What’s Dippin’ in the Well: Fennel ‘n’ Fig

WSVFCFigFennelcome the seasonal return of the Co-op’s own handmade organic ice cream flavor that’s sure to perk up your taste buds: Fennel ‘n’ Fig!

This flavor is a customer and staff favorite. Crafted with fried organic black mission figs and fennel seed, as well as locally sourced cream, eggs, and milk, it’s loaded with zesty flavor and texture.

Fennel n’ Fig flavor captures the earthy sweetness of black mission figs and the licorice spice of fennel. We begin with a base of our handmade organic Vanilla ice cream, then add fennel-infused cream, chewy bits of fig, and whole fennel seeds. The result is a complex, but not overly sweet treat, with flavors of toasted licorice, caramel, and plum.

Try this autumnal treat on your favorite cobblers, pies, tarts, and pastries. Add a scoop to the Co-op’s fresh baked Apple Crisp, Caramel Apple Bars, or Gluten Free Blueberry Loaf for a twist on the classic cake and ice cream pairing.

Posted by Claire

Getting to Know the Co-op’s Olive Bar

SVFCCastels

The luscious Castelveltrano olive. It’s Paleo!

Now is a perfect time to get to know your local Olive Bar: it’s on sale this month for $8.99 per pound! The Co-op’s gourmet selection of olives and antipasti is one of the finest in the Valley.

Olives are one of humankind’s oldest foods. Enjoyed for millennia across the globe, olives offer a burst of tangy flavor, saltines, and tender fruit-like texture to snacks and recipes.

Olives are the fruit of evergreen trees or shrubs in the Oleaceae family, found throughout the world, from Africa, through the Mediterranean Basin to the Arabian Peninsula, southern Asia, and some island regions including the Canary Islands. Green olives are picked as young fruit, before the ripening cycle begins, whereas purple or black olives are harvested when they become fully mature. Olives are whole foods cured for bright flavors and salty finish. They are processed to remove a naturally occuring bitter phenolic compound known as oleuropein. Cured olives are traditionally enjoyed with rich, fatty foods such as cured and smoked meats and cheeses.

Some stars of the bar:

Castelveltrano – a staff favorite! These brilliant green olives hail from Sicily, where they are picked young and cured in a pure sea salt brine. Unlike many olives, Castelveltranos have a mild, delicate, and sweet flavor, similar to olive oil. Ideal for meat and cheese platters, or just a snack with crackers or a slice bread. Available in pitted or whole varieties. Plus, it’s Paleo diet approved!

Sweety Drop Peppers – new sensations from the Southern Hemisphere. Sweety Drops are tiny, tear-drop-shaped peppers, grown in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. For more information and a recipe for “Sweety Drop Pasta Salad”, check out a previous blog post: Amazonian Sweety Drops.

Whole Greek Kalamatas – a familiar, large, purple olive with an intense smoked and salty flavor. A classic for serving table-side or adding to salads and pasta recipes. Named after the city of Kalamata, in Southern Greece. One of our most popular sellers!

Visit our Deli Olive Bar today to discover an excellent selection of other olive medleys as well as Peppadews, Kosher Sauerkraut, Marinated Mushrooms with Red Peppers and Garlic, Roasted Whole Garlic Cloves in Oil, Moroccan Preserved Beldi Lemons, Roasted Red Tomatoes, and more!

The Cheese Whisperer: Double the Gloucester

SVFCDubGloucThere’s no shortage of fine cheese at the Co-op’s Specialty Cheese Island. Our latest offering is genuine Double Gloucester Cheddar from Singleton’s Farm. Now available by the hand cut wedge for $9.99 per pound!

A vibrant orange color, Singletons’ Double Gloucester cheddar is loaded with flavor. Aged for at least 6 months, this high-quality cheese is made from the milk of Gloucestershire-breed cows farmed within the English county of Gloucestershire.

This cheese earns its title of “Double Gloucester” for two reasons: from its location, made in rural Gloucester county in England; and of the cheese makers’ use of milk and added cream for an extra smooth, buttery texture. It has a milky, slightly nutty flavor and is an excellent melting cheese. The bright apricot color of Double Gloucester is due to the naturally orange color dye known as annatto, derived from the flowers of the Achiote trees of tropical and subtropical regions around the world.

Double Gloucester is a fine cooking cheese. Stir it into garlic-spiked mashed potatoes, hearty soups, mac-n-cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, or melt it down gently to make a delightful sauce for broccoli and other steamed vegetables. Or simply slice and enjoy with apples, pears, pickles, or green salads.

Pair this classic cheddar with a hearty English ale. The Co-op’s Beer Aisle offers a representative sampling of brews from the world-renown Samuel Smith Brewery in Yorkshire, including their light and refreshing certified organic Lager, elegant, toasty flavored Nut Brown Ale or their rich, velvety Taddy Porter.

Posted by Claire

Cheese Whisperer: New Zealand Cheddar

FonterraChedNew to the Co-op’s Specialty Cheese Island — New Zealand ‘s Fonterra/Mainland Cheddar, made from grass-fed pasteurized cow milk.  And it’s an amazing deal: on sale now for $7.99 per lb!

This medium sharp cheddar is aged for at least 6 months, which makes for a buttery and smooth cheese. It has a friendly, approachable flavor with subtle sweetness and a slight tang on the finish. The cheddar is sturdy, easily slice-able and holds up well in a grilled cheese sandwich. Sure to be a hit on cheese plates, in cheese-y recipes, or in school lunches, Fonterra cheddar also makes a tasty dip for veggies, chips, or crackers.

The Fonterra company is proud of its roots. Founded in 2001, the Fonterra Co-operative Group sources milk from New Zealand dairy farmers who graze their cattle on the renown lush, green pastures of their island. They now work with Mainland Dairy and export 95% of their products to cheese lovers around the globe.

Fonterra Cheddar Dip

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (12 oz.) grated Fonterra cheddar
  • 2/3 cup amber beer (try Elysian Brewing’s Men’s Room Red or Hale’s Ales Red Menace)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1-2 seeded fresh jalapeno peppers (optional)

Directions:

In food processor or blender, pulse together cheese, beer, sour cream, mayonnaise, pepper (if desired) and spices, scraping down side occasionally, until smooth and creamy. Serve or store covered in fridge for up to 4 days. Flavor intensifies as the ingredients blend. Serve with vegetables, chips, bread or crackers.

The Cheese Whisperer: Poacher’s Cheddar

PoachersCheddarThere never seems to be a shortage of tasty cheddar out there.

Welcome new arrivals from British cheese purveyor Somerdale: Poacher’s, Tintern, Red Dragon, and Harlech creamy English Cheddars. This wonderfully potent and flavorful series of gluten-free specialty cheddar wedges (except the Red Dragon, with its barley malt brewed ale) are blended with herbs and spices and made with vegetarian rennet.

Tintern features the earthy zest of chives and shallots. Red Dragon offers the bright spice of mustard seed and Welsch ale. Harlech is infused with horseradish and parsley.

Poacher’s Cheddar is simply delightful as a medley of natural aged white cheddar and caramelized onions. This combination of velvety smooth cheese with sweet onions is wonderfully versatile.

Poacher’s Cheddar is best served at room temperature, when it is spreadable and slightly crumbly, and its smoky, sweet flavors are enhanced. Warm it up, add some crumbled bacon, whisk in a bit of milk or cream, and garnish with green onions for a terrific veggie or chip dip. Or try adding it to a crisp green salad for a boost of protein and tangy flavor! To keep it simple, pair it with early season apples and toast!