Home Posts tagged 'Cheese'

Posts Tagged ‘Cheese’


Jon Fancey

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese!

We’re celebrating two of our favorite local cheeses for August & September – Fresh Mozzarella & Toma from Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese! Most Bay Area folks are familiar with their award winning blue cheeses – but Point Reyes also crafts great cow’s milk cheeses that are perfect to enjoy every day.

The Giacomini Family has been operating a dairy farm just outside of Point Reyes Station for generations now and their 500 Holstein cows graze on the rolling green hills that overlook Tomales Bay.  Delicious, high quality milk from these cows is the not-so-secret ingredient of Point Reyes Farmstead cheeses – whether it’s a ball of milky fresh mozzarella or a wedge of buttery Toma. 

We’ve got plenty of suggestions of how to enjoy and pair these two cheeses for any occasion! Be sure to stop by the Markets and ask a Monger for a taste!

PointReyes_2016_Mozarella-frontPointReyes_2016_Mozarella-back

PointReyes_2016_Toma-backPointReyes_2016_Toma-front

 

 

 

 

 


Waverley

Treat Mama Right!

Though technically every day you show you care (right?!), treat mama right this Mama’s Day with some TLC in the form of Good Food! Brunch or dinner, a picnic in the park, we’re here to help you treat mama like the hero she is.

MamasBrunch_WebOur chefs have crafted a light, fresh, spring menu that is sure to wow, featuring our Shrimp Louie with Oregon bay shrimp, butter lettuce, avocado, and cherry tomatoes with creamy Old Bay thousand island dressing. Pair it with our new, house-made Wild Salmon Rillettes with lemon and aleppo pepper, and our seasonal Quiche Maman with asparagus, Marin French “Petite Breakfast” Cheese, spring onion, and fines herbes. View the complete Mama’s Day menu here, available in the Markets and online for delivery May 6 through May 8.

Our bakers have whipped up something truly special for the truly special mamas in your life, the Creamery’s new Tarte aux Fraises. Made with peak season, farm-direct strawberries and almond frangipane, studded with pistachios, it’s a decadent and unique treat.

To complement this colorful spread, our cheese team is featuring brunch-friendly cheeses, like Marin French Cheese’s Petites (on sale now for only $3.99), plus an assortment of favorites like Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam and Fromagerie Onetik’s Tomme Brebis Chevre.

Gifts for mama? We’ve got some great Good Food ideas:

  • DIY Strawberry Shortcakes: Give mama a sweet treat, plus get the ingredients delivered to your door!
  • Gorgeous farm-direct flowers: Our florists will be creating custom bouquets in front of both Markets Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8, 9am to 5pm; or, order farm-direct flowers from Instacart for delivery within an hour.
  • Seasonal Craft Cocktails: Our friends The Bon Vivants have created two beautiful, seasonal gin cocktails perfect for brunch or a day in the sun.
  • Handcrafted Chocolates & Truffles: Our Grocery Team has brought a collection of beautiful, handmade confections, truffles, and more so you can wow with chocolate.  Highlights include Chocolate Moderne’s Champagne Chic (chocolate-covered bonbons with double chocolate ganache in a champagne truffle), and Recchiuti’s Classic Truffles (traditional French-style rolled truffles).

StrawberryShortcake_WebFullSizeRenderMothersDay2016MixedBouquet


Jon Fancey

Eat Like a King With Parmigiano Reggiano

Parm_banner_web

IMG_9115

An 80-pound wheel of our Parmigiano-Reggiano

At a time when our food system is increasingly overrun with processed products and traceability is a growing concern, we’re shining the spotlight on one of the most traditionally crafted products at our Markets. Parmigiano Reggiano is called the King of Cheese for excellent reason — it’s been made in the same region for almost a thousand years! We work with one of the most reputable importers of Italian cheese to provide our guests with Parmigiano Reggiano that’s produced at one single farm in the heart of Emilia-Romagna. Daniele Caldera operates the farm, where he raises the cows and makes the cheese. He even lives above his small creamery, where he makes no more than six wheels a day by using time-honored techniques.

Parmigiano Reggiano is a staple of any Italian kitchen; it’s a cheese that’s perfect for anytime of the day. You can of course grate it over a bowl of fresh pasta, but we also love to be adventurous with it:

  • Slice it with pears for a satisfying breakfast
  • Grate it over soft scrambled eggs with chives for an easy brunch
  • Mix it with Medjool dates and Massa Organic’s almonds for a savory afternoon snack
  • Shave it into a farro salad with citrus vinaigrette and fresh herbs
  • Drizzle it with Bi-Rite Public Label Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Daniele Caldera's Farmstead

Daniele Caldera’s Farmstead

Remember that we crack wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano at each Market every week, so the pieces available are always fresh (follow us on Instagram @biritesf to see video of our cheesemongers cracking the wheel, and much more!). Our big 80-pound wheels are aged for a minimum of 24 months, though usually they are closer to 28 months. With a big wheel of this kind, a longer aging process allows for the development of deeper, more complex flavor. Daniele’s cheese is brothy and bright with notes of fruity pineapple, and the finish is long and deep. We also shred and package the cheese – our shredded Parmigiano Reggiano is the real deal, and so much better than anything that comes out of a green can.

Eat like a king and be sure to pick up a piece of Daniele Caldera’s farmstead Parmigiano Reggiano the next time you shop at the Markets or place an order on Instacart.

 


Jon Fancey

Bi-Rite & Essex Street Cheese Invest in the Future

Bi-Rite Catering Cheese Platter featuring Essex Street Cheeses

Bi-Rite Catering Cheese Platter featuring Essex Street Cheeses

Many of our guest’s taste buds are familiar with Essex Street Cheese Company’s selection of imported cheeses. Two of the most popular cheeses in our Markets are Marcel Petite Essex Comte and L’Amuse Signature Gouda.  These beautiful wheels are masterfully matured for incomparable flavors in Europe, then hand-selected for our Markets by the fine folks at Essex Street. Essex Comte and L’Amuse Signature Gouda are truly the best of their bunch.

IMG_7880These well-rounded and distinctive flavor profiles are the legacy of the late Daphne Zepos – one of America’s most beloved cheese advocates.  Daphne was an educator and importer with a palate and spirit that inspired many of today’s top cheese professionals.  She even taught our very own Sam Mogannam how to taste cheese with all five senses, and a deep respect for the work that a truly skilled farmer, cheesemaker, and affineur put into the process of creating stunning cheeses.  Daphne’s appreciation of fine cheese lives on in the Essex Street Cheese selections, and her legacy of education led to the creation of the Daphne Zepos Teaching Award.  The DZTA is an educational fund that grants an award to a cheese professional every year.  The winner is tasked with travelling to Europe to study cheese craft. The winner must then commit themselves to educating other budding cheese professionals upon their return.  Those who’ve been granted the opportunity thus far have studied Basque sheep herding and cheese making traditions, styles of cheese affinage across Europe, and native cheese cultures used in cheese making.

Marcel Petit Essex Comte

Marcel Petit Essex Comte

Bi-Rite Market is a proud sponsor of the DZTA! Over the past three years we have provided $15,000 in support of DZTA and Daphen’s quest for continued education and learning.  While we feature Essex Street Cheeses during December and January, we will be donating 25% of the profits from sales of Marcel Petite Essex Street Comte and L’Amuse Signature Gouda directly to the award foundation.  Not only can you grab a wedge of these incredible cheeses while shopping in the Markets, they’re also available in our Instacart Holiday Market and on the amazing Holiday Cheese Platter offered by Bi-Rite Catering.   The next time you’re in the Market, be sure to ask one of our mongers for a taste of their favorite Essex Street cheese.  Happy Holidays!


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


John Herbstritt

Sour Summer in SF

sour-sf-banner-13“Turn on, Tune in, Drop out” is actually a phrase developed by the sour beer brewers in Leipzig in the 18th century when they discovered their delicious gose style of naturally fermented elixirs. They believed that the bright acidity of their beer was able to transcend the drinker onto a higher plane of existence…OK, so I made that up, but when you taste of the delicious new sours that we have in house right now, you may very well be transported.

Sour beer is all the rage in San Francisco, but how is it made? Brewers use special yeast strains along with lactic acid bacteria to coax more and more acidity from their fermentation, a flavor that is not often found in other styles of beer. Sour beers are also the perfect gateway beer for wine drinkers given their vinous nature.  Their flavors tend to evolve and become more dynamic over time, and many are barrel-aged.

These beers are prized for their pairability with food, since acidity is such an important component on the palate, but many are also great on their own with flavors and aromas that cascade over the palate in waves.  Sour beers tend to pair well with rich, fatty, savory foods – we’re particularly fond of sour beers with cheese.  The only rule about sour beers it seems, is that there are no rules.

Another particularity of sour beers is their affinity for fruit flavors. Locally, Almanac Beer Co. is famous for preserving the produce of a season by ageing their beers on the best local fruit, often calling out the farm on their labels. They follow a seasonal rotation, like the fruit that they brew with, so availability waxes and wanes with the changing of the sun’s position in the sky. Whatever the season (SF “Summer” or SF “Winter”) there is a sour beer companion for your meal, or as a gift for your favorite beer nerd.

The beers featsour-sf-circleured below are a wonderful representation of the diverse styles of sour beers, but only a smattering of the sours we have in house (and in our online store at Instacart.com), many in limited quantity.  Ask one of our Beer and Wine Specialists on the floor at 18th Street or Divis to show you the whole selection, and don’t forget to stop by the Cheese Department for a pairing! Turn on to the sour revolution, baby. Your palate will never be the same.

 

Brouwerij Verhaeghe Duchesse De Bourgogne 750 mL | $13.99
This traditional Flanders Red Ale is matured in oak barrels for 18 months. The final product is a blending of a younger eight-month-old beer with the 18-month-old barrel-aged brew. Fruity and rich with a full, sweet, and fresh taste.

Almanac Beer Co. Farmer’s Reserve Pluot 375 mL | $10.99
Pluots are created by cross-breeding apricots and plums; there are dozens of varieties with an amazing range of color and flavor. All through the summer, Blossom Bluff Orchards picks each variety at its peak: Dapple Dandy, Honey Punch, Flavor Queen, Black Kat, and Dapple Jack were all added to a sour blond ale and aged in wine barrels to create this funky oak-aged brew.
Pairs well with: Garden Variety Cheese’s Sweet Asylum – The balance of brightness and funk between this sour ale and tangy, creamy sheep’s milk cheese combines for a lush blend of floral, lanolin, and earthiness.

Sour-Beer-web

This is only a handful of the sours we have in the Markets!

Brouwerij Hof ten Dormaal “Zure van Tildonk” 375 mL | $10.99
Belgian “Farm to Bottle” sour beer brewed using hops and malt grown on the farm as well as the wild yeasts found around the farm. After a year of aging in a barrel, this sour is cellared for several months prior to release.
Pairs well with: Pecorino Sardo – The bright, buttery hay qualities of this sheep’s milk Pecorino shine with the tart, crisp funkiness of the Tildonk.

Cascade Brewing Barrel House Apricot (Divis Only) 750 mL | $29.99
Strawberry (18th Street Only)
 750 mL | $29.99
The Apricot is North West-style sour ale is a blend of wheat and blond ales that were aged in oak wine barrels for up to nine months before aging on fresh apricots for an additional six months. Flavors of fresh and dried apricot fruit are complemented by a tart acidity and lingering notes of apricot preserves.  Likewise, the Strawberry is aged in oak barrels with strawberries and vanilla for 12 months.  Bright and crisp, it captures the essence of fresh strawberries with subtle notes of oak, vanilla, and fruit preserves.


Jon Fancey

Better Summer Living Through Cheese

Cheese isn’t just for the holidays or special events.  Serving a selection of cheese is a great way to impress your guests at your next summertime gathering, too! Whether you’re hosting a casual backyard BBQ, a spontaneous picnic at the park, or an extravagant weekend brunch –- don’t forget the cheese. Here are some of the cheeses we love at Bi-Rite that I’ll be sharing with my friends this IMG_2967summer:

Alemar Cheese Company’s Good Thunder – Keith Alemar started crafting cheese from organic milk in 2008 – and now his small creamery in Mankato, Minnesota is providing us with some of our favorite soft-ripened cheeses.  Good Thunder has been a work in progress for the past couple of years, and it now tastes better than ever –- milky, meaty, and just slightly pungent.  This little brick of cheese that’s washed in Surly Brewing’s Bender Oatmeal Ale would be perfect with any Olympia Provisions charcuterie and is a great option for any summertime cheese board.

Uplands Cheese Company’s Pleasant Ridge Reserve – Andy Hatch is one of our favorite cheese makers, and his stunning pasture on Pleasant Ridge in southwest Wisconsin’s Driftless region is one of our favorite farms to visit.  Pleasant Ridge Reserve is an Alpine-style cheese made with the milk of one of America’s most beautiful herds.  The wheels we’re selling right now in the Markets have been matured for a year and have deep flavors of toasted nuts and brown butter.  This sturdy cheese is perfect for picnics and day trips –- a great one to take to Sonoma to enjoy with just about any bottle of red wine.

IMG_1819Jasper Hill Farm’s Bayley Hazen Blue – Jasper Hill Farm is nestled in the rolling green hills of Vermont’s Northeastern Kingdom, and is committed to nurturing the region’s dairy and cheese-making traditions.  Bayley Hazen is crafted with raw cow’s milk, and has a delicious fudgy texture with flavors of grass and nuts.  It’s delicious melted on a burger or crumbled on a steak -– it can also be an easy dessert when served with the season’s best stone fruit and local honey.

Marin French Cheese’s Petit Crème – The folks at Petaluma’s Marin French Cheese are celebrating their 150th Anniversary this summer and we’re proud to offer their little bloomy rind button.  Crafted with cow’s milk from neighboring farms – this baby brie is mild, milky, and perfect for any occasion.

Cheese is a crowd pleaser for all of your summer events — come to the 18th Street and Divisadero markets and chat with our Cheese team!


Jon Fancey

Fresh Cheese Makes All the Difference

Burrata, Chevre, Fromage Blanc, Queso Fresco, Mozzarella–these are just a handful of the fresh cheeses available here at Bi-Rite Market. Fresh cheeses are the best expression of the milk that’s used to make them, and they are easy to enjoy every day! May and June bring a bounty of stone fruit, berries, and tomatoes so it’s the perfect time of the year to pair them up with these fresh cheeses crafted in California. Here are a few you can look out for when you’re shopping at Bi-Rite!

IMG_2413

Andante Dairy Fresh Goat Cheese

Andante Dairy Fresh Goat Cheese – Soyoung Scanlan is a true renaissance woman: musician, biochemist, dairy scientist, and cheese maker. We sell a small selection of her cheeses at both Bi-Rite Markets, and her fresh rounds of goat’s cheese are the favorite of staff and guests.  Made one day a week in Sonoma County and delivered to the markets the following day, it’s always the freshest cheese in our case. Perfect with peaches and berries or a glass of rose.

Pennyroyal Farm Laychee – Boontling is a jargon spoken in one specific part of Northern California. Laychee means “milk” in Boontling and is an appropriate name for this fresh cheese from Boonville. It’s crafted from the milk of a small herd of goats that graze this Mendocino farm, neighboring the famed Navarro Vineyards.  It’s one of our favorite brunch cheeses — sweet, creamy, and spreadable – and pairs well with sparkling wines.

IMG_2412

Burrata from DiStefano Cheese Company

Di Stefano Cheese Company Burrata – Mimmo Bruno started working in an Italian cheese factory at the age of 11, earning $1 a week. In 1993 the Bruno family opened the Di Stefano Cheese Company in Southern California and introduced Americans to Burrata!  These cream bombs of stracciatella wrapped in a delicate mozzarella shell are a much-loved specialty of Puglia, the region Bruno and his family call home. Serve it as an appetizer with crusty bread and charcuterie, as a side dish with grilled vegetables, or as a dessert with roasted strawberries and a glass of Moscato d’Asti.

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Fresh Mozzarella – The Giaconmini Family has been operating their dairy from the rolling green hills overlooking Tomales Bay for more than 55 years. Their beautiful land and herd of cows produce amazing milk that’s easily tasted in this fresh mozzarella. A favorite of guests at both Bi-Rite Markets: this is the cheese to use with this season’s best tomatoes!

Please come by and ask our knowledgable and friendly Cheese Team about our incredible fresh cheeses. They can help with pairings, wine suggestions, and are a great bunch of folks who love to share tastes and knowledge. Looking forward to seeing you!


Jason Rose

Super Bowl = Food, Food, and…FOOD!

IMG_0120Food, friends, beer, and bone-crushing football. Even if your team didn’t make it to the Super Bowl, it’s still a great opportunity to gather and enjoy each other’s company, the great commercials, incredible snacks, and festive food!

The Super Bowl Classic, of course, is chips and dip. We have house-made 7-Layer Dip, plus Bi-Rite Guacamole and Spicy Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dip all made by our talented chefs. And we are so happy to now offer Nopalito salsas and chips, too, from one of our favorite neighboring businesses. There are also delicious salsa FullSizeRenderofferings from Santipapas and Papalote! And our chip options are killer: Casa Chicas, Primavera, Dosa Chips, and 4505 Chicharrones are all recommended for pleasing your crowd. We even have featured cheeses representing your preferred tea: Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar for the Seahawks fans, and Cabot Vintage Cheddar for you New England folks! Pair either with Rustic Bakery or Raincoast Crisp crackers for a perfect match.IMG_0118

And we’ve taken the hard work out of your heartier fare, too. Each Bi-Rite Market has a special menu of prepared items, perfect for a party, that are ready to pick up and take home.

                   Bi-Rite Market Divisadero Street Super Bowl Menu

                      Bi-Rite’s Barbecued St. Louis Ribs $13.99 per pound

Buttermilk Fried Chicken $12.99 per pound

Victory Chicken Wings with Sweet Chili Sauce,
Sesame, and Scallion
 $7.99 per pound

Pigs in a Blanket: BN Ranch Grass Fed Hot Dog
Wrapped in Puff Pastry 
$1.50 each

German Potato Salad $8.99 per pound

Pasta Salad with Seasonal Vegetables
& Red Wine Vinaigrette
 $7.99 per pound

Grilled Chicken Quesadillas $7.99 each

Bi-Rite Market 18th Street Super Bowl Menu

Bi-Rite’s Barbecued St. Louis Ribs $13.99 per pound

Buttermilk Fried Chicken $12.99 per pound

Victory Chicken Wings with Sweet Chili Sauce,
Sesame & Scallion
 $7.99 per pound

The Pig-Skin: Braised Pork Belly Sandwich
with Orange Mostarda & Chicory Slaw
 $10.99 each

German Potato Salad  $8.99 per pound

Winter Waldorf Salad  $10.99 per pound

Fried Falafel with Tahini  $5.99 for four

And don’t forget our amazing platters from Bi-Rite Catering! It’s not too late to get an order in for Sunday; you  have until Friday January 30 at 3pm to get it your Super Bowl yummies ordered and on their way.


Rose

Bent Into Shape

The other night I was with a group of cheesemonger pals sampling a platter of the current offerings at Mission Cheese on Valencia Street. I excitedly pointed out Bent River Camembert, a beauty that had landed on the shelves at 18th Street some weeks back and is still showing beautifully, urging them all to taste it before taking a heaping hunk for myself. We were all struck by the complexity of this divine organic cow’s milk cheese from Mankato, Minnesota. Conversations were sparked, smiles exchanged and joy deeply felt.

Bent RiverThis ripe, pudgy cheese came rolling pleasantly into our lives from Alemar Cheese Company of Mankato. It contains buttery roasted vegetable notes, tangy acidic flavor swings, and that perfect springy bite that extends from the bloomy rind to a bright, creamy paste. It’s truly an expression of artisanal Old-World styles, an archetypal French cheese reinterpreted and expanded upon with typical American gumption. 100% grass-fed cows from Cedar Summit Dairy provide the milk, which pulsates through the cheese with lush ripeness. The vibrant waters of the river bend by Alemar’s production site shine through in the most pleasing way, making this cheese both flavorful and refreshing. And that’s saying something for a rich, buttery cheese like this one!

Not only is the Bent River Camembert a delight, but it comes with an interesting origin story.  Alemar founder Keith Adams had started his food career as a co-owner of the Bagel Bros. bagel shops. When the bagel craze subsided in the early 2000s, Adams wished to tap into food in a more interactive and personal way. He found inspiration after attending the American Cheese Society conference and, mentored by California cheesemakers Peg Smith and Sue Conley of Cowgirl Creamery, he set up his aging facility in Mankato and created Alemar. Bent River and his other cheeses have taken off in a very exciting way, and we are honored to carry his excellent product.

I recommend pairing the Bent River with bitter, effervescent beer. At Mission Cheese I tried it with Magnolia’s Blue Bell Bitter and was delighted with the result. You can also try experimenting with light, minerally whites; this should compliment the creamy paste beautifully. I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do!

Curds and whey,

Rose