Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Super Food Ball Bowl!

Hello Wheatsville Sports Fans! (and all you non-sports fans, too!)

This weekend is the Super Bowl which rightly or wrongly has become it's own sort of national holiday. We try and have fun with it and provide some delicious snacking opportunities for those that partake. Whatever you are doing this weekend, I hope you have a swell time!

Scroll down for:
Super Bowl party game day food choices!
Brie stories
Introducing Dewberry Farms
Barbara's bakes!

Ready for the Superbowl?
Well, come on in and stock up on your party favorites! This week we will have lots of tailgate items in the Deli for you to take home: our award-winning vegan Tempeh Chili, Hot Wings made with Buddy's Natural Chicken, plus  Blue Cheese Dressing to go with them, Popcorn Tofu platters with carrot and celery sticks, plus Vegan Chipotle Mayo for dipping, Lil' Cheddar Meatloaf Muffins, 16 oz containers of Cashew-Tamari Dressing for crudite dipping, bacon-laced Baked Potato Salad, vegan Baked Beans, and lots more!

Spread formation
We'll also have our usual spreads in stock: Walnut Pecan Pate, Garbanzo Bean Spread, Pimiento Cheese, Vegan Queso… plus seven tasty salsas to vie for your chippage! We'll have our standard mild Salsa Casera, medium Chipotle Salsa, hot Pico de Gallo, plus Roasted Pineapple Salsa, Salsa Verde, Ancho Bomb Salsa, and Roasted Tomato Salsa for the Superbowl! Mix and match your favorites for a colorful array, varying in spiciness!
To ensure we have what you're looking for, feel free to call ahead to the Deli and place your order!
From The Land of Cheese
Brie is a soft cow milk cheese that originated in the Brie region of France. It has a buttery texture and nutty flavor. Brie is traditionally made with raw milk and aged for a period of four to five weeks. Unfortunately, government regulation requires any cheeses made with raw milk, to be aged at least 60 days. So, that means you have to go to France if you want to eat true Brie. The outside of the Brie is covered with a white mold (penicillium candidum) and is meant to be eaten. Brie tends to have butterfat content around 45%. Then you have double cream bries like Fromage D' Affinios that have a butterfat content around 60% and triple cream bries such as Saint Andres with a butterfat content of 75%. Brie can be eaten with crackers, or crusty bread. Fruits and nuts, like pistachios and pears, would make a great accompaniment. A subtle red wine, like a Pinot Noir or a dry and lively white wine, like a nice Champagne. Quince paste or fruit preserves could be served along with the Brie.
From Bryan, our Butcher
Wheatsville and Dewberry Hills Farm are a match made in heaven. Terry and Jane Leven of Dewberry Hills Farm approached Wheatsville a few months ago with an offer to raise local (Lexington,Texas), tasty, perfectly sized, pasture raised chickens for us and our customers. After I did some reading about the farm and operations, plus some research with my favorite BBQ sauce, I was impressed. The care taken while raising these birds really shows though the entire process; from daily pen moves to new areas of the pasture, quick inspection and processing done right on the farm, and even in the final processing when the legs are tucked neatly together. This little extra step saves time for the consumer in the kitchen since many recipes call for the legs to be tied back, or "trussed". 

Let's be crystal clear here, these birds aren't simply a surplus of animals that need to be sold. No, these fine fowl are raised specifically for Wheatsville and only Wheatsville. This is something that is nearly impossible for other grocery stores to duplicate. Three months in, the results speak for themselves: #6 in sales in the meat case! The success of Dewberry Hills chickens are due in part because they are locally raised and partly because they're the freshest birds you can buy in any grocery store in town. If your eyes haven't spied these great little birds they are located in the back part of the case behind the Buddy's chicken pieces.

Want more? How about some staff testimonials….

"The quality and freshness of the Dewberry birds cannot be beat, ensuring moist, succulent, and delicious chicken time after time." -- Johnny Livesay

"These are one of the best buys in the meat case. I eat at least one each week. Dewberry Hills' local, pastured chickens are finger-licking good out of the oven or off the grill with minimal seasoning. I've converted vegetarians to omnivores with these chickens and a little barbeque sauce."--Mike Crissey

"These birds are so fresh and clean! They are oven-ready, with the wings tucked under and legs bound for even browning. Dewberry Hills chickens are a pleasure to roast, a breeze to carve, and a delight to eat! They are tender and juicy, with skin that crisps up beautifully and unbeatable flavor." -- Merilee Kuchon

"Those are d**m good chickens."--Ralf Hernandez

I've pulled the FAQ page from the Dewberry Hills Farm website so Jane & Terry can explain in their own words what makes their birds great. Want to learn more? Visit

Which chicken is best: Natural, Organic, or Pastured?

Buying the best healthiest and best tasting chicken shouldn't be this confusing.

USDA guidelines specify that a chicken may be designated as natural if it does not contain artificial flavoring, coloring ingredients, chemical preservatives or any other synthetic ingredients. The USDA certification is minimal at best and offers no guarantee that the chicken hasn't been fed antibiotics or growth enhancers and raised in a confinement house. All it addresses is the finished product and any conventionally raised chicken may be designated as natural.

Organic chickens differ in that their feed must be certified as organic and may not contain growth enhancers or antibiotics. However, there is absolutely no guarantee that an organic chicken will ever be allowed in a pasture. Whenever you see eggs or chickens labeled as vegetarian, you can be sure that the chicken has never ventured outside as bugs are a natural source of a chicken's diet.

Pastured chickens are raised outside in moveable field pens with constant access to fresh air and grass. Many people are not aware that grasses are an integral part of a healthy chickens diet and help generate essential Omega three fatty acids. Grass also plays a big role in the delicious flavor of our birds.

As our chickens have ample space and a clean living environment, we do not need to pump them full of antibiotics to keep them alive. We do provide a supplemental feed ration of locally raised grain and trace minerals.

Why do your chickens cost more?

Actually when you compare the cost of our chickens to those available at the industrial organic supermarkets, we are more economical. However, pastured poultry is much more labor intensive. Our pens are moved daily. Our chickens are constantly monitored to ensure the best possible living conditions and fed the highest quality grains. This all takes work.

It is important to consider the hidden costs of confinement house chickens which are many: the cost in fossil fuels to raise, process and transport the meat, the cost for the laborers who work in confinement houses, the cost to the environment and, perhaps most importantly, the cost to you in terms of your health.

If you are what you eat, it stands to reason that you are what your food eats.

How are your chickens processed?

As part of our total commitment to the chicken and to you, we process all our birds' right here on the farm in an inspected processing building. Massive amounts of chicken and beef have been recalled from major processing factories over the past five years because of salmonella and E. coli contamination because of unsanitary conditions. Poultry may be abused- left in cages for days without food or water or badly mishandled. I'll spare you all the details my research has revealed but it is truly horrific.

We want to make sure that the birds receive the most compassionate care possible, from the time they hatch to the day of their departure.

Here's a recipe from a local chef, Chris Wilson, son of Debbie Wilson, a great friend to Wheatsville who writes about our products in her Blog from time to time. This fantastic recipe is a great way to prepare a 90% locally produced chicken dinner (no local parsley right now). Thanks Deb & Chris!

In The Grocery Aisle
Barbara's Bakes Cheese Puffs:
I've recently rediscovered my love for Barbara's Bakes while searching for the perfect natural snack.  The identifiable flavors of real aged cheddar and blue cheeses are a perfect mix. My children love them too. I think any of us could eat a whole bag. Also available in white cheddar, I don't think there is a comparable cheese puff on the market. For info on this and other Barbara's Bakery products, go to
-Justin Merrifield, Grocery Buyer

Have a great week!
Dan Gillotte
Wheatsville GM and e-mail guy