Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ode to Our Sauces

Tonight, I opened a jar of our 'appleicious' La Provencale Apple Grilling Glaze and used it to cook chicken. I brushed the chicken with olive oil, put it on the grill and in the last few minutes added the apple grilling glaze (so it wouldn’t burn - almost no fat in the glaze). Be sure to have some more for your plate to dunk the chicken in.

The Apple Grilling Glaze is a refreshing condiment, not too sweet and not too vinegarized. Even kids will love it with their chicken nuggets as an alternative to ketchup. It is also delicious with pork, poultry, lamb, venison, or add to duckling or salmon for great flavoring. It has a totally unique taste unlike any other Barbeque Sauce.

The Virginia Marketplace offers several traditional and nontraditional Sauces. The ever-favorite original “James River” barbeque sauce is unchanged since the 1950s. This is a wonderful all purpose sauce, especially as a condiment for pork.

Basse's Choice Virginia-Carolina Style BBQ Sauce & Marinade is made with a vinegar sauce and a bit of heat. It is perfect for pork and poultry.

Virginia Gentlemen award-winning sauces, with the traditional hunt scene labels, are anything-but-traditional when it comes to the taste sensation you'll experience. Flavored with Virginia Gentleman 90® Small Batch Bourbon, the perfect compliment to all your favorite pork recipes. We offer an assortment of one 12 oz. bottle each VG 90® Glaze & Sauces - Bourbon Maple, Bourbon Teriyaki and Bourbon Chipotle.
We offer three nontraditional sauces from Rowena’s. Heavenly Curry Sauce is an excellent sauce to sauté with. Superb on chicken or shrimp on the grill. Devilishly good out of the jar on broiled seafood, smoked meats, chicken or steamed vegetables. Spoon over cream cheese topped with chopped dried fruit and peanuts. Spicy Peanut Sauce adds a wonderful Thai flavor to a stir fry, hot or cold pasta, or chicken dishes. An outstanding dip for egg rolls. Mouthwatering marinade for pork or poultry. Devilish Mustard Sauce is terrific on hamburgers, steaks, hot dogs, and smoked fish! A great baste or chicken, pork, or shrimp. Also add a little zing to egg or potato salad, baked beans, meatloaf or deviled eggs.These are available in sets of three or try an assortment of all three.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Our Delicious Fruit Preserves, Jelly, Apple Butter and Curds

We enjoy eating what we sell! Therefore, we can whole heartily recommend our products. At breakfast there are always several jars of Graves Mountain Preserves and Apple Butter to choose from. What a difficult choice!! We can’t eat them all at once. We sell Orange Marmalade, Apple Butter, Cherry, Seedless Red Raspberry, Blackberry, Strawberry and Peach Preserves, and Green Pepper Jelly from Graves Mountain. We also sell Peach Orange Clove Jam, Cranberry Nut Conserve, Carrot Jam, and Raspberry, Lemon and Key Lime Curds from Rowena’s.Here is some information about what a fruit butter, jelly, marmalade, jam, preserve and curd is and how we sell them in gift baskets, gift boxes, fruit gable boxes, alone, and in asssortments.

Marmalade is a fruit preserve usage made of citrus fruits. “Marmalade" mostly refers to a preserve derived from a citrus fruit, commonly oranges. The recipe includes sliced or chopped fruit peel simmered in fruit juice and water until soft; indeed marmalade is sometimes described as jams with fruit peel. Marmalade is often eaten on toast for breakfast. Marmalade can be made from lemons, limes, grapefruits, oranges or any combination there of. We offer Graves Mountain Orange Marmalade in a set of 3 jars, in assortments with other jams and honey, in fruit gable gift boxes with assortments and in gourmet gift baskets of Virginia products. Graves Mountain Orange Marmalade is “sunshine in a jar” filled with chunks of oranges and lemons. It is especially delicious on a warmed croissant.

Fruit preserves or Jam refers to fruits or vegetables that have been prepared and canned for long term storage. The preparation of fruit preserves traditionally involves the use of pectin as a gelling agent, although sugar or honey may be used as well. There are various types of fruit preserves made globally, and they can be made from sweet or savory ingredients.We offer Graves Mountain Preserves singley in groups of three or in an assortment with other jams, creamd honey and apple butter, in fruit gable gift boxes with these asssortments, in gift boxes, and in gift baskets of fineVirginia foods. We also have baskets with just preserves or just preserves and creamed honey.We also offer Rowena’s Carrot Jam and Peach Clove Jam in sets of three or in an assortment with Cranberry Nut Conserve.

Jelly - A clear, cooked mixture of fruit juice, sugar, and sometimes, added pectin.We offer Green Pepper Jelly from Graves Mountain.

Conserve: A Conserve is generally a mixture of more than one fruit, often with added nuts and raisins that is cooked until it becomes thick. It is used as a spread for breads, pastries and meats, and in the latter use is closest to chutney. Other producers refer to a thickly stewed preserve as a conserve. Tomato conserves can be more savory.We offer Rowena’s Cranberry Conserve alone in a set of three or in a assortment with Peach Orange Clove Jam and Carrot Jam.

Fruit Butter: Fruit Butter, such as apple butter, is a fruit puree or pulp combined with sugar, lemon juice and spices, slowly cooked down to a smooth consistency. The “butter” refers to its spreadability. There is no actual butter in the product.We offer Graves Mountain Apple Butter, incredibly creamy and spiced perfectly, in a set of three, in assortments, in assortments in gift boxes, in fruit gable gift boxes, and in gift baskets of Virginia products.

Fruit Curd: Fruit curd is a creamy spread made with sugar, eggs and butter, generally flavored with citrus juice and zest. Lemon curd is the classic variety, but lime curd and blood orange curd can be found, as can other fruit curds such as raspberry and strawberry. A citrus curd is refreshingly tart, as opposed to more sugary jams and preserves. The butter creates a smoother and creamier texture than jam. Homemade lemon curd was traditionally served with bread or scones at afternoon tea as an alternative to jam, and as a filling for cakes, small pastries and tarts. We offer Rowena’s Raspberry, Lemon, And Key Lime Curd in sets of three or an assortment of one of each. Rowena’s Lemon and Raspberry Curds are available in a sugar free version.

Visit and try for yourself or send as a gift our truely special fruit preserves, creamy apple butter, green pepper jelly, and curds and check out our gift baskets, gift boxes, and fruit gable gift boxes.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pick Your Own Pungo Blueberries

We have been enjoying lots of pick your own Pungo blueberries this month. Pungo is a rural community located just south of Sandbridge Beach where there are miles and miles of beautiful farmland. Pungo Blueberries are delicious for snacking, with yogurt, cereal, and in pancakes with, of course, our Graves Mountain Preserves. There are many other ways to enjoy them, in pies, cakes, muffins.... If you are around Virginia Beach mid July to Aug. don’t skip picking your own blueberries at Pungo Blueberries.

Blueberries especially thrive in New Jersey, Oregon, North Carolina, Washington, California, Florida and Michigan, but Maine is the largest producer of blueberries in the world. Virginia is not famous for growing blueberries, but Pungo blueberries are pretty darn good and there is nothing like eating blueberries that you picked yourself.

Blueberry Picking Tips
Look for blueberries that are firm, plump and blemish free.

Berries, unlike other fruits, do not ripen once picked, so pick them at their peak ripeness.

The size of a berry does not indicate the sweetness or ripeness, but the color does.
Berries with a reddish color aren’t ripe and will be tart, but can be used in cooking. Purple or royal blue berries are ripe blueberries. Some varieties take on a frosted look.

Store freshly picked blueberries covered in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Wash and dry before using.

Blueberries freeze well. Rinse and dry the berries before freezing in a plastic resealable freezer bag or container. Frozen blueberries can be kept up to one year.

Benefits of Blueberries
Recently, blueberries have been identified as a "superfood" in the United States, which is a food that provides extreme benefits when eaten. Blueberries are an excellent source of antioxidants. Blueberries contain large amounts of phytochemicals, such as polyphenols that trigger antioxidant activity that may help to prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. They're also low in calories and add Vitamin C, Vitamin E and fiber to your daily diet.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dolphin Watching at Sandbridge Beach

What a special feeling to see bottlenose dolphins at Sandbridge Beach every day on your vacation! Sometimes they were so close to shore it felt like you were swimming with them. Don’t worry if you don’t get to go on a dolphin cruise or have an ocean kayak, just go out to the beach and you’ll have an exciting time spotting dolphins from the water or shore. While it's not illegal to try and pet one; don't be surprised if it bites you (remember, they are wild animals).

Virginia Beach is the home of the mid-Atlantic’s largest population of bottlenose dolphins. Each year, dolphins make Virginia Beach their summer residence. The peak season for dolphins in the Virginia Beach area is from June thru September. There is still time to catch sight of the dolphins this year!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Virginia Peanuts are Special!

All Virginia-type peanuts are known for their large size and crunchy texture and have been referred to as "the peanut of the gourmet." The Virginia Marketplace offers a great assortment of Virginia Peanuts!! Salted, Unsalted, Sweet, Seasoned, Gift Sets, and Chocolate Covered in season. We’ve sent them all over the United States, even as far as Alaska and Hawaii. Coming soon…holiday labels and gift sets!!

Virginia Peanuts are grown throughout southeastern Virginia. The month of September is earmarked for recognition of the Virginia Peanut and the Virginia Peanut Farmers in Southeastern Virginia.

In Emporia, Virginia, they will be celebrating the 47th Anniversary of The Virginia Peanut Festival from Sept. 24 – 27, 2009. “Harvest the moment…Celebrate Virginia’s Heritage”

Suffolk Peanut Fest will be held Oct 8-11, 2009. This year marks the 32nd anniversary of Suffolk, Virginia’s premier festival. This event honors the city’s agriculture heritage and devotion to peanuts. "Holding on to the Past, Looking forward to the Future"

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The New Virginia Marketplace Blog

Welcome to The Virginia Marketplace blog. The Virginia is an online marketplace offering an outstanding selection of gourmet foods and gifts produced in Virginia. We also design unique Virginia gift baskets and boxes.Visit us to shop for the finest foods and gifts made in Virginia...gourmet Virginia peanuts, Smithfield hams, Chesapeake Bay seafood soups, seafood dips, fine desserts, jams and honey... They make great gifts for special occasions such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, New Year's, Easter, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Father's Day, Fourth of July, and Birthdays They make thoughtful Get Well, Thank you, and Housewarming gifts or they can be enjoyed at any time at all.

In future posts we will be highlighting everything we love about Virginia!