Home Archive by category 'Eat Good Food'

Archive for the ‘Eat Good Food’ Category


Simon

Digging Deeper – The Story of the Bi-Rite Farm

For the past 13 years the produce section at Bi-Rite has been a dynamic portrayal of the incredible seasonal fruits and vegetables that are being harvested throughout Northern California. Today, we are so lucky to grow our own produce on a three-acre plot in Sonoma and a gorgeous one-acre orchard in Placerville.  In so many ways, starting the Bi-Rite farm was a natural continuation of our investment in food, agriculture, and the community we are feeding and being fed by.

cultivating-more-than-produce-1Building relationships with all the farmers we work with is at the heart of everything we do. However, the missing link has always been our own connection to the soil. Until we began the farm, we had experienced just about every part of the Good Food movement except actually getting our hands dirty. In 2009, we finally broke ground on a small third of an acre in Sonoma. That first summer we set up all of our drip irrigation on timers, planted crops that needed minimal attention, and just crossed our fingers! We had an incredible first summer of tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers, and eventually added a chicken coup and bee hives to the mix!

That same year, Sam’s folks purchased a small piece of land in the foothills of the Sierras. This one acre orchard supplies both the Market and Creamery with blueberries, apples, peaches, figs, and much more all through the summer and fall!

cultivating-more-than-produce-5In 2011, we partnered with 18 Reason to offer “Farm School,” a 10 class program that gives folks in our community the opportunity to learn how to grow their own food. In its fifth year now, we love seeing students transplant baby tomato plants into the ground in May and then harvest beautiful, vine-ripe fruit in August.  As we grow, we’re excited to deepen our education programs to get more kids in the dirt, stay tuned!

In 2013, we hired Layla, who beyond giving the farm the attention and care it needs and deserves, has been dialing in the crops that grow best, and the crops that our chefs love to work with in the Market kitchens, improving the systems for planting, irrigating, and harvesting in ways we couldn’t have imagined. We soon realized it had become increasingly difficult to properly rotate the crops and give areas of the farm the rest they needed on one single acre. So in the 2016 farm season we expanded our production into the entire three-acre parcel.  We’ve since begun planting perennial crops like hops, raspberries, and flowers, and upped our production of high-demand produce for the Markets in a big way!  Layla has built up her farm crew and with the hiring of Anna, Anton, and Michael the farm is now being run by a fantastic group of next-generation farmers.

Throughout the month of September into October we’ll be celebrating the wonderful fruits and veggies from both of our Farms. Look for veggie crops like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, and fruit crops like apples, figs, and melons.  The produce will be highlighted in the produce section at both Markets with Bi-Rite Farm signage and the Market kitchens will be preparing and serving the veggies in their Deli dishes.  Our farmer will also be taking a break from their daily farm work, coming down to meet our guests, and tell them more about the farm. Come “Meet Your Farmers” at 18th on Mon 9/12 and Tues 10/4 at 18th and at Divis on Mon 9/19 and Tues 10/11, always from 4-7pm!

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Simon

From Kishus to Cocktails

Kishus

Kishus

The California Citrus Experience is in full swing at the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses!  The beginning of February is when the California citrus season hits its peak, with so many diverse varieties and flavors.  Whether you want a piece of citrus to quickly peel and eat, or a variety to make your Grandma’s favorite citrus marmalade recipe, we have you covered.

Throughout California there are many different micro-climates that have the advantage in growing specific types of citrus. In the mountains of Ojai, just southeast of Santa Barbara, there’s a collective of farmers that grow some of the sweetest fruit you can find in the state.  Jim at Churchill Orchards is the master of growing Kishu and Pixie Tangerines.  The Pixie harvest doesn’t start until the end of February, but the bite-sized Kishu Tangerines are perfect right now. The Kishu is a seedless, easy-peeling, about 2 inches in diameter, and kids love them!

Rio Red Grapefruit

Rio Red Grapefruit

Growing up back East, my main experience with grapefruits was cutting a Rio Star Grapefruit in half, sprinkling sugar on it to cut the tart flavor, and eating it with a spoon.  The grapefruit situation in California now is at a whole other level.  Grapefruits are historically known as a high-acid fruit, and most of the time the acid dominates the sweet flavor. We currently have three to five different grapefruit varieties in the Produce Department, and they all have their own unique flavor profile.  The Melogold Grapefruit from Deer Creek Heights Ranch in Porterville is a cross between Siamese Sweet Pomelo and a Duncan White Grapefruit. They have the sweet juicy Pomelo flavor and very few seeds.  The Cocktail Grapefruit from Cunningham Organic Farm in Fallbrook is very special because of the “acidless” flavor — it’s the best for juicing and making cocktails.

The California Citrus Experience at Bi-Rite wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t offer our guest some creative cocktail recipes to try out all this amazing fruit.  Josh Harris of The Bon Vivants was kind enough to create a few recipes that highlight not only citrus but some of our artisan liquors.  The Spicy Paloma is the perfect cocktail to showcase these unique grapefruit varieties.

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Not all citrus is for eating out of hand.  Some varieties need a preparation before consumption.  There are two varieties that are really hard to find and are the most versatile in the kitchen. The Seville Orange is sour, tart, and full of seeds but it’s very juicy, and it offers fragrant essential oils, and is perfect for marmalade.  The Bergamot Oranges are most commonly known for its skin’s essential oil, used in Earl Grey tea (and Bi-Rite Creamery’s Earl Grey Ice Cream!) It’s a combination of sour orange and lemon, and both characteristics come through in the appearance and flavor.  Here’s another wonderful cocktail recipe that highlights both of these sour oranges! We are loving the California Citrus Experience at the Bi-Rite Family of Business, and we hope you are too!

Citrus_recipes


Simon

A Winter Sir Prize

SirPrizeThe drought conditions in California make it more and more challenging to cultivate Hass Avocados, especially in Southern California where most of them come from. This year the organic California Hass season ended more quickly than it has in the past decade. Typically, we are bombarded with beautiful, organically-grown avocados for about 10 months out of the year but the quality of the Hass can drop dramatically during the winter months, so a lot of them are imported from Chile and Mexico to fill the gap. In recent years at the Market we’ve been focusing our attention on other seasonal avocados to fill the void before Hass season starts. These seasonal varieties may not have the same high-oil content and rich buttery texture, but they’re unique in their own ways and a pleasure to eat.

The one winter variety that has the produce lovers at Bi-Rite excited this time of year is the Sir Prize Avocado grown by Tenalu in Porterville, CA. The Sir Prize avocado was created during the Open Pollination Breeding Trial by the University of California, and it’s considered the “Grandchild of the Hass.” The Sir Prize is able to grow in colder climates and ripens 2 months before the Hass in California.

CitrusAvoFennelSaladThe Sir Prize is a thin-skinned, pear-shaped avocado that turns black and get very soft when it’s perfectly ripe. They also have the most flesh-to-seed/skin ratio of any commercial avocado. It has a nutty taste, and it’s high-oil so it’s great in guacamole or just sprinkled with a bit of salt and lemon. Avocados are most commonly thrown on a sandwich or whipped up into guacamole, but if you like to eat seasonally, they pair really well with another crop that’s in season– citrus! Try our Fennel, Blood Orange, Avocado Salad recipe from Eat Good Food, that highlights three of our favorite seasonal produce items and pairs them with Dungeness crab. We are staying optimistic for California’s Dungeness Crab Season this year, as crab really takes this salad over the top!  Even without the crab this salad demonstrates how fresh California winter can taste with clean raw fennel, sweet citrus, and wonderfully nutty avocado. Since Blood Orange season has yet to begin, try it with Navel Oranges or Satsuma Mandarins. If you love to eat with the seasons, don’t miss the Sir Prize Avocado! Come by one of the markets and ask for a taste today.


Waverley

Our Favorite Recipes for Your Holiday Table

It’s time to gather ’round the table!

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We are proud to offer Five Dot Ranch grass-fed, beautifully marbled Beef Brisket and Beef Prime Ribfor your holiday celebrations, NOW PrimeRibAVAILABLE for Online Pre-Orderfrom our Instacart Holiday Market for easy pick-up at either Bi-Rite Market location.Order yours today!

 

Planning your Prime Rib dinner? For ONE DAY ONLY save $3 per pound on our Five Dot Ranch Beef Prime Rib! Pre-Order your Prime Rib this Friday, December 11, from our Instacart Holiday Market for this special pricing of $15.99/lb (regularly $18.99/lb), for easy, in-store pick-up.

 

 

Tips for Brisket, Prime Rib, and our Favorite Holiday Recipes

Get our favorite seasonal recipes for Holiday side dishes and desserts, plus tips from our Chefs for cooking the perfect Prime Rib or Brisket.

Download recipes, shop them online for delivery,
or ask for a recipe card when you visit Bi-Rite Market!

 

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 Easy Steps for Holiday 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 Holiday Hotline is available at(415) 241-9760; select option 3 for Holiday menu-planning and ordering assistance. Menus can also be ordered in person with Bi-Rite Market staff at either market location, or by phone.

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!
Enter the code BIRITETHANKSGIVING
when you check out, after selecting a pick-up date!


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.

Jon Fancey

Gruyere 1655 Makes Everything Better

Now through November, the Bi-Rite Market Cheese Department is celebrating one of our favorite European cheeses: IMG_6279Gruyere 1655. I spent a week in Switzerland last month and ate quite a bit of Gruyere. Originally, the cheese was made by two brothers in the town of Gruyere, Switzerland, and the cheese took on the city’s name after the year 1655, when a noble in the area had the cheese made for his family. There are so many reasons that you should come in to the Markets and grab your own piece of Gruyere 1655 to enjoy!

  • It’s the perfect everyday cheese–Breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, or dinner.
  • It’s delicious–A well-rounded flavor and an amazing texture make this one of the most memorable cheeses we sell.
  • It pairs well with all of this season’s flavors–Heirloom Apples from California, Seckel Pear and Vincent Family Dried Cranberries from Oregon, or the new Underground Meats Summer Sausage from Madison, Wisconsin are incredible when paired with Gruyere!
  • It melts like a dream—Perfect for grilled cheese, quiche, a gratin, or even macaroni & cheese. Be on the lookout for recipe cards in the Markets, like the one below.
  • It’s sturdy & satisfying–Perfect for a picnic in the park, a day hike, or a weekend camping trip.
  • It preserves traditional cheese-making–Wheels of Gruyere 1655 are handmade at Fromagerie La Cret and are lovingly aged by Fromage Gruyere SA. Both firms are committed to the heritage of Switzerland’s most important cheese.
  • It’s the best cheese for Fondue—Everyone loves a pot of melted cheese on a foggy San Francisco evening, especially when it’s Gruyere 1655 in the pot.

Please stop by either Market and ask for a taste of this great Alpine cheese!

Gruyere recipe card_GrilledCheese


Simon

Enjoying the Peak of Tomato Season

IMG_5651One of the most exciting times of year in the Bay Area is when the local farms start harvesting tomatoes in early June. By the time September rolls around, the local tomato season has hit its peak. All the local farmers from the Pescadero Coast to the Sierra foothills have vine-ripened tomatoes that offer different flavors depending on the growing practices and climate. Throughout September in at both Bi-Rite Markets, we are celebrating the Tomato Triple Play, which highlights three different tomato crops— Heirloom, Cherry, and Dry-Farmed Early Girls. All of the tomatoes we sell during the season come straight off the field to our shelves, allowing our growers to let them stay on the plant a little longer and develop that perfect flavor before picking. Be sure to check out our recommended pairings to make the most of your tomatoes–just visit our store on Instacart.com for a shopping list, and  even order everything you need online for delivery in San Francisco in under an hour!

Heirloom Tomatoes are an open-pollinated variety that have been circulating among farmers and backyard gardeners for more than 50 years—and many of the varieties were introduced before 1940! Heirlooms are not only important because they offer us so many different shapes and sizes to cook with, but they allow us to maintain genetic diversity in the agricultural world. The Cherokee Purple Tomato is one of the most popular. With its thin skin and meaty texture, the juicy, acidic flesh offers a rich, old-fashioned sweet flavor. They take BLTs and Caprese salads to the next level of enjoyment.

Cherokee Purple Heirlooms

Cherokee Purple Heirlooms

We are currently getting Cherokee Purples from Bluehouse Farm in Pescadero and Mariquita Farm in Watsonville. Another popular heirloom is the Brandywine Tomato.  Farmers love them because they get huge on the plants and the meaty flesh doesn’t break down easily when ripe.  Don’t let the large size fool you! These are one of the sweetest tomatoes out there. The Green Zebra Tomato is a small variety that starts out green but turns yellow with green stripes when it’s ripe. The sweet/tart flavor works really well with salsas and salads.

Our guests really get excited about tomatoes when the Dry-farm Early Girls hit our shelves! About 10 years ago we started selling these tomatoes from Two Dog Farm in Davenport. They’re the first farm in Northern California to grow these Early Girls, and over the past 5 years more farms have made the effort. Dry-farming is a farming technique used in a lot of climates where there’s not much rain. The roots of the plants can tap into moisture in the soil and go through the entire growing season with no irrigation. Two Dog Farm grows on the coast, getting moisture from the fog and the high water table in the soil allowing them to never water. The resulting tomatoes are usually smaller and lower in yield, but they pack pleasantly intense flavor and a dense, firm texture. 

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Dry-farm Early Girls

Unfortunately, Two Dog Farm lost a majority of its crop this season due to the heat wave that hit the Bay Area. Crops grown on the cool coast can’t handle the heat! But we’ll have plenty of the tasty Dry-farm Early Girls from Live Earth Farm, Bluehouse Farm, and Tomatero Farm for the rest of the season.

When Heirlooms and Dry-farm Tomatoes are in full swing the Cherry Tomato varieties just don’t get the same amount of love. Cherry Tomatoes might be one of the easiest plants to grow, but keeping up with the daily harvesting and their delicate nature can make them a challenging crop for farmers. Similar to Heirlooms, there are a ton of different varieties but only a handful of them make sense for the retail marketplace. The Sweet 100 Tomato is one of the most popular for farmers to grow because they are a classic red tomato, extra sweet, and keep producing large clusters of fruit for most of the season. The Sun Gold Cherry Tomato is the most popular non-red tomato out there, with their sweet-but-tart flavor that explodes in your mouth.

Mixed Cherry Tomatoes

Mixed Cherry Tomatoes

The Yellow Pear Cherry Tomato is a teardrop-shaped tomato with tangy flavor and low acidity. You can get them along with our Sweet 100 and Sun Golds combined in a mixed baskets. Cherry Tomatoes are not only a perfect snack for kids, but they can add a flare to pasta dishes and almost any salad. They’re especially wonderful in cucumber salads!

One of the best parts of having all these local tomatoes at the Bi-Rite is that we get use them throughout the Family of Businesses—from the world-famous Gazpacho in the Deli to the Mozzarella and Cherry Tomato Skewers on the Bi-Rite Catering Summer menu. We also have an endless number of grocery items that enhance the tomato experience like the Public Label Tuscan Style Olive oil, Pt. Reyes Mozzarella, and Josey Baker’s Breads.  Do you know which tomato variety is your favorite? If not, this is the perfect time to swing by one of the Markets and ask for some tomato samples so you’re better prepared for tomato season next year. Enjoy!


Chili

Stacks ‘o Racks on sale for Labor Day

Summer is coming to a close and we’ve got a fantastic price on BN Ranch‘s California-Raised, Grass-fed Racks of Lamb! For just one week – August 31 through September 6 – BN’s Racks will be on sale for $21.99/lb. (normally $29.99/lb.). These mild and tender chops are a great way to say goodbye to summer. So get your grill ripping hot, give these beauties a couple kisses on the hot flame and enjoy the ideal choice for a light summer meal.  Looking for the perfect Labor Day dish?  Try our Grilled Lamb Chop with Cucumber Raita recipe from the Markets or on our online store at Instacart.com!

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Chili

Celebrate Hogust at the Markets

LargeBlack-tag-04Over the last few months we have started to introduce more local pork producers committed to raising various heritage breeds.  I really feel that pork is one of the more complex proteins, and its flavor profile is greatly influenced by breed, feed, and terroir.  It is this thought that drove the idea of creating “Hogust,” our celebration of rare and heritage pork breeds throughout the month of August.

Since 2005, Bi-Rite and Heritage Foods USA have partnered to support small family farms that are committed to raising unique breeds of hogs with varied flavors and tastes.  Through the entire month of August we will be highlighting center-cut pork chops from breeds like the Tamworth, Old Spot, Duroc, Large Black, and my favorite, the Red Wattle.

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So raise a glass to “Hogust,” and take advantage of this opportunity to taste experience pork from the breed perspective.  Be sure to visit our butchers throughout the month to try our rotating selection of heritage pork. To quote our friends at Heritage Foods, in order to preserve this amazing breed diversity, “You have to eat ‘em to save ‘em!”  See our field guide for flavor profiles to find your favorite breed, and what better way to taste the difference than in our Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Figs recipe, adapted from Eat Good Food? Shop the recipe in both Markets or from our online store at Instacart.com. Enjoy!

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