NOV
01

Know Your Food: The Story of Our Parmigiano Reggiano

parmigiano logo
Sunset’s Parmigiano Reggiano is special. Here’s why:


The farm.
Our Parmigiano Reggiano hales from Malandrone farm, which has been managed by the Minelli family for over 100 years. The farm is nestled in the rural mountain town of Pavullo nel Frignano in the northern Italian province of Modena. 

Our Parmigiano Reggiano is made at a higher elevation than most. In fact, it’s a certified ‘Mountain Product’—a unique designation given to Parmigiano Reggianos produced in pristine mountain environments. The mountain altitude and climate promotes the growth of lush grasses and herbs, whose unique aroma and flavors make their way into the cheese. 

The sourcing.
Giovanni Minelli photoOur Parmigiano Reggiano is completely single-sourced. This is unique; most Parmigiano Reggiano dairies pool milk from a number of neighboring farms, make cheese from it, then sell it to a separate aging facility. Our Parmigiano Reggiano is produced on the Malandrone farm from start to finish. The Minelli family meticulously controls every detail of production, from the cow’s diet to the aging process. 

The unpasteurized milk used for our Parmigiano Reggiano is sourced exclusively from cows born and raised on the Malandrone farm. About 150 Holstein Friesian cows are raised in the pasture and open housing. If the cow’s aren’t able to find enough to eat on their mountain pasture, supplemental forage is sourced locally within 3-4 miles from the farm. 


The process.

The Minelli’s don’t cut corners in their cheese making process. Valuing flavor over return, they use the minimal amount of rennet and whey, and they favor a low fat to casein ratio (some dairies increase this ratio to increase yields, though this reduces the flavor complexity). They also know that a slow curd formation is crucial; the difference is evidence when flavors emerge during the aging process. 

parmigiano reggiano malandrone1477

The Minell’s go above and beyond in their aging process, too. Their Parmigiano Reggiano is aged for 26 months—a period well over industry norms. After those 26 months, delicate flavors of butter and grass emerge, and distinctive bits of tyrosine crystals develop. 

Parmigiano reggiano factory

Taste why we’re so proud of our Parmigiano Reggiano (and many other cheeses) at our Fall Cheese Tasting on Saturday, 11/4 in Northbrook, or Saturday, 11/11 in Long Grove

 

Courtney Mayszak, RDN, LDN 847.681.5513 courtney@sunsetfoods.com

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OCT
10

Fall Fun: Apple Dipping & Pumpkin Carving at Sunset’s Bakery

Nothing says fall like dipped apples and carved pumpkins. Join us in the Bakery department of your local Sunset for some fall fun—without any of the clean up!

Show off your craftsmanship and carve your very own pumpkin for $5. You bring the creativity, we’ll provide the pumpkins, tools, and Halloween spirit. Pumpkin carving is from 10am-3pm on Saturday, 10/21.

Nothing beats a freshly dipped caramel apple. Swing by our Bakery and decorate with your choice of yummy toppings. Apple dipping is from 11am-2pm on Saturday, 10/21.

These sweet seaonal events will take place at all Sunset locations. All ages are welcome! 

Apple dipping pumpkin carving event poster

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AUG
16

The Hatch Chile: One Fiesta-Worthy Pepper

Hatch Chiles are a finer gastronomic pleasure that, when you have the opportunity, you should really try.
Hatch Chile logo

A Hatch Chile is a green chili around 4-5 inches in length. They’re grown exclusively in a 100 square-mile area of New Mexico called the Mesilla Valley. The chili is named after the town of “Hatch”, a small village in the valley.

Like wine, the best chilies are grown in climates with hot daytime temperatures and cold nights. The intense sunlight and cool evening in the Mesilla Valley result in a uniquely flavored chile. Served raw, Hatch Chiles have earthy flavors, mild heat, and a subtle sweetness. Served roasted, these flavors intensify, creating complex, zesty and smoky flavors. Hatch Chiles are about half as hot as jalapenos. They tingle on the tongue rather than burn. Their meaty flesh stands up well to an open flame.

Hatch Chiles Roasted

During the chili harvest, Hatch, NM hosts an annual Hatch Chile roast and festival. Thousands of out-of-state and international visitors flock to the sleepy New Mexican town to experience the esteemed Hatch Chile.

Sunset shoppers need only travel as far as the nearest Sunset store to experience a freshly roasted Hatch Chile. We’re shipping in Hatch Chiles direct from New Mexico, and roasting them outside all Sunset locations. Here’s the schedule:

Hatch Chile schedule

 

Our rotating drum roasters turn the chilies as they roast over an open flame at 900 degrees. Watch them blister, char, and pop, then taste for yourself what all the hype is about. Purchase the chilies by-the-pound and stock up for the rest of the year (roasted Hatch Chiles freeze well in zip-lock bags). Or try one of Sunset’s original recipes featuring our favorite chili, such as:

Items featuring Hatch Chiles

Hatch Chile season is short. Fresh chilies are available for a limited 6-week window, with late August being peak harvest. Get ‘em while they’re hot! 

Courtney Mayszak, RDN, LDN 847.681.5513 courtney@sunsetfoods.com

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SEP
09

Fall Cheese Tasting Events

We’re kicking off a new weekend cheese tasting series that offers the opportunity to learn about dozens of delectable cheeses while getting the chance to sample them all.

This series is much more than just a tasting event. It’s a grand tour with some of the best artisanal guides in the business. Guests are invited to explore Sunset’s wide range of high-quality cheeses and talk with cheese experts.

The wide array of cheeses showcased each week will include plenty of the best quality international and domestic varieties. We’ll have creamy and flavorful options from Ireland’s Kerrygold, France’s Champs-Élysées, Italy’s Isola, and Spain’s Manchego. Our experts will also feature savory local and domestic offerings including Wisconsin Artisan Cheese, La Bottega Di Belgioioso, and Sartori cheeses.

Join us Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to enjoy this free event! It all kicks off September 10 at Sunset’s Highland Park location, September 17 at our Northbrook location, September 24 at our Lake Forest location, October 8 at our Long Grove location, and October 22 at our Libertyville location.

Cheese TrayCheese TastingPicture 2016 09 09 at 4.54.00 PM

 

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