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Localvorism – Saturday February 9th, 2008

July 26, 2008

Until this morning I had thought that spring was just about upon us. It is very cold but I maintain that spring will be here soon and besides the groundhog (is that beastie good eatin???) says so.

The coming of spring brings with it the return of fresh food. The biggest food trend I see is local food. As a self anointed ‘Localvore’ I wish to comment on this.

The current ‘Hip Dinner Party’ is the 100 mile meal. I remember talking to my late lamented poultry supplier (you think after 3 generations buying from them they would have the decency to consult me when they sold out….Linda you were to find me a new supplier!!!!!!)  about her first clients doing a 100 miler…well Terry and I had just thrown a 5 miler… just because. Chicken from Cottam, veggies from Murray’s farm down the road and wine from Mastronardi…hahaha we could have biked…..if I wasn’t so lazy. Apart from lipids, spices and obviously non-locables we did it.

I really believe that this is the way to go. Mario Batali always says “get to know your butcher”. Why?? You can get the good stuff, and avoid those evil little packages with the label pasted over the evil parts. And if you buy meat with a best before of 2010 is it real??? Now apply this to food. Farmer Bob grows his food and sells some on his stand. This was picked today and not shipped for a week from Central America and was picked unripe. One evening I was ‘educated’ by a proud local farmer. I learned alot about organic food and how really it is unnecessary with the local practices. I don’t know if I buy it but I will take his word for it.

Further to this was a ‘lesson’ I received from a local vintner. He explained that yes, his prices may be higher than some imported wines, BUT he knows exactly what practices went into the wine. Did they use pesticides? and if so,are those legal in Canada….. What are their field practices…..cleanliness etc. Yes the wines are tested but we know what our people do. How about some Chinese dog food or those imported fish that were fed contaminated food. I think he’s right.

This year Sanson is adding Berkshire pork to their food offerings. Last year they had heirloom vegetables, and organic beef. Now with the proper pork, I can go there and get my wine, meat and veg….a whole meal of proper local food. Excellent!!!! Oh yes and if one travels to Wagner, you can get dessert, as Harold has strudel and pie and ice fruit wine….yum. OOPS he also has organic beef and other critters to…wonderful.

The point to this is that we have all the elements to develop a local cuisine. Look to Napa 20yrs ago. They went local and now have a wonderful local food scene. Why should I order fish from Chile, veg from Central America and wine from Australia, when I can have fish from Kingsville veg from all over and wine from the county. Which will be fresher???? Which will have taste??? Do you want tomatoes from Florida or Harrow??? Now WWGS….what’s that….What Would Gordon Say. Gordon Ramsay may have be voted the meanest man in England, but watch his show and he will mildly and politely explain that fresh local simple food is the best way to go. He has several Michelin stars so he just may be right.

The question is: are the local restaurants getting it. Yes some are. More local wine is showing up, but they seem more interested in selling Yellow Penguin than local Pinot. Calabria in Cottam and Jack’s in Kingsville get it. Calabria is now or soon expanding its menu to more great local stuff…excellent Linda!!

So what’s the point to this. Find our favorite local fruit stand and experience the bounty we live in. Don’t give up on kiwi’s and avocados but there is great local goodies and you will be supporting local farmers. Fresh is good and I just heard 4 fois gras in waiting next door….now they will be fresh!!!!! Naw, just joking the are pets for the neighbor kids……at least for now.

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