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Whole Foods Market Dungeness crab, Wellshire ham, & Capitola holiday tastings

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Whole Foods Market in Northern California, including stores in Santa Cruz and Capitola, has lots of tasty offerings for the 2013 holiday season including Dungeness crab and Wellshire Spiral Sliced Hams. I’ve had the great fortune to eat both in the last couple weeks, and highly recommend them. More details are below.

Also, Whole Foods Market (WFM) in Capitola is offering holiday tastings on Saturday, Dec. 21 from 12 -2 p.m. Each department will be handing out samples of at least one product; rumor has it that the crab and/or ham will be available to taste!

Wellshire Spiral Sliced Cooked Half Hams are sold exclusively at WFM, not in any other grocery stores. Because they are spiral sliced, it’s easy to just pull off however much or little you want at a time instead of taking the time and energy to carve. The hams have no preservatives, nitrates or antibiotics; the animals are fed very wholesome grains. The cost is $3.99/lb. for semi-boneless, cooked, seasoned uncured ham and the meat is moist, flavorful, and wonderfully addicting! I brought home an 8-pound ham, and I can’t believe how many meals I ate. These included:

• Split pea soup with ham
• Ham sandwiches
• Ham, cheese & avocado omelettes
• Ham & pineapple pops (really easy recipe from the Whole Foods collection)

The Dungeness crab at WFM Capitola is delivered fresh from San Francisco fisherman six days a week, specifically from Pezzolo’s Seafood at Pier 45. You can taste the freshness, and the WFM Seafood Department staff members do a fantastic job of cracking and cleaning your whole, cooked crabs (free if you ask). The crab is really meaty and delicious; my family ate ours cold and dipped various bites into lemon, butter, or both. Some nice seeded baguettes and a side dish of brussels sprouts were the perfect accompaniment; of course, some people will choose to heat their crab and everyone has their own preferences for what to eat with crab! Bon Appetit.

Bonus: if you buy 3 crabs or more, you get $1.00/off per pound (the initial cost varies depending on market price that day).

The crab is “Super Green Rated” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. What does that mean, you wonder? As stated on WFM’s site: It’s “good for the environment and good for health… the Monterey Bay Aquarium has identified seafood that's ‘Super Green,’ meaning that it's excellent for human health and is caught or farmed responsibly. The Super Green list highlights products that are currently on the Seafood Watch ‘Best Choices’ (green) list, are low in mercury and are good sources of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.”

WFM Santa Cruz Area Location Details:
Both stores open 8am-9pm daily

Whole Foods in Capitola:
1710 41st Ave, Capitola 95010 (831) 464-2900
Whole Foods in Santa Cruz:
911 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz 95062 (831) 426-9901

If you’re on Twitter, follow me @santacruzfoodie.

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