January 17, 2018

WHAT?!?!? You’ve Never Tried Tinnell’s Pimento Cheese?

Pimento Cheese

Tinnell’s Pimento Cheese

Pimento cheese.  We’ve all had it.  We all love it.  On the face of things, however, it seems to be a pretty simple affair: some cheese, mayo, canned pimentos.  Oh, but think again Dear Reader!  If you have never tried the pimento cheese at Tinnell’s Finer Foods you will not believe the difference!For decades now our pimento cheese has been the number one selling item in the store, and for good reason.  This stuff is DELICIOUS and unlike any you have ever tasted.  Last Christmas alone we shipped orders to Chicago and Manhattan and it is not at all uncommon for out-of-town folks to stop by the store on their way through Roanoke because they remember it from 10 or more years ago!

Tinnell's Finer Foods

Tinnell’s Finer Foods

How did this all start?  Kitty Tinnell – wife of our founder Russell “Buddy” Tinnell (and grandmother of our current owner, Rett Ward) – had a recipe for pimento cheese that was just a little bit different in composition from more traditional formulas but oh, what a difference that little change made (before you ask: no… if we told you we would have to kill you)!  At the time she was attending what was then known as Radford College and decided to start selling the product to help underwrite her tuition.  She ended up entirely putting herself through college with sales of her delectable cheese spread!  Naturally, her devoted husband decided if it it was good enough for Radford… and the rest is history!

Kitty Tinnell

Kitty Tinnell

Get this: last year Tinnell’s sold 6,590 pounds of Pimento cheese.  That is more than 3 TONSof the stuff!!!  These days we make it at least four times a week and produce not only the original recipe but a “Tex-Mex” version as well, to which we add jalepenos.  Please, PLEASE do yourself a favor.  If you are one of the few who don’t yet know the joy of Kitty’s Pimento Cheese swing on by and ask for a sample… it will be a revelation!

Russell "Buddy" Tinnell (on right)

Russell “Buddy” Tinnell (on right)

Sean Minor Four Bears Chardonnay at Tinnell’s

When we brought it in we never imagined!

Four Bears Chardonnay

When we first tasted it we obviously loved the Four Bears Chardonnay from Sean Minor Wines but never imagined it would become our best-selling wine so quickly!  In the last three months alone we have sold more bottles of this delightful well-balanced Chardonnay than we sold of almost any wine in all of 2011 and there is good reason.  To paraphrase the Sean Minor tasting notes: The 2010 “Four Bears” Chardonnay (named after Sean’s four children) is made entirely from Chardonnay grapes grown in the Central Coast appellation of California and is a golden straw color.  It displays aromas of pears, apples and orange blossoms with subtle notes of toast and butter.  On the entry, green apple acidity integrates well with a medium body mid palate mouth feel.  The apricot, green apple and marmalade toast flavors evolve into a hint of minerality that adds complexity to the finish.

Many of our customers tell us “I don’t like Chardonnay” and I believe them.  The judicious use of oak in Chardonnay production is a beautiful thing, much like the use of hot peppers when cooking.  What happens when you use too many peppers?  The result ends up being unpalatable (well… for most of us anyway)!  For years, many winemakers in California were guilty of producing Chardonnays that were ridicul0usly oaky.  There was so much wood in these things that drinking one was more akin to sucking on a popsicle stick than to drinking a glass of fine wine.  While the public (due to demand) was as responsible for this trend as the winemakers were, I believe in the long run it did more to hurt the reputation of Chard than it did to popularize it.  I remember the first time I brought home a lovely unoaked Chablis to my wife Kendall and she said she “didn’t like Chards”.  When she tasted it it was a revelation to her: “It tastes like fruit!”

The Four Bears Chardonnay, while oaked, is perfectly balanced.  It does indeed taste like it is made from fruit instead of the wooden pallets the fruit was shipped on!  If you “don’t like Chardonnay” do yourself a favor: try a bottle of this stuff – I think it will change your tune!  Here are the notes from Winemakers Will Bucklin and Sean Minor himself:  “Our Chardonnay fruit was 100% whole-cluster pressed to minimize astringency from the skins and immediately racked to stainless steel. Once settled, a portion was fermented in small French oak barrels while the remaining lot was left in stainless steel tanks to ferment. The slow and cool fermentation allowed the wine to develop a balance of ripe tropical fruit flavors and crisp apple and mineral nuances. Once primary fermentation was completed, a portion of the wine went through malo-lactic fermentation which softens the wine and provides a perfect balance.”  The ABV (alcohol by volume) racks in at 13.5% and the pH at 3.53.

In a nutshell?  This stuff is delicious.  And as if that weren’t enough, you can pick it up at Tinnell’s Finer Foods for only $11.99 (or buy a case and get it for $10.79)!  I often tell my customers that if this wine sold for $15.00 a bottle it would still be a bargain and I mean it…  Swing by Tinnell’s, pick some up for yourself and see!

ZUMMO! Tinnell’s Has Freshly-Squeezed Orange Juice!

Oranges

Whoo-hooo!  We have been waiting like expectant parents and it is finally here: the Zummo Orange Juicer (CLICK HERE FOR NIFTY VIDEO)!

The Zummo is the latest and greatest state-of-the-art citrus juicer available on the planet.  Manufactured in Valencia, Spain (the orange captal of Europe), the Zummo is the only juicer available on the market that prevents any of the bitter oils from the zest or pith of the orange from getting in the juice.  The end result is an orange juice that is absolutely sublime!  It is lower in acid and sweeter than any commercially available orange juice and, being an unpasturized product, it hasn’t been “cooked” so it is a much fresher, more flavorful product (the lack of paturization does, however, limit the juice’s shelf life to 3 days).  The Zummo also has the distinction of being the only orange juice pressing machine in the world to have achieved “ISO14001” green acredidation.

Zummo Citrus Juicer

Zummo Citrus Juicer at Tinnell’s Finer Foods

 

Although these machines are ubiquitous in Europe, their presence in the U.S. is mostly limited to large metropolitan areas.  Until now, as far as we know, the closest one to the Roanoke Valley is in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The owner of Tinnell’s Finer Foods – Rett Ward – has had an interest in getting one of these machines since he purchase the neighborhood grocery from his Grandmother in 2000.  The final decision to purchase one was made when Ward recently attended the National Restaurant Association trade show in Chicago this past May.  When he saw one operating “up close and personal” he knew we needed one at Tinnell’s!  It arrived June 14th and we started selling juice on Friday the 15th… the response is tremendous!

We use boxes of fresh Valencia juicing oranges.  While Valencias are known for their flavor and inherant sweetnesss, the special “juicing” variety has an even sweeter, fresher-tasting profile and yields a better product.  We are picking them up fresh every week and are making the juice on a daily basis in order to ensure the best juice possible.  Currently we are selling half-gallon containers for $8.99.  We will also be offering quart and pint sized containers in the immediate future.