Serving Up Vermont

Sunday, April 6, 2014
By Caroline Homan, Food & Nutrition Education Coordinator

Spring has finally sprung, and it seems like the perfect time to write about a recent Mosaic of Flavors class where we made a special Bosnian bread stuffed with spinach. Spinach will always be a "sign of spring" for me, because it's one of the first crops we get from local farmers in the springtime. Its fresh, green color and large, squeaky leaves are a welcome change of pace from root vegetables! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
By Sarah Bhimani, Media Coordinator

Fair wages for all (including farmers), include the next generation, equal representation under the law, humane working conditions, good and respectful communication, a grievance policy/conflict resolution process, access to affordable healthcare, kids on farms (both kids of farmers and farmworkers) should have access to quality education, children should only be allowed to work part-time on the farm, and fair pricing of farm products in the marketplace.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
By Sarah Bhimani, Media Coordinator

Last week, City Market staff had the privilege of attending a special cheese tasting with Adam Smith, Head Caveman at The Cellars at Jasper Hill.  The topic was bloomy-rinded cheeses, those delightfully soft, often white, squiggly-molded cheeses that seem to be so popular these days.  Bloomy-rinded cheeses are usually made from pasteurized milk, as they are typically aged less than 2 months (raw milk needs to be aged at least 60 days).  For bloomy-rinded cheeses, either the milk is inoculated with a specific mold culture, or the cheese is misted with the mold culture to produce a rind that ripens from the outside in.  Most cheesemakers purchase mold cultures to inoculate cheeses, but over time, a layer of microbes coat the walls of cheese caves and eventually become very specific to place. Given this, it makes sense that The Cellars’ tag line is “A Taste of Place,” as very site-specific microbes contribute to the taste of all The Cellars’ cheeses.  Much like how the term terrior is used to discuss place-specific tastes of wine, so can the term be used when talking about cheeses. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014
By Caroline Homan, Food & Nutrition Education Coordinator

This time of year, when the ground begins to soften, the buds swell on bushes and trees, and squirrels resume their frisky high-wire acts, is a wonderful time to think about treating our whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds to a long, warm soak before we eat them. More than any other time of year, spring is a time when soaking seeds puts us in touch with the rhythms of nature, because it is happening all around us in the forest, fields, and flower beds. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014
By Todd Taylor, Outreach & Education Manager

This week we’re continuing an annual tradition that I’m fond of, our local food recipe competition. Picking one extra special ingredient, we ask the community to submit their favorite recipes based on that theme. It’s like Iron Chef*, but without all the pressure or the video cameras (actually, it’s not really like Iron Chef at all). This year’s special ingredient is… beets!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014
By Sarah Bhimani, Media Coordinator

The United States government, in response to consumers' desires to know more about the origin of the food they were buying, passed a law in 2002 called the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law.  The law aims to provide information to consumers regarding the origin of food products.  The 2002 Farm Bill (and subsequent amendments) requires processors, packers, and retailers to label the country of origin for fish and shellfish; peanuts, pecans, and macadamia nuts; ginseng; fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables; ground beef, lamb, pork, goat, and chicken; and muscle cuts of beef, veal, lamb,

Thursday, January 9, 2014
By Sarah Bhimani, Media Coordinator

Why is it so hard to reform our food system?  Perhaps because so many different arms of the food industry need time and attention.  Take food waste, for example.  It’s neither glamorous nor obvious, but it is starting to become a leading actor in conversations about food system reform.  Why?  Because not only does food waste affect how we approach hunger, it also affects our land use patterns and climate change.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014
By Caroline Homan, Food & Nutrition Education Coordinator

The last two weeks of December, I definitely indulged my sweet tooth a lot. Judging by the capacity at our German and Italian holiday baking classes, I was not the only one who participated with a little extra cheer in the holiday dessert department!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
By Caroline Homan, Food & Nutrition Education Coordinator

Once in a while, you meet a person who is hard to forget. In the case of the Mosaic of Flavor series, that seems to happen every month, as one person after another makes a lasting impression on us with his or her presence, stories, and cooking. As one participant in a recent class quipped: “I don’t come for the food, I come for the stories!” Still, at the end of the evening, when these inspiring people have guided us through preparing a dish or dishes from their home countries, from which they are exiled, the food is almost as unforgettable as the stories.

Monday, December 2, 2013
By Todd Taylor, Outreach & Education Manager

Hi! I’m Todd, the Outreach and Education Manager here at the Co-op. You’ve heard from my coworkers Caroline and Sarah, and my predecessor Meg, here on Serving Up Vermont, and now it’s time for me to add my voice. I thought a good way to introduce myself would be to share this personal tale of change.

I recently started eating meat again for the first time in 12 years. Up until then, fruits, vegetables, fungi, grains, legumes and yes, cheese and eggs, were all familiar supplies in my kitchen. Aside from accidental bits of bacon hidden in my aunt’s favorite salad recipe or an occasional misread order at a restaurant, no animal flesh had reached my mouth in over a dozen years. And I didn’t miss it one bit.

Vegetarianism was a subtle, yet defining part of my life that started back in college. I grew up eating meat and my family had taught me how to be comfortable in the kitchen, but my love of food didn’t really start until I left the nest. Learning how to cook for myself coincided serendipitously with my environmentally-focused studies at UVM. After learning about the impacts of large-scale meat production and the uncertainty around how to feed a growing global population, it seemed like cutting animals out of my diet was a simple, decisive action that I could take. So what happened?