Serving Up Vermont
You know how they say you should “eat the rainbow”? The reason is carotenoids. Carotenoids are the pigments that give food their vibrant colors of orange, yellow, and red. Think carrots, sweet potato, purple cabbage, tomatoes, kale, etc. Some varieties of carotenoids that you might be familiar with are beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein.
When you think of the words local food, what do you envision? Perhaps grown by your neighboring farmers, seasonality, delicious, healthy, minimal carbon foot print and supporting local economies. Well here at City Market, we define local products as grown or raised in Vermont, where the farm selling the product is from Vermont, and any processing is done in Vermont. Typically, these products are mostly whole, unprocessed foods.
Last week, City Market hosted an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony, led by Mulu Tewelde. Mulu grew up in Eritrea (just north of Ethiopia) and moved to Vermont in 2006. She is a successful cook and caterer, leading Authentic Ethiopian Night at Arts Riot with colleague Alganash Michael, as well as doing private catering events. For a unique social, cultural, and food event, she demonstrated an Ethiopian coffee ceremony, true to the way it’s formed every day by women in Ethiopia.
What’s to love about hummus? Everything! And it seems like more and more people are discovering the joy of hummus; the hummus industry has been growing quickly in the US, going from $5 million 15 years ago to $530 million in 2012. If you haven’t jumped on the hummus train, what’s stopping you?
Saving money while grocery shopping can be a grand adventure. Some people really take “make-it-yourself” options to heart and undertake DIY projects as diverse as canning their own pasta sauce to making their own shampoo and conditioner. But not everyone has the drive (or time!) to make everything from scratch. What you can manage comes down to each individual’s DIY drive, schedule, and tastes. However, if you are looking for a fairly easy, hands-off DIY project that may save you a few bucks, consider making your own apple cider vinegar!
Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity to listen and speak at the NOFA-VT Winter Conference, held at the University of Vermont. How amazing it was to be surrounded by inspiring and dedicated people making incredible change in the world! We’ve got a great community in this state, and I am thankful for it every day.
Move over sriracha - there are some new spices in town! Okay, not exactly new as these spices are essential flavorings for traditional food cultures in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, however these spices and flavors are taking center stage right now in American food culture. But don’t worry if you’ve never heard the likes of spice pastes like gochujang or sambal oelek – this quick primer will get you ready to experience a new level of flavor!
Look up “Food Trends in 2016” on the internet and I can guarantee you’ll see something on almost every list that says “seaweed is the new kale.” Kale is still a nutritional powerhouse, but seaweed ups the game, with its vibrant color, chewy texture, and unique flavor.
Seaweed is formed from marine algae and comes in many forms and is organized by color – brown, green, or red. It can be high in protein, Vitamin B12, trace minerals, iodine*, and omega-3 fatty acids. Seaweed grows in salt water and doesn’t need any fertilizer to thrive. It absorbs dissolved nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon dioxide directly from the water, and grows and reproduces quickly.
We have a list of Global Ends that guides our business and all that we do. One of our Global Ends is “strengthening the local food system,” which is met through a myriad of activities and programs including highlighting and selling local products (37% of sales in fiscal year 2015 were local and made in Vermont products), planning farm tours and crop mobs for the community, our Co-op Patronage Seedling Grants Program and our Local Farm and Producer Investment Program.
Those of us living in northern climates who like to eat fresh foods during the winter are likely well-versed in root vegetables. Beets, carrots, onions, potatoes, turnips and the like are readily available to us throughout the cold months. But one can only eat so many root vegetables before they become blasé (really, how many ways can you eat turnips?).