Market Musings Blog

Locally-loaded potato soup

Looking over this week’s deals, a meal idea jumped out at us – Mashed potato soup, loaded with local ingredients! Read more …

Warm breakfast ideas

I had a realization this week. I looked down at my staple summer breakfast -a bowl of fruit, yogurt and granola- and was no longer satisfied. It just wasn’t what I wanted anymore. I wanted something heartier. I wanted something… warm.

Luckily I work here, where everyone is talking about (or eating) food, all the time. Apparently, I wasn’t the only craving something different for breakfast. As I strolled around the office, I noticed that Lauren had unpacked her Oatmeal-in-a-jar and Luke was eating a hot breakfast sandwich at his desk.

Beyond those two stand-bys around here, I was also pointed to these two recipes, both warm & hearty, yet satisfying in different ways. Read more …

Taste the Difference! Round 1: Butter

Mississippi Market’s members and shoppers are a savvy group, but feedback tells us that many people are reluctant to try new brands and varieties of expensive foods.

If it’s only a matter of comparing, say, your usual daikon radish to the flashy watermelon radish, it’s easy enough to drop one of each into your basket and sample to your hearts’ content. When it comes to expensive foods that commonly come only in fairly large quantities, however, most folks are grateful simply to have found a brand or variety that you like, and you leave it at that.

hope_creamery_butterMississippi Market to the rescue!
On Sunday, August 25, we began a series of Taste the Difference! tastings in our kitchen classroom so you could blind-taste Mississippi Market and big-box foods that you might otherwise not try. Our first tasting was of butter—and by the end, everyone was definitely buttered out. Five brands of unsalted and six of salted butter were blind-tasted by participants, on slices of Rustica baguette. The butters ranged from big-box store brands to some of the co-op’s customer favorites. None of the participants had any idea what they were tasting, so their votes were on taste, mouth feel, texture, and color alone.

butter & knifeThe winners: first place among unsalted butters was shared by Hope and Rochdale Farms; first place among salted butters was awarded to Hope. Interestingly, none of the participants had tasted Hope butter before, though most of them promptly sped off to the dairy case following the tasting to score a pound of it.

Why did they attend our first Taste the Difference! blind tasting? 
“I was so delighted to see that the market was holding tastings of foods. I am very unlikely to buy several varieties to compare myself, because what am I going to do with five or six different brands of butter or olive oil?” one of the enthusiastic butter eaters told us.

Olives_in_olive_oilWe agree!
And we hope you’ll join us for our next Taste the Difference! on Saturday, November 9, from 3–4.30 pm at the West 7th store, when we’ll taste a wide variety of olive oils – both for cooking & for dipping.

Hey, cat lovers – Eat Local Month’s not just for humans

It’s not at all uncommon for people to pamper their pets, sometimes by way of treats, toys, special grooming, or young children (oh, I already said toys). Read more …

You want cheese on that burger?

Get the coals, make the lemonade, unfold the lawn chairs, get out the boom box, and put the beer on ice. It’s time to bust out that grill and cook up some burgers – sun, or no sun!

No offense to our lactose intolerant and vegan friends, but for me a plain hamburger just won’t do. It’s gotta be a CHEESEburger.  A hamburger without cheese is just like early eighties musical duo Hall and Oates… each excellent on their own, but unmistakably magical when paired together.  While American slices will always be a burger’s best friend, you might want to think about classing your beef, turkey, or veggie patty up with some of our favorite burger toppers.  Here are some of our favorite burger companions.

Burger toppings

(Recommended Grilling Soundtrack)                                  (Very solid layering of burger ingredients)

joe widmer

(excellent early 90’s cheesemaker pose from Joe Widmer)

Widmer’s Two Year Cheddar,Wisconsin Joe Widmer has been cranking out award winning cheeses for decades. He originally started helping out at his grandpa’s plant when he was six years old. The plant itself has literally been home to three generations of cheesemakers, living directly above the plant. Joe is a certified Master Cheesemaker and we think his Two Year Cheddar is the bee’s knees on top of a burger. Sharp and meltable, this crowd pleasing cheddar will not get lost in a burger that is piled high with your other favorite burger toppings.

Roth Kase Buttermilk Blue, Wisconsin Roth Kase Buttermilk blue is exactly what it sounds like. A tangy, piquant blue cheese that is mellowed out by a buttery smooth finish thanks to milk from predominantly Jersey cows. Forget about crumbled blue cheese, grab a thick slice of this Raw Milk blue – your gonna want a lot. Blue cheese not really your thing? Try cutting the blue with one of Minnesota’s favorite condiments…mayonnaise.

Somerdale Red Dragon, United KingdomThis Burger Topper Cheese is a triple threat. Threat No.1– It is fantastic high-moisture (good for melting) cheddar from across the pond. Threat No.2– It already has whole grain mustard seeds in it. The mustard seeds provide all the tang you need for your burger. Threat No. 3– It has beer in it. My personal grilling drink of choice is grained into this multifaceted cheddar. Less is more with this cheese. Full flavored and packed full of mustard, this cheddar can be the predominant flavor of your burger if you’d like.

Abbott’s Gold Carmelized Onion Cheddar, EnglandThis cheese is seriously rich. No need to chop a bunch of onions and painstakingly caramelize them on the stove top. You can skip that step because Abbot’s Gold does it for you. Of our recommended Burger Toppers, this is the cheese that screams…Give me bacon!

And remember, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Take yourself on a culinary adventure and experiment with other cheeses. If you find any keepers please make sure to stop back into the Market and let us know!
– Kevin L., Selby cheese buyer & cheeseburger connoisseur 

So now you know how we feel about burger toppings, but what about the burger itself? Jay C., our West 7th meat & seafood manager, recommends trying local ground beef from Hill & Vale. The grass-fed, grain-finished beef is super tasty and the flavor is a good balance between 100% grass-fed and 100% grain-fed.

For non-meat-eaters, try a local Trempeleau Walnut Burger on the grill. Or, a grilled portabello mushroom is always delicious on a bun with your favorite burger toppings.