Eat This Today!

Dana Brewster and Mark DelVecchio are passionate about chocolate.  After over two decades of owning and operating Millcreek Coffee Roasters, Dana decided to bring her nuanced palate and expertise in coffee roasting to creating a unique farm-to-bar chocolate experience with Millcreek Cacao Roasters. 

In a tiny chocolate factory in downtown Salt Lake City, both Dana and Mark tend to a meticulous process of taking cacao beans through the various stages to produce fine flavored chocolate. They roast the cacao beans, break and winnow the shells, grind the nib, and refine the chocolate to produce an exquisite chocolate experience.  They have selected a pure heritage cacao called Arriba Naciona, indigenous to Ecuador, which offers a beautiful floral aroma and fine flavors. Arriba Nacional is grown in shaded cacao farms in Ecuador's coastal lowlands where the climate and soil conditions occur exclusively.   They have developed close relationships with the Ecuadorian farmers to ensure their practices are responsible not only to the environment but also fair to the farmers themselves.

Millcreek's sublime chocolates are beautifully wrapped and make a lovely hostess gift, wedding or table favor, or as an elegant gesture of gratitude.  

70% Ecuadorian Pure Arriba Nacional:  Their signature bar is a multi-faceted experience. Fruity and nutty, the warm undertones lure you into a luxuriously smooth, rich finish.

Espresso: The Ecuadorian Arriba Nacional 70% cacao bar is paired with coarsely ground coffee beans. Millcreek Coffee Roaster’s Espresso blend pairs beautifully with the deep rich flavors of the chocolate.

Ginger:  The Ecuadorian Arriba Nacional 70% cacao bar is paired with Ginger and Wasabi Peas. This unique combination adds an exotic twist to every bite.

Himalayan Pink Salt:  The Ecuadorian Arriba Nacional 70% cacao bar is paired with Himalayan Pink Sea Salt. The world's purest, Himalayan sea salt intensifies the already beautiful flavors of the cacao.

Hot Mole:  Their Ecuadorian Arriba Nacional 70% cacao bar is paired with an organic Mole richly spiced and complex. The Mole experience demonstrates that Millcreek Cacao is good enough to heat!

Orange Peel:  The Ecuadorian Arriba Nacional 70% cacao bar is paired with candied orange peel. The marriage of flavors is truly exquisite.

Only at LHF in Salt Lake City - Fermín Jamon Ibérico de Bellota is quite simply, one of the finest hams in the world. Sliced razor thin to order, each morsel melts into your mouth with warm nutty flavor and incredible richness. From the Pata Negra breed, the Ibérico pigs are descendants of the wild boar that once inhabited the untamed Mediterranean forests. Today, it is the last free range and free grazing pig in Europe. The Ibérico feasts almost exclusively on fallen acorns (bellota) and wild herbs. This entirely natural diet and the unique flavors and marbling that develop give the meat incomparable tenderness, taste, and texture that make Ibérico de Bellota the best in its class. Located in picturesque La Alberca, one of the oldest rural villages in Spain, Fermín has been raising and bringing to market 100% pure Ibérico since it was founded by the Martín family in 1956. Today, Fermín continues to thrive as a family-run business dedicated to artisanal Ibérico production.

The story of this incredible ham begins in the open lands of western Spain, where black hoofed (pata negra) Ibérico pigs run free in family groups, feasting on the sweet Encina acorns, as well as wild herbs and grasses. Each pig eats around eleven pounds of acorns a day during the fall, gaining more than two pounds daily. The acorns impart a delicious nutty flavor, and are full of antioxidants, which allow the pork to be cured for extended periods with very little salt.

The hams are hung to dry in the winter in the beautiful mountain village of La Alberca.  Complex chemical changes transform the pork into ham, creating thousands of flavor compounds that make this ham so wonderfully flavorful. All the while the Fermín ham master opens and closes shutters in the curing house to allow in fresh mountain air. His mission is to provide just the right temperature and humidity for the perfect ham.

Overhead in LHF this week: "They remind me of the clementines my mother bought me from roadside stands as a child."

CCOF Certified organically grown Fina Sodea clementines make a beautiful edible centerpiece for your holiday table, plus are a fresh, juicy treat. Easy to peel, perfect to stash in a lunchbox or purse. Grown by Olsen Farm out of Lindsay, California. Ken Olsen runs his 20 acre farm in harmony with nature, with more than 20 percent designated as wetlands.

Certified organic Lady apples are both decorative and completely edible - use as a pretty table centerpiece, bake whole with your Christmas ham or turkey, weave into wreaths, or just enjoy as a snack.  With a mild sweet flavor and soft texture, they are just a little bigger than a quarter! 

Cuyama Orchards is owned and operated by growers Howard and Jean Albano and their son Byron.  A certified organic 265 acre farm, the Albano family has been growing apples for the past 25 years in the remote mountainous area of Cuyama, surrounded by the Los Padres National forest in Santa Barbara County.

Rustic Bakery Cookies are delicious handmade cookies crafted with care in California using all organic ingredients and Straus Family Creamery butter. So tasty, attractively packaged and just the right size to put in a Christmas stocking or cookie plate for Santa.

Decadent flavors include:

Pecan (rich buttery shortbread with pecans)

Vanilla (rich buttery shortbread with Tahitian vanilla bean)

Orange (classic shortbread with Valencia orange)

Meyer Lemon (shortbread with the sweet and tangy zest of Meyer Lemons)

Espresso Chocolate Chip (buttery shortbread with espresso and chocolate chip)

Lime (classic shortbread with juicy Mexican lime zest)

Chocolate Cocao Nib (made with Valrhona chocolate)

Chocolate Chip (with Callebaut chocolate chips)

Almond Cocao Nib (buttery shortbread with crunchy almonds and cocao nibs.)

Something about a cold blustery night makes us long for fun family feasts where we gather 'round a warm pot of cheese fondue and dip and dip and dip again. The Swiss and Germans excel in their Alpine cheese making traditions, with rich and creamy textures and nuanced flavors that lend to pairing with breads, meats, and vegetables. Currently, Liberty Heights Fresh offers a wonderful selection of world-class Alpine cheese and we in particular recommend the Scharfe  Maxx, the Appenzeller Reserve Black Label, and Bavarian Emmentaler. Each can be enjoyed on a cheese plate with apples and candied nuts, sliced onto sandwiches, or in our fondue recipe below.

Appenzeller cheese was used as a form of currency during the times of Charlemagne. The Appenzeller Reserve Black Label is aged for a minimum of six months and rubbed in a custom brine of herbs, wine, cider and salts. The result is a semi-firm cheese with spicy yet flowery notes.

Scharfe Maxx is a third generation proprietary cheese crafted by the Studer family – similar to an Appenzeller but with a distinct creamy texture (cream is added to the milk) yet sharp ("Scharfe" means sharp) flavor, the cheese is washed in herbs during its 6 months of aging to create a savory aromatic nose of mushrooms, beef and caramelized onions.

Bavarian Emmentaler is an exceptional quality cow's milk cheese aged 6 months for a mild nutty and almost sweet flavor, a moist and delicate texture, and the most traditional "Swiss" cheese flavor more familiar to an American palate. 

Cheese Fondue Recipe

Mead and Mead's is a family-run organization that sells Grades A, B, and Extra Dark maple syrup in beautiful Italian glass bottles.  The striking bottles are only matched by the rich flavorful liquid gold inside, and make a lovely gift. 

This fine syrup can be of course used on pancakes and waffles; but it also shines in baking, as a glaze for pork tenderloin, with mustard to make an outstanding vinaigrette, or on yogurts for breakfast.  

Mead and Mead's pure maple syrup is hand-packed in small batches that are vetted for quality by Winter Mead II.  They use only the freshest sap available and practice environmental sustainability to conserve energy, save resources, and reduce cost. Produced from pristine, hardwood forests in Connecticut and Massachusetts, without the use of any fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides, Mead and Mead's never contains any additives or preservatives - just 100% pure maple syrup. ​

 

 

NASFT Silver Medal Winner!

Harvest Song Ventures Fresh Walnut Preserves are made from fresh baby walnuts, picked green from their tree before the shells have a chance to age and harden, and then are whole cured. Every part is used, shells and all! The flavor is rich, nuanced and unctuous. Enjoy as a fine garnish with bleu, other full-flavor cheeses, and with duck or other savory dishes.

Harvest Song's fruits and nuts are grown near the Biblical mount Ararat in Armenia at around 10,000 ft, in ideal conditions of volcanic soil and surrounding natural spring waters.  All of Harvest Song preserves are hand-made, packed only are harvest season, and grown in a chemical and pesticide-free environment. Only the ripest fruits and nuts are picked from the farms on a daily basis; their cannery uses minimal knives and everything is carefully hand inspected.  Slow-cooked with a little bit of pure cane sugar and lemon juice, with no preservatives or pectin, all jars are decorated with handmade rice paper from Kathmandu, Nepal. 

NASFT is the National Association for Specialty Food Trade.

Liberty Heights Fresh is proud to now offer Charming Beard Coffee, a high quality artisanal coffee roaster based here in Salt Lake City. Charming Beard is committed to providing exceptional coffee beans from some of the world's finest growing regions. Currently Liberty Heights Fresh sells five outstanding varieties of Charming Beard 12 oz. whole bean bags.

The Nicaragua beans are shade grown at nearly 4000 ft. elevation in the Jinotego region.  Grown on the El Recreo Estate Farm, the Arabica beans display mild chocolate and nut notes, with a light balance of fruit and acidity, creating a classic Central American flavor profile.   The farm is run by Carlos Ferrey and Leana Machado and certified by the Rainforest Alliance who monitor sustainable agricultural practices. 

The Uganda beans are a full flavor medium-light roast with notes of black currents and dried fruits, with a taste of pine at the finish.  The beans are grown on the western slope of Mt. Elgon in the Sipi Falls area of the Kapchorwa district.   The beans demonstrate the wonderful flavors of great African coffees - floral nuances with nice acidity.  These beans are grown by the Kabum cooperative, which is a humanitarian based green coffee distributor who makes sure the farmers get the majority of the profit.

The Ethiopia "Yirgacheffe" (yer-guh-chef-eh) beans reveal flavors of blueberries, with floral aromas and tangerine notes. A bright cup of coffee that will make you taste flavors you never thought possible in your morning cup of coffee.   Yirgacheffe is one of the worlds best coffee growing regions in one of the worlds oldest coffee producing countries. This Ethiopia Yirgacheffe is a dry processed coffee and comes from Sustainable Harvest, a coffee importing company dedicated to transparency and relationship.

Costa Rica "La Minita" is the quintessential cup of coffee. A mild body with a bright middle, this beans create a perfectly balanced cup of cherries, chocolate, and caramelized sugar – not too tart or sweet.  Coffees from Costa Rica are considered to be the classic definition of "coffee." This Costa Rican in particular comes from Hacienda La Minta, in the famous growing region of Tarrazu. It's one of the last true estate coffees and La Minta has long been known for their dedication to quality from growing to milling.

Charming Beard's Decaf Ethiopia Sidamo hails from the origin of coffee. Ethiopia.  More specifically, these beans come from the major coffee producing region of Sidamo.  This Ethiopian Sidamo is a water processed decaf, which means no chemicals were used to decaffeinate the beans. The beans maintain their citrus and floral notes after decaffeination, and produce a very mellow cup of coffee with a mild body.

Charming Beard Coffee launched from La Barba Coffee Roasters in November 2012 with a roasting facility in Salt Lake City.    Their goal is to source the highest quality green coffee beans in the world either from farms or reputable brokers. Right now 80% of their coffee comes from small, locally owned farms, many of which are co-ops. The farmers are highly involved in the growing process and are paid a fair wage

Rather than offering regional blends, Charming Beard Coffees are all single-origin;  that means the beans are grown on one farm, allowing the unique characteristics of the soil, the climate and the individual farmer to shine through. 

Charming Beard coffees undergo a light roast.  This allows all the unique and wonderful flavors and nuances to be fully tasted.  Darker roasts tend to burn out those delicate flavors, and contrary to popular belief, are not higher in caffeine than lighter roasts.

The word on Askinosie: "If there is brighter, more lush, or more balanced cocoa powder on this earth, I haven't discovered it yet." from Food Blogger Susan Bradley

Askinosie was the first small-batch chocolate maker in the U.S. to produce a natural cocoa powder.  It is made right in their factory using the same beans as the Davao Dark Chocolate, creating an authentic single origin powder. It is unsweetened and non-alkalized, perfect for baking and a rich cup of hot cocoa!

Hot Cocoa Recipe:

2 Tbsp Askinosie Natural Cocoa Powder
2 Tbsp India Tee Demerara sugar
1 pinch Diamond kosher salt
6 oz very warm (not boiling) Rosehill milk

Mix the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Slowly stir or whisk in the hot milk. Makes 1 cup.

Yum.

To list the many coveted awards for River's Edge cheeses would fill this space ten times over. Two of their best are in the cheese case right now: Sunset Bay is a bloomy rind chevre with a fiery orange line of paprika streaking through its center. Encased in edible vegetable ash on the outside, the inside is dense and creamy with the smoky hint of imported Spanish pimentón. Aged for three weeks for luscious flavor, the cheese center will transform from dense richness to a marvelous silky cream. And for a little taste of heaven – try this season's crottin "Up in Smoke" – a perfect piece of creamy smoky chevre misted with bourbon then wrapped in maple leaf.
River's Edge creates fresh and aged artisanal farmstead goat cheeses hand-crafted in Oregon's Central Coast Range. They follow the same time-honored techniques learned over generations in the French countryside.

Sunset Bay's Recent Awards:
2012 Guild of Fine Foods World Cheese Awards - Super Gold Medal
2011 ADGA Cheese Competition – Best in Show
2010 ACS 3rd Place Winner
2009 World Cheese Awards Silver Award Winner
2008 ADGA Cheese Competition 1st in Category
2008 ACS 2nd Place Winner
2008 WCMA World Competition 2nd Place Winner
2007 ADGA Cheese Competition 3rd Place Winner

Honey adds a little something sweet to your tea, a drizzle on granola or yogurt, or for an exceptional combination, try a touch with your Gorgonzola. Bee Raw Honey offers raw, unfiltered, single varietal regional honeys supplied by American family-owned apiaries dedicated to meticulous bee husbandry which produces distinctive honeys from a single flower source. 

Current varietals include:

Florida Orange Blossom

Wisconsin Cranberry Honey

Washington Buckwheat Honey

Colorado Star Thistle Honey

Maine Blueberry Honey

New York Basswood Honey

Colorado Sweet Yellow Clover

California Wild Black Sage

 

 

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