Edible Austin Magazine Nov/Dec 2021

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New Fredericksburg / Plant-based Seafood / Olive Oil Farm / Seasonal Recipes No. 79 Nov/Dec 2021

Cel eb ra ti n g th e ve r y b est of Ce n t ra l Texa s fo o d cu lt u re


Offering Curbside, In-Store Pickup & Delivery


® CheersEdibleAustin.com to Savings! /3


The edible austin farmers’ market guide is brought to you by

sundays 10a - 2p @ Mueller

Chocolate Mint Icebox Pie

holiday season

and Holiday Wreath Cake

On the Cover



Chocolate Mint Icebox Pie Photo by Ralph & Jerri Ann Yznaga



18 M astering the Markets

for locations, vendor lists & more info visit


SFC Farmers' Markets

48 P lant This/Enjoy This Now 1/4Pg.indd 4

10/18/21 3:57 PM



50 S napshots Around Austin 51 E dible Ink

All About Cranberries



4 / EdibleAustin.com

Stay local this

Good Catch


200 West Mary St. Austin TX 78704 512-444-6651 theherbbar.com


14 E dible Endeavor

saturdays 9a - 1p @ Lakeline


Order online at theherbbar.com for shipping or curbside pickup


10 N otable Edibles

local farmers & ranchers

Single-origin coffees 100% Fair-Trade Organically grown Whole coffee beans

WED-SAT 12-6 pm


8 What’s On Our Counter

LAKELINE sustainably grown food from





United By A Common Cause.

Order Online at

royalbluegrocery.com 3RD & LAVACA • 4TH & NUECES 6TH & CONGRESS

Hill Country Olive Co.

Rediscover the jewel of Central Texas


EdibleAustin.com / 5



t’s hard to believe that we are at the end of another year — in many ways it has gone by so quickly and in other ways it seems like it has been a long year. We’ve enjoyed being able to get out and visit people again, and sharing stories with you about local food growers, new restaurants opening up, existing restaurants reopening after the pandemic and exciting places to visit in Austin and the surrounding Hill Country. In this issue, we had fun rediscovering, writing about and photographing Fredericksburg — where we got to see firsthand a town that has a rich history, but is embracing the future and combining their past and present to transform the area into a can’t-miss destination. The Fischer family has been a big part of the Fredericksburg community for decades, with their Fischer & Wieser food products well-known throughout Texas and abroad, and now Dietz Fischer is adding a new dimension to the family business with the opening of Dietz Distillery. An easy day trip from Austin, Fredericksburg is a small town that is burgeoning with big opportunities to enjoy dining out, shopping and overnight stays in upscale, yet approachable venues. We highlight the stories of two companies doing great work in our local food community — the first being plant-based seafood company, Good Catch. This innovative company is focused on offering great-tasting, vegan seafood options in restaurants and for people at home, while making a positive impact on our oceans and sea life. And our second feature tells the story of the father-daughter duo of John and Cara Gambino, exploring their path to producing olive oil on their 17-acre olive farm in Dripping Springs. Texas Hill Country Olive Company offers tours of their orchards and olive mill, and is also home to a bistro that is open daily for lunch and a gift shop where you can purchase their olive oils and gift sets. The holidays are upon us, and we’ve included some fun, festive recipes to help celebrate with friends and family. The Holiday Wreath Cake is a delicious, eye-catching cake that captures the essence of the season and can be decorated with whatever colorful accoutrements you choose. And the Chocolate Mint Icebox Pie is an easy, fun recipe the whole family will enjoy helping to make, and eat!

PUBLISHER/EDITOR Monique Threadgill monique@edibleaustin.com

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER/ CREATIVE DIRECTOR Ralph Yznaga ralph@edibleaustin.com

COPY EDITORS Claire Cella Stacey Ingram Kaleh



joy to your world holiday lighting on Main | shopping | live Texas music over 50 wineries & tasting rooms | ar t galleries unique places to stay | museums & historic sites Hill Country cuisine | parks, golf & outdoor adventure

Ada Broussard Stacey Ingram Kaleh Nathan Matisse Yolanda Nagy


ADVERTISING SALES Stephanie Walsh stephanie@edibleaustin.com

This holiday season, feel good again.

CONTACT US 512-441-3971 info@edibleaustin.com edibleaustin.com 3267 Bee Caves Rd., Ste. 107-127 Austin, TX 78746

Give to the Central Texas Food Bank.

We hope you all enjoy your holidays and the special moments you have with your loved ones, and we wish you a happy and healthy new year! Sincerely,

Edible Austin Mission To transform the way Central Texans eat by connecting them to the local food growers, producers and makers, thereby strengthening the local food economy and creating a sustainable local food system. Edible Austin is a locally owned media company and the authority on the local food scene as captured in print and digital and through our community events.

Edible Austin is published bimonthly by Edible Austin Magazine LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used without written permission of the publisher. ©2021. Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings and omissions. If, however, an error comes to your attention, please accept our apologies and notify us. Edible Austin is a member of Edible Communities.


www.centraltexasfoodbank.org EdibleAustin.com / 7

6 / EdibleAustin.com FCVB-45-Edible Austin-Nov Dec 2021-HPV-3_625x9_875-Holidays.indd 1

9/28/21 2:53 PM

W H AT ’ S


Take a look at what we are enjoying this month:



Did you know that 85 percent of a craft brewer’s byproduct “waste”

Pickle lovers — this one is for you! The Pickle House’s Dill

is a food-grade sprouted grain? Neither did we! That is, until we

Pickle Sauce is a zingy sauce that you can add to salads, sandwiches,

stumbled on BGOOD Grainola in Tiny Grocer on South Congress

chicken or anything that could use a little extra zest. You can

one day. The packaging caught our eye, but the granola inside won

even use it as a dipping sauce or marinade to add a little pickle

us over. Handmade in small batches in Hallsville, these “spent

flavor to all of your favorite dishes. It’s made here in Austin with

grains” are slow roasted for 12 hours with simple ingredients

everyday ingredients including vinegar, water, garlic, salt, sugar

and no preservatives and have twice the fiber of oats. Once fully

and canola oil. You can pick up a bottle of the Dill Pickle Sauce

roasted, they turn into a delectable blend of crunchy granola

at Central Markets, Whole Foods Markets and Wheatsville Food

clusters. BGOOD offers their granola in peanut butter (our

Co-op locations.

favorite), oats and honey, coconut or dark chocolate clusters. They


also come in snackable-size bars and pouches of crispy treats. Not only does the BGOOD granola taste good, but it also feels good to eat something that supports food sustainability in Texas. You can purchase BGOOD Grainola locally in Central Markets across Austin and at Tiny Grocer, or you can order online. bgood.co

LONE STAR BEE COMPANY INFUSED HONEY We’ve sampled a lot of honey at Edible Austin, but we recently found a new one to add to our list of favorites. Lone Star Bee Company makes honey that is gluten free and infused with interesting flavors from herbs and spices. Their small-batch, handcrafted honey is made without artificial flavors or extracts and is gently warmed at low temperatures during the infusing process, allowing it to retain all of its important healthy enzymes, vitamins and nutritional value. The Tuscan Blue Rosemary & Pepper Honey is a delicious complement to a cheese and charcuterie board, spread on an English muffin or stirred into hot tea. Other flavors include Fiery Sweet Mesquite, Lucky Lime & Sea Salt and Blackland Prairie

MEDICI ROASTING You may have been to a Medici café — there are eight of them in the Austin area — but you may not have known what a great selection of hand-roasted coffee beans Medici Roasting offers for purchase. Their Clarksville blend serves as their house drip coffee at all of their cafés and is great to drink any time of day. One of their single origin coffees, La Promesa from El Salvador, has notes of hazelnut, honey and lime, and is light-bodied, smooth and mixes well with milk or cream. No matter how sophisticated your palate is, Medici has something to satisfy your coffee cravings. To try out their hand-roasted coffee, visit one of their café locations or you can order a bag for yourself online. mediciroasting.com

Wildflower. Check out their website for great recipes or to order online, or you can pick up a bottle at Whole Foods Market, Tiny Grocer or Salt & Time. lonestarbee.com

8 / EdibleAustin.com

EdibleAustin.com / 9

NOTABLE edibles

NOTABLE edibles

Bird Bird Biscuit Opens Second Location

Notable Edibles compiled by MONIQUE THREADGILL

Celis Brewery Opens New Beer Garden & Tap Room Family-owned and operated Celis Brewery has been in Austin since 1992, but they’ve now expanded that legacy, adding a 12,000-square-foot beer garden and tap room named CTX Beer Garden. The beer garden is located next to the existing Celis Brewery in North Austin on Metric Boulevard, near the Domain and Q2 Stadium. The new CTX Beer Garden will feature outdoor seating; a stage for live music and events including Austin FC game viewing; food trucks; family and dog-friendly parties; beer tastings, and more CTX Beer Garden also features a new taproom with over 20 Austin-brewed Celis beers on tap including their best-seller Celis White, a Belgian style witbier (wheat beer) with coriander and orange peel that was first brewed by brewmaster and late founder, Pierre Celis. The CTX Beer Garden will serve all of Celis’ other beers, too, including limited-time seasonal beers and a new Mexican lager. If that’s not enough to tempt you, the new food trucks on-site might. They include locally owned Con Todo, a new taco truck from chefs Joseph Gomez and John Gocong (of Osome and Salty Cargo), and Schaller’s Stube Sausage Truck. Austin original Progress Coffee will also be there serving coffee beverages and pastries. CTX Beer Garden is located at 10001 Metric Blvd. For more information, visit celisbeers.com.


El Chile Café y Cantina Moves to Larger Location After nearly 18 years at 1809 Manor Road, El Chile Café Y Cantina has moved across the street to 1900 Manor Road to inhabit a new space that offers an updated interior and a Spanish-style outdoor patio that creates a true “cantina” dining experience. The Tex-Mex menu features El Chile’s old favorites as well as some new options. On their drink menu, they still have their popular margaritas but have added some new cocktails and expanded their tequila, mezcal and frozen drink selections. “We are really excited about this space. After this last year, it felt obvious to go back to our roots, to invest in our original brand before expanding and doing anything else,” says founder Orlando Sanchez. “It’s easy to always be looking ahead to the next thing — and we have new things we want to do — but El Chile has been open for almost two decades. It’s where we started, and it deserves a big, beautiful, newly remodeled location. It’s really satisfying to pour some energy back into this concept.”

1417 Neighborhood Bistro Debuts in Bouldin Creek The new French-inspired, casual neighborhood restaurant 1417 — conveniently named after the address — in Bouldin Creek took over the space formerly occupied by Sway, which closed during the pandemic and never reopened at that location. The team behind 1417 includes Executive Chef James Flowers (formerly of Hopfields), General Manager Victoria Carvalho, Chef de Cuisine Kyle Mulligan, Pastry Chef Michael Winkelman (formerly of Two Hands) and Allison Welsh. The casual neighborhood eatery is open for breakfast and lunch, serving house-made pastries including classic and chocolate croissants as well as savory items such as eggs, mussels and sourdough grilled cheese with raclette, brie and tomato jam. Dinner features a diverse menu with items including blue crab lettuce cups, 44 Farms ribeye, lamb, stuffed eggplant and seasonal vegetarian options. Desserts include decadent treats like goat cheese crème brulee, a chocolate mint candy bar or champagne-soaked carrot cake. The restaurant also offers a full bar and cocktail selection. Visit this great new dining option at 1417 South First Street or online at 1417atx.com.

Try out the new El Chile Café Y Cantina at 1900 Manor Rd. or order online at elchilecafe.com.

Beloved Austin biscuit shop Bird Bird Biscuit has expanded with a second location at 1401 West Koenig Lane in Brentwood. Co-owners Ryan McElroy (who also owns Thunderbird Coffee) and Brian Batch converted the space formerly occupied by Thunderbird Coffee. The original Thunderbird Coffee shop at 2200 Manor Road remains open as well as Bird Bird’s original location at 2701 Manor Road. Bird Bird Biscuit’s new location offers the same menu as the original Manor Road location, serving favorites such as the Firebird with a spicy chicken breast, dill mayonnaise and spicy sweet pickles and cilantro, along with their other biscuit sandwiches, individual biscuits, fries and drinks. There is a walk-up window to pick up and place orders, and outdoor seating is available, but there is no indoor dining area. Bird Bird Biscuit is a grab-and-go restaurant and all items are available through their online ordering system. For more information or to place an order visit birdbirdbiscuit.com.

photos by photo by CHRIS LAMMERT

10 / EdibleAustin.com

photo by 1417


EdibleAustin.com / 11

NOTABLE edibles

NOTABLE edibles

Asahi Imports Opening Soon in South Austin Japanese grocery store Asahi Imports has been in business since owner Sally Matsumae’s grandmother opened the store in 1967. They have one store in North Austin on Burnet Road and soon people in South Austin looking for authentic Japanese groceries and gifts can do their shopping closer to home at 3005 South Lamar Boulevard in the Barton Hills neighborhood. Scheduled to open in mid-November, Asahi Imports offers more than 30,000 Japanese products and is also well known for their prepared food dishes of Onigiri and fresh bento boxes that sell out daily. The new location features a wide selection of rice, miso, dumplings, produce and more than 100 different options of Japanese saké and beer.

Clay McPhail Returns to Austin to Open 5280 Burger & Tap House Former El Arroyo owner Clay McPhail moved to Denver and created the 5280 Burger & Tap House concept with business partner Don Redlinger in 2014 and now the duo have opened their first Austin location in the Northwest Hills neighborhood — in the former home of another El Arroyo. “We can’t wait to share this restaurant with the Austin community and make it part of the fabric of this northwest neighborhood,” says McPhail. 5280 Burger & Tap House features gourmet burgers made with all natural Texas Black Angus beef. All ingredients are locally sourced with everything made in-house under the direction of their executive chef Derek Baril, who is a classically trained chef and previously worked at upscale Colorado restaurants. The menu features 13 gourmet burgers, each topped with a daily scratch-made sauce, along with chicken sandwiches, hand-cut French fries, soups and salads. For dessert lovers, 5280 Burger & Tap House offers freshly spun frozen custard in chocolate or vanilla with 25 different topping choices. And for the 21 and over crowd, there are even “Shaketinis,” alcohol-infused milkshakes. Try out this fun new burger shop at 7032 Wood Hollow Dr. or visit them online at 5280burgerbar.com.

Visit their new location at 3005 South Lamar Blvd., or online at asahiimports.com.


Maaribu Café Opens on South First Street

photo by 40 NORTH

Pastry chef Serene Warren, who has 20 years of gluten-free baking experience, has opened Maaribu Café on South First Street. The café serves superfood and adaptogen-infused lattés and teas to nourish and re-energize the body along with a variety of plant-based and regular milk options. The café will also serve gluten- and GMO-free pastries. Some of the menu items include vegan matcha cheesecake, chaga cacao baked donuts and rose glow lattés. Maaribu is designed to provide a relaxing and comfortable place to unwind, and, in addition to its food and beverage offerings, Maaribu is also a showroom selling boho-chic home décor and furnishings. Check out this new café at 1413 South First St. or online at maaribu.com.

40 North Reopens Dining Room After being closed since March 2020, wood-fired pizza restaurant 40 North has reopened its dining room at 10th Street and Lamar. The popular pizza joint has also expanded their chef team, adding Andrew Turner as co-executive chef. Turner will work alongside executive chef and co-owner Clint Elmore to create fresh, seasonal dishes and pizzas to add to their menu. 40 North has also added natural wine and new cocktails to their menu, featuring selections from David Mayfield alongside some limited quantity items such as the Domaine Saint Cyr Pet Nat. Some of the new seasonal menu offerings include a frozen cappelletti spritz and the summer elote pizza with roasted summer corn, pecorino, garlic, mozzarella, house-made chorizo, shishitos and other seasonings. 40 North is located at 900 W. 10th St. For more information or to order online, visit 40northpizza.com. photo by MONIQUE THREADGILL

photo by 5280 BURGER & TAP HOUSE

12 / EdibleAustin.com


EdibleAustin.com / 13



Plant-based Seafood From Good Catch Has Us Hooked



he Yard in Austin’s revitalized St. Elmo warehouse district has a reputation as a wide-reaching hotbed of innovation. Bleeding edge companies in housing (the 3D-printing pioneers at ICON), transportation (a sparkling new showroom for Tesla) and alcohol (the first in-state Texas Saké Company) all sit side-by-side, nestled into repurposed industrial spaces. Soon, these successful start-ups will welcome another equally innovative neighbor: one that operates within an industry most may not even know exists — plant-based seafood. “I love the taste of seafood, but I’ve been vegan for 20 years and I didn’t go vegan because I don’t like the taste or experience,” says Chad Sarno, co-founder and chief culinary officer of Gathered Foods and its latest venture, the plant-based seafood brand Good Catch. “People ask, ‘If you’re vegan, why do you want it to taste like meat?’ Well, I’m an ethical vegan. I still friggin’ like to eat good food at the end of the day; I just want to know it’s beet juice running down my hand and not blood.” Sarno’s been a vegan in the culinary world for more than two decades. His background is traditional for the space, having been a chef who started and ran a restaurant group in Europe. From there, he’s moved naturally into many different areas of the food world. Sarno came to Austin once upon a time to help a pre-Amazon Whole Foods develop its healthy eating program. He taught plant-based cooking at an online culinary school. And alongside his brother Derek, he eventually co-founded Gathered Foods, the parent company for both Good Catch and Wicked Kitchen, another plant-based food company based on the brothers’ popular blog and books. “I’ve been an activist my whole life, so now I’m simply doing that more through food,” Sarno says. “We looked at that [meat alternative] white space and asked what could have the biggest impact, and it was ‘fin and fish.’ That’s salmon and tuna. If you look at the info. out there around the destruction of the oceans, it’s directly linked to the commercial fishing industry.” “Years ago people were looking at straws, ‘Oh straws are the biggest culprit,’ so everyone got on board with greenwashing around straws,” he continues. “But if you look at the effect, straws were killing around anywhere from 500 to 1,000 sea turtles a year globally. When it comes to commercial fishing ‘bycatch’ — the unintentional fish or sea life caught — 40 percent of a commercial fishing industry catch is bycatch. These animals may die and get thrown back; [a few hundred thousand] sea turtles die as bycatch.”

14 / EdibleAustin.com

Gathered Foods’ St. Elmo-area HQ will be the heart of the company’s overall efforts to further plant-based proteins and reduce the environmental impact for various sections of the food industry. Both the business and culinary operations will be centered in Austin, so kitchen labs and studio space will be side-byside with the leadership team’s offices. Sarno says Good Catch, in particular, has always been “culinary-first,” and the team (many of whom are Austin locals) has never been shy about putting its product in front of people and partners. They once operated a vegan tuna food truck outside a Subway and have done vegan crab cake testing in Maryland. A home base at The Yard gives Gathered Foods a place to bring in potential collaborators for sampling or training, and Sarno envisions hosting small supper club events in the future for locals to taste Good Catch creations firsthand. The new space is simply the latest milestone in Sarno and Good Catch’s rapid growth journey since launching their first plant-based seafood products in 2018. Today, the company offers nine different products — from traditional breaded fish sticks and fillets to crab cakes and shelf-stable tuna — that are available across the world in the U.S., UK, Canada, Spain and Singapore. And Good Catch’s seafood has already been adopted by seemingly every area of the food industry. Traditional competitors like Bumble Bee Tuna have become distribution partners. Nationwide grocers like Randall’s, BJ’s, and Sprouts carry the products. And restaurants both big (the fast food chain Long John Silver’s) and small (places like Lucky Robot or Brunch Bird here in Austin) have started incorporating this plantbased seafood into their menus. Still, for future growth and maximum societal impact, Sarno recognizes that plant-based seafood must overcome a few challenges other plant-based proteins do not encounter. For example, almost any kind of seafood has a stigma for certain eaters because of its unique smell. Then, when compared to staples like chicken or beef, seafood has a significantly different texture, which Sarno thinks of as a much thinner layer of protein versus the almost bouncy consistency of something like cooked chicken. “Consumer adoption is the slowest piece because this is a new space. And just putting the words together, ‘vegan seafood,’ I think it freaks a lot of people out,” he says. “Vegan chicken doesn’t, because it’s been around for 10 years. But when you think of seafood, the negative attribute it carries is smell for people who don’t like it. So you might think vegan is weird for a lot of people, let alone [a vegan version of] something stinky.”

Chad and Derek Sarno To solve these issues, Good Catch came up with its own particular base protein. While many vegan alternatives are based on common options like soy, pea protein or wheat, Sarno and colleagues created a protein from six legumes — peas, chickpeas, lentils, soy, fava beans and navy beans — that more closely mimics seafood’s distinct texture. Results so far indicate Good Catch has found the right mix. If the wide array of businesses offering Good Catch products doesn’t prove it, tasting things like the Crab Cake Totchos at Community Vegan (featuring Good Catch’s Crab Cake plus tater tots served nachos-style) will. So whether it’s down at The Yard or on a nearby grocery shelf, expect to be seeing more of Good Catch in the coming years. “[Plant-based meat and seafood] was a trend when I was doing it with restaurants, but it’s grown far beyond that,” Sarno says. “Where we are with plant-based meats today, it’s around where non-dairy sales were 10 years ago. And that’s almost 40 percent of the market right now, which is insane. It all comes back to consumer demand — and people are asking for this.”

EdibleAustin.com / 15


VEGAN BAJA FISH TACOS Makes 4 servings

For the tacos: 1

box of Good Catch® Plant-Based Breaded

3 T.

extra virgin olive oil

Fish Sticks 6

6-inch tortillas

½ c.

shredded green cabbage Red radishes, sliced thin, for garnish Cilantro, for garnish Pico de gallo and diced avocado (optional)

For the Lime Aioli: ¼ c.

plant-based mayonnaise


clove of garlic, minced

1 t.

lime zest Juice from ½ a lime Pinch sea salt Pinch black pepper

Preheat the skillet (cast iron preferred) over medium-low heat and add oil. Place frozen sticks in skillet and cook for 4–5 minutes. In a small bowl, mix together all the lime aioli ingredients. Flip sticks and

THAI FISH CAKE BÁNH MÌ Makes 2 servings

For Quick Pickled Veggies

For the Ginger Mayonnaise 1 c.

plant-based mayonnaise

1½ T.

ground ginger

2 t.

agave syrup

½ t.

fine sea salt

½ t.

smoked paprika

1 c.

rice wine vinegar

¾ c.


To make the quick pickled veggies, add rice wine vinegar, sugar,

½ c.


water, salt and coriander seeds to a heavy-bottomed pot over

2 T.

fine sea salt

medium - low heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

1 T.

coriander seeds

2 c.

ribboned carrots

½ c.

thinly sliced jalapeño pepper

½ c.

thinly sliced yellow onion

¼ c.

thinly sliced garlic

Place carrots, jalapeño, onion and garlic in a large bowl. Pour the hot pickling liquid over the vegetables and let cool at room temperature.

Good Catch® Plant-Based Thai Style Fish Cakes, thawed in refrigerator

begin to assemble the tacos with 2 sticks on each tortilla and top each taco with lime aioli, cabbage, radishes and cilantro. Serve with pico de gallo and avocado, if using.


For sandwich: 1

box of Good Catch® Plant-Based Breaded

For the ginger mayonnaise, place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk

3 T.

extra virgin olive oil

until everything is completely incorporated. Chill until ready to use.


burger buns

Fish Fillets

Slice the 6-inch baguette pieces in half lengthwise and toast the cut sides in a toaster oven until golden, about 5 minutes. In a cast-iron pan or nonstick ceramic skillet over medium heat, add olive oil.

2 T.

olive oil


6-inch pieces baguette


basil leaves


cucumber, cut into 4 6-inch planks

To build the bánh mì, slather each side of the baguette with 2

½ c.

cilantro leaves

teaspoons of prepared ginger mayonnaise. On the bottom slice,

Sauté 4 plant-based fish cakes on one side for 3 minutes, then flip and cook the other side another 3-4 minutes or until golden in color.

place 6 basil leaves, followed by 2 cucumber planks. Next, place the sautéed patty on top of the cucumber, then top with 1/3 cup pickled veggies and ¼ cup cilantro, and top with the top slice of baguette. 16 / EdibleAustin.com

pan or a new pan, warm the tortillas. Lay out warm tortillas and

When ready to use, drain the pickled vegetables very well.

For the Bánh Mì Sandwich 1 pkg.

cook for an additional 3–4 minutes. Remove from heat. In the same


slices plant-based cheese

½ c.

shredded lettuce


small red onion, thinly sliced

½ c.

diced dill pickles

Preheat skillet (cast iron preferred) over medium-low heat and add oil. Place frozen fillets in skillet and cook for 4–6 minutes. Butter the buns and lightly toast in a separate pan. Flip fillets and cook for an

Classic Tartar Sauce: ¼ c.

plant-based mayonnaise

¼ c.

dill relish, drained

½ t.

dried dill

2 t.

Dijon mustard

¼ t.

ground black pepper

additional 4 minutes. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, mix together all tartar sauce ingredients. Assemble each sandwich by spreading tartar sauce on each side of the bun and sandwich together with cheese, fillet, lettuce, onion and pickles. EdibleAustin.com / 17

Mastering the Markets Sustainable Food Center (SFC) Farmers' Markets by YOLANDA NAGY

The fall season in Texas is the best! No

They are a popular Taiwanese dessert made of two halves of dough

snow, fingers crossed, and lots of sunshine.

cooked in a cup-shaped waffle pan, filled with your choice of filling —

The leaves might not change in Central

like apple pie topped with Luv Fat ice cream or traditional red bean.

Texas, but the colors at the farmers market do and it’s a great way to find out what's in season this time of year. If you have family and friends coming to town, serve them a special treat and take them to a local farmers market. On the weekends, you can venture over to the Sustainable Food

Kao grew up eating wheel cakes and we’re lucky she brought the tradition to Austin. Grab one and go sit in the neighboring park to eat it, then you can resume shopping later. This holiday season, visit one of Austin’s many farmers markets for the freshest and highest-quality items. Most vendors accept pre-orders and custom orders as well, which make excellent holiday

Center (SFC) markets. Their two locations — one downtown and

gifts or plans for a fantastic meal. Keep up with what's happening at

one in Sunset Valley — connect you with Texas' best local farmers,

both SFC markets and sign up for their newsletter on their website,

ranchers, food producers and artisans. The Sunset Valley location

sustainablefoodcenter.org. It's filled with great information about

has more of a family-friendly vibe, and you can find one-of-a-kind

the markets and vendors. Also, check out edibleaustin.com for a

specialty vendors like Flameleaf Farm. Their booth is filled with fresh

complete list of farmers markets to shop at this holiday season.

photos by MICHAEL MALY

collard greens, shishito peppers and eggplants picked from their farm in Del Valle. If you enjoy jams as much as I do, then stop by and see

Until our next adventures at the farmers market, enjoy your holidays,

Left Hand Jelly. Brian McCabe makes 40 jellies, 10 flavors at a time. Be

and I'll see you in 2022.

sure to ask him about his insanity jams! And, since fall is the season for pie, stop by Lauren Guerra's booth. Owner of Le Renard Patisserie, she bakes Molasses Pecan Kahlua and Buttermilk Chess Pies for the holidays. Oh my goodness! If you still have room in your reusable bag, (tip: SFC sells their market bags as well as T-shirts, which make great

SFC Market Locations:

souvenirs for the out-of-town guest) stop and see Dave Adamson, the

Republic Square Saturday 9-1 p.m.

owner of Native Roots Salsa. He has fresh-made creamy jalapeno dip

422 Guadalupe St, Republic Sq, Austin, TX 78701

that will keep your guests asking for more.

There is free parking adjacent to the market. Find the parking lot at 4th and Guadalupe (enter from San Antonio St. or 3rd St).

If you want to really show off our beautiful city, head downtown to Republic Square. This market has a true Austin feel to it. Please make

Sunset Valley Farmers Market Saturday 9-1 p.m.

your first stop at Ninja Pig’s booth for an Al Pastor taco before they sell

Toney Burger Center

out! While eating your taco, you can take your time to view the whole

3200 Jones Road, Austin, TX 78745

market nestled amidst Austin's beautiful skyline. But don't dawdle

Plenty of free parking

too long, as you don't want to miss out on the persimmons from the Lightsey Farms booth. These colorful fruits are only in season until December and are quintessential for adding color and cheer to any

Find Yolanda Nagy on IG: @eatin_and_sippin_locally and on Facebook: Eatin’ and Sippin Locally.

holiday table. Did you know that persimmon peels are edible, too (wash before eating)? They are so sweet and delicious. If you’d rather eat and then shop,

stop by and see Maggie Kao;

she makes fresh Wheel Cakes on-the-spot at her booth called Freewheelin' Cakes. 18 / EdibleAustin.com

EdibleAustin.com / 19


Experience The World Like A Local Sojourner Tours Provides An Ethical Travel Journey

Holiday Gift Guide

gifts // treats // beverages // and more


ravel, thankfully, is returning. And with overseas vacations

“Ethical tourism gives you a higher quality travel experience with the

more valued than ever before, seasoned travelers want more

added benefit that you feel good about supporting small-scale local

than an average trip. They want to experience an incredible

producers, local economies and local culture, all while protecting the

community with local friends, in a small group, all while staying in

environment,” says Lisa Gustavson, owner and guide for Sojourner

a charming villa or a locally owned home or boutique hotel. Many

Tours. “The small group size gains you privileged access to more

travelers also want to discover the local cuisine through a

authentic dining experiences, hotels, wineries, shopping and many

combination of fine restaurants and popular local eateries that

other experiences.”

highlight the area’s unique products and traditional foods.

Sojourner Tours limits enrollment to ensure that every member of

For people who want to explore a region’s most interesting

a group will have opportunities for positive, personal interactions

historical towns, natural wonders and cultural treasures, and want to

with local artisans and producers that support the local economy and

give back to the local economies and help those communities thrive

culture in sustainable ways.

economically without putting stress on them, there is an option for high-quality, yet ethical, group tours.

From quintessential destinations like Paris and Tokyo to off-the-

Sojourner Tours curates authentic and ethical tours for conscientious

the border into Switzerland and Spain, Sojourner Tours crafts

travelers. They purposely offer the smallest group tours on the

unforgettable experiences for group travelers. They also offer “Live

market, limiting groups to 2-14 guests, because it benefits both

Like a Local” trips as well as culinary and language-themed

travelers and the destinations they visit. Named by Lux Life as

immersion experiences.

“Best Intimate Food & Culture Tours,” Sojourner Tours focuses on providing cultural immersion experiences and making a low impact on the destination.

20 / EdibleAustin.com

beaten-path sojourns throughout France, including day-trips across

For more information or to read more about Sojourner Tours and their excursions for 2022, visit sojournertours.com.

EdibleAustin.com / 21

Gift Guide


Make this holiday season a local one

Spa gifts, handmade in Austin using all-natural ingredients. Starts at $37 including shipping and a personalized greeting card. RoamHomegrown.com

REMINGTON FAMILY DISTILLERS PREMIUM LIQUORS Handcrafted in Austin rfdistillers.com

CORNUCOPIA POPCORN TINS Popped locally in Austin, TX $25-$80 cornucopiapopcorn.com

FISCHER & WIESER CASE'S CASE This selection from Case Fischer includes some best-sellers and customer favorites including Original Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce®, Mango Ginger Habanero Sauce, Pineapple Bourbon Sauce & more $80.05 store.jelly.com


TINYS FROZEN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH Tinys Milk & Cookies $28 Per Package (1 dozen) + Shipping Fees

Hand-crafted in Driftwood, Desert Door ‘Sotol' is an ancient, delicious spirit named for the desert plant it's made from. desertdoor.com

TONI'S TOFFEE HOLIDAY SELECTION Toni's delicious toffee handmade in Austin makes the perfect holiday gift. Prices start at $12.50




$15 - $95

tinyboxwoods.com 22 / EdibleAustin.com

EdibleAustin.com / 23


Gift Guide Make this holiday season a local one

TWIN LIQUORS TRADICIONAL FROZEN PALOMA COCKTAIL COMBO PACK Includes: Cuervo Tradicional Reposado Tequila 750ml & Agavero Orange Liqueur 750ml Blend 4oz tequila, 2oz orange liqueur, 6oz fresh Ruby Red grapefruit juice, and 2 oz simple syrup in a blender with 2 cups ice. Serve in festive glass. Makes 2 drinks. $34.99 twinliquors.com

GRILLER PACKAGE Windy Bar Beef 100% locally raised and fed in the Texas Hill Country. Starts at $130 Gift cards available. windybarbeef.com

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24 / EdibleAustin.com

EdibleAustin.com / 25




For the crust: 25

chocolate sandwich cookies

1/4 t.

Kosher salt

5 T.

unsalted butter, melted

1 t.


For the filling: 12 oz.

cream cheese, at room temperature

1 T.

peppermint extract

1 1/2 c.

heavy cream

1 7 oz.

container marshmallow creme

3/4 c.

confectioners' sugar


drops red food coloring

For the topping: 1 c. 1/4 c.

heavy cream confectioners' sugar Candy: crushed starlight mints

Make the crust: Pulse sandwich cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs form, 10 to 15 times. Add salt and butter, and pulse to combine, 8 to 10 times. Press crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie plate. Make the filling: Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add peppermint extract and marshmallow creme, and beat until combined. In a separate bowl, beat heavy cream and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until very stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Gently fold cream mixture into cream cheese mixture. Gently fold in food coloring. Spoon filling into prepared crust. Cover and chill at least 3 hours or overnight.

26 / EdibleAustin.com

Make topping: Whip cream and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes; spoon over pie. Garnish with crushed mints and serve.


EdibleAustin.com / 27

recipes of the SEASON

HOLIDAY WREATH CAKE Makes 4 servings

For the cake: Oil for the pan 3 c.

all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan

1 c.

unsweetened cocoa powder

1 t.

baking powder


Kosher salt

1/2 t.

baking soda

Preheat the oven to 325°. Oil a 10-cup tube pan and lightly coat in

1 c.

sour cream

flour; tap out excess.

1 t.

pure vanilla extract

1 t.

pure almond extract

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt

1 c.

unsalted butter, at room temperature (2 sticks)

and baking soda. In a second bowl, combine sour cream and extracts.

1 1/2 c.

granulated sugar

1/2 c.

dark brown sugar


large eggs

1 c.

strong prepared coffee

For the frosting

combined, about 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, pulsing until incorporated before adding the next. Pulse in sour cream mixture. Add flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with coffee, until just incorporated.


large eggs

3/4 c.

granulated sugar pinch of salt

1 t.

Using a food processor, pulse together butter and sugars until

pure vanilla extract


Transfer batter to prepared cake pan and bake until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer cake to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto the rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, make decorations: Line a large rimmed baking sheet

granulated sugar

with parchment paper. Place 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a


small sprigs rosemary

medium pot and heat on medium until sugar dissolves. Increase heat

1 c.


to high and let boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Dip the rosemary

Gingerbread cookies

springs into the syrup, then remove, shaking off any excess, and coat

Other decorations of your choice

in remaining 1/2 cup sugar; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat

1/2 c.

with cranberries. Set aside to dry Make frosting: Fill a medium saucepan with 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer. Place egg whites, sugar and salt in the large bowl of a stand mixer and place over the pan of simmering water. Turn off the heat and whisk mixture constantly until sugar melts, 3 to 5 minutes. With a stand mixer, beat mixture until stiff peaks form, 7 to 10 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract. Spoon onto cooled cake and decorate with sugared cranberries, rosemary sprigs, cookies, and any other deocrations. Your cake is now ready to serve!

photos by MONIQUE THREADGILL 28 / EdibleAustin.com

EdibleAustin.com / 29


TRANSFORMED Story by Stacey Ingram Kaleh Photos by Ralph Yznaga

Birthday lunch at Woerner Warehouse

Boo Eaker's Korean influence at Eaker Barbecue

hether it’s your first visit or your 40th, there’s much that

Local entrepreneurs like Jill Elliott, longtime Fredericksburg resident and

will surprise and delight you in Fredericksburg. It’s a

owner of Ololo, a suite of boutique vacation rentals on a pasture property, are

town that’s seen continuous growth, and while much

designing spaces that allow guests to truly escape, slow down and reconnect.

has changed over the years — Fredericksburg is celebrating its 175th

“At Ololo, I wanted to create a respite from the ‘real world’ and take visitors’

anniversary this year — the city’s authentic identity remains at its core.

stress away. We’re only a mile from downtown Fredericksburg, but you can


enjoy peace and quiet and focus on connecting with the people you’re with,” Driving into downtown Fredericksburg, keen observers may notice that the

she says. Her tips for planning a stay? “Even if you’re in Austin, come and stay

first letters of the streets that cross Main, starting with Adams Street, spell “All

awhile to make sure you don’t have to cherry-pick from the incredible number of

Welcome.” This unofficial motto and invitation is very much embraced and

things to do. Consider booking during the week for a slower pace and lower rates.”

exemplified by the people of Fredericksburg, including its newest residents and entrepreneurs. Small town southern hospitality mingles with big citylevel creativity and world-class cultural experiences. Innovative new restaurants, tasting rooms and shops have found respectful ways to preserve

Woerner Warehouse

30 / EdibleAustin.com

photo by Hill and Vine

Das Peach House

and highlight the unique character of historic spaces. You’ll get roped in immediately.

A new generation of Fredericksburg natives, like Dietz Fischer, who will open Dietz Distillery this month (November 2021) on his family’s farmstead, is also working to make sure there are new experiences that cater to locals and visitors alike as their hometown becomes an ever-more-popular destination. “I grew up assisting wherever needed on my family’s peach farm as well as in our family-owned and operated business, Fischer & Wieser

Fredericksburg may be a relatively short drive from Austin (about 1.5 - 2 hours),

Specialty Foods,” says Fischer. “Whether it was working at the peach stand,

but there’s so much to do and see, you’ll want to be sure to book a place to stay

one of our retail stores, or even working on the production line and shipping

for a couple of nights if you can. As a native Austinite, I’ve been a frequent

department, I was pretty hands-on from a young age. I was very inspired

day-tripper for most of my life. As a child, my mom and grandparents

by my dad’s passion for creating a unique food product and bringing it to

would often drive my brother and me to Fredericksburg to learn about our

market, but I didn’t really know how I could add to that in my own way.”

family’s German heritage. Over the past decade, the oenophile and foodie

After experimenting with the distillation process as a hobby while

in me has taken me back again and again to explore wineries and farm-to-

pursuing an engineering degree at Texas A&M University, and eventually

table eateries. But it wasn’t until this year that I stayed in Fredericksburg over-

gaining hands-on experience with master distiller Marcus Wieser

night — for three nights, in fact. The experience opened my eyes to another

(no relation) in Austria, where small family distilleries have a long history,

side of Fredericksburg, as I was able to take the time to really connect with the

he knew exactly what he wanted to do. Fischer made the move back to

Beesforall.com people and the culture. It was absolutely refreshing to relax into a slower pace

Fredericksburg to open a distillery that makes small-batch spirits with fruit

and really soak up all the city has to offer.

from the family farm. “I couldn’t imagine a life where I wasn’t somehow EdibleAustin.com / 31

edible ESCAPES involved in my family’s business and the environment that I had grown up

2020 Roussanne, a floral medium-bodied wine that appears

browned with a gas torch, and topped with green onions and toasted


sesame seeds. NOTE: Eaker Barbecue was just voted a Top 50 Texas











in. I feel very lucky that I was able to adapt my admiration of what Dad and Uncle Mark built and add something of my own.”

BBQ Joint by Texas Monthly Magazine. eakerbarbecue.com

Dietz Distillery Dietz Fischer of the Fischer & Wieser family has opened up a new small-batch distillery on his family’s farmstead, right

Deanna Fischer, chief experience officer at Das Peach Haus and

next to Das Peach Haus. Choosing this November for the distillery’s

mother of Dietz, reflects on Fredericksburg’s growth, “Some things

opening holds a special significance, as it is the official “Innovation

have changed, but the fundamental traits of our community have

Month” of Fredericksburg’s 175th anniversary year. “So many aspects

remained the same and that is why it has been so successful,” she

of what we are doing at Dietz Distillery involve innovation but are

says. “Fredericksburg is a community of active participants and

also traditional,” says Fischer. “Farm distilleries have a longstanding

always has been. Everyone cares about Fredericksburg, how it is

tradition in Central Europe, but not so much where we are in Central

presented and the changes or lack of changes that take place here.

Texas. I’d like to think I am bringing new innovation to our family

Fredericksburg was built by German immigrants who believed in

business as well as to the Texas distilling business.”

hard work and building things that would last, and then taking care of what they had built so they could pass it on to the next generation.”

Swing by to try several varieties of fruit distillates from Fischer &

It’s clear that this sentiment is something that carries forward today.

Wieser’s orchards, including Peach and Pear brandies, among others. Fischer has also created a “Texas-style” gin, called Five Judges Gin,

Fredericksburg, in my eyes, is a rarity. It’s one of those unique places

named for the five judges that have lived on the property. It is dry,

that preserves its history and authenticity while looking ahead and

juniper-forward and flavored with Rio Grande Valley citrus. Try it in a

embracing change. You can feel it in the passion and welcoming spirit

gin and tonic or French 75. jelly.com/culinary-adventure/dietz-distillery

of those you come across while you unwind and indulge in high


quality Texas wines and spirits, one-of-a-kind culinary creations, carefully curated shops and intentionally designed spaces. And, just in case you needed yet another reason to visit, there’s

What are the holidays for if not for overeating? Fredericksburg is a southern

no denying there’s a bit of magic in the air when you experience

foodie’s paradise — serving up some of the best farm-to-table experiences in


Central Texas as well as barbecue with a twist.

during the holidays.

Eaker Barbecue Picture this … prime meats slow-smoked over

From the lights (pro

mesquite and post oak with ample sides including kimchi, Korean

tip: be sure to make

Dietz Fischer at Dietz Distillery

a pit stop in Johnson

Is your mouth watering yet? Lance and Boo Eaker, thankfully, have

City at the Pedernales

brought what began as a food truck in Houston to Main Street


Electric Co-op to see dazzling Oak trees

Fredericksburg. They opened in mid-June of this year after moving to soak up small town life with their kids. With Lance, a native of Uvalde,

illuminated by more than 1.3 million LED

Holiday season is a time to celebrate! Treat yourself to Texas wine and

as the master of meats and Boo, who grew up in Seoul, South Korea, as

lights), to the Main

spirits, and pick up some bottles to share with friends and houseguests.

the master of sides inspired by her

Street décor, to the

Augusta Vin

cucumber salad, and japchae (sweet potato noodles with veggies).

Korean heritage, Eaker Barbecue

magnificent historic

Augusta Vin

Marketplatz with a

another world altogether. With one of Fredericksburg’s most



sprawling vineyards (60 acres), the gorgeous German-inspired



architecture of the tasting room, and live music on the lawn, this

and festive ice-skating

winery is a true escape. And, where some wineries may try to

rink, a visit this time

recreate a European-style experience, Augusta Vin is proudly Texan.

of year is sure to lift

The winery is working to preserve the land’s rich heritage, which was

your spirits. So start

once home to one of Fredericksburg’s original founding families — the

planning now, and hit

Kleins — in the mid-1800s. Well-known Central Texas homebuilder

the road!

Scott Felder planted ten varietals on the estate in 2017 and constructed








is Texas barbecue leveled up!


“My wife was born and raised in

Here are some of the newer destinations you’ll want to be sure to add to your Fredericksburg itinerary:

2018 Estate Petite Sirah, a robust and aromatic red with notes of black

venture from the local wife-and-husband team and owners of

smoking meats at home, we

Sidestreet Hospitality (Otto’s, Tubby’s, La Bergerie Market) Evelyn and




fatty, smoked foods!”

from the estate. Be sure to try the 2018 Estate Reserve Malbec, with a sultry yet finessed palate of dark plum and pomegranate, and the

Look Forward To: Alla Campagna Opening in 2022 is the next

(sides). Kimchi goes great with

Wines are made from 100-percent Texas grapes, with many offerings

If the restaurant has a wait, have no fear! They’ve created many Instagram-worthy vignettes to explore on their property. Visit Das Bar Bus, a restored 1974 Volkswagen microbus, to grab beer, wine or a margarita, and then head over to Sunday Supply to pick up gifts, coffee or a Texas style charcuterie board. hillandvinetx.com

food,” says Lance. “When I started

paired well with Korean banchan

providing views of the expansive rows of vines.

Hill & Vine With a high-quality take on Hill Country comfort food, Hill & Vine is a must-visit for visitors and locals alike. Buzzing with a vibrant dining scene every night of the week, Hill & Vine’s menu features upscale, homestyle-cooking entrées such as chicken schnitzel, locally sourced and wood fired angus rib-eye, and shareable appetizers like black-eyed pea hummus and a cornbread and biscuit box with Fredericksburg honey butter and Fischer & Wieser jam. Save room for desserts, especially the Fried Roadside Pie — a crispy puff pastry with local peaches, spiced pecans, rum sauce and powdered sugar, all topped with ice cream.

Korea and we obviously love the


a two-story timber-framed tasting room with soaring arches in 2019,

Peach Brandy photo by DIETZ DISTILLERY

John Washburne — Alla Campagna. Alla Campagna will be an Italian restaurant with a Texas twist, and is set to be situated in a beautiful historic Main Street building that is being transformed in the style of a Tuscan villa. In the spirit of Fredericksburg, there will be something

Not to be missed are their

for everyone — from a family-friendly patio with brick-oven pizza to

delectable gochujang pork ribs.

cozy, intimate dining spaces perfect for date night. Menu items like

Marinated overnight, each rib is

wood-grilled veggies with prosciutto, rich stuffed pastas, and braised

individually coated in sauce,

wild boar will be paired with Italian varietal wines.

Lance Eaker

cherry and cassis. If you’re more of a white wine lover, don’t miss the 32 / EdibleAustin.com

EdibleAustin.com / 33

wooden spoons that Elliot brought back from Kenya in her own luggage, and an assortment of stellar coffee table and cookbooks, you’re sure to find memorable and heartfelt gifts that loved ones will enjoy for years to come. blackchalkhome.com Woerner Warehouse Just across the street from Blackchalk, Woerner Warehouse is filled with home goods that are perfect for anyone looking to spruce up their daily routine after two years spent mostly inside our homes. From antique furniture, to colorful glassware and dishes, to gorgeous and clever stationery, there’s something for everyone. Plus, if shopping makes you hungry like it does me, there’s an onsite restaurant with delicious and fresh sandwiches, paninis, pizza and desserts. woernerwarehouse.com

Texas meets Korea at Eaker Barbecue

FIND UNIQUE HOLIDAY GIFTS Venture beyond Main Street to discover some of the city’s best shops for gifts, stocking stuffers and pantry stocks. Blackchalk Home and Laundry Situated in a historic industrial laundry facility, Blackchalk Home and Laundry is a go-to when you need both a gift and the gift idea. You’re sure to make some exciting discoveries as you sort through Jill Elliott’s (also owner of Ololo and Haberdashery) curated collection of books, art, décor and furniture hand-picked during her global travels. Elliott, who has lived in Fredericksburg for 25 years and has a degree in interior design, drove past the historic space that is now home to 34 / EdibleAustin.com

Blackchalk daily on her way home from her Main Street clothing boutique, Haberdashery. When she saw a “For Rent” sign posted, she immediately jumped on the opportunity. “Warehouse row continues to develop and is still a ‘secret gem’ with mom-and-pop shops opening up down the side streets of Main,” says Elliott. “This particular space is raw, industrial, and funky, and I wanted to keep it that way. Everyone in town knows this spot as the local laundry, so I kept ‘laundry’ in the name and kept the industrial machinery on view in front of the store.” Elliott says the name “Blackchalk” came to her in a dream and is “crazily-curated.” She acted on instinct, knowing that she wanted to cater to locals “off-Main” and also to visitors. On a repeat visit to the store, you’re unlikely to find the same thing twice. From original art by Denver-based Dolan Geiman, to handcrafted woolly mammoth bone jewelry by Comfort, Texas-based Rex Foster, to beautifully beaded

Das Peach Haus With humble origins as a roadside peach stand, Das Peach Haus has evolved into a full-fledged shopping destination. While it remains a multi-generational family business, Fischer & Wieser Specialty Foods, Inc. manufactures high-quality products that are distributed nationwide. “Mark Wieser loved the idea of creating a permanent roadside fruit stand instead of just having a truck sitting on the side of the road and selling peaches out of the back. When his student Case Fischer started working for him and … became a partner in the business he took it even farther with his innovative product development ideas — pairing unique ingredients like fruit and peppers and eventually turning those products into sauces,” says Deanna Fischer, chief experience officer. “The vision for the company has never really changed from the vision for that roadside fruit stand though … They always wanted the farm to remain the center of the business — a place where people could come and experience the Texas Hill Country lifestyle of homegrown produce and products, a slower pace of life, and gathering around the table with family and friends.

UNWIND and STAY AWHILE Take some time to slow down and reconnect with your loved ones with overnight stays at rentals and hotels that don’t skimp on comfort and style.

Ololo photo by OLOLO Ololo Centered around a gorgeous old Cedar tree in a secluded pasture, you’ll find four charming guest houses just one mile from downtown Fredericksburg. Each house boasts a shady front porch with comfy seating, a king-sized bed, an artfully tiled bathroom with a walk-in shower, plus a private, enclosed back patio with a hot tub and outdoor shower. Ololo oozes with style and romance. Watch deer graze, wake up to the crowing of roosters, and wind down in the courtyard under the romantically lit tree. Owned and designed by Jill Elliott (of Blackchalk Home and Laundry), each house is whimsically decorated for a “Texlectic” experience. “It was liberating as an interior designer to make each room unique,” says Elliott. Make sure to browse the Ololo website to choose the room and design theme you like best — each interior is distinct and designed to inspire. Book a stay for a couples’ getaway, or gather your family together to rent out all four houses for a memorable vacation. stayatololo.com Trueheart Hotel Looking to stay in the heart of downtown, just a short stroll away from restaurants and shops? The Trueheart is a new boutique hotel featuring 13 rooms and suites nestled into a lush, natural creekside landscape. Cottage-style accommodations are designed to be private and

With wall-to-wall shelves filled with jars and jams, stock up on local fruit preserves, sauces, seasonings, pasta, bread-and-butter pickles, and much more. If you want to add to the experience, book a cooking class, held onsite and in view of the Fischer & Wieser farmstead’s serene pond and pine tree grove. Pick up a “Peachy Preserves” gift box or a Mix & Match jellies or sauces gift set during the holidays to take a taste of Fredericksburg home with you. jelly.com

Top: Blackchalk Home and Laundry Bottom: Das Peach Haus

intimate, each with their own porch and unique aesthetic. The



Texas comfort, with design that




limestone walls and fireplaces, front porch rocking chairs, and bold and vibrant interiors. thetruehearthotel.com EdibleAustin.com / 35




rom Austin, the winding trip down Fitzhugh Road leads you

Olives are tiny stonefruit, technically

past enticing twists and dips in the landscape and a string

classified as a drupe, and like a mango

of breweries, distilleries and wineries hidden down rural

or a peach, there is one seed surrounded

gravel roads and tucked behind clumps of post oaks and bushy juniper.

by flesh, which, in the case of olives, is

But if you keep going, with your nose pointed toward Johnson City,

laden with oil. Extra virgin olive oil, in

the landscape eventually opens up, giving way to expansive pastures

many senses, is more akin to fruit juice

worthy of a Chicks (formerly known as the Dixie Chicks) singalong.

than it is to seed oil. It’s perishable,

There, with the city and libations at your back, you’ll find

doesn’t age like wine, and should be

olives. More specifically, you’ll find Texas Hill Country Olive Co., owned

consumed enthusiastically and quickly.

and operated by the father-daughter duo, John and Cara Gambini.

In the fall, evergreen olive trees become dotted






If you’re olive-curious and decide to make the road trip, you can’t miss

harvested by hand in a frenzy of ladders, tarps, rakes and people.

it. The nearly 11,000-square-foot building (including a bistro, mill room,

Though large orchards with 100,000+ trees may opt for mechanical

retail store and warehouse) looks as though it belongs on a Tuscan

harvesting — a process which requires the trees to be planted in a

hillside — a fact that feels less surprising once you learn that

tighter, more dense arrangement — small-scale, family orchards often

John Gambino had a 48-year career as a builder who spent much of his

choose to plant with more generous spacing and harvest by hand.

free time dreaming about starting an enterprise that would both pay

“We wanted this environment because we knew it was a good

homage to his Sicilian heritage and become multi-generational. In 1993,

environment for growing trees, but we also wanted the trees to be

work took John out of Texas, but he intended to return and plant grapes.

able to grow to whatever size they wanted to grow,” John explains.

“I was able to come home in 2003. I was missing this girl,” John tells me as he smiles at Cara, “And I was ready to build a winery — financially

Not long after he tells me about his desire for Cara’s daughter to carry

and in every other sense. But when I got home, they had the gall to build

on the olive oil tradition, sentiments which seem inextricably grafted.

162 wineries,” he jokes.

Conveniently, olive trees can live (and produce fruit) for hundreds,

John and Cara stumbled across an article about the burgeoning olive oil industry in Texas, and enthusiastically pivoted. In 2009 John planted around 600 olive trees, and in 2013 he built the mill house. “You rarely get a chance to be a pioneer in an industry. We have a chance to be in that second wave of pioneers that might be able to pull this off and make [olive oil] work in Texas.” 36 / EdibleAustin.com

even thousands, of years, cementing the Gambinos’ agricultural impact for at least a few more generations. Growing and harvesting olives on a smaller scale also allows a producer to have more control over when they harvest. Whereas a large commercial operation may wait until the olives are more ripe — yielding more oil per pound — a smaller producer, like Hill Country Olive Co., can choose to harvest EdibleAustin.com / 37

FARMERS diary greener olives, known for bestowing a more robust, and arguably more complex, flavor. As soon as olives appear on trees, John and Cara are continuously testing the fruit for levels of acid and oil, and plan their gentle but certain attack. In addition to the ripeness of the olive, other factors can impact the flavor and quality of oil: the environment where the trees are grown (including soil, topography and climate), the processing methods and the olive variety. Hill Country Olive Co. grows around eight different varieties of olives, including Arbequina, Mission and Pendolino, and together with other Texas producers, they are continuously working

by a small, semi-automatic, bottling line as well as a conglomeration

with Texas A&M University to help identify which varieties and


growing methods are best suited for Texas. The Gambinos harvest and

belts, something called a hammer mill, augers and a horizontal

crush the olives by variety type, and depending on the season, they

centrifuge — the final step that separates the extra virgin oil from

either bottle as single-varietal oils or blend them together to produce

the water, pit and flesh. It takes massive amounts of olives to

a range of extra virgin olive oils, perfectly balanced to meet different

produce oil, as John explains. “What most people don’t understand

consumer tastes. For optimal quality, olives should be crushed as soon

about olives in general is, unlike a wine grape that when you crush it,

as possible after they’re plucked from the tree. Cara and John usually

you get a lot of juice ... the average [olive] yield is somewhere between

harvest by day, and oil that very night. Maybe it’s obvious, but in case

35 - 45 gallons of oil out of one ton [of olives]. If you really don’t

it’s not: each and every oil produced at Hill Country Olive Co. meets

know what you’re doing, those numbers can get much lower, 20 to

the standards for extra virgin

25 gallons. And that’s a year’s worth of work for just 25 gallons of

... and then some. Like the

oil.” On the day I visited, everything in this corner of the warehouse

necks of the U.S. women's

was in hibernation, but later this fall, it will drip with oil and aroma.







gymnastics team, there is a line of bottles decorated

Hill Country Olive Co. is situated on 17 acres near Dripping Springs,



and in addition to this “boutique” orchard, as Cara refers to it, the


company leases four orchards in South Texas, which have around

around the world, collected

10,000 trees. Olive trees are drought-tolerant plants, native to the

over the course of 11 years.

Mediterranean and are grown all over the world. They do well in








hills and teaming up with her dad in 2013, Cara’s professional



Texas’ more continental climate, with the devastating exception being last February’s prolonged days spent frozen. Very sadly, around 1,600 of Hill Country Olive Co.’s 14-year old trees died in the freeze, a heartbreaking experience.

as varied as the olives they grow: she worked in IT, in real estate

With a sigh that is equal parts resigned sadness and resolute optimism,

and as a mortgage lender. Now, she speaks about the nuances in oil

Cara explains why they decided to replant. “It is so important to

like a seasoned sommelier. “It's very similar to tasting wine, just

keep trying to grow it here. Once we got past the realization that,

different notes [...] like a green smell and a more fruity smell.

‘okay, these trees aren't going to come back,’ we’ve got to replant

Eucalyptus, mint, arugula, tomato leaf, stone fruits, banana — all

because this is important. Leading up to [the freeze], Texas was the

these are things that you would actually smell if you were taking the

second largest producer of olive oil after California.”

time to smell. And if it's off, it smells rancid … like stale peanut butter or musty like dirty gym socks or wet hay. Fusty — that's another culprit which is kind of like fermented black olives.” Rest assured, the oils you buy from Hill Country Olive Co. will neither be fusty nor musty. Their Sola Stella, a single varietal made from Arbequina olives, is delicate, smooth and buttery. And their Miller’s Blend, a mix of Arbequina and Mission olives, is big, robust and grassy tasting.

The mature olive trees which once volumed the sloping hills are now replaced with smaller, more spritely specimens that are about two years old. In just a few years, these young trees will produce their first crop, and in about a decade, when Cara’s daughter is old enough to help with harvest, the bushy trees will paint the hillside once again. Luckily, the orchards that John and Cara lease in South Texas were minimally damaged in the freeze, and despite the loss of the Dripping

After visiting near the bistro, the Gambinos walk me through an

Springs trees, Texas Hill Country Olive Co. expects a sizable harvest

unassuming door at the back of the tasting room that leads to a mill

this year.

38 / EdibleAustin.com

EdibleAustin.com / 39

WE ARE WHAT WE EAT It’s Time To Make Food Decisions With the Climate Crisis in Mind



Twilight Greenaway, senior editor of Civil Eats,

produced in partnership with civileats.com

Chef Michel Nischan Photo courtesy of Wholesome Wave

If we had been told, a decade ago, that so many climate-

they said that other parts of the world—developing na-

fueled disasters would hit the food system so soon, would

tions with little infrastructure and large numbers of subsis-

we have believed it?

tence farmers—would face the worst of the problem. And

If someone had described the catastrophic flooding of

Photo: Saverio Blasi/shutterstock.com

the Missouri river that submerged a million acres of corn

edible Communities |



those of us in North America? We’d be fine until at least the end of the century.

and soybeans in 2019 (followed a year later by winds in the

Then someone turned the lights back on, the economists

same region that were so destructive they flattened corn si-

thanked the audience and everyone went home. I wrote

los), produce crops in Texas freezing in April, winemakers

about the lecture, quoted the experts on the science and was

having to throw away entire vintages because they tasted of

careful to take a similarly calm tone, as if I were writing from

wildfire smoke, shellfish in British Columbia being literally

a great distance about something that may or may not occur.

cooked alive in the ocean and ranchers throughout the West

Of course, some climate scientists were already issuing

being forced to sell off tens of thousands of cattle so they

dire warnings at that point, and many had made concerns

wouldn’t starve due to drought—would we have listened?

about our ability to feed ourselves central to their pleas

Would we have done more to prepare?

for action.

I can’t help but think back to a lecture I sat in on in

But most of us had no idea how urgently we needed to

2008 on the future of food and climate change by a pair of

prepare for what we’re now seeing play out in the food sys-

Ivy League economists. I had seen An Inconvenient Truth

tem—and in the world at large. Indeed, the stakes couldn’t

and was serious about local food. And I had a hunch that

be higher. Food production has been rocked to the core and

reducing my “food miles” wouldn’t cut it.

many small and medium-scale farmers are contemplating

The economists talked about the potential boon to crop yields, due to “increased photosynthesis” and “CO2

throwing in the towel. This fact was driven home for me this summer, as I

fertilization,” but added that warming temperature and ris-

trudged through ankle-deep mud on my family’s small farm

ing evaporation would balance one another out, at least in

in Captain Cook, Hawaii—on what was once the “dry side

our lifetimes. Some places would get too wet, and some

of the island” but has seen record-level, nearly non-stop rain-

would be too dry, they warned. And, as if to reassure us,

fall for the past year. My mother, a farmer, was dismayed at


the constant rain’s impact on her orchards, and by the host of new

be marketing ploys, but it’s clear that they’ve realized “sustain-

invasive species—from fire ants and wild boars to slugs that carry

ability” is a term they must use literally, as in, do their business

a brain-eating parasite—that are thriving there due to warming

models have a future?

temperatures. The soil has been consistently saturated with water,

When it comes to making sure the rest of us have a future,

and the coffee and fruit trees are suffering from multiple fungal

however, I’m betting on the work of small-scale farmers and

diseases at once. The vegetables in the gardens are often stunted

ranchers—and more of them working at a human scale—as one

and mildewy as the sun has stubbornly refused to shine.

of our most important solutions to the climate crisis.

And I thought about those self-assured economists when I

If done right, farming and ranching can help bring the natu-

returned home to drought-stricken Northern California, where

ral world back into balance. And it has the potential to reverse our

I saved water from my kitchen and shower and lugged it to the

current scenario: millions of acres of land covered in monocrops

tiny garden I struggle to keep alive through the dry season. Most

growing in soil that is overly tilled, void of most life and actively

of the small-scale farms in the area didn’t have the luxury of re-

washing into the ocean nearly every time it rains.

claimed water; instead, they found themselves abandoning doz-

Soil holds three times more carbon globally than the atmo-

ens of acres at a time, making radical changes to their business

sphere does. And it can hold more if it’s managed in a way that

models, and discontinuing their CSAs. Meanwhile, the ongoing,

brings more of it back to life. But to do that we need producers

often terrifying onslaught of wildfires made the mere thought of

who are immensely curious and dedicated—who see the chal-

rain seem like a mirage on the other end of a very long desert.

lenge at hand and want to rise to meet it.

The fact that these “new normals” have already had a dra-

They need to work in concert, and they need to represent a

matic impact on the food system probably shouldn’t be a sur-

much wider swath of the population—here in North America

prise. Global temperatures have already risen 1.5 degrees Celsius

that means intentionally making space for exponentially more

above pre-industrial levels and the impacts are evident. The sixth

young people, more Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BI-

assessment report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on

POC) producers, and more LGBTQ producers. It also means

Climate Change (IPCC) in August warned of significant drops in

passing systemic policies that help them explore, invest in and

crop yields for corn, wheat, rice and other cereal grains if global

modernize the farming practices that have long been successful

temperatures hit the 2 degree C level. If that happens, the report

at cooling the planet.

said, there will be “more times of year when temperatures exceed

In plain terms that means we need more perennial crops, trees

what crops can stand” and “risks across energy, food and water

on farms (i.e., agroforestry and silvopasture), managed grazing,

sectors could overlap spatially and temporally, creating new and

cover crops, waffle gardens and other methods of deep-soil plant-

exacerbating current hazards, exposures, and vulnerabilities that

ing, crop diversity, prescriptive burns, seed sovereignty, local food

could affect increasing numbers of people and regions.”

and farm infrastructure, and multitrophic aquaculture.

Among the clear list of hazards are the “food shocks” caused

We need to help more farmers control weeds without tilling

by extreme weather events—and they show no sign of slowing

the soil. We need more compost on the surface of the soil and

down. For these reasons, food prices are expected to grow at a

more mycelia and living ecosystems below. We also need more

steadier clip than most of us have experienced in our lifetimes.

plants at the center of our plates. We need to spend more time

According to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organi-

listening to Indigenous communities and remembering that our

zation (FAO), for instance, global food prices rose by nearly 33

needs are inextricable from the needs of the natural world, and

percent between September 2020 and September 2021.

the ecosystems that have kept it in balance for millennia.

It’s not just farmers who are scrambling to respond. Many of

Most of this probably won’t require new cap and trade

the world’s largest, most powerful food companies are starting

markets, new consumer labels or new technology. But it will

to examine their supply chains in a new light, hoping to posi-

require more hands—and very likely a different, more collec-

tion themselves as part of the solution. Multinational food com-

tive approach to land ownership, at a moment when building

panies like General Mills, Smithfield, Unilever and Danone are

housing is considered a much more valuable use of land than

all publicizing the changes they’re making in their supply chains

producing food.

to address emissions and rethink their farming practices. Some

None of this will mean much if we don’t also stop burning

of these changes could have a real impact and others might just

fossil fuels—and subsidizing that burning on a global scale. But continued

edible Communities |




there’s more and more agreement among scientists and cli-

their foods, it often has the curious effect of making us

mate advocates that we also need to turn more of our agri-

into the kinds of people who want to vote for—and fight

cultural soil into a carbon sink, and that doing so is a matter

for—systemic change.

of how—not if.

I was thinking about this recently while lugging a

The good news is that a lot of smart people are already

bucket of dishwater out to my garden and feeling a little

working on the how. And that’s where your dinner—and

like I was wasting my time, as my neighbors were still turn-

breakfast, lunch, snacks—enter the picture.

ing on their hoses. It hurts my back, it’s absurdly time con-

There’s a healthy debate in both agriculture and climate

suming. But every time I do it, I am made again and again

circles about the value of individual action versus the need

into the person who notices water and who keeps noticing

for systemic change. And food, thankfully, lies at the in-

water—who notices plants, notices soil. And being that

tersection of both. What we do—and eat—every day is

person is what makes me ache for climate policy that pri-

who we are. When we support people who produce food

oritizes survival for all.

with soil health and the climate in mind—whether that’s

Can we change the food system in time to help cool the

buying from them directly, using a farmers’ market dollar-

planet? That’s an open question. Do we have any real choice

matching program or dining in restaurants that cook with

but to try? As I see it, absolutely not.

Closing Thoughts From Our Founder Thank you for joining us on these pages, the third in a series of thought leadership pieces from Edible Communities. We would like to send a special thanks to our partners for this issue, Twilight Greenaway, Naomi Starkman and the team at Civil Eats who made this story possible. Telling powerful stories about local food and community has been the mission of Edible Communities for the past 20 years. And while I know we’ve had an impact on the way food is grown and consumed throughout North America, now more than ever there is a greater urgency for all of us to do more. A lot more. As Twilight so elegantly points out in this article, taking individual action daily—whether recycling household water in our garden or demanding more inclusivity for those raising the food we eat—is what keeps us aware and makes us pay attention. It is what makes it impossible for us to ignore the honest reality inherent in: “What we do—and eat—every day is who we are.” And it is what will ultimately lead to systemic change. During this holiday season and as we begin a new year, I want to express my deep and enduring gratitude to the network of wildly talented individuals who are the lifeblood of Edible Communities—the publishers, editors, contributors and staff who so diligently work to bring you these important stories throughout the year—every single one of whom has courageously and tirelessly fought to keep their local food communities alive, even in the face of a global pandemic. With independent journalism being threatened today more than at any time in our history, it’s especially important for us to support their efforts. The ability to maintain editorial independence and to dive deeply into urgent issues like the climate crisis are critical to the health of our society. That is why organizations like Civil Eats (civileats.com) are so important to us and to our mission. I encourage you to subscribe to their newsletter, donate, be informed, pay attention—help effect change. Tracey Ryder, Co-Founder & CEO Edible Communities

edible Communities |




Plant This Now list provided by TEXAS A&M AGRILIFE EXTENSION

Enjoy This Now Arugula Beets




Brussels Sprouts









Dandelion Greens






Endive Frisée







French Sorrel Kale Kohlrabi Garlic (Green) Green Onions Leeks

Parsley Pecans Potatoes Radicchio Radishes Spinach Sweet Potatoes Turnips Winter Squash

photo by JO LANTA photo byLEVI GUZMAN

48 / EdibleAustin.com

Lettuce Mustard Greens

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by Bambi Edlund

are po llin ated by

BEES The first known recipe for cranberry sauce is found in a Pilgrim cookbook, circa

400 MILLION pounds of cranberries are consumed in the U.S. each year (20% of them at Thanksgiving)

A low, creeping vine with fruit that starts out white and ripens to a deep red, the cranberry is native to North America.

Cranberries were first cultivated in Dennis, MA, in


Want to make sure you’ve got good fruit? Ripe cranberries @littlebeastssliderco



The word cranberry is said to be derived from “craneberry,” so named because the flowers resemble the head of a




Native Americans made


by pounding cranberries, melted animal fat and dried meat together. The long-storing, compact, high-energy food was used as rations for long-haul expeditions.

Cranberries contain salycilic acid, the active ingredient in




Cranberries were commercialized in Massachusetts and New Jersey in the 1840’s, which coincided with the wider availability (and affordability) of

GRANULATED SUGAR, which was used to sweeten the face-puckeringly tart berries.

Cranberries grow in acidic bogs, which are flooded during harvest. The berries float and are skimmed from the water’s surface.


50 / EdibleAustin.com




Small pockets of air inside the berry cause cranberries to


The oldest continuously producing cranberry beds in Massachusetts and Wisconsin have been growing for nearly


It takes about


cranberries to make one gallon of juice.


Make this the tastiest time of year with magnificent mains, show-stopping sides, and jaw-dropping desserts. Central Market has everything you need to make a memorable meal yourself, or let our chefs do the cooking.

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