Let’s take a look at some of the food in our markets that you might NOT have heard of but are great to include in your summer food repertoire. Don’t get me wrong, grilled burgers and hot dogs are awesome. But what might be possible outside those traditional summer food options?
Virtually every seafood lover has enjoyed cod at some point. Odds are, that tender white fish was Atlantic cod or, even more likely around these parts, white Pacific or Alaskan cod. Unfortunately, unsustainable fishing practices throughout much of the early- to mid-20th century have led to ever-increasing catch limits and scarce supply, especially on the East Coast where even Cape Cod is having a hard time living up to its name.
At Town & Country Markets, we’re always striving to offer choices. That’s part of the reason why we bring in fresh Icelandic cod whenever possible since we won’t purchase fish unless we can be sure it is sustainably harvested.
This cod is lean, tender and cooks up nice and flaky, just like you’d expect. Look for it on sale for $12.99 lb. on Market Buys all this week. That’s a savings of $2 lb. These are the prime cuts, too, meaning the thickest, meatiest portions of the fillet — no skinny tail pieces.
Try it in our Cod with Mango Chutney and Asparagus recipe!
Speaking of cool items on Market Buys, we’ve also got a fresh delivery of Sweet Tooth Grilling Peppers on sale for just $3.99 lb. Also known as Italian frying peppers, or long peppers, these cute little peppers are hard to find in abundance. Even our Produce Specialist, Jim Foley, says he doesn’t see them very often. They’re one of the few peppers that are sweet throughout their growing cycle – never bitter – and they look like big, bright red or orange teeth – hence the name. Their unique shape and firm flesh make it easy to throw them on the grill with a little oil, salt and pepper and cook alongside your burgers, dogs and steaks. They’re rich in Vitamin C, too, and just, well, fun!
Northwest strawberries are on the way! We’ll soon have a shipment of fresh red berries from Unger Farms, a small grower in Cornelius, Ore., due west of Portland. Jim visited the farm last week and says the berries are looking great!
These sweet and juicy gems will be available Friday, May 31, and won’t be around long. We get excited talking about our partnerships with small growers, even if we can only feature their fresh-grown food for a few days. Visit one our markets for price and availability while you can.
One last shout-out to unique foods on our Market Buys.
As much as I love fresh seafood, fruits and veggies, I think I’m actually the most excited about the New Zealand Cheddar available now in our Delis.
Not Your Garden Variety Cheddar
It’s just so creamy, with a slightly sharp tang and a touch of grassiness on the finish that it’s impossible to beat at $5.99 lb. Take this opportunity to save $4 a pound on an amazing cheese that’ll give that block of day-in, day-out Cheddar sitting in your fridge right now a run for its money.
Pair it with apple slices, salami, a tall glass of IPA or Pilsner. Also makes one heck of a Homemade Mac and Cheese.
Of course, don’t forget to check our weekly Big Board Buys, too!
It’s where we put our absolute best deals on our favorite items. This week, enjoy savings on organic broccolini, wild coho salmon, Flax4Life Brownies, and more!
Our Grilling Wines Stand up to the Heat
Now that it’s officially grilling season and we’ve spent some time dusting off the grill (if you missed it, see last week’s blog post for some info on our useful grilling tools), I want to be sure to talk about wine as it relates to outdoor cooking. Our Wine Managers have hand-selected a diverse and unique selection of reds and whites with flavor and backbone that can stand up to the heat! They will be promoted throughout June, because saving a few bucks doesn’t hurt, either.
“Most of our selections are actually pretty unique,” says Spencer Rossman, Wine manager at Central Market Shoreline. “It’s fun to focus on grilling season because it allows us to highlight some varietals and blends that don’t always get as much attention.”
Spencer’s a big fan of the French Muscadet from Pierre Henri Gadais and the Lemberger from Kiona Winery in Benton City, Wash. “I really enjoy the Muscadet with fresh-grilled oysters or a flaky halibut, and the Lemberger is a fleshy, fruity red, making it perfect for big burgers and heavier, red-meat focused meals. You’re going to be eating a lot of these foods anyway so why not pair them nicely at a great price?”
These wines are kind of a crowd-favorite with many longtime customers and we’re excited to introduce them to newcomers, too. “Maybe somebody considers themselves just a beer person, but they come to our market and learn the Lemberger goes great with burgers, and they think ‘I’ll give this a shot.’ That’s part of the reason why these grilling wines build a following,” Spencer explains. “Besides, we only get like three months of good sunshine in the Seattle area before the clouds come back. Better take advantage!”
I’m with you, Spencer. Look for great deals on grilling wines in our Wine Shops all through June.
Our very own cheese whiz, Shauna Howell, offers up a cheese worth discovering.
Belgioioso Fresh Mozzarella: Ahhh spring is in full force and fresh mozzarella takes center stage in so many dishes this time of year.
We choose Belgioioso’s fresh mozzarella for its milky freshness and belief that mozzarella should taste like milk first with a hint of salt at the end. That’s exactly how Belgioioso makes their cheese. They use freshly produced milk from neighboring farms to produce a delicate, fresh-tasting mozzarella ball that is perfect for caprese salads or sandwiches.
And because they make their mozzarella balls in three sizes, it’s extremely versatile. Try the ciliegine (cherry-tomato size) on a homemade pizza for a cheesy, gooey treat.
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.