I hope you enjoyed your first week of the summer! We sure did. Deliveries went very smooth, which is always rewarding.
This week highlights our amazing Berkshire pork via a thick cut pork loin chop. These boneless chops are cut about 1.5 inches thick, and each pack includes 2 chops ranging from 1 to 1.5 lbs per package. Extra chops will be available at the back of the truck for $6 per lb.
Why are these chops so amazing? Mostly because our farmers do it right. First, these hogs are a heritage breed known as a Berkshire. They are prized for their intramuscular marbling and darker meat color. These hogs live outside their entire lives, hence the term pasture raised (like the chickens). They dine on what they forage in the woods, as well as a nutrient rich, locally milled non-gmo grain mixture. Even the way we deworm the hogs is with an organic product known as diatomaceous earth. This ensures that you have the cleanest possible product.
A nice compliment to the pork this week is one bunch of collard greens and a large bulb of kohlrabi. The kohlrabi, which tends to surprise a lot of first time Fresh Forkers, is a delicious vegetable. Peel it deep with a pairing knife and shave it for a fresh salad (like coleslaw), or cube it and roast it to bring out the sugars. I think you will find it quite enjoyable.
Another odd-ball ingredient this week is garlic scapes. The scape is the flower of the garlic plant. When it shoots up the farmer needs to cut it off to let the garlic bulb get larger. This early summer treat is great grilled and served on top of the chops or pureed and made into a pesto or sauce. Check our blog for suggestions and recipes from last year.
For the larges this week we have a delicious refrigerator kraut. This sauerkraut was started in February from excess organic cabbage that one of our farmers had. Junior, the kraut master, fermented it and added some onions for additional flavor. This product is not canned so it needs to stay refrigerated. This is really important. Sauerkraut is a lacto-fermented product with live enzymes that help with digestion. Try some raw for the maximum health benefits or slow bake it in the oven with our tasty Berkshire Kielbasa Links ($8 per 1.25# package of links, available at the back of the truck).
Some special items. As many of you noticed last week, we have extra items available weekly at the back of the truck. We accept cash, check, credit card, or you can simply put the items "on account." We do suggest check or cash if possible because it is much faster on our greeters to check you out.
Below I'll highlight some of our best sellers and some products you may not be familiar with.
Grass Grazed Milk: We carry two brands of milk, Snowville Creamery (skim, 2%, and whole) and a Guernsey Milk from Wholesome Valley Farm (Wilmot, OH). Last week our milk sales were really down and we have a lot left over. This week, we will be offering last week's milk (dated for June 18) at well below the cost to get it in your hands to try. The short dated milks will be $3 per half gallon. This week's fresh milks will be $4.25 per half of Snowville (or 2 for $8) and $3.5 for the Guernsey Milk.
Butter: Each week we carry salted and unsalted butter from Hartzler Dairy on the trucks. It is $8 per 2# roll.
Eggs: We regularly have eggs available at the back of the truck. As you likely noticed last week, our eggs are of exceptional high quality. Not all brown eggs are the same. Our farmers raise their hens outside on pasture and feed a non-gmo grain mixture and a sea-kelp nutrient supplement to keep the birds as healthy as possible. Eggs are $3.50 per dozen or 2 for $6.
Kimchee, Saurerkraut, and Spice Fermented Carrots: This year, we are excited to have a good selection of healthy fermented foods. These products must be refrigerated, hence you won't see them on the table at the back of the truck. All three are $6 each. The Kim Chee and Carrots come in 16 oz glass jars and the sauerkraut in 32 oz plastic zip-pouches.
Cheeses: Robert has a specialty foods background and formerly specialized in cheeses in a past career. Me, well I have simply learned from him and the wonderful cheese makers we work with. As a result, we now have a vast selection of artisan, farmstead cheeses made from the milk of grass grazed cows and goats. Many are raw milk cheeses, so please ask if that is a concern.
Some of my favorites are brie ($8), beer cheese ($6), and our flavored chevres, like the sweet fire (raspberry jalepeno) and cognac fig ($7). Robert is crazy about the bucheron, which is our priciest cheese, but if you are having a dinner party or entertaining it might be a good choice to impress your guests.
Summer Week 2:
1 package pork chops, 2 pieces approx 1 lb
1 bulb kohlrabi
1 bunch collard greens
1.5 # bag organic rolled oats
1 bunch garlic scapes
1 bunch spinach
1 bunch mustard greens
1 quart strawberries*******
* the strawberries are a "cross your fingers" items this week. Unfortunately, our largest berry producer had an emergency health issue this week and was hospitalized. Our thoughts are with her and her family, and we hope you'll understand if they can't get the berries harvested for this week. I'm in the process of finding backup sources, but I'm pretty picky on quality of these berries.
Small package plus:
1 piece aged cheddar cheese (called Hulls Trace)
2 ct zucchini
1 head broccoli
2# bag sauerkraut
1 bunch baby beets
Maybe: 1 bunch rhubarb (last week we got lucky on asparagus, so we decided to jump on that....which we will do again this week if it comes on strong)
Vegetarian Substitutions (in place of chops)
1 lb Ohio City Pasta whole wheat linguine (made with our whole wheat red winter wheat flour)
1 sleeve of lettuce
Vegan Substitutions (in place of pasta in vegetarian bag)
1 bunch baby beets
2 ct zucchini
1 bunch kale
More Technical Info
So anyone who has been around Fresh Fork for a while knows I'll rant about milk. Yep, I'm a sworn whole milk drinker, and lots of it. Here's some info why:
Click here to read an older blog post about milk fat and what processing does to milk
Click here to read about our newest milk, the 100% Guernsey Milk