Totes Amazing: Fresh Tote Bags For Fresh Food

In a landmark decision for New York City, single-use plastic bags are now banned pretty much everywhere. Fortunately, Provisions is not affected because we’ve always used paper bags made from 100% recycled materials (40% of which are post-consumer!) and offered our iconic reusable shopping totes for sale.

To celebrate the bag ban, we’ve added a couple more bags to our line up. Our new tote bags are made from sturdy canvas, and are just the right size to hold all your dinner ingredients or just your daily essentials. If you’ve ever envied our staff’s uniform T-shirts, our totes feature the same artwork in a durable screen transfer. Choose from Rosie the Chickener on navy canvas or Cluckira (an homage to the 1988 cult classic Akira) on black canvas. Here’s to saving the environment one bag at a time!

Carla Bueno-SandersTotes Amazing: Fresh Tote Bags For Fresh Food
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The Women Who Make Us Grape: Laura Rose

Throughout Women’s History Month, we’re featuring some of the women who make the Greene Grape the amazing place it is. The Greene Grape family of businesses is woman-powered, both historically and currently, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t shine a well-deserved spotlight on at least a few of these grape women. 

This week, we’re chatting with our Produce Buyer, Laura Rose Dailey. Laura Rose and her department make sure anyone’s first impression of Provisions is a beautiful one as they step through our front door! With her agricultural background and passion for growing green things, she’s a perfect fit for the job, and we couldn’t do it without her. 

What got you into the world of agriculture and produce? 

I took a course on coffee ecologies and livelihoods in college and had the opportunity to travel to El Salvador to spend some time with the coffee farmers there. That experience rocked my world, and truly opened my eyes to the injustices of our food system. A few years later I decided I wanted to learn how to grow food, and took a farming apprenticeship at Amber Waves, a mixed vegetable production farm on the East End of Long Island. It was on that land where I fell in love with farming and spent the next four years (plus two winters on the other side of the equator!) growing vegetables. 

What’s been part of your experience as a woman working in agriculture? 

At Amber Waves, it often felt like we were in a bubble all our own, being owned and staffed by women. On the other hand, the people delivering our farm equipment, seeds, and other necessary items were usually men, and some of them broke that bubble with their questions. “Who’s really in charge here? Are you really farmers?” It was a reminder that a farm run by women is considered an anomaly, but we were never discouraged. Owners Amanda Merrow and Katie Baldwin showed me how far women could go in agriculture—I really look up to them. 

What’s your favorite produce? 

I can’t pick just one! I have three. Radishes: The feeling and sight of pulling a bright red, snackable root out of the ground is so satisfying and beautiful. Also, they’re a fast growing crop (~40 days seed to harvest) AKA almost instant gratification. Baby greens: Another fast growing crop, and there’s nothing like a salad made with crispy flavorful right outta the ground greens! And finally, eggplant: As a farmer on Long Island, growing eggplant is a lot of work because of the Colorado Potato Beetle. This pest feeds on the young tender leaves, and if left alone will completely destroy the plant and therefore the crop. For farmers, this meant that every other day, we’d have to check each plant on every leaf for signs of infestation. If we managed to beat the bugs and have a successful eggplant crop, we were eating eggplant parm for weeks. 🙂

Carla Bueno-SandersThe Women Who Make Us Grape: Laura Rose
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She Can Do It: Food by Women

It’s no secret that Greene Grape Provisions is a woman-forward company. We’re woman-owned, and we employ women every level throughout the store from General Manager to cashier. This week, as we enter Women’s History Month and approach International Women’s Day, we’d like to celebrate not only the women inside our company, but also the woman-made products we carry.

Annie’s Ginger Elixir has been on our shelves for just a few years now, but we feel like we can’t remember a time without them! This spicy drink is a go-to whenever sniffles and aches arise, but it’s not just for special occasions, either. The perfect blend of ginger, honey, lemon, hibiscus and berries, its sweet kick is refreshing in any season. Annie herself is a Fort Greene resident, and a Greene Grape customer herself! 

No yogurt has ever been as rich and decadent as White Moustache, in our humble opinion. Homa Dashtaki brings old world Persian flavors and techniques to our modern world, packaged up in iconic glass jars in Red Hook. (We’ve even reused those jars for our house made candles in the past!) Using milk from a Hudson Valley co-op of family farms, these yogurts—and labneh, and whey—are an everyday delicacy we reach for again and again. 

MOMO dressing is a staple of the produce department, despite being in a bottle. That’s because it’s as fresh as the fruits and veggies that surround it! Made by Masaki and Yukimi Momose, MOMO is made with fresh local produce whenever possible, by a small team that still sells weekly at Brooklyn farmers markets. You may even recognize Yukimi from her tastings at our store! 

The early bird might get the worm, but Early Bird Granola gets one better, and that’s being a Greene Grape favorite year after year. Nekisia Davis keeps her Brooklyn roots by operating out of a Red Hook kitchen, but her ambitions aren’t limited to just one borough. She took her small-batch granola from being a side hustle for her day job managing a famous Brooklyn pizzeria to being an international sensation. Her flavors speak for themselves—simple but well-developed, with only a handful of ingredients. 

SD Sauce brings the heat and flavor, earning its reputation as one of the best hot sauces in our store. Sutta Saraphum grew up in Thailand, learning to cook both at her mother’s side and in some of Thailand’s most popular restaurants. When she came to the US, however, she couldn’t find her favorite Nam Jim dipping sauce. Frustrated by “ethnic aisle” sauces full of vinegar and preservatives, Sutta began making her own from scratch with straightforward, fresh ingredients. This made for such bold flavors that in 2015 Sutta began bottling her “spicy delicious” (SD!) sauce, and it’s been a hit ever since. 

We’ve only just scratched the surface of the woman-made products Provisions carries, but we hope you love them as much as we do! 

Carla Bueno-SandersShe Can Do It: Food by Women
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We’re On A Roll: House Made Sushi

Greene Grape is the best place in Fort Greene to score lunch on the fly, whether picking up a Greene Plate Special or grabbing your favorite sandwich in our deli case. We’re known for our tasty housemade prepared foods, from mac and cheese to salmon cakes. This week, we’re extremely proud to debut our house made sushi: 6 fresh delicious rolls designed by Chef Andrew Werblin! 

You can look forward to a revolving selection of fresh-made rolls like classic spicy tuna, smoked salmon Philadelphia crunch, and vegan avocado cucumber. The rolls feature ingredients we make in house, like our smoked salmon and pickled ginger. Even the rice is cooked fresh every morning! Chef Andrew wanted our sushi selection to match the quality and flavor of the rest of our menu. 

The fish and seafood is sourced from Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co., a local Brooklyn purveyor that puts ethical, responsible fishermen and other suppliers in the spotlight. Sound familiar? That’s because Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. also supplies our fish counter! 

So stop by and grab some sushi from the prepared foods case across from our deli. Chef Andrew would love your feedback, so give us a shoutout on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, and we’ll pass the message along.

Carla Bueno-SandersWe’re On A Roll: House Made Sushi
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A Woman’s Work Is In the Cellar: A Salute to Women of the Vine

Well-behaved women seldom make history, they say. We say the same holds true for women who make wine and spirits. From Maria Prophetissima, the ancient alchemist who invented the tribikos, one of the first recorded stills, to Doña Antónia Ferreira, patroness of Portuguese wine, and Hannah Weinberger, Napa’s first female winemaker, women have long been leaders in the booze business. Today’s producers are continuing in the footsteps of their foremothers, crafting wines and spirits that delight critics and consumers alike. In honor of Women’s History Month, here’s a closer look at some of the women winemakers on our shelves.

Arianna Occhipinti (Occhipinti)

Arianna Occhipinti came of age in Vittoria, in Sicily’s southeastern region, nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the inland mountains. She first learned about wine and natural winemaking in the fields and cellars managed by her Uncle Giusto, owner of the renown COS winery, and in no time fell in love with the vine. She studied oenology and started her own production with a single hectare of abandoned vines growing near her family’s home. In 2004, she founded her own estate, bottling her first commercial vintage just two years later. Today, Arianna works exclusively with estate fruit grown organically and biodynamically. Focused on native varietals, including Frappato, Nero d’Avola, Albanello, Zibibbo, Arianna’s dedicated to making wines with singular character and freshness that captures the essence of the region. Across the world, critics, consumers, and industry peers have taken notice, and Arianna is today recognized as a symbol of success in viticulture and natural winemaking, even she continues to develop her own ideas on the practice. “I make natural wine, but this is a term I’m beginning to be less and less comfortable with, because its implications are very complicated,” she said during an interview with importer Jules Dressner. “I really want to stress that my main goal is to make a good wine that reflects where it comes from, and for me the only way to successfully do this is to make the wine naturally.”

Brianne Day (Day Wines)

A semifinalist for this year’s James Beard Award, Brianne Day is an unmitigated star in the world of Oregon wine. A native of the Willamette Valley, Day grew up enraptured by the vines of her home turf, so when the opportunity arose to travel the world and continue exploring wine, she didn’t hesitate. Day traveled and tasted wine for nearly two years before returning to Oregon for formal study at Chemeketa Community College. After that, she picked up and went traveling again, this time to gain experience making wine in France, New Zealand and Argentina. Officially hooked on the craft, Brianne worked to learn every angle of the wine business. “I worked for producers who were making wines in ways I wanted to: The Eyrie Vineyards, Brooks Winery, Grochau Cellars, Belle Pente, and Scott Paul,” she writes on her website. “I also worked at Storyteller Wine Company, learning the retail side of the wine world, and then as a server at Le Pigeon and Little Bird Bistro. I also sold barrels for Bordeaux cooperage, Saury, which allowed for many opportunities to listen and learn from winemakers throughout the Willamette Valley. In 2012, Brianne had the opportunity to start her own production when she purchased fruit for 125 cases of single vineyard Pinot Noir from a friend. Her wines stood out from the very beginning among industry pros, the wine press, and consumers. The rest, as they say, is “herstory” — Day Wines now produces 5,000 cases from organically farmed fruit, and is distributed in 12 states and three countries.

Sara Pérez (Mas Martinet, Venus de la Universal)

The daughter of José Luis Pérez, founder of Priorat’s Mas Martinet, biologist, self-taught oenologist, and one of the most respected and followed voices of the wine world, Sara Pérez is without a doubt descended from winemaking royalty. Having grown up surrounded by the vine, she studied plant biology, viticulture and philosophy before taking the reins at Mas Martinet in the late 1990s. Back then, to win the respect of the old school, boys’ club of local grape growers, Sara took to swearing and drinking strong, black coffee. “Eventually they understood that I was the one who decided who to buy from,” she said.

“I owe everything to my father,” Sara continued: “The direct knowledge that he has given to me and the strength that he has transmitted to me, as well as the respect for what is different, for other ways of thinking and working, and, above all, the sense of freedom to discover my own path.” That path is widely apparent with a sip of the elegant, bold, and unforgettable reds Sara produces from organically grown old vines in hot, sunny Priorat and Montsant.

Maria Elena Jiménez and Marta Casas (Parés Baltà)

Oenologists and sisters-in-law, Maria Elena and Marta are also leaders among the new generation of winemakers who are rooted firmly in the past, yet continually work to innovate and elevate the craft. A former chemical engineer, Maria Elena fell in love with winemaking almost at the same time as she fell for Joan Cusiné, one of the owners of Parés Baltà. She studied enology at Rovira Virgili University in Tarragona, and expanded her wine knowledge with travels to France, Australia, and Napa Valley, here in the U.S. She joined the family business when she returned.

-During her childhood, Marta was surrounded by her grandparents and her great-grandmother, who were all involved in winemaking. She loved to play in her grandparent’s tiny wine cellar, dashing behind the press, barrels and concrete tanks. When Marta grew up, she studied pharmaceutical sciences at University of Barcelona. During her studies, she met her future husband Josep Cusiné. In this period is when her passion for wine started. Josep introduced her to wine tastings and they started to travel to different wine countries around the world. She was so interested in the vinification process that she decided to help in the cellar. Today the duo has made a name for themselves in Spain and beyond, introducing new, ecologically sensitive farming techniques and state-of-the-art science to grape-growing and winemaking.

Mike FunkA Woman’s Work Is In the Cellar: A Salute to Women of the Vine
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Brandy & Meatballs: The Unexpected Couple

While most of us associate brandy with the post-meal course of the night—a decadent dessert digestif—grape distillates actually pair nicely with a wide variety of savory dishes. They, too, deserve consideration during the meal alongside wine, beer and cider.

Copper & Kings American Craft Brandy is a bit of an iconoclast in the world of American brandy, and especially in their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, the center of Bourbon country. While many California distillers aim to make a delicate, subtle product reminiscent of the great brandies of Cognac, these guys take a cue from their whiskey-making neighbors and like to emphasize notes of vanilla and caramel inherent in American oak barrels. Because of this richness, it lends itself nicely to rich dishes such as duck, foie gras, strong cheese, or Provisions house made turkey meatballs.

Like all of our catering and prepared foods options, our turkey meatballs are made in-house from scratch. Made from free roaming Goffle Road turkeys, our ground turkey meat incorporates the rich and flavorful dark meat to produce an unctuous and flavorful meatball. Topped with marinara and pecorino, these are a hearty accompaniment to your party spread, weeknight meal, or brandy tasting!

Carla Bueno-SandersBrandy & Meatballs: The Unexpected Couple
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Have You Herb? Herbal Teas to Soothe the Soul

In the American pantheon of hot drinks, coffee usually claims the throne, but tea is our unsung hero. Whether chasing away sniffles, winding down after a hard day, or soothing ourselves to sleep, tea does a lot of heavy lifting! This week, Produce Buyer Laura Rose Dailey is excited to bring a plethora of herbal teas to our shelves.

Coming to us from Lancaster Farmacy and Full Kettle Farm, these herbal teas are for everything from getting better sleep to aiding in the fight against the common cold. Both are locally sourced from Pennsylvania and Massachussetts, on small, family farms.

Lancaster Farmacy was founded in 2009 by Elisabeth Weaver and Casey Spacht, who saw the need for reclaiming health care and making it accessible at the local level. Their background of grassroots activism, community organizing, cooperative models, farming, herbalism, and rewilding gave them the tools needed to grow natural medicine.

Follow them on Instagram: @lancasterfarmacy

Full Kettle Farm is a one acre herb farm in Sunderland, Massachusetts that grows a diversity of vibrant herbs for their exclusive line of delicious herbal teas. The herbs are grown and harvested by hand at peak vitality, then dried on site in their wood framed herb drying room.

Follow them on Instagram: @fullkettle

Carla Bueno-SandersHave You Herb? Herbal Teas to Soothe the Soul
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Nom Nom Nomz: Soup Anytime, Almost Anywhere

While we’ve hyped up our house made soups in the past, as well as West African Egunsi soups, there’s a third option to warm you up without having to have the stock pot simmering all day. Nomz soups, in four delicious pan-Asian varieties, have all the flavor you’re looking for, with none of the work.

Founders Tony and Cat wanted to hark back to their parents’ savory Asian soups, often made in large, family-size batches with leftovers frozen for later. They also wanted a healthier option for fellow busy New Yorkers than greasy fast food or watching produce wilt in the back of the fridge. So they launched Nomz, crafted from traditional Asian recipes, with authentic flavors including Chinese chicken shiitake and Korean brisket radish, using clean ingredients like organic chicken and local mushrooms, and no preservatives ever.

Stock up on Nomz at home for those nights when stepping in front of the stove is just a little more than you can handle, or stash some in the freezer at work; just make sure they’re clearly labeled, because everyone will want some!

Follow Nomz on Instagram: @eatnomz

Carla Bueno-SandersNom Nom Nomz: Soup Anytime, Almost Anywhere
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Not Just Any Hot Chocolate: Earl Grey Hot Chocolate

A chilly day framed in the window, a blanket over your lap, a hot mug of deliciousness held in both hands, and a solidly blank to-do list. That’s the dream, right? All the variables are up to you, of course, but when we’re looking for a comforting drink, sometimes we’re looking for something new. Our do-it-all Erin has been serving up this Earl Grey hot chocolate in our offices, and we think it’s so good you ought to try it too.

Ingredients:

2 sachets of Earl Grey tea
2 tbsp hot chocolate mix
4 oz water
4 oz milk (plant-based milks work fine too!)
Whipped cream for bonus points

Let’s Get Cooking!

  1. Bring water to a boil, and pour 4oz into your favorite mug (or fill your mug halfway). Place tea sachets in water to brew for 3-5 minutes—any longer and it will be bitter.
  2. While your tea steeps, heat your milk of choice in a small pot. This will be quick, so keep an eye on it!
  3. Remove tea sachets, and stir in hot chocolate mix until fully dissolved.
  4. Pour in your heated milk and mix until everything is incorporated.
  5. Top your hot chocolate with whipped cream, directly proportional to how cozy you’re feeling.
Carla Bueno-SandersNot Just Any Hot Chocolate: Earl Grey Hot Chocolate
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The Only Comfort Food That Matters: A Macaroni & Cheese Recipe

When it comes to comfort food, everyone’s got their top five, but no one can disagree: Mac and cheese reigns supreme. There’s something about even the basest combination of pasta and saucy cheese that makes it as satisfying to cook as it is to eat. Because it’s such a blank canvas, it means everyone also has their own take on how to put together this classic dish.

This week, in the spirit of staying home and keeping cozy, we’re offering a recipe that’s a collaboration between our Beer Buyer, Brian Cullen, and our own Carla Bueno. Plymouth Hot Pepper Cheddar provides a strong base with a nice kick, while Aarewasser brings a buttery, raclette-style richness that will deepen all your flavors.

Brian recommends the Greenhouse Pils from Evil Twin Brewing NYC to pair with this mac. This super crisp, light yet flavorful German-style pilsner balances perfectly against the dense, savory richness of the king of comfort food.

Ingredients:

1 lb (or 500g) macaroni pasta
1/2 lb Plymouth Hot Pepper Cheddar, coarsely grated
1/2 lb Aarewasser, chopped into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup buttermilk
3 tbsp cultured butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp ground sage
Salt & pepper to taste
2-4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

Let’s Get Cooking!

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or otherwise grease a 9×13 baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, bring salted boiling water to a boil, and cook your pasta of choice according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, melt 2 tbsp butter in large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Cook garlic in butter for no longer than 30 seconds, then add flour and whisk to create your roux. Reduce temperature to medium-low.
  4. Begin pouring heavy cream in small quantities into your roux, whisking as you go to create your bechamel. Refrain from pouring until previous pour has fully combined with the roux.
  5. Repeat with buttermilk. Remember, you don’t need to rush this!
  6. Once your bechamel is complete, add salt, pepper, paprika, mustard, and sage. Let simmer while you chop your scallions.
  7. Add that cheese into your bechamel! Set a small amount of cheddar aside, equivalent to about 1/8 cup.
  8. Once the cheese is fully incorporated, add your cooked pasta and chopped scallions, mixing well.
  9. Pour the entire contents of the sauté pan into your 9×13 greased baking pan.
  10. In a small skillet, melt remaining tbsp of butter and add your breadcrumbs, toasting and coating them. Combine with remaining cheddar and quickly spread the mixture across the top of the macaroni and cheese.
  11. Place baking pan in oven for 30 minutes until breadcrumb topping is crispy, then allow to cool before serving. Don’t forget the beer!
Carla Bueno-SandersThe Only Comfort Food That Matters: A Macaroni & Cheese Recipe
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