Did you know that parsnip is derived from the Latin word “pastus” which means food? Today, the poor parsnips are often overlooked as they literally pale in comparison to their (often) orange cousins, carrots. These unsung heroes are great roasted, mashed, or used to flavor stocks.Traditionally, parsnips had several common uses, from sweetening baked goods before sugar was readily available to being a toothache remedy.
Michigan’s growing season is frustratingly short. But at the Royal Oak Farmers Market, “We’re a booming market all year round,” says Robin Richardson, the market’s manager of event planning. “You can come to the market on any given Saturday and buy a tomato.”
Alpena Municipal Council just voted 5-0 to allow Eric Peterson to host a craft beer festival on September 30th this year at his restaurant, The Fresh Palate, and bar, The Nucleus. The festival will offer different craft beers from 30 breweries and brewpubs, including Austin Brothers Beer Company out of Alpena and Arcadia Ales from Kalamazoo from 3pm-9pm that day.
The city will block off 2nd Avenue in downtown Alpena for the event. There will be live performances from local artists, outdoor games, multiple food vendors including locally sourced options, and an opportunity to mark the occasion with specialty beer glasses and Beer Fest t-shirts. Each brewery will be educating people about the different styles of brews they bring to the fest and go in depth about tastes and aromas and truly inform participants about their craft. Alpena looks forward to this becoming an annual event and having an opportunity to offer more locally sourced items to Michiganders throughout the year.
This is still a developing story. So, mark your calendars for September 30th and keep tabs on www.freshpalategourmet.com/ and our social media for more info.
We’re more than a month into 2017, and even though temperatures are icy, the warmth of community collaboration keeps Crooked Tree Arts Center’s Artisans & Farmers Market a toasty place.
ON BEING OF A PLACE
By Bill Palladino
When people ask me where I’m from, I tell them without hesitation that I’m from the Bronx, New York. The answer throws many people off balance; because I have long since lost the coarse phonic cues that would make it easy to predict my origins. I have now assimilated the softer sounds and gestures of my Midwest home.
The query “where are you from?” is, after all, one of the most common questions asked of strangers. It begs for a reference—the first waypoint on a journey to understand who someone is. It pokes at the corners of our private lives, hoping to unearth rich veins of perception. But the fact is the answer cannot reveal much beyond the surface of a stereotype.
I’ve come to realize that
The idea for Tongue Huggers grew from a passion to create, learn, and develop in order to further others’ love for sustainable agriculture and value in local food. Through our handcrafted hot sauce we’re able to create a flavor profile around the heat level and, as we like to say around here, Flavor the Fire. We love knowing where our food comes from and using seasonal ingredients to enhance the culinary experience. We use as many organic and naturally-grown ingredients as possible, while sourcing them from an increasing number of local Michigan farms.
Taste the Local Difference (TLD) is constantly looking for ways to add value for our partners in the food system. We are excited to announce a new relationship with the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) where TLD partners at the branch level ($150.00) and above will receive a complimentary “premium” membership in SBAM, valued at $219.00
On Tuesdays at La Becasse we celebrate the heart-warming wintry meal that is cassoulet. Cassoulet is a white bean and tomato casserole studded with duck confit, Toulouse sausage, pork shoulder and pork belly. The whole thing is topped with breadcrumbs and baked to a happy crisp before being served. At La Becasse, the cassoulet is served in a Le Crueset enamel pot (in one of the French flag’s bleu-blanc-rouge colors). Be warned, this is no small pot!
The wintery months like February are the months for everyone, including bees, to hibernate, dream of flowers, and plan for the months ahead. There are many reasons to love bees year round. Melissa Hronkin at Algomah Acres, a honey farm and meadery in the snowy western Upper Peninsula, reminds us of this.
By Bill Palladino
Food, of its nature, is a social agent. What we eat, where we eat, and with whom help to define our identities as people. Show me these three things, and I will describe for you with some accuracy, your age, cultural origins and social strata. There may come a time in the future where you are measured by these truths.
Many of the most important archeological discoveries in history have unearthed the remnants of food. Physical evidence of what was eaten, when and where has also helped us to understand the origins of our nutrition and the role food has played in shaping society. Archeology also teaches us that sharing food has played an important function in communities stretching back millennia. All meaningful gatherings of people, whether around a campfire, at the kitchen table, at large celebrations or on battlefields involve the sharing of food.