Category: Chefs


The Perfect Roast for You and Yours

This Holiday Season, Go Big with a Classic Heritage Centerpiece!porchetta

The biggest occasions deserve the best meats in America. Like all of our meats, our centerpieces are raised humanely, on pasture without antibiotics or hormones, and produce the best natural flavor and texture you have ever experienced. These are not your grandma’s pot roast — our beef ribeye, rack of lamb, tenderloin, porchetta, and cured hams are the best of their kind, easy to cook, and sensational to serve for family dinner or the most elegant holidays. And did we mention the leftovers?

Know Your Roasts!

Some meats just seem more festive than others, but you can always count on pleasing the crowd with a Heritage roast or centerpiece. We find beef tenderloin, aka filet mignon, to be perfect for elegant dinner parties. Pork tenderloin, too, is an exquisite focal point for any occasion. Our custom made, hand-rolled porchetta, is a rare treat — crispy and rich and an impressive showstopper for even the meat connoisseur. Leg of lamb, and the celebrated rack of lamb, are perhaps the most festive centerpieces of them all, fit for a royal banquet! Of course cured hams and whole chickens never fail to please, whether it’s a holiday, Sunday dinner, or just a weeknight treat. The best part is that they are all easy to prepare — and spectacular to present!

Prepare Simply for Spectacular Results

A ten pound leg of lamb may seem like a challenge next to a 14 oz. pork chop, but we are here to tell you, don’t worry! Here is the best advice from the Heritage Team and our network of chefs:

There is no wrong way to cook great meat, but we recommend keeping it simple. Just use salt and pepper and your favorite herbs as primary seasoning. We love beef with just salt and pepper, but lamb also loves rosemary and thyme. Pork, too, loves a creative touch, but remember: this is the very best heritage meat in the world, and the flavor is already there, a product of the best breeds, farmed traditionally. There is nothing to hide, the taste says it all.

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Charcuterie

Long-Aged “Prosciutto-Style” Ham
When we first started buying whole heritage pigs for our restaurant accounts and home chefs we didn’t know that hams make up 30% of the body weight of the pig. When we looked at our profit and loss statement, we realized that unless we found a great outlet for hams, we would fail as a nose-to-tail business, especially considering that we pay our farmers at least four times the commodity rate for pork, a price determined by a group of old men in Chicago that we think is too low.

In a nose-to-tail operation, the ham is a cut that almost always needs value added to not lose money overall. Curing hams and turning ham into sausage are ways of moving hams for a fair price. Unfortunately, our business relationships did not include the supermarkets or delis where so many of the nation’s hams are sold! The solution? Find buyers who had their own outlets to sell hams!

Over the past decade, our greatest buyer of hams by far has been Sam Edwards of S. Wallace Edwards and Sons, a company that started in 1926. Edwards purchases 250 pieces of ham totaling over 6250lbs every week, operating 40 weeks of the year under the name Surry-ano. We are so fortunate to have a relationship with the Edwards family, not only because it’s nice to walk to the bank with a big check, but also because Sam is producing one of the greatest American long-aged hams ever made on these shores. Sam uses the traditional American method of curing hams, which involves the added step of smoking. As a dedicated proponent of heritage breeds, pasture-raised systems, and slow curing methods, Sam has moved American gastronomy forward through his curehouse.

We are also fortunate to work with chef and curemaster Cesare Casella who cures hams in the traditional Italian style (which does not involve smoking) under the company name Casella’s Salumi Speciali, in New York. Cesare, who holds a Michelin Star for his Italian trattoria in Tuscany, started his long-aged ham line (he already had a very successful salumi line) after the recent fire at the S. Wallace Edwards plant. The fire temporarily put Edwards out of the curing business and forced Heritage Foods to find an emergency outlet for all those hams! Surprisingly, the fire has led to the creation of the best Italian prosciutto outside Italy.

Heritage Foods USA is also proud to partner with other great American curemasters with businesses and traditions that can be traced back decades and centuries. These ham producers are household names in the South and produce products that are inextricably linked with our collective Southern food tradition. These producers are Ronnie Broadbent (Kuttawa, KY), Al Benton (Madisonville, TN) and Nancy Newsome (Princeton, KY). These artisans now offer pasture-raised lines of Berkshire and Red Wattle long-aged hams that are among the most delicious you will ever try.

The Heritage Foods USA line of prosciutto-style hams is always growing and evolving. For now, enjoy our sliced and whole Surry-ano line. In the fall and winter we will add our first pastured rare breed hams from Broadbent Hams, Colonel Newsom’s Aged Kentucky Country Ham and Benton’s Smokey Mountain Country Hams. And next Spring Casella’s Salumi Speciali will debut for the first time in the U.S.

We hope more Americans will consider leaving some of our long-aged hams on their kitchen counters year round! Long-aged hams do not need to be refrigerated as all the moisture is removed during the curing process. They can also be used in any recipe that calls for ham. Even a little sliver will bring extreme pleasure and satisfy any hunger craving!

Salumi
giorgio-salumi-trio-2839Sadly, in the United States, USDA regulations have slowed the development of America’s curing industry to a crawl, leaving little room for a great salumi tradition to even begin on these shores. Luckily, there are exceptions. On the West Coast, Fra Mani makes very good salumi as does Salumeria Bieliese on the East Coast. The Pacific Northwest boasts the excellent Olympia Provisions amongst others. Despite the restrictions facing the industry, American curing is progressing.

Heritage Foods USA does not cure meat; we simply sell raw ingredients to artisan curemasters, so it was very hard for us to break into the salumi market with a good product that we could call our own. That is until we partnered with our old friend Cesare Casella! Chef Casella won a Michelin star for his family trattoria in Tuscany, Vipore, and came to America to open two legendary restaurants in New York City, Beppe and Marema.

Today, Cesare has dedicated himself to the pursuit of curing meat in the Italian, more specifically Tuscan, tradition and style. The charcuterie he produces has quickly become known as some of the greatest that America has to offer. Cesare uses pasture-raised heritage breeds like Red Wattle, Berkshire, and Gloucestershire Old Spot, all sourced from Heritage Foods USA, in the production of his cured meats.

Cesare learned the art of curing from Tuscan butchers who traveled the countryside before winter to help families prepare for the long food-scarce period before spring. His salumi never overdo it on flavor and they are exactly like the salumi you can find in Tuscany. Cesare has perfected two of Tuscany’s most classic salami for us: Finocchiella and Salametto Piccante. Each of Cesare’s salame is perfectly balanced in flavor and texture.

The original everyman’s food, salami are great to have on hand for delicious snacks, last minute entertaining, or thoughtful wine pairings.

Paté
DSC_1882It’s amazing that paté is not consumed more in America! After all, it’s delicious and Americans love spreading any kind of food. A paste of meat is a new format to many, but perhaps nothing in the meat world is more satisfying. It’s really a good option when you decide not to have meat as a centerpiece for the main course!

In French cookery, paté is a paste or spread made of puréed or finely chopped liver, meat, fish, game, etc., served as an hors d’oeuvre. Paté, in French, literally means paste and comes from the Old French word for paste.

We have our two favorite patés featured on our site year round.

Heritage Paté – This rustic paté is made with bacon and onion, creating a delicious full flavor profile. Patés are perfect for spreading on toast or fresh bread of any sort and also function as an excellent appetizer when served with pickles or cured meats.

Our signature paté is made by Nello of Nello’s Specialty Meats, one of Pennsylvania’s great curemasters. Nello’s is a community fixture and processes and cures for dozens of farms local to him, mostly in the German tradition.

The Berkshire pork Nello uses is elegant, luscious, and smooth. The meat boasts a round and buttery flavor that melts on the tongue. Berkshire pigs are pasture-raised and antibiotic-free.

American Braunschweiger is a type of liverwurst. The USDA requires that the product contains a minimum of 30% liver to be called Braunschweiger. Added seasonings often include salt, white pepper, and onion powder or chopped onion.

Our version, produced by Paradise Locker Meats in Trimble, Missouri has liver, bacon, maple sugar, onion powder, mustard, and garlic. It is flavorful and irresistible! Everyone will love this sweet and savory pate.

2016 Farm Tour

2016-farm-tour
The 2016 Heritage Foods USA Farm Tour kicked off May 4th with a historic meeting at the Memphis airport headlined by a 15-passenger van, which was at the ready for a 5-day chef tour. Since 2005, an annual farm trip provides the chance for chefs and curemasters to meet the people and animals behind their center-of-plate ingredients.

A trip dedicated to the theme of traceability, the tour has hosted almost 100 chefs to America’s greatest and most respected restaurants to the same farms Heritage Foods USA began working with since 2005. Nothing is forever but for the sake of animal welfare, gastronomy, the environment and independent businesses, we kind of hope this is forever!

The Adventurers for the Heritage Traceability Tour 2016

From the West:

Jonah Rhodehamel of Oliveto Restaurant, Oakland. Professional racecar driver and chef.

Taylor Boetticher and Ren Rossini of California’s famed Fatted Calf Charcuterie, which moves over a ton of pasture raised heritage meats a week and more during the holidays.

Jason Neve, Jon Littleton, Nicole Brisson and Danny Herrera of the four Batali & Bastianich Vegas restaurants: Carnevino, B&B Ristorante, Otto Pizzeria and B&B Burger.

From the East:

Cesare Casella, holder of a Michelin star and true master of Salumi and Proscuitti. Cesare learned the art of cutting meat from countryside-travelling Tuscan butchers in the 1970’s and 1980’s ­— he’s a true salumi-nary!

Paul Wetzel of Gramercy Tavern in NYC. Chief charcutier to Zagat’s top restaurant in New York, Paul is at the forefront of the new American meat movement.

Joe Tarasco, Executive Chef of Danny Meyer’s Marta restaurant, the phenomenal pizza and pasta spot in New York’s midtown neighborhood.

Team Heritage: Catherine Greeley, Alexes McLaughlin, and Patrick Martins.

From the Midwest:
Howard Hanna, chef of Kansas City’s Rieger Restaurant, a world site of gastronomy where they produce their own gin and whiskey in a building whose history can be traced back more than 100 years .

Michael Beard of Meat, LLC, distributor of pasture-raised heritage meats to the Mid-West – places like Oklahoma and Nebraska.

First stop, Memphis and the famous Peabody Hotel for cocktails and to watch ducks make their way across the hotel lobby to bathe in the central fountain. Then Beale Street for Blues City Café BBQ, delicious shrimp and ribs.

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 4.14.15 PMWe then headed North at lightening speed, and then slower speed once we got pulled over (just a warning)! When we arrived at Newman Farm we gasped at how stunning this farm is. Rita, David and Chris Newman operate in the Ozarks Mountains a farm that is home to 1300 of the best Berkshire pigs in the world – with genetics that are untouchable, from the old lines that can be traced back centuries in the Old World. This farm is at the cutting edge too of an English pasture raising system using outdoor huts for the mothers and babies. The food was marvelous, a true taste of the Ozarks where blackberries and cherries explode from the forests.

After 2 nights, we woke early and drove Northwest at lightening speed (no police stops) to Paradise Locker Meats in Trimble, Missouri. We arrived just in time for the staff lunch, which featured BBQ from Oklahoma Joes. There we met the entire team at Paradise who cuts and portions much of the heritage pork used at the restaurants and curehouses. It was nice for the cutters to put a face to the unusual cuts they craft each and every week, and for the chefs to meet one-by-one the team that makes what they do possible in places like NYC, Vegas and San Francisco. We toured every inch of the plant from the kill floor to the processing room, coolers and cure rooms led by plant manager Lou Fantasma and his father Mario.

Then we were off to dinner at the Rieger Hotel in downtown KC. Located in the historic Crossroads Art District, The Rieger can be summed up as a “Classic American Grill”. The Rieger Hotel opened in 1915 and was home to many traveling salesmen, railroad workers, and passersby during Kansas City’s formative years. Today Chef Howard Hanna believes that Kansas City is in a prime position to develop a cuisine that speaks to its people, celebrates the bounty of the region, and can be unique and special.

Then we sleep a deep sleep and rise again to travel due west on highway 70 towards the center of the state.

Frank-GSPR_4737Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch was our next stop. Visiting GSPR and farmer Frank Reese is almost a religious experience. When you arrive Frank begins speaking about the connection between strong and non-industrial genetics with animal welfare. He talks about American history, on the farm, and in the barn. And he explains how each animal we see conforms to traditional body types that populated farms for centuries. He is the Wendell Berry of poultry. Frank took us to see the roughed up breeders who were fighting for mates, and the cute babies they produced. We saw so many different chicken varieties mingling in the dust. And we tasted two of them: the Jersey Buff and Wyandotte, prepared by Frank low and slow. These are the best chickens on earth.

Good Farm, Farm Tour
Good Farm, Farm Tour

When we left Frank’s farm we were silent for awhile as most people tend to be. But we picked up energy again at our last stop for Traceability Tour 2016, Good Farm just outside of Manhattan, Kansas. Here everything fits comfortably like an old baseball glove. We feasted, thanks to chef Michael Beard and Amy Good herself, we shot guns, we toured the farm on a big trailer and 4×4’s and saw pig breeds including Gloucestershire Old Spot, Tamworth and Duroc. The breeding boar was massive and intimidating! The babies and teenagers were clean and alert and beautiful.

Then it was back home the next day and to work the day after that, but we returned with a renewed appreciation for the American food supply and the potential it has to feed the world. The energy created on the tour is perhaps best represented by these quotes from the farmers and chefs:

“We are all fortunate to work with such amazing people and it’s trips like this that re-center us and bring into clarity why it is we do what we do. For myself, it was great to see old faces and meet some new ones, and hopefully, we will see you all very soon.”

“I’m not even joking, that trip was one of the highlights of my career so far. To say it was inspiring and invigorating would be a huge understatement. It was great to meet all of you!”

“We are blessed to have the opportunity to work with such good, talented people who are committed to their passion of serving the very best food to their friends and clients. We are so fortunate to be a part of something that has so many people that truly care about quality and the people who work hard to produce the products that they desire. We are a part of something that is greater than just us. Having you visit our farm and visiting with you gives us “extra energy” to keep on doing what we love to do.”

And finally… “Damn, that food is good.”

Stay tuned to our blog for more pictures and stories from the Heritage network!!

Giorgio's Salumi

Salami by Cesare Casella

Cesare Casella is an iconic Chef and Salumiere renowned for his authentic Tuscan cuisine. Chef Casella became legendary in New York City’s restaurant scene with the opening of Beppe several decades ago, delighting diners with new standards of Italian fare in America.

Chef Cesare CasellaChef Casella is truly a master of his trade. Cesare grew up working in his parents’ trattoria, just outside of Lucca, Italy before enrolling in the Culinary Institute Ferdinando Martin at the age of 14. He returned to the same trattoria after school, leading the team to earn a place in the prestigious Michelin Guide. Cesare has followed his own path, repeatedly demonstrating his attention to detail and true love for crafting extraordinary foods.  Throughout his many accomplishments, Cesare has personally directed his talent back into his community. We are grateful to have such a gifted friend continue to take on new projects – seeing Italian-American cuisine to new heights.

2016 is a landmark year for Cesare. It marks the debut of his signature line of salami.  Each salami is hand-crafted using 300-year-old traditions passed down directly to Cesare by the “Norcini”, or local butchers of Cesare’s hometown. The Norcini traveled the countryside to help harvest and cure the family pig before winter.

Historically, families would have one hog processed each year. The butcher would make house calls, crafting the hog into salami and other cured products. The pork would then cure for several months before becoming a staple at family meals and snack times. Once you taste these impeccably crafted salami, we expect you too will find good reason to keep them on hand for your family’s table.

There are three flavors available, each an exceptional example of Old World tradition – Dolce: heritage pork, salt and pepper; Piccante: red chile peppers; and Finocchiella: Cesare uses a specific variety of petite fennel to give this salame a fresh, full fennel flavor.

Giorgio's Salumi

Handeling Instructions

STORAGE: Giorgio’s Salami is best stored wrapped in butcher or parchment paper and kept at a cool temperature inside your refrigerator. Should your unpeeled salami start to grow mold, do not worry, this is normal with natural salami! Simply wipe off of the salami with a paper towel and peel off the skin before eating.

PEELING: The key is to only peel as much of the skin as you are going to eat. To peel off the casing, gently score/slice the salami lengthwise and then peel off that portion of the peel with your fingers. If the peel is dry or difficult to get off, you can wet the skin slightly. Please note that peeled salami should be eaten within a few days, as it will begin to dry out.

 

Swiss Roast

Swiss Roast

We sat down with Thomas Odermatt to get the inside scoop on on his family’s Swiss butchery legacy – a legacy Thomas is continuing today. With access to 4 generations of experience based knowledge, Thomas has become one of America’s foremost butchers. He relies on traditional techniques to produce these specialty roasts, which pack uniquely supreme flavor in every bite.

 

Swiss Roast

 

Laura del Campo: How far back can you trace your butchery lineage?

Thomas Ottermatt: Definitely back into the 1920’s – close to 100 years… My great grandfather, so I am third generation, he was in the Alps in the town of Dallenwil farming and butchering. He was self-taught, but after that every generation went to school. My father was a master butcher so that’s where I started learning the trade from two years old.

Pretty much everything I cook or butcher reminds me of my heritage. So I don’t do any new type of butchery or new type of recipe development. Usually everything we do is going back to really traditional, old fashioned, old-style European butchery.

 

LdC: Can you share one secret from your sausage making?

TO: I think what is really important is the temperature of the meat. That’s definitely one of the keys to making your sausage stand out. Of course you observe the USDA regulations – nothing can be above 41°F, which is true and correct. A lot of people use ice to cool down the dough, the sausage stuffing. I strongly believe there is no ice needed so long as you are using the right components of meat at the right proportion and temperature. It’s definitely one of the secrets to making a really fantastic sausage.

And then again following the principle of only using five ingredients. You cannot have more than five ingredients, absolutely not. In other words, I don’t use artificial ingredients. Absolutely not.

 

LdC: Can you speak to the history of incorporating cheese into Swiss roasts?

TO: Ham and cheese is very traditional to the Swiss cuisine. So in our butcher shop we made our own ham. We made two types of ham. One is a smoked ham, one is a cured ham – but not a prosciutto, just a wet ham. So like a classic centerpiece. The cheese is another component that brings us back to the heritage of Switzerland, way back when. Cheese was one of the first economically traded commodities with the European Union or with the European countries such as Italy, France, and Germany. And the cheese is a staple to our daily diet.

And combining the cheese, ham, and pork – you have three absolutely top ingredients. When they are laid in the right proportion each one brings out different flavor profiles and in the end you have one flavor. And that’s like… You know the milkiness, the creaminess of the cheese, plus the healthiness of the ham, plus the sweetness of the pork.
And again, the roasts have only four ingredients. It’s the pork, it’s the cheese, it’s the ham and a few spices. That’s it.

Cattle Share from the Kitchen of B&B Ristorante, Las Vegas

Participating in our 1/8 cattle share program challenges you to eat like a true chef. Cattle shares are the most direct way to support sustainable farmers and are a great way to access exceptional beef produced outside of commercial scale.

Our partnering chefs and loyal customers have come to love our yearly cattle shares. This marks Chef Jason Neve’s second year bringing in a 1/2 cattle to B&B Ristorante, Las Vegas. He wrote a wonderful thank you note to farmers Craig and Amy Good, which we are delighted to share with you along with photos from the restaurant.

“I think we are the ones that are privileged to be working with such a great product.  I have been in the kitchen since 8:30 this morning like a kid in a candy store cooking up this part and that part.  I LOVE IT.

 Just finished the Neck Ragu that we will serve as a pasta tonight.  It took 24 hours to cook, and you can taste every minute of care from the time that you put into raising a great animal, the Fantasmas’ care in slaughtering and our time cooking it.”

For more information about purchasing a cattle share of your own click HERE.

Jason Neve

Chef Jason Neve

Born and raised in Cape Canaveral, Florida, Jason grew up around the water and all of its fresh seafood. An early interest in cooking for family and friends evolved into an education at the Culinary Institute of America where he graduated in 2003. Jason moved to New York City to train at AIX Restaurant under Chef Didier Virot. In 2005, Jason was part of the opening team at Del Posto. Jason’s aptitude in the kitchen and his passion for cured meats lead him out west to Las Vegas in 2007. After five years at the helm of the kitchen at B&B Ristorante, Jason was appointed Culinary Director of B&B Hospitality Group’s Las Vegas operations.

The Carnivore’s Manifesto Magical Meat Tour Update & Gallery!

We are on the road promoting Patrick Martins’ new book The Carnivore’s Manifesto!

We kicked off the tour Thursday in San Francisco at Americano Bar and Restaurant for a book signing on the patio with executive chef Josh Perez. On Friday, we made our way to Fatted Calf Charcuterie to visit Taylor and Toponia and the rest of their crew. They then  joined us for a dinner hosted at 18 Reasons. Sam, the owner of Bi-Rite Market, and Chili, who is their head meat purchaser, prepared an amazing meal of braised heritage pork shoulder with salsa verde and fresh panzanella salad. Michelle is in charge of organizing all the events and dinners at 18 Reasons and lead a discussion with Patrick, Mike Edison, Sam, Chili, Taylor, and Erin Fairbanks, about Patrick’s book and why sustainable and humane meat is important to each of them.

Saturday was our busiest day so far. We started our morning visiting Thomas, the owner of the famed Roli Roti catering and food trucks. Patrick names Thomas in his book as the maker of the single best sandwich in America! He was excited to show us around the new facility he is designing to serve as a production and distribution center for all of the fresh produce and heritage meat that he sources.  We then fought through the crowds at the Ferry Plaza’s Saturday Marketplace to taste one of his porchetta sandwiches straight from the Roli Roti truck parked there. It did not disappoint! Patrick stopped by Ferry Plaza Book Passage for a quick reading, and Mike Edison serenaded the crowd with a meat-centric set list and a rousing performance on his theremin.

After Book Passage, the Carnivore’s crew was hosted for dinner, drinks, and a music performance by the New Meat City Ramblers at Angelo Garro’s Renaissance Forge. Angelo is a Bay Area artist, wine maker, and expert maker of charcuterie. He is also the man responsible for creating the famed Omnivore Salt. We were joined by our closest friends and family for a truly special evening of good food, good wine (thanks to Mercy Wines), and great company.  Renato Sardo and Dario Barbone, owners of Baia Pasta, and old friends of Patrick’s from Slow Food days brought out plate after plate of fresh pasta as we watched Italy in their first World Cup match.

Sunday was spent in Napa at Long Meadow Ranch & Farmstead Restaurant. Chef Stephen Barber got to hang out with us all day. Farm to Table Manager, Kipp Ramsey was their with his lovely wife, Erin, and their new baby boy to help us celebrate the book and Father’s Day. We listened to live music; ate delicious heritage ribs and pulled pork; and carved into one of  S. Wallace Edwards & Sons’ Surry-ano Ham that owner, Sam Edwards III, sent to Farmstead in celebration of Patricks’ Book publication. We finished our day at Cain Vineyard & Winery, where Chris Howell gave us an impromptu tour of the vines and his wife, Katie, prepared a dinner that we shared on their patio overlooking the Napa Valley sunset.

We spent Monday meandering up the coast of California making our way north along 101 towards Eugene, Oregon. We enjoyed the beautiful views of the California and Oregon coastline and stopped to tour the Red Woods along the way. Today should be a wonderful day. We are staying with Father Daniel and his wife Maria and their daughter Lucy.

Father Daniel is a community leader and priest at St. John the Wonderworker Serbian Orthodox Church in Eugene. He is an old friend of Patrick’s from graduate school. We have plans to tour the city, visit the new brewery, and attend a book signing this evening. After today, the tour continues north to Portland!

Stay tuned for more updates and photos to come! 

TIE BABY, TIE! The Subtle Art of Tying a Roast.

So you just bought a beautiful piece of meat and you want to roast it. What do you need to know?

There are two main reasons for tying (or trussing) a roast. The first of course, because you stuffed it and you’d like for all that delicious stuffing to stay exactly where you put it. The second reason though, may be less obvious.

Heat has a beautiful way of breaking things down. When you expose your roast to heat, the fat and connective tissues start to break down. While this process provides for a juice and tender final result, it takes away from the original structure of the meat. What was once a beautiful, robust hunk a meat ends up looking flat and kinda sad– not to mention that its new irregular shape will cause it to cook unevenly, leaving you with side bits that are over done and dried out.

Trussing your roast with cotton butchers twine is the perfect way to ensure a juicy and beautiful final result.

Chef de Cuisine Matt Abdoo from Del Posto Ristorante recently taught us how to truss a roast using the classic approach known as the continuous knot technique.

Don’t worry, we tried it ourselves and we promise it’s easier then you think!

Be sure to leave any questions in the comments section, and GOOD LUCK!

 

 

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