Bi-Rite Blog


 
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!

17x3 valentines shelf poster-03

 

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~

 



 
Jason Rose

Super Bowl = Food, Food, and…FOOD!

IMG_0120Food, friends, beer, and bone-crushing football. Even if your team didn’t make it to the Super Bowl, it’s still a great opportunity to gather and enjoy each other’s company, the great commercials, incredible snacks, and festive food!

The Super Bowl Classic, of course, is chips and dip. We have house-made 7-Layer Dip, plus Bi-Rite Guacamole and Spicy Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dip all made by our talented chefs. And we are so happy to now offer Nopalito salsas and chips, too, from one of our favorite neighboring businesses. There are also delicious salsa FullSizeRenderofferings from Santipapas and Papalote! And our chip options are killer: Casa Chicas, Primavera, Dosa Chips, and 4505 Chicharrones are all recommended for pleasing your crowd. We even have featured cheeses representing your preferred tea: Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar for the Seahawks fans, and Cabot Vintage Cheddar for you New England folks! Pair either with Rustic Bakery or Raincoast Crisp crackers for a perfect match.IMG_0118

And we’ve taken the hard work out of your heartier fare, too. Each Bi-Rite Market has a special menu of prepared items, perfect for a party, that are ready to pick up and take home.

                   Bi-Rite Market Divisadero Street Super Bowl Menu

                      Bi-Rite’s Barbecued St. Louis Ribs $13.99 per pound

Buttermilk Fried Chicken $12.99 per pound

Victory Chicken Wings with Sweet Chili Sauce,
Sesame, and Scallion
 $7.99 per pound

Pigs in a Blanket: BN Ranch Grass Fed Hot Dog
Wrapped in Puff Pastry 
$1.50 each

German Potato Salad $8.99 per pound

Pasta Salad with Seasonal Vegetables
& Red Wine Vinaigrette
 $7.99 per pound

Grilled Chicken Quesadillas $7.99 each

Bi-Rite Market 18th Street Super Bowl Menu

Bi-Rite’s Barbecued St. Louis Ribs $13.99 per pound

Buttermilk Fried Chicken $12.99 per pound

Victory Chicken Wings with Sweet Chili Sauce,
Sesame & Scallion
 $7.99 per pound

The Pig-Skin: Braised Pork Belly Sandwich
with Orange Mostarda & Chicory Slaw
 $10.99 each

German Potato Salad  $8.99 per pound

Winter Waldorf Salad  $10.99 per pound

Fried Falafel with Tahini  $5.99 for four

And don’t forget our amazing platters from Bi-Rite Catering! It’s not too late to get an order in for Sunday; you  have until Friday January 30 at 3pm to get it your Super Bowl yummies ordered and on their way.



 

Kiko’s Food News, 1.22.15

Deb Eschmeyer, whose FoodCorps today places 200 service members into schools nationwide to promote healthier eating, has replaced Sam Kass as executive director of Let’s Move! and senior policy adviser for nutrition policy: (Politico)

Chipotle suspended purchases from a pork producer that ran afoul of its animal welfare rules, an admirable stake in the ground that bolsters its reputation with diners but threatens sales and profits: (Reuters)

Despite what Paleo-heads may say, the microbiome’s ability to respond to our diet is why our bodies can adapt to so many different ways of eating–regardless of how long it might take for our genes themselves to change: (Huffington Post)

From policing deceptive labeling to protecting food workers, here’s a roundup of last year’s legal victories for food issues, in honor of my legally minded fiancé! (Eat Drink Politics)

Studies showed that students who ate lunch after recess consumed 54% more fruits and veggies than those who ate before–maybe because they weren’t rushing to playtime, or maybe because movement stoked their appetite for the healthy foods: (NPR)

Who else is thirsty for radlers (beers made with citrus juice) and Lambrucha (part lambic beer and part kombucha)? Guess I’m one of those health-conscious women to whom US beverage makers are targeting their new low-alcohol drinks: (New York Times)



 
Christine Mathias

Winter Brings Exciting New Catering Options!

butternutWhew! The holidays are finally over and we can all settle into our warm and cozies for a long nap, right? No way! What with the Super Bowl coming up and the Oscars right after that, there are tons of opportunities to throw a great party. Even if you’re looking to put on a smaller gathering of like-minded football or film lovers (or both!), Bi-Rite Catering’s new Peak-of-Season Menu is an easy choice to please every palate. And each platter and side dish serves around 12 to 15 people, so it’s easy to tailor quantities to your party size. It’s all local, delicious, and made to order!

goldenbeetWe are so excited to bring you handmade Mini Butternut Squash Risotto Cakes with Grilled Chicories — an item you can reheat in your home to serve piping hot to your guests. Our seasonal Focaccia Flatbread with Braised Kale, Ricotta, Calabrian Chili, and Pecorino Cheese arrives at your door crisp and ready to serve. We thought outside the box with our vegetarian Mini Baguette Sandwiches with Roasted Yams, Goat Cheese and Cilantro kalePesto for something truly unique. And pulling together several distinct flavors of the season in one dish, try the new Toasted Red Quinoa and Golden Beet Salad with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Caramelized Onion Vinaigrette. It’s just perfect! You can take a look at all the delicious options here. Now if you can only win your office Oscar pool…



 
Christine Mathias

Resolve to Eat Good Food This Year!

eat-good-food-coverAs the new year begins and we all decide how we want to improve ourselves or our lives, let’s consider the ritual of cooking. Food forms deep bonds, and making food for our family and friends with our own hands is a special kind of sharing; it’s a sharing of love, nourishment, and inspiration. Let’s all re-dedicate ourselves to the creation of simple, tasty, homemade food made with ingredients that are specialdelicious, local, and responsibly grown or made. Bi-Rite is here to help you make it happen! Following are six outstanding seasonal dishes from Eat Good Food, our go-to book written by Bi-Rite Family of Businesses Founder Sam Mogannam, that will motivate you to cook from the heart. Our Buyers each selected their favorite seasonal recipes, and to round out your meal, our Wine Buyer hand-picked a perfect wine to pair with each dish. Pick up copies of the recipes along with everything you need to create them at home. Happy New Year, happy cooking, and happy eating!

Our Meat Buyer, Chili, recommends:

  • Beef Stew with Peppers & Ale
    Wine pairing: Chateau Les Roches de Ferrand Fronsac Bordeaux, France 2007
  • Sumac-Roasted Chicken Du Monde
    Wine Pairing: Martincic Cvicek, Slovenia 2013    *give this wine a chill

Our Produce Buyer, Simon, recommends:

  • Fennel, Blood Orange & Avocado Salad
    Wine Pairing: Tatomer Gruner Veltliner Paragon, Santa Barbara 2013
  • Pan-Seared Broccolini 
    Wine Pairing: Farella Sauvignon Blanc Coombsville, Napa 2013

Our Grocery Buyer, Raph, recommends:

  • Bi-Rite Vinaigrette
  • Spaghetti with Tuna, Capers & Chile Flakes
    (Cheese Buyer Jon suggests topping it off with Fulvi Pecorino Romano!)
    Wine pairing: La Staffa Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico, Italy 2013

Our Cheese Buyer, Jon, recommends:

  • Grilled Manchego & Serrano Ham Sandwich with Membrillo
    Wine pairing: Luberri Orlegi Rioja, Spain 2013

BiRiteRecipeBeefStew

SumacChicken

FennelSalad

Broccolini

Spaghetti

Vinaigrette

ManchegoSandwich



 

Kiko’s Food News, 1.8.15

In 2015, if you’re not into fat you’d better leave the kitchen. So next time you’re left with a chicken carcass or beef bones, consider making the food trend and health silver bullet du jour: bone broth, which is like stock but with a higher proportion of bones to meat: (New York Times)

Similarly, schmaltz has long served as the backbone of Jewish cooking, but is making a comeback with home cooks who realize that lard isn’t such a bad-for-you ingredient, after all: (Huffington Post)

How cool that a publisher exists to put out only children’s books about healthy eating? Its latest title is Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious: (Civil Eats)

We knew gut bacteria was necessary for physical health, but a new Oxford study suggests that its presence dictates our mental health, too; prebiotics may have an anti-anxiety effect, as they alter the way that people process emotional information: (Huffington Post)

Yes the economy is improving, but this means about 1 million people will lose SNAP (food stamps) in the coming year as states re-impose the three-month limit on benefits to unemployed adults who are not disabled or raising children: (CNN)

An increasing number of food nonprofits are relying on Walmart to fund their programs, but this author encourages them to consider how what is good for one organization may not be good for the food movement as a whole: (Civil Eats)



 

Introducing…The Bi-Rite Wine Club!

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As the Wine Buyer for Bi-Rite, I taste hundreds of wines to find the best wines available. I created the Bi-Rite Wine Club, a monthly wine subscription service, to share the most exciting and delicious new wines I encounter—wines that you’ll be proud to serve and have in your cellar—to provide them in convenient packages at a great value. If you struggle to decide which wines to buy, our Wine Club provides the perfect solution by letting us do the work for you. Our Wine Club is like having a sommelier in your home!

I developed our two Bi-Rite Wine Club subscription options to offer you these great benefits, among others:

  • DISCOVER new wines! You’ll receive a mix of local and international wines each month—never the same wines twice!
  • SAVE on ALL wine purchases. Members of our Wine Clubs will receive 10% off all wines purchased at Bi-Rite Market, any time, with no minimum purchase required.
  • ENJOY hand-selected wines we love—tasted and chosen by our staff of wine experts. Bi-Rite Wine Club Members will be the first to have access to new and limited-edition wines, before they’re available on our store shelves.

Click here for full details and to sign up for Bi-Rite Wine Club, or to give Wine Club membership as a gift!

wine-club-breakdown-chart

 



 

Kiko’s Food News, 12.27.14

While most of us had our eyes on the holiday prize, Senate cleared and Obama signed a $1.1 trillion spending bill; tucked within it was a provision prohibiting the government from requiring less salt in school lunches and allowing schools to obtain exemptions from whole-grain requirements: (New York Times)

Last week at a friend’s dinner table, we noticed the wine label said “contains milk and eggs”; hard to understand, until I came across this article: (Civil Eats)

Tech advances in tuna catching are a boon for commercial fishing, but without more regulation, they could end up killing off the stock: (The Guardian)

A UC Berkeley study showed how methods like crop rotation and polyculture are much more productive than bare-bones organic farming, testament to the fact that simply eliminating pesticides does not make a farming system agroecological: (Civil Eats)

And research demonstrated that we feel less full when we think food has less calories; the hormonal response to this perception can sabotage diet attempts:(Forbes)