eat Good Food is great recipe if you’re looking for a quick and easy seasonal salad.
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Grapefruit Goodness
The days of cutting a Florida grapefruit in half and sprinkling sugar on it to cut the bitterness before gobbling it up with a spoon are over. The grapefruit scene has come a long way since the mid-80’s and the Bi-Rite produce crew is super excited about a few varieties that have become a big part of our citrus selection. For folks who just want an everyday grapefruit we always have a Star Ruby Grapefruit from Bernard Ranch in Riverside, California with its beautiful dark pink flesh and sweet/tart flavor. Bi-Rite staff have been rallying around the Pomelo from Tenalu Farm this year. This large piece of citrus is perfect for folks who want a mild sweetness and not an overwhelming amount of juice. The Cocktail Grapefruit from Cunningham Orchard in Fallbrook, California is a very unique piece of fruit. This cross between a Siamese Sweet Pomelo and Frua Mandarin produces the most amazing sub-acid sweet juice perfect for cocktails, syrups, sauces, and more.

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It’s OK to be Sour
Sour oranges are the most unique California citrus crop and call for some creativity in the kitchen. The Seville Orange with its thick bumpy skin smells like a regular orange but the flavor is tart and sour. Sevilles have very oily skin that is used for essential oils. The most common use for Seville Oranges is marmalade, but it also works well in syrups, vinaigrettes and cocktails. The Bergamot Orange is a cross between a sour orange and lemon, most commonly known for the oil from the skin that is used in Earl Grey tea. The zest is used to flavor cakes and cookies and the juice is used for syrups, cocktails, and jams.

California citrus season is a 5 to 6 month long tasting journey that offers so many marvelous flavors. At Bi-Rite we love to celebrate this time of year with the “Citrus Explosion” by offering over 20 varieties in our produce department at one time. If you would like to learn more about this incredible crop please make your way to one of our produce departments and ask for a sample of all the varieties we have in-house!


Raph

Beautiful and Sweet Treats For Your Valentine

No matter whether you have a Valentine, you don’t have a Valentine, or YOU are your Valentine's ChocolatesValentine– everyone deserves to feel special! This year I’ve hand-picked amazing chocolates, Trac has chosen fantastic wines, and Eleanor and our Floral Team have sought out beautiful blooms to make your holiday lovely. Most of these great gifts can also be purchased online through our delivery partner, Instacart.com, for arrival straight to your door in as little as an hour, so no excuses!

If you’re a truffle person, I’ve selected a 6-piece box from Michael Mischer, along with Neo Cocoa Wild Cherry Dark Truffles. For a traditional chocolate assortment, we have a wide range of artisan and handmade confections. Everything from decadent and elaborate boxes from Chocolat Moderne, a producer we love to bring in for their exquisite and truly special holiday creations, to three options from famed chocolatier Michael Recchiuti, and a lovely assortment from San Francisco-based TinyB Chocolates. We are also proud to continue featuring Oakland’s gate commes des filles, lovingly and meticulously created by one of our favorite producers, Alexandra Whisnant, using local, seasonal ingredients she forages herself. These hand-enrobed chocolates are best when enjoyed at their freshest. It’s a perfect excuse to dive right in after you give the box to your Valentine!

Valentine's CaramelsIf you love caramel, Sweet Revolution’s 12-piece Maple Honey Love Caramels box is for you, or you can go with Fran’s 7-piece Gray Salt Caramels in a pretty little pink box. We also have handmade toffee from Keke’s Kitchen that comes in a pretty white box and a super-cool Askinosie Chocolate Tasting Kit for the true chocolate fanatic. If you’re looking for something lovely but a little less formal, the Alma Lovebird Pop and Fran’s Dark Caramel Heart are delicious, beautiful, and perfect for any budget.

We are focusing on three special wines for Valentine’s Day this year. For the perfect pairing with dark gate comme des filleschocolate, try Petite Sirah from Forlorn Hope Wines. In the bubbles department, we have a classic Champagne J. Lassalle to quench your thirst, or a fresh “brunch bubbly” option with the Raventos i Blanc de Nit Sparkling Rose Cava.

And don’t forget the flowers! Seriously, don’t forget. Our talented Floral Team will be set up outside the markets on the 13th and 14th to make custom bouquets. You can also pick up any of the pre-arranged masterpieces we have on hand, or have them delivered from our store on Instacart; choose from Organic Tulips, California-grown Roses, or Farm-Direct Mixed Bouquets. We’re right here to help you impress your darling, even if your darling is you!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Jason Rose

It’s Valentine’s Day: Impress Your Darling!

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This Valentine’s Day, show the one you love how much they mean with a spectacular dinner, seafood for two, sweet treats from Bi-Rite Creamery, and beautiful blossoms from local farmsStop by and see us for a taste; we’re here to help you plan the perfect romantic meal!

 

Our House-Made Valentine’s Day Menu
Available February 12-15

 

Succulent Seafood

 


Poached Gulf Prawns with Eddy’s Famous Cocktail Sauce
$29.99/lb

 

Dungeness Crab Cakes with Lemon Aioli
$7.99/ea

 

 Fresh Dungeness Crab Meat
$34.99/lb

 

 Oyster Selection curated by Two X Sea
**Visit us or call to place a pre-order to insure availability!**
~Pair them with Champagne J. Lassalle, $39.99~

 

Hog Island Sweetwater (Tomales Bay, CA)
$1.50/ea
A rich, sweet Pacific Oyster with a slightly smoky finish.
Plump meat sits in a beautifully shaped, deep-cupped,
fluted shell that is the result of rack and bag farming techniques.

Kusshi (Stellar Bay, BC)
$2/ea
A round, uniform oyster with a smooth, hard shell.
Its flavor starts salty, then turns quite sweet thanks to the plump,
full meat. Finishes with a mildly fruity aftertaste.

Kumamoto (Humboldt Bay, CA)
 $2.50/ea
Slow-growing and small in size with a very deep cup.
Rich in flavor, almost buttery, and slightly salty.
The finish is sweet, mildly fruity with a light metallic flavor.

 

From our Kitchens
~Try Raventos i Blanc De Nit Sparkling Rose, $24.99~

 

Grilled Wild Salmon with Beet & White Bean Puree,
Marinated Beets & Dill
$10.99/ea

 

Seasonal Chicories Salad with Fulvi Pecorino Romano,
Almonds, Dates, Blood Orange
& Honey-Orange Blossom Vinaigrette
$10.99/lb

 

Roasted Golden Beets with Pickled Watermelon Radish,
Horseradish, Frisée & Sherry Vinaigrette
$9.99/lb

 

Desserts for Two from Bi-Rite Creamery
~Great with Chocolate: Forlorn Hope Petite Sirah, $29.99~

 Tiramisu Square with TCHO Chocolate Cocoa
$12.99/each

 

Chocolate Midnight Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
& Chocolate Ganache
$12.99/each

Chocolate Midnight Cupcake with Malted Vanilla
& Milk Chocolate Buttercreams
$5.99/2-pack

Vanilla Salted Caramel Cupcake
$5.99/2-pack

Beautiful Blooms
Fresh, Local, Sustainably-Grown Flowers
& Hand-Made Bouquets

 
Show your love with the finest responsibly-grown California flowers!

~Lovely Farm-Direct Mixed Bouquets~

~Lush California-Grown Roses~

~Romantic Certified Organic Tulips~