Citrus and Chocolate
Brighten the Season

Copywriter Chris Allen

I’m originally from a mountain valley college town in Montana, but my wife and 2-year-old son were both born in Seattle. The very first time I thought of my child as a “Seattle kid” occurred last weekend when, after opening the drapes to let in a brief dose of sunshine, my toddler instinctively whipped his hand up to cover his eyes and said “Owie, that’s bright!” like some sort of tiny vampire.

sliceed sumo mandarin orangesAll of that to say that with “The Big Dark” of winter firmly ensconced over our heads and a vitamin C deficiency a moderate threat, we should be thankful it’s citrus season in the Puget Sound area. This month truly is a great time to sample the large variety of traditional and unique flavors overflowing in our Produce Markets.

Particularly exciting is the return of the Sumo mandarin, the seasonal treat with mouthwatering citrus flavor and the cool little “topknot,” which is how these little gems got their name. They’re a hybrid of the California navel orange and the mandarin. They were cultivated in Japan, where they’re called dekopon and are so prized they can cost nearly $8 lb. They’re only $2.98 lb. right now on our Big Board Buys. How ‘bout that?

A fresh crop of organic seedless Minneola tangelos just arrived, too. “Tange-what?” Yes, they’re a cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine, making for a refreshingly sweet-tart flavor. Also, check out the Tarocco blood oranges. While they seem like a standard orange on the outside – once you cut them open, your can see a unique red-flecked flesh. Both the tangelos and the blood oranges are on our Market Buys for just $1.98 lb.

 

Surprise Your Sweetheart with Callebaut

blocks of callebaut chocolateValentine’s Day is creeping up on us once again (how does it surprise me year after year?). We’ll talk more about fresh flowers next week, but if you’re like me and love an excuse to try something new in the kitchen, now’s the time to plan ahead and make something extra tasty for that special someone with Callebaut Belgian chocolate. Save up to $2 lb. right now on bittersweet, semi-sweet and milk chocolate varieties in our Bulk Foods Department.

Callebaut has been crafting the finest chocolate in the heart of Belgium for more than 100 years. Using premium ingredients and techniques that go back generations, Callebaut is a trusted name among chefs and chocolatiers. Their chocolate is crafted precisely to allow you to melt as much — or as little — gooey chocolate as you need for your recipe. Perfect for creating a fondue or dipping sauce. How ‘bout chocolate-dipped strawberries? Easy and beautiful.

PLated strawferry with chocolate gnache drizzle

Recipe: Chocolate Ganache

If you’ve never used bulk chocolate before, I’d suggest our Easy Chocolate Bark or our Chocolate Ganache recipes. They’re super easy to make and only require a few ingredients.

Ready for something a little fancier? Our Chocolate Crème Brûlée is just the thing for an extra special dessert at home.

 

shauna-mug-a

Cheese Corner

Our very own cheese whiz, Shauna Howell, offers up a cheese worth discovering.

Marieke Young Golden Gouda: An exclusive to our Markets aged just for us, this extraordinarily creamy young Gouda has hints of Parmesan cultures so you can expect a nutty, full-flavored taste in any sandwich or dish in which you use it.

It’s also a farmstead cheese (also called farmhouse, it means the cheese is made from milk produced on the same farm). It's made with a microbial rennet, so it’s suitable for vegetarians. Look for the beautiful, hand-painted purple (food-safe) rind. It’s one of our best values in the cheese case. 

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.

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