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Producers

LOCAL EGGS & PORK

Late Bloomer Ranch, Driggs, Idaho

Full disclosure, this is the reason I am here. This is my niece's pasture raised heirloom pork and egg farm.

Whenever possible, the eggs used in our house made cookies are hers (otherwise their from her neighbor up the road, Purely by Chance).

Once the commercial kitchen on site is finished and approved, we will be able to sell her raw, frozen portioned meat (USDA approved) as well as incorporate her beautiful pork in grab and go meals.

So, stay tuned, and stay hungry!

BUTTER

Cache Meadow Creamery, Preston, Idaho

This small family creamery is what dreams are made of, and sadly, becoming more of a rarity.

I was surprised to learn there was no fresh butter like this in Teton Valley...so I drove the almost 200 miles south, near the Utah boarder, to meet these Jersey cows and their farmer. It was worth the drive, but a stark reminder that good food is not manufactured.

Food Shed Idaho is using their raw sweet butter in our limited edition "terroir" chocolate chip cookie. We think you will be able to taste the difference and appreciate our commitment to promoting locally grown ingredients and small family farms.

Once we get our commercial kitchen license, we can legally sell the raw sweet butter as a retail item. Until then you can enjoy this wonderful butter in our "limited edition" baked goods.

Cache Meadow Creamery

CHOCOLATE

Michel Cluizel, Normandy, France

I've sold this chocolate to pastry chefs for almost 20 years. Why do I like it? For starters, they make beautiful chocolate, have a passion for noble ingredients and not available everywhere.

They also don't use any soy which is a growing allergen and is an ingredient in most chocolate. They use whole vanilla pods and not extract in their products - that's more expensive to do, but gives them more control over their finished product. Additionally, they only use cane sugar which has a different taste, cost and is non-gmo, versus beet sugar.

They source their beans differently too. While bigger companies are looking for larger farms and better pricing, and smaller bean to bar chocolate companies don't have the experience and expertise, Cluizel nurtures relationships with smaller farmers who grow beans in partnership with Cluizel.

Now in their 4th generation, Cluizel has been producing single origin and single estate chocolate for almost 25 years. Always fair trade. Always directly with the farmers.

Their factory in Damville (Normandy), France would make Willy Wonka blush. It's worth a pit stop if you ever find yourself able to travel (again) there.

Cluizel chocolate is smooth, elegant and satisfying. I am so proud to say is our house chocolate for all baked goods.

Michel Cluizel

MANUFACTURE CLUIZEL, USA - YouTube

FLOUR

Hillside Grain, Sun Valley, Idaho

Sister and brother, Brett & Justin Stevenson, are growing amazing flour at the foothills of Sun Valley. They're second generation farmers, stone milling their family grown grain to provide fresh flour that is both delicious and nutritious. 

Located at the headwaters of Silver Creek just outside Sun Valley is premium grain growing country. They're nestled in the beautiful Wood River Valley below the Pioneer, Boulder, and Smokey Mountains while the Sawtooths and White Clouds grace the landscape to the north.

And guess what? Terroir isn’t just for wine. Within their grain and flour, one can just about taste the clear hot summer days, cool high elevation nights, and spring-fed Silver Creek running cold.  

On top of that, the flour is so fresh and soft - not a description you would generally use for flour - it feels like silk on the back of your hand!!! It's that different.

Food Shed Idaho is excited to be the first retailer in the Teton Valley to carry this high-quality, clean grain and unadulterated, fresh flour. We even drove the almost 400 miles round trip to pickup our first order!

And, we love this flour so much, this is the only wheat flour we are using in our house made goodies. Taste what local really tastes like and support small artisan farmers like Brett and her brother Justin at Hillside Grain.

Hillside Grain

Hillside Grain-Not Your Run-of-the-Mill Operation - YouTube

HONEY

Mieli Thun, Trentino, Italy

To say that Andrea Paternoster is a bee keeper is an understatement. In Italy, he's considered a rock-star amongst chefs. Beekeeping was in his family, but he didn't want to just make honey, he wanted to take it beyond. In the processes, he has set a new bar, a bar where terroir and the bees create extraordinary flavor experiences.

He takes his bees all around Italy. I've seen it! I visited him in Italy a few years ago and even donned a bee suit!

He's the ultimate nomadic beekeeper focusing on each species of flower favors, in specific places, depending on the terroir, the climate and the composition of the soil. He brings his bees to collect nectar in different places, making at least 60 stops during a single year.

Making nomadic honey means seeking the finest floral and local expression of honey. The transfers and layovers take into account the bees’ life cycle, so they move only by night, when the hive is asleep.

It's incredible how he trains them just to do one varietal; so that each honey flavor is unique and special. And, it's incredible too, that there are so many possibilities in savory and sweet cooking.

These are not your everyday 'cup of tea' honeys, and no disrespect to local honey. The clarity, texture and the unique flavor ranges of Andrea's honeys are truly extraordinary.

Like his Acacia, it's crystal clear and takes the longest to crystalize. So, it's ideal for candy making.

His Hazelnut Honey is a combination of Acacia honey and Italian hazelnut paste. I have never seen this combination, anywhere. This is one of my favorite items because of it's simplicity. Reminds me of a Sugar Daddy, but spreadable (and healthier).

He treats each one of his honeys like a fine wine. The aromas, flavors, colors and textures are so different from one to another.

This year, Gaggenau (the kitchen equipment company) has nominated Andrea Paternoster of Mieli Thun for their "Respected by Gaggenau" award: each shortlisted nominee, impressed the Global Curator Board with the passion and dedication they show to their craft and showed excellence within their industry. (Mancini Pasta was another!) This just shows you how respected he is by his peers and the industry.

I hope you will treat yourself and experience his life's work...and the work of his bees!

Mieli Thun

Andrea Paternoster di Mieli Thun in azione - YouTube

OLIVE OIL

De Carlo, Puglia, Italy

Truth be told, this is one producer I have not visited yet but can't wait for the day I can.

Located in Puglia, in the boot of Italy, the De Carlo family has one of the oldest mills in Italy and has been producing olive oil for over 400 years; and in the last 40 years, focusing on the best quality olive oils. In fact, they have been complimented in Tom Mueller's 2011 non-fiction book "Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil" and have won several Flos Olei awards - considered the most prestigious olive oil competition in the world.

Many of their 25,000 trees are centuries old, with thick and nodous trunks and deep roots. Because of this, they are not mechanically harvested.

The preserved vegetables they produce in glass jars are actually grown in between their olive trees on their estate, then packed with their olive oil. The packaging is just as beautiful as what's inside, plus you can enjoy the olive oil separately if you wish!

There is so much misleading information about olive oil because the word "Italy" on the label is so profitable. Most "Italian" oils say "packed in Italy" - which means just that. The oil is not from there, and is likely inferior. It's just trucked in and packed there because they can command a higher price. Other times the label can say "product of (or grown in) Italy", which means it's a commodity Italian oil. When the maker calls out the varietal, or the location of the farm so you can research it, generally means you have a better quality oil.

De Carlo's "Classico" is my everyday oil. I fry eggs in it, sauté and roast vegetables in it and use it in salads. I love the aroma, the color and the flavor and find it to be a good value (it actually won a Slow Food Italy award just for that reason!).

When I am feeling special (which I like to celebrate often), I'll treat myself to their single varietal "Torre di Mossa". This is a limited edition oil, which I hope to be getting in soon. Stay tuned...

I hope you will enjoy this producer as much as I do.

De Carlo

OLIO DE CARLO, una storia di passione e sapori di Puglia - YouTube

PASTA

Mancini Pastificio Agricolo, Marche, Italy

I was introduced to Mancini Pasta by a small artisan pasta maker in Oakland, CA. Renato owned a wonderful small dried pasta company called BAIA (now closed). He did short extruded cuts, but stocked Mancini's spaghetti. Renato had trained under Mancini, who he felt was the best pasta maker in Italy (the world).

I can still remember what that first plate tasted like. It was before I realized that gluten and dairy were no longer my friends... I just simply had spaghetti, some excellent extra virgin olive oil and parmigiano-reggiano cheese. It was sublime. Slightly sweet, dense and full of texture. It was perfect. That was over 5 years ago, and I can still taste that first bite.

There are several reasons Pasta Mancini so unique and why I chose to carry it here at Food Shed Idaho.

First, they have their own farm. Actually, their factory is in the middle of their farm. So, they have complete control over the quality of wheat (semolina) they use. I know of no other producer like this. Most pasta companies give you the idea they grow their own wheat, but at best they mill wheat they buy.

Secondly, they only use circular bronze die plates and dry their pasta at temperatures between 100-130F for about 25 hours for short and 45 hours for long - compared to just a few hours, at higher heat, for industrial pasta. This helps to develop flavor and insure the pasta will hold up and not crack.

This pasta brand is probably new to you. It has only been available in the US for a few years, mostly in larger cities.

“Respectedby Gaggenau”, the luxury kitchen appliance company based in Europe, has just come out with their 2021 nominees for exceptional craftspeople and farmers who pursue quality over quantity.  On that very-short list is Massino Mancini's pasta (and Mieli Thun honey, which we stock too).

Cheap pasta is so inexpensive and flavorless at around $0.25 per serving. For about $1 more per serving, you can have something that transports you, that nourishes you. It's like comparing a little economy car with a Lamborghini...you just can't.

Though I am gluten intolerant, I find that this pasta doesn't bother me like commodity pasta does - I'm convinced it's because of their Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).

If you like pasta, if you love pasta, I know you will thoroughly enjoy this. Mangia!

Pasta Mancini

Pasta Mancini - YouTube

RICE

Acquerello Rice, Vercelli (Piedmonte), Italy

The only people more passionate about risotto and Acquerello are the Rondolinos!
I could write a book on how extraordinary this rice is but that's already been done (Il Racconto Del Riso).

I have a lot of experience cooking risotto. I worked at a small family restaurant in SF that made risotto from dry rice. That was actually my job. Every order from scratch. Let me share with you, that's not often done that way; primarily because of burner space and time but secondly, and most importantly, availability talented staff. Usually risotto is par cooked and reheated to order which leads to overcooking and mushy rice. Acquerello, because it's aged and the grain is intact, retains it's starch better making it more difficult to overcook. (I hope one day I will be able to give a risotto class!).

The estate (Tenuta Colombara) has been producing rice since the 1400's. Piero Rondolino's father purchased the rice growing estate in 1935.

Acquerello started in 1991 from Piero Rondolino’s idea to create a rice that distinguished itself from all others for its superior quality; he wanted only to grow the best rice!

Acquerello is the first rice that is aged and has its own germ. This makes this white rice’s nutritional properties the same as brown rice.

Aged for a minimum of 1 year in refrigerated silos, making the starch more stable and the flavor more enhanced.

It's the tastiest because it's the only rice whitened with a "helix", a gentle method which leaves the grain intact and unscratched, making cooking consistent.

Acquerello carnaroli rice is the healthiest because, thanks to a patented process, the rice germ is absorbed back into the grain, giving them all the nutritional values of brown rice.

These three reasons separate Acquerello from ALL other rice and will allow a professional OR home chef to make perfect risotto.

Several years ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Rondolino family and their Tenuta Colombara estate outside Turin, in Italy. Their passion and integrity for their Acquerello rice is intoxicating. I got to see their rice museum, the processing facility and stay in their incredible summer castle (yes, not a house...a castle). It was a trip of a lifetime, and I learned so much.

The best of the best restaurants use this rice for a reason. It's the best. Yes, it costs more per serving than commodity rice, because it's not. Nobody wants a mushy risotto...

Riso Acquerello

Lazy Risotto | Gennaro Contaldo | Italian Special | AD - YouTube

RICE

Koda Farms, Dos Palos, California

Koda Farms organic heirloom Kokuho Rose rice is the rice of your dreams - fluffy, fragrant, toothsome, sweet, slightly sticky & tacky.  It’s perfect for sushi, but also for every day. 

You might be familiar with commodity Kokuho Rose rice, which is derived from a strain of Koda rice, but it’s not the same as this heirloom rice.

Though their white rice is ideal for sushi, it can also be your everyday rice.  While the white is fragrant and slightly sweet, the brown is nutty.  Make sure to follow their unique cooking instructions! You will never go back to your old method of cooking rice.   

The Koda family owns, and exclusively grows the original organic heirloom varietal.  They have complete control over the seed program, harvesting, processing, & packaging.  Their rice is vacuumed packed to ensure freshness, certified organic & kosher giving authenticity &transparency to every step, every kernel.

What makes this rice even more remarkable is the inspiring story behind it.  Koda Farms is the oldest family owned &operated rice farm in California.  Now run by siblings Ross & Robin, their grandfather started this farm in1928.  It was all but taken away during WWII while the family was put in an internment camp.  When the war was over, 90% of their land, all the equipment & the mill had been sold off. Still, the family persevered creating an extraordinary brand. 

Fun trivia!  Koda pioneered flying planes to seed.  The field would be flooded first, then the grain would be dropped allowing it to absorb the water and sink to the bottom yielding more rice and saving time.  They also were the first to add a rice dryer.

Having visited the farm & met the Kodas, I feel honored to carry their rice.  Not surprising, it just seems that when we have a connection with food, it just tastes better.  This rice tastes sublime.   

So, why settle for plain white rice that has no flavor or story? Connect with your food. 

Want to learn more about their inspiring story?  Here are 3videos you can see 1) NBC Asia America: At Koda Farms, a legacy endures beyond exclusion, internment 2) Eater:  How Rice Is Farmed, Milled and Packaged at Koda Farms and 3) a full-length film…SEEDS: The Story of The Rice King and His Kin (www.cultureunplugged.com).

Koda Farms

NBC News - Sweet Treats: Mochi Making at Family-Owned Koda Farms

Eater - How Rice Is Farmed, Milled, and Packaged at Koda Farms

Seed ~The Life of the Rice King and His Kin~ cultureunplugged.com)

TRUFFLES

Savini Tartufi, Tuscany, Italy

From Tuscany, the Savini family business has always been linked with truffles, a passion that started in the early 1920’s and handed down to over four generations.  Today, the Savini family still gathers fresh truffles each season and personally follow each step of the production cycle, from the gathering, selection, creation and packaging of their truffle products.

Truffles in the heart of Tuscany can be found year around, from the rare black truffles to the white truffle “par excellence”, and the Savini family is out almost daily with the truffle hunters to guarantee the highest quality of truffle and origin of the product.

Production of truffle products is carried out using traditional methods and upon request to guarantee freshness.  Seasonal fresh truffles, provided year round, are represented in the Savini range of products.

Savini Tartufi

Savini Tartufi - Truffle for Passion Since Four Generations - Tuscany Italy ( English ) - YouTube

TUNA

Sea Fare Pacific/Oregon Seafoods, Charleston, OR

There are fewer and fewer fisheries on the West Coast that can say they meet the boat at the dock, and that they actually know the fishermen and their families. Sea Fare Pacific (also known as Oregon Seafoods to the trade) is one of them.

Believe it or not, some tuna brands state their tuna is from the Pacific West Coast, but they actually pack in Asia...because it's cheaper. Not these guys - they process and pack all their products at their Charleston, OR facility.

One of the most unique things that they do is put a proportionate amount of tuna belly (about 12-15%) into every pouch or can of tuna. I've seen them weight it out. Why is this important? Fat is flavor and reflects the amount of healthy Omega 3's! Nobody does that!

Also with most brands, you drain off the added liquid. Sea Fare Pacific doesn't add any liquid, so you are encouraged to re-incorporate the healthy oils and Omega 3's back into the meat. Because there is no added liquid, the meat re-absorbs their liquid too...so your tuna fish sandwich won't get soggy!

Their line caught tuna is only from the Pacific Northwest coast. Because the tuna are caught by small boats which don't go out to deep sea, the tuna they catch is younger and less likely to have unsafe levels of mercury. In fact, their tuna has been tested at 0.14 ppm (parts per million), which is half of what some national brands advertise and well below US FDA 1.0 parts per million (ppm) guideline.

See why I like this tuna! Plus, they are all really nice, hard working guys. And, their tuna tastes GREAT!

Sea Fare Pacific

Awesome factory video Processing Albacore Tuna pouches in 2020 - Oregon USA - YouTube

VINEGAR

Acetaia San Giacomo, Reggio Emilia, Italy

Balsamic without vinegar & vinegars without water.

Andrea Bezzecchi is more than just the producer of San Giacomo. He's actually the President of the Consortio (Police) for Balsamic in Reggio Emilia, a taster for Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and a lawyer.

What is the Consortio? First, there are many Consortios in Italy, for different food products, in different regions. They protect and regulate the integrity, recipe and marketing of sacred items like prosciutto, cheese and balsamic vinegar.

San Giacomo produces a range of exceptional vinegars, including PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) balsamic.

Without getting too deep, "real" balsamic is called "traditionale" and is only sold in 100 ml bottles. There are 2 unique bottle types, one for Reggio Emilia and one for Modena. They are packed in boxes and have a wax seal and are authenticated by the Consortio. We stock the red seal, 12 year. In Reggio Emilia, they produce three "traditionale" - 12 yr, 20 yr and 25 yr (in Modena, they produce two - 12 yr and 25 yr).

Aside from "traditionale" balsamic vinegar, Andrea does younger versions...3 yr, 5 yr and an exceptional 8 yr, as well as a saba which is not aged. He's also well known for his "Basamela"...apple balsamic which goes as wonderfully with pork as it does ice cream.

It's important to note that commodity balsamics add water, and usually starch and color. Real balsamic only has one ingredient: cooked grape must. Also, the age on the label can very misleading. Sometimes the number is 8 or 12, but it actually is referring to the barrel number, not the age (you really have to look for that). Or maybe their balsamic is 40 yr or 100 yr and it costs less. What they are not telling you is that it contains only a small amount of an older balsamic.

Like everything, you really need to read the label.

It's hard to play favorites with any of San Giacomo vinegars, but for everyday use, I adore his raw line.

These vinegars have higher acidity because he doesn't add any water, so as to respect the original recipes and keep authentic "static-surface" vinegar production traditions alive. The flavors of these vinegars are crisp and distinct. You use less. My favorite is Lambrusco, but the Rose (Lambrusco without the skin), comes in a close second.

All of his vinegars are organic.

I had the wonderful pleasure of visiting Acetaia San Giacomo several years ago. Their farmhouse in the Emilian countryside houses the balsamic barrels and their daily vinegar operation. With origins dating back to the mid-1500's, it's simple, rustic and still efficient.

I know you will love these vinegars as much as I do.

San Giacomo

Traditional Balsamic - YouTube