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The latest in fresh produce news

Market Outlook

Produce Express

Market Outlook - April 19, 2012

fromage-blancFromage Blanc

Orland Farmstead Creamery is currently milking 25 cows that graze freely on 40 acres of grass. They follow organic practices and do not use pesticides or hormones. The milk is minimally pasteurized and is hand made in small batches

Orland Farmstead Creamery

This week we are introducing and offering a locally made cheese-Orland Farmstead Fromage Blanc. The dairy, located in Orland, Ca. uses fresh, raw milk from their small herd of Holstein cows to produce this cheese. The milk is first pasteurized at the dairy, an active lactose culture is added, then vegetable rennet to coagulate the curd-standard cheese making procedures. The fresh cheese is bagged and hung on racks where the whey and curd separate, then the curd is strained into containers, the entire process taking 36 hours. Fromage Blanc is a soft, creamy spreadable cheese originating in northern France, where it is more commonly known as fromage frais-'fresh cheese'-fromage blanc means 'white cheese'.

This fresh cheese has a distinct tangy flavor with a mild lemon finish. It can be easily substituted for cream cheese or ricotta in both sweet and savory dishes. In France, it most often appears on menus simply served with honey. However, the cheese is very versatile and can be used in dozens of culinary applications-spread on crackers, bagels, toast and bruschetta; broiled on top of sourdough bread; used in frittatas and other egg dishes; added to pastas and pizzas; served with smoked salmon; paired with fresh fruits-apples, pears and strawberries and would be excellent in cheesecakes. Orland Farmstead Fromage Blanc is available is 32 oz. tubs-$8.75- and has a 4-5 week shelf life.

Local Strawberries

strawberry-2Local strawberries-the red, ripe variety that you see in the farmer's markets around town-are available this week and we have arranged for a couple of these growers to bring them to us on a daily basis after the morning harvest. They are available only by the 12 basket case. These strawberries are very sweet and are distinct from the much more common strawberries that we receive from large growers in Oxnard and Watsonville. Due to the manner in which the berries are picked, it is important that our restaurant customers consider and understand that the local strawberries do not have the same shelf life-one or two days-as the commercial strawberries and are meant to be used immediately. Initially, we will be bringing in a limited number of flats until the market is established and, if we sell out, we will substitute the Cal-Giant brand that we receive from Watsonville.

Local Albion Strawberries-case only-$20.75.