House Warming Gifts are often meant to be objects that last, objects that convey a sense of permanency. When someone moves into a place there is the idea that they will live there for a long time and that a house warming gift is something that should also be around for awhile….
Heritage Foods is celebrating the seventh year of its annual October goat project, NO GOAT LEFT BEHIND, and the second in the United Kingdom. No Goat Left Behind addresses the growing problem facing New England goat dairies — namely, what to do with male goats….
Matthew Rudofker joined Momofuku Ssäm Bar as a Sous Chef in 2010 and soon rose to Executive Chef. In 2015 he was also named Executive Chef of Momofuku Má Pêche. Matthew has received a variety of recognition from the hospitality community included in Forbes’ 30 Under 30, Zagat 30 under 30, Eater Young Guns, and James Beard Nominated Rising Star Chef.
News of the Heritage Foods partnership with master curemaster, chef, educator, and guru Cesare Casella has spread like wildfire — Cesare is a leader in the new movement for Heritage American charcuterie, and no one is more excited than, well, Cesare!
“The lardo, the rosemary, the juniper berries, the curing salts, those smells are inside my head,” says Cesare. “They are part of me. It’s like being an alchemist. The norcino salumiere transforms the butchers’ meat into something traditional and beautiful. That is what I want to do. And for me, it’s family. Tending the salumi as they age is like caring for my pets as they grow up and mature. They become my best friends!”
The tradition of the norcini started in the town of Norcia in Umbria, high in the Apennines, a place famous for its cured meats. Farming conditions were poor in the mountains, so Norcians ate what they had plenty of, which was the cinghiale, or wild boar, that roamed the forests. They also raised their own pigs, then cured the meats so it would keep for long periods, an art that evolved over the centuries. In time, the norcini became so expert, their art was recognized both by the state and by the Catholic Church. After the trade group, the Confraternita Norcina was founded in 1615, it received the blessing of Pope Paul V. The norcini were considered so skilled, they were allowed to practice surgery, dentistry and bone setting.
The original norcini typically traveled in pairs. There was the butcher who cut up the meat and broke it down, and the salumiere, who turned that meat into salumi. Together, the norcini made the salumi for every season, from fresh sausage for the next day, to prosciutto for the following year. Each duo had its own routes and loyal farmers that it serviced year again and again, and as the men crisscrossed Italy, they carried with them the secret recipes and processes for creating prosciutto and salumi. There were generations of norcini who passed along their secrets to their apprentices who in turn cared for the same family farms decade after decade.
After World War II, as pig farming became industrialized, the norcini began to fade from the Italian countryside, and the visits made to the Casella family and Vipore grew more and more rare. Eventually Cesare took on some of the butchering and salumi-making and also worked with local butchers to get the flavors he wanted for Vipore. His platters of cacciatorini, finocchiona and sopressata became one of the restaurant’s trademarks.
The tradition of the norcini and the flavors and smells of salumi-making in the Italian countryside are what Cesare is drawing on with Casalla’s Salumi Speciali. He is working with farmers dedicated to raising pork as the Norcians did for centuries. Their pigs, he likes to say, are happy pigs. They roam pastures freely. They run around and they roll in the mud. They loll. They’re not dosed with antibiotics. When Cesare makes prosciutto, he cures it on the bone, just as the Norcians did, for that deep, authentic nutty flavor. Just like the norcini, Cesare has his own special recipe for the spices to make his salami and prosciutti.
In the spirit of #ThrowBackThursday, we thought we would rewind back to a few weeks ago when Team Heritage brought the #ProsciuttiForTutti tour to the San Francisco Bay Area. It was a whirl wind four days visiting restaurant and chef partners both old and new, attending the Good Food Awards – the Oscar’s of the food world – and of course the Winter Fancy Food Show. Armed with prosciutti and salami for all, we kicked off #ProsciuttiForTutti with Thursday morning visits to both Bi Rite Markets. We caught up with our friends Sam, Chili, and Maria at 18 th Street and Faun, Daniel and Chris at Divisadero over the VERY first bites of Cesare Casella’s Prosciutti Speciale made with our heritage hams. This is THE first prosciutto of its kind – ready for the marketplace in Spring 2017! Imagine Prosciutto di Parma meets Prosciutto Toscano, but American made with heritage rare breed pigs!
Next up – over to Hayes Valley to see Taylor and his team at Fatted Calf. We cannot forget our tastes of their house made roast beef and kale salad with BACON. Mmmm. That Thursday night was an incredible celebration of all things HERITAGE! We co-hosted a party at Angelo Garro’s Renaissance Forge featuring… you guessed it… heritage PORK! No commodity pigs were allowed! Surrounded by the sweet smells of smoke and meat from Angelo Garro’s wood fired grill an incredible group of chefs, butchers and crafters came together for the evening. Angelo, Veronica and Beth of OMNIVORE of course! Renato and Dario of Baia Pasta, Taylor from Fatted Calf brought some of his cured meats, Bala and Pinky from Preferred Meats and Chris Howell from Cain Winery & Vineyard brought some of his incredible wines. Our longtime friend and Slow Food supporter, Julie Shaffer flew out from Atlanta to join us for a few days and Chef Ryan Denicola drove up from chi SPACCA in Los Angeles. Emilio Miti brought over his gorgeous green slicer for the prosciutto. Chef Josh Perez from Americano at Hotel Vitale was there along with Chef Miles Kline from The Cooperage Lafayette. Thomas and Mike from Roli Roti. Even the Good Food Awards team was in the house.
And Thursday was only the start of a truly FULL-filling trip. We went on to see Chef Nicolette at A16, Chef Rocky and Isaiah at A16 Rockridge, Chef Cal at Chez Panisse, Chef Alfredo at Rose’s Café, Chef Michael, Chris, Nick and Jillian at Cotogna, Chef Leslie at Universal Café, Chef Jonah at Oliveto, Chef Stephen and Kipp from Farmstead, Chef Joyce at Tosca Café and Chef Athman at Boxing Room. Antonio Fiasche of Chicago’s ‘Nduja Artisans was also in town as were Chef Zach and Nicole from CarneVino in Las Vegas. Did we mention Patrick’s beautiful introduction of Sarah Weiner, the Director of the Good Food Awards and the incredible call to action from Winona LaDuke? Plus powerhouse women Alice Waters and Nell Newman. Read more here!
Did we eat well? OF COURSE! Who fed us? EVERYONE! Did we make new friends? YES! And we learned from Cesare that prosciutto is more complex than we ever realized. The depth of flavor and texture change as you slice further into the leg… we can’t wait for more!
Ready for Los Angeles!
Under the call to action Come to the Table. All are Welcome Here, 1000 guests came together this past weekend in San Francisco to award 200 American artisans in 14 categories at the Good Food Awards.
“Doctor, I feel like a goat”.
“How long have you felt like that”?
“Since I was a kid”.
How do you keep a goat from charging?
Take his credit card away!
What would Goatober be without a little goat humor? Or HUMOUR, as our British friends would say.
The confidence to commit to this important project originally came from enthusiastic handshake agreements with over fifty New York City restaurants including Gramercy Tavern, Babbo, Spotted Pig, and Bar Boulud, who agreed to feature goat on their menu for the full month of October. (See the list below.)
This year we were delighted to hear from our colleagues in England, who have joined our goat project and are promoting goat dinners and events across the UK, largely spearheaded by James Whetlor of Cabrito Goat Meat, who has won the Observer Food Monthly Award for Best Ethical Producer, and in 2016 was named Good Housekeeping’s Champion Meat Producer.
During the month of GOATOBER, UK restaurants nationwide including ETM Group, HIX Restaurants, River Cottage Canteens, Shotgun BBQ, I’ll Be Mother, and Romy’s Kitchen will be featuring a goat dish on their menus.
Goat is actually the most widely consumed meat in the world — and America is slowly learning what the rest of the world already knows — that goat meat is delicious, lean, versatile, healthy, and sustainable. Goats are environmentally low-maintenance and easy to raise.
And funny. Did I mention funny?
We’re proud to announce that we’re celebrating the sixth year of our annual goat project — GOATOBER, aka NO GOAT LEFT BEHIND!
I love goats.
Most Americans have never had the chance to try well-sourced goat meat, but those who experience it for the first time marvel at how light it is. The flavor of goat meat is bright, lean, and floral, with a clean and grassy finish.
Also, goats are very funny. When we were writing the CARNIVORE’S MANIFESTO, one chapter (“I AM A GOAT”) was written from the point of view of a goat:
When you are as great as I am, it’s hard to be humble… You think Daffy and Donald are the funniest livestock? Think again… I’m the funny one. When you’re girlfriend has a beard, you sort of have to be.
When my co-author Mike Edison recorded the audio version he actually read this chapter using a goat voice, which, as it turns out, sounds a lot like Gilbert Godfrey.
No Goat Left Behind/Goatober was the brainchild of Heritage Radio Network Executive Director, Erin Fairbanks, and renowned New York cheesemonger Anne Saxelby. They launched the initiative to address the growing problem facing New England goat dairies — namely, what to do with male goats?
In order to make cheese, animals on the farm must be producing milk. And to make milk, mothers must be giving birth and having many babies, consistently. Male offspring create a dilemma for the farmer — they obviously don’t produce milk, and unfortunately, there is no established humanely sourced market for American goat meat. Male goats are often euthanized at birth. This is not only an ethical catastrophe but a wasteful excess of good food.
Naturally raised goat is a seasonal meat. Mothers give birth mostly in the spring, and baby goats grow strong on the plentiful spring and summer grasses. They are ready for market in the fall. This is why Heritage Foods USA is working to change the tenth month of the year from October to Goatober!
In every family, there is a pride of history and lineage. This is no different for poultry or livestock. Heritage turkeys are the progeny of poultry that was bred for flavor.
Norman Kardosh, Frank Reese’s mentor, spent his life teaching Frank how to raise heritage turkeys responsibly. He knew he was leaving his legacy to Frank, and he stressed the importance of pure genetics. Norman said, “If you mess them up it will take fifteen years to straighten out… if it’s even possible.”
The Standard Bronze is the perfect heritage turkey — flavorful, healthy, and robust — and represents not just a line of genetics, but the farmer’s love and care in breeding the best heritage turkeys in the world.
By the early 1970s, factory farming would take over, and turkeys were most commonly bred for traits that would genetically deform them and destroy their flavor, namely how fast and how big they could grow. Within twenty years, turkeys shot up with chemicals to keep them alive and so top heavy they could not walk were the norm. In fact, they were growing so fast that turkeys became so inexpensive as to nearly bankrupt the industry.
The American Poultry Association is America’s oldest agricultural association and the keeper of the standards for poultry breed identification. Frank is the first farmer to receive accreditation by the APA certifying his heritage turkeys as purebred to the standards set in 1873.
Patrick Martins, Founder of Heritage Foods USA explains, “In 2001, when I was running Slow Food USA, I put the Standard Bronze turkey on the Slow Food “Ark of Taste” — a metaphoric vessel designed to highlight agriculture on the verge of extinction — and suddenly I found myself in the turkey business, launching Heritage Foods USA to help Frank expand and successfully deliver his flock of heritage turkeys, now numbering around 10,000 birds per year.
Frank’s birds are not only a model of responsible farming but also delicious. They bring a character of flavor and juiciness that could never be found in anything produced by Big Agriculture. They do cost more, but the price reflects the true cost of raising a free-range bird that has not been genetically redesigned to flatter the bottom line rather than the taste buds.
Modern, industrially raised adult turkey’s breasts are so unnaturally large that they cannot reproduce without assistance, and need to be artificially inseminated, which is why cheap turkey meat is available in the supermarket all year long. Frank’s turkeys mate naturally and are only ready to be harvested for Thanksgiving.
Frank Reese’s heritage turkeys are now available for pre-order for Thanksgiving directly from Heritage Foods USA, including the Standard Bronze as well as Bourbon Red, White Holland, Black Narragansett, Royal Palm, Jersey Buff, and Slate breeds.
2016 Heritage Turkeys
Delivered fresh November 22nd with neck and giblets
8-10lb turkey … $99
10-12lb turkey … $119
12-14lb turkey … $139
14-16lb turkey … $159
16-18lb turkey … $179
18-20lb turkey … $199
Where to go in Nashville for dinner? City House, Rolf and Daughters, Prince’s Hot Chicken, Robert’s Western World, Arnold’s, Little Octopus, Pinewood Social, Bolton’s, Dino’s, Martins BBQ?