Co-op Blog

Dec 30, 2014
Everyone knows about the traditional New Year’s Day dish called Hoppin’ John, but the origins of the name are more mysterious. A common belief is that the dish originated in Louisiana where it was called by the French Creole name for pigeon peas, a dried pea similar to the black-eyed pea. The French Creole term is “pois a pigeon” which is pronounced pwah peeJon. Say it fast... [read more]
Dec 23, 2014
A really great way to use a spice blend is to rub it on your favorite meat, poultry, tofu or winter squash before cooking. Besides herbs and spices, a rub will include salt and often sugar. This creates a flavorful crust and draws out a little moisture which helps with browning. There are many spice blends available, but making one’s own signature blends will take your... [read more]
Dec 15, 2014
If you’ve ever had the urge to lick the last bits of a chutney right off your plate, you get the Hindi origin of the word which means to lick. A really good chutney offers pungent spices perfectly blended with the fruit or veggies that are the main ingredients. There might be just a couple or there might be as many as 15. Regardless there is a balance of sweet and sour and... [read more]
Dec 08, 2014
Even though it is often called celery root, celeriac is not a root at all but a hypocotyl or stem of a germinating seedling. It is one of those vegetables that has plenty of character. The entire outer case is covered with wart like bumps and whorls of undulating tan and green. Every ridge and curve is a potential trap for dirt and soil.  Gnarly root endings dangle from... [read more]
Dec 04, 2014
A centuries old holiday tradition for many families is gathering together to make tamales.  The numerous steps involved in creating these spicy little packets make them a perfect excuse for kitchen gatherings. Stories are shared as pots of savory fillings and steamer baskets full of corn husk wrapped tamales fill the room with memorable aromas. The more traditional... [read more]
Nov 24, 2014
If you look at the flower, stem, calyx and petals  of a cranberry plant just right, they do resemble the neck, head and bill of a crane.  That’s what early Europeans thought  so the name stuck for a while.  Eventually it was shortened to cranberry.  Reportedly the berry was one of the first gifts Native Americans gave to the European arrivals.  It... [read more]
Nov 17, 2014
A surprising number of people believe there is pumpkin in pumpkin pie spice. Seems logical, but the spice blend is merely a bundling of spices commonly used to season what would otherwise be a rather bland-tasting pie. Usually the combination is cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and nutmeg. Pumpkin spice has been around since the 1950’s when large spice and... [read more]
Oct 28, 2014
Jazz, Pink Lady, Honey Crisp, Fuji and Ambrosia are the produce department’s favorite apples. Jazz received the most votes this year, but next year that could change. As produce worker, Bryan Crane says, “Just because one person likes a particular apple doesn’t mean someone else will. It’s a matter of individual taste.” No matter what flavor and texture... [read more]
Oct 21, 2014
Perhaps you have made a beautiful salad with lettuce, beets, and goat cheese, tossed it, and watched with dismay as the entire contents turned pink! One quickly learns to add the beets at the very end of the mixing, and to just sprinkle the cheese on top. The ruby red color we associate with beets is betacyanin, a pigment of the anthocyanin family which is... [read more]
Oct 14, 2014
Thanks to the Non-GMO Project, the Co-op can guarantee you some delicious treats for your Trick or Treaters this year. I may have as many as 100 kids stop by so I am interested in clean, tasty, pre-wrapped candy for a reasonable price. My ulterior motive is to pick something that I like in case I have leftovers. Considering all these variables my first... [read more]