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Community Grains

Robert Lauriston Oct 17, 2011 08:34 AM

Saw this new pasta brand at The Local Butcher Shop. Calfiornia-grown, whole grain. I tried the linguini, really intense nutty, slightly bitter flavor, went very well with pesto. I guess it's sort of an Oliveto spinoff. Some of them are on the menu there.

http://www.oliveto.com/communitygrains/using-our-grain/who-we-are

http://www.oliveto.com/ourcommunity/f...

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Oliveto Restaurant
5655 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

The Local Butcher Shop
1600 Shattuck Ave #120, Berkeley, CA 94709

  1. f
    Fig Newton Oct 17, 2011 09:53 AM

    Glad to hear that it's available at the Pasta Shop and that it's good. I haven't had it, but have been interested in their business model for a while. Here's a good post on Civil Eats about Community Grains. http://civileats.com/2010/11/01/will-...

    1. c
      chocolatetartguy Oct 17, 2011 01:06 PM

      Oliveto made Italian mac and cheese with their rotelli at the Rockridge street fare 2 weekends ago. I can't say that I really noticed the quality of the pasta itself. Possibly due to the pancetta and pecorino topping. They did make for a nice crispy crust on top. it was a good medium brown color if that makes any difference.

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      Oliveto Cafe
      5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

      1 Reply
      1. re: chocolatetartguy
        Robert Lauriston Oct 17, 2011 02:03 PM

        The linguini I tried are made with hard red winter wheat. The fusilli are made with durum.

      2. ...tm... Oct 21, 2011 12:00 AM

        I got fresh rigatoni and dried linguini from the pasta shop in Berkeley today. I had high hopes, but I made the fresh stuff for dinner, and against my usual instincts to mask while wheat pasta I made aglio-olio to truly incorporate the taste of the pasta. I did not enjoy it--the texture was gummy, and I was sampling frequently during cooking--it seemed to go from raw tasting directly to gummy and soft. The taste was unpleasantly bitter to me, and I'm the sort who can appreciate bitter--IPAs are always my favorite beers.
        I still have high hopes for the dried pasta--the texture looks beautiful with plenty of shagginess to hold a sauce. If I'd seen it first I would have passed up the fresh pasta.
        I love whole grain bread, but have yet to like any whole grain pasta. So far the only one I've enjoyed at all is Eusticella d'Abruzzo's whole grain Farro. I'm not rally sure there are even significant health benefits of whole grain pasta (at leat for those of us who are just trying not to get too fat) as I've seen stats that truly al dente white pasta, which is fairly easy to cook from Italian pastas has a lower glycemic index than the processed whole grain pastas, which, in general, are difficult to impossible to cook al dente.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ...tm...
          Robert Lauriston Oct 21, 2011 08:39 AM

          Is the fresh pasta in a Community Grains package?

          The dried linguini cooked really fast for dried pasta, maybe five minutes, and it was al dente. Great texture.

          White and whole wheat flour are nutritionally almost identical. (The low glycemic index of al dente pasta is a rare exception.) You get some more vitamins and minerals with whole grain but not anything your average American foodie is not getting plenty of already. The health benefits are from eating actual whole grains such as wheat berries instead of flour.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            ...tm... Oct 24, 2011 08:21 PM

            The fresh pasta was behind the counter by the cured meats in a bag, labeled Community Grains.
            Oh, and to correct my previous typo, that should read Rusticella d'Abruzzo's whole-grain Farro pasta, particularly the Pizzichi.

            1. re: ...tm...
              moto Oct 24, 2011 10:49 PM

              you'd probably like the penne rigate 100% farro, alce nero organic antichi cereali. with a light, delicate sauce, their 100% farro spaghetti is very good as well.

        2. m
          mdougherty Oct 21, 2011 01:15 AM

          I got some dried fusilli from the Pasta Shop in Rockridge the other night, and I thought it was quite good with some homemade tomato sauce and italian sausage from the shop.

          1. m
            mdougherty Oct 21, 2011 11:04 PM

            I noticed tonight that Berkeley Bowl West is carrying the Community Grains dried pastas.

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            Berkeley Bowl West
            920 Heinz Ave, Berkeley, CA

            2 Replies
            1. re: mdougherty
              Robert Lauriston Oct 22, 2011 10:10 AM

              There's a list of stores on their Web site:

              http://www.oliveto.com/communitygrain...

              1. re: mdougherty
                ...tm... Oct 24, 2011 08:11 PM

                And hard red winter wheat flour!

              2. Robert Lauriston Jan 4, 2012 03:07 PM

                Article about Community Grains and some other local-wheat pasta makers from yesterday's Chron:

                http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

                1. r
                  rubadubgdub Jan 2, 2013 11:40 AM

                  The CG flours are available at Monterey Market in their bulk bins for a very reasonable 1.19/lb. I spied hard and soft wheat, an interesting whole grain durum and a gluten free alt. Also, MM has 00 flours for pizza and pasta made by an Italian-sounding company for the same price. I had never checked out their bulk bins but was suitably impressed with the variety. They have stuff not avail in BB or Rainbow bulk bins.

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