Yo-ho-ho: Meet Cap’n Spongefoot!

“Our sauces excite the palate; they don’t burn it,” says Paul DiBello, the one-and-only Captain Spongefoot. “We don’t play the hot, hotter, hottest game. We’re about flavor, flavor, flavor!”

chipotle wing sauceCaptain Spongefoot Fast Facts

“In Pepper We Trust”

Selling Since: 2005

Home Base: Granby, CO

Claim-to-Fame: Original Wing Sauce

Captain Spongefoot sauces come in three varieties: Award-winning Original Recipe Buffalo Wing Sauce featuring just the right amount of heat and an outstanding and complex flavor profile; the very versatile Chipotle Sauce with a perfect blend of chipotle peppers and chili de Arbol in a cayenne base; and the Asian spicy Z Sauce highlighting Sriracha peppers with a hint of Wasabi.

The Captain Spongefoot philosophy is “flavor first, then heat” so each sauce has a unique and highly robust flavor profile designed to complement rather than overwhelm food with just the right amount of heat. The sauces are produced from fresh, natural ingredients including carefully selected peppers and exotic spices and never include powdered pepper concentrates, artificial flavors, or colors.

Captain Spongefoot Trading Company walked away with three trophies from the 2004 National Buffalo Wing Festival, winning first prize for the Best Medium Traditional Wing Sauce in the “out of town category” for their  Original Sauce; their Chipotle Sauce placed second in the “Creative Spicy” division; and they received third prize for their Chipotle Sauce in the “Creative BBQ” division. These titles were earned by out-tasting the fierce competition of more than 100 entrants.

The Chronicles of Captain Spongefoot

paul dibelloAfter suffering from severe frostbite on an ice climbing expedition in 1974, Paul’s two feet and two fingers were amputated. Early prosthetic feet were made out of a spongy material that make a squishing sound when wet. So, when his feet were constantly water-soaked while working around boats at his sailing business on Lake Granby, Paul was given the nickname “Captain Spongefoot.”

Never one to let obstacles get in his way, Paul founded the National Sports Center for the Disabled Competition Program at the Winter Park Ski Resort. The program has provided training for hundreds of disabled skiers from around the world. Paul himself is a three-time world disabled ski champion and a world-renowned coach of champion disabled racers. In 1985, Paul DiBello was honored by Esquire magazine as one of the 120 “America’s New Leadership Class: Top People Under 40 Who Are Changing the Nation.”

Throughout his 20 years at Winter Park, Paul prided himself on making some of the finest wing sauces this side of the Mississippi. At his own football parties, family and friends would forever compliment him on his tasty treats. When he decided to retire from the Winter Park program in 2005, he began to pursue his passion for wings full-time. These days you can regularly find Paul cooking and bottling his sauce, eating his fair share of wings, and loving every minute of his new life. • Profile courtesy of Captain Spongefoot.

What is Fooducopia?Our mission is simple — we connect food entrepreneurs and local farmers to customers across the country. If you’d like to discover more artisan foods filled with the heart and soul of people like Paul DiBello, Fooducopia is a place we think you’ll love.

Fooducopia’s Corner Store

With much excitement, Fooducopia proudly presents our newest addition: Corner Store Denver.  Fooducopia’s Corner Store is an online grocery store full of healthy local produce and delicious artisan food that’s delivered right to your door.Corner Store Denver

Corner Store allows us to go back in time when most of the food we ate came from our community. Now citizens of Denver, our launch city, have a convenient way to buy local produce and artisan food.

Here are some examples of the many benefits of Corner Store:

  • Fresh Produce– Using urban farms and local growers, our organically grown produce is harvested, and within a few days, it arrives at your door.
  • Fresh Baked Bread–  Our first stop every day is the Denver Bread Company, so the bread you receive is baked early the same morning.
  • Fresh Roasted Coffee–  Kaladi Brothers roast their coffee almost every day so your coffee will be full of flavor when you brew it.
  • Discover Artisan Food– Our friends, neighbors, colleagues, and fellow citizens use heart and soul as a common ingredient for their delicious products.

And when you think it can’t get any better, it does. We are doing some deliveries with our cool electric cargo trike. Denverites love their bicycles and so do we. Here is a fun video you can watch.

Corner Store Denver’s Cargo Trike

So have a look at our new online grocery store. We just opened and will be filling our aisles with more products every week.  If you live in Denver, we are offering FREE DELIVERY through the end of July. Simply enter the coupon code – 5280deliver.

Want to learn more about the trike? CleanRepublic.com is a great company that makes it easy to install electric bike kits. Enter the code Fooducopia to receive a discount. Main St. Pedicabs is a fellow Denver company that makes all kinds of tricycles.

Tells us what you think. We would love to hear you comments and suggestions!

We Can All Do ‘Something’

As you know, I am a big fan Share Our Strength. (But hey, so is “The Dude.”) It’s a great organization with the goal of ending childhood hunger here in the US. Yes, it is a monumental task, but … (pause) … it shouldn’t be!

I received an email today that caught my attention. Not right away, but more and more as it settled in my brain. It stated that millions of kids rely on school lunches for food. When there’s no school, that means no lunches either for these kids, and as a result, they go hungry.

Photo by Chiot's Run's

I’m fortunate to have wonderful childhood memories during the summer, and I’m sure you have the same. But imagine kids who dread summer because they know they will be hungry. It shouldn’t be like that.

It doesn’t have to be like that.

So a question comes to mind, “What can I do?” I would answer, “Something.”

Last week, I was lucky enough to get tickets for a Mumford & Sons concert. In one of their songs, they sing,“If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy, I could have won.”

I believe childhood hunger is a matter of overcoming apathy. If we were not apathetic we would do something.

So rather than tell you a bunch of different ways to do something, I want you to do something. Write a comment offering a suggestion of something that we can do – something you have done – something you know is being done.

What’s The Beef? (in-vitro meat)

Remember Wendy’s popular commercial of “Where’s the beef?”  Soon, people could be asking a different question.

Willem van Eelen is considered to be the godfather of in-vitro meat.  As a teenager of Dutch descent living in Indonesia, van Eelen fought the Japanese in WWII.  His comment about his experience in prison camps shows how hungry they were, “If one of the stray dogs was stupid enough to go over the wire, the prisoners would jump on it, tear it apart and eat it raw. If you looked at my stomach then, you saw my spine. I was already dead.” 1 Now van Eelen and other scientists are growing in-vitro meat in the lab.

Really?

Yes.  It can be done.  Scientist take stem cells from a pig, cow or chicken and place them in bioreactors.  The cells divide and the technicians instruct the cells to differentiate into muscle cells.  Over time, the muscle cells bulk up and get harvested.  Keep in mind, growing muscle cells outside the body is extremely difficult.  It might cost $50,000 to produce 1 pound of meat.  But the fact remains that it can be done.

Yuck!

I had the same reaction.  But consider the ‘The Jungle’ environment of a slaughterhouse, and the diseases that spawn from them.  As for the taste, I don’t know how they make a chicken nugget taste like chicken, but they do.

Why?

People are hungry!  The demand for meat is increasing.  The global livestock industry is responsible for nearly 20% our greenhouse gas emissions.  Water is becoming more of a precious commodity and cattle consumer nearly 10% of the planets fresh water.  This last stat is crazy!  80% of farmland is devoted to the production of meat.2

So as absurd as in-vitro meat sounds, I want to point out that in the future, it might become a reality, whether we like it or not.  How do you feel about eating meat grown in a lab?  Do you foresee this becoming part of humans’ diet?  Is there a parallel to GMOs?  I would love to hear your comments.

1 http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=inside-the-meat-lab

2 http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/05/23/110523fa_fact_specter

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp

Enjoy this delicious gluten-free apple crisp recipe written and photographed by Jessica Anderson of Oh My Gluten Free!

Ingredients

 

  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 9 large apples peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 cup of OMGF’s ‘You’re My EVERYTHING’ gluten-free all purpose flour mix
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 stick of (1/2 cup) melted butter

 

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and spread on the bottom of a 9×13 dish. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the apples and toss to coat. Transfer the apple mixture to the 9×13 dish.

gluten free flour blendCombine the ‘You’re My EVERYTHING’ gluten-free flour blend, sugar, and the rest of the melted butter in a medium bowl. Blend the ingredients until a coarse meal forms. Spread the mixture evenly over the apples.

Bake the gluten-free apple crisp for 20 mins. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking until the apples are tender and the topping is golden brown, about 35-40 mins. Let the crisp stand 15 minutes before serving.

Serve warm and with vanilla ice cream.

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It’s filled with recipes inspired by some of the country’s most creative food artisans.