Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Local products taste test? Yes, please!

Ann Lovejoy, who writes "The Green Kitchen" in the Seattle PI food section, wrote an article in today's paper, "Put local produce to the taste test, and enjoy." Yep. That's a bold statement in favor of local food. Any time you throw the word "test" around, you know that the writer is serious. Y'know, because "testing" carries a lot of scientific clout. But seriously, her reasoning for the triumph of the taste of local produce is much more about how local food provides a unique sense of place, than it is about white lab coats and test tubes. She writes, "the sun and rain, the soil and the biota, nature and the farmer have combined to nourish the mother plant and produce the root, shoot or fruit you are eating." In wine language, we'd call it "terrior".

It's a great idea to hold a local produce taste test. Perhaps we should organize one. Post ideas for a tasting menu to the comments section.

Read the rest of the article

Of course, local chefs have known the secret of local food for a long time. On the front page of the same PI food section is an article about rising stars in the Seattle food scene.
In that post, there's a link back in time to the last batch of rising stars in the Seattle food scene from 2003. Lots of familiar names there that are now the superstar chefs of today. Check out the intro paragraph:

"Fresh. Local. Seasonal - For the Rising Star Chefs of Seattle, these terms are a given. The game they play demands a different strategy, to push these terms further - and we aren't talking just herb gardens here. From growing their own vegetables to changing what local farmers already grow, these chefs command a higher sense of purpose. Still think of Seattle as the capital of coffee and umbrella collections? Think again, Seattle is coming up in the food world, fast. They may have to change the motto from the City of Goodwill to the City of Great Food."

Bottom line: chefs know it. Food writers know it. For sure, farmers know it. Now go find out what everybody's talking about when they say local food tastes better.

Speaking of local food tastings, the Volunteer Park Cafe has a Wine Dinner coming up on January 10th, spotlighting àMaurice Cellars.


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