With Americans being more health conscious these days, and negative attention placed on the predominantly processed nature of many foods, Clever Hen is a source for those discerning food lovers looking for a one-stop shop of the best artisanal foods prepared with all-natural ingredients.
Clever Hen is a strong advocate of the Slow Food Movement, a healthy alternative to fast food. “We champion the small food artisan and promote them as a collective group to help build more awareness about these alternatives,” said Wayne Lenkeit (aka Colonel Rooster), owner of Clever Hen. “We are a snacking nation. Americans love snacks and though we donʼt offer just snacks, it’s a way to have organic products, no preservatives and outstanding taste in your foods and snacks. Itʼs an alternative to the high-fat, preservative ﬁlled foods–but still delicious and fun!”
Many of the foods offered by Clever Hen have earned their makers a prestigious sofi award which honors the best of the best in specialty foods and beverages from the Specialty Food Association.
Rave reviews for Cheese
Among the most popular of Clever Henʼs product offerings are the cheeses. For instance, the 5-star-rated Stilton Cheese actually requires a license to make. A particularly enthusiastic Clever Hen customer sums it up: “I love this cheese. Itʼs fantastic. It has a very strong and creamy taste for a hard cheese. I mostly eat this cheese on crackers as a nice snack, but Iʼve also experimented with it in my cooking. So far itʼs been brilliant on both an apple walnut spring salad and in a blue cheese pasta. One of the best cheeses Iʼve ever had.” A brief glance at the Clever Hen website reveals many more stellar customer reviews of the service and the quality of its featured products.
“The artisan American cheeses are a real burgeoning market,” said Lenkeit. “We have a lot of dairy and farmland in California that become creameries and theyʼre making some really outstanding cheese.”
Among the staff picks on Clever Henʼs website is Cabot Clothbound, described as a handsome, natural-rinded traditional cheddar, bandaged with muslin and skillfully aged a minimum of 10 months in the Cellars at Jasper Hill, Cabot Clothbound has all the characteristic texture of an English-style cheddar, plus some sweet caramel and milky ﬂavors that set it apart from other bandaged cheddars.
Both Innovative and Traditional
As one might imagine, many of the artisan foods offered by Clever Hen are non-traditional and innovative, such as Lark Fine Foods Scourtins, a sweet and savory olive wafer, or Salted Rosemary Shortbread Cookies. But Clever Hen also has artisan versions of everyday basics such as Jakeʼs Ketchup, a richer grown up version of every kidʼs favorite condiment, or Vermont Peanut Butter which is available with the traditional names of creamy or chunky but is also made in white chocolate and dark chocolate variations.