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No. 41 July/August | Travel 2015

Cel eb ra ti n g Cen tra l Texa s fo o d cu lt u re, sea so n by sea so n

The

TRAVEL Issue


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This exhibition is organized by the Brooklyn Museum and co-curated by Richard Aste, Curator of European Art, Brooklyn Museum, and Edward J. Sullivan, Helen Gould Sheppard Professor of the History of Art, New York University. Generous support for the exhibition is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding for this exhibition at the Blanton is provided in part by the Ralph H. and Ruth J. McCullough Foundation and the Scurlock Foundation Exhibition Endowment. Media Sponsor: Univision Francisco Oller, Hacienda La Fortuna (detail), 1885, oil on canvas, 26 Ă— 40 in., Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Lilla Brown in memory of her husband John W. Brown, by exchange. Brooklyn Museum photograph

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Blanton Museum of Art / The University of Texas at Austin / MLK at Congress / www.blantonmuseum.org / 512.471.7324

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CONTENTS travel issue 6

Publisher’s Note

8

Notable Mentions

11

Notable Edibles

 Food-service health care, State of the Food System Report, RideScout.

16

Edible Road Trip

The Schulenburg sentinels.

18

Farmers Diary

Time traveler.

20

Edible Destination

Johnson City.

26

What We’re Drinking

Summer wines.

29

Edible Road Trip

New Mexico roads less traveled.

34

Edible Ingredients

Buggin’ out.

46

What I Eat and Why

The perfect chapati.

48

Cooking Fresh

G’Raj Mahal.

52

People

Nikki Kaya of Grandma’s Humus.

64

Department of Organic Youth

Of war and Wales.

77

The Directory

29

54

20

PASSPORT to local 38 Cultivating Cacao Community The tradition of growing cacao.

42 Food for the Journey The road will provide along El Camino de Santiago.

54 Island Infusions Proud mixed-cultural heritages passed from generation to generation in Hawaii.

58 Penang’s Culinary Traditions “Have you eaten?” takes on new meaning.

62 The Gelato World Tour Bringing Texas flavors to the Italian world of gelato.

COVER: M  akapu‘u, the eastern side of O‘ahu, 600 ft. above sea level in Hawaii. Photography by Rebecca Persons. (page 54)


PUBLISHER’S NOTE

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 PAGES (MÁS O MENOS)

PUBLISHER Marla Camp

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Jenna Northcutt

EDITOR Kim Lane

T

here’s nothing like getting away from the day-today to put things into perspective. Travel helps

us find our place in the world and appreciate the range of possibilities to expand our local lives in the context of the universal. At any age, experiencing a new taste, sight, language and culture is both a rare treat and an affirmation of living life to its fullest. Sit back, relax and enjoy our Travel issue. We’re telling tales of trips

ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Dawn Weston

COPY EDITOR Anne Marie Hampshire

EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Melinda Barsales, Claire Cella, Dena Garcia, Cari Marshall Michelle Moore

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Susanna Cassady

within driving distance, to satisfy that gotta-get-away-right-now urge,

ADVERTISING SALES

and plunging into adventures off-continent: from Johnson City to

Curah Beard, Valerie Kelly, Christine Kearney

Penang…from Schulenberg to Santiago…from New Mexico to Ecuador… – to Mike’s Huli Huli Chicken trailer in K ane‘ohe. And if it’s the flavors

of travel that seduce, try our recipes for making the perfect chapati, chicken rogan josh, Spanish tortilla or Welsh cakes. And don’t forget to pair from our selection of summer Texas wines. If you’re in or around Austin in July, please join us for our Travel issue celebration party on Saturday, July 11, where we will crown the winners of our Edible Escape Photo Contest and toast all things travel. Just glance to your right for details. Bon voyage and hasta la vista!

6

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DISTRIBUTION MANAGERS Greg Rose, Leary Kelly

ADVISORY GROUP Terry Thompson-Anderson, Paula Angerstein, Dorsey Barger, Jim Hightower, Toni Tipton-Martin, Mary Sanger, Suzanne Santos, Carol Ann Sayle

CONTACT US Edible Austin 1411A Newning Ave., Austin, TX 78704 512-441-3971 info@edibleaustin.com edibleaustin.com Edible Austin is published bimonthly by Edible Austin L.L.C. All rights reserved. Subscription rate is $30 annually. No part of this publication may be used without written permission of the publisher. ©2015. Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings and omissions. If, however, an error comes to your attention, please accept our sincere apologies and notify us.


EDIBLE ESCAPE

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We all love to travel near and far. Join us in celebrating the launch of our Travel 2015 Issue. We’ll be crowning the winner of our Edible Escape Photo Contest as well as raffling off travel prizes to all attendees. Satisfy your palate with tastes and drinks with a global flair. THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS

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9th Annual FARM AND FOOD Leadership Conference September 25–26, 2015 Bryan/College Station, Texas

notable MENTIONS FEATHERS, FIRE AND FUN AT THE WILDFLOWER CENTER IN JULY The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has an exciting lineup for its popular Nature Nights in July—on Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m. Ever wondered about the differences between your favorite summer hangouts—what makes Barton Springs a spring? Or the Barton Creek Greenbelt a creek? On July 9, you can learn the answers to these questions, find out about the endangered Houston toad and other water-dwelling creatures, then enjoy a puppet show and a scavenger hunt. The following week, on July 16, a host of Texas organizations, divisions and services including the

Learn about our food and local farms, and how you can get involved! Topics include farm-to-school programs, genetically engineered foods, raw milk, federal and state food safety laws, international trade disputes, the water crisis, and much more... ONLINE AT:

farmandranchfreedom.org/farm-food-leadership-conference OR GIVE US A CALL AT: (254) 697-2661

Don’t miss the Moonlight Farm Dinner or our new Exhibitors’ Hall!

LOCAL FOOD LUNCH BOTH DAYS BY JESSE GRIFFITH OF DAI DUE.

Texas Forest Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Austin Fire Department-Wildfire Division, will display their equipment, lead habitat hikes and teach about fires and fire safety. And on July 23, experts from the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center and Tish Corvidae of Flying for the Earth will be bringing along their feathered friends as they discuss these birds of prey. Don’t miss out! Visit wildflower.org/nature for more.

THE HEAT IS ON THIS AUGUST Mark your calendar for the 25th annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival— especially if you’re a fan of meals that make tastebuds burn, eyes water and foreheads drip. Over the years, the festival has become one of the world’s largest

y a D r o b La d n e k e e W

of its kind, boasting 15,000 attendees and more than 350 salsa competitors each year. The ever-popular festival will be held at Fiesta Gardens on Sunday, August 23, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and it’s expected to be just as hot in attendees as on the tongue. The event is free with the donation of three non-perishable food items or a cash donation to support the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. The deadline to register to participate in the hot sauce contest is Wednesday, August 19. Visit austinchronicle.com/hotsauce for details.

TAKE A TASTING TOUR OF TEXAS The Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau will present the 8th annual Dripping with Taste Wine & Food Festival on Saturday, September 12, from noon to 6 p.m. Surrounded by open space, trickling streams and rustic woods, visiting foodies, shoppers and music lovers alike can enjoy a day

FOOD, FUN & DANCE westfest.com 8

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full of showcases highlighting all of their favorite things: Texas wineries, breweries, distilleries, restaurants, chefs, artisans and musicians. The festival takes place at the scenic Dripping Springs Ranch Park & Event Center. Visit drippingwithtaste.com for tickets and more information.


SOME OF THE STATE’S BEST AT WESTFEST Despite its size, the town of West sure knows how to host a festival. In fact, Westfest is one of the largest Czechoslovakian heritage festivals in Texas. That’s because the festival offers something for everyone: the Miss Westfest contest; live polka music; a family-friendly carnival filled with rides and games; a Saturday

SUNDAY, AUGUST 23 25TH ANNUAL

morning parade; tractor pulls; arts and crafts; a Sunday polka mass; and, of course, that scrumptious Czech food we know and love from the Czech Stop on I-35—featuring kolaches, sausages, strudel and sauerkraut. This year’s festival will be held from Friday, September 4, to Sunday, September 6, with activities kicking off at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. Visit westfest.com for all the details.

GOOD TASTE: PLAYING WITH FOOD On Thursday, August 20, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., The Contemporary Austin and Edible Austin will ​co-​host Good Taste: Playing with Food, letting local chefs and their imaginations run wild on this creative culinary playground. The small bites created by the chefs​will draw inspiration from the witty work of artist Robert

featuring Dale Watson and His Lone Stars

Therrien, currently on view at the Jones Center, which plays with

11AM-5PM AT FIESTA GARDENS

scale, perspective, color, reality and links to childhood memories. Go to thecontemporaryaustin.org to purchase advance tickets (recommended and are $20, or $15 for members).

EDIBLE SANTA FE PRESENTS: THE GREEN CHILE CHEESEBURGER SMACKDOWN

Proceeds benefit Capital Area Food Bank of Texas

For entry forms and sponsorship information visit

austinchronicle.com/hotsauce VOLUNTEER: www.shiftboard.com/hotsauce

Let the Smackdown begin! Edible Santa Fe proudly takes the reigns of the Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown to bring you some of New Mexico’s world-

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class chefs and most notorious burgers. Last year’s event sold out and this year promises even more contenders, more beverages and more fun. Restaurants will compete for the chance to reign as Santa Fe’s Green Chile Cheeseburger Champ. The first round of online voting to choose the lucky seven restaurants begins July 27. The event is slated for  Thursday, September 10, from  5:30 to 8:30 pm  in Santa Fe. Find details at

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SAVE THE DATE FOR THESE EDIBLE EVENTS! EDIBLE ESCAPE, JULY 11 The votes are in and our Edible Escape Photo Contest winners will be announced at the Edible Escape Party, celebrating our Travel issue with globally inspired food and drinks at the Brodie Homestead. We’ll have exciting travel-themed door prizes, a HomeAway photo

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booth and live music to enjoy on Saturday, July 11, from 2 to 5 p.m. Go to edibleaustin.com/escape for details and tickets.

CHEF AUCTION, OCTOBER 8 The 4th annual Edible Austin Chef Auction fundraiser benefits local food nonprofits Sustainable Food Center and Urban Roots and

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will take place on Thursday, October 8, hosted at The Allan House in downtown Austin. After tasting an array of auction-chef-prepared food and Texas spirits, guests will bid on unique chef dinner packages—to be announced soon! Check edibleaustin.com for details.

EAT DRINK LOCAL WEEK, NOV. 28–DEC. 5 We’re excited to announce that our 9th Annual Eat Drink Local Week will kick off

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Paramount Theatre on Sunday, November 29, at 6 p.m. There will be a VIP reception at 5 from Lenoir, Hoover’s Cooking, Barlata and Café Josie, along with wine from Barcelona Cellers and local goodies from Coterie Market, plus a local farmers market after the show. Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Dr. Brent Ridge are the stars of The Fabulous Beekman Boys on the Cooking Channel (and grand prize winners of The Amazing Race 21). The hit reality show is an amusing look at their adventure, which took root when the couple left urban lifestyles behind to buy the Beekman 1802 Farm. There, they raise goats, pigs, chickens and even a llama, and produce organic products such as goat milk soap and cheese, with much hilarity and flair amid missteps and triumphs. Visit austintheatre.org to buy tickets now as a Paramount season subscriber or single-show tickets will be available mid-August. Proceeds from Eat Drink Local Week benefits nonprofit Mobile Loaves & Fishes.

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notable EDIBLES FOOD SERVICE JUST GOT HEALTHIER

I

f standing at your job is the magical health cure some say it is, then restaurant employees should be set for life. At least, they

might be if it weren’t for all the hustle and bustle that comes with the work. “It’s not always the good kind of standing,” says Jessica Maher, co-owner of Lenoir and Métier Cooks Supply. “You’ve got to have balance.” You’ve also got to have health coverage—a benefit conspicuously lacking in many parts of the restaurant industry, and often attributed to high staff turnover, thin profits and “That’s just the way it is in our business.” Maher and husband/co-owner Todd Duplechan didn’t buy into that mentality when they set out to provide primary health coverage for their 17 employees. That’s not to say they didn’t balk at the $600 they would have had to pay per employee, per month. “Even a hundred dollars for each person would have been steep for us,” says Maher. Then they heard from a physician friend about another solution: Direct primary care from Austin Osteopathic Family Medicine. The practice, run by Dr. Chris Larson, gives patients access

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to his primary care expertise for a flat monthly fee. Larson says the approach spares users the agony of deductibles, the inflated costs of treatments and other ills of the insurance industry. Direct primary care may even encourage patients to visit the doctor for checkups a little more often than never. “This way, they’ll be more willing to see a doctor for preventative health without worrying about the cost,” says Maher. Though she’s thrilled to offer the plan to employees, Maher stresses that it’s not a replacement for basic catastrophic insurance, the kind that covers major hospital bills for serious injuries. Speaking as someone who deals everyday with the constant pressure to perform quickly and efficiently in an environment of sharp implements and piping hot equipment, she’s wise to suggest that “Everyone should hang on to their catastrophic insurance.”

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THE STATE OF AUSTIN FOOD

A

ustin sports an impressive 6,000 restaurants, 1,000 food trailers and seemingly countless raves from adoring foodies. But

on the flipside of this culinary scene, the numbers aren’t as rosy. Twenty-five percent of Travis County children are food insecure, meaning their parents don’t know where they’ll get their next meal. Five Austin zip codes don’t even have a single grocery store and 25 percent of Austinites are obese. “There’s almost a tale of two cities in Austin,” says Edwin Marty, Austin’s first-ever food policy manager in the Office of Sustainability. “The restaurants deserve the respect they’ve been given, but a lot of people can’t afford to eat at them.” Marty released the “State of the Food System Report” in April to capture all available data on the way Austinites make, eat and dispose of food—from the Franklin’s line to the SNAP line. He says it takes that level of perspective to give policymakers and the public the reality check they need to make better decisions about the area’s $4.1 billion food economy. For instance, though Austin boasts 52 community gardens and no shortage of small urban farms, Travis County, as a whole, grows less than 1 percent of its own food. Meanwhile, the ongoing drought (not withstanding this year’s unusually rainy months), burgeoning population growth and For more informaaon about our graduaaon rates, the median debt of sutdents who completed the program, and other important informaaon, please visit www.escoffier.edu/disclosures.

number of farmers nearing retirement age dim Austin’s agricultural prospects considerably, despite what you see at farmers markets. That’s not to say the report is a total bummer: Marty has made sure to point out the positive solutions that 18 of the City’s departments have undertaken to help fix food in Austin—such as Watershed Protection helping to create some of the teaching gardens in 73 percent of AISD schools. “The department realizes that to protect the watershed, you have to get people interested at a young age in growing food and seeing how water fits into the cycle of life,” says Marty. Until it’s time to update the report in a few years, Marty plans to talk grub at the neighborhood level—showing communities within Austin how to have a say in the restaurants, groceries and gardens they live with every day. “Most food systems are controlled from the top down,” he says. “But we want to show communities that they have the tools to make changes that better re-

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A BETTER WAY TO GO

I

n recent years, the allure of Austin has become increasingly strong—the city is now well known for its vibrant downtown,

tight-knit food and beverage community and active festival scene. Yet, while experiencing all that Austin has to offer is no doubt

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stimulating, there are also some serious drawbacks to this city’s rising energy. One of the most concerning is the high rate of associated drunk-driving incidents, which are directly linked to the increase in travel to, from and within Austin. For years, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo has tried to draw attention to our city’s— and even our state’s—drunk-driving issues. But, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s statistics, Texas has continually led the nation in the number of alcohol-related driving fatalities. Fortunately, Acevedo is not alone in petitioning Austin residents to act consciously and cautiously when enjoying this city. RideScout, a fledgling but flourishing mobile technology company headquartered in Austin, has been making Austin a safer place with its free app that helps users locate convenient, quick, reliable rides within the city by culling together the many options available, such as Capitol Metro, taxi, car rental services, car2go and Zipcar, pedicabs, ride-sharing companies like Carma, and even bicycle rentals and routes. These options not only make for safer travels; they also help save time, gas and the environment. RideScout founders Joseph Kopser and Craig Cummings are

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both proud army veterans and graduates of the United States Military Academy at West Point, and they’ve always felt it a priority to actively support and honor the military in any way possible. In that spirit, they’ve recently launched RideSafe—a new satellite program of RideScout that’s a concentrated effort to help protect members of our military (a demographic that’s unfortunately at high risk for drunk-driving-related accidents). Through a partnership with Brown Distributing Co.—Central Texas’ largest beer distributor—RideSafe offers complimentary trips to Austin on Fridays to personnel stationed at Fort Hood. Without the need to get behind the wheel, the personnel who frequent Austin on their time off have the chance to savor all of the city’s offerings with all the rewards and none of the risks. Currently, the program is starting small, with a single bus of 50 soldiers. The first official outing was to the Austin Rodeo this past March, and according to RideScout’s Director of Growth Matthew Nutting, it was a huge success. The next trip will take personnel to Dell Diamond in July. (All of the tickets to the game are courtesy of Dell Diamond.) In the future, RideScout hopes to partner with local food businesses to offer brown bags of edible treats—like tacos—for the ride home to Fort Hood. “We wanted to give back to our troops and thank them for their service,” says Kopser. “The RideSafe program rewards our soldiers with time off to enjoy themselves, have some fun and then get a safe ride home at the end of the night.” —Claire Cella

Visit ridescout.com for more information. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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edible ROAD TRIP

SCHULENBURG SENTINELS BY L AY N E LY N C H

T

here’s something about a small town that tugs fervently at

with trademarks like crunchy fried chicken and fresh fruit pies at

our heartstrings. Bustling cities like Austin, Houston and

Frank’s Restaurant, fluffy kolaches at Oakridge Smokehouse, Tex-

Dallas are known for well-curated museums, trendy cock-

as pecan fudge at Potter Country Store and, of course, seed spittin’

tail lounges, James Beard award-winning restaurants and stadi-

at the annual Watermelon Thump, in neighboring Luling. But the

um-filling concerts, but a trip outside these realms often reveals a

town’s greatest attributes, without question, are its treasured archi-

fresh landscape—one resembling a view through Rip Van Winkle’s

tectural sentinels. One of these is the central gathering spot, Sengelmann Hall—

eyes. Just an hour-and-a-half drive outside Austin and Houston de-

an historic dance hall that has attracted Texans from around the

livers travelers to the historic town of Schulenburg. Appropriately

state since it was founded by settlers in 1894 under the name Two

nicknamed the “Gateway to the Rolling Hills,” this town of just over

Brothers Saloon. “Everyone loves the building but a lot of people

2,500 people was founded in the late 1800s by people of primari-

don’t even know its history,” says Garrett Pettit, owner of Momma’s

ly German, Czech and Austrian descent. These foreign settlers be-

Restaurant at Sengelmann Hall. “When you learn more about it, you

stowed the spacious, quiet town with a rich melting pot of culture

discover how important the Hall really is to Schulenburg’s history.”

and character that has enlivened its permanent heirloom spirit and

For years, the stoic crimson facade played witness to countless

given birth to an array of delicious cuisines, alluring mom-and-pop

live music and community events, but all that excitement came to

shops and influential community hubs.

an end in the ’40s when the owners decided to shutter the town

The town attracts the usual weekend crowd from near and far

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space. “None of the sons wanted to continue running the busi-


Opposite page: Sengelmann Hall circa 1894 and present day (by Trio Marty). This page: St. Mary’s Catholic Church (left) and Saints Cyril and Methodius Church—two of Schulenburg’s famous painted churches (by Pattie Calfy). to behold, but also a time capsule of Texas history, turn-of-tide events and even ghosts. “Let’s be honest: It wouldn’t be a Texas dance hall without a good ghost story,” Pettit says. In the years since its reopening, the Hall has filled its rustic, antique rooms with country music, wedding receptions, polka dancing, multiple celebratory meals of pork schnitzel and sausage and the raucous reveling of locals and travelers alike. But Sengelmann Hall isn’t the only piece of Americana art in town. Schulenburg also boasts four famed-and-acclaimed, hand-painted Catholic churches that are, hands down, the most popular town attractions. “As a kid, my friends and I would run in and start ringing the bells. It was so fun to grow up with them right next to us,” Pettit says. “They’re unlike any church you’ve ever seen.” (Currently, there are around 20 of these painted churches across Texas.) Schulenburg’s painted churches—St. Mary’s Catholic Church, St. Mary’s Parish, St. John the Baptist Church and Saints Cyril and ness, and I’m sure World War II had something to do with its

Methodius Church—were commissioned in the late 1800s and early

closing, too,” Pettit says.

1900s by Catholic officials who originally planned to embrace Span-

After its abrupt, untimely closure, the saloon and dance hall

ish, French and mission-style architecture in the churches. Howev-

slowly disintegrated and lost luster—recycled into an array of lo-

er, after receiving pressure from the German townsfolk, the church

cal, family-owned businesses that included an ice cream parlor,

eventually relented and embraced the cultural hierarchy.

accounting office and a Western Auto shop. In 2007, though, artist

The four ornate structures utilized delicate paints instead of

Dana Harper—an heir to the Cullen family fortune—breathed life

more durable materials to mimic features such as gothic vaulting,

into the past when he renovated and restored the old, worn hall,

stained glass and supporting arches in a deceptive but beautiful

nail by nail, plank by plank, from the hardwood floors to the cast-

visual allusion. “People will stand and marvel at every single de-

iron columns, tin ceilings and bullet hole accents.

tail. They’re an asset to our town.”

Pettit, a native Schulenburger, joined the Sengelmann Hall

These days, Austinites eagerly dedicate weekend trips to nearby

team in 2009 and eventually took over the restaurant operations

locales for delights like barbecue feasts, Hamilton Pool’s natural

from Harper. “[Harper’s] goal wasn’t to make the building look

waters and wining and dining in Fredericksburg. And while a trip

new and fancy. As an artist, he really appreciated the history of

to Schulenburg may not be as adventurous as a culinary tour of

the building and the journey it had made,” Pettit says. “He wanted

Houston or an art-scouting stop in Marfa, what the town holds is

to peel back the layers, dust it off a bit and let the structure speak

a dedicated, lasting appreciation for Texas history, and a cultural

for itself.” And speak it does. The Hall is not only a grand sight

heritage and time map you won’t find anywhere else on the road.

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farmers DIARY

TIME TRAVELER BY J E N N A K E L LY- L A N D ES

R

ecently, I sat in the pasture, my back leaning against a gnarled

insomnia as I ponder exactly what the lives of my children will look

cedar elm whose newly unfurled leaves barely cast shadows

like out here in this secluded corner of the county, and how their

across the grass. I blinked up into the sky as it transitioned

youth will sharply contrast with my own. My husband Jeremy and I

from day to dusk—the last rays of sun cracking through spaces in the

both grew up in a small town just north of Austin—the sort of place

forest and blanketing the hills in sepia. At that moment, my original

where childhood looks vaguely like a Norman Rockwell painting.

goat, Pearlsnaps, ambled slowly toward me. Her long beard rubbed

Against the backdrop of suburban utopia, our lives were filled with

against my cheek as she inspected my nose and then pawed at the

typical childhood activities. I was a card-carrying member of the

ground before easing her heavy body down beside me. I placed one

neighborhood bicycle gang—a benign pack of fourth-graders who

hand on her belly full of kids, who kicked against her taut sides, and

pedaled furiously to the park, commandeered the swing sets and gos-

I placed my other hand on my own belly full of kids, also punching

siped about weekend slumber parties. Because my best friends lived

and turning. We sighed in solidarity and watched the sky smudge

within two blocks of my house, I could reach them, independently of

from blue, to salmon, to purple—two future mamas lying in a pas-

my parents, between those precious hours of just-after-school-lets-

ture hushed into the silence of night.

out and dinner. Jeremy lived on the other side of town and kicked

Sometime in early summer I will have two babies, our first chil-

a soccer ball all the way from age four through college. His entire

dren—one boy and one girl. Their arrival is the source of nightly

life was structured around the game he loved—shaping his child-

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hood into a blur of practices, tournaments and a close-knit group of friends that naturally sprung up around that sport. For all intents and purposes, we grew up in a conventional (nearly idyllic) setting. It’s probably one of the greatest gifts our parents gave each of us. So…I wonder—as my hands rest across my belly and my back rests against a tree that grows from the feral space we claimed only six years ago—I wonder about the childhood of these two little creatures who won’t have sidewalks connecting them to best friends. Before purchasing this land, Jeremy and I engaged in sweaty-palmed conversations about the pros and cons of this particular leap of faith. We had no children, but the possibility of them certainly factored into those frantic discussions. Although isolated, the land was situated half a mile from a 200-acre park with sidewalks, swing sets, soccer fields. And even though our plot wasn’t surrounded by a neighborhood, it contained a vibrant community of forest and creeks and promised unobstructed views of vast blue sky. Surely that counted for some intangible something? So we gulped hard, signed papers, rolled dice. Six years later, I am no closer to articulating the intangible something that this space may fill, where the convenience, activities and culture of the city end about 17 miles west. I am no more certain whether a childhood here may be somehow less complete, more difficult or more truly solitary than one that occurs within the gridwork of the suburbs, amid the bustle of pavement and lights. But I know this much is true: Here, I can provide a poetry of place, an eternal promise that the seasons will change. For my kids, these changes will be visceral in a way not felt within the confines of city living. From the beginning, my kids will participate in each beautiful, gory, painful phase of the inevitably turning life cycle. They will untangle twisted animals, medicate the sick, rejoice in the recovered and plunge deep into the sadness of loss—a fundamental component of this very wild life. They will know that sometimes only moonlight and stubbornness will see them through the most difficult task, that the smallest victories can be the most powerful. Out here, I cannot secure for them attendance at a Blue Ribbon school, the proximity of a movie theater or the safety of a privacy fence—things we exchanged for a more physical education, gritty entertainment and the bravery to run through fenceless fields…to fall…to stand up again. What I waited 30 years to discover about myself will be instilled in them at birth. Their own strength, capability and confidence will grow with them, as it has to on a farm. While I accept that their ultimate choices may take them deep into the city and far from this jumble of dirt and leaves, there’s a legacy here that we’ve already carved. It will wait, sleepily, for their return, and will remind them— if they should need reminding—of what can be created from dirt, patience and passion. I sat with Pearl until the whip-poor-wills called out from the woods—the mournful lead performers in a bucolic symphony. They were soon accompanied by the otherworldly howl of a prowling coyote, the rumbling baritone of distant thunder, the frantic bleating of a baby goat, the guttural moo of a new mama cow. How can I worry that life for my children will be solitary or dull when, in fact, it will be a sensory explosion from this blur of life that is constant? Next year, it won’t just be me and Pearl and the whip-poor-wills, but the babies too, against that tree, watching a Technicolor sunset, hopefully falling in love with their wild kingdom just as we have. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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edible DESTINATION

BY C L A I R E C E L L A • P H OTO G RA P H Y BY W H I T N EY M A RT I N

L

ocated within the cradle of the Pedernales River Valley just

of cultural destinations such as Fredericksburg, Johnson City has

past the junction of Highways 290 and 281 sits present-day

become a highly trafficked area. Yet, that steady stream of traffic

Johnson City. As far back as the 16th century, this spot was a

posed a concern for the city’s businesses: Many travelers simply

frequent thoroughfare and trade stop, according to the city’s Cham-

continued on determinedly toward other destinations without

ber of Commerce. But it wasn’t until the 1800s that the city was offi-

pause. That’s why, in recent years, efforts have been made to help

cially founded—on ranch land owned by James Polk Johnson, a cous-

the city grow into a destination all its own. Many of the long-emp-

in once removed of former president Lyndon B. Johnson. Both men

ty buildings have been bought, restored and repurposed—a proj-

grew up in the area, and by the time James Johnson died in 1885, he

ect aimed to entice travelers to stop, shop, see and sip their way

had established a gristmill, a hotel and a general merchandise store

around this unique blend of scrubland charm.

in Johnson City proper. At that time in the early 1900s, resident

Gary Gilstrap of Texas Hills Vineyard believes the wine in-

Georgia Edgeworth was quoted as saying, “It was just a big family

dustry is largely responsible for generating the current popularity

town. Nobody was rich, and everybody had plenty to eat and plenty

of the Hill Country. “As [the wine industry] has blossomed, more

to wear. It was just a good, sweet, country town.”

and more people have driven through Johnson City and said ‘Gosh,

Changes would soon be in store for wee Johnson City, though.

this old and falling-down city could really be a good place to start

Today, it still has the essence of that sweet, country town Ms.

a business.’ They can see the growth potential, but for now, this

Edgeworth spoke of, but it’s rapidly becoming bolstered by the

really is the little hidden gem of the Hill Country.” Gilstrap and his

growing family of businesses, eateries, wineries and galleries that

wife, Kathy, moved to Johnson City from Colleyville in the mid-

hug the perimeter of its stately Blanco County Courthouse. And

1990s, when there were only 16 wineries in the area. Now, there

with the rising acclaim of the Central Texas wine country, the city’s

are close to 50. Gilstrap helped found the Texas Hill Country Wine

proximity on the popular Wine Road 290 and the growing appeal

Trail in 1999, and at the same time, opened his own doors to Texas

Opposite page, clockwise from upper left: Patty and Tim Elliott of Pecan Street Brewing; Texas Hills Vineyard’s Kick Butt Cab; Susan Kirchman of Taste Wine + Art; The Hill Country Science Mill; fresh baked coconut cream pie at Lot 102.


Hills Vineyard. The Gilstraps currently produce 19 varieties of wine from their vines, in a range to suit all palates. They’re renowned, however, for their cabernet sauvignon, called “Kick Butt Cab,” which consistently wins awards across the state and even the country every year. Of course, the Gilstraps have a lot of company in the Texas wine business these days. A young and enterprising duo, Doug Lewis and Duncan McNabb behind Lewis Wines, are quickly making a name for themselves just west of Texas Hills, but Gary welcomes their success. “One thing about the wine business, is that it doesn’t matter if you have another winery right next door; it’s synergistic,” he says. “If they’re bringing people in, those same people are coming to you, too.” This synergy holds true for the rest of Johnson City’s businesses, as well. Susan Kirchman and Warren Vilmaire, owners of Taste Wine + Art, have similarly taken advantage of the wine corridor just

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outside their gallery doors. The couple opened a contemporary art gallery in 2005 and soon began to draw not only aficionados of art but of wine as well, through their carefully curated wine collection. At any given time, visitors can sample up to 24 wines from boutique vineyards all around the world while gazing upon colorfully clad walls adorned with Kirchman’s rotating exhibition of 45 Texas artists. Taste also hosts monthly happy hours, live artist receptions and music events, and the couple claims their social life is busier than

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it once was in Austin. “It’s getting to be such a vibrant community,” Kirchman says. “Partly, I believe, because of the natural beauty of the Hill Country. It doesn’t take people long to figure out that this is the best part of Texas. But it’s also the wine industry—it’s just booming.” And while she’s certainly correct, there’s also another new force in town that’s getting attention. The Hill Country Science Mill—housed within the once-abandoned and rusted gristmill that loomed over the city for years—is a state-of-the-art, nonprofit science museum with fiber internet and modern technology that aims to engage and inspire young people by introducing them to the profound career potential in the fields of science, technology and math. The Mill’s grand opening this year drew 12,000 visitors—six times the total population of Johnson City—says Holly Barton, director of operations. Founded by local resident and career scientist Bonnie Baskin and her husband, Robert Elde, the former dean of the University of Minnesota’s College of Biological Sciences, the

r tBin Telaxans co DisBecstokeptvesecre

www.blancochamber.com / 830-833-5101 22

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Mill has become a symbol for Johnson City’s progress. Within the preserved limestone walls and the 36-foot-tall silos are touch-table interfaces and game-based learning stations aimed at sparking the imaginations of multiple generations of students. Using 3-D-augmented technology, visitors are guided by a customizable avatar that can be fashioned with Einstein hair or an apropos pair of cowboy boots. Along the way, the avatar explains the science, math or technology that powers the various exhibits and connects the activities with careers. The avatar is as encouraging as the entire experience—urging visitors to “be curious about how things work, ask questions and stop to see the tiniest of details.” And that’s just what the rest of Johnson City hopes visitors will do, too, at places like funky retail shop Texcetera, featuring an array of  local treasures, and  Pecan Street Brewing  which offers handcrafted beer and fresh twists on country classics, both owned by Patty and Tim Elliott. Pecan Street Brewing opened in 2008, in the restored remains of a hardware and supply store where local men used to “while away the day over coffee,” says Patty. Today, the brewpub’s authentic and homelike wooden expanse is the perfect place to lounge and laugh over a pint of Screw Loose Blonde Ale—brewed inhouse by son Sean—and a plate of their Pecan Sweet Chicken made with pecans from Durham-Ellis Pecan Company in Comanche. Or if the weather’s nice, there’s a chance the picnic tables in the seemingly abandoned lot off 290 will be teeming. That’s because the lot serves as the alfresco dining room for Lot 102, a farm-tomarket-style food trailer that offers dishes bursting with fresh produce procured from independent farms. Lot 102 is owned and operated by Matt Wigglesworth and Shelton Coleman, the force behind the adjacent Texas 290 Diner—a bright, clean space intended to hold its historic charm while serving up reinvented homestyle clas-

LOCALLY

GROWN

sics, such as tangy grilled lemon-pepper catfish over roasted and sautéed vegetables, and fresh Gulf shrimp and cheddar grits drizzled with spicy butter sauce. Maintaining Johnson City’s historic integrity and charm in the face of such rapid growth seems paramount to the vast majority of

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business owners. Wigglesworth says that preservation was hugely important during their renovation process. “Everything has to evolve, and eventually [development] will happen,” he says. “But preservation is important. In the end, it’s so worth it to be able to tell people about all the things that a place used to be.”

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All TEXAS, all the time. We make our wine from TEXAS grapes.

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burg, Texas 78624 om ∙ info@littlechef.com 0.997.4937

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5/19/15 5:10 PM


what we’re DRINKING

SUMMER WINES BY T E R RY T H O M PSO N -A N D E RSO N

A

lthough rosé wines can be enjoyed

for sipping. Who could resist a wine with a

all year long, summer is the perfect

name like this in the summer? The blend is

time for their crisp, fruity flavors,

predominantly blanc du bois from the East

which range from slightly sweet to very dry.

Texas vineyards of Enochs Stomp winery,

Not to be confused with pink wines in the

and will be a favorite of those who like the

category known as “blush” wines, rosés are

Portuguese Vinho Verde-style wines. Swim

almost always made from red wine grapes.

Spot is crisp on the palate with lemony cit-

In Texas, a wide range of grape varietals are

rus notes and a slight effervescence. This

being used to make stellar rosés, and not

summer’s blend is 92 percent blanc du bois

many people know exactly how food-friend-

and 8 percent muscat canelli, giving it just

ly they are. Here’s what we’re pairing with

a hint of sweetness, but not too much. Pair

our favorite al fresco summer foods, sipping

with your favorite chilled shellfish dishes,

with snacks by the pool and packing into pic-

such as shrimp remoulade, or salads with

nic lunches. (And we’ve tossed in a couple

tangy vinaigrette dressing.

of bonus dry whites that are also perfect for

Brennan Vineyards Austin Street

our scorching Texas summer.) Remember to

Comanche Rosé 2012—This wine is pro-

serve all of these treasures well chilled.

duced from 32 percent viognier, 27 percent

Becker Vineyards Provençal Rosé—

roussanne, 13 percent chenin blanc and 6

This rosé is one of the oldest produced in

percent grenache blanc from Newburg

Texas (first produced in 1998) and a good

Vineyards in Comanche County and Reddy

example of a true, very dry, French rosé-

Vineyards, in the Texas High Plains. With

style wine. A floral wine with a deceptive-

such a kitchen sink-style blend, one might

ly sweet aroma of strawberries with nuances of tropical fruit on the

think this would be a heavy wine, but it’s surprisingly light-bodied.

palate, it has a residual sugar level of only one-half percent. Produced

The light-pink wine has a crisp acidity balanced with just a hint of

predominantly from Mourvèdre grapes, this wine has a crisp bite and

sweetness, making it perfect as a summer aperitif—or serve it with

pairs well with light and spicy foods like those from the interior of

your favorite slightly spicy summer foods.

Mexico; simply cooked fish and shellfish; or slightly heavier foods like pasta with meat and a bit of spice.

Pedernales Cellars Texas Dry Rosé 2014—This tempranillo-Mourvèdre blend from Bingham Vineyards in the Texas High Plains

Alexander Vineyards 2013 Bordeaux Rosé—Since Alexander

is produced in a dry rosé-style and fermented, well chilled, in stainless

Vineyards, a new Texas winery, is producing French wines in France,

steel to highlight the fruity aromatics of the varietals. The color is a

this is an actual French rosé. Made from 60 percent cabernet sauvi-

stunning shade of deep pink, and the aromas of cherry, honey, butter

gnon and 40 percent merlot, this wine has a rich, deep color and is

and pear follow through on the palate. The finish is subtle—tapering

very dry. It has a great nose of luscious red fruit and is very rich on

off to a unique crispy note, making it a perfect pairing for salads, sea-

the palate. Pair it with ceviche, campechana or chilled seafood sal-

food (chilled, ceviche-style or cooked simply) and even light desserts.

ads. It’s also great with grilled foods and Texas barbecue.

Lost Draw Cellars Viognier 2014—This is a first release of this

William Chris Cinsault Rosé —This is another Texas rosé made

varietal from one of Texas’ newest wineries, made by partner Andy

in the dry, French style. Made from 100 percent cinsault grapes

Timmons, from 100 percent High Plains fruit, which lends a hint of

from the Texas High Plains, it has a crisp, honeysuckle aroma with

that Texas minerality to a varietal already known for its dryness. It has

mid-palate hints of satsuma and very ripe peach. Hints of lime on

notes of grapefruit and citrus on the nose, which follow through on the

the finish make it a perfect pairing for seafood and shellfish dishes

palate with a hint of spice. Savor this wine with sushi, salads, shellfish

and light interior Mexican dishes. This is a great sipping wine.

dishes, simple fish preparations, spicy food, Mexican or Thai food

Lewis Wines Swim Spot—This is an uncomplicated, refreshingly crisp white wine that is the essence of Texas summer and perfect 26

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or anything with black beans. It’s perfect to serve with soft cheeses, blue-veined cheeses, brie and especially Texas goat cheeses.


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edible ROAD TRIP

ROADS LESS TRAVELED BY PA M E L A WA L K E R

Photography by Stephanie Cameron

M

onticello, New Mexico, home to fewer than 100 people, was founded in the mid-1900s and is nestled in a canyon at the end of NM 142— 25 miles northwest of Truth or Consequences and 160 miles south of Albuquerque. The area lies within the northern Chihuahuan Desert, and the highway winds first through a plateau of lechuguilla, creosote bush and ocotillo, and then continues downward into Cañada Alamosa, named for the cottonwood trees that long ago took root near Alamosa Creek. Here, cattle roam freely, horses graze in paddocks, alfalfa grows in small, diked plots and old adobe homes alternate between more recent framed houses and a handful of trailer homes. Among the town’s residents are Jane and Steve Darland of Old Monticello Organic Farms—the sole source of travel lodging in Monticello. The Darlands cultivate

roses, lavender and other herbs and a vineyard of mainly trebbiano grapes. From their flowers and herbs they make floral waters and essential oils, and from the grapes they make their primary product: traditional balsamic vinegar—distinct from common balsamic because of its pure, unadulterated grape juice that’s been fermented and concentrated in casks for at least 12 years in the centuries-old Italian manner. The Darlands first visited Monticello in the early 1990s as Steve, an executive at J. Walter Thompson, was planning an early retirement. They lived in San Francisco, and though growing grapes appealed to them, joining the increasing numbers of winemakers did not. Traditional balsamic, however, was another story. No one in the U.S. was producing it commercially, and they felt drawn to the challenges of being the first. They also liked


New Mexico’s 500-year-old viticulture, and as they studied

the farm work themselves, assisted only by one employee, ex-

Monticello’s high-desert environment (elevation 5,280 feet),

cept during the annual grape harvest when family and friends

its aridity and reliable water source—a thermal spring feeding

pitch in. The Darlands also work on community projects: Steve

Alamosa Creek—seemed propitious. The Darlands bought sev-

helped organize the Monticello volunteer fire department and led

eral properties—including a number of dilapidated adobes—and

a successful effort to prevent the closing of Monticello’s post of-

in 1997, after much renovation, became full-time farmers. In 2010,

fice, and Jane led the organization of the Truth or Consequences

their first bottles of balsamic were ready for market, and they be-

farmers market (where they are regular vendors) and initiated

gan visiting chefs and holding tastings in many U.S. cities.

the market’s acceptance of electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards

I bought the Darlands’ balsamic—a gustatory pleasure not to be

from customers receiving government food assistance.

missed—through their website and added Monticello to my next

Hiking around town and up the canyon the next day, I decid-

New Mexico road trip, booking a casita for two nights. I arrived on

ed that visiting Monticello would be a must on upcoming trips

a bright, blue afternoon and—following Jane’s directions—drove

to New Mexico. The bucolic beauty of the canyon, the quiet

past the San Isidro church and the plaza to a cattle-gate marking

and quaintness of the town, the comforts of the casita and the

the gravel drive to my casita, a renovated adobe. The casita had a

Darlands’ conviviality and balsamic delighted me. Perhaps laven-

bedroom, bath, kitchen, living room and screened porch, and sat

der and fruit trees will no longer be blooming when I return in

between a garden of lavender and an orchard of olives, pomegran-

the fall, and I may not see or hear many bees, but the cottonwoods

ates, pears and apples. As I took my things inside, I watched bees,

will be blazing gold and lighting up the canyon with their fire.

butterflies and moths working the lavender, and I breathed in its scent and listened to the bees’ humming surge and fall.

••••

Around 5 p.m., Jane came and drove us up the road to their house and vineyard. She and Steve—fit, strong and seemingly tire-

Pushing north, I discovered Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic

less even at the end of a workday—walked me through terraced

Farm nestled in Albuquerque, a city that, although only an hour

rows of vines on a gentle hill, and then into a wooden building

south of Santa Fe, travelers often bypass. A single stay at Los

above the vineyard. Its lower floor houses stainless steel vats for

Poblanos, however, can make Albuquerque an equally desirable

simmering fresh grape juice into syrup, which, after fermentation,

destination for any New Mexico itinerary.

is transferred to the acetaia—an attic where eight sets of seven

Owned and operated by Penny and Armin Rembe since 1976, Los

casks of decreasing size are used to concentrate the syrup for the

Poblanos lies just east of the Rio Grande River in Albuquerque’s

minimum of 12 years required to produce traditional balsamic.

North Valley, and is a fine embodiment of innovative agricultural

The casks were made in Italy of seven types of wood, each vital in

and architectural preservation. The property is a 25-acre remnant

creating the final bouquet.

of an 800-acre ranch that reached from the river to the foothills of

Over wine on the Darlands’ patio, I learned they do most of 30

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the Sandia Mountains. The ranch was owned from the early 1930s

Photography top left by Ken Robinson; photography top right and opposite page by Stephen Humphry

Left: Steve and Jane Darland, outside their acetaia. Right: Old Monticello Organic Farms.


until 1976 by New Mexico congressman Albert Simms, his wife, Ruth McCormick Simms, and their family. Though Los Poblanos now stops far short of the Sandias, the eastern orientation of the buildings and fields makes the mountains gloriously present and creates the illusion of the former reach. The Simmses raised cattle and established a dairy that provided Albuquerque with much of its milk for a time. Two silos erected in 1934 still remain at Los Poblanos, giving the old dairy an iconic life, and a repurposed milking barn houses the Farm Shop, where lavender products, foodstuffs, kitchenware and books are sold. The Simmses also raised feed grains and sugar beets, and experimented (via greenhouses) with new varieties of roses and chrysanthemums. Now the greenhouses are used for starting lavender—Los Poblanos’ primary crop—and for starting vegetables for the inn’s kitchen garden. Investing in architecture as well as agriculture, the Simmses commissioned John Gaw Meem from 1932 to 1935 to design their residence, as well as a cultural center called La Quinta, in his signature style, Territorial Revival—also known as the Santa Fe style. For the finishing touches, Ruth Simms employed many distinguished artists and craftsmen—including Gustave Baumann, Walter Gilbert, Peter Hurd and Rose Greely—to carve doors, paint murals, do tin and ironwork, fashion tiles and design gardens. La Quinta is widely considered one of Meem’s greatest achievements and one of New Mexico’s major architectural treasures. The Simmses’ old residence served as the Rembe residence from 1976 until 1999, then the Rembes built a new house on the farm and the Meem house became the historic inn—augmented

Top left: La Quinta at Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm.

in 2012 by an addition called “Farm Rooms and Suites” designed

Top right: one of the original silos and greenhouses on the property.

to evoke agricultural service buildings. Along with this expan-

Above: Executive Chef Jonathan Perno (left) and kitchen assistant

sion—which raised the number of guest rooms and suites to 20,

Josh Romero harvest ingredients for “La Merienda” from the farm. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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View of the Sandia Mountains from Los Poblanos grounds. and the maximum occupancy to 60—the Rembes also revived La

Los Poblanos’ buildings and grounds from the office.

Quinta, which is becoming increasingly prominent and provides

Amenities abound at Los Poblanos—a fitness center, a solar-heat-

a venue for special events such as business conferences, public

ed saltwater pool, bicycles, a bocce court, wood-burning fireplaces,

education programs, weddings and parties. Inn guests may ex-

lavender body products—but the one that most delights me is break-

plore it on self-guided tours—obtaining complimentary maps of

fast, served every morning in the dining room and adjoining court-

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Left: Photography by Stephen Humphry. Right: Photography by Stephanie Cameron

yard in view of sunrise over the Sandias. Flowers and cloth napkins grace the tables, and the chefs use produce from the kitchen garden and other local farms—offering both a savory and a sweet selection that changes daily. Having a savory tooth, I choose shakshuka (eggs poached in a spiced tomato sauce), chilaquiles (lightly fried corn tortillas typically mixed with chili sauce, cheese, eggs, beans and avocado) and enchiladas with house-made red chili sauce. Dinner, or “La Merienda” as it’s known at Los Poblanos, is served Wednesday through Sunday evenings by reservation, with inn guests receiving priority over non-guests. Executive Chef Jonathan Perno was a 2015 James Beard Award Semifinalist for Best Chef Southwest, and the local, seasonal menu includes a beer and wine list. Though Albuquerque has a number of farmto-table restaurants, I enjoy the luxury of simply walking from my room to the dining room to enjoy excellent food—lamb and house-made pastas are my favorites—and to watch sunlight fade on the Sandias. In fact, during my stays, I seldom leave the property. When I have, though, I’ve found myself checking my watch and measuring the time lost at Los Poblanos—the walking time through the allée (walkway) of giant cottonwoods, on the paths of the Greeley gardens, along the perimeters of the lavender field and the kitchen garden and into the grand rooms of La Quinta, and the sitting time near the star-shaped fountain of the inn courtyard, on the portal (porch), in the sala (lounge) and by the pool. The workaday world rarely brings to us the beauty and power of nature and art at the same time, but the working landscape of Los Poblanos does, and this is its supreme and irresistible gift.

Seasonal fare served at “La Merienda” (dinner).

† No matter how you mix it, my handmade vodka beats those giant “imports” every day.

an austin tradition †

created by:

ROS S OUT ON

Ranch 616

★ 1 large jalapeño ★ ½ oz. Tito’s Handmade Vodka ★ ½ oz. orange liqueur ★ ½ oz. fresh lime juice ★ 1 tbsp. cayenne chili pepper

WINE ENTHUSIAST RATINGS SCORE OUT OF 100 POINTS

PTS

★ 1 tbsp. salt

Mix the cayenne chili pepper and salt together on a plate. Cut off the top of the jalapeño, remove the core and seeds. Dip the jalapeño into the cayenne and salt mixture. In a shaker, mix the Tito’s, orange liqueur and lime juice over ice. Strain into the jalapeño. Serve with an ice-cold beer back. Photo ©2015, Elizabeth Bellanti

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TRAVEL 2015 33 3/22/15 8:37 PM


edible INGREDIENTS

BUGGIN’ OUT BY M O N I CA J O H N SO N

I

n the United States, in-

ready increased the existing

sects are typically viewed

markets in Ghana and in

as pests that gross us

Mexico, the latter a country

out, but 80 percent of the

where grasshoppers have

world consumes them on a

long been a staple. But while

regular basis—they’re even

Aspire FG was busy focusing

considered a delicacy in

on grasshoppers, it started

some cultures. And as our

to get requests for crick-

worldwide population con-

ets—even from chefs in the

tinues to expand, making

U.S. They quickly decided

sure that everyone has ac-

to establish a cricket farm to

cess to nutritious food is

meet demands.

a growing challenge. Here

Ashour says they want-

at home, for example, one

ed their cricket farm to be

in five Texas households is

close to Mexico, since that’s

considered food insecure,

where most of their product

meaning they lack access

would go, and one city stood

to adequate food because

out among all the others as

of a shortage of financial or

a possible farm site. “All sig-

other material resources.

nals pointed to Austin,” he

To address this problem,

says, “which had the perfect

many food experts are encouraging folks in the U.S. to consider

culture for this kind of food, this kind of industry. And there were

insects as part of their regular diet.

a few insect-based food startups that we had been talking to that happened to be based in Austin.”

And, when compared to other animals that are raised for human

Austin turned out to be a good fit, and local chefs quickly em-

consumption, insects require fewer resources, such as land, wa-

braced the crickets and started to incorporate them into menus.

ter, feed and energy. Plus, they emit less waste, i.e., greenhouse

For example, Bryan Butler, butcher and co-owner of Salt & Time,

gases. But can Americans ever get past the negative connotation

was so intrigued that he created a special version of mortadella

associated with consuming insects to consider them a viable food

(a sausage made from finely ground pork) containing Aspire FG’s

source? Many people think so, as insect-based food startups are

crickets. “I thought [the mortadella] turned out really nice and

popping up from coast to coast. In fact, you don’t have to travel

had a really nice flavor,” he says. “Most people just thought [the

far to find a few, because a hub of bug-munchers exists right here

cricket] was a nut.” He was happy to share the truth, though, and

in Austin.

the customer response has been so positive that he’s planning on

Actually bugs are nothing new to this city—Austin has been

incorporating crickets into more of his products.

hosting a bug-eating festival for more than eight years and is

When Leah Jones and Megan McDonald, the creators of

home to Little Herds, a nonprofit dedicated to all things regard-

Crickers, a cricket-flour cracker, started serving edible insects

ing edible bugs. And, more recently, two insect-based food start-

at their dinner parties, not all of their friends shared their pas-

ups have opened in Austin: Hopper Foods and Crickers—both of

sion. They discovered, though, that their friends were much more

whom source the cricket flour used in their products from a local

open to trying insects if they were packaged as familiar-looking

farm known as Aspire FG.

food. “Putting [insects] into a cracker—and it looks just like a

Founding member and CEO of Aspire FG, Mohammed Ashour, says his company is on a mission to address worldwide food insecurity through the promotion of edible insects. They’ve al34

TRAVEL 2015

EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

cracker—it’s easier to get your head around that it’s just a healthy cracker,” says McDonald. Are you ready to hop on the entomophagy (eating insects)

Photography of Chocolate Chirp Cookies courtesy of Meghan Young, Little Herds

In short, insects are tiny packages full of proteins and vitamins.


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Infographics by Justin Kyle, courtesy of Little Herds.

36

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“Putting [insects] into a cracker—and it looks just like a cracker—it’s easier to get your head around that it’s just a healthy cracker.” —Megan McDonald train? If so, there are a few things to keep in mind. If you have a shellfish allergy, there’s a good chance you’ll be allergic to insects, and if you’re eating a whole bug, be sure to cook it thoroughly. Also, it’s not recommended to eat insects you find in your home or backyard—not all edible insects are created equal. Instead, purchase them from a reputable farmer. Right now, the government doesn’t distinguish between insects raised as feed for animals, such as lizards, and those raised for human consumption. “We’re working towards a system that recognizes the quality of the insects we’re farming, but right now we’re fighting an uphill battle,” says Robert Nathan Allen, director of sales at Aspire FG. “While we use organic practices and organic feed for our crickets, the industry is still in its infancy, so there’s very little regulatory oversight. As we work with agencies like the FDA and USDA to define what the standards

Your Garden

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should be, we’re able to continuously comply with their guidance to grow the industry safely and responsibly. Unfortunately, because there’s no currently defined standards for food-grade or organic crickets, we’re competing with pet-food-grade or imported cricket product prices, and the consumer doesn’t have to be told the difference.” The edible insect industry in this country is still in the very early stages, but these visionary startups see great potential. And while we may have a way to go before the custom becomes commonplace, it’s fair to say that we’re well on our way to fully embracing the other, other white meat. “Edible insects will be a part of our food culture,” says Ashour. “The questions are when and how—and who’s going to be a part of writing that history.”

find it at

You may read our story on Hopper Foods (Wellness 2015) at edibleaustin.com EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

TRAVEL 2015

37


“When you taste a Pacari chocolate, you taste an incredible journey.”—Carla Barbotó

38

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PASSPORT to local

CULTIVATING CACAO COMMUNITY BY M A R I B E L R I V E RO

Photography of Carla Barbotó and Santiago Peralta courtesy of Pacari

E

ating chocolate is a common food

road”—declared the most dangerous in the

experience known all over the

world in 1995 by the Inter-American Devel-

world. Less common for most is an

opment Bank.

actual visit to the Amazon where the tem-

Unlike Bolivia’s roads, though, these

peramental theobroma cacao tree—choco-

paths are well paved with proper driving

late’s mother source—is grown. Ecuador is

signs for a safe, smooth ride. To sweeten

one of the leading exporters of cacao, and a

the trip, we pass around tastes from a Pa-

visit to a cacao tree plantation had been on

cari raw chocolate bar. “When you taste

my wish list. Although there are no tourist

a Pacari chocolate, you taste an incredi-

tours, per se, to visit a plantation, my inter-

ble journey,” says Barbotó. That journey

ests linked me with award-winning choco-

she speaks of includes the couple’s tri-

latier and cacao cultivator, Pacari.

al-and-error organic flower business fol-

Dynamic husband and wife duo Carla

lowed by the realization of the market need

Barbotó and Santiago Peralta co-founded

for premium cacao exportation. And now

Pacari in 2003. My tour guides for the visit

it includes the production of world-class

to the cacao-growing community, Santa Rita,

chocolates: In 2012, Pacari’s 70 percent raw

are Barbotó, Augustín Peralta—Santiago’s

organic and biodynamic chocolate bar won

father and a pivotal contributor to Pacari—

a gold medal at the International Chocolate

and Asian market sales coordinator Mario

Awards, and has continued to place every

Zapata. The trip will take us about two-and-

year since.

a-half hours east of the Quito city limits and

We finally arrive at the Santa Rita com-

past several mountainous regions. As we leave the city, Barbotó

munity—newly titled “The Cacao and Chocolate Community of

spots her favorite roadside vendor selling choclo—a large maize

Santa Rita” as a reflection of the successful cacao cultivation in

grain variety (often confused with hominy) known for its plump

cooperation with Pacari. The area is a canton of Ecuador’s Napo

and sweet kernels. The delicious kernels are simmered in water,

Province, which consists of Amazonian rainforests and indige-

served piping hot and often topped with freshly made queso fres-

nous people known as the Quichuas (pronounced kich-was). The

co. “There’s nothing like fresh choclo…and this choclo is the best

Quichuas are subsistence agricultural survivors, and have main-

variety,” says Barbotó.

tained the cultivation of indigenous crops such as cacao. There

We continue east—winding our way through various small

are 150 families in the community who cultivate cacao as well as

towns. The landscape and climate have noticeably changed from

other crops for market. Aside from cacao, one of the crops in high

lush, verdant mountains and crisp, cool weather to thick, green,

demand is the guayusa plant, the leaves of which are made into a

leafy trees and humid tropical air. “Have you been to the Ama-

tea that’s considered a superfood with purported double-strength

zon?” Barbotó asks. “Yes,” I answer, “to Los Yungas in Bolivia.” I

antioxidants. The growers here own their own land—creating a

tell them my harrowing story of traveling on the infamous “death

sustainable income for themselves and their families.

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39


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Bolivar Alvarado, Pacari’s cacao farmer liaison, receives us with a humble smile. Alvarado oversees 40 growers (both men and women) who produce an organic heirloom variety of cacao called Nacional Complejo. Pacari, in turn, offers the highest price for their cacao seeds. We begin our walk through the forest field of cacao trees, with Alvarado using his machete to carve a path. “I’ve grown cacao for eighteen years,” he says. “The demand for growing cacao has grown with Pacari’s support—otherwise we would still be in the mountains.” Alvarado chuckles while gesturing to the outlying mountains. Alvarado grew up with his family cultivating cacao and naturally invested his future in its profitability. His children will also likely follow suit with continued demand for cacao. As we continue to walk, Alvarado pauses to open

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a fresh guaba fruit. Imagine an overgrown green bean shell with seeds that are covered with a white cotton-candy-like texture that dissolves on your tongue and tastes like lychee fruit. There are no tidy rows of cacao trees here, but rather a jumble of vegetation such as fennel ferns, guaba and palm trees where we get hearts of palm, known as chonta. We also discover a melon-sized green fruit—a variety of the theobroma known as bacao or pata. Just down the way, there’s a roaring river, and as we continue to walk, Alvarado shares his daily schedule, which includes fishing in the river for four hours before preparing a typical maito (wrap) using bijao leaves, then cooking the wrapped fish over a wood-burning fire. The daily bounty feeds fellow cacao growers and their families. We come across a pile of empty cacao pods in vivid colors

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of dark brown, red, orange and yellow. Barbotó explains that the empty pods are left to turn to compost. The variety of colors indicates varied types of cacao pods—much like the varied colors of chilies that are slightly different but still the same variety. Alvarado knows when the pods are ripe for harvest by their color. He cracks open a fresh cacao pod and inside is a sweet white pulp that coats the bitter, purple cacao seed. Our walk ends at the fermentation and drying tent. Before the cacao seeds are edible, they are fermented for four days and then dried. There are three large bins for fermenting, rotating and holding the finished product. The seeds are covered with jute bags that seal them with part of the cacao pod pulp. The fermented seeds are then laid out to dry—the length of drying time depending on the humidity and weather. After walking through the fields and familiarizing ourselves with the lay of the land, we enjoy a hospitable lunch of quinoa soup with tubers, flank steak with vegetables and white rice. Our final treat is a toasted seed from the cacao plant. It’s served warm, and we all relish the natural nutty flavors with a touch of salt. Visiting this community has not only revealed the technical aspects of cultivating cacao seed, but moreover a way of life that sustains a people and community. By living countryside, building strong alliances and creating family-like partnerships, Barbotó and Peralta have enabled the production of some of the best organic cacao that Ecuador has to offer. It’s a tradition they intend to protect with organic and sustainable agricultural practices to further provide a safe and fortuitous future for all. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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PASSPORT to local

FOOD FOR THE JOURNEY BY V I V É G R I F F I T H

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EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM


[Pilgrims] carry their belongings in backpacks and follow a series of yellow arrows that point the way westward over worn paths—greeting each other with Buen Camino!

I

t took two women to carry the paella pan across the plaza. In

gorgeous cheeses, varied tapas and of course, paella. Pilgrims

Rabé de las Calzadas, a village of 200 people in northern Spain,

might sample these foods when they pass through cities, but in

they’d spent the afternoon deep in preparation for the feast of

the villages, most of the fare is simple, hearty and inexpensive.

their patron saint—dicing vats of onions, cleaning shrimp, soak-

Pilgrim dinners offer variations on ham, eggs and potatoes. We

ing clams in water. The paella would be cooked above the fire just

ate pork chops topped with green peppers beside a pile of potato

before the celebration began at 11 p.m. By then, I’d be long asleep.

chips, or we spooned pasta from big pots. Dessert might be slices

I’d arrived in Rabé that afternoon—walking out from the city

of melon or scoops of ice cream with a cookie on top.

of Burgos through manicured suburbs and down a long farm road.

Pilgrim meals were served in big cafeterias amid the clamor

I was two weeks into a pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago, the

of forks, as well as in rooms with a single table. In the village of

ancient trail that stretches 500 miles from the Pyrenees to the city

Navarrete, a meal on a restaurant patio became an impromptu pil-

of Santiago de Compostela.

grim dinner. A rainstorm forced me inside and into a pink room

Pilgrims have walked the Camino for a thousand years to pay

crammed with tiny tables. I joined Tony, a boisterous German

tribute to St. James (the patron saint of Spain and one of the dis-

retiree, for dinner beside American sisters and a couple from

ciples of Jesus), whose remains are believed to be entombed in

Australia. We devoured a deeply garlicky bean soup with greens,

Santiago. Whereas medieval pilgrims walked as penance for sins,

roasted chicken and tarta de Santiago, a delicious rustic almond

contemporary pilgrims are not always religious, but often speak

cake flavored with citrus. Tony entertained us with his tall tales.

of feeling “called” to make the journey. They carry their belong-

By the end of our meal, the rain had passed and we walked the wet

ings in backpacks and follow a series of yellow arrows that point

streets together, still laughing.

the way westward over worn paths—greeting each other with Buen Camino!

Rabé is a typical Camino village, with old stone buildings, a fountain in the square and a church looming over all. Elderly

I loved my days spent winding through the villages of the

nuns hold a nightly vespers service to bless the pilgrims passing

Basque country and the vineyards of Rioja. Haystacks towered in

through, and a man at the bar passes out medals of their patron

open fields and the dried faces of sunflowers stared out at me. Lo-

saint, Santa Maria de los Milagros, on white strings to tie around

cals met pilgrims at their gates to hand us bags of pears or turned

your neck. The albergue is known for its clean facilities and hos-

from their work to wave as we passed. I had dreamed of walking

pitality.

the Camino for years, and I was enchanted—finding peace in the

The night I stayed there it was being run singlehandedly by

simple act of putting one foot in front of the other, day after day.

the stalwart Clementina, who would feed us in shifts in the small

I also loved the pilgrim dinners.

dining room. I came downstairs early and stood in the kitchen

Most walkers stay in pilgrim hostels called albergues, with

doorway while Clementina prepared our meal. On the stove was

shared facilities, bunk beds and often a communal meal around a

a large skillet that she shook vigorously. She was making a tortilla

large table. At those meals, pilgrims from all over the world share

de patata, the classic Spanish tortilla that you find in every bar

stories and reflect on their journeys. The meals are never fancy,

and café across the country.

but they are always filling, multiple courses with big baskets of bread and bottles of wine. Spain is a country rich with culinary treasures—Ibérico ham,

“May I watch?” I asked in Spanish. She shrugged. It was clear that watching her make tortilla seemed as exotic to her as watching her sweep the floor. But I’d wanted to learn to cook this quint-

EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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43


essential dish since my first trip to Spain years earlier, and in my kitchen at home it never came out like I hoped.

People walk the Camino for many reasons, but in general, pilgrims come to believe that “the Camino will provide.” The beds

Patiently, she answered every question. How much potato? How

will be available, the right people will cross your path, a meal

many eggs? When do the onions go in? She shuffled between the

will come when you are hungry. Stripping back to the basics and

counter and the stove. Then without ceremony she picked up that

letting someone—or something—else take care of me was the les-

giant skillet, topped it with a platter, and with one swift heave,

son of my Camino. Trusting in the particular power of that trail

flipped the entire thing. The tortilla turned onto the platter and

led me to new friends, magical experiences and to Clementina’s

slid back into the pan in a matter of seconds. I almost applauded.

tortilla, the one I still imitate at home.

When dinnertime arrived, I joined fellow pilgrims from Ire-

After dinner, a group of us took a final stroll down the streets

land, Spain and Korea at the table. Wine glasses were filled, intro-

of Rabé. The plaza was alive, the fire ablaze and ready. By 9:30,

ductions made. We began our meal with a soup of garbanzos in

we pilgrims were back at the albergue, the doors closed for the

a golden broth. Next came a mixed salad of crisp lettuce, grated

night. The lights went out, and the feast went on without us.

carrot and tuna. Then Clementina placed two tortillas on the ta-

There would be time for paella in our future, but for now, we

ble. They were beautiful, light brown and garnished with bright

were tucked in our beds, saint’s medals tied around our necks, our

red pepper strips. A collective hush fell over the room. Then we

bellies full of the simple food that would fuel us through another

dug in, clearing every last bit before dessert.

day’s walk.

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SPANISH TORTILLA

AMERICANA CUISINE IN THE HEART OF AUSTIN

(INSPIRED BY CLEMENTINA) Serves 6 Since returning from the Camino, I make a tortilla nearly every week. Sometimes I shake it up—using sweet potatoes or tossing in an odd ingredient from my CSA basket, such as onion scapes. But mostly, I make a tortilla like the one I watched Clementina make in Rabé. The recipe is a bit impressionistic. Play with it and you’ll discover the version you like best. 2 c. olive oil 1½ lb. potatoes, thinly sliced (lower-starch potatoes like Yukon Gold are great, peeled or not) 1 medium onion, chopped 5–6 eggs, beaten Salt and pepper, to taste Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a medium skillet—ideally nonstick. Once the oil is hot, add the potatoes and cook them until tender, but not browned. Turn them a few times for even cooking. Remove the potatoes to a plate using a slotted spoon. Add the chopped onions to the oil and cook until softened and translucent. Put a fine-mesh strainer over a glass jar or bowl and pour the oil-onion mixture through the strainer—pressing excess oil from the onions. You can now store the olive oil in the refrigerator for your next tortilla. Add the onions and potatoes to the beaten eggs, sprinkle with salt and pepper, mix gently and pour the entire mixture back into the same lightly oiled skillet. Don’t be shy—move the tortilla around in the pan and lift the sides to let egg run under. Let it sit until it’s browned on the bottom but still soft and jiggly in the center, then take the pan off of the heat and cover it with a plate. Quickly invert the tortilla onto the plate, then slide it back into the pan, tucking any loose bits into the bottom. Cook 1 or 2 more minutes, then turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. Slide it onto a plate and eat it hot, room temperature or cold. If you want to be really Spanish about it, put a basket of crusty bread beside it and pour yourself a glass of tempranillo.

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WHAT I EAT AND WHY

THE PERFECT CHAPATI BY D EV YA N I B O RA D E

W

e’re gathered around the dinner table—three generations of women standing over steaming bowls of chicken curry and fluffy rice, vegetables and dals and tiny

pots filled to the brim with piquant chutneys, crispy pickles and savory sauces. But we don’t see any of this. Instead, all eyes are focused on the large conspicuous space in the center of the table where an empty plate resides, forlorn and cold. “So, you’re going to serve them hot off the pan?” asks my mother, gazing contemplatively at the empty plate. “Yes,” I say with a nod. “You’re sure you can make them fast enough for everyone?” asks one sister. “Of course.” “You’ll need help,” warns the other sister. “I’ll be fine,” I say, shaking my head. “Don’t burn them!” says my daughter with a giggle. Since time immemorial, chapati—a humbler, homelier version of the more cosmopolitan naan—has been a staple on dinner tables across India. Made from ground whole wheat flour, chapati is unleavened bread that’s eaten alongside every type of curry. The starchy chapati forms the main basis of the meal against auxiliary vegetables, fruits, meat, dairy and various condiments. The word

condensed milk; and in Trinidad, it’s beaten to resemble tattered

“chapati” comes from chappa, which means “flattened” in Tamil,

cloth and called buss-up-shut (a colloquialism for “busted-up

and attai or paathi, which means “husband’s food.” The bread is

shirt”). It’s no surprise that, in one style or another, such a versa-

also commonly known as roti, which is derived from the Sanskrit

tile food item has found its way onto the majority of world menus.

rotika, meaning bread.

The art of making good chapati depends on a lot of variables:

Chapati has enjoyed a long and glorious culinary history,

the quality of wheat flour and the quantity of water used; the

and over the course of several millennia, has been adapted and

amount of time the dough rests; the amount of dry flour used to

amended for many different palates. For example, when chapati is

dust the rolling surface; how the dough is rolled and the circular-

cooked in a stone oven or tandoor, it’s called tandoori roti. When

ity of the disc; the temperature of the pan and the presence (or

combined with one or more flours of ground chickpea, maize or

absence) of oil; how long each side of the chapati is cooked; and

millet, it’s called missi roti. Chapatis made with pearl millet (ba-

the technique used to flip the chapati onto and off of the pan. Even

jra), maize (makka) or white millet (jowar) flour usually carry

for a confident chef, it can take years of practice to get it right.

the name of the flour, as in bajra roti. A layered and fried avatar

Another essential is the combination of rolling pin and rolling

of chapati is called paratha and may have a filling such as spin-

board—though in most cases, you can do without a rolling board

ach, fenugreek, radish, onion or potato and peas. And a chapati

if your kitchen countertop is smooth and clutter-free. Rolling pins

made incredibly thin and delicate like a handkerchief, or rumaal,

come in various sizes and designs—I use one made from solid

is called a rumaali roti. In other countries, relatives of chapati are

wood that’s buffed to a fine finish. Its streamlined shape spreads

the Mexican tortilla, the Arabic khubz, the French crepe, the Jew-

the dough evenly along the length of the pin with just the slight-

ish matzo, the Turkish yufka and the first-cousin-twice-removed

est bit of pressure—creating a chapati that’s uniformly flat all

Italian pizza. In the West Indies, roti is filled with chicken, shrimp

over instead of thick and thin in places.

and lentils; in Indonesia, it’s fried with an egg or drizzled with 46

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When cooking chapati, the pan must be absolutely hot and


smoking (a cold pan will make the chapati hard and rubbery and

eat well.

too difficult to chew), and a spot of oil goes a long way in keeping the pan greasy and nonstick. Once you’ve rolled the chapati into a circle, pinch up an end, quickly lift the whole disc so as to not break or fold it, and place it on the flat of your palm. Turn it over

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so that it spreads across the surface without breaking or folding. After a few seconds, the chapati will become toasted on one side and can be flipped. Presentation is important: Chapati is served either folded in two halves or torn into quarters that are piled neatly on top of one another. If the pile appears lopsided or contains different sizes and shapes, it indicates the chef ’s sloppiness and laziness.

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To eat, shred the chapati by hand and pinch each piece between your forefinger and thumb to form a small spoon with which to scoop up a bit of curry. You can then dip it into yogurt, sauce, chutneys or pickles, or top it with a sliver of crispy raw onion before popping into your mouth. In fact, the only way I’ve never seen chapati eaten is with a knife and fork. Perhaps that day isn’t far off, though. Meanwhile, the world’s love affair with chapati continues strong. As for our family dinner that evening, filling the glaring hole

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SPINACH CHAPATI

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Makes 6 This is a tasty and popular vegetarian version of the chapati in many parts of India. It will appeal to all palates, it is simple and healthy and all ingredients are readily available. 2 c. spinach leaves 1½ c. (approx. 350 grams) whole-wheat flour ½ t. salt ½ t. red chili powder (optional) ¼ t. turmeric powder (optional) Pinch sesame seeds (optional) Water 1 t. olive oil (or any cooking oil) per chapati Wash and steam the spinach leaves for 5 minutes until soft and then puree in a blender to form a smooth paste. In a large bowl, mix the spinach paste with the flour and add the other ingredients. Add water only if necessary (usually the spinach paste is enough to hold the flour together). Knead into a firm-but-soft, smooth dough. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes, then divide into plum-size balls and roll out into chapatis. On a tava (any flat griddle or skillet will work), heat the olive oil and spread it evenly over the surface. Place the chapati onto the pan without creases or folds, and cook until the top layer looks slightly hardened and darkened in color. Flip over and cook the other side evenly. If the dough has been kneaded well and rolled out evenly, the chapati may puff up. Serve hot with curry. As an alternative to spinach, try pureed cauliflower or broccoli, very finely grated carrots or radishes, finely chopped fenugreek leaves or even mashed potatoes to make a variety of colorful, tasty and healthy chapatis. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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COOKING FRESH

G’RAJ MAHAL BY E L I Z A B E T H W I N S LOW • P H OTO G RA P H Y BY K AT E L ESU EU R


O

n first glance, you might not peg blonde, bright-eyed Sidney

and a fondness for pork, from the region’s Catholic colonialists. He

Roberts as a neighborhood pusher, but you might notice her

was already armed with his mother’s recipes and an authentic palate,

knowing smile as she watches customers rapturously inhale

while Roberts mixed up signature spice blends and tested updated

food at her G’Raj Mahal Café and Lounge. “That’s the crack we put

recipes for favorites such as hand-rolled, flaky samosas, chicken tikka

in the food,” she says in a deadpan way. Even though she’s kidding,

and rogan josh, as well as hard-to-find Goan specialties like sorpotel

it’s not too much of a stretch to assume there must be something

(a tangy, fragrant pork chili) and pan-sautéed rechaad masala (an ar-

habit-forming in the inspired dishes dreamed up by Roberts, a native

omatic red chili with seafood and hints of cinnamon and clove).

Austinite, and brought to life by her Indian-born husband and chef

Roberts made the move to Austin first—her son Oscar working tire-

Anthony Fernandes—because there is. The “crack” Roberts push-

lessly alongside to help get the trailer prepared. Her daughter Em-

es is in the form of expertly created spice blends, meticulously re-

erald stayed behind in Minnesota to train with Fernandes before the

searched and adjusted until perfect.

G’Raj Mahal team converged back in Texas for the opening.

“I’ve always been interested in healthy food and global flavors,”

Every ingredient that comes out of G’Raj Mahal’s kitchen is made

Roberts says. In early adulthood, she followed a stint at a local ca-

from scratch—including the yogurt, chutneys, breads and desserts.

tering company with travel—letting her nose carry her to stages and

Roberts has always relied on high-quality, fresh ingredients, and works

internships across the country. She landed first at Table of Contents,

with many local farmers and ranchers, including Johnson’s Backyard

a lauded conscious-cuisine restaurant in St. Paul, Minnesota, then fi-

Garden and IO Ranch. “Farm-to-table is not a ‘thing’ in India,” Roberts

nally at Bistro de Sole in nearby Wayzata, where she met and worked

explains. “It’s just what you do to get great ingredients. When my hus-

with Fernandes—piecing together a menu inspired by the cuisines

band was growing up, my mother-in-law knew where to get the best

of Provence, Tuscany and the Mediterranean Riviera. “We were both

eggs, the best seafood and the best meat and vegetables. That under-

someplace we weren’t supposed to be,” she says with a laugh. “It

standing of quality is what we’re committed to here, too.”

was cold and dreary, and here were two people from sunny, laid-

Clearly, it’s that quality that keeps customers coming back. In

back, happy places—Texas and India—slogging along.” The couple

2013, G’Raj Mahal moved from the original trailer to a new lively,

set their sights on a move to Austin, intent on opening an Indian

offbeat brick-and-mortar space down the road, where customers can

trailer/restaurant with lighter, brighter flavors than those found in

enjoy their favorite dishes outside on the breezy patio, indoors in

the typical Indian buffet fare.

the shimmering dining room or out back in the exotic, fabric-draped

Fernandes hails from Goa, where the cuisine is influenced by its

lounge. “We want people to feel at home here,” Roberts says. “Be-

proximity to the Arabian Sea; its history as a Portuguese colony with

cause no matter how good the food is, it’s really about how you make

heavy use of pineapple, tomato and chilies brought by the Europeans;

people feel. We want people to feel like family.”

CHICKEN ROGAN JOSH Serves 4 1 chicken, quartered 3 c. plain yogurt, divided 1 T. plus 1 t. turmeric, divided 2 T. ghee or vegetable oil 3 c. finely chopped onion 2 t. minced garlic

1 T. ground cumin 1 T. ground coriander 3 c. chicken stock 1 cinnamon stick 3 small dried red peppers 3 curry leaves

Combine 2 cups of the yogurt with 1 tablespoon of turmeric and pour over the chicken pieces. Use your hands to make sure the chicken is well coated, then place in a zip-close bag and marinate overnight. Heat a braising pan over medium heat and add the ghee or vegetable oil. When it shimmers, add the onion, garlic, cumin and coriander and sauté until the onion begins to brown. Remove the chicken from the marinade and scrape off as much of the yogurt mixture as possible. Add the chicken to the braising pan, cover and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over, replace the lid and continue cooking for another 20 minutes. Add the chicken stock, cinnamon stick, dried red peppers and curry leaves. Cover again and simmer on very low heat for 1 hour. Remove from the heat and, in a separate bowl, mix 2 cups of the chicken cooking liquid with the remaining cup of yogurt and teaspoon of turmeric and pour over the chicken. Cover to keep warm and serve. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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POTATO SAMOSAS Makes 12–14 samosas For the filling: 4 russet potatoes, peeled and boiled until very tender 1 T. ghee or vegetable oil 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped ½ t. ground cumin ½ t. ground coriander 1 T. grated ginger Pinch of cayenne, to taste 1 t. ground turmeric Salt, to taste ½ c. frozen peas, thawed under cool running water and drained 4–5 c. safflower oil for frying Drain the potatoes well and place them into a medium mixing bowl. Mash roughly with a fork and set aside. Heat the ghee or vegetable oil in a large skillet and add the onion. Sauté the onion briefly, then add the cumin, coriander, ginger and cayenne. Sauté for 1 minute, then add the turmeric and continue cooking for 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Add to the potatoes, season to taste with salt and mix thoroughly. Add the peas and combine. Important: Let the filling cool completely before forming the samosas. For the dough: 3 c. all-purpose flour 1 T. oil ¼ t. salt ½ c. water

GREEN CHUTNEY 1 c. mint leaves 1 c. cilantro leaves and stems ¼ c. chopped onion 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped 1 t. sugar ¼ c. rice vinegar ½ t. salt ¼ t. ground cumin ¼ t. ground coriander Place the mint, cilantro, onion, jalapeño, sugar, vinegar and salt in a blender and blend on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and blend for 15 seconds longer. Add the cumin and coriander and let sit for several hours before using.

Place the flour, oil and salt in a mixing bowl and use your hands to mix until the dough is completely incorporated. Slowly add water until dough is pliable but not sticky. (This is supposed to be a dry dough; too much moisture will make the samosas soggy.) Form the dough into 2-inch balls, and keep them covered with a damp kitchen towel as you’re forming them into balls so that they don’t dry out. Roll each ball into a 6-inch oval and stack with just a sprinkle of flour between them to keep them from sticking, again keeping them covered. When they are all rolled out, cut the entire stack in half to make half-oval sheets and cover until ready to fill. To form the samosas, take one half-oval of dough—holding the flat edge up. Brush the upper inch with water, then create a well by folding one corner over the other and gently sealing the edges together in a cone shape with a “hooded shawl.” Turn over so that the point is at the bottom and fill the well with the potato mixture, packing it in tightly. Wet the round edge of the dough and lay over the filled well. Press the edges until completely sealed. Heat 4 to 5 cups of safflower oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet (test with a pinch of flour, which should brown in seconds and not burn) and using a metal slotted-spoon, carefully place no more than 2 samosas in the oil. Fry each side until golden, then remove and drain on paper towels. Serve warm with green chutney.

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INDIAN BEIGNETS Makes 16 2–2½ c. all-purpose flour ¼ c. yogurt ½ c. water 1 T. ghee or butter 1 t. baking powder 4 c. powdered sugar ½ t. cinnamon ½ t. cardamom Pinch of ground cloves 4–5 c. safflower oil for frying

ALOO TIKKI (POTATO DUMPLINGS) Makes 8; serves 4 as an appetizer For the filling: ¼ c. vegetable oil or ghee 1 red onion, finely chopped 1 t. ground cumin 1 t. ground coriander 1 lb. ground lamb 1 /8 t. ground cloves 1 /8 t. cayenne 1 /8 t. black pepper 1 t. grated ginger 1 T. minced garlic Salt to taste

Place the flour, yogurt, water, ghee and baking powder in a large mixing bowl and combine with your hands until a smooth, but not sticky, dough forms. Roll into 3-inch balls and flatten to ¼-inch-thick with a rolling pin. Set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together the powdered sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves, then set aside. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cut each dough disc into quarters and fry until golden. Drain briefly, place on serving plate and sift the spiced sugar on top. Serve immediately.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil or ghee for 1 minute. Add the red onion, cumin and coriander and sauté until onion is translucent. Add lamb and cook until the meat begins to brown, mixing continuously until it’s evenly cooked and has a fine texture. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the cloves, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, garlic and salt to taste, and continue cooking for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. Important: Let the filling cool completely before forming the dumplings. For the tikki shells: 2 large russet potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed 1 T. potato starch 1 t. salt, to taste 4–5 c. safflower oil for frying Combine the mashed potatoes with the starch and salt and set aside. Form ½ cup of the potato mixture into an oval ball and depress a cavity in its length to form a “cradle,” then fill the cradle ¾ full with the lamb mixture and seal the long edges together. Continue until you have used all of the potato mixture. Heat the safflower on medium-high heat in a large skillet and fry each tikki separately—gently rolling it to cook evenly. As each cooks, remove and place on paper towels to drain. Serve at room temperature with the green chutney. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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PEOPLE

DISHING SECRETS BY M EG A N G I L L E R • P H OTO G RA P H Y BY M E L A N I E G R I Z Z E L

W

hen Nikki Kaya was a teenager in Turkey, she didn’t want to go with her parents to their party on New Year’s Eve. And since they wouldn’t let her hang out with her

friends, she opted for her grandmother’s house. Why? The hummus, of course. Kaya says that on every holiday, Grandma Lale would cover her big wooden table with bowls of hummus, as well as fava bean spread, olives, feta cheese, lamb, rice, yogurt dip, baba ghanoush, pinto-bean salad and sweets. But it was the hummus that kept Kaya coming back. “On one hand, I thought about my friends having so much fun,” she says, “but on the other, there was that hummus!” Sitting in the kitchen, Kaya would watch her grandma closely as she made the dip. “She’d actually peel the garbanzo beans by hand!” Kaya remembers. Eventually, she learned the recipe from watching her grandmother make it so many times. Years later, in 2004, Kaya graduated from college in Turkey as a chemical engineer and moved to Texas. She quickly discovered that she didn’t like working with toxic chemicals, and she found a job at a catering company. After working her way up from accountant to manager, she realized she loved customer service and food, and took the leap and enrolled in culinary school. Eventually, she ventured out from catering companies to start her own business. “It was supposed to be a catering company,” Kaya says with a laugh. She started at the farmers market with all sorts of Turkish spreads, dips and goodies, but one thing kept standing out. “People would try the hummus and they couldn’t get over it!” she says. “Like…where is the hummus lady? Where is the hummus lady?” When customers started specifically requesting her hummus at local stores, Kaya knew she had a winner. What makes the dip so addictive? Well, it’s smooth and creamy, but it’s also thick. Then there’s that pool of rich olive oil in the center. “That was all her,” Kaya says, referring to Grandma Lale. “She would make the oil spicy to give it a kick.” Even as a small child, Kaya liked the way it burned the back of her throat, and she set about trying to recreate that on a commercial scale in her new product. And when she told the Sustainable Food Center’s Farmers’ Market Director Suzanne Santos about the history of the recipe, Santos exclaimed, “Well, you have to call it ‘Grandma’s Hummus’!” Now the treasure had an official name.

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Kaya’s family has long been in the restaurant and food world. Back in Izmit, Turkey, her grandfather owned a restaurant, but he wanted to open a sweets shop in Istanbul. The family moved, and Kaya was born and raised in Istanbul. She remembers working the register at the sweets shop as a kid and eating the Damascus-style treats (the family was originally from Damascus). After her grandfather passed away, her grandmother ran the shop. “She used to make this one sweet,” Kaya remembers. “It looked like a basket. She would make the dough and use a basket to give it that weaved texture, and then she would fry it up. It was delicious.” Kaya is describing a traditional Turkish sweet, but hummus, on the other hand, isn’t very Turkish at all. So where did the famous recipe come from? Grandma Lale grew up in Izmit, and, like most Turkish people, wasn’t very familiar with the chickpea-based dip. But when her in-laws from Damascus came to live with them in the 1940s, she wanted to make them something they would like. She came up with a recipe—but when she served the dip, her mother-in-law exclaimed, “This is terrible hummus!” She showed Grandma Lale how to make Damascus-style hummus and the rest, as they say, is history. Currently, Grandma’s Hummus can be found at local stores such as Whole Foods Market, Royal Blue Grocery, Wheatsville Food Co-op, in.gredients and H-E-B (as well as in over two dozen cities in Texas). And though the dip is a constant staple in many households, we wondered if Kaya would be willing to share the recipe…you know…just for kicks. Let’s put it this way: Kaya’s own mother—who never learned to make the hummus from Grandma Lale—asked for it and, without hesitation, Kaya said, No way. Apparently, it will stay her legacy as well as her guarded secret.

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PASSPORT to local

ISLAND INFUSIONS

Photography by Craig Fujii

BY R E B ECCA P E RSO N S

The Pig & The Lady’s Farmers Pho, left and top, with fresh hand cut noodles, pickled radish, bean sprout namul, pickled shiitake, sprouting seed kimchi, fried okra, blistered grape tomato, house black garlic, tamarind tan tan tsuyu, and bottom right: Char Siu Pork Belly with red eye gravy, watercress stem, pomegranate.


W

aves flow rhythmically against sand that’s as soft and fine as flour and crash against ancient lava rocks while a ukulele gently

strums in harmony. I’ve spent the last five months living in Hawaii, and it’s time to go home. But during these final days, I’m soaking up as much of the sights, sounds and secrets this lovely land has to offer—and a big part of that is the food. In Hawaii, as in other regions of the country, many dishes and cooking techniques have been bequeathed from generation to generation. Much of Hawaii’s signature cuisine has developed from a blending of indigenous and nonindigenous cultures—particularly the cultures of those coming here to settle from Southeast

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Asia. But whether a meal is considered traditional island fare or cultural fusion, Hawaiian food is infused with a distinct and proud heritage that reverberates strongly on these islands. Huli Huli chicken is a good example. “Huli” literalGet the App BASTROPTX

ly means “turn” in Hawaiian, and the recipe for this spit-roasted, flavorful chicken is considered one of the oldest in Hawaiian culture. Mike’s Huli Huli Chicken – trailer in the Ko‘olau Mountains in Kane‘ohe on the

island of O‘ahu is continuing the tradition. Owner Mike Fuse roasts his chickens on a giant spit filled with fragrant kiawe wood—introduced to Hawaii in the 1800s and now growing abundantly—which imparts a characteristically sweet, mesquite-like flavor to the meat.

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Frequent rotation of the chickens while in the smoky cloud is critical (hence the name of the recipe), as is frequent basting with the tangy, sweet, aromatic and gingery sauce. The Pig & The Lady is another example of strong culinary tradition on the islands. I stumbled on the pop-up stand a few years ago while wandering aimlessly around a farmers market on the island of O‘ahu. When it began to rain, many of us, including the wild chickens underfoot, sought shelter under some huge banyan trees. While waiting for the rain to subside, I became mesmerized by the steam rising from giant vats at the nearby stand, and the heady aroma of ginger and lemongrass hanging in heavy clouds all around

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us. The vats held soups prepared from family recipes at The Pig & The Lady stand, and they’ve become so beloved, that the owners have since opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Owner and chef Andrew Le says the restaurant project has been a very personal experience for him. “It’s considered a member of the family,” says Le. Ending up in Hawaii was unexpected for the Le family. In 1975, Le’s Vietnamese parents escaped the fall of Saigon while his mother was nine months pregnant. On their flight to a refugee camp in Arkansas, her water broke, requiring an emergency landing in Honolulu where she gave birth to Le’s older brother. The family never left. Le went on to become a classically trained chef, and he says the pop-up restaurant (founded in 2011), which offers many of his mother’s traditional Vietnamese recipes, was supposed to be a temporary project. Its success, though, led to expansion and a full-time, family-run business. Le considers all of it as a tribute to his mom, who’s affectionately referred to by customers as “Mama Le.” “Mom was a great cook and always wanted a restaurant,” says Le. “This is my gift to her. She still comes in every day and tastes soups.” Their Canh Chua Chay soup is good for all seasons, but especially perfect for crisp weather in the fall and winter. The broth is rich with mushrooms, okra, crispy-skinned tofu, tomatoes, tamarind, bean sprouts and bamboo shoots, and the fusion is completed with the addition of chunks of fresh, local pineapple. This hearty soup drowns a pile of rice noodles and requires chopsticks, a spoon and lots of slurping. Also popular is the stewed beef bone marrow soup. Prepared in the traditional Vietnamese style, the soup is made from blanched bones that have been stewed for eight to 10 hours. Ginger, onions, fish sauce, raw sugar and spices are added—turning the tenTop left and above: The Pig & The Lady’s Chips and Dip—potato

don into a rich, gelatinous protein that is good to soak up with the

skins, horseradish creme fraiche, ikura (photo by Craig Fujii) and

baguette served alongside it. The end result is a light but flavorful

their curries, soup, and noodle bowls lined up at the Kapi‘olani

dish served in a huge bowl with large bones steeping in their glory.

Community College Farmer’s Market. Top right: Mike Fuse roast-

Another authentic dish is a whole roasted Shinsato Farm pig head

ing chickens on a giant spit over kiawe wood at his trailer, Mike’s

that must be ordered 24 hours in advance. Once the head is roast-

Huli Huli Chicken.

ed, lemongrass, ginger and coconut water are added, and the dish

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is served with condiments such as raw oysters, house pickles, fried shallots, turmeric rice, house tortillas and papaya salad. “Every great restaurant chef uses a combination of all their experiences and influences. I fall back on memories or things that I crave when creating a dish, and it’s what ends up on the menu or on a plate,” Le says. Soup from The Pig & The Lady and Huli Huli chicken are just two of the hundreds of things I’ll miss about living in Hawaii. As I make my way to the North Shore and drive down Kamehameha Highway, the sun shines across colossal mountain walls that look like pleated curtains from the hundreds of waterfalls that pour down each crevice after a rainfall. Rainbows are everywhere—creating full arcs across the sky. It almost seems cliché. I think about the subtle cultural differences I’ve come to love here: You don’t shake someone’s hand when you meet them—you hug; Li hing mui—a fruity, sweet-and-sour plum powder popular in China— lines the rims of margarita glasses in lieu of salt; and chickens and cats live peacefully together, analogous to how everyone seems to live on these islands…like family.

CANH CHUA CHAY NOODLE SOUP Serves 4–6 1 14-oz. package firm tofu 2 T. coconut oil, divided 1 onion, roughly chopped 5 garlic cloves, minced 1 lb. okra, the smaller the better, stems trimmed 1–2 c. hon-shimeji mushrooms (or a favorite variety) 1 c. chopped bamboo shoots 4–5 fresh Thai chilies, left whole but with a slit cut into them 3 lemongrass stalks, bruised with the back of a knife 1–2 T. tamarind paste, to taste 1 package rice noodles 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes 2–3 c. chunked fresh pineapple 1 c. bean sprouts Salt and pepper, to taste Cilantro, to taste Thai basil, to taste Lime juice, to taste To crisp the tofu, cut it into 1-inch-thick rectangles and salt both sides. Wait about 10 minutes, then pat dry. Heat 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the tofu, then turn the heat to low. Cook the tofu on each side until golden, then remove to a paper towel. Meanwhile, heat the other tablespoon of coconut oil in a large soup pot and sauté the onion for a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1½ quarts of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the okra, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, Thai chilies, lemongrass and tamarind. In a separate pot, cook the rice noodles per instructions and rinse with cold water when finished. As the okra becomes close to tender (around 10 minutes), add the crushed tomatoes, pineapple, bean sprouts and tofu. Let simmer for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. To serve, lay a bed of noodles in a bowl and cover with the soup broth, garnishing with cilantro, Thai basil and lime juice.

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TRAVEL 2015

57


PASSPORT to local

PENANG’S CULINARY TRADITIONS BY K AT FAT L A N D

F

or food lovers like myself, Penang is a heaven on Earth, a

plates in, I can only use superlatives to describe my affection.

prandial theme park. It took me approximately three meals

Now, like almost every Penangite I know, I, too, feel the surge of

after my arrival here to acknowledge, quietly and to my-

anger rise in my throat when somebody tries to tell me that the

self at first, that this little island off the coast of Malaysia prob-

char kuey teow (noodles fried in chili paste with bean sprouts, egg

ably offers the greatest food in Southeast Asia. Ten meals later,

and prawns) stall they frequent is better than mine. And I have

and a little more vocally, I announced that Penang’s food topped

come to fully understand the area’s ubiquitous greeting of “Sudah

my personal list of worldly culinary delights. And hundreds of

makan?” (“Have you eaten?”)

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Here in Penang, the best of the street-food hawkers are looked

well before my home country even came into being. Whereas a

upon as royalty—brilliant alchemists who have found the per-

landlocked country’s traditional meals might historically rely on

fect blend of flavors to satisfy our appetites’ most mysterious

local ingredients and traditions, Penang’s early status as an im-

desires. From the plates of rich noodles to the heady slices of

portant shipping hub resulted in an influx of migrant traders and

roast duck heaped atop savory rice, culinary diversity abounds

workers from all around the region, who brought with them the

on every street corner. And though the street fare is truly fast

cuisine preferences of their respective homelands. The Hokkiens

food—hawkers deftly flip chapatis (toasted discs of unleavened

from China’s Fujian province, for example, brought their tradition

bread) like spinning plates, rapidly fry spice pastes in woks and

of pickling and drying foods, which began as a means to stave

snugly wrap rice and curry into a bright green banana leaf with

off famines—a legacy that explains the countless pickled fruit

intense precision—eating here is a revered event, a celebration

stalls still found in and around Penang’s Chowrasta Market. And

of a monumental coming together that’s deeply felt, and a keen

with their home province being China’s largest bamboo-growing

insight into Penang’s vibrant past.

region, Hokkiens also brought with them bamboo shoots, which

Having come to Penang from the Midwestern plains of the

were once featured in traditional poh piah rolls (thin crepes filled

United States, I was fairly unfamiliar with the idea of any sort of

with julienned vegetables and pork belly) but have since been re-

culinary tradition. Where I’m from, food tradition begins and ends

placed with grated turnip or jicama.

with meat and potatoes, with the occasional casserole thrown in

A large influx of South Indian migrants from Tamil Nadu—

for good measure. On a larger scale, given the U.S.’s relatively

referred to historically as the Chulias—introduced dal (lentils)

young age and its general gravitation toward all things new, our

and curry leaves into the mix, and brought the very first mamak

traditions seem to change with every generation. Cooking only

stalls to the streets of Penang’s George Town (“mamak”means

with available resources was eventually replaced with cooking

“uncle” in Tamil). And it’s rumored that one of these South In-

what was convenient—all the better if it was microwaveable. It

dian food sellers on Chulia Street “pulled” Penang’s first, and

was hard for me to conceive of food as providing any perspective

now famous, teh tarik (literally, “stretched tea,” a milk tea with

on history, let alone playing a major part.

bubbles).

But unlike my hometown, Penang’s culinary heritage is as rich

A large portion of the later wave of Hainanese migrants from

and colorful as the famed 19th-century shop houses that line its

China worked as cooks and domestic servants to the British. These

streets. The island’s unique flavors began to morph and merge

migrants brought their own culinary heritage and blended it with EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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59


the Brits’ to create truly unique fusion-fare, such as the Hainanese chicken puff, a sort of samosa featuring Hainanese spices and British puff pastry. Ingredients available in the rural kampungs, or villages, of Penang’s Malay population also played a prominent role in the island’s eventual culinary blend. And the abundance of regional paddy fields lined with coconut palms in Penang provided communities with the two main ingredients for one of the most beloved fares, nasi lemak (rice boiled with rich coconut milk, garnished with peanuts or dried anchovies, and topped with sambal, a condiment made from ground chilis, shrimp paste and lime). Over time, this diverse mixture of migrants, traditions and ingredients has harmoniously melded into the beloved and unique dishes currently available on the streets of Penang. Mamaks now sell mee goreng and mee rebus (fried noodles and boiled noodles, respectively) made with distinctively Hokkien or Chinese ingredients such as tofu and bean sprouts. And the rich sauce that covers mee rebus is made intricate with the Malay flavor of assam (tamarind), the Hokkien flavor of dried shrimp and the traditional Indian ingredient of boiled potatoes. This centuries-long merging of tastes is not only a deliciously tangible representation of Penang’s proud and varied heritage, but an intimate part of the Penang identity—one that tells a history as varied and complex as the sambal that sits atop their favorite rice dish.

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PASSPORT to local

THE GELATO WORLD TOUR BY M A RY STA N L EY

Left: The IFI case, called the tonda, is foot pedal-operated and the gelato spins around for the server to select the correct flavor. Tèo Espresso and Gelato shared a case with a team from Spain. Tèo’s is the one with the pecans on top and theirs was a play on a Napoleon—puff pastry with cream flavored gelato. Opposite page: Matthew Lee.

I

n January 2006, I attended SIGEP (Salone Internazionale Gelat-

are really the frontline ambassadors for gelato. The group called the

eria Pasticceria e Panificazione Artigianali) in Rimini, Italy. This

new competition the Gelato World Tour, and each company in the

is arguably the premiere international fair for all things pastry,

consortium provided a necessary component for the contest.

bread, pasta and pizza; however, six football-field-size halls are dedi-

The new competition was divided into stages that were held all

cated to only gelato. I fell head over heels in love with this softer, more

over the world—beginning first in Rome, Italy, then moving to Spain,

intense cousin of ice cream. I learned everything I could, eventually

Australia, Dubai, Brazil, China, the U.S. and Germany, ending with

bought my own equipment, opened my own gelateria in Brownwood,

the grand finale in Rimini, Italy. Each stage was held in large, outdoor

Texas, and began the task of perfecting my new obsession.

tent-laboratories in local parks, where 16 participating teams from

Early in 2013, a consortium made up of SIGEP organizers and rep-

that particular region would prepare their best gelato—first for the

resentatives from Carpigiani (a gelato machine manufacturer), MEC3

public and then for the judges. Enough equipment was provided at

(a gelato flavoring manufacturer) and IFI (a gelato case and bar man-

each stage to enable the teams to produce gelato for crowds of up to

ufacturer) spun the idea that there should be a sort of Olympics of

30,000 to 70,000 enthusiasts. The top three competitors chosen at

gelato. There were already competitions for professional pastry chefs,

each stage were invited to compete in the grand finale. This entire

chocolatiers and gelato masters, but none that challenged and reward-

theatrical and complicated production facility was set up, broken

ed the small, locally owned gelato shops and their proprietors, who

down and transported seven times across the globe—taking two

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months between each relocation—

that the texture and freezing point

an heroic feat.

would fall within industry stan-

The North American stage was

dards while still focusing on taste.

held in Austin in May 2014. Months

It couldn’t be too sweet because un-

before, invitations and applica-

like Texans, the rest of world tends

tions were sent to gelaterias across

to not be quite as fond of sugar. In

Canada and the United States. My

addition, the alcohol taste couldn’t

little Brownwood gelateria was

be too overwhelming and the pe-

chosen to be one of the 16 com-

cans had to be just the right size

petitors, as was Tèo Espresso and

and remain crunchy for a pleasant

Gelato, which would become Aus-

mouthfeel. All of these components

tin’s hometown favorite and place

had to be exactly right.

third. A Canadian won first place

Once a recipe has been devel-

and an Italian-based gelateria in

oped, it’s relatively easy to repro-

Miami won second. Of the 26 gela-

duce in your own gelateria. But in

teria owners eventually chosen to

Rimini, the team would be using un-

compete in the grand finale, Mat-

familiar equipment, not to mention

thew Lee, owner of Tèo Espresso

milk and cream with different fat

and Gelato, was the only U.S. citi-

and solid contents. During the Aus-

zen. Even though I didn’t win, Lee

tin stage, gelato makers experienced

asked me to be on his team at the

power outages, sun burning through

grand finale and I happily agreed.

glass cases at temperatures over 100 degrees, wind and rain. Freezer and

Of course, preparing for any food competition is challenging because the way people choose a best fla-

display cases failed. There was no way to anticipate what physical

vor is subjective and dependent on a few things. The number of taste

disasters might happen in Italy. To top it all off, delays in pecan ship-

buds varies from person to person, for example, and can sway an opin-

ments added to the team’s anxiety—so much so that each of us carried

ion. Those with more taste buds are referred to by scientists as “su-

the legal limit of pecans in our suitcases as part of our plan B.

pertasters” and are often highly sensitive to tart and bitter flavors. The

The Gelato World Tour is literally tons of work, with 26 gelato

opposites are known as “nontasters,” and then there are those who fall

makers producing 14,330 pounds of gelato and serving more than

somewhere in between. (My customers tend to fall into two camps:

70,000 cups and mini-cones during three days of the finale. Makers

the creamy nut and chocolate lovers and the tart and fruity lovers.)

started work at 8 a.m., then fell exhausted into bed at 2 a.m.—four

In addition, a person’s culture and tradition comes into play. A 2013

days in a row. The longest hour, of course, was the hour of judging.

study published in the “Food Quality and Preference” journal found

Sample boxes of each gelato were collected, then each contestant was

that more than 70 percent of German children preferred biscuits with

called to the stage to present an introduction to the gelato followed by

added fat compared to only 35 percent of the children from Cyprus.

questions from the judges. These questions had the ability to sabotage

Conversely, the majority of the German children preferred plain apple

a gelato maker’s chances. The rose-flavor gelato maker, for example,

juice while the Swedish, Italian and Hungarian children opted for the

couldn’t tell the judges the correct way rose water is made. At this

version with added sugar or flavors.

point, the judges were looking for any technical weakness to eliminate

All of these things were on Lee’s mind as he prepared for the

contestants. It was nearly 1 a.m. when the announcement was made.

grand finale. He’d won the North American stage with his best-sell-

First place went to “Mandorla Affogato” (or, “Drowned Almond”)

ing flavor “Nuts”—a mixture of Nutella and peanut butter—but

by John and Sam Crowl (Cow & the Moon, Sydney, Australia); sec-

would it be the right choice for international tastes? It’s common

ond place went to “Grumpy’s Heart” by Francesco Mastroianni (Il

knowledge that Italians, in general, are not fond of peanut butter,

Cantagalli, Lamezia Terme, Italy); and third place went to “Hazelnut

but Europeans tend to love hazelnuts and pistachios. Lee chose pe-

Heart” by Alessandro Lancierini (Gelateria Fiore, Suzzara, Italy).

cans as a good replacement and to promote Texas pecans. He next

Afterward, blogger and gelato judge, Bree May, posted this: “I had

considered what flavors typically accompany pecan, and bourbon

two very clear standouts. I honestly couldn’t decide, so I awarded

came to mind. Since American bourbon is considered luxurious

them both equal points as my joint number one’s. Cow & the Moon’s

and rare in Europe, combining toasted, salted pecans in a bour-

unbelievable ‘Mandorla Affogato,’ and a gelataria from Austin called

bon-laced vanilla base swirled with bourbon caramel seemed like

Tèo, who served their seriously amazing ‘Texas Pecan Pie laced with

an outstanding and uniquely American combination. But would it

Bourbon Whiskey.’ The latter deserving a massive high-five because

be just a little too American to win?

it was interesting, delicious, well balanced and a gelato I’d be happy

But there were even more challenges. Because alcohol is an antifreezing agent, anytime it’s added to gelato it disrupts the final freezing temperature. Lee’s recipe had to be tested and retested so

to eat again and again….” This review, among others, and the happy faces of the people as they tasted our gelato, made us feel like winners. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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DEPARTMENT OF ORGANIC YOUTH

OF WAR AND WALES BY A R D E N EG E RTO N

I

magine a beautiful land with mountains and not many roads,

the vegetables for their village. Nana told me, “Our mothers felt

with a magical feel. You’re in Wales, a small country in the

sorry for them, as they were young—often only seventeen. Our

United Kingdom. My grandparents, Judith and John Egerton,

mums would cook Welsh cakes and bring them to the POWs in

whom I call “Nana” and “Poppa John,” grew up in Wales at the

the fields.” Welsh cakes are small, warm, sweet biscuits with rai-

end of World War II. Nana was from a little village called Panteg

sins in them and sugar sprinkled on top. When Nana cooks them

in the countryside of South Wales. Poppa John grew up in a small,

for me now, the whole house smells delicious.

secluded village in Mid Wales.

Each house in Wales only had one pot, because they had to

During World War II, when Nana was a little girl, ships in the

give all the other iron pots and pans to the war effort to make air-

harbors near Panteg were bombed by German airplanes. When

planes. On Wednesdays, the butcher would come to their village in

the sirens blared, they had to run over to their neighbor’s house

a horse-drawn cart. They didn’t have much meat. The ladies would

and hide under a big metal table, which was called an air raid

go down to the village center and the butcher would sell them

shelter. Since they weren’t allowed lights, because the Germans

bones (mostly from lambs) with bits of meat on them. Nana’s mum

might spot them, Nana and her mum and dad would play games

would put the bones in the pot with water and the onions, carrots

in the dark in the shelter.

and cabbage that were grown by the POWs. This would boil all day

There wasn’t a lot of food because of the war. Food was ra-

and become a Welsh stew called cawl. Nana remembers eating it as

tioned and they rarely had any treats. There were German pris-

a child. “We’d serve it with thick slices of bread called ‘doorsteps,’”

oners of war (POWs) who were captured by the U.K. and kept

she says. “You’d dip your doorstep in the liquid that the bones had

near Nana’s house. The POWs worked in the fields and grew all

been simmering in all day and eat that.”

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Nana also shared this story with me about what it was like growing up under World War II rationing: When she was a young

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girl, she went with her family to vacation in Bournemouth, in the south of England. They stayed at a seaside bed-and-breakfast. The woman who owned it felt so sorry that Nana had only ever had

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powdered eggs and had never eaten strawberries that every day

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she’d give Nana a real, fresh egg for breakfast and strawberries for tea. But Nana got hives all over because she’d never had them before—her body was allergic! When Poppa John remembers his childhood in Wales, he remembers all the local food. His family caught rabbits in cornfields and picked mushrooms off the lawn. They had bacon, because their neighbors had pigs and shared the meat. Other neighbors gave them

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chickens and eggs. On Christmas Day, they always had an orange, a banana and maybe a bar of chocolate in their stockings—they got all these just one time the whole year. Poppa John even remembers loving the canned Spam that his mum would fry up. “I can’t think of any food that I didn’t like,” he says. “Food was so welcome that anything would please me.” When Nana and Poppa John grew up, they went to medical school at the University of Cardiff, in the capital of Wales, and they met over a dead body in their class! After that, they had four children, one of whom is my dad. When my dad was only two, they moved to Texas. Now, they live in the hills in Austin, but still cook Welsh meals (especially those wonderful Welsh cakes!) for their children and their awesomely amazing grandchildren. Iechyd Da! (That’s Welsh for “Cheers!”)

NANA’S WELSH CAKES Makes about 20 4 c. all-purpose flour 4 t. baking powder ½ t. salt 12 T. Kerrygold butter, softened (regular butter will work, but Kerrygold, from Ireland, tastes best!) 1½ c. white sugar, plus more for sprinkling 2 c. raisins or currants 4 eggs 8 T. milk Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and mix, using your fingers, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add in the sugar and currants or raisins and mix. Beat the eggs lightly in a separate bowl, and add to the large bowl with just enough milk to make a firm dough, similar to a pie crust. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. On a floured surface, roll out the dough until it’s about ¼-inch thick and cut it into circles (we use a water glass). Cook the cakes on a greased griddle or frying pan (Nana uses an electric skillet with nonstick spray) over low heat until golden brown. Sprinkle the cakes with a bit of sugar and eat them while they’re still warm, or let them cool and pack into lunch boxes. They also freeze well. Arden Egerton is a fourth grader at the Khabele School. She loves cooking breakfast for her family on the weekends and baking and decorating birthday cakes. Her favorite kitchen tool is a spatula.

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65


GREEN CORN PROJECT

THE QUEEN OF THE “GOOD FOOD TRUCK” BY R E N E E ST U D E BA K E R

G

reen Corn Project’s mis-

rekindling of the joys and chal-

sion is pretty simple:

lenges of growing and cook-

Help people grow good

ing with backyard vegetables,

food in sustainable ways that

thanks to volunteers from the

conserve natural resources and

Green Corn Project who have

strengthen communities. Lola

been digging and installing

Stephens-Bell’s mission is pretty

vegetable beds behind the café.

simple, too: Cook good food and

Stephens-Bell is no stranger to

feed it to people who need it—

homegrown vegetables. “When

whether they can pay for it or

I was growing up in Lake

not. Put the two missions togeth-

Charles,” she says, “we raised

er, and you get a double helping

everything we ate, and we ate

of community service and good

everything we raised.” But her

home-cooked eats from one of

new garden has become a shar-

Austin’s busiest cooks.

ing garden, of sorts—a popular stop for members of the home-

“My given name is Lozina,”

less community that congregate

Stephens-Bell says. “People in Austin call me ‘Lola’ and people in Lake Charles [her hometown]

nearby. “They especially like the jalapeños and the tomatoes,” she

call me ‘Lolo.’” Whatever name she goes by, Stephens-Bell is owner,

says. “And the two little ladies that live across the street come over

cook, server and dishwasher at Nubian Queen Lola’s Cajun Soul Food

and pick greens all the time.” To help Stephens-Bell keep her kitchen

Café—a tiny, corner establishment on East 11th Street, famous for er-

well-stocked with fresh vegetables, Johnson’s Backyard Garden has

ratic hours of operation and a folk-art-meets-bible-school décor.

started lending a hand by dropping off donations of extra produce

Most days, Stephens-Bell is in constant motion—prepping vegetables, stirring gumbo, frying shrimp, washing greens and baking corn-

from the farm. Anything she can’t use in the kitchen, she tosses into a compost pile near the garden area.

bread. And after she closes the restaurant, she loads up a little yellow

As if Stephens-Bell didn’t already have enough on her plate, she’s

school bus with free hot meals that she delivers to dozens of low-in-

recently started yet another project: a cooking demo at Kealing

come families in nearby neighborhoods. “The kids run out to meet me

Middle School’s annual garden picnic for school kids and their par-

when I drive up,” she says. “They call me the ‘good food truck.’”

ents, which demonstrates inexpensive ways to use fresh vegetables.

On Sundays, when the restaurant is closed, more food is pre-

At the first one, Stephens-Bell took a moment from slicing tomatoes,

pared in her kitchen and delivered to the Salvation Army and

lettuce and peppers for her Cajun-style hotdogs to look up at the

the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless. Stephens-Bell also

audience and humbly ask, “Am I supposed to be talking the whole

hands out meals to a small group of homeless folks who gather

time I’m doing this? I’ve never done a demo before.” Judging by the

around the picnic tables behind her restaurant. Yes, it’s a lot of

crowd’s welcoming reaction, the chances are pretty good that cook-

work, but Stephens-Bell sees it as all part of a journey of dedica-

ing demos are destined to become a regular part of Stephens-Bell’s

tion. “I do it for my God in heaven,” she says. “I gotta be good to all

already busy repertoire.

of the [needy and the homeless] because I don’t know which one of

Visit greencornproject.org for more information, or to volunteer. And

them might turn out to be Jesus.”

mark your calendar for Green Corn Project’s annual Fall Festival

In the past year, Stephens-Bell’s journey has also included a 66

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EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

fundraiser on October 25, at Boggy Creek Farm.


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THE DIRECTORY ARTISANAL FOODS Antonelli’s Cheese Shop We love cut-to-order artisanal cheese and all that goes with it. Order a picnic platter, take a class or host a private guided event. Free tastings daily. 512-531-9610 4220 Duval St. antonellischeese.com

Broken Arrow Ranch We field harvest truly wild animals for high-quality free-range venison, antelope and wild boar meat. Diamond H Ranch Quail from Bandera also available. 800-962-4263 3296 Junction Hwy., Ingram brokenarrowranch.com

The Culinary Factory Retail and food service co-packers for individual companies and restaurants, full service commissary kitchen and fulfillment center. 512-289-1282 3913 Todd Ln. #203 theculinaryfactory.com

Edis Chocolates Handmade chocolate truffles and fine desserts, free of preservatives and additives. Our desserts are made with fair trade chocolate. Excellent gluten-free options. 512-795-9285 3808 Spicewood Springs Rd., Ste 102 edischocolates.com

Lick Honest Ice Creams Artisan ice creams celebrating the finest ingredients Texas has to offer! Handmade in small batches in our shop, locally sourced and seasonally inspired. 512-363-5622 2032 S. Lamar Blvd. ilikelick.com

Lone Star Foodservice Lone Star Foodservice is a famly-owned wholesale meat company, whose mission is to source and deliver the finest cuts of natural beef, pork and lamb to tables across Texas. 512-646-6218 1403 E. 6th St. lonestarfood.com

Sweet Ritual Artisanal microcreamery featuring 17 flavors of alternative ice cream - made with cashew, almond and coconut bases. Gluten-free options. Dairy and egg free. 512-666-8346 4500 Duval St. sweetritual.com

Texas Olive Ranch Fresh Texas-grown extra virgin olive oil from Carrizo Springs, infused olive oil and balsamic vinegar at farmers markets in Austin, SA, NB, Houston, Dallas. 877-461-4708 texasoliveranch.com

BAKERIES Royers Pie Haven Royers Pie Haven is a place you can come grab a slice of handmade sweet and savory pies, amazing coffee and sweet treats. 512-474-2800 2900 B Guadalupe St. 979-249-5282 190 Henkel Circle, Round Top royerspiehaven.com

BEVERAGES Becker Vineyards Winery, vineyards, and tasting room with wines for tasting and for sale. Lavender fields, lavender products and annual Lavender Fest. 830-644-2681 464 Becker Farms Rd., Stonewall beckervineyards.com

Hill Country Distillers Our distillery, tasting room, cocktail bar, outdoor patio, and courtyard invite you to prop up your feet, stay a while, and enjoy some great drinks. 830-995-2924 723 Front St, Comfort hillcountrytxdistillers.com

Paula’s Texas Spirits Paula’s Texas Orange Liqueur & Paula’s Texas Lemon Liqueur—all natural and handmade in Austin since 2006. Available throughout Texas. paulastexasspirits.com

Real Ale Brewing Co. Handcrafted beer that is unfiltered, unpasteurized, and only in Texas. Visit us in Blanco for pints, flights, and free tours 11am - 5pm, Thu - Sat. 830-833-2534 realalebrewing.com

Spec’s Wine Spirits and Finer Foods Family-owned since 1962, Spec’s offers expert service and Texas’ largest selection of wines, spirits and beers along with gourmet foods and more! 512-366-8260 4978 W. US Hwy. 290 512-342-6893 10515 N. MoPac Hwy. 512-280-7400 9900 S. I-35 512-263-9981 13015 Shops Pkwy. 512-366-8300 5775 Airport Blvd. specsonline.com

Texas Coffee Traders East Austin’s artisanal coffee roaster and one-stop shop offering a wide selection of certified organic and Fair Trade options for wholesale and retail. 512-476-2279; 1400 E. 4th St. texascoffeetraders.com

Texas Hills Vineyard Winemaking, wine sales, tasting room, patio for picnics, gifts, award-winning wines, fun-loving staff and a beautiful place to visit. 930-868-2321 878 RR 2766, Johnson City texashillsvineyard.com

Twin Liquors Family owned and Authentically Austin™ since 1937 - Twin Liquors helps customers match wine and spirits to every occasion. 75 Central Texas locations. 1-855-350-TWIN (8946) 512-451-7400 1000 E. 41st St. #810 512-402-0060 12528 Texas 71, Bee Cave 512-872-4220 210 University Blvd, Ste. 120, Round Rock twinliquors.com

Wedding Oak Winery Texas winery using 100% Texas grown wine grapes located in a historic 1926 building. Open 7 days a week. Specializes in Mediterranean varietals. Great patio. 325-372-4050 316 E. Wallace, San Saba weddingoakwinery.com

CATERING AND MEAL DELIVERY Coté Catering Coté Catering is a boutique farm-totable catering company dedicated to creating exciting, fresh cuisine for weddings, parties, and events of all kinds. Our seasonal, sustainable menus will entertain and delight your guests. 512-638-2144 cotecatering.com

DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION Texas Oven Co. Experts in designing and building wood-burning ovens. Our handcrafted ovens are fire-breathing works of art. We are also a Forno Bravo pizza oven dealer. 512-222-6836 texasovenco.com

EDUCATION Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts The Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts is teaching the next generation of chefs and pastry chefs the importance of sustainable and ethical choices. 512-451-5743 6020-B Dillard Cir. escoffier.edu

The Natural Epicurean At The Natural Epicurean, we train professional chefs, health coaches, and consumers in plant-based health-supportive culinary techniques. 512-476-2276 1700 S. Lamar Blvd. naturalepicurean.com

EVENTS Austin Watershed Protection Dept Living Springs Documentary, an interactive experience about the history and ecology of Barton Springs. Now showing at the Splash! Exhibit by Barton Springs. 512-974-2170 2201 Barton Springs Rd. austintexas.gov/splash

Dripping with Taste Festival All the flavors of Texas in one fun afternoon. Distilled spirits, wines and craft beers, great hill country food, artisans, music, grape stomp & much more! 512-858-4740 1042 Event Center Dr., Dripping Springs drippingwithtaste.com

Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce 830-693-2815 100 Avenue G., Marble Falls marblefalls.org

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Pink Avocado Catering A custom catering company specializing in tailored menus, incredible food and surprisingly personal service. 512-656-4348 401 Sabine St. Ste. B pinkavocadocatering.com

Spoon & Co. Catering It’s our business to delight you with the details, memorable events with mindfully chosen, prepared and presented food and a caring crew! 512-912-6784 spoonandco.com

Architecture, design and nature all collide at our 12,000 sq. foot sales and event venue in Round Top, TX. Procurers of architectural salvage and oddities. 609-618-7606 1132 N. FM 1291, Round Top recyclingthepast.com

Westfest Polka Festival Held every Labor Day weekend. Large parade, carnival, midway, tractor pull, cultural demonstrations, fun, food and dance. Plenty to do for the whole family. 254-826-5058 110 East 10th St., West westfest.com

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Get to know the farmers in the Finger Lakes, the artisans of Michiana, the vintners in Vancouver and more as we serve up the best local food stories from the fields and kitchens of edible communities. edible BLUE RIDGE

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Issue 30 | February-March 2015

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DAIRY ISSuE

Cracking Spring HILLBILLY ACRES FARM • GRAVY • SASSY SAUSAGE BIANCA’S FRIDGE • BEER FOR BREAKFAST BACKYARD CHICKENS • SONNY SALT

| Chocolate: A Sweet Tradition & The Sweet Smell of Success | A Cut Above | Pot Luck

edible OTTAWA

edible Nutmeg® Member of Edible Communities

Winter 2012-13 · Celebrating Local Food, Farms, and Community in the Nutmeg State · Number 24

NO. 1 NOVE M BE R/ D E CE M BE R 2014

Member of Edible Communities

OT TAWA E AT. D R I N K . R E A D . T H I N K .

FALL 2014

HO M E F O R T HE HO L I DAYS NO. 1 NOVE M BE R/ D E CE M BE R 2014

A LOCAVORE THANKSGIVING www.EDIBLENUTMEG.com

late summer/early fall 2012

HOTEL DINING: AN INSIDER’S GUIDE

45

NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION • PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY • EASTERN ONTARIO Member of Edible Communities

EO NOV COVER.indd 1

edibleRHODY ®

Celebrating the Bounty of Rhode Island, Season by Season

10/23/14 5:18 PM

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RICHMOND

Celebrating Food and Culture in the River City and Surrounding Communities

State Bird Support Local Community, Food & Drink Member of Edible Communities Member Edible Communities

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ISSUE 21 • SPRING 2014

Santa Barbara Good food. Good drink. Good read. • No. 24 • Spring 2014

Celebrating the Local Food and Wine Culture of Santa Barbara County

Recycle, reuse, reclaim, rethink

5 YEAR

Anniversary Issue Greg Frey Jr. | Increasing biodiversity | Fixing food waste | Old Harbor Distillery Bioremediation | Chickens as recyclers | Point Loma Farm

The Art of Small Farming Tending Henry The Perfect Salad MEMBER OF EDIBLE COMMUNITIES

24

HARVEST 2014

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VANCOUVER G WINE COUNTRY E A T. D R I N K . R E A D . T H I N K .

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ISSUE THIRTY SEVEN • HIGH SUMMER 2014

HOMEMADE STOCK • GARLIC • HOT COCKTAILS • SEEDS

No. 24, Harvest 2014

Our Food, Our Stories, Our Community

Member of Edible Communities

gateway fruit • fool for summer • wine country roads A MEMBER OF EDIBLE COMMUNITIES

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FARMERS MARKETS Lone Star Farmers Market Providing fresh fruits, vegetables and quality products. Located at The Shops at the Galleria every Sunday from 10 am–2 pm in the Lowe’s parking lot. 512-924-7503 12611 Shops Pkwy., Ste. 100, Bee Cave lonestarfarmersmarket.com

Sustainable Food Center SFC cultivates a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food. 512-236-0074 400 W. Guadalupe St. 3200 Jones Rd., Sunset Valley 2835 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. 4600 Lamar Blvd. 2921 E. 17 St., Bldg C (Office) sustainablefoodcenter.org

FARMS Burg’s Corner Fredericksburg peaches. Local fruit and vegetable stand. Peach ice cream. Peach Cider. Over 100 Texas gourmet jarred products. Sweet snacks and gifts. 830-644-2604 15194 E. US Hwy 290, Stonewall burgscorner.com

Niman Ranch Niman Ranch raises livestock traditionally, humanely and sustainably to bring you the finest tasting meat in the world. 510-808-0330 nimanranch.com

FINANCIAL Capital Farm Credit Capital Farm Credit is your financial lending partner, providing loans for recreational land, home loans and small and large acreage tracts. 512-892-4425 5900 Southwest Pkwy., Ste. 501 512-715-9239 301 W. Polk St., Burnet 979-968-5750 456 N. Jefferson St., La Grange 512-398-3524 1418 S. Colorado St., Lockhart 830-626-6886 426 S. Seguin Ave., New Braunfels capitalfarmcredit.com

GROCERS Farmhouse Delivery We bring the farm to your door, offering home or office delivery of local produce, meat, dairy, eggs, and local, artisanal products. 512-529-8569 farmhousedelivery.com

Royal Blue Grocery

Der Küchen Laden

Downtown Austin’s neighborhood grocer—with dairy, prepared foods, beer and wine, Royal Blue has it all, in a convenient and compact format. Catering too! 512-499-3993; 247 W. 3rd St. 512-476-5700; 360 Nueces St. 512-469-5888; 609 Congress Ave. 512-386-1617; 301 Brazos St., Ste. 101 512-480-0036; 51 Rainey St. royalbluegrocery.com

Retail gourmet kitchen shop, featuring cookware, cutlery, bakeware, small electrics, textiles and kitchen gadgets. 830-997-4937 258 E. Main St., Fredericksburg littlechef.com

Whole Foods Market Selling the highest quality natural and organic products. 512-542-2200 525 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-345-5003 9607 Research Blvd. 512-206-2730 12601 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave 512-358-2460 4301 W. William Cannon wholefoodsmarket.com

HEALTH AND BEAUTY Hill Country Memorial Hospital Hill Country Memorial is a nationally recognized nonprofit hospital in Fredericksburg with a reputation of delivering remarkable care. 830-997-4353 1020 S. State Hwy. 16, Fredericksburg 830-428-2345 1580 S. Main St., Ste. 101, Boerne 844-362-7426 1331 Bandera Hwy., Ste. 3, Kerrville 830-693-7942 2511 US Highway 281, Ste. 800, Marble Falls 830-798-1821 204 Gateway N., Ste. B, Marble Falls hillcountrymemorial.org

Peoples Rx Austin’s favorite pharmacy for more than 30 years, Peoples integrates nutrition, supplements and medicine with natural remedies and custom Rx compounding. 512-219-9499; 13860 Hwy. 183 N., Ste. C 512-459-9090; 4018 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-444-8866; 3801 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-327-8877; 4201 Westbank Dr. peoplesrx.com

Wiseman Family Practice Wiseman Family Practice is an integrative medical practice in Austin, Tx that focuses on health education and natural approaches to wellness. 512-345-8970 2500 S. Lakeline Blvd. Ste. 100, Cedar Park 3345 Bee Caves Rd., Ste. 101 3801 S. Lamar Blvd. wisemanfamilypractice.com

HOUSEWARES AND GIFTS Callahan’s General Store Austin’s real general store…hardware to western wear, from feed to seed! 512-385-3452; 501 Bastrop Hwy. callahansgeneralstore.com

The Herb Bar Best place to cure what ails you and a healing resource center since 1986. Our Optimal Health Advisers are highly trained, knowledgeable and compassionate. 512-444-6251 200 W. Mary St. theherbbar.com

LODGING AND TOURISM Bastrop Culinary District With over 18 restaurants and 11 food related businesses, historic downtown Bastrop has something for every palate. Come visit and experience the food! 512-303-0904 visitbastrop.com

Blanco Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau

LANDSCAPE AND GARDENING

Discover the fun and beauty of the Texas Hill Country in Blanco. We are your source of where to eat, shop, stay and play in Blanco. 830-833-5101 312 Pecan St., Blanco blancochamber.com

Barton Springs Nursery

Brenham/Washington County CVB

Locally grown Texas native plants. Organic pest management. Environmentally friendly soil amendments. Beautiful gifts. 512-328-6655 3601 Bee Caves Rd. bartonspringsnursery.net

Backbone Valley Nursery A destination garden center with over 14 acres of plants, vegetables, orchids, trees, and landscape supplies. Once you find us you won’t forget us! 830-693-9348 4201 FM 1980, Marble Falls backbonevalleynursery.com

It’s About Thyme Garden Center Top quality culinary herbs for chefs, and native plants for gardeners. A nursery with expert staff and pocket-friendly prices. Free lectures most Sundays. 512-280-1192 11726 Manchaca Rd. itsaboutthyme.com

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center The Wildflower Center is a native plant botanic garden, a university research center and one of the 1,000 places to see before you die. 512-232-0100 4801 La Crosse Ave. wildflower.org

The Great Outdoors Nursery A garden store and so much more! 512-448-2992 2730 S. Congress Ave. gonursery.com

Visit Brenham and Washington County, home of the birthplace of Texas, Washington-on-the-Brazos State historic site. scenic drives, wineries, great lodging. 979-836-3696 115 W. Main St., Brenham visitbrenhamtexas.com

City of Marfa Vacation destination. 432-729-4772 302 S. Highland Ave., Marfa visitmarfa.com

The Inn at Wild Rose Hall A one of a kind event venue with lodging blending relaxing natural beauty with vintage hill country style. 512-380-5683 11110 Fitzhugh Rd. theinnatwildrosehall.com

Deer Lake Lodge and Spa Deer Lake is an organic spa and resort. We offer a full service spa and salon, juicing classes, yoga, weekend retreats and a respite from every day life. 936-647-1383 10500 Deer Lake Lodge Rd, Montgomery deerlakelodge.com

Fredericksburg Conference and Visitors Bureau Visit Fredericksburg, a small gem nestled in the Texas Hill Country. Enjoy eclectic shops, diverse lodging, amazing restaurants and Texas wines. 866-997-3600 visitfredericksburgtx.com

Natural Gardener

Onion Creek Kitchens at Juniper Hills Farm

We are a garden center and teaching facility dedicated to promoting organic time-tested gardening practices. 512-288-6113 8648 Old Bee Caves Rd. naturalgardeneraustin.com

Cooking Classes, beautiful dining room venue for private events, hill country cabin rental. 830-833-0910 5818 RR 165, Dripping Springs juniperhillsfarm.com

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TRAVEL 2015 TRAVEL 2015

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PHOTOGRAPHY AND ART

RESTAURANTS

Blanton Museum of Art

416 Bar & Grille

The Blanton Museum of Art, one of the foremost university art museums in the country, offers all visitors engaging experiences that connect art and ideas. 512-471-7324 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. blantonmuseum.org

Americana Cuisine - Full service restaurant serving dinner until midnight seven days a week. Saturday and Sunday brunch starting at 10 a.m. 416 craft cocktails. 512-206-0540 5011 Burnet Rd. #150 416barandgrille.com

The Contemporary Austin The Contemporary Austin reflects the spectrum of contemporary art through exhibitions, commissions, education and the collections. The Contemporary aspires to be an essential part of city life. 512-453-5312 700 Congress Ave. 512-458-8191 3809 W. 35th St. thecontemporaryaustin.org

Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.

Texcetera

Located in the heart of South Lamar. Barlata offers a variety of tapas, paellas, regional Spanish wines and cavas. Come and enjoy a bit of Spain with us. 512 473-2211 1500 S. Lamar Blvd., Ste. 150 barlataaustin.com

Featuring fine craft alongside fine art in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. An array of books, foods & products for the home are available, too - all made in Texas! 830-868-2419 207 N. Nugent Ave., Johnson City texcetera.net

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Austin Label Company Custom Labels up to 10 x 20 on paper, foil, synthetics, multiple adhesives, embossing, hot foil and UV coatings. Proud members of Go Texan, FTA and TWGGA. 512-302-0204 1610 Dungan Ln. austinlabel.com

Eco Mama Locally owned and operated Holistic Cleaning Company. Provides detailed cleaning with highly trained staff that is paid a great living wage. 512-659-9633 ecomamacleaning.com

REAL ESTATE Green Mango Real Estate Boutique firm specializing in Central Austin since 1987, especially the 78704 where we have sold more homes than any other single realtor. 512-923-6648 905 Avondale Rd. greenmangorealestate.com

Los Arboles Coba The newest sustainable residential development from the green-living experts at LAG, Los Arboles Coba is located between Tulum and Coba in the Riviera Maya. 512-299-9550 Carrerera Tulum-Coba, KM 12.8., Tulum, Quintano Roo losarbolescoba.com

Locally-sourced lunch and dinner. Craft brewery, live music, good people, dog friendly, creative community. #beermakesitbetter #ouratx 512-298-2242 1305 W. Oltorf St. theabgb.com

Barlata Tapas Bar

Baxters On Main Casual fine dining restaurant and catering. We welcome private parties. Catering for all of your needs. 512-321-3577 919 Main St., Bastrop baxtersonmain.com

Blue Corn Harvest Bar & Grill Blue Corn Harvest Bar & Grill is a farm-to-table restaurant located in Cedar Park. Locally owned and operated, we keep Cedar Park fresh! 512-528-0889 700 E. Whitestone Blvd., Ste 204, Cedar Park bluecornharvest.com

Chez Nous A casual french bistro, serving Austin since 1982, Chez Nous offers a delectable selection of regional french cuisine and wines in a relaxed, convivial and intimate atmosphere. 512-473-2413 510 Neches St. cheznousaustin.com

East Side Pies We’ve got homemade, thin crust pizzas with local veggies and meats. Gluten-free options, too! 512-524-0933 1401 Rosewood Ave. 512-454-7437 5312 Airport Blvd., Ste. G 512-467-8900 1809-1 W. Anderson Ln. eastsidepies.com

Hut’s Hamburgers

Thai Fresh

An Austin Tradition since 1939 featuring Grassfed Longhorn Beef and bison burgers. 512-472-0693 807 W. 6th St. hutsfrankandangies.com

Thai Fresh offers authentic Thai food, cooking classes, coffee bar, gluten free bakery. We source locally grown and raised ingredients. 512-494-6436 909 W. Mary St. thaifreshaustin.com

Jobell Cafe & Bistro We offer a carefully selected and prepared take on French bistro fare with wonderful wines all served amidst the intimacy and charm of Texas Hill Country. 512-847-5700 16920 Ranch Road 12, Wimberley jobellcafe.com

ThunderCloud Subs

Kerbey Lane Cafe

The Turtle Restaurant

Kerbey Lane Cafe is a local Austin haunt serving up tasty, healthy food (mostly) 24/7. Stop by any of our 6 locations for a delicious stack of pancakes! 512-451-1436 kerbeylanecafe.com

The Leaning Pear Café & Eatery Serving the Texas Hill Country fresh and seasonal favorites using local ingredients. 512-847-7327 111 River Rd., Wimberley leaningpear.com

Lenoir Lenoir is an intimate, family-run restaurant offering a weekly, local prix-fixe menu, great wine and friendly service. 512-215-9778 1807 S. 1st St. lenoirrestaurant.com

The Mercantile Wine and tapas bar located in Dripping Springs. 512-829-4723 211 Mercer St., Dripping Springs mercantileonmercer.com

Otto’s German Bistro Otto’s offers German-inspired fare in Fredericksburg, Texas. Featuring locally sourced produce and meats. Local beers and wines on tap, handcrafted cocktails. 830-307-3336 316 E. Austin St., Fredericksburg ottosfbg.com

Salt & Time Butcher Shop & Salumeria A full service Butcher Shop and restaurant, 100% locally sourced meat and produce, house made deli meats, charcuterie and salumi. 512-524-1383 1912 E. 7th St. saltandtime.com

For fresh, fast and healthy, head on over to your neighborhood ThunderCloud Subs, Austin’s original sub shop. Now with 30 locations in Central Texas. 512-479-8805 thundercloud.com

Your destination for food prepared from locally available, seasonal ingredients. 325-646-8200 514 Center Ave., Brownwood theturtlerestaurant.com

Vaudeville & V Supper Club Vaudeville is the foodie Mecca in the Hill Country. You will find under one roof a bistro, wine and gourmet market, a fine dining restaurant and much more! 830-992-3234 230 E. Main, Fredericksburg vaudeville-living.com

Wink Restaurant & Wine Bar The daily menu is based on local artisans. Wink happily embraces omnivores, vegetarians, vegans, pescetarians and special dietary issues. 512-482-8868 1014 N. Lamar Blvd. winkrestaurant.com

SPECIALTY MARKET Buffalo Exchange New & Recycled Fashion. Buy, sell, trade designer wear, basics, vintage, and oneof-a-kind items. You can receive cash or trade for clothing on the spot! 512-480-9922 2904 Guadalupe St. buffaloexchange.com

Make It Sweet At Make It Sweet, you can find tools, supplies and ingredients to make cakes, cookies and candies and learn fun, new techniques in the classes offered. 512-371-3401 9070 Research Blvd. makeitsweet.com

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TRAVEL TRAVEL 2015 2015

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Robert Therrien, No title (folding tables and chairs), 2008. Painted steel, aluminum, and fabric. Two tables, 193 x 160 x 160 inches. 1 folded chair, 137 x 67 x 16½ inches. 3 open chairs, 106 x 67 x 75½ inches. Installation view, Robert Therrien, The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center, Austin, 2015. Courtesy the artist and Gagosian Gallery. Photograph by Brian Fitzsimmons.

ART DE TERROIR

Robert Therrien May 9 – August 30, 2015 On view at the Jones Center.

Good Taste: Playing with Food Thursday, August 20

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6:30 – 8:30 pm

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Jones Center

Co-presented by Edible Austin Robert Therrien’s subtly humorous work evokes both the real and the imagined, as he coaxes humble motifs into surreal configurations through scale, abstraction, perspective, and color. Inspired by Therrien’s art, local chefs create bites that play with food’s scale and its link to childhood memories. Explore a new take on the exhibition through culinary creativity. Advance tickets recommended. $20/$15 for members and available at thecontemporaryaustin.org.

Jones Center 700 Congress Avenue Austin, TX 78701 512 453 5312

Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park / Laguna Gloria 3809 West 35th Street Austin, TX 78703 • 512 458 8191

thecontemporaryaustin.org

Art School 3809 West 35th Street Austin, TX 78703 512 323 6380


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We are part of a growing consciousness that’s bigger than food— one that champions what’s good, and the greater good, too. Where value is inseparable from values.

Travel 2015  

Sit back, relax and enjoy our Travel issue. We’re telling tales of trips within driving distance, to satisfy that gotta-get-away-right-now u...

Travel 2015  

Sit back, relax and enjoy our Travel issue. We’re telling tales of trips within driving distance, to satisfy that gotta-get-away-right-now u...