You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Tacodeli now selling its famous Doña sauce at Whole Foods


Your hot sauce dreams have come true, Tacodeli fans. The popular Austin-based taqueria, which first opened in 1999 and now has locations in Houston and Dallas, is selling three kinds of its salsas, including its famed Salsa Doña, at Whole Foods Market.

As of last week, you can now buy the verde, roja and their (now trademarked) Doña, the creamy green sauce that has built up a cult following over the years, at Whole Foods Markets in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

From a news release: “Salsa Verde is a blend of tomatillos, garlic, cilantro and serranos; mild by nature, Salsa Verde bursts with flavor. Salsa Roja has medium heat, with a charred flavor from the roasted-in-house tomatoes, serranos, garlic and onion. The Salsa Doña, Tacodeli’s signature salsa, features a unique jalapeno and garlic blend.”

“We’re really passionate about this project and super excited to bring our salsas to our customers’ tables,” founder Roberto Espinosa said in the news release. “We’re thrilled that our loyal patrons will now be able to enjoy Tacodeli’s vibrant flavors all day long, beyond the taco, to accompany their own family recipes.”

All the salsas are gluten-free. They cost $6.99 each for a 12 oz. container, and you’ll find them in the refrigerated section.

Picnik butter coffee now for sale online and at new 365 by Whole Foods in Cedar Park

Butter coffee has been a cult favorite for a few years now, especially in the Paleo crowd. The first time I had it was at Picnik’s South Lamar trailer, which was one of the first places in Austin where you could find this drink made with grass-fed butter, 100 percent coconut MCT oil and grass-fed whey protein that is supposed to lead to “elevated energy, curbed appetite, increased productivity and enhanced cognitive function.”

I can attest to at least the curbed appetite and increased productivity, but I also just really liked the taste. After all, butter is just cream in another physical state, and the added protein was definitely satiating. (At the farmers market a few weekends ago, I had my first cup of butter tea, one of the original warm butter drinks, and it gave me a similar happy belly feeling.)

Plenty of cafes sell butter coffee these days, but you now can buy a ready-to-drink bottled version of Picnik’s butter coffee online and at its South Lamar trailer and Burnet Road restaurant. Picnik is selling the coffee in three flavors: cappuccino, mocha latte and dirty chai. The cappuccino has zero added sugar, and the mocha latte and chai flavors are sweetened with maple syrup.

“We wanted to make a product that could be taken on the road, that doesn’t require refrigeration, and that everyone can have access to and enjoy, even outside of Austin,” owner Naomi Seifter said in a news release. “Butter coffee is very satisfying because of its higher fat content, so we find it to be a perfect morning beverage. This drink keeps your body sated so that you can work for longer periods of time without being interrupted by hunger or cravings.”

You can buy the shelf-stable, 10-ounce bottles online at picnikaustin.com, in the two Picnik locations or at the new 365 by Whole Foods Market in Cedar Park. Seifter says that these are the first shelf-stable, ready-to-drink butter coffees on the market and that they should be available for purchase in more retail outlets later this year.

PRODUCE

With no signs of a local avocado shortage, let’s compare prices and taste test guacamole

As you probably saw all over the news last week, there have been reports of an avocado shortage this year, thanks to it being an off year for the crops in Mexico and California.

Avocados are “alternate-bearing crops, with large harvests one year and smaller ones the next,” Bloomberg reported a few days ago, and this is the year when the crop is smaller. Americans are eating more than 7 pounds of avocados a year, up from only a pound in 1989, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center. Seven pounds of avocados is a lot, especially considering that includes people who don’t eat avocados at all or who live in parts of the country where they aren’t as readily available.

In Texas, that number has to be higher, thanks to the prevalence of guacamole and, yes, avocado toast. On Cinco de Mayo, lots of Texans were scooping out that bright green avocado flesh. It’s the second-highest avocado consumption day, right behind the Super Bowl.

Although we very well could be seeing an avocado shortage in other parts of the country, it’s hard to find signs of it in Austin. I visited half a dozen grocery stores last week, and all of them had lots of avocados at reasonable prices. Despite a comment from a store representative from H-E-B who said their avocado costs were running higher because of “growing conditions and weather events” (note: That’s not the “alternate-bearing” year reason given in the initial stories), they didn’t seem to be passing the cost along to consumers when I did some research last week.

Both Central Market and H-E-B had plenty of cases of avocados at regular prices: 68 cents for the smaller avocados and $1.78 for the larger. (That’s the typical price, unless they are on sale for 50 cents/$1.50.)

Shortage averted, I decided to answer a question I’ve always had: How many small avocados are in a big one? As in, is there a cost savings if I buy two or three small ones instead of a big one, or vice versa? I got out my kitchen scale to find out.

It turns out that the seeds of both my samples weighed the same amount: 31 grams. The smaller one, minus the seed and skin, was just over 100 grams, exactly half of the amount of bright green creamy flesh contained in the bigger one. The takeaway: At 68 cents, you can buy two avocados for $1.36 and save yourself 40 cents for the same amount of avocado.

There’s one caveat, however: Frequent avocado buyers know that that quality of the smaller avocados is less assured. Even though both are usually Hass avocados, the larger ones tend to be higher in quality. When you’re making guacamole, quality matters, but because the dish is all smashed together, it’s easier to hide imperfections — so for my money, you can go with the small avocados and save a bit.

Since I was working with avocados, I decided to do a side-by-side taste comparison of the H-E-B prepared guacamole and Good Foods’ sealed tableside chunky guacamole.

They were the same cost for the same amount and a nearly exact same ingredient deck. However, when we pulled out our chips, it became clear that the H-E-B guacamole had significantly more lime juice. Too much for our liking, especially when eaten right after the more balanced Good Foods guacamole.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Austin360 Eats

The heat is on at comedy shows through July
The heat is on at comedy shows through July

There’s nothing like Austin in July. The sun blesses us with triple-digit high-fives, and Californians momentarily regret moving here. Still, the weather reminds us that it’s too hot to be too uptight. Recently, at Barton Springs, an ancient, bronzed hippie said to me, “Our cosmic appointment has arrived right on time.” I can&rsquo...
Austin360 picks: Willie’s Picnic, Diana Ross, Village People and more
Austin360 picks: Willie’s Picnic, Diana Ross, Village People and more

OUR TOP PICKS Friday: Sidewalk Chalk at Stubb’s indoors. The six-piece sound machine from Chicago blends hip-hop, jazz and soul. Their live shows unfold as an energetic explosion of booty-moving grooves. The band’s fourth album, “An Orchid is Born,” just dropped and it’s their strongest work to date, earning the indie...
Movies in theaters, 6/30/17
Movies in theaters, 6/30/17

OPENING THIS WEEK “The Big Sick” Grade: A-. Review page 24 “Baby Driver” Grade: B-. Review page 28 “Despicable Me 3” Grade: C-. Review page 26 “The Beguiled” Grade: B+. Review page 25 “Citizen Jane: Battle for the City” Grade: B. Review page 27 NOT REVIEWED “The House.” R. 88 minutes...
Civil War-set ‘Beguiled’ patiently weaves an intoxicating spell
Civil War-set ‘Beguiled’ patiently weaves an intoxicating spell

Although it unfolds in and around a Virginia boarding school in 1864, a year before the end of the Civil War, Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled” has some of the spooky, suggestive magic of a fairy tale. The opening shot could be of an ancient grove at the witching hour, the chatter of cicadas merging with the sound of a young girl humming...
‘The Big Sick’ revives the romantic comedy
‘The Big Sick’ revives the romantic comedy

In “The Big Sick,” Pakistani-American stand-up comic Kumail Nanjiani plays Pakistani-American stand-up comic Kumail Nanjiani — and that is not even close to where the similarities end. When the real-life Nanjiani, then a struggling Chicago comic, was courting Emily Gordon in the first decade of this new century, the latter fell into...
More Stories