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Archive for the ‘Grocery’ Category


Interview with Tipu’s Chai Founder Bipin Patel

Tipus 1

Bipin with his popular brew

We asked Bipin Patel, the founder of Tipu’s Chai, a few questions to learn more about his story and the process behind his amazing Chai tea blends.

Tipu’s Chai is a new product for us at Bi-Rite Market. Where does your chai recipe come from and what makes it so unique?

I was born and raised in a large Indian family in Uganda. I grew up drinking my grandmother’s masala chai. She brought it with her from her native Gujarat in northwestern India. Our chai recipe uses several ground spices like ginger and cardamom, which we specially blend with a strong organic black tea, such as Assam, to create a rich, spicy and robust flavor.

Can you tell us about your newest Chai products?

We offer a variety of quick-brew chai products for chai lovers on the go or for relaxing at home. All the products are made using all-natural ingredients with no preservatives. They are also certified kosher and most are organic.

  • All You Need is Water is our quick-brew chai tea latte made with black tea, organic spices, organic non-GMO soy milk powder, organic evaporated cane juice and ginger. This product is also vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, certified kosher and includes four grams of protein per serving. Chai fans simply add hot (or cold) water for a chai tea latte on the go.
  • The Simple Life uses soluble microground Black Chai tea without sweeteners or milk products. It is pure black tea, organic spices and ginger.

tipus2What prompted you to start your own chai company?

In many ways, it came naturally. I opened a vegetarian Indian restaurant in Missoula, Montana called Tipu’s Tiger (named after Tipu Sultan) in 1998, using mostly family recipes, one of which was my grandmother’s chai recipe. We used to make between 10-15 gallons of chai every day. Before long, local cafes and restaurants wanted to serve it to their patrons, so we developed various chai products to serve their needs. Tipu’s Chai was born! A few years ago, I sold the restaurant to focus on the chai business.

So, Indian chai vs. coffee?

Well, chai definitely has more healthy ingredients, and the tea offers more anti-oxidants. Chai is also easier on the digestive system and has lower levels of caffeine. All the spices we use in chai have a health value. For example, ginger helps with digestion; cinnamon increases circulation; and cardamom is known to benefit the lungs and heart.

What are some new trends you are seeing in this category?

I believe strongly that people will continue to want authentic and natural/organic products. As people travel the world more and taste authentic chai in India they will search for companies locally that are creating this same experience. Also, today’s consumers are looking for food and beverages made without artificial ingredients or preservatives, and we definitely do this!

Visit us for a taste of Tipu’s authentic Indian chai this Saturday, January 19th from 10am-1pm: meet Mark Lannen from Tipu’s Chai and learn more about this exciting new company from Montana!


Shakirah

Be the WHO on our PUBLIC Label

Our PUBLIC Label products are totally transparent. Each jar contains ingredients sourced from our favorite farmers, and is made with recipes created by our talented chefs in our partner kitchens. And all of this information is right on the label: we tell you WHO grew the key ingredient, WHERE it was grown and HOW it was turned into the final product you hold in your hand.

So now, we’re reaching out to YOU, our network of backyard and front yard farmers (did you know that the Mission micro-climate was once farmland?), to participate in our next new thing: a PUBLIC Label Meyer Lemon Marmalade. Bring us your Meyer Lemons and we’ll make them shine! And if you have another fruit tree we gotta try, let us know! We’ll take your lemons from now through Tuesday, January 15th.

Bring any amount of lemons you have (minimum of 15 lbs); if you bring more than 25 lbs and we use them, we’ll put your name on our label as the “WHO” behind the marmalade! We’ll pay you market rate for good lemons—by good, we mean ripe and juicy, without green shoulders—to ensure a flavorful end product.

Email me if you’re up for bringing us your Meyers—we’ll work out a time for you to drop them off. And of course, I’ll let anyone who brings me usable lemons know when the marmalade’s ready so you can come take a jar!


In the Market Now: Our Holiday Menu!

Drop off a new and unwrapped toy, book, or piece of sports equipment at our Joy Drive before Friday so we can give them to Arriba Juntos families!

Our Christmas & New Year’s Menu is available starting today! Come by the Market to pick up our kitchen’s favorites…and to save yourself some effort, give us a call (415-241-9760) to order dishes for your holiday feast today so you can focus on family and friends next week!

Our Full Christmas and New Year’s Menu

Turkey Time: We’ve heard from some of you that you’re looking for turkeys for your holiday feast. Rest assured, we have Bill Niman’s fresh (never frozen) Heritage and Broad Breasted turkeys available for order. Our guests had delicious things to say about Bill’s turkeys last month:

“My partner’s a dark meat eater, and he was blown away by how moist the white meat was on Bill Niman’s broad breasted bird!”

“Our Bill Niman heritage turkey was delicious, such a treat….So much flavor and a nice toothsome texture, we were very happy and it made excellent turkey sandwiches and turkey salad sandwiches later in the week. “

You won’t be able to get ‘em again until next Fall, so give us a call (415-241-9760) to reserve yours today! Check out page nine of our Holiday Guide for details on both of these delicious, locally raised birds.

Want to know another way to stress less? Place your order for pick up on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, since Christmas Eve (Monday) will be busy here on 18th Street!

Holiday Hours, Parking Info, Menus and More


Announcing the Good Food Awards Finalists…Our PUBLIC Label Kohlrabi Kraut included!

Aren’t we fortunate? The Good Food Awards team announced this year’s finalists and not only does the list includes our own PUBLIC Label Kohlrabi Kraut, but we’re proud to stock about 15 of the other finalists on our shelves! Hmmm, now I’m thinking how cool it would be to gift a bag of all of these for the holidays….here’s the full list of finalists you can find on our shelves:

Pickles

Bi-Rite Market PUBLIC Label Kohlrabi Kraut

Emmy’s Pickles and Jams Bread n’ Butter

Charcuterie

La Quercia Borsellino Dry Sausage

Chocolate

Askinosie Chocolate Dark Milk Chocolate Bar + Fleur de Sel

Dandelion Chocolate Dominican Republic 70% & Madagascar 70% & Venezuela 70%

Lillie Belle Farms Most Awesome Chocolate Bar EVER

Rogue Chocolatier Hispaniola & Sambirano

Coffee

Sightglass Coffee Ethiopia – Yukro Gera

Preserves

INNA Jam Pretty Spicy Fresno Chili Jam

Sosu Srirachup

Cheese

Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, Petit Frere

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co., Bay Blue

Uplands Cheese Company, Pleasant Ridge Reserve

Beer

Bear Republic Brewery, Racer 5 IPA

View the full list of 2013 Good Food Awards Finalists here. 

Finalists are those entrants that rise to the top in the Blind Tasting and are also able to clearly articulate how they fit the Good Food Awards industry-specific criteria of environmental and social responsibility. Finalists attested to responsible production by detailing their efforts to eliminate or reduce pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers, source ingredients locally where possible, implement water and energy conservation, ensure traceability to the farm level, practice good animal husbandry and exercise fair and transparent treatment of workers and suppliers.

This year’s 182 Finalists were chosen from among 1,366 entries from 31 states in nine industries. In geographic trends this year, Washington, D.C. is emerging as a hub of Good Food, with 14 Finalists hailing from its food shed of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Colorado (10), Washington state (10), Wisconsin (9) and Texas (9) all had strong showings. California had the largest number of finalists (43), followed by Oregon (22) and New York (16).

The Good Food Awards celebrate the kind of food we all want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsibly produced. For a long time, certifications for responsible food production and awards for superior taste have remained distinct—one honors social and environmental responsibility, while the other celebrates flavor. The Good Food Awards recognize that truly good food—the kind that brings people together and builds strong, healthy communities—contains all of these ingredients.

The 100 winners will be announced in a 400-person ceremony at the Ferry Building on January 18, 2013, followed by a 15,000-person Good Food Awards Marketplace on January 19. Winners will sample and sell their winning products at the public Marketplace, which takes place alongside the renowned CUESA Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Tickets and details will be available at www.goodfoodawards.org in mid-December. See you there!


Raph

Sweet Gifts During Sweet Weeks

Sweet Weeks is upon us!  Today through December 16th we’re giving you 10% off any 6 or more confections or chocolates to make them that much more gift-able.  This includes any of the items in our tantalizing wall-o-chocolate (the gauntlet you walk by on your way to the registers).  The sale also includes chocolate and caramel sauces, drinking chocolate, marshmallows, and hard candies.

Here are a few of my absolute favorites made special for the holiday season–stock up on stocking stuffers and host gifts while we’re sweetening the deal!

Askinoise Peppermint Bark $29.99/300 g $14.99/150 g

Made from single-origin dark chocolate, layered with buttery white chocolate and topped off with crushed bits of natural peppermint, this bark is hand-crafted in small-batches and packaged in rustic boxes.

Michael Recchiuti Dragée Winter Sampler $29.99/12 oz

Toasted nuts and dried fruits are coated with custom blended chocolate, burnt caramel and fleur de sel in this box of Michael Recchiuti’s four most popular dragées: Burnt Caramel Almonds, Cherries Two Ways, Burnt Caramel Hazelnuts, and Peanut Butter Pearls – each in their own compartment within the box.  Made in San Francisco.

Pralus Barre Infernale $24.99/160 g

This chocolate bar contains handmade hazelnut cream, making it so smooth and creamy it immediately melts in your mouth. It’s such an addictive chocolate that it’s referred to as the “infernal” bar.  Available in LAIT with toasted hazelnuts or NOIR (75%) with toasted almonds.

Droga Gingerbread Chookies $16.99/4.5oz

Chookies (chocolate covered cookies) are made with soft, delicately spiced gingerbread covered with rich dark chocolate.  Dressed up in limited-edition, festive boxes with hand-drawn designs!


Casey

The Label as Site of Intervention

A visual icon Americans have shopped for for decades

As 18 Reasons’ curator, my mission is to weave together the visual arts with the shopping, eating and cooking experienced in our Market, Creamery, and Farm. In that vein, I’m struck by the opportunity we have this month to begin shifting the visual culture of food shopping from the commercial to the behavioral—public health intervention through design.

In 1955 Berkeley, beat-poet Allen Ginsberg wrote his legendary poem, A Supermarket in California. In it, Ginsberg uses a fictional account of a visit to the supermarket as a metaphor for his dissatisfaction with issues such as economic materialism, domestic life, commodification, and sexual repression. Because I don’t have the space to properly divulge into such issues in this short post, I’d like to focus solely on the poem’s second line and bring its relevance into the present time.

Ginsberg writes, “In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket…”

What a tragic tone he casts—a society grown so estranged from its food sources that it is left to shop for images, simulations of food. But in 2012 a similar statement can be made regarding our grocery shopping habits. Shopping for images, for better or worse, has become the primary way in which many consumers hunt and gather their food today. Removed from the source and reliant on the package, labeling has become one of the main places where we meet the story of our food.

As we walk down the grocery aisles, visual identifiers such as slogans, logos, distinguishable colors, fonts, and buzz words jump off packages in an attempt to grab our attention and increase product sales. We seek Chester the Cheetos Cheetah because he is familiar. We seek words like “natural” and “fresh” because they have subconscious ecological, social, and health-based connotations. Although this detached relationship to our food is unfortunate, and largely caused by the predominantly industrialized food system, this vision-based form of harvesting remains a central part of our grocery shopping experience.

A visual icon we may be able to shop for more often if Prop 37 is passed

But here in California, in 2012, we have an opportunity to reimagine this visual relationship as more than just a marketing strategy, to reimagine our food packages as more than a place for a company to sell consumers its products. The label can become a site of intervention.

Prop 37, the initiative to mandate labeling of genetically modified foods, if passed, affords us this chance. By voting Yes on Prop 37, consumers get one step closer to having full, transparent disclosure regarding their food products.  Voting Yes on Prop 37 does not mean you are casting a vote on whether or not GMOs are good or bad; voting yes simply declares that we as consumers have a right to know how our food is produced. Voting Yes declares that we as consumers crave conscious choice.

The importance of voting with our forks has been stressed, but many times before the food reaches our forks, we must vote with ours eyes at the supermarket. And in order to accurately vote with ours eyes, we must vote at the polls.


Holiday Guide & Menus 2012

Click here to view and print our Holiday Guide! We’re taking pre-orders now, give us a call at 415-241-9760 x 3.

We’re so excited to bring you our first ever Holiday Guide, your one stop shop for a tasty holiday, Bi-Rite style. Inside you’ll find:

-Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah menus

-Turkey options: pre-order yours today!

-Holiday Wine Blitz details

-Sweet Weeks details

-Catering ideas–platters or full service

-Cheese platter tips and our favorites for the holiday

-Pies, holiday ice cream and other sweets from Bi-Rite Creamery

-Gift ideas: 18 Reasons classes, gift boxes, chocolates, special occasion booze, and more…

-Ordering info and deadlines for holiday pre-orders

 

 


Ian

Register Recipe: Benton’s Old Fashioned

Despite the recent string of San Francisco Indian Summer days, fall is definitely here. The nights are cool and clear and the light is changing. In the Market stone fruit has been replaced by an array of apples and pears in every color, texture and flavor. Brussels sprouts, chicories and winter squash are coming in as well, and in every department we’re helping our guests with fall recipes. With all this in mind I thought I’d offer a seasonally appropriate cocktail, something a little stronger and with all the right flavors of harvest to compliment an early fall night…

This recipe is borrowed and modified from Jim Meehan’s PDT Cocktail Book, one of the year’s best reference books from Meehan’s New York bar. Mixologist Don Lee created the beverage to bring together one of his favorite pork products with one of his favorite spirits.

Allan Benton is a famous producer of traditional hickory-smoked hams from Monroe County, Tennessee. His bacon is prized for its rich, smoky character and has earned such accolades as “World’s Best Bacon” from Esquire Magazine. In the cocktail, the hickory smoke complements the spice of the bourbon and the rich sweetness of maple syrup; it’s a terrific play on the original elements of an Old-Fashioned.

Lee uses Four Roses Bourbon, but I’ve substituted the more economical Bulleit Bourbon which I’ve found to be a fine stand-in. Preparing the bourbon is simple and well worth the modest effort, and once prepared it’s shelf-stable!

The next time you wake up to a chill in the air and the desire to cook I hope you’ll enjoy this world-class bacon for breakfast and this perfect fall cocktail by the time the sun goes down (which is earlier, after all…)

 

Benton’s Old Fashioned

2 oz. Benton’s Bacon Fat-Infused Bulleit Bourbon (recipe below)

.25 oz. Mead & Meads Grade B Maple Syrup

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled rocks glass with one large cube. Garnish with an orange twist

 

Benton’s Bacon Fat-Infused Bulleit Bourbon

1.5 oz. Benton’s Bacon Fat

1 750-ml bottle Bulleit Bourbon

On low heat, warm the bacon fat in a small saucepan until it melts, about 5 min. Combine liquid fat and bourbon in a large, non-reactive container and stir. Infuse for 4 hours, then place container in freezer for 2 hours. Remove solid fat, fine-strain bourbon through a cheesecloth, and bottle.

 

 

 


Raph

Jack & Jason’s Pancake and Waffle Mixes: Pure Pancake Perfection

After “stressful but successful” tenures at their respective Bay Area corporate gigs, local entrepreneurs Jack Harper and Jason Jervis decided to leave their corporate careers and launch their own company from the ground up. In 2009, they left big business behind and combined their professional skills in marketing and technology to create their Jack & Jason’s Pancake and Waffle Mixes out of San Francisco.

The result of many months of exhaustive and meticulous research and development, Jack & Jason’s is not your average pancake mix. Their delicious flavors are produced using only ingredients of the highest quality (a majority of which are sourced in and around the Bay Area) blended with a combination of whole wheat flour and baby oats. Succulent diced bananas? Chunks of walnuts delivered straight from Modesto? Fluffy texture with just a hint of brown sugar and molasses? Open up a box of Jack & Jason’s and that’s just what you’ll get, along with the added health benefits of whole grain fiber, complex carbohydrates, and low cholesterol.

Want to try Jack & Jason’s Pancakes and Waffle Mixes for yourself? Drop by for a taste of their Original or Banana Walnut pancakes from 2-5 on Friday, August 24th and Saturday, September 1st – they’ll be serving up fresh and delicious mini-pancakes hot off the griddle.

Jack and Jason also cooked up a couple killer combo recipes especially for our guests, pairing their pancake and waffle mixes with some sweet Bi-Rite toppers. Check them out!

Jack & Jason’s Original Whole Grain Pancakes with Bi-Rite Mixed Berry Jam

Ingredients
1 box of Jack & Jason’s Original Mix
1 egg
1 cup of milk
1 tbsp butter or oil
1 jar of Bi-Rite Mixed Berry Jam

Directions
Preheat griddle to 350° and grease it. Combine 1 egg and 1 ¼ cup of milk and whisk together in mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of dry mix and 1 tablespoon of melted butter to mixing bowl and stir together briefly. Do not over mix! Let batter stand for 5 minutes. Pour ¼ cup scoop of batter onto preheated griddle; flip pancakes after 2 minutes or once edges have solidified. Dust pancake stack with powdered sugar and top with a generous scoop of Bi-Rite Mixed Berry Jam.
Yield: 3-4 servings

Jack & Jason’s Banana Walnut Whole Grain Waffle with Bi-Rite Creamery Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Ingredients
1 box of Jack & Jason’s Banana Walnut Mix
1 egg
1 cup of milk
3 tbsp butter or oil
1 pint Bi-Rite Salted Carmel Ice Cream

Directions
Combine 1 egg and 1 ¼ cup of milk and whisk together in mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of dry mix and 3 tablespoons of melted butter to mixing bowl and stir together briefly. Do not over mix! Let batter stand for 5 minutes. Preheat waffle maker to high and grease surface with non stick cooking spray or butter brush. Pour 1/3 cup scoop of batter onto preheated griddle. Once waffle is finished add a scoop of Bi-Rite Creamery Salted Caramel Ice Cream. Kick this dessert up a notch by drizzling some Nutella over the top!

Yield: 3-4 servings


Raph

We’ve Got Your Gluten-Free Back

There’s no doubt that the gluten-free food trend has taken the US by storm; interesting debates have ensued about gluten senstivity, how flours have changed over time in the US, and whether this trend will last. As someone who spends my days talking to our guests about what they’d like to see on our grocery shelves, and scouring for new foods being produced across the country, it’s hard to ignore the  rise of people interested in eating a gluten-free diet. We’ve searched for the tastiest gluten-free options we can find to put on our shelves, and are proud to introduce a few new items that taste as good as the glutenous!

Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour

Thomas Keller’s much anticipated Cup4Cup custom-blended flour makes it easy to prepare your favorite gluten-free treats at home. Your results are guaranteed to live up to Thomas Keller’s philosophy: “To make people happy…that’s what cooking is all about.”  This flour is made of cornstarch, white rice flour, brown rice flour, milk powder, tapioca flour, potato starch, and xanthan gum. Just as the name suggests, you use this flour cup for cup in place of regular flour in recipes–that takes care of the guessing on your end! The expert chef spent many months coming up with the perfect blend for flawless substitution.

Bread SRSLY Gluten Free Loafs

It’s a classic story: girl meets boy. Boy has gluten-allergy. Girl devotes life to making delicious gluten-free bread to woo boy. Such is the tale of Sadie Scheffer, who took courting one step further by starting a business of it: Bread SRSLY. After tinkering with farmer’s market ingredients, she developed a killer gluten free loaf that won her crush’s heart. Scheffer now bakes bread as her primary occupation, and we’re excited to be her first retail location (besides farmer’s markets and a bread CSA program).

Bread SRSLY (pronounced Bread Seriously) bakes breads using whole grain, certified gluten free flours, local and organic produce, herbs and home-dried fruits in rambunctious varieties like kale sourdough, whole grain chai and apricot fennel. They source their ingredients from local, sustainable producers, and craft each one of their gluten-free goods with care. Baked in small batches, all of the loaves are also free of dairy, egg, nut, soy, chickpea, potato, tapioca, and, of course, wheat. They rotate the menu each week, featuring two different loaves. We’ll always have their sourdough and one seasonal loaf, which they’ll deliver on Wednesdays, by bicycle. The bread will be sold out of our open fridge in the back of the store, and has a ten-day shelf life in the fridge.

Sunbud Bakery Buckwheat Cookies

Atsuko Watanabe, a long time Bi-Rite guest, introduced her buckwheat cookies to us a few months ago and they’ve been a hit ever since. What’s neat about Atsuko’s cookies is that she chose buckwheat as the main ingredient not because it’s gluten-free (although that’s a bonus!), but because it tastes so good. Atsuko’s ties to buckwheat run deep, from the soba she grew up eating in Japanese dishes to crepes she made as a pastry chef in France. Buckwheat is a super source of protein and magnesium, and we love it for its nutty, earthy, toasty goodness. To the buckwheat base she adds almonds and dried unsulphered apricots (for the apricot cookie) or dried unsulphured currants, unsweetened chocolate and organic cacao nibs (for the chocolate currant cookie).  For sweetness she uses agave nectar and coconut palm sugar (low glycemic and hinting of caramel), and she uses coconut oil, which is high in healthy lauric acid.