Posts Tagged ‘Fresh ingredients’
Thank You McDonalds (by Lisa Frank)
Picture angry Italians protesting with bowls of penne at the base of the iconic and beautiful Spanish Steps in Rome shouting “We don’t want fast food… we want slow food! It’s not a scene from a Fellini movie, but how Carlo Petrini started Slow Food. He and his pasta-wielding compatriots were outraged that a McDonalds was going to open there (and it did.)
His protest against the commercialization of a beloved landmark with the “Golden Arches” turned into an international organization founded in 1989 that today has over 150,000 members in more than 150 countries.
Slow Food’s mantra is good, clean, fair food for all. They want you to eat what is seasonal and local; respect the farmer and the produce/product; nurture the earth. Sound familiar? They believe that food should taste like, well, food and eating should take some time. Slow Food calls it the “pleasures of the table.” And it is not possible when a clown is looking over your shoulder. Or a creepy looking king. Or in your car. Or at your keyboard.
Slow Food opposes the homogenization of modern fast food and life. Life is diverse. Culture is diverse. Food is diverse. It should not all look or taste alike. Preservation of traditional or heritage foods, methods of preparation, and the culture associated with them is a worth while effort. That is the entire focus of the Center for Biodiversity. The premise is that if unique and tradition food products that are endangered can have an economic impact they can be saved from extinction. Enter the Presidia – local projects that devise a pathway for bringing a food or method of preparation back from the brink of being lost. The Ark of Taste is a catalog of foods worldwide being preserved through the efforts of Presidia. And these projects are not somewhere else. They are here: Blenheim Apricot, Charbono wine or Sebastopol Gravenstein Apple sound familiar? Clarksburg’s Chenin Blanc grape is close to be being listed.
Petrini wanted to make the connection between the plate, the palate and the planet. He calles it an “eco-gastronomic” movement that connected environmental sustainability (eco) to the study of culture and food (gastronomy). He took this idea even further by creating the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy (full disclosure, I’m an alumni) to create a new type of food professional, one who understands the entire food-production spectrum, from agricultural origins through industrial transformation and distribution, with particular attention to environmental and sustainability issues. These leaders, or Gastronomes as he calls them (us?), understand how to connect food processes to economic as well as communication systems, and the relationships within food-and-wine tourism, marketing of high-quality products, and promoting of the rich value of regional food traditions.
On the local front, California is now it’s own Slow Food Region. Our local chapter, Slow Food Sacramento bestows their annual “Snail of Approval” award upon local businesses that best represent the Slow Food Principles of good, clean, fair food for all. And to toot our own horn, Local Roots Food Tours has received the Slow Food Sacramento Snail of Approval because of our commitment to support business using fresh, local, organic, seasonal and sustainable, or as we say FLOSS!
We congratulate our partners have also received a Snail of Approval for their use of seasonal, local and organically grown foods, including Centro, Café Bernardos, Hot Italian and Kupros.
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Local Roots Food Tours Partners with Local Venues for Exclusive Culinary Events
We are thrilled to announce our first quarterly series of special culinary venues for our loyal customers and their friends & family. We listened to our customer feedback and one of the biggest request we received was special culinary venues with local establishments. We are excited to announce our upcoming culinary venues in downtown Sacramento. These food events are limited seating and only being offered for a specific date and time. No time to think it over, these seats will be spooned up quickly. Sure to please everyone’s palate and appetite to learn more in our delicious culinary community with our local chefs and purveyors. Keep checking back with us on a quarterly basis for more event offerings. We are on a roll now!
Private Tequila Tasting Dinner – Friday, June 13th @ 7:-00pm
Experience the true way to pair some of the smoothest tequila with the tastiest meats and produce. Get up close and into the action pairing tequila with a taste of Mexico. Get your tequila notes ready and join us on Friday, June 13th at 7:00pm for a magnificent evening by advanced ticketing only. The dinner is being offered by Local Roots Food Tours and Mayahuel Tequila Museo in Sacramento. Come learn & taste your way thru Mexico with a bountiful 4 course meal with a hand-selected flight of tequila. Each course will be paired with the right tequila to perfection. One of Mayahuel’s Tequila Master will educate and entertain the participants with their wealth of tequila and all its nuances – participants will walk away from the event knowing more than they ever thought they would about tequila and unique ways to pair food with it. After your palates are replenished you will be leaving this exclusive culinary event with the knowledge on what type of tequilas pair nicely with what food. Bring your spouse, your best friend or your lucky neighbor and enjoy an evening you will always remember. Call 1-800-407-8918 for more information. Limited tickets available – intimate evening. Click Here to Purchase Tickets Online. $75.00 Per Person Not Including Ticketing Fee. Additional Tequila Cocktails Can Be Purchased w/ Ticket Purchase As Well.
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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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
Local Roots Food Tours SUMMER SIZZLE TICKET SALE: $45.00 adult discount tickets for Sacramento Food Tours, $52 adult tickets for Murphy’s Food & Wine Tour by using special code “SIZZLE”!
Join our fun and entertaining culinary concierges this summer on one of our guided culinary walking adventures that walks you through heavily shaded streets in Sacramento’s most historical and cultural neighborhoods or down a rural mining town’s main street all while eating and drinking at hidden gems. Learn what continues to make Northern California a foodie’s paradise, one taste at a time.
Our three-hour City of Trees Food & Cultural Walking Tour , Origins of Sacramento Food & History Tour and our Murphys Food & Wine Tour are intimate in size (17 max on every tour)…..this is not your large group food crawl tour….it is a great opportunity to slow down and go behind the scenes and experience 8 individual servings at 6 different locations (all with air conditioning and seating)….no running out of food and literally…no running allowed! It’s all about savoring each bite that is specially prepared for our tour groups, learning about mom and pop eateries and restaurants that only the locals are lucky enough to know about-until now, exploring really cool neighborhood streets that are quiet, peaceful and surprisingly full of fun facts. We make sure every tour participant connects to the whole food tour experience which shows in previous participants raving reviews over our walking tours!
Get tidbits of history and beautiful architecture while tasting the scrumptious foods that make Sacramento valley’s culinary scene a regional treasure. You’ll taste farm fresh ingredients that inspire local chefs. Tours are offered throughout the week. Check our event calendar to see available tour dates. Advanced ticketing is required so hurry and take advantage of our SUMMER SIZZLE TICKET SPECIALS!!
Wanting to go with a group of friends or relatives and make it a private experience? No problem. Local Roots Food Tours offers private group food tours 6 days a week. Family reunions, vacations, or simply a time to get together with friends and enjoy food, fun and friendly people. Come join our culinary food walking adventure and remember to use special code word “SIZZLE”. Offer expires July 20, 2012!
Offer Details: Discount tickets apply ONLY to ADULT TICKET PRICING. Senior, Military and Children tickets are not included. Tickets must be purchased by July 20th, 2012 and tour date secure between June 20th thru July 20th, 2012. Exceptions can be made if you call directly and speak to our event planner/ticketing department. No other specials/discounts can be applied to the sale price ticket. Savings: $13.00 per ticket.
Farmers Markets are popping all over the country this time of year. Keeping it local and exploring your palate each and every week has its perks. Here are 10 reasons why its a positive experience by shopping at your local farmer’s markets:
1. You can Taste The Difference! Most of the produce has been picked within 24 hours (supermarkets could be as long as a couple of months!). It comes to your table ripe, fresh and full of flavor. The produce is at its “prime”!
2. You are giving back to your local community. “Keeping it local” is a common trend in urban and rural areas today. In areas with strong local markets, the family farm has been given new life.
3. Discover New Flavors! Ever wonder what the long white root vegetable is and what it is used for? Flabbergasted by how many varieties of pears you can find at the market? Shopping at local markets helps you think outside of the supermarket bins and explore your palate with so many varieties of flavors. Small farms are keeping alive nearly 300 other varieties of particular produce; offering heirloom varietals and the good old fashion beef steak tomatoes!
4. Helps to Boost Local Economy! A US study showed that almost twice the contribution of a dollar stayed in the local economy when spent at a local food business compared to a supermarket.
5. Save the World! A study in Iowa found that a regional diet consumed 17 times less oil and gas than a diet based on food shipped across the country! With gas prices on the rise, who wants to pay for transportation fees to a supermarket bringing in un-ripened fruit and vegetables when one could drive down the road and buy from Farmer Brown?
6. Meet Your Neighbors and Farmers! Local eating is social. Studies show that people shopping at farmer’s markets have 12 times more conversations than their counterparts at the supermarket. Sometimes shopping at your local farmers markets turns into a half day affair with all the friends and locals you run into. Bring your chairs and make a day of good old fashion community fun!
7. Be Healthy! Eating fresh local ingredients with no processing, no additives, no pesticides…..the only end result is healthy eating! Cooking from scratch makes you feel better; you are eating more fresh fruit and vegetables and fewer of the bad products that have turned our country into an obese problem. Once you go fresh and local, you won’t want to go back!
8. Get in Touch with the Seasons! Many farming communities are lucky enough to have year round supply of fresh, local ingredients at their markets. When you eat locally, you eat what’s in season. You’ll remember the cherries are the taste of summer. Even in winter, comfort foods like squash soup and sweet potato bisque just make sense.
9. Create Memories! Bringing back those fresh local ingredients each week, breaking out the cookbook and exploring your passion while creating some excellent dishes is all about eating locally grown. Making jam, eating fresh local food and pairing it with a local wine with family and friends makes memories of a lifetime!
10. Explore your local community! Get out and about and visit local farmers markets. Become a tourist in your own back yard! One way of exploring markets is by participating in a organized tour. Follow a chef thru a market and learn about unique vegetables and fruits you normally wouldn’t even think of buying. Visit your local event calendar and find a farmers market tour and join in on the fun and education. You will be surprised how much little you knew about your local farmers and artisans until you get one on one time with them on a tour!
Keep Your Family Safe - Food Safety at Farmers Markets:
Farmers’ markets are the prime destination for fresh and local food, but they’re not immune to germs and bacteria. Farmers work hard to comply with state and federal food safety standards but patrons also have to keep their eyes peeled (and their produce washed). Use our tips to help avoid food safety pitfalls.
Whether it’s organically grown or not, produce needs to washed well. It’s a good thing that farmers’ market produce isn’t waxed like much of what you’ll find in the grocery store, but these local goodies are often covered with dirt. Rinse delicate items like berries, herbs and lettuces well just before use; rinsing them before storing them can cause them to get moldy or mushy. Sturdy produce like carrots, apples and potatoes can handle a good scrub. Thick-skinned foods like melons should be washed before you slice into them.
Some vendors turn their produce into drinks like apple cider. Look for pasteurized beverages, especially if you’re pregnant, elderly or serving them to young children.
Eggs and Dairy Products
Eggs and dairy (yogurt, cheese and milk) at the grocery store is almost always pasteurized, this isn’t always the case at the farmers’ market. Read labels carefully and if in doubt, ASK! Raw milk products and unpasteurized eggs are appealing to some folks but also carry a higher risk of food-borne illness from salmonella and listeria. Also, be sure that all dairy products are stored at the proper temperature – in refrigeration or on ice, especially on hot days.
Meats & Seafood
Fresh and frozen meats, meat products (such as bacon and sausage) and even seafood are popular farmers’ market finds. Use a specially designated shopping bag to avoid cross contamination and bring along an ice pack to keep everything cold on the ride home.
It’s become very popular for venders to give away tastes of their goods, especially prepared foods and specialty items. Baked goods, pesto and tomato sauce, jams and jellies, cheese, granola, yogurt, pickles, hummus, soups and grain salads are just a few of things you might come across. Bring along your own napkins (vendors never seem to have enough). Make sure perishable foods are kept on ice and have proper serving utensils before you sample them. Most importantly, beware of double dippers!
It’s that time of the year again….local farmers and artisan specialty vendors getting ramped up for the launch of their produce and goods at local farmers markets. Lucky enough, many farmers markets are year round in California. What lies ahead are some amazing spring vegetables, fruits, artisan meats and cheeses. The highlight of shopping the market experience is what you get to take home with you and create fresh ingredient dishes. Trying to find a market in your local community being offered once a week is the key to always having the freshness for your kitchen. We are lucky enough in Sacramento County where there is a certified farmer’s market almost every day of the week!
If you can manage to wake up early on a Sunday morning, make your way to the Sacramento Central farmers market where you’ll find many Asian produce. Shoppers will find great prices at this Midtown market, which is among the larger markets in the area.Guide Tip: Get here early. Since this is a popular market, on a few of my visits, some vendors ran out of food.
- Location: 8th and W streets, underneath Highway 80
- Hours: 8 a.m. to noon, open all year
Roosevelt Park is among two farmer’s markets along P Street. Along the perimeter of the park, shoppers can buy vegetables, fruits, nuts, meats, herbs, flowers, baked goods and cheeses.
- Location: 9th and P streets
- Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., from May through October
Just down the street from Roosevelt Park is Fremont Park. Vendors are spread along the perimeter of the park.Guide Tip: Finding a parking space can be a challenge at both of these parks. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a metered spot. Remember to keep track of the time to avoid getting a ticket.
- Location: 16th and P streets
- Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., from May through October
Caesar Chavez Memorial Plaza is abuzz with shoppers from area office buildings at this downtown market.
- Location: 10th and J streets, in front of City Hall
- Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., from May through October
Capitol Mall Market
- 6th Street and Capitol Mall
- Hours: 10am – 1:30pm, from May through September
Downtown Plaza Market
- 4th and K Streets
- Hours: 10am – 2:00pm, from May through September
East End State Capitol Park
- 15th and L Streets, (Between L & N Streets)
- Hours: 10am – 1:30pm, from May – September
Oak Park Farmers’ Market
- McClatchy Park, 35th Street and Fifth Ave
- Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Sunrise Station Market
- Folsom and Sunrise Blvds, Rancho Cordova – Light Rail Station
- Hours: 8:00am – 12:00pm, Open Year Round
Experiencing a Farmer’s Market through a chef’s eyes is an incredible experience. Being introduced to local farmers and artisans. Tasting, touching, smelling….it all is about growing your knowledge on how to pick out seasonal produce, how to use that produce in your home and receive some creative ideas on using the benefits of the produce to your advantage. Sound too good to be true? A new tour is being launched in downtown Sacramento by Local Roots Food Tours; Market to Plate Executive Lunch Tour. Beginning May 2nd and offered every Wednesday and Thursday throughout the spring/summer growing season, participants have the opportunity to be treated to a VIP Farmers Market Tour followed by a 4 course lunch with a wine pairing. 2 popular executive chefs will be taking fresh local ingredients from the morning’s local market and creating a wonderful lunch for all participants. Get up close and personal with these two chefs. Learn tricks and trades on how to pick out the best produce and fruits at this year’s farmers markets and receive recipe ideas to use in your own kitchen. For more information on how to be a part of this unique and inspiring walking food tour please contact Local Roots Food Tours: 1-800-407-8918 or visit their foodie friendly website at: http://www.localrootsfoodtours.com
Come join Local Roots Food Tours as we get up close and personal with local farmers, vintners, and executive chefs in our new Market-To-Plate Executive Chef’s Tour! This tour takes you through a popular downtown Sacramento farmer’s market, Cesar Plaza Farmer’s Market or East End Capitol Park Farmer’s Market and then into a four course, four star dining experience prepared by two local executive chefs!
This tour is a culinary and educational adventure. Participants are guided through an open-air market, where you can chat with the farmers and producers as the aroma of herbs and flowers waft around you. You’ll learn about what’s in season and how to choose and prepare foods from their seasonal harvest. We will meet local olive oil producers, lavender and flower producers, meat producers, and other artisans – in short, people who love to work with and talk about food! A shopping experience like no other!
Our tour continues with a 3 course exclusive lunch prepared by Executive Chef Michel at Morgan’s Restaurant (a four star, hidden gem restaurant serving farm-to-table ingredients). Lunch will be prepared using fresh local seasonal ingredients. Chef Michel will educate participants on how to use the produce they purchased at the morning market and share his culinary wisdom and passion for fresh, local ingredients. Definitely an up close dining experience! Lunch will be paired with a selected local wine.
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It is only natural that California would pioneer the latest microgreen trend in the food world. These flavorful Lilliputian members of the greens community have been appearing with increasing frequency on today’s restaurant menus. They are appearing in upscale markets and restaurants and locally command a luxury item price of up to $3 to $5 per ounce. Many chefs in the Sacramento restaurant scene are now incorporating microgreens into a variety of dishes. One common microgreen that is being found on local menus in California restaurants is Bulls Blood. Read that twice when you see it on a menu and wonder to yourself; “really?”. Do you take it literally or have you already been exposed to one of the newest local farm trends to hit many restaurants menus?
Bulls Blood is a popular microgreen that stems from the 1840’s bulls blood beet. Bull’s blood leaves have been used in folk medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments. This Microgreen’s beet-like flavor and vivid red color enhances mixed green salads but also finding its way on top of raw meats, seafood and pork belly sandwiches!
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If you aren’t in the mood to tackle defrosting a 19 pound turkey and can’t think of making another dish of stuffing, then maybe dining out for the holiday is a better idea. I’ve put together a list of some of the restaurants that are serving Thanksgiving dinners. Take a look at some of the dishes online and you may just change your mind on hosting the holiday this year! Another plus: NO DISHES! Remember: many of these restaurants REQUIRE a reservation. Don’t forget to book early! – Blog post written by Bethany Heckman