Castleton Crackers “Governor’s Cheddar” has won the 2014 sofi™ Award for Outstanding Cracker from the Specialty Food Association. A sofi is the top honor in the $88.3 billion specialty food industry. “sofi” stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation.
Governor’s Cheddar Crackers was one of 125 finalists selected by a national panel of specialty food professionals from a record-setting 2,737 entries across 32 awards categories including Outstanding Chocolate, Cheese, and Snack Food. Winners were announced June 30, 2014 by internationally-acclaimed Chef Dominique Ansel at a red-carpet ceremony at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York.
“I was honored that my Governor’s Cheddar Crackers were nominated, but when I saw the winning picture of my crackers on the big screen it was an amazing feeling,” said Whitney Lamy, founder of Castleton Crackers. “To know that retailers and food service buyers vote for the Gold winners right here at the Summer Fancy Food Show makes this award even more valuable. This is a delicious combination of Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company’s award-winning Governor’s Cheddar cheese and my artisan cracker recipe,” says Lamy. Lamy’s complete Castleton Cracker line is sold at grocery and specialty stores throughout the country and online at castletoncrackers.com.
By Lorrie Baumann
The British government settled its own controversy about the sanitation of cheeses aged on wood a decade ago, and government regulators there have come down on the side of permitting cheese makers to age their cheeses as they think best, says the Right Honorable Owen Paterson, British Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. “It should be the cheese manufacturers who decide what to do. They’ve got a long history,” he said. “We believe very strongly that people should be responsible for their own production systems. What counts is the outcome.”
The outcomes that count should be that food should be safe to eat and it should taste good, and the British government has decided that the way to achieve that is to let the experts who are making the products decide how to get to that goal, and the government learned that through its own missteps in trying to regulate cheese production methods, he said. “Cheese is not suited to being produced on plastic. It sweats,” he said. “It’s a natural product, and it sweats.”
Paterson stopped in to promote British food at the Summer Fancy Food Show on his way to a meeting with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, with whom he’s negotiating a trade agreement that he says he’s “mad keen” to get through as a step in opening up the American market to more food imports from the European Union. He says that British food producers are well positioned to capitalize on access to the American market. Americans ar already enthusiastic about British products and are already purchasing $3.5 billion/year worth of British food products — about 10 percent of British food exports. British food production is a $170 billion/year industry that employs just under 4 million people. “It’s by far the most innovated food sector in Europe,” Paterson said. As an example of how fast British food production is growing, he points to Walkers, which has gone from a small family bakery with 16 employees baking shortbread cookies to a large enterprise that currently employs 1,600 people in a business that’s based primarily on exports. And shortbread isn’t the only Scottish product that’s enjoying the world’s good opinion, he said. “The French drink more Scotch whisky in a month than the French drink French cognac in a year,” he said. “We’ve got more varieties of cheese than the French have.”
The British dairy industry has been deregulated and is poised for growth at a time when world demand for dairy products is growing hugely, Paterson said. “We’re ideally placed to take advantage of it,” he said. “I opened the world’s largest fresh milk dairy inn Aylesbury last week.” Britain is home to the only USDA cheese producer in Europe, which introduced the Kingdom brand of cheddar cheese in the U.S. late last year. The milk in Kingdom Cheddar comes from a small group of organic family farmers in South-West England, where cheddar cheesemaking first began in the 12th century. “We use old-world artisan techniques, conducted under today’s exacting organic standards, which makes for an exceptional product,” said Nicola Turner, Export and Marketing Director at the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative (OMSCo,) the largest organic dairy farmers’ co-operative in the UK. OMSCo manages the production of Kingdom Cheddar.
Paterson recommends the Kingdom Cheddar along with other British cheeses, which are made with a long history of cheese production, very modern plants with rigorous production standards and a great deal of innovation in presenting new varieties and flavors of cheeses onto the market, he said. “These guys are really motoring, and there’s potentially a huge market.”
Along with cheese, Paterson aims to provide new opportunities for British meat exports into the U.S. Americans are ready to eat British beef again, he said. “They love eating British beef when they come to London,” he said. Britain has the landscape and the beef breeds, including the Aberdeen Angus, to export high-quality grass-fed beef to an American public that will welcome it, he said. And after he’s gotten beef coming to America, his next step will be to follow up with lamb. “There are a lot of Americans of Scottish descent who are being prevented from exercising their ancestral right to eat haggis,” he said.
Compared to other top-selling cow’s milk ice creams, LaLoo’s Vanilla Snowflake has about half the calories, one-third the fat, is seven grams lower in sugar for folks watching their glycemic index and is easier to digest since goat milk is naturally lower in lactose and the fat particles are smaller in goat’s milk than in milk from cows.
To encourage millions of ice cream fans across America to “Give Goat a Chance” this summer, LaLoo’s Goat’s Milk Ice Cream is offering the chance to win an ice cream social party and other goat goody prizes to everyone who follows LaLoo’s on Facebook or Twitter (@LaloosIceCream) and shares an ice cream moment, photo or memory using hashtag #GoGoat throughout National Ice Cream Month in July. Prizes include a “Go Goat” Ice Cream Social party for 20, hosted by LaLoo’s; 10 goat goody packages consisting of a cooler full of LaLoo’s, a “Give Goat a Chance!” t-shirt, and a “Get Your Goat On!” tote bag; and daily free pint coupon winners.
LaLoo’s is available nationwide in four gourmet flavors, including: Deep Chocolate – rich dark chocolate ganache made with volcanic black cocoa and raw bittersweet cacao from acclaimed chocolate maker Scharffen Berger (77 percent cacao) – truly a chocolate lover’s dream; national award-winning Vanilla Snowflake, so delicate and yet so creamy you can serve it with everything from fresh berries to gazpacho (called “the holy grail” of ice cream by the Wall Street Journal); Rumplemint, which combines fresh organic garden mint (not peppermint) with a bold excess of dark chocolate tiles, slow churned for extra creaminess; and Capraccino, a gold medal-winning coffee ice cream made from real Italian expresso beans. To find LaLoo’s at a store near you, go to: laloos.com/shop. Attendees at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City June 29 through July 1 can get their goat on with LaLoo’s Goat’s Milk Ice Cream in LaLoo’s booth #4066.
Founder “LaLoo” (Laura Howard, based in Petaluma, Calif., who is also Founder of the Lexicon of Sustainability) has some great new recipes and real simple serving suggestions to help you get your goat on this summer that you’ll find at blog.laloos.com, like “Lemonade Stand” – just add lemonade powder on LaLoo’s Vanilla Snowflake (her daughter’s favorite); fresh berries macerated in Prosecco atop LaLoo’s Deep Chocolate for the 21+ crowd; and Capraccino topped with Honey Sesame Brittle.
Sartori Cheese is releasing a new family heirloom cheese, 18 month BellaVitano, this July. In honor of the company’s 75th Anniversary, this exclusive cheese will be available on a limited basis for the remainder of 2014.
Up until the release, Sartori’s 18 month BellaVitano had previously been set aside for family. Now, the Sartori family wants to share this special cheese with all. “It’s our 75th anniversary this year and we wanted to find additional ways to share our history with others. We thought maybe we could share a family treasure, and that’s when we decided to release our 18 month BellaVitano,” stated CEO and third generation owner, Jim Sartori.
Sartori’s 18 month BellaVitano cheese has wonderfully fruity, caramelized nutty flavors. “We test the cheese at various times throughout the aging process. As the cheese matures, the flavors become more pronounced and the texture of the cheese alters. This cheese is creamy, yet crumbly due to the aging,” stated Sartori Master Cheesemaker, Mike Matucheski.
Debuting in July, this extra-aged cheese will be available only for the remainder of the year. It will be sold across the nation in specialty cheese retail shops and online at Sartori’s cheese shop, sartoricheese.com. For additional news and updates, follow Sartori on Facebook and Twitter @Sartori_Cheese.
The specialty cheese group of Saputo Cheese USA Inc. is launching seven new specialty cheese items this June. Additionally, a variety of value added enhancements are being unveiled under the Nikos® brand of domestically-produced feta cheeses. All of the new items can be viewed in the company’s booth #1836 at the Summer Fancy Food Show, June 29 – July 1, in New York City.
The Stella® brand of fine artisan cheeses has been crafted with a rich heritage of Italian cheesemaking using authentic old-world recipes since 1923. The line’s three most recent additions are available in half wheels that have been carefully hand-rubbed with a tantalizing array of herbs and spices in the following varieties: Mediterranean Parmesan, Rosemary Medium Asiago and Black Pepper Romano.
For consumers seeking premium aged Cheddar cheeses, the Black Creek® cheese line now offers a delightful Double Smoked Cheddar cheese as well as a Cheddar Jam Tray featuring a flavorful combination of three-year cheddar cheese with orange marmalade and raspberry preserves.
Joan of Arc® goat cheeses are known for their delightfully tangy flavor and fresh aftertaste. The new Goat Cheese Trio includes a complementary collection of Traditional, Tomato Basil and Wild Honey goat cheeses in a beautifully boxed three-pack.
Great Midwest® cheeses are perennial award-winners. The line’s newest offering —the Winners Cheese Flight — includes three of the brand’s most recent American Cheese Society and World Cheese Expo winners (Morel & Leek, Salsa and Habanero flavored Jack cheeses) conveniently packaged in a beautiful box.
A full line of distinctive Mediterranean-style regular, fat free and flavored fetas are offered under the Nikos® brand, keeping dining options fresh and healthy. A series of value-added enhancements has been made to the line, making it even more appealing to consumers. Nikos® cheeses are now rBST-free, certified Halal and shipped via sustainably configured pallets.
Full details about all of the new product offerings can be found on the specialty cheese group’s website: www.SaputoSpecialty.com. Retailers interested in placing orders for the new items can contact a Saputo Cheese sales representative by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-800-782-0741.
Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine kicks off its 10th anniversary season with new picnics, sandwiches and salads, plus small production wine and beer pairings that have all been thoughtfully selected and created to celebrate summer in Chicago. Pastoral’s new summer offerings are available at all three store locations and also include cheese and charcuterie plates-to-go, plus a selection of handcrafted sides, sodas, locally made sweets, confections and accompaniments which can all be enjoyed on-the-go or at Pastoral’s al fresco dining patios open now throughout the season. Pastoral’s picnic offerings are ideal for two people to share, and designed with Chicago’s summer concert season and outdoor festivals in mind.
“This summer marks Pastoral’s 10th anniversary in business, and we took this milestone as a chance to create our favorite summer menu to date—picnics, sandwiches, salads, cheese plates, drink pairings and more that showcase some of Pastoral’s most delicious offerings and favorite culinary producers that have worked with us since we opened in 2004,” said Greg O’Neill, Co-founder and Co-proprietor of Pastoral and Bar Pastoral. “Every menu item reflects our commitment to bring customers the best small production and specialty products available from the most wonderful and talented culinary producers near and far. We want guests to taste this effort in every bite and sip from Pastoral this summer.”
Pastoral’s new picnics are designed for two people to enjoy together, and all include a wine or beer pairing recommendation from Pastoral’s team of experts. New picnics include:
Decadent Picnic (Heirloom Tamworth Prosciutto (Iowa), indulgent Brillat Savarin triple crème (FR – cow), smooth and seasonal Snowfields (Wis. – raw cow), rich and complex 5-Year Gouda (NL – cow), pate de fruits Jugglers (Ill.), rich and fair trade Madecasse Mini Bar (MG), handmade caramels from Katherine Anne Confections (Ill.), plus soft and delicious cookies house-made at Pastoral);
Bavarian Picnic (tangy house-made pimento cheese featuring two Wisconsin cheddars (cow), fresh and creamy Quark (Wis. – cow), Alsatian-style Saucisson d’Alsace salami (Ore.), La Fournette Bakery’s original recipe soft Bretzel (Ill.), plus Pastoral’s house-made toastettes, pickled cauliflower and grainy mustard);
Francophile Picnic (country-style Pig and Fig Terrine (Ind.), buttery Spring Brook Raclette (Vt. – raw, cow), herbed Prairie Fruits Farm chevre (Ill. – goat), fruity and bright Zingerman’s Manchester (Mich. – cow), single varietal Ames Mini Honey (Minn.), Pastoral’s house-made artichoke tapenade, cornichons and grainy mustard);
Quesophile Picnic (buttery Spring Brook Raclette (Vt. – cow, raw), Pecorino Fioretto (IT – sheep), tangy Clock Shadow Creamery chevre (Wis. – goat), Salemville Blue (Wis. – cow), smooth and seasonal Snowfields (Wis. – cow, raw), traditional and award-winning 1655 Gruyere (SZ – cow, raw), Pastoral’s own house-made spiced almonds and fig preserves);
Taste of the Midwest Picnic (Borsellino Salami (Iowa.), silky smooth Mortadella from Smoking Goose (Ind.), creamy and slightly funky Aged Widmer’s Brick (Wis. – cow), subtly smoky Marieke Smoked Cumin Gouda (Wisc. – cow, raw), tangy Clock Shadow Creamery chevre (Wis. – goat), shallot confit and dried Michigan cherries);
Carnivore’s Feast Picnic (dry-cured Salametti (Calif.), spice-cured aged Coppa (N.Y.), intense and rich Jamon Serrano (SP), silky smooth Mortadella (Ind.), Pastoral’s house-made pimento cheese featuring two Wisconsin cheddars (cow), cornichons, pickled vegetables and grainy mustard);
Grand Picnic (smooth and silky Prosciutto San Daniele (IT), Dodge City Salume from Smoking Goose Meatery (Ind.), fruity and complex Prairie Breeze (Iowa – cow), buttery and rich Brabander Gouda (NL – goat), bold and nutty Maxx Extra (SZ – cow, raw), smooth and lemony Driftless (Wisc. – sheep), single varietal Ames Mini Honey (Minn.), sweet and salty Effie’s Mini Oatcakes (Mass.), Pastoral’s house-made spiced almonds and a duo of handmade truffles from Chicago’s own Katherine Anne Confections.
Vegetarian options are available for select Pastoral picnics. All picnics are $39.99 with the exception of the Grand Picnic which is $69.99 and features some of Pastoral’s most indulgent products.
All Pastoral’s picnics are eco-friendly with biodegradable packaging including plates and utensils made from potato starch, recyclable paper bags and napkins. Additionally, many of Pastoral’s wines, beers, ciders and spirits focus on organic, biodynamic or sustainably produced selections that are both food- and earth-friendly.
The Pastoral team is available to help customers pair a bottle of small production wine, craft beer or cider with their picnics from the shop’s thoughtfully-selected collection of wines, beers, ciders and spirits. Pastoral’s beverage director, Mark Wrobel, has selected his favorite bottles for summer 2014, most of which feature a screw top or champagne-style stopper⎯no corkscrew required⎯making these selections ideal for summer concert and festival season.
Karoun Dairies is promising that the new Blue Isle’s Mediterranean Yogurt Spreads will provide a healthy and delicious choice for consumers who love their cream cheese but would prefer a lower-fat and lower-calorie option. America has an obsession with cream cheese. From countless recipes shared on Pinterest to the popular Twitter #foodporn hashtag commonly linked to #creamcheese, there is no doubt that Americans love their schmear. Grocery sales reflect these sentiments. A 2009-2011 Mintel study of US retail sales shows that cream cheese spread is the fastest-growing segment with 8.5 percent growth.
However, America’s growing waistline has driven consumers to choose healthier alternatives to comfort food favorites, which has something to do with why The Wall Street Journal coined “permissible indulgence” as the big food industry buzzword for 2014. Popular examples of this phenomenon include gluten-free, Greek yogurt, kale chips, and quinoa cookies.
Keeping up with the demand and offering a healthy solution for cream cheese lovers with the added benefit of probiotics, Blue Isle’s Mediterranean Yogurt Spreads is the latest innovation to hit the dairy aisle this summer. Samples will be available at booth #566 during the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City.
“We use hand-crafted traditional methods of blending, aging, and fermenting all of our probiotic rich yogurt spreads,” states Rostom Baghdassarian, COO for Karoun Dairies. “This year, we are delighted to introduce Blue Isle Mediterranean Yogurt Spreads, as we’ve seen a major demand for healthier, Mediterranean-style spreads. Blue Isle is a fresh, tasty, and health conscious alternative to traditional cream cheeses.”
Blue Isle’s Mediterranean Yogurt Spreads offer nutritional balance and taste. Today’s cream cheese category is limited in both selection and brands and the goal of Blue Isle’s Mediterranean Yogurt Spreads is to raise the bar in the retail cream cheese category with superior flavors, functionality and nutrition.
Blue Isle Mediterranean Yogurt Spreads are made from the healthy goodness of yogurt, including live cultures, probiotics, and calcium but with no added sugar. With only 60 calories and 6g of fat per 2 tbsp serving, Blue Isle has nearly 40 percent fewer calories and total fat than the leading cream cheese. All natural and kosher have both been reported as important factors in consumers’ purchase choices, and Blue Isle is both natural and OU Kosher certified.
While the health benefits of Blue Isle are clear, the delicious flavor and mouth-watering texture are the real factors for this category innovation. Blue Isle is the over-achieving cousin to traditional cream cheese. Creamy, rich, and comforting, Blue Isle is a product that needs to be experienced. The spreads can be used as an alternative to cream cheese spread, a dip, in cooking, or as an exotic “good for you” treat.
Blue Isle is available in the following flavors:
Blue Isle will be available soon in the following US stores: Harmon’s, Mollie Stone’s, Central Market, Fiesta Mart, The Fresh Market, New Seasons, H-E-B, Lucky, Fred Meyer, QFC, at natural food stores and better supermarkets nationwide. Suggested retail price is $3.29 for an 8-ounce tub.
Blue Isle is distributed by Karoun Dairies, Inc., a second-generation family business with multiple awards for excellence in the cheese and dairy industry. Accolades include World Cheese Awards, World Championship Cheese medals, U.S. Championships, American Cheese Society medals, and California State Fair awards to name a few. Karoun produces some of California’s finest specialty cheeses; using century-old and handmade methods. All 130+ SKUs are made from ultra-premium ingredients, including premium milk from cows that are free of artificial hormones, BGH/rBST, and are Real California Milk certified.
Visit booth #566 at the Summer Fancy Food Show June 29 -July 1 at the Jacob Javits Center, where Karoun Dairies will showcase many delectable cheeses and yogurts as well as offer samples of Blue Isle’s brand new smooth and creamy Mediterranean Yogurt Spreads.
Jarlsberg® can now be enjoyed anytime, anywhere. Jarlsberg Minis elevate grab-and-go snacking to a gourmet level with their premium quality and mild, mellow and nutty flavor.
Jarlsberg Minis come packaged in eye-catching 100g bags containing five 20g Minis, for easy deli merchandising. Each Mini has been dipped in wax and wrapped in cellophane – replicating the popular Jarlsberg wheel.
Jarlsberg Minis perfectly suit the needs of today’s busy consumer with hectic schedules who snack more frequently but want healthier options. All natural and just 70 calories per piece, Jarlsberg Minis are a good source of calcium and protein.
The product will have full in-store merchandising support plus an ongoing multi-faceted marketing program. Visit www.jarlsbergusa.com to learn more.
Few desserts are as timeless and quintessentially American as the frosty ice cream cone. However, with specialty food companies today crafting everything from riesling and poached pear sorbet to doppelbock bacon ale ice cream to ice pops infused with kiwi, avocado and spinach puree, it is clear that the world of frozen desserts has gone positively gourmet. Check out these companies putting their unique spins on American classics.
1. Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Pops. Forget your traditional frozen fruit bar. Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Pops are made with only three simple ingredients: fruit, water and a touch of organic cane sugar. They are all-natural, free of dairy, fat and gluten, non-GMO and have only 13-15 grams of sugar per serving. At just 60 calories, Chloe’s Pops are guilt-free fun on a stick.
2. Denali Flavors. Michigan-based Denali Flavors, Inc. is one of the leading inventors and marketers of specialty flavors for the ice cream industry, including its signature flavor: Moose Tracks®. Today, the product line consists of more than 30 flavors, including Caramel Caribou® (toffee ice cream with caramel) and Bear Claw® (dark chocolate with cashews).
3. Graeter’s. Artisan ice cream company Graeter’s is the only commercial enterprise to make all of its ice creams using a traditional small batch French pot process. The result is an irresistible creaminess. The company’s attention to detail even translates to the packaging process where nearly 20,000 pints are carefully packed by hand each day.
4. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. The team at sofi Award-winning Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams has truly elevated ice cream to an art form. The company’s product line incorporates a slew of unique ingredients, including rosemary, whiskey, lavender, goat cheese, sweet potatoes, cedarwood, cardamom and more. Jeni’s also offers signature sauces, ice cream sandwiches and gravels (crunch condiments).
5. Ruby Rocket’s. Ruby Rocket’s fruit and vegetable ice pops are a refreshing, all-natural snack. These healthy pops are gluten-free, dairy-free, and non-GMO. With less than 35 calories and 2 grams of sugar per pop, these treats are a healthier and delicious way to satisfy any summertime sweet tooth. Ruby Rocket’s are available in three delicious flavors.
6. Salt & Straw. Based in Portland, Ore., the team at Salt & Straw pride themselves on supporting their local community and celebrating Oregon in their flavors and ingredients. The company’s unique product line includes one-of-a-kind flavors such as Lumberjack Stack (blueberry pancakes with maple syrup), honey balsamic strawberry with cracked black pepper and Oregon pear with blue cheese.
7. Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto. Talenti® recently announced the launch of three delicious new gelato flavors that reinvent classic American desserts: caramel apple pie, fudge brownie and raspberries and cream. Talenti’s newest additions to its growing line of gelatos remind us that America’s favorite sweet treats are just as good enjoyed as delicious frozen desserts.
8. TEA•RRIFIC! ICE CREAM. The goal of TEA•RRIFIC! ICE CREAM is to craft the finest all-natural tea-infused ice creams using only the best ingredients sourced locally and from around the globe. The company keeps it simple, while delivering a distinctly delicious ice cream experience that is flavorful, creamy, finishes clean off the palate and leaves you wanting more.
9. Velvet Ice Cream. Family-owned and operated, Velvet produces more than five million gallons of ice cream every year from its Ohio headquarters. The company celebrates its 100th anniversary on May 1. Velvet honors old fashioned tradition with its classic ice cream products and flavors, such as Buckeye Classic, peach cobbler and Italian spumoni.
10. Yasso Greek Frozen Yogurt. Made with only natural ingredients, Yasso Greek Frozen Yogurt Bars feature real Greek yogurt, rBST-free milk and natural sweeteners, Yasso is a great low-calorie frozen treat filled with protein and containing little to no fat. Yasso currently offers bars in 11 delicious flavors, and products can be found at major grocery and club stores nationwide.