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Entries Open for 2nd Annual San Joaquin Valley Olive Oil Competition

After a remarkably successful first year with 52 entries, The Big Fresno Fair is now accepting entries for the 2nd Annual San Joaquin Valley Olive Oil Competition (SJVOOC). The competition is open to all olive oil producers in the state of California with olive oil made from the most recent olive harvest. Entries are now being accepted; deadline to enter is February 26, 2016.

“Showcasing the quality and variety of top-notch olive oil producers found throughout California has been an incredible addition to our competitive exhibits at The Big Fresno Fair,” said Stacy Rianda, Deputy Manager at The Big Fresno Fair. “We were very happy with last year’s participation and feedback on the competition. This year we look forward to even more entries and the opportunity to, yet again, showcase the olive oil industry to our more than 600,000 fair-goers in October.”

There are two classes for entries: Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Flavored Olive Oil. Competition categories in the Extra Virgin Olive Oil class include: Spanish Blends (arbequina, arbosana, etc.); Spanish Singles; Italian Blends (ascolano, etc.); Italian Singles; Other Blends (picholine, barouni, etc.); Other Singles. Competition categories in the Flavored Olive Oil Class include: Citrus; Herbal (rosemary; basil, etc.); and Other Flavors (chile, jalapeno, garlic, etc.).

Awards will be given out for gold and silver medals in each category, as well as one overall “Best of Show” in both the EVOO category and the Flavored Oil category. Judging will be evaluated and scored as follows:

  • Gold Medal: Awarded to an olive oil that demonstrates its type and/or varietal character, balance, structure and complexities to the highest standards.  Gold Medals will be awarded to those oils receiving scores between 86 – 100 points.
  • Silver Medal: Awarded to an olive oil reflecting the correct distribution of balance and character of its type or variety; an oil deemed to be well crafted and of excellent quality.  Silver Medals will be awarded to those oils receiving scores between 76- 85 points.
  • Best of Show: Awarded to an olive oil recognized to possess special characteristics of the highest quality overall.

Producers may submit multiple entries under one category but may not submit a particular entry to more than one category. All entries must be available for commercial sale at the time of submittal. Entries are due by February 26, 2016 by 4:30 p.m. Judging will be held on March 8, 2016. Judges are all members of the California Olive Oil Council Taste Panel, including internationally-trained panelists some with 15+ years of experience. Winners will be announced on March 17, 2016 by 5:00 p.m.

Gold Medal and Best of Show winners will have the opportunity to have a booth in the Wells Fargo Agricultural Building on both Saturdays and Sundays during the 2016 Big Fresno Fair where they can taste, display and sell their award-winning product. Additionally, educational information will be set up so that fair-goers can learn more about the art of making olive oil, its health benefits, recipes and more.

Each submission must include an entry form, at least two 250 ml bottles of the olive oil with retail labels attached and a $60 non-refundable fee per entry. Entries can be dropped off at The Big Fresno Fair Administration Office or can be shipped to SJVOOC – The Big Fresno Fair, 1121 S. Chance Ave. Fresno, CA 93702 no later than 4:30 p.m. on February 26, 2016. Any entry delivered by mail, freight or express must be prepaid. The Administration Office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for drop-offs.

The Inaugural San Joaquin Olive Oil Competition last year yielded 52 entries from throughout California. Below is a list of the Gold Medal Winners and Best of Show. For a complete 2015 winners list, go to:  http://www.fresnofair.com/sjv-olive-oil-competition

 

Extra Virgin Olive Oils

  • Gold Medal Winners

o   Italian Blends: Bozzano Olive Ranch’s A2 Italian Blend (Stockton)

o   Spanish Singles: The Olive Press’ Picual (Sonoma)

o   Tuscan Blends: Winter Creek Olive Oil’s Ruscello D’Inverno (Winter Creek)

 

Flavored Olive Oils

  • Gold Medal Winners

o   Citrus:

  • Calolea Olive Oil’s Meyer Lemon (Marysville)
  • The Olive Press’ Limonata (Sonoma)

o        Herbal:

  • Coldani Olive Ranch’s Calivirgin Oregano (Lodi)

o   Other Flavors:

  • Coldani Olive Ranch’s Calivirgin Jalapeno Garlic (Lodi)
  • Coldani Olive Ranch’s Calivirgin Serrano (Lodi),
  • Coldani Olive Ranch’s Calivirgin Hot Jalapeno (Lodi)
  • Enzo Olive Oil Company’s Garlic (Clovis)
  • The Olive Press’ Jalapeno (Sonoma)

 

Best Of Show

  • Bozzano Olive Ranch’s A2 Italian Blend (Stockton)
  • Calolea Olive Oil’s Meyer Lemon (Marysville)

 

For more information about the new San Joaquin Valley Olive Oil Competition (SJVOOC), including downloadable entry forms and deadlines, visit www.fresnofair.com/sjv-olive-oil-competition, email questions to srianda@fresnofair.com or call The Big Fresno Fair office at 559.650.FAIR.

The United Family Celebrates 100th Anniversary of United Supermarkets

For The United Family®, 2016 marks a historic year, as United Supermarkets celebrates the chain’s 100th anniversary. What began as United Cash Store in Sayre, Oklahoma in 1916 has grown into a multi-banner, Texas-based grocery chain with 66 stores in 36 communities. Today, The United Family operates United Supermarkets, Market Street, Albertsons Market and Amigos grocery locations, as well as United Express fuel and convenience stores, throughout West Texas, Dallas-Fort Worth and eastern New Mexico.

“Reaching our 100th anniversary is a remarkable accomplishment, and a true testament to the hard work and dedication of all our team members through the years, as well as our loyal guests in each of our communities,” said Robert Taylor, who was appointed CEO of The United Family in 2010. “Most importantly, this celebration is a tribute to the Snell family, because without their vision and leadership, United wouldn’t be the beloved supermarket it is today.”

To commemorate a century of service, The United Family designed an entire year of initiatives to benefit and improve the communities it serves, a core value of the company since it was founded by Henry Dewitt Snell. The company kicked off the yearlong celebration with a birthday party at all 66 stores on January 16 with a give-away of a total of 100,000 free cupcakes.

Also in January, The United Family will launch Shop to Support Schools, a school donation program, which will challenge community members to get involved and help improve the future of local children. In addition, the company will take a bite out of hunger, donating 100,000 pounds of apples to local food banks across the company’s service areas in April.

“The company has been very fortunate for an entire century to have owners as well as leaders who believe in the core value of supporting communities and doing the right thing,” said Taylor. “In honor of that legacy and to kick off our next 100 years, the 100th anniversary of United Supermarkets will be acknowledged and celebrated in each of our 36 communities in Texas and New Mexico.”

United moved to the company’s now headquarter city of Lubbock, Texas in 1956 when Jack Snell, son of H. D. Snell, purchased three Taylor Safeways. The company continued its expansion over the next four decades under the leadership of Jack and his son, Robert, and by 1991, United stores were in 20 communities throughout Texas.

The company’s continued growth into the grocery-chain it is today was spurred by a strategic growth plan adopted in 1998, which called for new stores, innovative concepts, diverse market expansion and self-distribution.

Also in 1998, Market Street, a new concept focused on healthy meal solutions for busy guests, was introduced in Wichita Falls. The company now operates 15 Market Street locations, including seven in Dallas-Fort Worth. United Supermercado, which is now known as Amigos, was the next concept offered by The United Family, opening in Plainview in 2000. Today, four locations provide a blend of traditional and cultural favorites for Hispanic shoppers in the Lubbock and Amarillo areas.

To express appreciation for the many communities that have support the company, beginning May 31, The United Family will celebrate 100 Days of Giving, presenting $1,000 to a different local non-profit for 100 consecutive days, totaling a donation of $100,000. Also during that time, the company will donate 100,000 additional pounds of food to local food banks in June in preparation for fall and winter when donations are needed most. Lastly, before Thanksgiving, The United Family will spread joy to area children’s hospitals in 12 markets by distributing 1,200 special 100th Anniversary stuffed animals.

“With these programs, in addition to dozens of ongoing initiatives, this year will truly be worthy of our 100th anniversary,” said Shelby Crews, Senior Community Relations Manager for The United Family. “Giving back to our guests has always been a cornerstone of United Supermarkets, and that emphasis will continue as The United Family enters its next century.”

The United Family remained a family-owned supermarket chain for 98 years until becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Albertson’s LLC on Dec. 27, 2013. In order to take advantage of operational and distribution opportunities, Albertsons realigned 12 locations under The United Family. These stores now operate as Albertsons Market stores in Midland-Odessa, San Angelo and eastern New Mexico.

Red Duck Foods Flies East

Red Duck Foods has just launched its cocktail sauce at all East Coast Wegmans. The cocktail sauce stays true to its roots with an epicurean edge and the recipe honors the purity of the bounty of the ocean. Crafted with fresh horseradish and a unique spice blend, the cocktail sauce is balanced with a splash of lemon juice that brings out the best flavors in your favorite seafood.

Oregon condiment maker Red Duck Foods was founded in Eugene, Oregon, though now located in Portland, Oregon, by three University of Oregon students on the belief that regular condiments didn’t cut the mustard. Red Duck Ketchup, the company’s first product line, dares to elevate the popular condiment by using high-quality, organic ingredients. With five inventive flavors including, Original, Smoky, Spicy, Curry and a rotating seasonal flavor, Red Duck Ketchup complements dishes from burgers and fries to grilled lamb and baked oysters. In 2015, Red Duck expanded its product list and introduced cocktail sauce to the condiments line. Red Duck’s products focus on using honest ingredients while providing a unique twist on familiar flavors.

Les Trois Petits Cochons on Trend with Terrine de Saumon et Kale

Terrine de Saumon et Kale from Les Trois Petits Cochons, makers of authentic artisanal pâté and charcuterie, is a terrine of wild-caught salmon and fresh kale.  This new Terrine de Saumon et Kale was just introduced at the Winter Fancy Food Show. It’s part of the brand’s seafood line and has no preservatives or colorings. It is best enjoyed with dry, sparkling white wine with a subtle creamy and nutty flavor or light-bodied red wine with earthy notes.  The terrine is available in 5.5-ounce packages at specialty food markets nationwide.

Walkers Shortbread Now Offering Gluten Free Portion Packs and Holiday Assortment

Walkers showcased its new gluten-free offerings at the Winter Fancy Food Show. The gluten-free line includes Walkers’ conveniently sized, all-natural Pure Butter and Chocolate Chip Shortbread portion packs and Holiday Shortbread Assortment.

Gluten Free aficionados will enjoy the new offerings that feature Walkers Pure Butter and Chocolate Chip Shortbread Rounds. Each portion pack conveniently hosts two shortbread cookies making it a satisfying snack to enjoy while on-the-go. The new Gluten Free holiday assortment brings Walkers back to the festivities for those that have had to give up gluten.

Walkers Gluten Free Shortbread debuted to critical acclaim, the first adaption to the Walkers traditional shortbread recipe in 118 years. The line replaces wheat flour with a blend of rice flour, maize flour, and potato starch, while retaining the same butter and sugar content as the traditional shortbreads. With less than 20 parts per million of gluten, Walkers Gluten Free Shortbread meets the FDA standard for gluten free food, with every batch tested to ensure compliance before its release. The line contains no genetically modified ingredients or hydrogenated fats, and is vegetarian and Kosher OUD. Walkers promises the pure butter taste and texture you love, just without the gluten.

Bixby Bars Honored with Good Food Award

Recognized for its dedication to handcrafted natural and organic craft candy snack bars, Bixby & Co. announces it is a recipient of the prestigious 2016 Good Food Award™ in the confections category.
BixbyBixby founder Kate McAleer accepted the award in San Francisco on January 15 for its Nutty for You organic craft candy snack bar. The awards ceremony featured 800 people including farmers, chefs, journalists, and activists united to honor exceptional food crafters, including such luminaries as Alice Waters, Nell Newman and Slow Food Founder Carlo Petrini.
The Good Food Awards, a collaboration between the nonprofit Seedling Projects and a broad community of food producers, food writers and passionate food lovers, celebrates companies and products that represent the forefront of American craft food. The organization requires that products not only taste delicious, but also are respectful of the environment, and connected to communities and cultural traditions.
“We’ve always believed that great taste and socially responsible production should go hand-in-hand,” said Kate McAleer. “We’ve made responsibility, innovation and quality the centerpieces of our business, and we are happy for this recognition.”
Bixby Bars – Everything BUT Traditional
Bixby barUnlike other chocolate bars, Bixby Bars are noted for their protein and fiber content,dedication to the highest quality ingredients and distinctive flavor profiles, such as Birdie (dark chocolate, sweet currant, hazelnut and Maine sea salt); Whippersnapper (blueberry, black pepper, dark chocolate and walnut); To the Nines (white chocolate, goji berry, cardamom, pistachio and almond); Nutty for You (dark chocolate, peanuts and Maine sea salt); and others. To view all of Bixby’s unique flavors, visit BixbyCo.com.
Manufactured in a historic refurbished ice factory on the waterfront in scenic Rockland, Maine, the organic Nutty for You bar was singled out by the Good Food Awards for its superior taste, nutritional value and commitment to social responsibility. According to McAleer, the 1.5-ounce Nutty for You bar has five times as much protein (5g/serving) and four times as much fiber (3g/serving) as most standard candy bars. In addition to its organic certification, the Nutty for You bar also is certified Kosher, Non-GMO Verified, certified Gluten Free, and Rain Forest Alliance™ certified. All Bixby Bars are made without corn syrup, palm oil, artificial flavors, artificial colors, preservatives or additives.

Pernicious Pickling Co. Honored with 2016 Good Food Award

Pernicious Pickling Co. was named a 2016 Good Food Award winner in the Pickles division. The winners of the Good Food Award represent the forefront of American craft food, making products that are “delicious, respectful of the environment, and connected to communities and cultural traditions.” This is a national award with winners from 33 states that were amongst almost 2,000 entries. Winners were processed in a blind tasting with 203 judges held in September 2015.

Winners were announced Thursday evening, January 15, at a star-studded ceremony and gala at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, featuring luminaries Alice Waters, Nell Newman and Slow Food Founder, Carlo Petrini.

“It is an incredible honor to be recognized and win such a prestigious award,” said Kendra Coggin & Baron Conway, co-founders of Pernicious Pickling Co. “The award represents everything we stand for in our desire to create great tasting and memorable pickles that use the best possible ingredients.”

Pernicious Pickling Co.’s winning entry, Fashionably Dill Pickled Red Beets, are a nod to Eastern European flavors with dill in a sweet and salty brine, enhancing the rich, earthy tones of the beet.

White Balsamic Pearls from Italian Foods Corp.

Italian Foods Corporation introduced white balsamic pearls at the 2016 Winter Fancy Food Show, making it easy to bring the fun–and gourmet flair–of molecular gastronomy to American tables.

The new Romantica® white balsamic pearls are translucent, jelly-like spheres of white balsamic vinegar that are a made through the science of molecular gastronomy, said Francesca Lapiana-Krause, General Manager. The white pearls were added because of the interest in the black balsamic pearls Italian Foods Corporation began importing last year, Lapiana-Krause said.

The pearls also have been repackaged. The clear 1.75 ounce jars are topped with sleek metal lids embossed with Italian Foods Corporation’s sun face logo and wrapped in a white sleeve with the red heart that is the Romantica brand icon, Lapiana-Krause said. The sleeve leaves the sides of the jars exposed so consumers can see the tiny vinegar globes within.

Balsamic vinegar pearls deliver small bursts of sweet-tart vinegar flavor and add visual interest to dishes ranging from cocktails to dessert, Lapiana-Krause said. They pair especially well with salads, fish and meat courses, fruit desserts, or can serve as a pretty garnish, she said.

The balsamic pearls have a suggested retail price of $12.99. More information is available by calling 1.888.516.7262 or online at http://www.ItalianFoods.com and https://www.Facebook.com/LaPianaItalianFoods.

Face Rock Creamery Releases Clothbound Cheddar

Face RockFace Rock Creamery announces the first allocation of its premium clothbound cheddar. The 14-month aged cheddar is available from the Face Rock website and through select retail locations including New Seasons and Market of Choice in Oregon and Washington.

“Clothbound cheddar is a rare tradition for American cheesemakers, especially in the West,” shares Face Rock Head Cheesemaker Brad Sinko. “It’s a process that requires equal parts quality ingredients, patience and no small amount of alchemy. Aging cheese reveals the quality of the milk we use, and the terroir of Oregon’s southern coast comes through in a rich, slightly grassy and nutty flavor.”

Sinko’s toolkit is simple – milk, salt and cultures. While most clothbound cheddars are formed into blocks, Face Rock forms its cheese into a wheel.  And rather than coat the cloth binding with traditional lard or olive oil to promote the development of a porous rind that releases moisture, Sinko uses butter that he makes in house with the same milk that goes into Face Rock cheese.

Aging cheddar dramatically intensifies flavor and transforms the cheese into a creamy, slightly crumbly texture with small pockets of crunchy cheese crystals. After 14 months in a carefully controlled cave environment, Face Rock’s clothbound cheddar presents as a rich and exquisitely flaky cheese that delivers complex flavor. The deep creamy yellow hue of the cheese is the visual indicator of decadent high-quality butterfat content.

Butterfat quality is at the heart of any cheese’s flavor, and is linked directly to a dairy cow’s feed. Face Rock sources its milk from a single herd of Holstein, Brown Swiss and Jersey cows that graze year-round on nutrient-dense pastures located on Oregon’s rugged south coast, where nature simply has to work harder.

Anchor Packaging Wins Sustainability Award

Anchor Packaging won the 2016 Sustainability Award Certificate of Merit from the World Packaging Organization (WPO). This sustainability award for the Embraceable™ platter and dome follows the prestigious 2016 World Star Packaging Award for this product announced last month. The Embraceable package also won the 2015 AmeriStar Design Excellence Award and the Best New Product in Foodservice by Convenience Store News.

WPO judges awarded Anchor a high sustainability score for responsible raw material sourcing and reduction, energy optimization, and recovery that includes reusability, recyclability, and ease of disposal.

WorldStar Sustainability Cert_Embraceable2The Embraceable black platter is an 11” x 8” oval designed and patented with a locator ring in the bottom to hold a standard 8-ounce squat paper food container. This popular serving size for chili, soups, oatmeal, grits, mac & cheese, and many other items often accompanies a main dish, sandwich, or salad. The clear, anti-fog, vented PP lid contains an integral sealing flange that forms a lid over the paper container at the same time that it forms a leak-resistant seal on the platter. This seal eliminates the lid for the paper container, which saves expense and reduces the amount of packaging consumed, thereby reducing carbon footprint. It also improves consumer convenience, as the meal travels in one container, rather than two.

Both base and dome work well for hot foods held under heat lamps, chilled ready-to-heat meals in the microwave, and for assorted hot and cold food applications, thus reducing SKUs. The strong and durable, cut-resistant black PP base withstands temperatures up to 230°F. Bases are made with natural mineral additives reducing the use of petroleum-based resin by 40%. Elimination of the extra lid for the paper container also demonstrates your environmental commitment to reduce waste.

Anchor Packaging’s products include affordable, upscale, to-go packaging to merchandise prepared ready-to-heat meals in supermarkets, and takeout meals offered by restaurants and other foodservice operations. Anchor’s unique product line includes stock and custom rigid packaging, as well as a broad line of cling film wraps.

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