The Best of Fall Apples

Lets start with apples for baking:
`When baking with apples, keep in mind that texture is really important. Good baking apples have a balance of intense sweet-tart flavor and will not fall apart when spending time in the oven— remember, you're not making applesauce. Variety is also key. Using a mix of tart and sweet apples makes for a more complex-testing pie. A blend of apples will also contribute varying textures.

A few of our favorite fall baking apples

  • McIntosh
  • Empire
  • Macoun
  • Washington State Granny Smith

Apples for Snacking

For snacking, go for a crisp, juicy apple, and as for flavor? That's really up to you. There's a whole world out there of tart, sweet, or sweet-tart apples that can suit every mood. Go explore, and if you are curious, always ask our Produce Partners for a taste.

A few of our favorite snacking apples

This time of year also brings crops of heirloom apples from Washington State, Minnesota, and New York grown in smaller orchards some with roots that are over 200 years old. These are the ones that are here then gone again for the year. Take your time and search out: Golden Russet, Mutsu, Northern Spy, Roxbury, and Orleans Roulette.

Lastly, it is not fall without cider, and we have amazing juice made in-house daily as well as fantastic ciders from both Fowler Farms and Red Jacket Orchards.

The Best of Fall Apples

Lets start with apples for baking:
`When baking with apples, keep in mind that texture is really important. Good baking apples have a balance of intense sweet-tart flavor and will not fall apart when spending time in the oven— remember, you're not making applesauce. Variety is also key. Using a mix of tart and sweet apples makes for a more complex-testing pie. A blend of apples will also contribute varying textures.

A few of our favorite fall baking apples

  • McIntosh
  • Empire
  • Macoun
  • Washington State Granny Smith

Apples for Snacking

For snacking, go for a crisp, juicy apple, and as for flavor? That's really up to you. There's a whole world out there of tart, sweet, or sweet-tart apples that can suit every mood. Go explore, and if you are curious, always ask our Produce Partners for a taste.

A few of our favorite snacking apples

This time of year also brings crops of heirloom apples from Washington State, Minnesota, and New York grown in smaller orchards some with roots that are over 200 years old. These are the ones that are here then gone again for the year. Take your time and search out: Golden Russet, Mutsu, Northern Spy, Roxbury, and Orleans Roulette.

Lastly, it is not fall without cider, and we have amazing juice made in-house daily as well as fantastic ciders from both Fowler Farms and Red Jacket Orchards.

Break Into Bordeaux

Right now, our stores are celebrating a few of the great gems from Bordeaux that we have found over the last year, all of which are also a great values, just in time to start stocking up for the holidays.

Stemming from the right bank, Chateau Hyot, is a deep ruby color Merlot based blend, this very fresh and juicy wine, is marked by berry fruits and acidity. It’s bright and crisp in character, while also having weight and richness. With its soft tannins, it is ready to drink now. The 2010 was given a score of 90 points by Wine Spectator and found only at Central Market for under $15 per bottle.

Another great gem is the 2010 Chateau Carignan from Cotes de Bordeaux. This is also a blend with about 65% Merlot, but has a nice little punch because of 25% Cabernet in the blend. This is a wine that is sleek and ripe, with a toasty apple wood frame that guides the dark plum, cassis and raspberry fruit along. Woody spice and anise fill in on the finish. This vintage will be good to drink from now through 2018. And is another highly rated wine with 90 points from Wine Spectator and only $17.95 per bottle.

These are just two of many examples in our stores now available showing off the unbelievable value and affordability from Bordeaux. Stop in and ask one of our Wine Partners to take you on a tour of all of the fantastic Bordeaux wines we have available. 

Break Into Bordeaux

Right now, our stores are celebrating a few of the great gems from Bordeaux that we have found over the last year, all of which are also a great values, just in time to start stocking up for the holidays.

Stemming from the right bank, Chateau Hyot, is a deep ruby color Merlot based blend, this very fresh and juicy wine, is marked by berry fruits and acidity. It’s bright and crisp in character, while also having weight and richness. With its soft tannins, it is ready to drink now. The 2010 was given a score of 90 points by Wine Spectator and found only at Central Market for under $15 per bottle.

Another great gem is the 2010 Chateau Carignan from Cotes de Bordeaux. This is also a blend with about 65% Merlot, but has a nice little punch because of 25% Cabernet in the blend. This is a wine that is sleek and ripe, with a toasty apple wood frame that guides the dark plum, cassis and raspberry fruit along. Woody spice and anise fill in on the finish. This vintage will be good to drink from now through 2018. And is another highly rated wine with 90 points from Wine Spectator and only $17.95 per bottle.

These are just two of many examples in our stores now available showing off the unbelievable value and affordability from Bordeaux. Stop in and ask one of our Wine Partners to take you on a tour of all of the fantastic Bordeaux wines we have available. 

This Wiesenzauber is a Wise Choice

Now incorporating herbs into a cheese is not new, but Philipp used his spectacular backyard as a source of inspiration, and the addition of the herbs available from his farm really helps to create a cheese with a sense of place. 

neuwiess-farm

You don’t have to approach this cheese with caution, embrace its buttery texture and feel free to melt away! Shred into your next baked potato or make an amazing grilled cheese with a little bacon and tomato. Oh, yeah, one more thing, did I mention that Central Market is the only cheese shop where you can pick up this delicious find in the United States? So, with all this in mind, see you soon.

Italy is Only a Scoop Away

Speaking of your favorite flavors, we’ve improved those, too! Also in keeping with traditional Italian gelato, we plumped up the flavor quotient. While you may not taste as much sweetness in our new recipes, you will taste more intensely decadent flavors of lemon, chocolate, pear, watermelon, almonds, grapefruit, and more.

Over the few weeks and months, the Pozzetti will make its way to the gelato bar at your local Central Market. Keep an eye out and get ready to fall in love with gelato all over again!

Italy is Only a Scoop Away

Speaking of your favorite flavors, we’ve improved those, too! Also in keeping with traditional Italian gelato, we plumped up the flavor quotient. While you may not taste as much sweetness in our new recipes, you will taste more intensely decadent flavors of lemon, chocolate, pear, watermelon, almonds, grapefruit, and more.

Over the few weeks and months, the Pozzetti will make its way to the gelato bar at your local Central Market. Keep an eye out and get ready to fall in love with gelato all over again!

Aged To Perfection

The family at Jasper Hill does amazing things. This cheese is made at a satellite production facility and then sent to the Cellars to be meticulously cared after, for eight to twelve months. This last stage of cheesemaking is known as "affingage." It is common across the pond, but sending cheese to be aged elsewhere is a fairly new concept here in the US.

When they arrive at the Cellars the new wheels are washed with culture laced brine to catalyze flavor development. The result is a crystalline, dense but pliant cheese. Though made by traditional Alpine methods of cooking and pressing, Alpha Tolman, named after a philanthropic 19th century farmer, cheese has a light bite and lacks the Euro aftertaste. Buttery, fruity, and nutty when young, it matures to bold, meaty and caramelized onion. It melts beautifully and would be ideal for fondue, but also at home with any cheese board. Have a hearty ale with this one and don't miss it.

 

Aged To Perfection

The family at Jasper Hill does amazing things. This cheese is made at a satellite production facility and then sent to the Cellars to be meticulously cared after, for eight to twelve months. This last stage of cheesemaking is known as "affingage." It is common across the pond, but sending cheese to be aged elsewhere is a fairly new concept here in the US.

When they arrive at the Cellars the new wheels are washed with culture laced brine to catalyze flavor development. The result is a crystalline, dense but pliant cheese. Though made by traditional Alpine methods of cooking and pressing, Alpha Tolman, named after a philanthropic 19th century farmer, cheese has a light bite and lacks the Euro aftertaste. Buttery, fruity, and nutty when young, it matures to bold, meaty and caramelized onion. It melts beautifully and would be ideal for fondue, but also at home with any cheese board. Have a hearty ale with this one and don't miss it.

 

20th Anniversary Essay Contest

Today, we are so happy to congratulate Joseph Segura from our Broadway store for is winning submission. Joseph went from being a foodie outsider to an epicurean adventurer over the course of the last five years. And that we were such a big part of that journey really touched us. You can read Joseph's full essay submission below:

For the first thirty-eight years of my life, I was a foodie outsider – an epicurean Holden Caulfield or Ponyboy Curtis. I was not really into food. I used to think hummus was just some snooty dip. Then one fateful day five years ago, my wife forced me to watch Julie and Julia. Soon afterward, I bought a copy of The Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. I traveled 40 miles to Central Market not because my wife asked me to pick something up that wasn’t available at our local HEB, but because I wanted to visit the mecca of gastronomy. My whole food world changed. It was a culinary paradigm shift. I never knew there was such a thing as ground white pepper. Central Market helped me broaden my food horizon. I became a foodie terminator. I absolutely would not stop – ever! I turned to Central Market to provide me with the finest, freshest ingredients for all of my new foodie adventures. I began to tell the cashiers, “I’ll be back!” Central Market taught me about smoked Gouda, bison burgers, and apple-smoked bacon. It was love at first bite.
 
I began to watch foodie travel shows with a passion. I became addicted to Anthony Bourdain. My wife and I started to throw crawfish boil parties. We made the perfect paella for our holiday guests. I learned to make French macaroons from a Martha Stewart recipe. Central Market sparked a burning desire for fine food.
 
Delectable food became a hobby. I began to make Central Market “recon trips” where I would study the spices, cheese, wine, meats and all the beautiful bread available. I made croquet monsieur and croquet madame for my wife and myself. Monsieur for the madame and madame for the monsieur. I started including lavender flowers in my pancakes and whisking up omelets with tarragon and goat cheese. I began firing up pepper pachanga pesto on Thursday afternoons. I dabbled in shakshuka with feta. You betcha! I even made a Valentine’s Day Aphrodisiacs dinner for my wife. Cupid gained 15 pounds. Our parties became freakin’ fabulous. These weren’t Great Gatsby style soirees, but Clinton Kelly would be proud.
 
Like a gastronomic Franz Kafka, Central Market ultimately began a foodie metamorphosis within me. Food is now a frequent topic of conversation. “What did you have for lunch? Was it presented well?” Recipes are now adventures. It’s not uncommon to spend an entire Saturday afternoon in the kitchen experimenting with a Julia Child recipe and a bottle of red wine. I used to keep a travel journal, but now I also keep a beer and wine journal. It’s a startling transformation. I’ve been changed into a foodie Hulk. Bad food makes me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.
 
I now consider myself a foodie insider. In the never ending pursuit for fine food, it’s tremendous to have a resource like Central Market. As Ponyboy was told in The Outsiders, “Stay gold, Central Market. Stay gold.”
__________

We would also like to congratulate the following early birds, who were the first 25 customers to submit stories, and will also receive $25 Central Market gift cards.