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Animals Grocery

New California ‘Beef Directory’ Helps Customers Buy Directly From Ranchers

For those in California looking to support local beef ranchers, especially during the pandemic, farmers’ markets have often been a place to go. It’s a way to feel more connected to our food system, rather than just buying branded steak from the grocery store.

For those that want to take it a step further, or find a rancher in their area to buy meat from, California now has its own “Beef Directory” you can access to do just that.

The “Beef Directory” breaks California into three regions: Northern, Central, and Southern. You can then track ranches in the area, get their contact info, and see what they sell. Many ranches will sell individual cuts of steaks, but often times, you can also purchase a quarter or half share of a cow. A typical cow yields 639 pounds of meat, 38% of which is turned into ground beef, if that helps you calculate how much meat is in each offering.

Right now, over a dozen ranches are listed on the California Beef Directory, with listing spots available for any other ranchers that want to get on the list.

Buying from small-scale ranchers and local beef producers helps local food makers around you continue to thrive, especially during a challenging time like this pandemic. It also can be more sustainable for the planet, as smaller ranches often employ more sustainable methods of raising their livestock.

For those living in other parts of the country or world, local beef directories may exist in your region that provide contact information for ranches, info on what cuts of meat they sell, or both.

Using these beef directories makes finding local beef, whether it be for restaurant or at-home use, a lot easier, and gets the general public more connected to original food sources once again.

Categories
Grocery Technology

The First-Ever Amazon Fresh Grocery Store Is Opening In California

Photo courtesy of Amazon Fresh

Amazon has announced that California will be the home of its first-ever Amazon Fresh Grocery Store.

Located in Woodland Hills, CA, the Fresh Store is the first of many models that will feature Amazon Fresh produce and grocery items offered at a lower price point than traditional supermarkets.

Photo courtesy of Amazon Fresh

Convenient store features include Alexa Shoppings lists, which customers can access through their Amazon app while they’re inside the store. Alexa will help them navigate the aisles to find what they need.

There will also be a Dash Cart Lane, which expedites the checkout process using computer vision algorithms and sensor fusion to identify the items in your cart and charge your account accordingly. It’s kind of like Amazon Go in shopping cart form.

Photo courtesy of Amazon Fresh

Customers can also schedule in-store pickups, something that’s been exceptionally preferred while folks are currently minimizing time out in public spaces during this pandemic.

Set to open in a few weeks, Amazon Fresh has already invited a select group of customers to test out the new grocery storefront ahead of the grand opening.

Categories
Restaurants

Popular Bay Area BBQ Joint Is Serving Free BBQ To Medical and Frontline Workers

horn bbq brisket

Burgeoning underground pop-up Horn Barbecue has been making a reputation around the Bay Area. It was started in 2016 by head chef and pitmaster Matt Horn through a desire to impress his wife. Her disapproval of some ribs he cooked once inspired him to never cook another piece of bad ‘cue. Horn has since honed his skills in Central Texas-style barbecue that’s dry rubbed, smoked, and hormone-free. Now, his popular ‘cue garners queues of hundreds. And as such, the last few years have quickly made Horn BBQ one of the go-to Bay Area spots for locals. 

Another contributor to Horn BBQ’s success is it’s family owned, co-ran with his wife, Nina. As a black-owned business in a city rich with black history, Horn feels a responsibility to his community and those that came before him. Those strong community ties are present in Horn BBQ’s recently launched initiative, which was created in response to the on-going corona pandemic. The Horn Initiative is a philanthropic effort that stems from a lifelong commitment to give to those in need. Being of service was a fundamental part of Horn’s upbringing and during these dire days, he wanted to give back to the community that has given so much to him. Horn recalls a recent interaction with a police officer: 

“While hosting one of our community ‘cues, I had an officer ask why I was doing the [pop-up] cooks. I explained to him that it is my responsibility to my community to step up and be a blessing to those that need it. He asked, “Why me?” and I told him that he is a vital part of our community and through love, we can get through this together.”

Committed to serving the community, with your help, The Horn Initiative will continue into the post-covid future. To donate, Horn BBQ has created a Gofundme to cover food costs. For the moment though, as we move towards overcoming this, you can stay up to date on the next pop-up here. To bolster their efforts, they’ll also be dropping off food at homeless camps and hospitals. Meals are open to anyone in need.

 

Photos: Matt Horn/ Horn BBQ
Categories
News

Joe Coulombe, Founder of Trader Joe’s, Passes Away at 89

Joe Coulombe, founder of Trader Joe’s, the revolutionary grocery store that focused on high quality items at low prices, has passed away at the age of 89, according to the Associated Press.

Joe’s curiosity, philanthropic generosity, and irreverent sense of humor were woven into the fabric of the culture that defines Trader Joe’s stores.the company said in a statement over the weekend. 

Known for its Hawaiian shirt-wearing employees, fair wages, and a focus on serving “overeducated and underpaid people,” the store amassed a cult following soon after its original Pasadena, CA location opened in 1967.

Five years after its opening, Joe introduced a granola to the store that he considered to be a “game-changer,” in that it was the first time the company had acquired a product at the wholesale level and sold under the Trader Joe’s brand name. 

The snack was a preview of the business model that would propel the store to its current popularity. This, along with a policy of discontinuity that insisted on only buying prime items at a good deal, no matter if that meant switching suppliers, allowed the store to maintain its low prices and continue attracting the struggling conscious consumer whom Coulombe originally envisioned the store to serve.

While Coulombe sold his interest in the company to Aldi Nord in 1979 — when there were only 19 stores — his vision and mission still lives on in each and every one of the 500+ locations across the nation.

For that, pour a two buck Chuck out for Mr. Coulombe today.

Categories
News

Target & Walmart Lettuce Hit By Nationwide E. Coli Outbreak

A new Thanksgiving tradition appears to be forming in the United States: a massive recalling of lettuce. 

After last year’s untimely recall of the entire nation’s supply of romaine lettuce, the same appears to be happening again this year. There has been a recall of romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, CA due to its carrying of E. coli.

The CDC first announced the outbreak on Friday, and repercussions have continued to show themselves throughout the weekend. As reported by Fox 11 Los Angeles, some of the nation’s biggest retailers have been clearing their shelves of all romaine lettuce originating from the central valley city. Target recently joined other mega-chains such as Walmart, Sam’s Club, Aldi, and Wegman’s in doing so.

However, before any store could act, there had already been 40 related cases reported in 16 different states, 28 of which have led to hospitalizations, and 5 of which have resulted in kidney failure. Luckily, though, no deaths have been reported in relation to the outbreak. 

The CDC suggests to throw away any remaining romaine lettuce whose packaging says it either originates in Salinas or has no mention of growing location.

Better to play it safe than introduce an E. Coli outbreak to the family.

Unfortunately, it looks like there won’t be any salad to slowly wilt away as everyone ignores it at this year’s Thanksgiving. But, on the bright side, that’s one less dish to worry about. 

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Food Trends News Products Restaurants Sweets What's New

Here’s How To Become a Cheesecake Taster for Japan’s Uncle Tetsu Bakery

The world-famous Japanese cheesecake bakery, Uncle Tetsu, is offering up an opportunity for a select few to become their elite taste-testers. Here’s a chance for all of you cheesecake lovers to live out your wildest dreams as you will get to taste the newest and most unique creations Uncle Tetsu has to offer, some of which have yet to be released to the public.

Lydia Chen, Master Baker and Head of Product Development for Uncle Tetsu USA, went on to note that the company “recognizes the growth of foodie culture and wants to continue to improve our cheesecakes and flavors by working directly with our guests. We believe that guest involvement is the key to Uncle Tetsu’s continued success. Since the opening of our first California store, we have received so much support from our loyal guests and the wider community, so we would like to give a few lucky cheesecake lovers the opportunity to have direct access or a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the creation of our cheesecakes.”

For a chance to be one of the select few, you must grab a “Pick Me” card at one of Uncle Tetsu’s participating California locations, post a picture or video on your Instagram story with the card and an explanation on why you should be selected, and tag @uncletetsu_us’s Instagram account. Uncle Tetsu will start their search for taste-testers from August 31-October 26, 2019. For more information, please visit Uncle Tetsu’s Contest Rules page.

Participating Stores:

Santa Anita Mall

400 S. Baldwin Ave, Space M15
Arcadia, CA 91007
Phone: (626) 254-9007

 

Del Amo Mall

3525 W Carson St, Space 514B
Torrance, CA 90503
Phone: (323) 275-9190

 

Hillsdale Shopping Center
72 Hillsdale Shopping Center
San Mateo, CA 94403
Phone: (650) 437-0399

Categories
Restaurants

A Los Angeles Pizza Joint Created A BIRRIA TACO PIZZA

I was in my mid-twenties when I first discovered the joy of a birria taco. A popular Mexican dish consisting of goat or beef meat, the protein is cooked in a spicy consommé, which is a rich broth. I would wait in line at the taco trucks on many late nights making sure I get a plate of fresh birria tacos. My friends and I would enjoy the juicy meat folded inside the tortilla and, if offered, dunk the tacos straight into the consommé.

Rose City Pizza in Rosemead, CA, is now offering another iteration you can enjoy the time-honored dish in, and thankfully, it’s a pizza. The Birria Pizza is the newest addition to the Rose City menu, joining the ranks of such iconic pizzas as the Elote Pizza, Al Pastor Pizza, and even a Filipino Breakfast Pizza.

To start hearty chunks of beef are braised with guajillo and ancho chiles, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, garlic cloves, and thyme overnight. They’re then seared, shredded, and added to the pizza.

On the crust, the birria is combined with mozzarella, diced onions, cilantro, lime juice, and a Chile de arbol salsa. Once sliced, it’s served with a cup of the consommé you can dunk your pizza straight into or enjoy on its own.

This isn’t Rose City’s first foray into taco-inspired pizzas either. The pizzeria went viral after offering an Al Pastor pizza a few years back where the marinated pork was sliced straight from a spit right onto the dough. It gained so much notoriety that it remains on the menu to this day.

How it’s birria-based brother will fare remains to be seen. Though, having tried it, I have a good feeling it will do just as well, if not better.

Fans of birria tacos may want to check this one out if visiting the Southern California area. While some may argue that soggy pizza is a sacrilege, Rose City’s crust game is so balanced, it’s like the pizza was made for the dunk. Just make sure to arrive early if you’re itching to try some. Due to its popularity, only a limited quantity of birria will be available daily.

Categories
Cravings

Come Get This Unbelievably Tender Wagyu Brisket At Upcoming Queen Mary Cook-Off

As a barbecue enthusiast, the quality of the meat you choose is essential to a proper beef brisket. If you’re using any kind of inferior meat, you better be a master of the smoke because you’re pretty much in an uphill battle. Now I’ve had briskets made with amazing cuts of beef before, but I’ve yet to see one that’s smoked with Wagyu meat.

For the unfamiliar, Wagyu beef is widely regarded as ultra-premium quality beef that’s of the utmost level of tender. And Wagyu beef brisket is exactly what The Q Joint BBQ is bringing to the world of barbecue.

Slicing up USDA Prime Wagyu Brisket, The Q Joint is an Irvine, California-based barbecue company that offers a plethora of smoked and grilled meats. This includes smoked, deboned chicken thighs, St. Louis-style ribs, and their 12-hour hickory-smoked brisket.

All their items come together in what they call The Judge’s Box which boasts: 1 chicken, 2 ribs, pulled pork, 2 slices of brisket, and 2 burnt ends.

This incredible platter of smoked delights can be found at The Queen Mary’s Waterfront Cook-Off. The annual event will be held on May 11 from 12PM to 5PM. There will be two competitions held during that day, one that pits BBQ masters together in a smokey cook-off. The other brings together some of the country’s best chili cooks to see who can craft the most delicious bowl of chili.

Sounds like heaven on earth.