By Mark Bittman
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Mass-produced tomatoes have become redder, more tender and slightly more flavorful than the crunchy orange “cello-wrapped” specimens of a couple of decades ago, but the lives of the workers who grow and pick them haven’t improved much since Edward R. Murrow’s revealing and deservedly famous Harvest of Shame report of 1960, which contained the infamous quote, “We used to own our slaves; now we just rent them.”
But bit by bit things have improved some, a story that’s told in detail and with insight and compassion by Barry Estabrook in his new book, “Tomatoland.” We can actually help them improve further.
Read more »
By Gina Kim
Sunday, May. 29, 2011
Gleaming stainless steel dominates the long-abandoned fertilizer and supply store along Highway 16, just before the road bends into the dusty town of Esparto.
Meat cases have been cleaned, shelving installed and rails – strong enough to support 800-pound carcasses hanging from the ceiling – line the labyrinth of sterile rooms.
Required inspections are all that’s left to make the Manas Ranch Old-Style Custom Meat Market the only USDA-inspected meat processor within a 100-mile radius when it opens in June, said owner Fred Manas.
“We will be able to ship our meat anywhere in the U.S.,” said Manas, who raises 100 Angus-Hereford grain-finished cows without hormones or antibiotics. “We will be able to sell our meat directly to customers.”
The market will process the beef Manas raises, meat raised by pig, lamb and goat farmers throughout the region and wild game bagged by hunters.
May 9 from Noon – 5 pm
Location: Putah Creek Lodge, UC Davis
This library/academic convivium features presentations by three internationally known speakers, Ken Albala, Steve Sando, and, Leopoldo López Gil on Latin American food, its roots and its modern interpretations. Fee includes lunch.
On May 9th, 2011, the UC Davis Library will host “Nuevo Latino Cuisine: Culinary Artistry, Community and Conversation.” This fee-based library/academic convivium features presentations by three internationally known speakers:
• Ken Albala, a noted food historian, faculty member at the University of the Pacific and prolific author and editor of publications that include Eating Right in the Renaissance and A Cultural History of Food, will speak on “The Roots of Latin American Food.”
Steve Sando, owner of Rancho Gordo: New World Specialty Food, culinary consultant and author of Heirloom Beans, will discuss “Redefining the New American Kitchen: Bringing Latin American Heirloom Ingredients to the Modern Table”.
• Leopoldo López Gil, a founding member of the Slow Food Movement in Venezuela; President, the Academia Venezolana de Gastronomía; and restaurateur. Señor López will talk about the “new modern Latin cuisine” and the ingredients and culinary traditions that encourage chefs and serious home cooks to experiment and create new fusion dishes. A book signing will follow the presentations.
Location: Putah Creek Lodge, University of California, Davis
Time: 12Noon – 5PM, Monday, May 9th, 2011
Cost: $50, includes lunch and presentations
Registration forms: http://www.lib.ucdavis.edu/ul/events/nuevo-latino-cuisine/nlc-registration.pdf
The convivium is accompanied by a Shields Library lobby exhibit, “Nuevo Latino Cuisine: Culinary Art, Community and Conversation” : http://www.lib.ucdavis.edu/ul/about/exhibits/?item=nuevolatinocuisine
Contact: Myra Appel, firstname.lastname@example.org, for additional information.
by Brandon Darnell
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
“(The co-op) is one of those great stores that has taken amazing steps in realizing that sustainable seafood is incredibly important,” said Casson Trenor, seafood campaigner for Greenpeace.
Greenpeace ranks the 20 biggest grocery store chains on how sustainable their seafood is, and Trenor said some smaller grocers are included as well due to their commitment to ensuring seafood is sustainable.
I spent a day on a garbage truck recently…the result of a winning bid at a live auction fundraiser. Watching all the trash we discard, I realized that eating the Slow Food way greatly minimizes the amount of waste we discard. Food packaging makes up about 32% of household waste in the U.S., according to Earth911. Shopping at the farmers market (or growing your own) means little packaging and fresher produce so you throw away less spoiled food.
Limiting our reliance on convenience foods and fast food, with their abundance of packaging, greatly reduces the trash we send to the landfill. Shopping at the bulk aisle allows you to reuse your plastic bags or bring your own containers. The Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op will weigh your empty containers and mark them with a tare weight so you can completely eliminate packages and bags. I buy my spices, oatmeal, peanut butter, powdered milk, flour and dried
beans in the bulk aisle. The name of the game is pre-cycling (choosing products with eco-friendly or no packaging), which provides on the best method of reducing the amount of waste we generate.
President, Slow Food Sacramento
It wasn’t technically a corn dog Julie Raymond’s kids reported was being served for breakfast at Leonardo da Vinci K-8 School last year.
It was actually a pancake-encased sausage on a stick.
But the skewered sustenance was equally egregious in the eyes of Raymond and her husband, Jonathan, who happens to be superintendent of the Sacramento City Unified School District.
Since the April launch of the Healthy Foods Task Force to rethink what the district feeds its 47,000 students, there have been successes: Every school will have a salad bar by the end of the year, fruit carts are selling strawberries, grapes and pineapple slices as snacks at the larger high schools, and a handful of farmers are supplying produce directly to the district. Read more »
2711 Riverside Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95818
Historically speaking, pizza is still a relatively new phenomenon, having had its origins as a street food in Naples, Italy, about 200 years ago. Immigrants brought it to Italian settlements on the East Coast at the beginning of the 20th century but it was not until after World War II that it became ubiquitous. Unfortunately, as pizza’s popularity spread, its quality transmogrified.
Robert B. Masullo, owner/chef of the pizza restaurant Masullo in the Land Park area, is returning to pizza’s roots. A Culinary Institute of America graduate, he went to Naples four times researching the art of pizza making with chefs at some of that city’s (and the world’s)
oldest and most honored pizzerias.
In his intimate — 40-seat — establishment which opened in 2008, Masullo, who was raised in the Land Park area, makes Neapolitan-style pizzas in a wood-burning brick oven imported from Italy, using the finest, primarily Central Valley ingredients. Short of taking a trip to Napoli, these are the most authentic pizzas one can buy.
Beside pizza, Masullo pizzeria features fine Italian-style salads, appetizers, soups and desserts. At midday it also offers panini (Italian sandwiches). Delicious food, mainly pizza, made in the simplest of manners is the goal at Masullo.
1615 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Lucca offers a California-Mediterranean influenced menu emphasizing seasonal ingredients in a
beautifully repurposed historic building. Most of the basic provisions are housemade…they cure
their own pancetta and grind their sausage from Bledsoe pork raised in Yolo County, and they
smoke pastrami from Lucky Dog Ranch beef (the ranch is owned by Lucca owners Ron and
Terri Gilliland). For products they don’t make themselves, like bread and gelato, they support
local artisan producers.