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Sierra Nevada Cheese Company Expands Graziers Yogurt Line

Sierra Nevada Cheese Company has introduced two new flavors to its Graziers line of Whole Milk Grass-Fed Yogurts. Mixed Berry and Lemon join a line that already includes Plain, Vanilla, Strawberry and Vanilla in 6-ounce cups and Plain and Vanilla in 24-ounce cups.

Sierra Nevada Grass-Fed Yogurts for webThe milk that’s used to make the Graziers Yogurts, like the milk that makes the company’s Graziers Cheeses, which are offered in Raw Medium Cheddar, Raw Monterey Jack, Raw Sharp Cheddar and Raw Jalapeno Jack, is sourced from northern California family dairy farms that have their cows – an average of about 100 cows per farm – on pasture for about 335 days a year. The farmers use intensive rotational grazing to keep the cattle moving from one small lot to another every day to ensure that the cows are always eating grasses with the highest nutritional quality to provide optimal nutritional value for the milk they produce. Cows fed on this kind of intensively managed pasture produce milk that’s much higher in conjugated linoleic acid, an Omega-6 fatty acid that’s thought to have positive health effects, than the milk from grain-fed cows. This kind of pasture management has also been shown to benefit the environment by reducing soil erosion and increasing carbon sequestration, the ability of the soil to capture and hold carbon so that it is not released as carbon dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas.

The Graziers yogurts are made from whole milk that’s non-homogenized, so that a layer of cream forms on the top of every cup. The fruit is organic, in keeping with the company’s clean ingredients philosophy.

Meat with a French Accent from Fabrique Delices

By Lorrie Baumann

FabriqueDelices_CharcuterieBoard5With more than 100 different cooked and cured charcuterie products, including pates, mousses, duck confit and duck rillettes, as well as sausages and boudins, Fabrique Délices has earned its place as one of the USA’s premier producers of artisanal French-style meat products.

“We do products for chefs to cook with and products that are ready to serve,” says Sébastien Espinasse, Fabrique Délices’ Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We believe that if we do quality food, the chef will recognize that and put their stamp on the product. They put our food on their menu, and that is a big recognition to us…. When you come from a foreign country to the U.S., when you have a French restaurant, you try to recreate the food you had at home, and the most important part is to find the ingredients.”

Fabrique Délices makes all of its products in California’s Bay Area, from pork that comes from Iowa, chicken from Mary’s Free Range Chickens and pasture-raised lamb from New Zealand. “The recipes are traditional and authentic. We are not trying to Americanize the product, to tweak the recipe to suit American tastes so we can sell more product,” Espinasse says. “This is the closest to French tradition you can find in the U.S. We want to keep doing it.”

FabriqueDelices_RillettesAmerica’s free-wheeling food culture that allows for fusions like kosher Korean tacos and barbecue brisket banh mi might tempt other meat processors to innovate their recipes to create products that would be unrecognizable to Fabrique Delices’ founders, who started the company in 1989 as a subsidiary of French pate producer SAPAR, which was established in Me aux, France, in 1920. But Fabrique Délices has stayed true to its original mission to recreate traditional French charcuterie in the United States, Espinasse says. “We don’t want to compromise the product. This is our identity,” he says. “The market is so wide open that sometimes you can lose your head and do many things, but at the end of the day, you need to keep your focus and do what you do best…. Mostly what we try to do is whenever we put a recipe together, you put the protein in your mouth, and it goes up in your head, and it brings back memories of your childhood with the flavor, and if the flavor is approved by your mind, then you say, ‘This is what we need.’ We grew up with these products so it is very important to keep it like this.”

“We don’t use preservatives, artificial ingredients, MSG, any of that,” he adds. “We use the real spices, no extracts. Sometimes you can have some variation: when you use cayenne pepper, sometimes there is variation from one year to the other, and sometimes people notice it. In the U.S., people are very sensitive to change. Artisan products, sometimes this is the way it is.”

Authenticity and quality are so important to Espinasse that he’s now organizing an American Charcuterie Society to promote those values. “I’m going to try to push it through and get some retailers, some distributors, manufacturers, maybe put a party together and try to move forward,” he says. “We are a group of people and we are going to try to move this forward because we need to grow the charcuterie industry, and the only way we can grow charcuterie is for the whole industry together.”

Those who are interested in being part of the American Charcuterie Society should contact Espinasse at sebastien@charcuteriesociety.org.

Get Crazy About Walnuts with Crazy Go Nuts

By Lorrie Baumann

Crazy Go Nuts offers a line of flavorful coated walnuts with front-of-package labeling them as “loaded with Omega 3s.” Walnuts in general have more Omega 3s per ounce than salmon, according to CMO Courtney Carini. They’re coated in all natural foods. “When you see ‘banana,’ that’s actually banana,” she says.

It’s ALA, and it’s the density of Omega 3s that counts. “Flaxseed has more, but nobody eats an ounce of flaxseed,” says David Wolfe, co-Founder and CEO. “Our main thing is clean labels and simple ingredients. More and more consumers are demanding that, and because walnuts are so healthy, we try not to weigh them down with nonsense.”

All Jars_shadow“We try not to ride solely on health benefits,” adds Carini. “Walnuts are so delicious, and we want people to enjoy them.”

There are currently nine flavors of the nuts: Banana, Orange, Coconut, Chocolate Espresso, Oatmeal Cookie, Garlic Parmesan, Buffalo, Rosemary Pink Salt and a plain salted flavor that’s slightly mis-labeled “Boring.”

Banana Walnuts_shadowNuts are packaged in three sizes: 1.5-ounce grab and go, 4.5-ounce and an 8-ounce resealable bag for the pantry. They retail for $6.99 for the 8-ounce bag, $4.49 for the 4.5-ounce bag and $1.99 for the 1.5-ounce bag.

All the same flavors are offered in jarred butters, except that there, the Rosemary Pink Salt becomes Sage and Rosemary. All of the butters are low sugar. “Our goal is always to have the cleanest ingredients and the simplest flavors,” says Wolfe. These are packaged in 9-ounce jars that retail for $6.99.

Both the butters and the packaged nuts will work as an accompaniment for a cheese platter, and most of the butters will work as a smoothie ingredient as well as a spread. They’re currently sold in specialty retailers around the country, with large retailer distribution starting this fall in California and then spreading from there.

The company has been in operation for four years, but expanded into a new production facility in central California late last year. “We’ve been learning and getting better ever since, but we’re still new,” Wolfe says. “We have significant capacity, but we haven’t been in business for 30 years, and we’re just hitting our stride…. There’s a lot of interest in the brand. It’s being described as ‘whimsical.’ It’s not a word that I would use, but it represents us pretty well.”

The company started as “a whim” in Los Angeles, with two people managing it out of an apartment, and has grown from there. “We started going to Walnut Board meetings,” Wolfe says, and “We met with several different companies that were interested in investing in us and helping us grow.” That investment helped them grow from their farmers market cottage industry into the new production facility that has enabled them to scale the business to the point at which they’re ready to venture onto the national market.

For more information, email sales@cgnwalnuts.com or info@cgnwalnuts.com.

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