The Charlottesville 29

If there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?

Tag: Castle Hill Cider

Virginia Abounds in Good Food Award Finalists

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We are blessed to live in an extraordinary food region. And, every now and then, someone happens to take notice. The latest are The Good Food Awards, which have long been good to Virginia, and this year is no exception.  To be eligible for a Good Food Award, in categories like Charcuterie, Cheese, Chocolate, Coffee, Spirits, etc., the 2,059 entrants must show that they meet “industry-specific environmental and social criteria.”  Then, a blind tasting by experts determines the winners.

Local artisans abound on this year’s list of Finalists, just announced. Just 23 charcuterie items made the finals, and two are right here in Charlottesville. Timbercreek Market’s Duck Rillette, created by Tucker Yoder, and JM Stock Provisions’ Beef Tongue Pastrami join a list of the who’s who of top American charcuterie producers.

It’s no secret that this is one of the nation’s best cider regions, too, and, of the thirteen cider finalists, two call the Commonwealth home: Blue Bee Cider – for their Harvest Ration – and Castle Hill Cider – for 1764 & Levity.

For coffee, Red Rooster Coffee Roaster’s Ethiopia Hambela Washed was honored. For Pantry items, Lindera Farms’ Black Locust Vinegar made the cut. And, for adult beverages, Port City Brewing’s Port City Porter made the Beer list and Texas Beach’s Bloody Mary Mix is a finalist in the Spirits category.

Congratulations to all of Virginia’s finalists. Winners will be announced on January 20, 2017.

Five Finds on Friday: Stuart Madany

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On Fridays, we feature five foods finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  To mark the first day of Virginia’s Cider Week, today’s picks come from Stuart Madany, cidermaker at Castle Hill Cider.  On Saturday November 23, Castle Hill Cider will host Cider Fest 2013, from 11 am to 5 pm, featuring cider tastings, food by area chefs, and music by Love Canon.  Madany’s picks:

1)  Apple Kraut from Farmstead Ferments. “Naturally fermented red and green cabbage, apples and a spice blend including allspice and juniper.  Crunch, tang, and aromatics.  Surprisingly addictive.”

2)  Esmontonian from Caromont Farm.  “An aged raw goat’s milk tomme cheese. Wonderfully nutty and complex.  Artisanal comfort food.”

3)  Red Curry at Lime Leaf. “I find Thai food to pair wonderfully with cider, and this is one of my local favorites.”

4)  Homemade Salad with Roasted Beets and Arugula from Bellair Farm and vinaigrette made with cider vinegar from Virginia Vinegar Works.

5) Elderflower Sunrise kombucha from Barefoot Bucha.  “Great balance, delicious, sustainable.”