Tag: heritage meat


In Celebration of the Feast!

From the “Carnivore’s Manifesto” by Heritage Foods USA founder Patrick Martins
In the words of Mae West, “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!”
As in all things, of course, a little common sense could prevail.
But I’m sick of people telling me to eat only plants. Sure, health is wealth and all we want is for everyone to live a long life, but we also need to have times of wild abandon.
In the Middle Ages, feasts happened when food was abundant: the festivals of spring, summer, and fall. Feasting was a way of allowing yourself a temporary respite from your troubles, sometimes to a point bordering on revolution—during Carnival, kings behaved as paupers in a complete inversion of society, while the proles ruled the roost. The idea was, better to go all out tonight because you never know what tomorrow will bring.
I eat healthy, responsible food. Mostly. But as Oscar Wilde once said, “Where there is no extravagance there is no love, and where there is no love there is no understanding.”
So for dinner tonight I think I’ll order two hundred portions of grilled octopus shipped in from Spain, drizzled with olive oil from Sicily, and gilded with a few grains of sea salt from off the coast of Portugal.
Once my appetite is piqued, I’ll dig into a plate of carne cruda, a ball of raw meat no smaller than a watermelon. It’s better than steak tartare, prepared with olive oil and lemon instead of a cracked egg so it’s that much lighter. See? I am very sensible about these things.
For the next round, more meat, of course, but nothing too heavy, as I am still just prepping my incisors for the main event. Perhaps just thirty or forty appetizer-sized portions of Akaushi eye of round carpaccio, served with a deli- cate Parmigiano-Reggiano, aged for exactly two years, no more and no less, to give the whole thing some legs and help it dance on my palate.
Clearly, I’m going to need some wine to wash this down with — I think we’ll start with some Bandol Tempier. Two cases should be just fine, it is so easy to drink! And then something a little bigger, perhaps a Barbaresco. Along with sparkling water, I am thinking a few cases of Budweiser— it really does go with anything.
While waiting for the main course I always like to amuse myself, and I think, in this case, a half dozen or so of New York City’s greatest gastronomic gift to the world of noshing ought to do it: the everything bagel with lox. And of course, wild Alaskan salmon is the only salmon that can stand up to a bagel covered in seeds, red onions, capers, and cream cheese.
And now I am ready to rumble.
For the main course, a bit of Eastern flair would be a good turn: two dozen Pekin ducks from Good Shepherd Ranch in Lindsborg, Kansas, prepared Peking style with pancakes and plum sauce and scallions, which I’ll roll up like fat, duck-filled doobies and wash down with a dark beer from North Coast Brewing Company that is just bitter enough to groove with the sweet meat and not fight it.
Just to prove to everyone that I am not crazy, this will be the time for something green. Three Caesar salads will do, prepared tableside, and don’t be stingy with the ancho- vies, preferably from SeaLab Italia, in Bra. Now the way is clear for the cheese course, which I prefer in the form of a hot tub of fondue of raw-milk cheeses from my favorite East Coast dairies—Meadow Creek Dairy, Spring Brook Farm, and Landaff Creamery.
For dessert, a baker’s dozen of quindim pies — a custardy Brazilian delicacy that is so time intensive to make, what with its hundred-eggs-per-pie mandate, that hardly anyone besides my mom makes it anymore. She whipped one up for me last year for July Fourth — you would know it by the trail of comatose bodies it left in its wake.
But before I call it a night, I’ll take my time with three bottles of Fernet Branca. No matter how popular it gets with the trend chasers, it’s still the one thing I can count on to help calm the ol’ gullet after a snack like the one I just imagined. It’s kind of like Jägermeister for adults.

Chili Montes of Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco

We talk a lot about restaurants, probably too much! 

As much as we love the luminaires who put Heritage Foods front and center on their menus, we want to sing the praises of something just a little bit closer to street level: the supermarket!

And not just any supermarket – the Bi-Rite family of markets in San Francisco is at the heart of their communities. Almost Sesame Street-like in its neighborhood friendliness, Bi-Rite remains an idyllic outpost of what an old-fashioned market should be. Customers talk to each other while waiting on line. Across the street is their legendary ice cream shop, the Bi-Rite Creamery.

Chili Montes is Meat and Seafood Buyer for the Bi-Rite family, and head of the Bi-Rite butcher program where for over twenty years he has distinguished himself not only as an educator and advocate, but as an ally, and one of our favorite guys ever to wear a white apron.

“Every month of the year in San Francisco there is some sort of food-centric holiday — except for August,” says Chili, “so for the last two years, we’ve worked with Heritage Foods on “Hog-ust,” and bring in as many breeds as we can during that month. It gives customers a chance to try them all and celebrate the differences between animals that may have been at the brink of extinction. It has been a huge conversation starter. People really get into it.

“Heritage Foods, as much as they are a business partner, they are also a facilitator in education — I have visited their famers, they’ve helped me learn what it takes to produce meat, and the difficulties and rewards of agriculture, especially on a smaller scale with farmers committed to doing things the right way — a focus on quality rather than quantity. I buy a lot of pork from Heritage, but we’ve bought turkeys, goat, steer. We also have local farmers and ranchers we support, and I spend time with them as well.

“There is a very specific consciousness in the way we converse with our guests at Bi-Rite — early on there needed to be a justification for why our product wasn’t the same price as in a chain supermarket, but once they purchase our meat and produce, the taste and the flavor speak for themselves, They just needed a connection to understand why things are a few dollars more.

“I’ve got the best job in the world. At Bi-Rite our customers reward us for the work that we put in with their support for us and what we do, and their willingness to engage in conversation, to have a dialogue with the people who produce their food – It’s amazing, especially in an age when people don’t like to talk to other people!”

Heritage Pork Tacos

Slow Cooked Heritage Pork Tacos by Chef Kim Müller, Foodcraft in Santa Fe

You know it’s true: heritage pork makes every dish better. But where can one find recipes worthy of their rich, pure flavors? Look no further than this fantastic recipe for pork tacos, made with – you guessed it – heritage pork shoulder.

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