Review by

Bi-Rite Market's Eat Good Food - A grocer's guide to shopping, cooking and creating community through food
(Ten Speed Press) ISBN 978-1580083034 158008303X

Even if you don't travel to San Francisco, California, you can learn a lot from this Bi-Rite Market (address: 3639 18th Street) shopping guide and cookbook. Sam Mogannam, owner of this San Francisco grocery, explains how to buy sustainable food, how to store groceries and how to cook food to preserve the best flavor and nutrients.

Besides tips on grocery shopping and information on how to store food, this Bi-Rite cookbook features 90 healthy recipes for the produce, dairy ingredients, meat and baked goods sold in Bi-Rite Market and other grocery stores that sell sustainable foods.

Grocery shopping guide

Eat Good Food is a very helpful shopping guide and cookbook for anyone who wants to learn how to buy, store and cook food. Organized by grocery department, ranging from the meat counter to the bakery, the 297-page Bi-Rite cookbook provides shopping information and answers questions about cooking and storing food.

The San Francisco grocery shopping guide contains numerous sidebars and charts. One explains how to read olive oil labels and interpret the meaning of terms like estate-bottled olive oils and best before dates. (Most olive oils have an expiry date of 18 to 24 months.)

Some recipes include cooking tips. E.g., the recipe for farro salad notes the difference between true farro (scientific name: Triticum dicoccum), which remains chewy after soaking and cooking and semi-perlato farro, which is actually spelt. (It does not need soaking and it cooks in less than half the time of true farro.)

Some cooking tips also include recipes, such as how to marinate olives in extra virgin olive oil and herbs.

Several tips on how to buy food (e.g., lemons with thin, tight skins have more juice than lemons with thick, pocked skins) help you save money on groceries.

Photos by France Ruffenach depict Bi-Rite Market's Eat Good Food recipes and the ingredients used to make them, as well as San Francisco Bay-area food producers.

Citrus fruit varieties

A full-page chart with photos describes citrus fruit varieties. You will learn the difference in flavors and ease of peeling citrus fruits, such as calamondins (similar to kumquats) and page mandarins, which have sharper acidity than clementines.

Another chart in Bi-Rite Market's Eat Good Food explains the different types of charcuterie, with examples. E.g., toscano is a garlicky fermented charcuterie, while bresaola is cured beef.

If you cannot find cheese paper, the Bi-Rite shopping guide explains how to store cheese (in waxed paper, covered with plastic wrap).

Sample Bi-Rite Market recipes

Butternut squash latkes. Lemony kale Caesar salad. Spicy string beans with black sesame seeds. Plum almond cake. Brussels sprouts salad with pistachios and warm bacon vinaigrette. Apple, pear and spinach salad with walnuts and blue cheese. Curried coconut sweet potato mash. Cocoa cumin beef roast. Pan-fried pork cutlets with Bing cherries. Yogurt with honey, figs and toasted walnuts. Cardamom rice pudding with golden raisins. Grilled peaches with blue cheese and hazelnuts. Apricot ginger scones.

Bi-Rite Market's Eat Good Food by Sam Mogannam and Dabney Gough


  1. Creating Community through Food
  2. The Grocery
  3. The Deli
  4. The Produce Department
  5. The Butcher Counter
  6. The Dairy Case
  7. The Cheese Department
  8. The Bakery
  9. Wine and Beer
  • Recommended Reading and Resources
  • Index


Sam Mogannam is the owner of Bi-Rite Market and founder of Bi-Rite Creamery, 18 Reasons and Bi-Rite Farms. Dabney Gough, a graduate of the California Culinary Academy, is co-author of Bi-Rite Creamery's Sweet Cream & Sugar Cones.

Return to Food & Drink Index