12.10.2014 | Issue #6/7
"They can be an important part of an ecologically sound agricultural system, especially in terms of local food. We love the triticale, wheat berries, and hard corn from the L'Etoile family at Four Star Farms. We mill our own flour in house and use it fresh. Bread never tasted so good. We both called dibs on this one."
"We don't have a salamander broiler, so this blowtorch attachment from Booker & Dax comes in pretty handy in our small restaurant. Max uses it to melt cheese, crisp chicken skin, or, when he's feeling goofy, make toast."
"Damn, it's hard to find birds that lived their whole lives outside, and even harder to pay for them! There are a lot of reasons why, and we want to see things change. We're lucky to have Copicut Farms raising chickens and turkeys for us, but our food system is a long way away from having wide access to quality poultry like theirs."
"Laying hens are delicious, and they're just one example of how older animals have way more flavor. Lots of people prize tenderness, which is why young animals are the industry standard, but we've learned that if you cook and slice it right, even the toughest old beasts can be good eating. Plus, it's great to help farmers unload older livestock that can be a financial burden to care for and slaughter, especially if they're just going to be dog food."
"Cranberries, hickory nuts, Jerusalem artichokes, and so on. Since we're obsessed with local food, it follows that we're interested in native plants.
Not that we'll sneeze at a Massachusetts grown jalapeno, but if the plant evolved in our region, it's more likely to be the best it can possibly be."
"This is basically the idea that humans can cultivate a landscape of foods in the woods without logging, plowing, or messing too much with the ecosystem. Usually this includes nuts, berries, log-grown mushrooms, and sometimes animals. Extra points for pawpaws!"
"We'd like to see more crossover between farmers, restaurant industry workers, land-grant universities, and everyone else who works in food. There's a lot that happens to food before we cook it, or even before farmers grow it, and we think we could solve a lot more problems and make food a lot more delicious if we all worked together more."
"Local ingredients aren't inherently all those things, unfortunately. Sometimes small farmers, if they're financially hard up, can engage in just as bad practices as industrial behemoths. We want to make sure we're supporting low-impact farming, fair wages and labor standards, and food access and security for everyone, whether it's with for-profit or non-profit farms. It's all about asking the right questions in the right ways."
"Irene's a college student, so she eats a lot of library café food these days.
Happily, that includes Blue Hill Creamery's line of veggie flavored yogurt, from butternut squash to raspberry beet."
"Also happily, Irene's working part-time at one of the finest butcher shops in all the land. Not only do they sell delicious meats, but they produce a huge line of wholesale meat items and carry lots of other local and small-batch goodies. Irene's meat consumption has nigh tripled. Hooray!"