Finding Your Zen Anytime, Anywhere

Living in the suburbs, nothing makes me happier than falling asleep to the sound of crickets outside my window. The summer sounds of birds chirping and rain falling on the roof bring peace and a sense of oneness with nature that is unique to the summer season. These relaxing sounds are soothing any time of day and I am sharing some useful apps that deliver that relaxation in the most unlikely places, thanks to the convenience of technology.  I have found that great meditation and noise simulator apps can help me achieve the same level of relaxation whether I’m commuting to work or at the office in need of a 10-minute psychic refuel.

 

Relax Melodies

Relax melodies is one of my favorite apps to listen to when I am trying to unwind after a long day. It contains a large library full of relaxing sounds to help you fall asleep at night and meditation guides to help you regain clarity after a frazzling day with kids and work. This is the largest library I have ever seen in an app. If you find raucous traffic soothing, they have it. If the sound of the planet Jupiter relaxes you? They have it!

What is so unique about this app is that you can really tailor every sound bite to your personal preferences. You can adjust the volume of each piece so the next time you open it up the settings are automatically to your liking, as well as combine multiple sound bites that make the experience extremely personal. You can set the noise on a timer so the app will automatically close after a certain period of time so you need not worry about wasting battery while you sleep.

It is not necessary to pay the $9.99 for access to the full library but if you do, you will not regret it. The app is compatible with smartphones and Apple Watch so you can use it on-the-go.

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Headspace

If you are trying meditation out for the first time, Headspace is a free app to consider. Headspace, a guided meditation and mindfulness app makes meditation simple. The opening menu provides an array of meditation guides focusing on health, relationships, performance, foundation etc. Each session lasts around 10 minutes and you can track your progress to keep you on the path to relaxation.

And if you find yourself on the verge of a mini-meltdown — because everybody gets them — the app has an “SOS” feature that can help you calm down, rationalize the situation and provide clarity.

I would recommend this to any parent trying to maintain some semblance of sanity during the day and teens who sometimes need that reassurance that they can do whatever they put their minds to.

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In my opinion, there is no reason why summer relaxation levels can not be achieved any time of year in any location. Check out these apps to keep deep relaxation within reach and part of your daily restoration regimen.

 

-Contributions made by Sam Donsky

Hoboken Farms: Small Town Sauce, Big Town Flavor

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Hoboken Farms Big Basil tomato basil sauce

Store-bought sauce can be a pretty contentious subject for fans of sauces with that just-made fresh flavor. I was one of those snobs, always stressing to squish San Marzano tomatoes in the can as a pot of salted water cooked pasta. I’d pull out the woody stems and toss the broken down tomato meat with fresh smashed garlic cloves sizzling in olive oil. That simmering concoction would meld as it cooked, was seasoned with salt and pepper and finished with torn fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of EVOO.

My work-life balance wasn’t in sync enough for homemade sauces to be on the menu and I always kept a few jarred options to resort to when the kids were lobbying for lasagna, pasta and a protein or chicken parm. I’d get complaints when I hadn’t sufficiently labored at the stove and produced a luxurious sauce that had flavor rich with the taste and aroma of freshly made tomato and basil sauce with the wonderful texture of those hand-swished tomato chunks. 

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Hoboken Farms sauce comes in three varieties (L to R): Big Red, Big Boss and Big Basil

When the folks at Hoboken Farms asked me to sample their three sauces–Big Red, their marinara sauce; Big Boss, their vodka sauce; and Big Basil, their tomato basil sauce– I agreed without expecting much. I had read the reviews and readied myself to see what all the fuss was about. 

I popped off the lid of the Big Basil sauce and took stock: wonderfully fresh aroma; great texture thanks to meaty tomato chunks; beautifully seasoned and full of fresh taste. These sauces are the real deal. They have the taste you’d expect from a chef that perfected marina, tomato basil and vodka sauces by simply relying on excellent quality ingredients prepared classically with minimal fuss.

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Big Basil sauce served over Tolerant Organic Red Lentil Penne

Here’s how I enjoyed Big Basil over Tolerant Organic Red Lentil Penne: talk about elevating the natural flavor of pasta! Hoboken Farms defies you to sauce your pasta  modestly the way you’d be served them in Italy. I flunked, happily and greedily over-saucing and enjoying every spoonful. 

Other ways I’d serve Hoboken Farms Big Basil or Big Red sauces:

– Spooned over a layer of pesto atop a grilled slice of sourdough or ciabatta

– Layered with plain Greek yogurt for a savory parfait that’s topped with minced celery and parsley for crunch 

– Spooned over zucchini noodles or baked potato

– Blended with summer veggies like squash and kale for a refreshing smoothie or chilled soup

– Stir a cup or more into bean or vegetable soup

– Baked on top of seasoned chicken cutlets or fillets of fish like char

You are only limited by your creativity with Hoboken Farms, a pantry essential for uncompromising sauce enthusiasts. 

Contributions made by Samantha (Sam) Donsky

Greenfield Ice Cream Company: Tuxedo, NY Hand Crafted Ice Cream and Sorbet

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Greenfield Ice Cream pints stocked in Fairway Market freezers.

Tuxedo, NY- based Greenfield Ice Cream Company is a small batch maker of delicate yet intensely flavored ice cream and sorbets. The line is made using local dairy, eggs, herbs and flavorings from Ghirardelli, Mountain Rose Herbs, Hudson Valley Fresh, Country Life Natural Foods, Abma’s Farm, Crown Maple, Blooming Hill Farm and Harney and Sons Fine Tea. The line is free of gums and stabilizers.

Each pint lists the ingredients used to make flavors ranging from Salted Caramel, PB ‘n Chip, Mint Chip, Cinnamon to Cookie Dough, which are part of the Greenfield Ice Cream Signature Collection. The signature line is available year round, although seasonal flavors like Vanilla Honey Crumble, Toasted Coconut, Green Tea, Pumpkin and Boozy Eggnog, are only available for a short time while ingredients are in season. The entire line spans roughly 20 flavors with eight comprising the signature line and the rest making up the seasonal line. Our favorite flavor in the signature line is the Mint Chip, which relies on freshly steeped mint leaves to create a subtle minty flavor and Ghirardelli chips to provide a sophisticated chocolaty crunch.

After experimenting in their own home and receiving positive feedback from their friends, co-founders Tinka Shaw, Courtney Vasseghi and Denise Tavani certified their company as a New York State Certified Dairy Plant and began selling their pint-sized ice cream in select supermarkets. The line is available at Fairway Market for about $7 a pint and select Whole Foods. The Ice cream can also be bought online at www.greenfieldicecream.com.

Co-Owner of Greenfield Ice Cream Company Tinka Shaw speaks with Redhead With A Fork

Greenfield Ice Cream Company

198 Route 17N, Tuxedo, NY

http://www.greenfieldicecream.com/

Summer Delights From Fairway

Fairway Market has introduced new products to make summer a little cooler. Starting with a new line of ready-to- eat, single serving chicken breast meals with themes like  Moroccan Chicken with Spiced Lentils, Lemon Chicken with French Couscous and Balsamic Chicken with Tuscan White Beans. Inspired by flavors of the Mediterranean, these new chicken dinners are handy for a light, healthy lunch or dinner. Fairway’s Mediterranean-inspired chicken dinners are sold for $5.99 each at ALL Fairway Market locations.chicken pictureFairway ice creams by High Road Craft, a new line of artisanal, hand crafted, super creamy (thanks to high fat content) frozen deserts, are competing head-on against Häagen-Dazs with flavors like Fig & Saba, Fairway to Heaven Coffee, Frutti di Bosco and Stracciatella, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Our favorite was the Burnt Sugar, which had a creme brulee familiarity and lovely carmel notes. High Road Craft ice cream is available in all NYC Fairway Market locations. The four custom Fairway flavors and the other four signature High Road flavors retail for $5.99.

Fairway Frozen Foods Manager Robert Toro spoke to us about the ice cream line.

 

IMG_0779Fairway Market of Paramus’s Frozen Foods Manager Robert Toro with the new Fairway by High Road Craft ice creams.

IMG_0776Fairway by High Road Craft collection

Atlanta-based Chef Keith Schroeder dreamed up High Road Craft Ice Cream in his MBA program. In addition to Fairway carrying four of the over 90 flavors available in High Road’s ice cream collections, Schroeder created the four original flavors using some favorite exclusive Fairway Market products as ingredients.  Chef Schroeder began High Road as a high-end ice cream product for fellow chefs, but High Road was too good to keep a secret among chefs, and the word of mouth buzz spread within a year of launching to food service. High Road’s distribution has been growing at a remarkable pace of 300% this past year; the company will be moving into a new 25,000 square-foot facility to accommodate growth, which will also house a unique ice cream visitor’s center and offer tours. Chef Schroeder is part food scientist, part food anthropologist, and 100% ice cream lover.

Fairway Market’s Director of Trade and Product Development, Lori Levy, whose tireless passion for discovering fine foods for her customers, led her to an “aha” moment when she tasted High Road. Chef Schroeder’s talent and like-minded pursuit of quality led her to the idea of using Fairway foods as ingredients in new ice cream flavors. Fairway Market’s in-house expert Steve Jenkins, who pioneered the specialty food movement, and in particular, that of fine olive oil, introduced the kind of challenge that Schroeder thrives on: make [us] an olive oil ice cream as well.

 

Fairway Market

Paramus, New Jersey

(210) 444-5455

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ShopFreshSeafood.com, Online Seafood Site Hooks You Up (With Fresh Fish Delivered To Your Door)

Home cooks who are seafood fans are faced with the daunting task of discerning just how fresh the fish at their local fishmonger or supermarket is. The solution to that problem is ShopFreshSeafood.com, which takes the guesswork out of fish buying through overnight shipping of freshly caught seafood to customers within one day of harvest.

We visited owner Megan Grippa at the New Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx where ShopFreshSeafood.com is based. Here’s what she had to say.

“With more than fifty years of experience in the seafood business under my family’s belt, my goal in creating ShopFreshSeafood.com was to give consumers access to the freshest fish with a few clicks or phone call,” said Megan Grippa, owner of ShopFreshSeafood.com. “Going online with a business that offers consumers top quality fresh fish with the convenience of next day home delivery was a natural. We are serving the entire US with next day shipping and have found that busy New Yorkers in particular are using us for delivery to their weekend homes and as thank you gifts for hosts when they are guests. We have even had requests for a fish of the month gift package for newlyweds. There’s no beating the flavor, texture, aroma and appearance of freshly caught fish.”

With three varieties of salmon, plus tilapia, bass, lobster, and crab among other offerings, ShopFreshSeafood.com sources directly from its family-operated Universal Seafood at the New Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx, thus avoiding costly middlemen. Universal Seafood is one of the biggest salmon importers on the East Coast.

Grippa’s favorite way to prepare seafood is with multiple family members. “In my large Italian family, there can never be too many cooks in the kitchen,” explained Grippa. “Cooking together is a great way to bond, share a passion for food and its preparation, share family stories and enjoy one of the most basic human pleasures – the savory of good food cooked with love together with family.” Grippa, her father Anthony and Uncle Joe Sr. The Grippa family has roots in Calabria and Sicily, Italy and came to America in the early 1900s.

We spoke with Megan to learn about ShopFreshSeafood and the ins and outs of buying fresh fish and proper handling:

RWAF:  You are a 4th generation fish business owner in a male-dominated industry. What’s that like, considering you were formerly a fashionista in the shoe-buying department at Macy’s and you’re now a fishionista?

MG:  I loved working for Macy’s – I was proud to be a part of that team and its rich history in NYC. And now I’m proud to be a part of my family’s rich history. Americans spend so much of our lives at work – and I now am blessed to work with my family, learn more about seafood than I ever imagined and continue the legacy my family started, but with a new twist in eCommerce. What could be better than that?

RWAF:  What’s a typical day like for you? What time do you wake up and go to sleep?

MG:  Lol – It’s a long day. The market is open from midnight to 8 am. I’m up at 3 checking emails and orders from my phone and I call in what fish I need, this way when I get to the market I know what I have to start with. What came in. what might be in tomorrow. We try very hard to get all orders out with 24 hours. But a lot depends on what is in the Market. We picked species for the website that we have on a very regular basis but sometimes there are still issues you cannot control, weather for instance.   Most of the morning is spent packing boxes and fish. Then I head up to the office to do all the paperwork. At noon it’s time to head back home and from there I handle customer service phone calls and emails. Until it’s time to call it a day, which in the summer is around 9:30. In the winter it’s easier to go to bed earlier.

RWAF:  ShopFreshSeafood.com offers multiple types of salmon. What are the differences between them and what’s your favorite?

MG:  All salmon has omega 3 fatty acids – that is a great reason alone to eat it besides it tastes so good! Omega fatty acids help maintain healthy heart function. Also maintains healthy brain activity. Fresh salmon that is simply prepared is simply unbeatable in terms of flavor, texture and versatility.

RWAF:  What’s the biggest myth about seafood?

MG:  Seafood is difficult to prepare is the biggest myth.  It is so easy to prepare seafood, especially if you have a good, fresh piece of fish. We have lots of easy recipes on our site, www.ShopFreshSeafood.com, but remember, less is more with fish. Let the natural flavors shine through by using simple preparations like grilling with a sprinkling of salt and pepper and squeeze of fresh lemon. Minced herbs and a drizzle of oil are ideal for some fish and other fish welcome an assertive salsa on the side. Our website has several inspirational recipes and tips to check out.

RWAF:  What makes fish smell “fishy?”

MG:  Bacteria is the culprit.  Every food smells with age. Bacteria gets in and decays protein. What about old milk – yuck!  Have you ever smelled old chicken? That’s 10x worse than fish. Fresh fish has very little aroma before and after it’s cooked. The scent is distinctive but good quality, fresh fish does not have an offensive aroma.

RWAF:  Is the smell of old fish a primary reason people don’t want to try or prepare seafood at home or in restaurants?

MG:  I think a good answer to that question is that people should eat at restaurants that smell good when you walk in. Even a seafood restaurant should not have an overpowering seafood smell. At home, people who aren’t buying fresh seafood will experience a strong aroma when handling or after cooking the fish. I wouldn’t eat at a restaurant that had smelly anything. Buying fresh seafood ensures your home will not smell fishy when you prepare the fish promptly after it’s purchased.

RWAF:  What are the biggest mistakes people make when they prepare seafood?

MG:  They overcook it and dry it out. Seafood is the original fast food – it doesn’t take long to cook.

RWAF:  What is your favorite seafood and how do you prepare it? MG:  I like everything we carry. Our Barnegat dry scallops are especially good.  We like to bake them oreganata style, with a little lemon squeezed over.

RWAF:  Will ShopFreshSeafood offer other types of fish and seafood in the future? If so, when and what kind?

MG:  Yes, we are slowly expanding our offerings. I’m working on adding oysters to our offerings next! Check our website regularly for updates and know that we customize orders upon request. We have had customers request our fish of the month club for a bridal gift. We also offer seasonal packages, like our incredible Feast of the Seven Fishes offerings which will be offered during the holiday and are hugely popular. We sell this package in three varieties so people can make as much or little as they like for their entertaining purposes.

RWAF:  Do you plan on expanding your business to Canada and other countries?

MG:  No, not at this time- The US is a big place.

RWAF:  How is your fish packaged to ensure it stays fresh from the time it is packaged to the time it is delivered?

MG:  Our shipping containers are made of Styrofoam and put into a corrugated cardboard box. Reusable Cold packs are included and your order is packed in a 38 degree environment to ensure freshness. We used recycled materials when available

RWAF:  Once a customer receives their order, what is the expected shelf life of the fresh fish?

MG:  Your fresh fish can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. We recommend putting it in the coldest place, usually the crisper. If you want to save it for longer, you can absolutely store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Do not run the fish under water as that may inadvertently start cooking the fish.

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Canadian salmon packed for delivery

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Megan Grippa placing fresh Barnegat dry scallops into special packaging to maintain proper temperature before fed ex delivery

  Grippa encourages home cooks to enjoy the benefits of preparing fresh caught seafood with the following grilling tips:

  • Try Planking: In the grilling world, “planking” uses aromatic planks of wood, typically cedar or oak, to infuse the protein with a smoky perfume reflecting the wood’s nuances. In between the fish and soaked plank can be a combination of oils, salts, spices or herbs. Start with the basics – salt, pepper, and olive oil – or create a different concoction based on fresh garden herbs like basil, chervil, chives, parsley or dill.
  • Go Fresh: Fresh caught seafood, whether uncooked and cooked, has a soft, delicate aroma. When fish has a strong “fishy” smell, it’s past its prime. Buying direct from fishermen or ShopFreshSeafood.com eliminates any question about freshness.   
  • Add Some Zest:     What goes better with grilled fish than citrus? Lemons, limes, or oranges pair well with fish and grilled fare. Wash lemons and limes, cut into thin slices and place slices on top and underneath fish during grilling, or simply squeeze the juice on after grilling. The bright citrus flavors will add a pleasant lightness and acidic balance to seafood.
  • Eat Dinner on a Stick:       Not only are kabobs convenient for eating and clean up, they allow for endless combinations. For an easy summer staple, sandwich shrimp between summer vegetables (peppers, onions, cherry tomato, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant) or fruit (nectarine, peach, pineapple are good choices) and place on the grill. Scallops and firmer flesh fish like swordfish and salmon work well for kabob threading.
  • Fish Tacos:  The individual customization of fish taco creation is good for large groups. Grill a few different types of seafood like tilapia and shrimp, put out bowls of toppings (think basil and mint leaves, baby lettuces, pepper strips, guacamole, homemade tartar, tahini etc.) and set out taco shells for a delicious way to please everyone. 

“My family’s long legacy in the seafood industry is too important to not use. I wanted to create something different that would allow me to nurture my love for fish and educating people about fish as a nutritious, delicious and easy to prepare protein. Shopfreshseafood.com makes the best fish available to people with a few clicks or a phone call,” explained Grippa.  I want people to look at fish as an integral part of their diets and the perfect center of family gatherings, like it always has been in our family.”

About ShopFreshSeafood.com

ShopFreshSeafood.com is the premier online source for supremely fresh seafood delivered direct to the consumer within hours of being caught. Operating out of the New Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx, ShopFreshSeafood.com contracts with fishermen using sustainable methods to harvest the most delicious, nutritious seasonal offerings from U.S. and Canadian waters. A family-run business for four generations at the Fulton Fish Market, ShopFreshSeafood.com offers varieties of salmon, scallops, crab, shrimp, and branzini along with lobster. The company offers custom orders for special sizes, cut or species. For more information, seasonal charts, how-to preparation guides and recipes, visit www.ShopFreshSeafood.com.

Call 718-842-8850 to reach ShopFreshSeafood and to place an order. First time online orders receive 10% off.

http://www.shopfreshseafood.com/

Endangered Species Chocolate: Indulge in a Cause with Natural, Dairy Free Filled Bars

Endangered Species Chocolate - an indulgence that does good
Endangered Species Chocolate – an indulgence that does good

Chocolate, in its many delectable forms, is often labeled a guilty pleasure – something that we try to enjoy in limited quantities when what we really want to do is devour it by the pound. Fortunately for chocoholics everywhere, there’s a way to mitigate some of that guilt.

Endangered Species Chocolate, founded in 1993, is a company that blends a passion for making delicious chocolate with its desire to make an impact on the ever-growing number of animal species that are facing the threat of extinction.  Every year, Endangered Species Chocolate donates 10% of its net profits to environmental NGOs focused on wildlife conservation and habitat protection.  So basically you can indulge in your favorite cocoa confections and do something good for the planet at the same time.  Yes, please.

Dairy free, gluten free, guilt free
Dairy free, gluten free, guilt free

Endangered Species Chocolate has just launched a brand new product line which consists of premium chocolate bars filled with natural, dairy free and gluten free crème. Currently available varieties include almond butter crème, blueberry vanilla crème, coconut crème, lavender mint crème, raspberry orange crème, and sea salt and lime crème, all surrounded by decadent 72% dark chocolate. All are quite delicious, with my favorite being the lavender mint combination – at once herbal and sweet with a wee bit of bitterness to balance the flavors. Thanks to Endangered Species’ PR folks, I received an assortment of all the new flavors.

These are the very first chocolate bars in the industry to incorporate 100% natural, dairy free and gluten free filling.  These new additions complement the company’s already impressive selection of milk and dark chocolate bars, pouches, and bites.  Each chocolate comes with a wrapper insert that gives details on an endangered species that your purchase helps protect. Cute animals and creamy chocolate – this is clearly a win/win situation. The line’s available at better markets and specialty natural foods/gourmet retailers around the country.

Browse the selection and order chocolate at:  http://bit.ly/1m7Z7D8 

Essio: A Great New Way to Enjoy Aromatherapy

Unwind with Essio's in-home aromatherapy products
Unwind with Essio’s in-home aromatherapy products

Stepping into a steaming hot shower on a cold, winter evening or morning is quite possibly one of the most satisfying experiences life has to offer.  But wait…it can actually get better.  A company called Essio makes an easy-to-use aromatherapy shower attachment that allows users to get a spa-like experience from the comfort and convenience of their own home. The company approached me to sample the product and I gladly accepted its shower kit. I use essential oils throughout the day and evening – from throwing eucalyptus and rosemary oil against the shower wall as the steam releases the aroma in the morning to dabbing uplifting peppermint and sweet orange oils onto my wrists mid-morning to tossing more oil against the wall in the evening, perhaps blending lavender and rose to invite relaxation and slumber. I drop the oils into the bath tub when my kids are achy from sports and want to immerse themselves in warm water. But the challenge for me in using essential oils in the shower has long been maintaining the aroma throughout bathing, not simply at the beginning of showering.

For those who aren’t familiar with aromatherapy, it is an ancient art that uses the power of scents derived from essential oils and other natural compounds to enhance mood, promote relaxation, and stimulate the mind. Aromatherapy has been shown to activate the limbic system and other emotional centers in the human brain.  It has been used for thousands of years and across many cultures including ancient Greeks, Romans, Chinese and Egyptians.

So what’s noteworthy about Essio? Essio’s product attaches directly to any showerhead and automatically dispenses controlled amounts of specially formulated essential oils into the shower stream.  They offer a wide variety of essential oil pods which help achieve specific health goals.  For example, the formulation called Breathe which contains peppermint and eucalyptus is designed to clear the sinuses and soothe the lungs (a favorite of People magazine).  Another pod called Night blends orange blossom and lavender to help users achieve and sustain restful sleep. The pods release the essential oils drop by drop into the spray of the shower, creating a continuous flow of aroma while the water runs. When you are finished showering, the pod can simply be returned to an upright position to cease its dripping.

Each pod contains a special blend of essential oils
Each pod contains a special blend of essential oils

The complete starter kit which includes the Essio shower attachment and three essential oil pods (each pod lasts for approximately 3-4 showers) is a great option if you’re looking for a “steamy” Valentine’s gift under $50.

Essio's aromatherapy kit makes a great Valentine's Day gift
Essio’s aromatherapy kit makes a great Valentine’s Day gift

Note: ESSIO is now offering a special Valentine’s promotion:  purchase the starter kit, $44.99, which contains the shower arm, and receive as a free gift-with-purchase a refill pack of four “Passion” pods ($19.99 value).  Enter code BEMINE at checkout.

http://essioshower.com/ 

Learning the Secret to Big Game Beer Pairings at Whole Foods Market in Paramus, NJ: Talking With Cicerone Sean Collier

Whole Foods Market in Paramus has a great selection of local brews, easy to customize into zesty 6 packs to suit all palates
Whole Foods Market in Paramus has a great selection of local brews, easy to customize into zesty 6 packs to suit all palates

When the Seattle Seahawks butt heads with the Denver Broncos on February 2, tailgating fare will take center stage, yet enhancing those flavors and the mood of the festivities hinges on smartly paired libations.  For this challenging task, I turned to certified Cicerone Sean Collier, Wine, Beer and Spirits Team Leader at Whole Foods, Paramus.  You can hear it straight from Sean’s mouth by watching the video below.

Local Brews You’ll Want to Try:

  • Victory Prima Pils – Manufactured in Pennsylvania, this is a German-style beer with a decidedly American twist (hops) which gives it a bright, citrus character.
  • Resin – Brewed out of Brooklyn, this is the go-to beer for hops fanatics.  It is double IPA style and a great way to impress your “beer geek” friends.
  • Brewery Ommegang Witte – Made in Cooperstown, NY, this is a good entry-level craft beer.  It’s refreshing and light on the palate and crafted with a blend of citrus peel and spice.
  • Firestone Wookey Jack – This brew is black like a stout so you get nice, roasted flavors but it also plenty of  hoppy character.
  • Doc’s Hard Apple Cider – This is bottled right in Warwick, NY, and is great for people who want to avoid gluten but still desire a smooth, refreshing, alcoholic beverage.

The Key to Good Beer Pairing:

  • “Hoppy” beers – Brews with plenty of hop character like Resin or Firestone Wookey Jack will have a more bitter taste which means they don’t pair well with spicy foods (they accentuate the spiciness).  They pair better with bland fare like bread and potato dishes.
  • Light beers – The citrus notes in these brews make them extremely versatile.  They go especially great with cheese dishes, Mexican food or anything with a bit of a kick including Buffalo wings, salsa and spicy sausage.
  • Dark beers – The darker, maltier brews often seem rich enough to be a meal in themselves, but if you’re looking for a food pairing you’ll want to bring dark beers together with protein/bread combos like hamburgers or fried chicken.  The toasted flavor of dark beers naturally complements heavy meats and bread.

I love the wine, beer and spirits department at Whole Foods.  Buy a case or a case quantity of wine, beer or spirits and enjoy a discount and reusable tote bag.  While you are stocking up on beer, check out the market’s wide selection of hormone-free and organic meats ranging from Hot Italian Pork Sausage to Petite Top Loin Roast.  To save you a little extra time on game day, WF has ready-to-go bacon and cheddar beef burger patties and football shaped meatloaf with marinara sauce (that’s right – little meatloaf footballs).

Coarsely ground beef with 15% fat is what's preferred in chili making.
Coarsely ground chuck is ideal for hearty chili making.  Adding a dash of cocoa with spices like chile adds depth.
A sausage for for every palette.
Sausage for upping chili’s flavor or grilling.
Wings, the quintessential game day food
Marinated wings in multiple varieties and heat levels, the quintessential game day food.
Top it all off with a football cake.
Top it all off with a football cake.

Game on.

Whole Foods Market, Paramus, NJ
300 Bergen Town Center
Paramus  New Jersey  07652
8am to 10pm seven days a week
201.226.1244