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Archive for the ‘Grocery’ Category


Raph

Celebrating SF Made!

 

Display 1It’s that time of year! The Fancy Food Show is back in our beloved city by the Bay. As food-lovers, we consider ourselves fortunate that this premier event for specialty food makers comes to San Francisco every year. And as the Grocery Buyer for Bi-Rite, it’s always a thrill to try new products from outstanding food artisans, and to welcome them to our stores to meet our staff and peruse our shelves.

Those shelves are stocked full of delicious foods from great local producers, and to celebrate all the visitors from near and far to the Fancy Food Show, we are highlighting some of our local favorites this month. Visit the displays marked “SF Made” and you’ll see why!

Boozely'sBoozely’s Pickles are made by Brad Boozely, one of our neighbors on 18th Street. Brad comes from a long line of picklers and his love for the art shows in the crisp, tasty crunch of his pickles. He supports local farmers with his selection of produce.

We Love Jam is a two-person operation where literally everything, from recipe development to cooking to graphic and web design, is done in-house. The owners have forty years of combined experience experimenting in the kitchen, and work directly with local family farms to source the best fruit possible for their amazing jams.

Hey Boo 1

Hey Boo Coconut Jam, one of our most popular “SF Made” products! Coconut jam, also known as Srikaya in Indonesia, has been consumed for hundreds of years in Southeast Asia. Hey Boo’s San Francisco version is slow-cooked in in small batches using high-quality natural ingredients. It has a silky smooth texture with a golden color and a rich creaminess that is achieved by cooking the ingredients according to traditional Srikaya-making techniques.

Dandelion Chocolate are neighbors and great friends to Bi-Rite Market, and are a favorite among our guests and staff. From their location in the Mission District, they operate a bean-to-bar chocolate factory where temper small batches of beans and then mold and package each bar by hand. They have close relationships with their cacao growers and have prioritized sustainability since opening in 2010. Stop by for a visit while you’re in the neighborhood!

Kika's 2

Kika’s Treats, another neighbor, was founded in 2006 by Cristina Arantes, who produces pure chocolate-covered confections using a variety of alternative sweeteners and is committed to using the finest locally-sourced ingredients to make her delicious treats. She also gives back to the community through in-kind donations to local non-profits by donating 5% of net profits to La Cocina, a non-profit food incubator in San Francisco that helps low-income entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses.

All of these products will be highlighted at both of our Market locations, so stop by for a look, chat and taste. We look forward to sharing these products from our friends and neighbors with you!


Raph

Great Last-Minute Gifts: Holiday Sweets and Seasonal Treats!

Every year around holiday time, I get to pick out some excellent cakes and sweets for our shelves. There are some perennial favorites that are eagerly anticipated every winter, but I’m always on the lookout for interesting new finds. We have a few of each this Christmas, and they’re great for warming your hearth and home this holiday season.

ChristinaToteBag

Although we sell wonderful locally made panforte by Napa Cakes (more on that below), we thought it would be fun to include more panforte from its birthplace in Tuscany, so we introduced Pasticceria Sinatti Panforte Margherita. Panforte is a specialty of the southern Tuscan city of Siena, where Italians have been making it since the 13th Century. It is a flat, dense, round cake made with honey, hazelnuts, almonds, candied citron, citrus peel, cocoa, and spices. It contains a very small amount of flour, just enough to hold the cake together. After baking, panforte becomes firm and chewy. Sinatti’s panforte is sold in slices in Sienese bakeries and coffee houses. The Panforte Margherita is a traditional panforte made with nuts and candied fruit.

While the Panforte Margherita is fantastic, there’s a reason that we’re still stocking the Panforte by Napa Cakes. This local spin on the classic is an artisanal panforte that is handmade to order by Marge Caldwell in Napa Valley. It’s densely rich and chewy, made with organic raisins, almonds and hazelnuts from California. It’s excellent when paired with dessert wines and perfect on a cheese plate.

LambertWhiteFruitcakeRobert Lambert is a local producer whose products we stock year round, but he also provides us with excellent cakes especially for the holiday season. He’ll tell you that his Robert Lambert Dark Fruit Cake & White Fruit Cake are the best of their kind, and while he might be a little biased, we happen to agree with him. Robert’s White Fruit Cake, a slight improvement over his grandmother’s recipe, is a lovely blend of fine Brazil nuts, local pecans and whole blanched toasted almonds. Deeply ripe oranges from DeSantis Farms are squeezed for juice just before being added. Robert uses his own candied young ginger along with candied bergamot, Rangpur lime, Meyer lemon and blood orange peels. Each cake is soaked in the finest French cognac, topped with a California bay leaf and candied white grapefruit peel star. His Dark Fruit Cake includes a blend of holiday spices, 10-year-old Ficklin port, local nuts, oranges from DeSantis Farms, dried fruits, black figs soaked in Pear William eau de vie, and Kadrawi dates from Flying Disc Ranch. Robert also includes his rare candied Texas lemon and Buddha’s hand citron, bergamot, blood orange and white grapefruit peels, and candied young ginger. Each cake is soaked in Jack Daniels bourbon whiskey, topped with California bay leaf and candied blood orange peel star.

Another great option for holiday sweets are the Lebkuchen by Lecker Lee. Sandy Lecker Lee makes traditional German rich spiced treats that are a cross between a cookie and a cake. Lebkucken is a traditional German gingerbread that dates back to the Middle Ages. The cookie is made of 40% almonds and hazelnuts, with Sandy adding honey, candied citron and orange peel. These classic tins contain cookies lightly brushed with powdered sugar glaze; packaged in beautiful, highly decorative tins, they make excellent gifts.

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For a more modestly apportioned treat, we’re very fond of Claire Keane’s San Francisco-made Claire Squares. Her Christmas offerings on our shelves include Brandy Butter, a wonderful Irish dessert topping traditionally eaten with bread pudding or fruit cake (like the Lambert cakes mentioned above. It’s made with just cognac, butter, sugar and salt. We’re also selling Claire’s Plum Pudding, a traditional Christmas treat made up of a medley of dried fruits soaked in Irish whiskey with spices, butter, and molasses and then aged for three months.

Corsiglia-Marrons-glaces-francais-1000-2606_1_1353493932

And finally, for one last holiday treat, we’re stocking a traditional winter delicacy, Marrons Glaces. Chestnuts are candied in hot vanilla-flavored sugar syrup and then glazed. The ones on our shelves are from Corsiglia, the premier Marrons Glaces manufacturer in France.

Our shelves are packed full of these beautiful holiday treats, so please come by our Markets to take a look. You can also order lots of these and other exceptional gift items online for pickup. They’re a feast for the eyes and a treat for the palate, well worth a look and a taste. Wrap it all up in a reusable Bi-Rite tote bag, made from repurposed organic cotton.


Jessie Rogers

Bi-Rite’s 2013 Holiday Guide: Delicious Menus, Unforgettable Gifts, and More for a Perfect Season!

Welcome to the Bi-Rite 2013 Holiday Guide!

Our Chefs and Buyers have perfected our house-made menus and stocked our market shelves with the most exceptional locally-grown, sustainably raised, and artisan-produced products available. We look forward to helping you plan unforgettable meals and find the perfect gifts for everyone on your list.

Happy Holidays!


Raph

The Best Chocolates I’ve Ever Tasted

GCDF2We stock a  wide assortment of excellent local artisanal chocolates at Bi-Rite, and as grocery buyer it’s my privilege to taste dozens of varieties in order to select the finest options for our stores. This year I was blown away by the chocolates crafted by gâté comme des filles. They’re something special, and I’m truly thrilled to bring them to our guests. The exquisite offerings from this small Oakland-based company will grace the shelves of both of our Market locations just in time for the holidays and are, quite simply, the best chocolates I’ve ever tasted.

GCDF1They are designed and crafted by chocolatier Alexandra Whisnant, who trained for her patisserie degree in France before working for Berkeley’s world-renowned restaurant Chez Panisse. She founded gâté comme des filles just this year and the company is in full swing, lovingly crafting the freshest chocolates you’ll ever taste.

Alexandra’s chocolates are a feast for the eyes as much as for the palate. Before you luxuriate in their rich  filling and to-die-for texture, take some time to appreciate their aesthetic beauty. Each design is bright and expressive, each piece glittery and unique. They’re so easy to covet, you might forget that their ultimate purpose is to be enjoyed for their sublime taste! But don’t wait too GCDF5long, for these marvelous chocolates, created by this master of the field, need to be eaten fresh in order to be optimally enjoyed; Alexandra’s recommendation is that they be eaten within five days of production. Without the constraint of prolonged shelf life, Alexandra is able to freely express the full potential of her ingredients, leading to the creation of vibrant flavors and pleasing textures not normally available in store-bought confections. As a result, they will not always be available to purchase and pre-orders are highly recommended. They make for a holiday gift like no other, but are meant to be promptly and thoroughly enjoyed, and we recommend that you encourage anyone fortunate to receive them as a gift to do just that.

To indulge in gâté comme des filles this holiday season, keep the following delivery dates in mind:

Friday, November 22ndGCDF3

Friday, November 29th

Friday, December 6th

Friday, December 13th

Sunday, December 22nd

Saturday, December 28th

This weekend, Alexandra will be spending time at both of our market locations, where you can taste and discuss her chocolates with her. She’ll be at our Divisadero store from 2-5pm on Saturday, November 23rd and at our 18th Street store from 2-5pm on Sunday, November 24th. If you miss out on these tastings, don’t despair – the chocolates will be available on our shelves throughout the holiday season, and we’ll be offering several more chances to try them during Christmastime. I promise you this is one you don’t want to miss out on. We’ll see you at the Market.


Raph

PUBLIC Label Recipe: Sam’s Kimchi Fried Rice

kimchi shotCome taste our new PUBLIC Label Kimchi this Thursday April 25th at Bi-Rite Divis from 5-7pm!

Great news, fermentation fans! Inspired by an over-abundance of ‘couve tronchuda’ (Portuguese cabbage) at Mariquita Farm, we’ve created our favorite Korean condiment: Bi-Rite PUBLIC Label Kimchi! Farmer Andy at Mariquita is known for growing interesting and elusive European produce varietals; his enthusiasm piqued our interest in this rare and special cabbage. Couve tronchuda has tall, bright green leaves with thick, fleshy white ribs; it’s generally considered sweeter and more tender than your average cabbage. Although traditionally used in the Portuguese soup caldo verde, we decided to go the raw and fermented route.

Our recipe features organic daikon and carrots from Lakeside Farms, giving the kimchi a bit more heft and crunch. The Bi-Rite spin on this banchan classic is crisp and refreshing, with a tangy pop of fresh ginger and a hint of spice. For an easy weeknight meal, dollop atop hotdogs, fold into a spring frittata, or stir into your favorite hot noodle soup.

And for a super adaptable, comforting dish, try your hand at Sam’s Kimchi Fried Rice—makes a great meal by mixing in whatever meats or vegetables are sitting around the fridge!

Cabbage Portuguese

Portuguese Cabbage, one of Andy at Mariquita Farm’s unusual varietals

Sam’s PUBLIC Label Kimchi Fried Rice
Serves 2

Ingredients

2 cups white rice, cooked and cooled

1 cup broccoli florets, roughly chopped and steamed

1/2 cup PUBLIC Label Kimchi, coarsely chopped

2 eggs, beaten with 1 TBSP soy sauce

2 TBSP pure olive oil or other neutral oil

1 tsp sesame oil

Directions

  • Heat sesame oil and olive oil in a large skillet.
  • Add rice and fry until hot.
  • Add kimchi and broccoli, sauté until heated through.
  • Add soy sauce-egg mixture, sauté until eggs set, about 2 minutes.
  • Serve immediately!

Shakirah

From Your Yard to Our Shelves: PUBLIC Label Meyer Lemon Preserves

spreading meyer lemon preserveWe all know the old adage of when “life gives you lemons”, but when our guests enthusiastically answered our call for Meyer lemons, we went beyond the “lemonade” route. With a little help from our neighbors Kristy, Carolyn, Denise and OneTree.org, we’re proud to feature two new additions to our PUBLIC Label line: Backyard Meyer Lemon Preserve and Rooftop Honey Lemon Marmalade.

Over the course of two months, we received over 130 lbs. of beautifully fragrant, ripe Meyer lemons grown in the backyards of our guests. Even our friends in Berkeley got in on our social experiment; we received lemons from Michael Pollan and his wife, Judith Belzer. All were jazzed to support our ‘urban gleaning’ effort to tackle local fruit waste. As a professional preserver, I love the inherent community and connectivity in canning; my conversations with our gang of urban growers ranged from methods of preserving to maintaining lemon trees.shak eating jam

The preserves I created for this PUBLIC Label project will start your morning with a zing and add brightness to many a recipe. Our Rooftop Honey Lemon Marmalade is sweetened with honey from the beehives on the roof of our 18th Street Market. With lovely, honeyed ribbons of tender peel, this marmalade is sweet with serious, citrusy bite. The Backyard Meyer Lemon Preserve is a bit different than marmalade; it’s thicker and richer, well-balanced by the tang of the lemon peel and sweetness of organic cane sugar. This preserve only has two ingredients (lemons and sugar) and little goes a very long way.

Pair each of these delicious preserves with a nutty alpine cheese and crusty sourdough bread for the best grilled cheese EVER or baste on chicken halves for a lovely glaze. Or, try my favorite remedy for springtime sniffles – a spoonful in a piping cup of earl grey tea.

Now we’re excited about this radical way to connect folks to their food by functioning as a small scale retail outlet for urban agriculture—stay tuned for more like this in the future!

 


Easter Basket Alert: Peep These Chocolates!

Boy will we be lucky if this coming Easter Sunday is as beautiful as the day we’re having right now! It’s supposed to be, so we’ve stocked our shelves with heaps of adorable AND tasty Easter chocolate for your springy spread. Here are just a few to get the basket-making juices flowing:

easter1Vosges Goose’s Golden Eggs: Redefining bacon and eggs, five dark chocolate half-eggs nestle in a straw-filled pink gift box, each filled with soft bacon caramel.

easter3Vosges Alice’s Rabbit Lollipop: For those who love to imagine chasing their own white rabbit, this pop is available in either 45% dark milk chocolate with peanut butter and pink Himalayan Salt or 62% dark chocolate with caramelized puffed millet.

easter 4Fran’s Milk or Dark Chocolate Foil Bunny: In single-origin 65% Venezuelan solid dark chocolate or single-origin Venezuelan solid milk chocolate.

easter2Vosges Barcelona Floppy Eared Bunnies: This deep milk chocolate bunny will win you over at first bite with its exotic interior of hickory smoked almonds and grey sea salt, enrobed in a custom blend of milk chocolate with just a touch of dark to deepen the flavor.

 

 


Raph

PUBLIC Label Recipes: Marinara & Puttanesca Sauce

Public Label LogoEach time we introduce a new product to our PUBLIC Label line, we like to share recipes that incorporate it into your home cooking. Our new tomato sauces are so versatile on pizzas, in pasta, or however you like to use them–here are just a couple ideas to get you started. Visit our PUBLIC Label page to find out what it means to turn the “private” in “private label” upside down.

Roasted Cauliflower with PUBLIC Label Marinara Sauce

Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
1 cup Bi-Rite PUBLIC Label Marinara Sauce
1 cup grated ricotta salata
1 tsp chili pepper flakes
2 tbls Bi-Rite PUBLIC Label Extra Virgin Olive Oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbls chopped fresh Italian parsley

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 425 F
-Toss florets with olive oil, chili flakes, salt and pepper.
-Put in baking dish in oven for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
-Lower temperature to 325 F, stir in Marinara Sauce
-Top with ricotta salata and bake for 10 minutes

birite public label

The PUBLIC Label line keeps growing!

Sicilian Meat Balls with PUBLIC Label Puttanesca Sauce
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 ½ lbs freshly ground beef
½ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup whole milk
1 large egg
¾ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
¼ cup ketchup
2 tbls fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 small yellow onion, chopped finely
1 jar PUBLIC Label Puttanesca Sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
-Put a rack lined with parchment paper in the center of the oven and heat to 375 F
-Mix the breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl, then set aside for 5 minutes.
-Mash and squeeze the breadcrumbs so that they make a smooth paste.
-Whisk in the eggs.
-Add the Parmigiano, ketchup, herbs, onion, garlic, 2 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper; stir to blend.
-Break the beef into small chunks and add to the bowl.
-Mix gently but thoroughly; over-mixing will make the meatballs tough and dry.
-When all of the ingredients are evenly combined, use a small ice cream scoop to form 24 balls, placing each on the baking sheet
-Bake for 15 minutes (or internal temp of 120 degrees)
-Warm PUBLIC Label Puttanesca Sauce in heavy saucepan.
-Once the sauce is simmering, drop in the balls and simmer together for 12-15 minutes.
-Sprinkle with a little grated Parmigiano and chopped fresh parsley and serve on their own as an appetizer, or with spaghetti

 

 


Bi-Rite Divis is Open!

b-man with divisadero lineThought I’d never say this….but we’re open on Divisadero Street! Please come visit us 9 am – 9 pm today and every day. Store location, hours and parking info (yes, we do have one hour parking for our guests!) is here.

Salty_Ginger

Salty Ginger Sundae, Divis contest winner!

We’ve spent about three years working towards this moment, so today is all about celebrating the long, winding path that brought us here. And what better way to do so than by treating ourselves to the newest additions to our Divis menu: the winners of our Divis Sandwich and Sundae contest!

The Giuseppe: Fra’ Mani salami and mortadella, provolone, lettuce, red onion, tomato, dijon mustard, pepperoncini, and lemon aioli on an Acme Rustic Baguette (congrats to Joseph Slattery!)

naima

Opening is so sweet!

The Salty Ginger: Ginger ice cream, ginger snaps, sea salt, chocolate fudge, and whipped cream (congrats to Zoe Byl!)

Now that the construction is complete, it’s time to start the important work of building relationships with our guests. Our 60 Divis staff members are eager to meet and feed you. Plus, a bunch of our passionate food makers are joining us to give out tastes of their cheese, jams and more: check out the Divis events on our calendar here.

See you soon! And now more than ever, please let us know how we can better serve you.

P.S. You’ve gotta check out this video of neighborhood pup Trotter on his first visit to the store!

 

 

 


Patrick

It’s Time: Bi-Rite Divis Opens March 13th!

birite-divis-logoRefrigerators delivered: check

Divis Sandwich and Sundae contest  entries in: check

60 new staff members hired: check (almost)!

Guess this leaves only one thing…Opening March 13th!

divis team floor

Pre-opening Divis staff meeting

We can’t even wait to open our doors at 550 Divisadero (at Hayes). Just like our 18th Street Market, Divis will be open every day from 9am-9pm and will be a one-stop shop for farm direct produce, a full-service butcher counter, deli with prepared foods from our on-site kitchen, natural wine & spirits, fresh bread, local dairy… and of course important doodads like toilet paper and deodorant.

shak its time

It’s time!

What took us so long? We renovated and retrofitted the interior of the building –which was one of the original Safeways—while taking care to preserve the art deco façade. And we’re upping the ante from our 18th St. Market: Divis has an old world style cut-to-order cheese counter and an ice cream scoop shop right inside (yes, Sam’s sundae with chocolate ice cream, Maldon sea salt, bergamot olive oil and whipped cream will be here)!

We hope you’re ready to give us feedback on what dishes and items you love and what we can do better, so we can evolve together. We’ve got a 30 year lease, so we’re planning to be around for a while and we look forward to feeding the neighborhood for years.

Big thanks to our new neighbors for weathering the construction. And thanks to everyone who has already made us feel welcome—from the other Divisadero Merchants to school and church leaders from the Western Addition, Haight, Fillmore, and Hayes Valley neighborhoods that so richly intersect here!facade feb