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Mar 02, 2012 | posted in Press by seedlingprojects

Good Food Award Finalist Sour Puss Makes One Mean Pickle

The Good Food Awards are back — after an inaugural year that brought Alice Waters to the podium, Andrew Barnett to the judging panel, and arame and ginger sauerkraut salad to the table. The not-for-profit organization led by Sarah Weiner and Dominic Phillips has just announced the finalists for a 2012 contest that has set out, in the long-term, “to change the way America feeds itself.” Selected out of 926 contestants, the 144 finalists range from an eight-person goat cheese dairy in Harrisburg, Missouri, to a 400-person brewery in Colorado. United by a taste for such delectables as Abominable Winter Ale, Duck Liver and Apple Mousse, and “Devil Sauce,” the contestants also share a desire to cultivate and produce with sustainable practices.

Sour Puss Pickles, a two-time finalist and one-time winner, is a company with what is beginning to sound like a familiar story. Born out of a tenacious Brooklynite’s stint with unemployment, Sour Puss went from a home operation of Christmas gifts for Chris Forbes’ buddies to a company that puts out a mean pickle — cucumber, ghost pepper, or Thai chile in brine, with classic, spicy, and kirby spears; roasted beets; wax beans; plus relish and chutney. And to the small operation, business means face time with farmers, friends in Brooklyn, and a secret recipe of ramps available in nine-ounce, shelf-stabilized jars.

Read The Atlantic’s full Sour Puss Pickles interview by Daisy Atterbury here

| posted in Press by seedlingprojects

Good Food Awards 2012 Finalists Announced

The second annual Good Food Awards, a showcase for exceptional artisanal food products, has announced the 2012 finalists for all categories: Beer, Charcuterie, Cheese, Chocolate, Coffee, Pickles, Preservers and Spirits.

“The companies behind this year’s 144 Good Food Awards finalists are incredibly diverse, from an 8 person goat cheese dairy in Harrisburg, Missouri to a 400 person brewery in Colorado,” said Sarah Weiner, Director of the Good Food Awards. “It is fascinating to see such different companies united in the values of sustainability and social responsibility, and producing incredibly delicious food.

For the full list check out the Good Food Awards website. Below, we’ve highlighted a few producers.

Beer: Goose Island’s Pepe Nero was nominated, a “mysteriously dark” beer that is brewed with black peppercorns.
CharcuterieLa Quercia is an Iowa-based company that puts Italian cured meat masters to shame. The country cured bacon is nominated.
Cheese: There are a lot of heavy hitters in the cheese category but we have yet to have a cheese that isn’t absolutely delicious from the Cellars at Jasper Hill.
Chocolate: Another group of all-stars. Lillie Belle Farm has many interesting and tasty creations.
Coffee: It’s nice to see several midwest companies on the list: Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Co.,Kickapoo Coffee and Broadway Cafe and Roasting Company.
PicklesSour Puss Pickles are nominated for its pickled ramps. That’s like combining two delicious things in one!
Preserves: Bourbon Brown Sugar Peach Preserves from Confituras? Yes, please!
Spirits: Pisco is made stateside too, thanks to Marian Farms.

Winners will be announced January 13, 2012 at San Francisco’s Ferry Building. Check out all the finalists here.

| posted in Press by seedlingprojects

10 Truly Artisanal Foods to Try Now

A word to the wise: If something is labeled “artisanal” these days, it probably isn’t. Take, for example, Dominos Artisan pizzas, Starbucks Artisan Breakfast Sandwiches, and Tostito Artisan tortilla chips among dozens of other mass-produced products.

What you won’t find labeled artisan, most likely, are the foods that have really earned the title: small-batch products, like cheeses, beers, chocolates, breads, cured meats, pickles, and jams, that are created by a craftsman.

Read more of Forbes Article featuring Seedling Projects Founder Sarah Weiner here

| posted in Press by seedlingprojects

Pickled at the Good Food Awards 2011

Two weeks ago I ate over 40 different kinds of pickles. Aside from the lacto fermented bloat that any human belly undoubtedly suffers after sampling that many pickled products, the experience was memorable and delicious. How, you may ask, did I get myself into such a situation? It’s the second annual Good Food Awards, of course.

The  Seedling Projects‘ Good Food Awards celebrate a desire to taste delicious food products that are produced in socially and environmentally responsible ways. The idea brings to light the nation’s standouts in a variety of edible categories. Since last year’s successful breakout, which awarded 71 entries in seven categories, the stakes have grown. The 2011-2012 categories, expanded to eight total, are: Beer, Charcuterie, Cheese, Chocolate, Coffee, Pickles, Preserves, and Spirits. I was honored to be a part of the process as a pickle judge.

On October 9, a crowd of Good Food professionals from all over the country crowded into San Francisco’s the HUB SoMa to conduct a blind tasting of the 926 entries from 46 states.  Having already gone through a self-certifying process to ensure trace-ability, worker’s rights, and zero pesticide use, the judges set out to narrow the competition down to the top three in each category from each of the five regions (North, South, East, West, Central). The highest picks will go through one last review before being announced as finalists on November 10th.

| posted in Press by seedlingprojects

Trudels Face Specialty Challenges

For specialty crop producers trying to build a business, having products win national awards can be a great morale boost. But while publicity from those awards whets the appetites of potential customers, it doesn’t ward off the bad weather, weeds and insects that can limit crop production.

That’s the challenge facing Dan and Ann Trudel of Knox County. They won two 2011 Good Food Awards from Seedling Projects, a national organization committed to promoting food that both tastes good and is responsibly produced. The Trudels were recognized for their jalapenoraspberry jam and their brussels sprout relish. The relish was also honored as a Central Ohio Signature Food by the Center for Innovative Food Technology, the Ohio Department of Development and the Central Ohio Restaurant Association.

Full article by Gail C. Keck from Farm Progress

| posted in Press by seedlingprojects

2011 Competition: Entries open for artisan awards

The entry period opens on Tuesday for the 2011 Good Food Awards, the second annual competition organized by the San Francisco nonprofit Seedling Projects to recognize the nation’s best artisan foods and their producers.

Organic craft food producers from around the country can enter their products in eight categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, pickles, preserves and – new this year – spirits.

The winners will be chosen in blind tastings by a panel of judges, which is scheduled for October.

The public will be able to sample the winning products at a special marketplace Jan. 14 at the Ferry Building.

Full Article by Miriam Morgan of the San Francisco Chronicle