Category: Community Table


Meet the Folks at Paradise Locker Meats

In 2004, our founder Patrick Martins walked up a dirt road in Trimble, Missouri to meet the Fantasma family for the first time and discuss the possibility of working together. Mario, Teresa, Lou and Nick opened the doors of their facility to Heritage Foods and processed 5 Tamworth pigs raised on Metzger Farm, which were then sent to chefs in New York and San Francisco.

Every week since that initial meeting 12 years ago, Paradise Locker Meats and Heritage Foods USA have worked together to bring heritage breed pigs raised on pasture to chefs in restaurants and homes across America. Paradise has grown to process 200 Red Wattle and Berkshire pigs a week for Heritage Foods clients, as well as other livestock, and is now a major force in supplying good, clean and fair food to their local community. Paradise is credited with elevating the quality of the Kansas City restaurant scene by providing a tastier and more sustainable alternative for center of the plate options.

The processor is often overlooked when reflecting on the agricultural supply chain but they play a crucial role in connecting the farmer to the consumer. Every single piece of meat, every chop, steak and ham passes over their butcher block is expertly cut, portioned, packaged and shipped. Paradise Locker in particular also acts as liaison to farmers. They carry heavy and dangerous objects, they navigate the many challenges of maintaining the strict protocols of the U.S.D.A. and Certified Humane® and they operate an award-winning curehouse. Considering the work of the processor, it is remarkable how consistent and beautiful every cut is that comes out of their plant.

Paradise Locker was founded in 1946. The Fantasma family purchased it in 1995 but a smokehouse fire burned it down in 2002. The family was at a crossroads but decided to re-open. The relationship with Heritage began in 2004. And this year, Paradise Locker has undergone a major expansion, doubling the size of their facility. Paradise Locker is now a larger job creator for their staff and for family farmers who now have a quality processor for their livestock. They are also expanding the amount of good meat available to all Americans from coast-to-coast.

The Paradise Locker/ Heritage Foods USA collaboration has endured every week for 12 years and serves as a bellwether to the nation that the industrial meat complex has already reached its apex and is at risk of a sustained downward trend unless they improve their practices. We stand with all butchers, processors, curemasters and especially chefs who respect gastronomy, taste and all the players that go into making it possible.

Roberta's Pizza Ribs

Roberta’s Style Ribs

Roberta’s Pizza in Bushwick, Brooklyn has become famous for their legendary pies but our favorite dish is their Smoked Ribs. The secret is in the honey vinegar and togarashi sauce. Chef Carlo uses a simple salt and pepper rub before smoking the ribs. If you don’t have a smoker we recommend using this sauce on simple low and slow grilled ribs.

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.

Freyja & Susan's Heritage Turkey

2015 Heritage Turkey Photo Contest

A huge “Thank You” to all participants for sharing your holiday feast with us!

We are thrilled to announce the winner of our 2015 Heritage Turkey Photo Contest!

Each family submitted photos of their Heritage Thanksgiving Turkey for a chance to win an 18-20lb Heritage Turkey for Thanksgiving 2016. Our inbox was flooded with your submissions, here are the best of the best:

2015 Turkey Photo Contest Winner:

Freyja & Susan

South Berwick, ME

Freyja & Susan's Heritage Turkey
Freyja & Susan’s Heritage Turkey

 

Honorable Mentions:

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To all of you who support the Heritage Turkey Project, you have truly made this project a success. Thank You!

It would not be possible without your support and enthusiasm over the years.

Ode to a Great Year & A Look to the Future!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

For the first time in the history of Heritage Food USA, I feel as if we are not part of a revolution, but part of a genuine, mainstreamed movement. Everywhere we look we see genuine farm-to-table restaurants, a new wave of artisanal bakers, pasta makers, cheesemongers, and truly knock-out coffee shops and chocolatiers. Everything is, against all odds, getting better.

Since the 2001 New York Times article by Marian Burros announcing that Slow Food USA would sell heritage turkeys raised by Frank Reese, Heritage Foods USA has rumbled and sometimes tumbled laying the foundation for an alternative national meat supply.

Our challenges were myriad — finding partner farmers and processors who would help bring the best heritage breeds to the market consistently; finding trusted shipping partners to move our food around the country; finding wholesale and direct-to-home outlets for all the many cuts of livestock we sell; learning the ins-and-outs of maintaining an engaging website, running social media campaigns and managing our blog and marketing materials to help us reach a discerning customer base and engage them in our mission; finding the right team of leaders in the office, which has never been stronger; and learning how to make it work financially for all the parties involved.

Fifteen years ago this seemed like folly — when it came to being a purveyor of sustainable, humanely sourced meat, nothing was known or predictable. But right now we are clearly seeing a long-term future with incredible rewards.

Paradise Locker, our partner in all things butchery, has doubled their capacity after 15 years. This means more sustainably raised meat coming to market, and more infrastructure for good, clean, and fair food. Our farmers are investing in the future, too – there is talk of David Newman giving up his teaching gig to return full time to his farm in the Ozarks. Craig Good is starting to raise the Tamworth breed of pork for the first time. Ben Machin is expanding the number of farmers raising rare breeds of lamb under his flag.

More good news: With security comes more collaboration. This year we are following up the success of our universally beloved porchetta with more items from Swiss butcher extraordinaire Thomas Odermatt. Stay tuned for a Standing Cordon Bleu Roast (!!!),  where Swiss Raclette cheese is rolled into the loin of our Old Spot pigs, using his acclaimed porchetta spices. The tradition of meat and cheese working together in a roast goes back three hundred years to Swiss traditions passed on to Thomas from his generation of butchers. Also from Thomas we’re looking forward to his own invention, the “turketta” — an entire heritage turkey deboned and rolled with delicious paprika and other earth based spices.

In Virginia, master charcutier Sam Edwards is celebrating the 90th year of his family business, and to celebrate, he is producing in limited supplies for the first time ever rare lamb prosciutto, meant to be sliced like the world’s greatest hams. We are also expanding our menu of patés, which met with critical acclaim last year. Salumi too! Stay tuned for rare breeds of rabbit, and new bacons, hams, and sausages in our Samplers and Subscriptions. We will also feature a new harvest of the world’s most delicious anchovies, bathed in various oils by our very own Di Liberto clan.

Earlier this year, there was a lot of hubbub surrounding a WHO report claiming that eating meat is dangerous. And we agreed. Commodity, industrially farmed meat is dangerous — and we have always zealously advocated a turning of the wheel away from those cruel practices. Heritage Foods USA is not part of that system. There is no controversy for us — we are proud to sell what might be the world’s best meats from the most innovatively traditional farms.

Of course none of this would be possible without our fantastic customers. We are so very committed to working for your business, and cannot possibly express the gratitude for having faith in Heritage Foods USA.

Wishing all of you a healthy, and delicious New Year, on behalf of over forty family farms and everyone in the Heritage Family, Thank YOU!!!

 

 

Founder & President

Heritage Foods USA

heritage turkey

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

handturkey

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, kicking off the winter holiday season. For us Thanksgiving is about sharing a meal, creating memories with loved ones. We are proud to help you bring friends and family together to celebrate over a feast of rare and heritage breed foods.

At the core of our business we really have you to thank – we wouldn’t have been able to increase our farmer network over the past decade to roughly 80 farmers and artisans. Likewise, the farmers and artisans would not be able to have increased the availability of these rare products to such an extent without your support and commitment. Of the over 51 million turkeys that will be consumed next week, less than 1% are heritage breed. Each year we have increased that percentage and hope to continue to do so so that heritage turkey will be on the table for generations to come.

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