Easter Springs Forward
with Kurobuta & Brunch

Copywriter Chris Allen

Bright, colorful Easter egg hunts and a couple slices of smoked ham – that’s what Easter meant to me as a child. I’m positive my grandma would have been tickled pink to serve a lightly smoked Kurobuta ham from Porter & York if she had had the opportunity.

This delicious bone-in half ham is on our Big Board this week for just $4.48 lb. and will not disappoint. Pleasant, rich in color and filled with beautiful marbling, this ham is exceptionally sweet, juicy and tender. Our markets are one of the only places to offer it in the Puget Sound.

Kurobuta ham sliced and on a platter with stoneground mustard

Sliced Kurobuta ham with stoneground mustard

Also known as the Berkshire, the Kurobuta is a heritage breed that’s really taken off in the U.S. among people looking for a high-quality cut of pork that’s different than the norm. Chefs love it and it has inspired a loyal fanbase. A lot of that excitement stems from the artisanal raising methods that produce this meat’s rich color and marbling. Kurobuta is a Japanese word that roughly translates to “black hog,” but it also means the meat is 100% heritage.

Although the breed now is often associated with Japanese cuisine, the hog has a 300-year history dating back to 16th-century England. Oliver Cromwell even mentioned how tasty the hog was in notes he took while visiting Berkshire in the 1600s.

Thick slices of ham, with a mustard and brown sugar glaze on top; mashed sweet potatoes and leafy greens on a plate.

Our Mustard and Brown Sugar Glaze goes nicely on a Kurobuta ham!

Fast forward to the 21st century, and Porter & York has built a stellar reputation as an exceptional specialty meat shop in Woodinville. They’re one of our favorite Northwest producers and partners, and we’re excited to be a part of the exclusive club that can offer this excellent ham for your Sunday dinner.

Discover for yourself how tasty it is with one of the recipes from our website, like Bourbon-Glazed Ham, Baked Ham with Apricot-Cardamom Glaze or Pomegranate and Brown Sugar-Glazed Ham.

If you’re a little hesitant about taking on a bone-in ham – we’ve also got a few tips on how to keep it a low stress affair with our “How to Roast and Carve Bone-In Ham.”

Super Brunch Made Super Easy

Quiche by Carso's Pasta Co. on a plate with some broccoli on top

Quiche by Carso’s Pasta Co.

Of course, Easter eating isn’t just about the dinner. If you’re planning on hosting a few extra family and friends for a late Sunday brunch, I’ve got a cornucopia of special treats to help you build a beautiful spread.

Carso’s in Lynnwood makes amazingly delicious and flaky breakfast quiches and we’re one of the only places in the Puget Sound to carry them. Imagine a savory, buttery crust filled with baked, cage-free eggs, creamy cheese and several varieties of natural, wholesome ingredients. Now imagine these delicious quiches are on our Big Board for just $8.98 each, a savings of more than six bucks!

Carso’s Pasta Co. has been making dozens of varieties of fresh pasta, sauces, turnovers and quiches for Seattle-area restaurants and regular Joe’s like me since 1986, and they’re still a family-run business. They also use gluten-free XO Baking Co. flour and local cream. Feels good when so much care goes into something this tasty, and we’re super stoked to have it for the holiday weekend. Pair them with fresh-cut strawberries from our Produce Market and a flute of chilled mimosa.

Smorkage, by Larsen's Bakery in Ballard

Smorkage, by Larsen’s Bakery in Ballard

We have several great pairing options on our Big Board, too.

A seven-pack of sweet, Danish-style Smorkage from Larsen’s Bakery in Ballard is only $6.98.

This rich pastry (not pronounced as spelled – I can’t even describe the right way. But the ever-helpful Internet has the correct pronunciation here!)  is layered with sweet almond paste, custard and raisins. Heat in its own pan for a warm treat!

Or make a steaming, refreshing cup of organic, fair-trade coffee from Equal Exchange or Tony’s in Bellingham — whole beans of both brands are just $7.98 lb. in Bulk Foods through April 23. And speaking of great coffee…

Coffee Project Helps Congolese Women

Our longtime partnership with Equal Exchange has recently brought something special to our coffee selection in Bulk Foods. They’ve partnered with the Congo Coffee Project to help distribute Congo Rising, a special blend of East African coffees. According to Equal Exchange, each purchase directly supports Congolese women, helping them invest in small businesses, rent and buy land to farm coffee and establish savings and loan programs.

Certified organic, it’s a smooth and balanced blend, with notes of chocolate, sweet vanilla, brown spices and hits of fresh berries. You can learn more about this project on their website.

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Cheese Corner

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

SARTORI RESERVE RASPBERRY BELLAVITANO: Whenever I say this is one of my favorite cheeses, people usually wrinkle their noises and say “ewww, raspberries in cheese.” Well it’s not that simple.

This is Sartori’s BellaVitano Gold, an amazing, original American recipe, steeped in Raspberry Tart Framboise Ale from New Glarus Brewing in Wisconsin. Feel better now? I sure do because the Raspberry Ale, a cult favorite in Wisconsin, gives this cheese a hoppy smell and a beautiful, light-pink sheen that sparkles on a cheese plate.

If you can possibly exhibit enough self-control to let his cheese linger on your tongue long enough, you’ll be rewarded with a little raspberry pop on the finish. Level it up and drizzle a smidge of dark chocolate over the wedge. An absolute smash every time.

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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