We can't believe that spring is already here in the bay area. So many varieties of flowers blooming all around town and a touch of warmer weather to make us forget about the cold and wet times we've recently had. We are definitely glad to say good-bye to winter! Winter brought with it some much needed rain, but it was a very difficult time to be sourcing products from local farmers up north.
As most small food businesses, we deal with a certain seasonality in our products. One of our most beloved ingredients, chicken feet (I know, I know...not what most people enjoy thinking about!), just so happens to be a seasonal product that we were greatly affected by this past winter. Marin Sun Farms, the amazing pasture-raised farming collective that we source our bones from, typically has lower chicken yields in the winter, but with all the rain and flooding, they have had an especially hard time raising birds to the proper weight this season for processing. With less mature chickens, means a lower supply of our star ingredient.
I'm sure some of you recurring members surely noticed flavor and texture variances during these past few months. One easy solution would have been to just source feet from conventional, out-of-state birds (for almost half the price!) but that was simply not an options for us. As quality is a big part of our business mission, rather than stay true to the recipe with sub-par ingredients, we decided to get creative with other cuts that yielded similar results. We were slowly tweaking the ratios, week by week, to try and get close to that nice gelatinous broth we attain so easily with our original recipe.
As we haven't been able to come quite close enough without feet, we are in the process of bringing in duck feet, of the same great Marin Sun quality, to test in replacement. We are not quite in the clear on the shortage yet, so rather than continue this less gelatinous streak any further, we got to thinking outside of the box and concluded that it would be a welcomed solution by the majority. We will make another announcement before this "poultry" broth goes live, and welcome any feedback you may have about this potential solution.
As business owners that pride ourselves on quality and integrity over profit, we felt a need to be transparent with you, our beloved customers, so that you could have a glimpse of what's been going on in our kitchen this winter- a lot of trial and error! We want you to know that we take a lot of pride in crafting the best possible bone broth around and will never skimp on quality for convenience sake. It might mean a product that changes with the seasons, but we hope you understand and appreciate the nature of these things.
Here's to a spring with a bit more sunshine and lots of happy and healthy birds up on the farm!