Today (July 12) marks the first full year of celebrating Food, People and Love through this blog.
We try to treat every post as a little invitation to enjoy the exact same foods we’re eating and enjoying. The numbers say there’s a nice group of you out there who are reading it – more than 250 people have signed up for the emails and hundreds more click through the Facebook posts about the blog.
So we just wanted to say “Thank You!” for taking the time to visit! Much appreciated. I’m looking forward to another year of great food!
In a Bountiful Summer, Sterino Stands Out
We always say summer is our Produce Market’s holiday season. One of the very best gifts we receive is a basket overflowing with variety berries from Sterino Farms. There’s really nothing quite like them. The collection of flavors and colors that Jake Sterino and his crew grow and harvest down in Fife, Wash., is something special.
Now is the absolute best time to explore their rich, rewarding flavor because three half-pint flats go for just $5.98 on our Big Board Buys this week. They’re picked and delivered daily, too.
Our Produce & Floral Director Joe Pulicicchio started cultivating our relationship with Jake Sterino many years ago, and Jake’s dad long before that. Because of our relationship, you won’t find the same variety of berries in other markets: Tulameen raspberries, currants, gooseberries, obsidian blackberries, golden raspberries, large nectar berries, and tayberries … wow!
“When Jake decides to grow something, he’s all in,” says Jim Foley, our Produce Specialist. This time of year, Jim makes the drive down to the Puyallup Valley nearly every week to look at the crops and help make sure all our deliveries go smooth. “Jake’s very progressive and likes to experiment with new fruit varieties. He listens to our feedback, too,” Jim explains.
It’s one of the reasons why Sterino Farms continues to grow more unique fruits like tayberries, gooseberries or currants for us, even though they’re not as popular as raspberries or blackberries. “We make sure he knows that our customers are curious and like to try new things. It’s about choices,” Jim says. This year, Jake has tailored the growing patterns to spread out the arrival of some of these berries a bit longer so you don’t have to scramble to try all the berries at once.
Don’t forget to experience the perfection of the very sweet, mostly seedless, obsidian blackberry. If you’ve spent most of your life living in the city, that experience is about as close as you can get to one of the simple pleasures in life: Picking and enjoying a ripe, juicy berry on a bright, sunny day.
“I don’t know anybody else who grows berries like Sterino,” Jim says. “Personally, I’m excited for the gooseberries so I can put them on ice cream. Their tartness really goes well with the sweetness.” Thanks for the tip, Jim!
Our very own cheese whiz, Shauna Howell, offers up a cheese worth discovering.
Marieke Young Golden Gouda: This farmstead golden is a full-flavored, young Gouda made with unpasteurized cow’s milk by award-winning cheesemaker Marieke Penterman on her family farm in Thorp, Wis.
She made this cheese especially for Town & Country Markets and it sits as a powerhouse anchor to her creative and flavorful line of Goudas. She’s truly one of the greats of our time, and, for fun, check out her recent coverage on CBS Sunday Morning. You might say she is my hero and certainly a Big Cheese. It’s really because her cheese is THAT good. Give this one a whirl we think it will become a pantry staple.
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.