Archive for the ‘Food Trends’ Category
Trending Foods To Keep an Eye On This Autumn/Winter 2013
2013 started out with a bang in food revolution and consumers thinking outside of the box in the way they normally eat. A few of the biggest trends to hit the restaurant scene in the beginning of the year were tasting menus, fermenting, food trucks, sustainable seafood, restaurant gardens, molecular gastronomy and charcuterie everything just to name a few. With only a few months remaining in the year Local Roots Food Tours has been asked what else is there to look forward to in the upcoming months in the food arena? We have picked out the top trends we are seeing right now or are on the forefront of trending in the beginning of 2014.
What’s Ahead……Top 10 Trends:
1. Move over Kale….the new green on menus is Collard Greens. Collard greens are loaded with vitamins A and K, cancer-fighting antioxidants, and fiber. This is a staple in the south with most any meat dish but the trend is moving nationwide and soon to hit menus in restaurants jumping on board the collard green movement.
2. Prep for a crudite’ awakening as raw vegetables get posh. In their most natural state is where the greatest flavors and health benefits come in to play – watch farmers getting creative with varietal colors in carrots, cauliflowers and potatoes but keeping it raw when they find themselves on the plated salads and sides.
3. Customers want in on exclusive ticketed dining events (hence the reason Sacramento’s Farm to Fork Tower Bridge Dinner sold out within 48 hours once tickets were available!) so get ready for more local chefs continuing to collaborate with local farmers in some creative barn dinners, food and wine pairing symposiums and delicious themed dinners….but be ready to pay a hefty price. The more exclusive the event, the higher the price tag……which results in bragging rights with your friends on which exclusive dinners you attended this fall.
4. Smacarons – with cheese! Forget the sweet, saccharine macarons you thought you knew, this savory sensation is on our list for snacking and will be replacing all desserts and cheeseboards this autumn so keep your eyes peeled at local bakeries such as Estelle’s Patisserie and Ettore’s Bakery and get ready for a tasting of Smacarons!
5. Can I get a Drum(roll) with that Rum! Rum is back — and it’s not just for pirates anymore. People are even distilling it in New England, as they did almost two centuries ago. Supposedly, rum is enjoying a “big resurgence” across this land of ours. The best part? This means it is finally cool to order daiquiris. ”It’s such a simple drink and it’s delicious and there are just three ingredients: white rum, lime juice and simple syrup,” a San Francisco bartender told Food and Wine. And who are we to argue?
6. Ramen Burger Revenge! Move over Cronuts…….there is a new food craze starting to sweep the nation whether it be thru a food truck window or a casual restaurant who “gets it” that ramen noodles are not just for poor college students anymore! The Ramen Burger is an all-beef patty, sandwiched between two ramen noodle “buns.” It’s garnished with a secret Shoyu sauce, arugula and green onions. The flavor is a salty-sweet combination, but the texture of the buns is what makes this burger so enticing. Who will be the first on the food scene to announce their Ramen Burger Creation?
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Summer Foodie Stay-cations!
With the soaring prices of gas, inflation and the housing crunch, many vacationers are holding back their grand vacation plans for the time being. Many would-be holiday makers are simply choosing a “stay-cation” instead. What’s a “stay-cation” you ask? Simply put, a “stay-cation” is a vacation that is close to home. Many people are choosing locations that are with an hour or so from their homes, it’s close enough to save on gas and just far enough to feel like a getaway. A stay-cation allows a family to save money while spending more quality time together and helping a local economy.
First off: In order to enjoy your stay-cation we recommend you:
1. Put the World On Hold – Take time out—literally. Eliminating reminders of time helps wipe away the stress of the daily grind. Gather up all the clocks in your house and stash them in a dresser drawer. Throw your watch in next to them. Leave them there for the whole day (or two, or five).
2. Turn off the ringers on your phones and mute the answering machine. Check messages only when you want to, keeping in mind that “not at all” is always an option.
Do an “out of the office” message for your e-mail (even if your office is a corner of the playroom). Say you won’t be checking your e-mail till you’re back from vacation. Then power down the computer and throw a towel over it.
3. Skip the news—and maybe even stop the mail—for a week. When you banish the source of stress, the stress itself may follow. The earth will continue to turn even if you’re not reading all about it every morning at 7:30 sharp, and sadly, the bills will still be there when your vacation is over.
So now let’s get to the food portion of your stay-cation, shall we? Here’s our top 7 ideas on how to create a foodie stay-cation.
1. Book a week long series of cooking classes in your local area. Sacramento offers several options for classes and cooking camps this summer. Check out these companies and see what might peak your palate: Lulu’s Kitchen in Sacramento has a variety of day and evening cooking classes. The Learning Exchange in Sacramento offers food & wine classes. Whole Foods Market and Sacramento Co-op are both offering fun summer cooking demos and classes you surely can fit into your stay-cation. They even have summer kids cooking camps…..just in case you have more space to fill in your calendar.
2. The California State Fair – take a few days with your entire family and do the State Fair Fried Food Challenge – you haven’t vacationed until you’ve experienced the deep fried mac -n -cheese on a stick, deep fried cheese curds and deep fried twinkies at the fair. State Fair Summer 2013 dates: July 12th-28th. Many local businesses offer discount fair tickets – check out Big O Tires – buy one get one free ticket offer before they run out!
3. Grab your bags and baskets and plan a Farmer’s Market Week with your family. Lucky for you there is a market within a 20 mile radius of Sacramento each day of the week. Have fun and meet your local farmers and artisans…..there might even be some education involved! Searching for markets in the vicinity? Google: California Grown, Placer Grown, Davis Farmers Market, Ferry Building Market, Oxbow Market in Napa. Go to the market w/ a shopping list for the ingredients you will be needing for your brand new farm to fork recipes. We recommend coming on an empty stomach for the fun food truck vendors and samples you will run into. Try a different ethnic type of food at each market each day…making it an epicurean adventure.
4. Strap on your tennis shoes and sun had and participate in a culinary walking adventure in and around Sacramento. Eat your way thru your own city or explore the town next to you by going on a food or farm tour. These food tours are a half day event and give participants the opportunity to get up close and personal with local chefs, artisans, farmers and passionate mom and pop eatery owners. Kids will think you are the coolest parents when they have the chance for a local chef to sign their dirty napkin….Souvenir award for sure! 5 to 6 food stops along with history, culture and architecture just right out your back door. Check out Local Roots Food & Farm Tours for their different tour menu options and make it a foodie stay-cation must.
Good news, foodies! You don’t need to be in a culinary program to partake in some excellent culinary classes offered in and around Sacramento. Come on – take your spatula by the handle and get ready to learn, create and taste your newest creations in some fun, local culinary hands-on cooking classes. Don’t let the word “culinary” intimidate you. Let your passion for food drive you to some interactive food training.
Crepes, Gnocchi, Truffles……The Learning Exchange
The Learning Exchange is offering up some excellent cooking courses this spring in and around Sacramento. Who wouldn’t like to know how to make perfected crepes or have some fun with a class all about creating Gnocchi or focusing in on French Cooking? These courses have a great variety for any type of cook and are located throughout the city and its suburbs. To learn more about their courses and sign up check out: www.learningexchange.com
Croissant & Empanada Workshops at Co-op Cooking School
Co-op Learning Center and cooking school offers something for everyone: from their extensive cooking class program to health and well-being seminars to a variety of lectures and panel discussions. They love to educate our community about important food, family, health and environmental issues. The Co-op is committed to supporting organic local family farms and small producers of high quality food. They highlight these growers and producers in our specialty food tastings as well as featuring their organically grown ingredients in their cooking classes. How cool is that? www.sacfoodcoop.com
We tour all around different cities looking for what might be a winner and hot topic to talk about with our food tour participants. Trying to stay ahead of the kitchen mallet as to what is trending compared to what is here to stay in the culinary arena has its perks and challenges. Local Roots Food Tours has compiled their top finds on what you might experience in 2013 while on your “foodie adventures.”
Top 10 Culinary Trends For 2013:
1. Chef’s behind closed curtains is a thing of the past. 2013 will continue to bring celebrity (as well as local chefs) front and center hosting special themed culinary events, symposiums and contribute to hands-on cooking classes. No more hiding behind the frying pan – their talents and passion will continue to be exposed with many culinary events. We are looking forward to seeing more of our local executive chefs come out and support Sacramento’s Farm to Fork Capital of America efforts by offering some pretty awesome cooking events in and out of their kitchens in 2013.
2. Restaurant gardens – Whether it be in back alley gutters or a transformed back lot, gardens are popping up all over the nation. Chefs cite many logical reasons why restaurant gardens are a good idea: cost, convenience, control, sustainability. The concept of in-house farming is hardly new and the trend has hit far and wide—there are countless restaurants tilling their own soil and planting the seeds for vegetables that will eventually appear on a customer’s plate. A small farm adjacent to an eating establishment keeps that path from farm to table about as short as it can get. One example we love is share is Mineral Restaurant in Murphys, CA. Executive Chef Steve Rinauro and partner/co-owner Maya Rinauro have been busy planting, weeding, watering and harvesting their restaurant garden in 2012. Their farm to table philosophy is lived vivaciously every day in their vegetarian menu. For those restaurants who don’t have the option of a garden out their back door, buying plots of land in local farms creates a great option. One local farm in Sacramento, Feeding Crane Farms offers such plots to local Sacramento chefs…..the next best thing to offer local farm ingredients.
3. Nordic food is out – Peruvian and Korean food is in for 2013.
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It’s hot out there! Want to quench your palate with one of America’s favorite old-fashion desserts? Long after the first push cart in New York City where the very first ice cream sandwich vendor would sell you a simple sandwich consisting of two chocolate wafers with a vanilla ice cream center was bought for 1 penny….ice cream sandwiches are becoming a staple on dessert menus in the local Sacramento dining scene this summer. Here is Local Roots Food Tours foodie take on our top 5 must stops to indulge in creative ice cream sandwiches in our culinary city.
1. Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates 1801 L Street, Sacramento, CA
A chocolate shop that sells homemade macaron ice cream sandwiches is a treat like none-other! Ginger and her team offer three delicious flavors in their handmade Parisian Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches: Pistachio, Lemon, or Salty Caramel. The best part of the sandwich is the ice cream in the center of these delicious macarons. All of their ice creams are hand-crafted in micro-batches using organic milk and local dairy. Mmm, mmm, good!
If you are like us and ice-cream is a STAPLE during these dog days of summer, mark your calendars for Ginger Elizabeth’s Ice Cream Socials. They have a few socials still remaining for the summer time fun:
Saturday, August 11 Featuring: Warm Olallieberry Cobbler spooned over Sweet Cream Frozen Custard topped with Chantilly Cream. Featuring organic Olallieberries hand-picked in the Sierra Nevada Foothills by Ginger and Tom.
Saturday, September 8 Featuring: Saffron Ice Cream, Macerated Farm Peaches and Whipped Raspberry Custard layered between a Cream Puff and dusted with Powdered Sugar.
Saturday, October, 13 Featuring: Pumpkin Ice Cream, Brown Butter Ice Cream, Warm Monkey Bread Pieces, Sticky Raisin Sauce, topped with Crème Fraîche
2. The Red Rabbit Kitchen 2718 J Street, Sacramento, CA
Who would think inside this cool, mist-driven, eclectic restaurant would be one amazing hand-crafted ice cream sandwich on a dessert menu? We would! Depending on what the chef is feeling for the week, The Red Rabbit Kitchen delivers an ice-cream sandwich that will take any lucky rabbit’s foot and make magic happen! Continue reading!
SUGAR & SPICE AND EVERYTHING NICE PRIVATE BAKING CLASS! Sugar & Spice Specialty Desserts - 1201 F Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
Just in time to learn how to create amazing desserts for the upcoming holidays. Want to learn how to make buttery soft croissants, brioche and fluffy cupcakes?
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The distinction of Chef vs. Cook probably got its real start back in the Middle Ages, when guilds of chefs were formed in France, each with different focuses. Eventually, these roles evolved into a proper way to set up a commercial kitchen in France, and many professional kitchens employ at least some of these roles today. You have the Executive Chef, who does menu planning, purchasing, quality control, and a lot of the business work. Saucier makes the sauces, Pastry Chef makes the breads and desserts, and so on all of these derived from the various guilds from France in the Middle Ages. A chef is someone who is, or at one point was, paid to make food. If you’ve never cooked food as a career, it’s going to be difficult to convince people who really care about the difference to call you a chef.
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Black garlic is a type of fermented garlic used as a food ingredient in Asian cuisine. It is made by fermenting whole bulbs of garlic at high temperature, a process that results in black cloves. The taste is sweet and syrupy with hints of balsamic vinegar or even tamarind. Black Garlic is prized as a food rich in antioxidants and added to energy drinks, and in Thailand is claimed to increase the consumer’s longevity. One interesting use is in the making of black garlic chocolate. In the United States black garlic entered the mainstream in 2008 and has become a sought-after ingredient used in high-end cuisine. Black garlic is great for your health—it’s loaded with nearly twice as many antioxidants as raw garlic.
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You ask, what’s a plerrie anyway? Or you could ask; “What do you get when you cross a plum with a cherry? A hybrid fruit of course!
Hybrid fruit is a potentially lucrative, and delicious, market. Fruit growers are motivated by the lure of inventing a product that commands premium prices, from 50 cents to $1 or more per pound than conventional fruit. The breeders are also aiming for fruit that will have a longer harvest period to be available to shoppers longer. And with the rise in cooking styles that celebrate the ingredients, American consumers are demonstrating a willingness to spend more on food and a desire to hear the stories behind their produce.
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Fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits in cocktails?
Exploring Sacramento’s fresh farm ingredient cocktails by pedaling through downtown!
By Bethany Heckman, Local Roots Food Tours Guide
Grange Restaurant & Bar
926 J St - Inside Citizen Hotel
Sacramento, CA 95814
Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 3pm-6pm
The Citizen Hotel is a stunning building with an ominous presence in downtown Sacramento so the fact that there is a beautiful bar/restaurant inside is a bonus. The Grange is a farm to table restaurant, offering fresh and local ingredients for each of their dishes. Walking into the Grange you immediately notice their lovely large bar showcasing liqueurs and bottles of spirits. The bartenders are constantly chopping, cutting, and peeling fresh produce: mint, oranges, cucumbers, lemons and ginger. The Grange is a hot spot in downtown Sacramento and known for their fresh summer cocktails. As often as possible they use fresh ingredients to give customers a true taste of garden cocktails. For example, the “Zarzamora,” Don Q rum, Veev acai liquor, blackberry-vanilla syrup, lime, mint. When I spoke with the bartenders at the Grange they let me in on a little secret of a cocktail they were just creating: so new it didn’t even have a name yet. It begins with a 12 year old Zaya Rum blended with a house made fresh nectarine and mint syrup (similar to a smoothie) to bring out the fresh fruity taste of the nectarine. Then, a little fresh squeeze of lemon juice is added and poured as a sipper cocktail.
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