Category: Projects


Pawpaw Season: don’t blink or you’ll miss it!

paw pawIt is Pawpaw season! Our Heritage pawpaws come from the rolling hills of Carroll County Maryland at the Deep Run Pawpaw Orchard where Jim Davis has been raising these fruits for over 10 years! The pawpaw is the largest edible fruit native to the United States. Pawpaws are indigenous to 26 states in the US, rangeing from northern Florida to southern Ontario and as far west as eastern Nebraska.

They have provided delicious and nutritious food for Native Americans, European explorers, settlers and wild animals. They are still enjoyed in modern America, chiefly in rural areas. There are more than 27 varieties currently available.

Deep Run Pawpaw Orchard produces seven named varieties of pawpaw:

  1. Susquehanna – sweet, mild
  2. Alleghany – sweet, mild (great in ice cream!)
  3. Overleese – sweet and fruity
  4. Shenandoah – sweet tasting, fruity flavor
  5. Pennsylvania Gold – Stronger flavor
  6. Taytwo – Stronger flavor

Each fruit will be marked so that you know what you are eating.

The unique flavor of the pawpaw fruit resembles a blend of various tropical flavors, including banana, pineapple and mango. The common names, ‘poor man’s banana’, ‘American custard pie’, and ‘Kentucky banana’ reflect these qualities.

Our Pawpaw are on pre-sale now – don’t wait because they have a short season and sell out quickly.

What is No Goat Left Behind?

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No Goat Left Behind is a serious effort launched in 2011 by Heritage Foods USA designed to introduce goat meat to American diners and provide a sustainable end market for dairy animals. Without an end market farmers must face difficult choices each spring when the kids are born. [Did you know that most goats have twins or triplets?]

You may also be surprised to learn that goat is the most widely consumed meat in the world with a rich and diverse culinary history. Most American’s have only had goat once or twice, usually in an ethnic restaurant when they where feeling bold. The flavor of our goat is delicate and grassy the cuts are similar in size and composition to lamb.

Goat is a seasonal animal and this October our goal is to sell 1000 animals. Over 14 family farms and almost 100 restaurants have committed to participate in No Goat Left Behind. Our partner farmers will raise their goats to Heritage Foods USA’s specifications, guaranteeing pasture-raised animals with no growth hormones or antibiotics. Our partner chefs will create a cornucopia of delicious dishes and recipes.

Goat dairies are in the business of making cheese. To make cheese you need milk, and to get milk each season the goats must have babies. In a weird way these babies are a bi-product of a farm that is looking to produce milk. The labor and feeding costs of caring for these babies is significant. Since the farm needs the mother’s milk to produce cheese, the babies are fed on expensive milk replacer, a goat version of baby formula. Without a dependable end market for these animals farmers simply cannot take on the financial burden and must face hard choices like selling the animals into the commodity market at a few days old or even killing them at birth.

You can change this reality by purchasing goat meat each fall from a trusted butcher like the Heritage Meat Shop in New York’s Historic Essex Market, eating in a restaurant that participates in the project or buying and cooking some goat yourself through our mail order program. However you choose to participate, we applaud your commitment to shaping a food system we can all be proud of. One that respects the realities our nation’s farmers face and honors the animals we consume.

Click here to purchase this fall http://store.heritagefoodsusa.com/goat-coming-in-october-p977.aspx

Last year participating restaurants included:

New York City: Al Di La, Babbo, Bar Boulud, Back Forty, Becco, Betto, Cleaver Company, Colicchio and Sons, Corsino, Community Food and Drink, Egg, El Almacen, Employees Only, Fatty Crab Downtown, Fatty Cue, Fatty Cue Brooklyn, Fette Sau, Gramercy Tavern, Heritage Meat Shop, Isa, Lincoln, Lupa, Maialino, Má Pechê, Minetta Tavern, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssam Bar, Momo Sushi, Northern Spy, Otto, Ottomanelli & Sons, Palo Santo, Pulino’s, Purple Yam, Roberta’s, Salumeria Rosi, Spotted Pig, Tia Pol, Union Square Café, Untitled, Vinegar Hill House. 

Bay Area: Americano Restaurant, Bi Rite Market, Celadon, Fatted Calf Napa, Fatted Calf San Francisco, Oliveto, Plate Shop, Universal Cafe. 

Other: Hominy Grill, VA; B & B, Carne Vino, Otto, NV; Lidia’s Kansas City, MO; Quiessence, AZ

A Visit to Consider Bardwell…

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Last weekend I traveled with a group of Heritage Foods and Heritage Radio folks to Consider Bardwell Farm in West Pawlet, VT. The farm makes goat and cow cheeses the have achieved great acclaim from top chefs and cheese connoisseurs. The cheese-makers credit their amazing products to their pasture raised animals and small batch productions that are ages in caves on the farm. The taste of place (what the French call terroir) is exemplified so perfectly in these cheeses and they stand out as the heights of what American cheese-making can be.

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We had the privilege of staying in the small cottage on the farm and learn a little about its history. In 1864 Consider Stebbins Bardwell founded the first cheese-making co-op in Vermont. The farm eventually moved away from its roots, but roughly a century later partners Angela Miller, Russell Glover, and Chris Gray rediscovered the farm’s potential.

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In 2011, Heritage Foods began working with Consider Bardwell and several other local dairy farms in Vermont for our No Goat Left Behind project. We work with these farms to provide a sustainable end market for their male dairy goats and to introduce diners to wonderful flavors goat can offer.

Stay tuned for more information in October…or as we call it Goatober!

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 More on Consider Bardwell Farm

http://www.considerbardwellfarm.com/

Highland Cattle: A Regal Heritage Breed

As previously announced, our annual Eighth Cattle Share is in full swing! Following America’s most popular breed, the Angus, Larry and Madonna Sorrell present the truly regal choice of England: Highland beef.

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A Highland Cow grazing at Lazy S. Farms

The Highland is the oldest registered breed of cattle, officially recognized in 1884. The Queen of England maintains her own Highland herd at Balmoral Castle, which satisfies her cravings for a royal burger. Highland cattle have lived for centuries in the rugged, remote, Scottish Highlands – qualifying them as a true heritage breed. Cold weather and snow have little effect on this breed, allowing them to be raised as far north as Alaska and Scandinavia.  These extremely harsh conditions propelled the process of natural selection, allowing only the fittest and most adaptable animals to survive and carry on the legacy of the breed. Originally, the Highland breed was comprised of two distinctly different herds; today, however, these strains have evolved into one, hearty Highland lineage. Despite their long horns, long hair, and unusual appearance, the Highland is considered to be a docile and calm animal. They are extremely intelligent, which makes them quite easy to train.

Highland cattle are approximately 2/3 the weight of Angus cattle, so their meat yield is slightly lower. They mature slowly and are typically taken for slaughter later  in life than other breeds, making their meat  tender, lean, well marbled, and flavorful.  This hard-to-find beef is dry-aged three weeks before we ship it, reducing each cut’s weight, but enhancing the savory flavor of this delectable beef.

Larry and Madonna Sorell have been farmers since 1970, when they purchased 200 acres of land in Cloud County, Kansas. Larry Sorell continues a family tradition that was passed down from his grandfather to his father and then, to him. Today, the farm is a bit smaller, but the Sorrells still maintain true biodiversity amongst their livestock. Madonna fondly recalls Larry returning home with a surprise in his truck – once a few lambs, another time a beautiful horse. The couple raises numerous heritage breeds, including a handful of Highland cattle, Katahdin lambs, and several pig varieties, which can be found on our storefront.

 

Eighth Cattle Share

For the fourth year in a row, Heritage Foods USA is taking part in a uniquely sustainable model of meat consumption: the Eighth Cattle Share. Though Heritage supports eating sustainably year-round, this nose-to-tail project allows our customers to purchase an entire eighth of a steer – including all of the cuts – leaving minimal waste in its path. By using the entire cow, small cattle farmers need not worry about selling individual cuts, lifting the heavy burden that comes along with the traditional model of selling cut-by-cut. However, this opportunity also provides our customers with special cuts of heritage cattle breeds at one low price.

Eighth Cattle Angus
Good Farms Pure Black Angus Cattle



Heritage Foods USA considers this project to be one of our most important of the year. For our initial eighth cattle share, we’re teaming up with Craig and Amy Good of Good Farms. Located on the northern edge of the Kansas Flint Hills, this area is the last vestige of the Tall Grass Prairie – a fertile strip of grasslands that supported untold numbers of cattle in our country’s formative years. Grass is arguably the best feed for cows, and the mix of Big Bluestem, Little Bluestem, Indiangrass, Switchgrass, Prairie Dropseed, and Sideoats Grama is responsible for producing the tastiest grass fed, American-bred Angus cattle in existence.

Though Pure Black Angus genetics are the most commonly used in America today, a 100% Angus herd like Craig Good’s is rare and hard to find. Good Farms has become one of the most reputable sources of pure-bred livestock in the country, and we applaud The Goods for caring so much about the quality and integrity of their cattle.

Heritage offers three ways to support this year’s eighth cattle share project, all of which will fit in a standard-sized freezer. Our largest package, the True Eighth, features sixty pounds of ground beef, brisket, short ribs, and three different cuts of steak. For those with a smaller apetite, The All Star Cuts package offers the same prime cuts with significantly less ground beef.

Still, for some, buying in bulk can be a pretty big commitment. Want to support the Eighth Cattle Share project and the small farmers it benefits? Buying ground beef helps these farmers significantly during the butchering process, because virtually any left over parts of the steer can be ground. For this reason, Heritage Foods offers three different ground beef packages, in varying quantities. What better way to prepare for the summer grilling season than by stocking your fridge with the best Angus beef that money can buy?

Stay tuned for additional eighth cattle share packages from Highland, Simmental and Belgian Blue breeds of cattle throughout the summer.

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