We can’t get enough of sweet summer melons and this glorious sunshine! Now you can share our house-made Watermelon Salad with Queso Fresco – available daily from our delis – with friends near and far. Simple, refreshing, delicious, it’s sure to impress at your picnics and barbecues. Enjoy!
Archive for the ‘Produce’ Category
The weather (and the grills!) are heating up, which means the 4th of July is nearly here! We’ve got everything you need to plan your epic independence feast, from meats and marinades to snacks and condiments – and don’t forget the BBQ friendly wines! Whether you’re celebrating at home, picnicking with fireworks, or road tripping with friends, we’ve got your 4th
festivities covered. Shop for everything you need in both Markets or order online for delivery from our special 4th of July Instacart.com!
Master the Grill, SF-Style
Starting this Saturday, June 27th until Sunday, July 5th, get your Niman Ranch St. Louis Pork Ribs for only $4.99/lb. (normally $7.99/lb.) Whether you prefer to dunk your ribs in sauce or braise them on the grill, San Francisco’s “signature barbecue sauce,” SFQ BBQ Sauce ($7.99) – with its spicy, smoky tang – is the perfect pair for ribs, grilled peaches or tofu too! Try our all-weather St. Louis Ribs SF-Style recipe to get the party started:
Chips, Dips and Condiments, Oh My!
Because no barbecue is complete without the full roster of condiments, snacks, and seasonings, we’ve got some of our local favorites that are sure to liven up any party. Spice things up with 4505 Chicharrones or go the classic route with Nopalito Tortilla Chips and three varieties of Papalote salsas – Roasted Tomato, Habanero or Serrano-Tomatillo.
For your burgers, brats and buns, we’ve got some great twists on the classics. Mix it up with sweet and spicy Sosu Srirachup and Mother In Law’s tangy umami-filled Garlic Chili Gochujang; or dress your burgers in the French tradition with KL Keller Dijon Mustard and Sir Kensington’s Mayonnaise. For seasoning your ribs, burgers, and corn look no further than Omnivore Salt. Top it all off with Cabot Vintage Cheddar and you’re sure to be the envy of every party!
Whether you like your pickles speared, sliced, or whole, on the bun or as a side, we’ve got what you need with our own Bi-Rite Market Public Label Dill Pickles, Boozely’s Pickles (spears), and Pacific Pickle Works’ Bread & Buddas.
Sweet Tastes of Summer
BBQ Friendly Wines
Perfectly paired with barbecue fare, these wines are dry-farmed and drought friendly, showcasing some wonderful California vineyards who are doing their part to conserve water while making delicious wines.
Bucklin “Bambino” Old Hill Ranch $21.99
This young vine field-blend contains several grape varieties, principally Zinfandel, but also Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouchet and Grenache.
Bucklin Rosé of Old Hill Ranch $19.99
Whole-cluster pressed and finished dry, this wine has beautiful floral aromas with a crisp finish.
Calder Wine Co. Charbono $24.99
This wine has vibrant aromas of cherry cola and ripe plums, backed by intense secondary flavors of forest floor, mustard flowers, dark chocolate, sour cherries and bee pollen.
Birichino Besson Vineyard Grenache $19.99
Modest and bright, with a bit more tannin than up-front fruit and a pleasant dried-herb aspect – perfect for a weeknight.
Our kitchen has long been at the heart of Bi-Rite, and as we constantly push ourselves to dig deeper into the product we sell. We are thrilled to announce the launch of our House-Made Sushi. In line with the same quality and integrity as our prepared foods, our sushi showcases the same responsibly-harvested seafood you will find in our fish case alongside local and organic, seasonal produce from our produce department. All of our rolls are made with California Organic Sushi Rice from Lundberg Family Farms and served with 100% organic, gluten-free Tamari sauce.
- Avocado, Cucumber & Pickled Carrot Roll with House-Pickled Carrot ($7.99)
- Asparagus, Shiitake Mushroom & Pickled Daikon Roll with House-Pickled Daikon ($9.99
- Ahi Tuna Roll with Avocado ($12.99)
- Spicy Ahi Tuna Roll with Sriracha & Avocado ($12.99)
- Wild Coho Salmon Roll with Avocado ($11.99)
- Spicy Wild Coho Salmon Roll with Sriracha & Avocado ($11.99)
- California Roll with Dungeness Crab with Avocado, Cucumber & Tobiko Caviar ($13.99)
- Wild Shrimp Roll with Ginger & Ponzu with Ginger Ponzu Sauce, Basil & Avocado ($11.99)
Our sushi is responsible from start to finish–don’t forget to compost the tray and recycle the lid once you’re finished enjoying our new rolls. Bi-Rite House-Made Sushi is at both Markets starting today!
It’s usually three to four weeks into California stone fruit season before the flavor of peaches and nectarines really starts popping with that textbook balance of sweetness and acidity. Almost all the peaches and nectarines that hit the shelves at the Bi-Rite Markets are from farms that we’ve built mutually-beneficial relationships with over several years. A couple of seasons ago we were able to take our peach and nectarine selection to new heights with a new farm-direct relationship with Masumoto Family Farm in Del Rey, CA. This beautiful 80-acre orchard is located just 15 minutes south of Fresno, and was purchased by the Masumoto family in 1948. Author and third-generation farmer, David “Mas” Masumoto, has mastered the art of building soil to support the growth of their beautiful trees, and they always harvest their fruit at the perfect level of ripeness.
Before I jump into all the stone fruit varieties that Masumoto grows, you’ll notice one thing they all have in common: beautiful yellow flesh. The Masumoto family is in love with the tang of the yellow flesh fruit and their sugar/acid balance that screams WOW! This season Masumoto is trying some new farming techniques on a handful of selected trees in their orchard. They are watering less and not pruning as heavily, which produces “petite” stone fruit. These small little sugar bombs pack enjoyment for all!
And for the uninitiated, peaches and nectarines are categorized in two ways: freestone and clingstone. When the meat (flesh) of the fruit is attached to the pit, this is clingstone variety; they are sometimes the best eating but hard to work with in the kitchen. The flesh of the freestone varieties are completely detached from the pit, which makes them easier to work with for canning, freezing, and cooking.
Just last week, Masumoto sent us their first yellow peach variety of the season! They were harvested earlier in the year than ever before because of the warm winter and drought. The clingstone Spring Lady Peach is a very juicy piece of fruit with a medium acidity level, and is just the thing to get the taste buds ready for what’s to come.
After the subtle flavor of the Spring Lady, the next stone fruit variety the Masumotos are harvesting is the clingstone Rose Diamond Yellow Nectarine. Mas Masumoto’s daughter and fellow farmer, Nikiko, refers to the Rose Diamond as a “mini fire cracker.” The Rose Diamond is usually a large, richly-flavored nectarine with beautiful red skin, but this year the drought means smaller fruit that’s packing an extra sweet punch.
As for the rest of the season, in early June we should be seeing the semi-freestone Gold Dust Yellow Peach. Some folks consider this the best early-season variety of peach, with its firm texture and rich, sweet flavor. It’s the textbook peach for grilling! The Gold Dust will be shortly followed by one of the most popular varieties in California, the freestone Flavor Crest Yellow Peach. This variety is popular for conventional growers, who like a firm piece of fruit that can travel but also has good levels of sugar. Next up is everyone’s favorite, the freestone Sun Crest Yellow Peach, which is a large peach with a red-blushed skin and juicy texture. This is the peach that put the Masumoto Family Farm on the map! And the last variety of stone fruit we will see from Masumoto is the clingstone Le Grand Yellow Nectarine. The Le Grand is a large piece of fruit with a rich, sweet flavor and firm flesh, which makes it awesome for making nectarine ice cream.
Tree-ripened peaches and nectarines are some of the most exciting treats of the summer. If you haven’t had the chance to sink your teeth into Masumoto fruit you have the next couple months to swing by the market and make it happen! Just ask us, we’re always happy to share a taste.
Here are a couple of recipes, created by Stephany from our Produce Team at 18th Street, to help you celebrate stone fruit season. Enjoy!
Long live the king! Wild California King Salmon season is back, beginning in spring before the action really gets going during the summer months. King Salmon season has always been a special time for me – as summers meant no school and ample free time, my grandfather had the task of keeping my sister and me occupied. Luckily, he was never at a loss for things to do – some of my favorite memories were our adventures down the coast to find fishermen selling their salmon catch right off the boats.
During king salmon season, we work closely with our fishmongers (All Seas, TwoXSea and Monterey Fish Company) to secure incredible quality California King Salmon at a very competitive price. As we enter the height of salmon season in the summer, we usually see the price dropping several dollars. This year the season will run through September 31, with monitored quotas for California’s fishery to ensure sustainability.
The Smithsonian has called King Salmon the “soul food of the North Pacific,” and we’re thrilled to celebrate it in all its delicious forms. Kick off king salmon season for yourself with our Slow Baked, Herb-Crusted King Salmon with Full Belly Farm’s New Potatoes recipe. Baking the salmon slowly allows the butter, herbs and mustard to gently flavor the fish, while the breadcrumbs brown to give it a nice crunch. Pair it with Idlewild’s 2014 The Flower, Flora, & Fauna Rosé ($22.99), whose blend of Piedmontese varietals (Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto) are bursting with citrus and minerals, with aromas of pine needles and wildflowers – a perfect complement for your salmon dinner for two!
In the world of fresh fruits and veggies, there are only a handful of crops that get everyone super-excited, and California Sweet Cherries is one of them! When the end of April rolls around in the Bay Area, it’s time for our local Northern California cherries. Just 5 years ago, Bi-Rite had relationships with several farmers that would harvest their cherries and deliver them to our door within 24 hours. From the foothills of the Sierra Nevada to the flatlands of Brentwood, each variety of cherry is unique, depending on how and where it was grown. Unfortunately, due to warm winters and drought conditions over the past few years, cherry growers throughout the state are struggling to produce healthy crops. One of the main reasons for the decrease in the California cherry crop is the insufficient chill hours from October through February that are necessary to regulate their growth. With the uncertain future of the Northern California cherry crop, we at Bi-Rite have decided to celebrate the farmers that are still providing wonderful cherries in spite of these difficulties, and to cherish this year’s cherries to the fullest.
Warmer weather in the spring months also leads to cherry crops being harvested a week or two earlier than in typical years. Bi-Rite’s cherry selection always starts with the sweet Red Garnet Cherry from Ed George’s Peach Farm in Winters, California. Last year Ed had a complete crop failure on this variety and this year he only has 50 % of his crop. The one benefit of the smaller crops is that the cherries have more room on the tree to grow nice and big. There aren’t many crop varieties that produce the best fruit early in the season, but the Red Garnet is an exception. They are firm with a rich sweet flavor but are only around for 7-10 days. The two other local farmers that bring their cherries to Bi-Rite are Frog Hollow Farm in Brentwood and Hidden Star Orchards in Linden. Frog Hollow has almost had a complete crop failure the past couple years and only has enough fruit to bring to the Farmer’s Markets. This leaves it up to Johann Smit at Hidden Star to be our main local cherry grower this season. He usually starts us out with the Burlat Cherry, which is a softer variety with a very delicate sweet/tart flavor perfect to get the taste buds excited for cherry season. The Burlat will be followed by some other sweet red varieties like the Bing, Brooks, Larian, and Red Lac Cherries. Johann also grows some beautiful yellow Rainier Cherries.
As the local cherry crop winds down in the beginning of June, we will continue to source cherries from other parts of California and finish the cherry season off with the amazing fruit from the Northwest. If you love to eat local produce and support Northern California cherry growers, May is your month to cherish the local cherries at Bi-Rite!
California grows more varieties of citrus than any other state— from the large Valencia Orange orchards near the border of Mexico, to the small Satsuma Mandarin orchards in the foothills of the Sierra. There’s a flavor for everyone! At Bi-Rite we strive to have a wide selection of great tasting and sustainably grown citrus that can be eaten in a number of different ways.
Mandarin season usually starts in California in the beginning of November with the easy-peeling, refreshing Satsuma Mandarin and ends with the seedless, candy-like Pixie Tangerine in April. There are a handful of other varieties that hit the Bi-Rite shelves in the interim. The little seedless Kishu Mandarin from the mountains of Ojai, California has everyone excited from neighborhood kindergarteners to world-class San Francisco Chefs. Toss it in a green salad or a fried rice dish to add a sweet and juicy flare. Some of the other mandarin varieties that are just making their way to the market: Gold Nuggets, Murcotts, Pages and Clementine. All of these exciting mandarin varieties also make for a fun time with the juicing machine.
There are three varieties of oranges right now that are so delicious it’s hard not to eat all three on a regular basis and spread the love. Cara Cara Oranges, aka the Pink Navels — from Tenalu Farm in Porterville, California — have been out of this world and their middle acid and sweet juicy flavor make them a perfect addition to a chicory salad. Tenalu also grows wonderful Heirloom Navel Oranges that have a little more acid than the Cara Cara but are also a bit sweeter. The Moro Blood Oranges are just getting started and with their nicely balanced sweet/tart flavor and berry-like tones they may be the most versatile piece of citrus in the kitchen. The Fennel, Blood Orange, Avocado Salad from our cook book Eat Good Food is great recipe if you’re looking for a quick and easy seasonal salad.
The days of cutting a Florida grapefruit in half and sprinkling sugar on it to cut the bitterness before gobbling it up with a spoon are over. The grapefruit scene has come a long way since the mid-80’s and the Bi-Rite produce crew is super excited about a few varieties that have become a big part of our citrus selection. For folks who just want an everyday grapefruit we always have a Star Ruby Grapefruit from Bernard Ranch in Riverside, California with its beautiful dark pink flesh and sweet/tart flavor. Bi-Rite staff have been rallying around the Pomelo from Tenalu Farm this year. This large piece of citrus is perfect for folks who want a mild sweetness and not an overwhelming amount of juice. The Cocktail Grapefruit from Cunningham Orchard in Fallbrook, California is a very unique piece of fruit. This cross between a Siamese Sweet Pomelo and Frua Mandarin produces the most amazing sub-acid sweet juice perfect for cocktails, syrups, sauces, and more.
It’s OK to be Sour
Sour oranges are the most unique California citrus crop and call for some creativity in the kitchen. The Seville Orange with its thick bumpy skin smells like a regular orange but the flavor is tart and sour. Sevilles have very oily skin that is used for essential oils. The most common use for Seville Oranges is marmalade, but it also works well in syrups, vinaigrettes and cocktails. The Bergamot Orange is a cross between a sour orange and lemon, most commonly known for the oil from the skin that is used in Earl Grey tea. The zest is used to flavor cakes and cookies and the juice is used for syrups, cocktails, and jams.
California citrus season is a 5 to 6 month long tasting journey that offers so many marvelous flavors. At Bi-Rite we love to celebrate this time of year with the “Citrus Explosion” by offering over 20 varieties in our produce department at one time. If you would like to learn more about this incredible crop please make your way to one of our produce departments and ask for a sample of all the varieties we have in-house!
As the new year begins and we all decide how we want to improve ourselves or our lives, let’s consider the ritual of cooking. Food forms deep bonds, and making food for our family and friends with our own hands is a special kind of sharing; it’s a sharing of love, nourishment, and inspiration. Let’s all re-dedicate ourselves to the creation of simple, tasty, homemade food made with ingredients that are special—delicious, local, and responsibly grown or made. Bi-Rite is here to help you make it happen! Following are six outstanding seasonal dishes from Eat Good Food, our go-to book written by Bi-Rite Family of Businesses Founder Sam Mogannam, that will motivate you to cook from the heart. Our Buyers each selected their favorite seasonal recipes, and to round out your meal, our Wine Buyer hand-picked a perfect wine to pair with each dish. Pick up copies of the recipes along with everything you need to create them at home. Happy New Year, happy cooking, and happy eating!
Our Meat Buyer, Chili, recommends:
- Beef Stew with Peppers & Ale
Wine pairing: Chateau Les Roches de Ferrand Fronsac Bordeaux, France 2007
- Sumac-Roasted Chicken Du Monde
Wine Pairing: Martincic Cvicek, Slovenia 2013 *give this wine a chill
Our Produce Buyer, Simon, recommends:
- Fennel, Blood Orange & Avocado Salad
Wine Pairing: Tatomer Gruner Veltliner Paragon, Santa Barbara 2013
- Pan-Seared Broccolini
Wine Pairing: Farella Sauvignon Blanc Coombsville, Napa 2013
Our Grocery Buyer, Raph, recommends:
- Bi-Rite Vinaigrette
- Spaghetti with Tuna, Capers & Chile Flakes
(Cheese Buyer Jon suggests topping it off with Fulvi Pecorino Romano!)
Wine pairing: La Staffa Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico, Italy 2013
Our Cheese Buyer, Jon, recommends:
- Grilled Manchego & Serrano Ham Sandwich with Membrillo
Wine pairing: Luberri Orlegi Rioja, Spain 2013