The finish line is so close, you can almost feel it beckoning, like a glistening red ribbon waiting to be snipped so that we can open the gift that is 2021. Before we say auf wiedersehen and old acquaintance be forgot, we should take these holidays to revel in the simple fact that we have made it here and celebrate the largeness in that. Tis’ the season for such reflection and appreciation of all that we still have and all that we have left to give. Fortune would like to thank you all for making this journey with us, and we know - that together - the future will be brighter and better.
Shellfish such as Lobsters, Stone Crabs, Scallops, Clams and Oysters are big traditions for many, and this year will prove to be no different. Of course, we have what you need – but, in a Covid reality, supplies could see some interference. Please be sure to get ahead of the game and talk to a sales representative today so that we can make sure your stockings stay filled with these festive delights.
Brutal storms rocked the East Coast last weekend - causing some chaos in supply. Luckily, boats came in early and we have groundfish such as Skate, Haddock and Monkfish in stock, as well as some attractively marketed Wild Striped Bass and Black Bass. Dabs and Fluke were most affected by the weather, so please give us a call to check in for updates on these species.
Florida is producing gorgeous line-caught product and currently Red Snapper, Red Grouper and Mackerel are standouts. We have center-of-the-plate sized Snappers that are showstoppers - or, if you are looking for a nice thick fillet, we have larger fish available. The Groupers are averaging 5 pounds plus and the Mackerel are at their fattiest and most flavorful.
Cheers to here, the now, and the New Year. Together, we can make sure that everyone not only eats, but eats well.
Cheers to the soft cheeses!
A luxurious favorite, the Delice Cremiers is created by a master cheese maker in Burgundy, from the freshest cow’s milk, with added cream. It ripens in cellars for at least 10 days and continues ripening until it hits your customers’ table. One of the creamiest and most elegant cheeses, it is mild enough to appeals to a wide range of palettes.
Fortune’s farmstead French brie from the Excellence line is another stunner. It is handcrafted every step of the way. The curd is cut and stirred by hand, the cheeses are turned over annually in the cellar by hand, and the final product is packaging by hand. This French brie is ripened for at least 35-40 days. It is distinguished by an especially creamy and supple texture. The flavor is intense, reminiscent of stables, and hazelnuts.
Other French treasures are the Vacherousse Argental and Brebirousse Argental, importer exclusives. The smooth and creamy Vacherousse cheese is made from cow’s milk. The rind of the cheese is washed with saltwater, and then a distinct white mold rind develops. The cheese is very creamy and mild, with delicate aromas. If you are looking for something more adventurous, the Brebirousse is a lovely, soft cheese with a pinkish mold rind made from pure ewe’s milk. It has a smooth, spreadable texture with a typical ewe‘s milk flavor.
With a European focus, we would be remiss if we left out the CasArragoni Taleggios. Fortune’s Taleggio DOP offering is a classic Taleggio cheese made exclusively of pasteurized cow’s milk. The paste is firm and uniform in texture, with a color ranging from white to straw yellow. The extremely thin rind is rose-colored. The flavor is sweet, buttery and fragrant with a hint of acidity. This cheese is aged longer than the usual 35 days mandated by the consortium, and with each passing day the aging increases the buttery flavor, rendering it more intense and bringing out a truffle aftertaste. Those that are aficionados of raw milk cheeses will be delighted by The Taleggio ‘Latte Crudo,’ which is made using raw milk from several small dairies located in Valtaleggio and processed at the local farm’s cooperative. The result is a Taleggio with a thin, rosy rind and a paste that is creamy toward the outer edges and slightly crumbly inside. During the two-month aging process notes of fresh milk develop resulting in a truly remarkable cheese.
Heading back stateside, we have several artisanal dairies producing exquisite soft ripened cheeses that we cannot get enough of. From Tulip Tree’s Indiana based creamery, comes the Trillium and the Foxglove; both a perfect 8 oz square to create a small board, or easily sold as a piece in your counter. Missouri is home to Green Dirt Farm, which is producing the Dirt Lover and Wee Wooly Rind, and is a perfect solution to those looking for a domestic sheep’s milk cheese. Head north to Minnesota to find Redhead Creamery’s Little Lucy Brie, another take on the French classic, and clocking in a 6oz is a delightful take-home option. Of course, we cannot forget one of the first artisanal goat cheeses, the classic came-from-a-dream cheese, the Humboldt Fog. Each handcrafted wheel features a distinctive ribbon of edible vegetable ash. You will enjoy buttermilk and fresh cream, complemented with floral notes, herbaceous overtones, and a clean citrus finish.
Grab a glass of your favorite bubbly, cut that cheese, and cheers to you; you deserve it!