Next to Thanksgiving, the week after Christmas might be my favorite stretch of the holiday season. The stress of gift shopping is over, the wrapping paper is all cleaned up, and we’re free to focus solely on the tastiest and simplest parts of the holiday season – great food and drink!
“We have a pretty great selection of excellent, high-quality spirits in our markets. But for the week after Christmas, it’s all about the bubbly,” says Don Thornton, our Beer, Wine & Spirits Specialist. “And whatever price point you’re looking at, we’ve got something to fit your needs.”
Right now we’ve got a big special running on several of our favorite Champagnes and sparkling wines, including our perennial favorite, the Valdo Prosecco sparkler from Italy. It’s easy to see why it makes a comeback every year. At $9.99, you won’t find a better pairing of flavor and value. We can barely keep it in stock! With its fine mousse and elegant bouquet of brioche, fruit and honey, the Baron-Fuenté Tradition Brut Champagne is another excellent choice and a value at $24.99 for true Champagne. And for those looking to really class it up, we’re offering Taittinger Brut La Francaise, an extremely pleasurable experience at $45.99. With its blend of perfectly ripened grapes from more than 30 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards, this Champagne is a stunning combination of richness and balance.
Whatever you’re looking for, be sure to stop in one of our markets and ask a Wine Manager. Helping you find the perfect item for the perfect party is what we do best.
New Year, New Culinary Traditions
We’re a pretty hungry and curious bunch here at Town & Country Markets. The week after Christmas is a fun time to explore food traditions we’re not very familiar with. This year, one of our Culinary Managers, the friendly and super knowledgeable Anthony Marcacci at Ballard Market, took a dive into the food traditions of Kwanzaa, which starts today! What did you learn, Tony?
“We’re excited to be celebrating some of the food and flavors of Kwanzaa this year at the Ballard Idea Center. Kwanzaa is a celebration of the first fruits of the harvest and African heritage in African-American culture, culminating in a huge feast! We’ll be exploring Kwanzaa-inspired recipes this entire week, including Joloff Rice, Benne Wafers and African Ground Nut Stew.
Beginning Dec. 26, each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to a different principle, from self-determination to creativity. When it comes to food, Kwanzaa is a delicious tribute to soul food, African recipes and even some Caribbean flavors. Come join us for some familiar favorites, such as Southern Greens and Shrimp and Grits or spice up your own food with new flavors like berebere sauce – pronounced ‘bahr-beh-REE’ -and Pere Pere sauce!”
Here’s to a New Year
of Good Health and Great Food
One last thing before we go. I wanted to give a shout out to some New Year’s recipes from our archive to hopefully inspire you a little bit to celebrate the tradition of eating for good luck. Our Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Greens is one of our favorites and will definitely be making an appearance in many of the Culinary Resource Centers in our markets. Also try our Southern Greens recipe with thick-cut bacon and collard greens, or our Blueberry Mochi recipe, with hints of lemon and a touch of sweetness from Japanese sweet rice flour. Happy New Year!
Our very own cheese whiz, Shauna Howell, offers up a cheese worth discovering.
LA TUR: This cupcake-shaped, soft-ripened cheese is easy to fall head-over-heels in love with. It's a blend of equal parts tangy goat milk, rich sheep milk and unctuous, earthy cow’s milk. Made in the Alta Langre area of Italy by Caseficio dell'Alta Langa, it’s aged just 10 days so it’s young andfresh when it hits our market. A delicate cheese with a dense, rich paste and pleasingly edible soft-wrinkled rind. It comes in a ruffled paper cup to protect its delicate shape and will be the bright star of any cheeseboard. Gooey and spreadable it deserves a cracker that will not vie for attention, so a simple water cracker or fresh, crusty baguette is really the best.
Chris Allen is a copywriter and assistant marketer with Town & Country Markets. He’s a former contributing editor, radio anchor and producer, and an Air Force veteran. He’s also mastered the art of chopping red onions with one hand while sipping a dry Tempranillo in the other.