Bi-Rite Blog

Jessie Rogers

Turkey & Thanksgiving Cooking Tips, Recipes & More

We’ve assembled our tried-and-true tips for preparing your Thanksgiving Turkeys and Hams to perfection. Plus, we’ve got a helpful guide to reheating and serving items from our House-Made Thanksgiving Menu.

See the tips below, or click to download and print and have on hand in the kitchen! Also, be sure to try our favorite holiday recipes from Eat Good Food–delicious side dishes that will pair perfectly with your Turkey.

Still need a Thanksgiving Turkey? Stop by either Bi-Rite Market location and we’ll be happy to help! We’re open Wednesday, November 25 until 9pm! All Bi-Rite locations will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.

 How to Cook BN Ranch Heritage Turkey

  • Click the image below or click here to download a printable .pdf of this recipe


How to Cook Broad-Breasted Turkey

  • Click the image below or click here to download a printable .pdf of this recipe


How to Cook Holiday Ham

  • Click the image below or click here to download a printable .pdf of this recipe


Follow these simple instructions for reheating items from our House-Made Holiday Menus!

Download a printable .pdf here

Reheating Instructions 2015_Page 1_ProteinsandStuffings

Reheating Instructions 2015_Page2_CasserolesVegDessert

Jessie Rogers

Festive Finishing Touches for Thanksgiving

6BiRite-HOLIDAY-2015-Creamery-Thanksgiving-33-2When Thanksgiving Turkey and Menu plans are wrapped up, it’s time to focus on the little flourishes that make the day even more special. Deck your table with gorgeous flowers, treat guests to an elegant cheese platter, and end your meal with a sweet treat from Bi-Rite Creamery. And if you’re a guest, show your host your gratitude with a truly special gift. It’s all available for pre-order until Tuesday, November 24 at 5pm from our Holiday Market on Instacart for quick, convenient pick-up from either Bi-Rite Market location.

(There’s still time to pre-order Turkeys, complete Dinner Kits, our house-made side dishes and more for pick-up! Just visit our Holiday Market on Instacart!)

Holiday Cheese Plate

Essex1pateGreet your guests with a selection of cheeses to prime their palates. Kick off with Cabot Creamery Artisan Reserve 3-Year Aged Cheddar, a classic crowd-pleaser. We also love the best-in-class Essex Street Cheese Marcel Petit Fort Saint Antoine Comte and L’Amuse Signature Gouda. Pair them with Bi-Rite Market’s House-Made Pate de Campagne and Duck Rillettes, and be sure to include La Maison du Piment Sweet Cherry Confit and Peccati Di Ciacco Truffle Honey on the side for balance.

Farm-Direct Thanksgiving Floral

FullBellyFlowers2We have an incredible Floral Team at the ready to provide you with seasonal and responsibly-grown plants and flowers. You can pre-order a Bi-Rite Market Mixed Bouquet to take along with you to your event. We also carry Dried Kitchen Bouquets from Oak Hill Farm that maintain beautiful color. Best of all are the Custom Thanksgiving Floral Centerpieces that our teams can create for you. Come to either Market and talk to the Florists about your specific needs!

Sweet Treats from Bi-Rite Creamery

Bi-Rite Creamery6BiRite-HOLIDAY-2015-Creamery-Thanksgiving-18 makes incredible pies all year ’round, but their Holiday specialties are not to be missed. We have the classics: Pumpkin Pie, smooth and rich. Apple Pie, with crumb topping and plump apples from Hidden Star Orchards. And Pecan Pie, with the perfect layer of sweet pecan crunch on top. For something a little different, don’t miss the Pumpkin Bundt Cake, made with organic pumpkin and topped with Salted Caramel Glaze and Vincent Family Dried Cranberries. It’s moist, dense, and delicious, and only available for Thanksgiving. And whether it’s pie or cake, a serving of Bi-Rite Creamery ice cream is a must!

Giving Thanks to your Host

Bourbon2pan3Don’t show up empty handed! Show your gratitude with a bottle of Signatory Imperial Scotch. This extremely limited 15-year-old Scotch, one of only two bottlings every created in a historic distillery in Speyside, Scotland is exclusive to Bi-Rite. Or bring along our special single barrel bottling of Buffalo Trace Bourbon, hand-selected by our Spirits Buyer; it complements the fresh, hand-made Ship to Shore Hot Buttered Rum Balls (a Bi-Rite staff favorite!) to create a festive and warming drink. Beautifully-wrapped and delicious, Rustichella d’ Abruzzo Panettone in Classic, Cherry and Chocolate, and Fig and Chocolate options is a traditional Italian artisan bread they’ll love; perfect with coffee the morning after Thanksgiving.

We’re here to help you plan your entire Thanksgiving meal, including all the little extras to make your day spectacular. The deadline to pre-order through our Instacart Holiday Market for pickup at the Markets  is 5pm on Tuesday, November 24th. And of course, just call or visit if you need recommendations or advice. Our Thanksgiving Hotline is available at (415) 241-9760; select option 3!

New to Instacart?

Create a new account and save $5 on your first order of $35 or more when you pre-order Thanksgiving Turkey and Menus from the Bi-Rite Holiday Market!
when you check out, after selecting a pick-up date!


Our Favorite Wines, Ciders & Spirits for Thanksgiving

fall-leavesThanksgiving is fast approaching and it’s one of our favorite meals of the year, because with all of the different dishes served it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy a variety of libations. At Bi-Rite, we believe in the idiom that variety is the spice of life, that we should celebrate all of the wonderful wines, spirits, and ciders that are available to us now. Here are some of our favorites for your Thanksgiving dinner.

SparklingSparklings are a festive way to start a meal, and we could not think of a better Champagne for the occasion: the Champagne Cordeuil Extra Brut* ($44.99) is made from mostly Pinot Noir with a touch of Chardonnay, and is aged for 7 years on the lees to give it a nice round texture and bready, yeasty aroma. It’s perfect with a soft, triple cream cheese, like Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam – this dense and buttery cheese is a favorite of our guests and a must for any celebration.

If Champagne is too much on the budget, check out the amazing ciders from Eric Bordelet. We have a couple in the Markets but the Eric Bordelet Granit Poire* ($22.99) is our top choice. Made from pears of 60-foot-tall, 300-year-old trees, the Granit is very dry and complex with tiny bubbles that can stand tall next to fine sparklings.

pinot_nouveauBeaujolais Nouveaus
are made to celebrate the end of harvest for winemakers. Usually simple and boring with bubblegum and banana flavors, it was never thought of as a serious wine to drink with dinner, though it is always associated with Thanksgiving because the release date is always the third Thursday of November. Lucky for us, one of the best Beaujolais producers, Jean Foillard, decided to make a Beaujolais that you can be proud to serve at your holiday table, the Jean Foillard Beaujolais Nouveau 2015 ($21.99). It is made with old vines (40-60 years) from vineyards near the cru Morgon; it is bright and juicy with a hint of cracked black pepper. If you’re looking for a spin on tradition and seeking something domestic (it is an American holiday after all), Samantha Sheehan of Poe Wines makes an excellent Nouveau from her Pinot Noir grapes. The Poe Pinot Nouveau ($19.99) is lovely with fresh strawberry notes and some earthy spice notes.


OccidentalThe French have a tradition of drinking a small amount of brandy or Calvados (apple brandy) between courses to settle the stomach and reawaken the palate, what they call le trou normand. The Occidental Road Apple Brandy* ($49.99), by St. George Spirits, made with Gravenstein apples in Sonoma and aged 5 years in oak barrels, is the perfect choice for your Thanksgiving trou normand.  This apple brandy is rich and deep with caramel and spice notes. Normally only available at restaurants, this unique apple brandy is only available to us for retail.

Whether your celebrations are large or small, stop by our Markets to shop our complete selection of holiday wines, ciders, and spirits to round out your Thanksgiving festivities.  Cheers to a fantastic meal!

WineBlitzLogoLooking for wine for holiday parties, gifts, or family gatherings?  Don’t forget, our Holiday Wine Blitz is December 7-13! Save 20% on purchases of 12 bottles or more, mix and match throughout our entire selection.  Join us at 18 Reasons for a Preview Tasting on Thursday, December 3, from 6-7pm or 7-8pm and place your pre-order!

*These holiday wines, ciders, and spirits are available for convenient pre-order and pick-up from our online Holiday Market and view our complete selection.

Christine Mathias

Turkey Tips & our Fave Holiday Recipes

The Centerpiece of your Thanksgiving Table

It’s just a week Thanksgiving! We are proud to offer the tastiest, freshest Thanksgiving Turkeys, including Heritage and Broad-Breasted Turkeys from BN Ranch, and more. All our Turkeys are NOW AVAILABLE for Online Pre-Order from our Instacart Holiday Market for easy pick-up at either Bi-Rite Market location. Order yours today!


If you’re new to Instacart, you can save $5 on your first order of $35 or more from our special Holiday Market. Just create a new account, and enter the code BIRITETHANKSGIVING at check-out, after you select a pick-up date for your order at either Bi-Rite Market location.


 Our online pre-order deadline

for Turkeys and Thanksgiving Menu Items is

Tuesday, November 24 at 5pm


Turkey Cooking Tips & our Favorite Holiday Recipes

If you love to cook, or need to bring a special dish to a family event, our Chefs have assembled their favorite recipes from Eat Good Food, as well as are Cooking Tips for preparing your Thanksgiving turkey to perfection. Get them all here!

An easy and hearty side like our Roasted Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Caper Butter is a seasonal dish that is comforting and flavorful, and can be made with just a handful of ingredients. The Potato, Parsnip, and Celery Root Soup turns veggies into a creamy, rich dish that vegetarians and omnivores alike will love. And for a sweet treat, try Mom’s Pear Skillet CakeDownload the recipes and shop them online for delivery here, or ask for a copy when you visit Bi-Rite Market!


 Easy Steps for Thanksgiving Pre-Orders

  • All orders from Bi-Rite’s Instacart Holiday Market are for in-store pick-up only, at either Bi-Rite Market location. (If ordering from outside San Francisco, please use Bi-Rite’s 94110 zip code to create an account.)
  • Need help? No problem! A Bi-Rite Thanksgiving Hotline is available at (415) 241-9760; select option 3 for Thanksgiving menu-planning and ordering assistance. Menus can also be ordered in person with Bi-Rite Market staff at either market location, or by phone.


Celebrate with Ciders!

CiderBottlePearAppleWhile cider has been enjoying a renaissance recently here in San Francisco, it is anything but new. As many of you already know, cider has been an American staple, well, since before there was a United States of America. Many attempts were made to grow wine grapes in the New World, but they just wouldn’t take. Ale was dandy, but its low alcohol content meant that it spoiled easily, and the barrier to enter the whiskey-producing market was high. Plus, grain could be used for making bread (essential), whereas apples that were too bitter to eat raw…let’s ferment ’em!

Of course, cider didn’t start here. People have been crushing apples and fermenting the juice for centuries in Europe and each region has developed distinct styles. In Normandy, people used apples and pears as well to make sparkling ciders with varying levels of sweetness. In Northern Spain, producers often age their ciders in barrel over the winter which lends them funkier, dusty notes. InEngland, the characteristic bittersweet and bitter-sharp apples of the land shine in the best examples. Here in the U.S., where we’re not as bound by tradition as many of our European friends, you can see the varied styles that American cider makers produce.  From terroir-driven, rustic Farmhouse style to beer-inspired ciders with addition of hops to for a floral, citrusy bite to flavored ciders with addition of complementary ingredients like ginger or elderflower that bring out the complexity of the apples.

Throughout the months of November and December, we’re celebrating all of the different styles of ciders available today – they can stand tall next to any fine sparkling wine on your holiday table. Here are just some examples of the ciders we have in our Markets right now, but keep checking back frequently as we’re going to rotate more ciders throughout the holiday season.

Millstone Cherrykriek | $21.99
Millstone was founded by two brothers, Kyle and Curt Sherrer, in 2012 in the town of Monkton, Maryland.  Their goal is to create ciders that are chemical-free, late-harvest only, barrel-fermented, and aged to express the unique, local flavors of orchard apples grown in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland. The Cherrykriek is made by blending dark cherries with their oak-aged cider. The tart and complex cherry flavor is a perfect complement to funky cheeses or a roast duck.Shacksbury

Riestra Sidra Natural | $10.99
The Riestra family has been making cider since 1906, started by Robustiano Riestra, who passed down the art of cider making through several generations; Raúl Riestra is the current owner and cider maker of this illustrious estate. This is a classic, natural, dry, unfiltered Spanish cider with fruity aromas and the characteristic tart acidity of Spanish apples. This is great with a Jamon Iberico and Manchego.Shacksbury Farmhouse 2014 | $10.99
For David Dolginow and Colin Davis, they believe that no apple should be left behind. Founders of Shoreham, Vermont’s Shacksbury Cider, Dolginow and Davis are on a mission from the apple gods to reincarnate the old, forgotten and “lost apple” orchards of scores past, that once thrived as agricultural delicacies in the Northeast. This Farmhouse cider is made from Jonagold, Spartan, and small amount of English bittersweet apples. Balanced, intriguing, and matched with an aged cheddar, this cider is a stepping stone into the rustic side of cider.WineBlitzLogoStocking up on wine for holiday parties, gifts, or family gatherings?  Don’t forget, our Holiday Wine Blitz is December 7-13! Save 20% on purchases of 12 bottles or more, mix and match throughout our entire selection.  Join us at 18 Reasons for a Preview Tasting on Thursday, December 3, from 6-7pm or 7-8pm and place your pre-order!

Waverley Aufmuth

Fort Point Beer is Here!

Fort Point LogoAt long last, the wait is finally over! Those delicious brews you already know and love from Fort Point Beer Company are now available in 6-pack cans, and we’re thrilled to have them join our line-up! We will be carrying all four of their core beers (see below, $11.99 / 6-pack) at both Bi-Rite Market locations. These tasty brews will be delivered fresh weekly, straight from the source to provide you, our guests, with the freshest local option in San Francisco!

Fort Point Beer Company was founded in 2014 by brothers Tyler and Justin Catalana in the Presidio of San Francisco. The brewery resides in a historic Presidio building that was formerly used as an Army motor pool. Being situated in this iconic landscape reinforces our pride in San Francisco and in the beer they brew. Fort Point creates balanced, thoughtful beers that reference traditional styles but are by no means bound to them – Fort Point beers tell a story, inspire an idea, and are thoroughly enjoyable.

Fort Point ParkPark is generously hopped with Citra hops in every step of the brewing process, resulting in a fantastic grapefruit and passion fruit aroma and flavor. Unique Biere de Garde yeast supplements the fragrant aspects of the beer and provides a slightly tart and dry finish.

Fort Point WestfaliaWestfalia
packs beautiful intense malt and caramel flavors into a smooth and satisfying mahogany red body. Fermented at a cooler temperature like the Altbiers of Germany, Westfalia is a malt purist’s dream. Its plush mouthfeel and mild demeanor make it a great choice alone or with a meal. A favorite of our Beer Buyer, Jon!

Fort Point VillagerVillager IPA
puts hop aroma first with a unique blend of bittering and aroma hops. These unusual suspects create an aroma that’s citrusy and floral with the faintest bit of forest. Its mild bitterness and simple malt bill keep it easy and drinkable.

Fort Point KSAAn idiosyncratic take on the classic Kölsch style, KSA uses a careful balance of American bittering hops and German malts to create a clean and refreshing light ale. Munich and Vienna malts contribute nuanced flavors of baked bread and Saphir & Warrior hops balance things out with a clean finish.


Last Chance to Get Blitzed This Weekend!


Our Fall Wine Blitz is happening NOW!  Save 20% on purchases of 12 bottles or more, mix and match throughout our entire selection, now through this Sunday, November 8.  This is a fantastic opportunity to stock up on holiday wines before Thanksgiving, so be sure to stop by either of the Markets before the Blitz ends!WineBlitzLogoandBottles-01

Out of town or can’t make it to the Markets this weekend?  Don’t worry, our Winter Wine Blitz will run Monday to Sunday, December 7-13.  Join us for a preview tasting on Thursday, December 3, at 18 Reasons – stay tuned next week for links to the preview tasting tickets and more information about our holiday wines and ciders!

Christine Mathias

Scrumptious Thanksgiving Side Dishes & Dinner Kits


Thanksgiving is just weeks away! Our entire range of wonderful Thanksgiving turkeys, menu items, Bi-Rite Creamery desserts, and more is now available for pre-order through our trusted partner, Instacart. Visit our special Instacart Holiday Market for exceptional Thanksgiving centerpieces like BN Ranch’s Heritage and Broad Breasted Turkeys. You’ll also find our Complete Thanksgiving Dinner Kits–the perfect solution to offer your guests a home-cooked meal without all the work. And our House-Made Thanksgiving Menu offers all the delectable side dishes, gravy, stuffing, and special extras you need for an unforgettable meal.

DinnerKit2Complete Dinner Kits
Our Thanksgiving dinner kits offer a convenient solution for serving a home-cooked meal without all the work. Each kit comes with complete reheating and serving instructions. Thanksgiving Dinner Kits are available for convenient online pre-order and in-store pick-up from our Holiday Market on Instacart. Quantities are limited, so order early to insure availability. Choose from three convenient options:

Intimate Turkey Dinner Kit – $175 (Serves 4-6 Guest)

House-Roasted Diestel Ranch Turkey Breast, 2 lbs
Slow-Cooked BN Ranch Dark Turkey Meat, 1 lb
Wild Mushroom, Celery & Herb Bread Stuffing (V), 2 qts
Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Carrots with Bacon & Maple Syrup, 3 pts
Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic & Scallions (Veg), 2 qts
Wild Mushroom & Zinfandel Gravy (GF), 1 pt
Cranberry-Tangerine & Honey Relish, ½ pt
Bi-Rite Creamery Pumpkin Pie, 9”

Classic Turkey Dinner Kit – $250 (Serves 8-10)

Oven-Roasted Whole Organic Diestel Ranch Turkey, 10-12 lbs
Wild Mushroom, Celery & Herb Bread Stuffing (V), 3 qts
Butternut Squash & Apple Soup with Fresh Sage (V), 3 qts
Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Carrots with Bacon & Maple Syrup, 3 pts
Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic & Scallions (Veg), 2 qts
Wild Mushroom & Zinfandel Gravy (GF), 2 pts
Cranberry-Tangerine & Honey Relish, 1 pt
Bi-Rite Creamery Pumpkin Pie, 9”

Company’s Coming for Dinner Kit – $350 (Serves 12-14)

Oven-Roasted Whole Organic Diestel Ranch Turkey, 10- 12 lbs
Sonoma County Meat Co. Smoked Hamlette, 3½ – 4 lbs
Wild Mushroom, Celery & Herb Bread Stuffing (V), 3 qts
Butternut Squash & Apple Soup with Fresh Sage (V), 3 qts
Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Carrots with Bacon & Maple Syrup, 4 pts
Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic & Scallions (Veg), 3 qts
Wild Mushroom & Zinfandel Gravy (GF), 3 pts
Cranberry-Tangerine & Honey Relish, 1 pt
Bi-Rite Creamery Pumpkin Pie, 9”
Bi-Rite Creamery Organic Apple Pie, 9”


Cornbread Stuffing (L) and Wild Mushroom Stuffing (R)

For your vegetarian friends and family, side dishes are what make Thanksgiving great! Bi-Rite makes it easy to be sure there are dishes for everyone on the table, all available for online pre-order and easy pick-up at either market. Select favorites like Green Bean & Wild Mushroom Casserole with Caramelized Onions, Chestnuts, and Breadcrumbs or Bourbon Sweet Potato Mash with Candied Pecans. We even have a vegan Porcini Mushroom & Marsala Gravy to accompany the Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic and Scallions. For vegans, try Mama’s Roasted Carrots with Tahini, Lemon, Garlic, and Parsley or Wild Mushroom, Celery, & Herb Bread Stuffing and Butternut Squash & Apple Soup with Fresh Sage.

Dungeness Crab Bisque

Dungeness Crab Bisque

View our entire House-Made Thanksgiving Menu for a complete list of savory sides. Our Dungeness Crab & Fennel Bisque is a seasonal delight. And don’t miss the Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Carrots with Bacon and Maple Syrup and our outstanding Jalapeño Cornbread & House-Made Chorizo Sausage Stuffing that is a delicious spin on the traditional dish.

So head on over to the Instacart Holiday Market and get your orders in for Thanksgiving! The pre-order deadline is 5pm on Tuesday, November 24th. Our turkeys tend to go quickly, so don’t procrastinate. We are so happy to be able to share our love of food with you, our guests, and can’t wait to be a part of your holiday!

There’s still time to save on all your wine for Thanksgiving. Visit us this week for Wine Blitz and SAVE 20% on mix-and-match cases of wine! Available at both Markets through Sunday, November 8th. Plus, we’ll provide free delivery of your wine in San Francisco.


John Herbstritt

Pinot Noir & Fall Wine Blitz Next Week!


It’s hard to believe, but once upon a time, many winemakers in California thought thatPinot Noir would never find a home here. They looked at the rainy, cold, limestone slopes of Burgundy and saw a climate so alien to anywhere they were familiar with that the thought of emulating those famous wines seemed futile. The (perhaps) apocryphal story there is that the Cistercian monks who were responsible for mapping out the differentclimats on the Côte d’Or would train their palates by tasting the soil from each parcel. The Burgundy that we know today is the culmination of centuries of accumulated ancestral knowledge.

It took time to realize that we didn’t need to emulate Burgundy – we needed to forge a style of California Pinot Noir that spoke with its own voice. The Hanzell Vineyardcompetes with the Van der Kamp vineyard for the title of oldest Pinot Noir vines in California, but back when these were planted there was no guarantee that they would ever yield wines with the grace, power, and longevity that they have become known for. For many, these wines were more gratifying than their Burgundian counterparts. In Burgundy only the best years yield wines with the level of fruit and body that we take for granted in California. In fact, many Pinot Noir (and Chardonnay) lovers today are callingfor more restraint in this category, inciting something of a divide among California wine lovers.

And then of course there is Oregon. In 1979 the ’75 Eyrie Vineyards South Block Pinot Noir placed in the Top Ten in the Gault-Millau Wine Olympiad, beating out some very prestigious red Burgundy. One of these wineries even decided to establish a vineyard in Oregon, and in the late 1980s, Domaine Drouhin was founded in the Dundee Hills. The cool climate of the Willamette Valley made Pinot Noir cultivation seem obvious, and a combination of cataclysmic geologic events (see Columbia River Basalt Flow and The Great Missoula Floods) make for some extremely varied terroir. The monks would have a heyday there today.

Among other things, these events demonstrate what a blip on the radar our notion of terroir really is. In Burgundy climate change equals hailstorms that destroyed the crop in some villages for three out of the past five vintages. Oregon just experienced two of the hottest vintages on record and, well, we know what is going on in our backyard. Let’s do as the monks would do and pray for rain…luckily for them, and for us, in between masses they also practiced what they preached and drank some good wine.BiRite-HOLIDAY-2015-hannakuh-235

Bi-Rite Market Public Label Poe Pinot Noir
Regular Price: $21.99 Blitz Price: $17.59
Our Bi-Rite exclusive wine was sourced from a one of the oldest Pinot Noir vineyards in Sonoma called Olcese. We collaborated with one California’s best winemakers,Samantha Sheehan of Poe, to make us this phenomenal bottle. Theresult is beautifully aromaticwith cherry and raspberry fruit notes.We love this with avariety of foods, from wild caught salmonto Heritage pork chops.

Bader-Mimeur Bourgogne Rouge
Regular Price: $22.99 Blitz Price: $18.39 
The Pinot Noir for this wine comes from white wine territory in Chassagne-Montrachet. It is spry, full of bright red fruit, and dexterous. Enjoy this with poultry dishes like roast chickens or duck breast. Who said Burgundy couldn’t be a bit of fun?Broadley Pinot Noir

Broadley Pinot Noir Jessica’s Vineyard
Regular Price: $29.99 Blitz Price: $23.99
Broadley Vineyards, established by Craig and Claudia Broadley, are now joined by their son Morgan and his wife Jessica. This wine is sourced from a single vineyard named after their daughter-in-law. It’s classic Willamette. Seared duck breast with cooked cranberries and friends around the table showcases the wine’s depth.

WineBlitzLogoThe Wine Blitz starts next week, Monday through Sunday, November 2-8! Once again we’ll be offering 20% off the purchase of 12 bottles or more mix and match throughout the selection. The dates are November 2-8 for the Fall Blitz and December 7-13 for the Winter Blitz. Come into your local Bi-Rite Market and place a pre-order to avoid the crowds!


Pomegranates + Persimmons = Flavors of NorCal Fall Fruit

IMG_6400Lately, autumn in the Bay Area means beautiful warm weather. In the Bi-Rite Market Produce Department it’s all about the transition from juicy and mouthwatering summer fruit to fall fruit that offers a much different eating experience. Local apples and pears are always an exciting crop in the fall, but there are a couple other crops that don’t get the recognition they deserve.  Persimmons and pomegranates not only represent the colors of autumn, they add unique flavors and texture to seasonal dishes.

Fuyu Persimmon

Fuyu Persimmon

Growing up on the East Coast, I had never even heard of a persimmon! In Northern California they are growing in back yards throughout the Bay. The squat-shaped Fuyu Persimmon is the most common variety— they are similar to an apple in the sense that you can eat it out of your hand when it’s firm in texture and ripe.  A Fuyu is ripe when the skin is bright orange, but depending on the exact variety or the growing region it can be pale in color.  Fuyus have a nice crunchy texture and the flavor that is mildly sweet with hints of cinnamon.  They are a great piece of fruit to chop up and add to savory salads and salsa since they add perfect texture and sweetness. Fuyus are very high in potassium and lycopene (a cancer-fighting antioxidant.)

Hachiya Persimmons

Hachiya Persimmons

The elongated, oval-shaped Hachiya Persimmon is a whole different ball game than the Fuyu. First off, a Hachiya can’t be eaten when it is firm like a Fuyu, due to its astringent qualities. The fruit needs to ripen up to a “pudding-like” texture, and the piece of fruit should feel like a balloon in your hand.  Once the Hachiya is ripe, the easiest way to eat it would be to peel of the top layer of skin and to spoon out the sweet, silky, and smooth pulp. The Produce Crew at Bi-Rite spends a lot of time ripening the Hachiya Persimmons, so that we have them ready to eat when we put them on the shelf. Many other retailers sell them in a rock-hard state and it may take 4-7 days to ripen on the kitchen counter before they are at their desired ripeness. Hachiyas are very versatile in the kitchen, from spreading the ripe pulp on toast like jam to making persimmon pudding and cakes.

For the past 10 years, from fall through the holidays, we’ve been lucky enough to have beautiful IMG_6391“Wonderful” Pomegranates straight from Balakian Family Farm in Reedley, California. Like most fruit, the longer the fruit gets to hang on the tree and ripen, the better the flavor will be. If a pomegranate is harvested too early the juice and arils (seeds) will be tart in flavor. The flavor of the Balakian Pomegranates is perfectly balanced between sweet/tart and the arils are plump and juicy. It can be challenging to pick out a ripe pomegranate, but we are fortunate enough to work with a farm that harvests them when they are truly ready, taking the hard work out of choosing the perfect fruit. Pomegranate arils are a great addition to chicory salad and also pair nicely with the flavor of persimmons.

Come in to either Bi-Rite Market today and have a taste of our incredible fall fruits!