It’s almost officially winter, not usually the time most of us turn our thoughts to growing things, but the season for foragers doesn’t necessarily follow the same timetable as that of farmers, even in the Northeast where we’ve already felt a few freezes and most farmers markets closed for the season more than a month ago.
New York-based forager and food preservation expert Leda Meredith launched a series in Mother Earth News on cold-weather foraging with a piece on finding and identifying chickweed, a wild-growing weed that works well in pestos and salads. On her blog, Meredith writes that planning in the warm months makes year-round foraging possible. She advises foragers to identify plants in the summer when they’re in full bloom.
“The takeaway here is that foraging is a year-round pursuit: what you learn in summer will serve you when there is snow on the ground,” she writes.
Weather becomes less important when you head west. (read more…)
November always brings the foodie forecasts for the year ahead, and this week we got the annual detailed predictions from Baum + Whiteman and Andrew Freeman & Co. Topping both lists was the subject of chicken, with different takes on the poultry’s projected popularity next year.
Baum + Whiteman predicts chicken will continue to gain a higher profile in premium dishes, a point-of-view that conforms with conventional wisdom as eateries look to gain an edge with fancy new chicken dishes while also taking advantage of falling chicken prices. The largest ever U.S. corn harvest spurred production at poultry farms, Bloomberg reported this week, driving decreases in chicken prices after drought-driven increases last year. Meanwhile, beef prices remain high after last year’s drought decimated herds, and higher beef prices are likely also driving more consumers to choose chicken instead.
The Baum + Whiteman forecast highlights chicken innovation across the board, from Thai chili and grilled piri piri wings with cilantro garlic sauce at Chick-a-Biddy in Atlanta to the $79 roast chicken with foie gras for two at New York City’s Nomad. (read more…)
Nutrition experts hammer home the message to eat more fruits and vegetables at every turn, and Americans are listening, at least when it comes to fruit. Vegetables are a persistent third on the list of the foods we eat most of, according to a new report, and fruit has moved up to second place.
Fruit is now the most popular snack and dessert item in the U.S., and overall it is second only to sandwiches on the latest list of foods Americans eat most, according to NPD Group’s annual Eating Patterns in America Report, a trend that reflects U.S. consumers’ efforts to reverse obesity trends without sacrificing the convenience we crave, said industry analyst Harry Balzer.
“It’s funny, fruits and vegetables are two and three, yet we’re always hearing we should eat more fruits and vegetables,” he said. “More than what?”
More produce consumption may be a factor in the fact that obesity rates in America have leveled off at 30%, he says, and health concerns may be a key reason for the rise in fruit consumption. (read more…)
When Rich Landau was a small boy and his dad told him steak came from cows, he pictured a bovine laying a steak like a chicken lays an egg. Years later when he learned what that really meant, meat turned him off and he turned vegetarian.
“I still crave the taste of meat to this day, and we love food, we’re a big food family. In the mid-’80s, there was not much to turn to — it was wheat germ, pine cones, wheatgrass — so I had to really start to cook and develop a style of cuisine that was going to satisfy my carnivorous palate and not going to make me go back to eating meat,” he said.
Today, Landau and his wife and partner Kate Jacoby own Vedge, a downtown Philly vegan restaurant with a growing national reputation for fine dining without the animal products. The eatery and its founders have been featured in mainstream media and niche publications alike, won kudos from VegNews and GQ, launched a line of sauces in Williams-Sonoma, debuted a Vedge cookbook and put a vegan cronut on the menu at the beginning of the month. (read more…)
Denver-based Mad Greens isn’t strictly a vegetarian restaurant, but from the beginning the salad concept has catered to guests across the eating spectrum, from vegans to flexitarians to meat-loving omnivores, said CEO and co-founder Marley Hodgson. Mad Greens gives customers a choice of 15 designed salads, all but three of which start out vegetarian and give customers the option of adding meat, tofu or portabella mushrooms; alternately, diners can design their own salads using a checklist of mostly veggie items. “The nature of our menu is flexible, and we’ve got a lot of choice because of our slant toward salads. So, we have lots of tasty options for vegetarians.”
Additionally, a new app developed in partnership with a fan of the brand who has a tech background and three children with food allergies lets users go online or to their smartphones to put in their restrictions, including a “vegan” choice, and get a list of menu items that meet their needs. (read more…)