Welcome to our February Box
We have carefully curated and hand selected each product, and have met each farmer and maker to be sure their products are delicious and their business practices align with SacTown Bites' philosophy. We think of this as a 'food tour in a box' where you get to taste some of the best products from the Sacramento Valley delivered right to your door. We look for organic ingredients that are sustainably grown and try to partner with smaller purveyors that make excellent products, although they may be lesser known in the marketplace. We have provided you with details about each product and partner, as well as some informative videos. So let's begin!
North Fork Chai – Newcastle, California
This small batch granola comes from North Fork Chai in Newcastle, just south of Auburn. North Fork Chai has a cute little cafe specializing in Chai beverages and they make their chai concentrate in-house. Chai tea is a traditional beverage from Southeast Asia, that has become very popular here in the states. Chai has a distinct flavor due to the spices that are aromatic and warming, such as cardamom, cloves, pepper and of course tea. With its popularity you can now get everything from Chai lattes to Chai Ice Cream. This brings us to the Chai Granola featured in our February Box. Co-Owner Chelsea has created this unique granola using her signature chia concentrate, oats and nuts to make a tasty upgrade to your morning bowl.
Barrel Aged Organic Champagne Vinegar
Kimberley Wine Vinegars – Acampo, California
I am a strong believer in having a solid pantry of high quality goods on hand to pull meals together without last minute shopping runs or regrets. Having a good aged balsamic is a must for quick salad dressings or drizzling on roasted Brussels sprouts. An inexpensive red wine vinegar is always handy to liven up a soup or slaw with some acidity. We keep apple cider vinegar on hand as well for a variety of uses, including homemade ranch dressing and adding to pancake batters to create vegan ‘buttermilk’ pancakes. Lastly, a really good white vinegar is a must for an elegant vinaigrette or a quick meal of steamed mussels.
The champagne vinegar we feature this month comes from Kimberley Wine Vinegars in Acampo, California. Acampo is right near Lodi in Central California. Many people do not know that Lodi is a huge grape growing region, and in fact supplies grapes to many, many Napa Valley wineries. And as owner, Tom Alexander says, good vinegar begins with good wine. Kimberley Wine Vinegars not only uses great wine in their process, they also follow the French Orleans method and barrel age all of their vinegars. Learn more about this process by reading our blog post here.
White Basmati Rice
Rue & Forsman Ranch – Rio Oso, California
Am I the only one that gets excited about sustainably grown rice?! I admit, it’s not the sexiest topic. But the fact that California produces 90% of the US’s medium grain or Japonica rice harvest is pretty impressive. Most of which (97%) is grown right here in the Sacramento Valley. There are only a few regions in the world that have similar characteristics, such as clay soil, and a Mediterranean climate, that makes it the perfect habitat to grow certain varieties of rice. The 550,000 acres of rice fields, that are like bathtubs filled with water, provide habitat for migratory birds. Rice growing has become an integral component in our ecosystem.
Family owned Rue & Forsman, growers of the basmati rice in this month’s box are on the forefront of sustainable farming. They use high-tech to grow and harvest all their rice. You can learn more about owner Michael Bosworth and Rue & Forsman by reading our blog post here.
We chose their basmati rice because we love how light and fluffy and aromatic it is. It is not just for Indian cooking either. I do love Indian food and cooking and you can read more about it here. Get experimental and pair your basmati rice with grilled kabobs, or roasted salmon or make this easy weeknight slow cooker chicken and rice casserole.
Elderflower Cordial And Wild Berry Syrup
The Cloverleaf Farm – Dixon, California
This organic botanical cordial derived from Elderberry flowers comes from a little 8 acre Farm called The Cloverleaf Farm just outside of Davis. This syrup is a natural paired with gin, but also makes a great mocktail. You can even bake with it...think lemon-elderflower cupcakes.
The Wild Berry Syrup, also from The Cloverleaf Farm, packs a berry punch that is sweet and tart with earthy undertones. It’s made in small batches and is perfect paired with pancakes, drizzled on ice cream or mixed with club soda to make a refreshing beverage.I love supporting this small farm and all that they do, which includes a CSA Box and Ugly Fruit Club. They practice regenerative principles including no-till, rotational grazing, and cover-cropping. Look for them at the Sunday Farmers Market (check location before you go, as the market has temporarily relocated to Arden due to construction) under the freeway in Sacramento.
Chocolate Caramel Pretzels
My Chocolate Affair, Sacramento, California
We always like to include a treat of some sort in each box. This month we went big! These big little, sweet bombs come from woman-owned My Chocolate Affair. Each pretzel is dipped generously in caramel, then dipped in milk chocolate, then drizzled with white chocolate. They are delicious and addicting.