2014 • Issue No. 6 • GRATIS
edible BAJA ARIZONA
Celebrating the foodways of Tucson and the borderlands.
Seafood in the Sea of Cortez No. 6 May/June 2014
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Contents May - June 2014
Above: Pacific Hairback Fiddler Crab (Uca ecuadoriensis), photographed by Josh Schachter. On the cover: Photograph by William Lesch. Greybar grunt (Haemulon sexfasciatum) photographed on location at Julio Villa/Peñasco Blanca, Sonora. Lesch’s work can be viewed at the Etherton Gallery through June 5 as part of the “Under the Violet Sky” exhibition.
LAS MUJERES DEL MAR Three decades after it began, the Women of the Sea oyster cooperative is still thriving in the wetlands south of Puerto Peñasco.
THE FISH IN OUR FOODSHED As overfishing drives fisheries toward collapse across the Sea of Cortez, connecting fishermen directly to their markets may offer them a more sustainable future.
GRIST FOR THE MILL
VOICES What’s your best story from behind the bar?
GLEANINGS The story of High Desert Market & Café; Arizona Sprouthouse gets leafy; Prep & Pastry opens with a hit of flavor; sugar takes root in Tucson.
THE PLATE The one thing they should never take off the menu.
WHAT’S IN SEASON
KIDS’ MENU Mixing it up with Haile Thomas.
THE EDIBLE HOMESTEAD Waiting for the summer rain; harvesting nopalitos; making sweet potato slips; help with summer gardening.
MEET YOUR FARMER In the greenhouses of Sunizona Family Farms, Byron and Janice Smith are growing veganically.
IN THE BUSINESS If you’ve eaten at Little Café Poca Cosa, Marcela and Sandra Davila probably remember the dish you ordered.
TABLE Tacos, tequila, and salsa—from her kitchen to your Boca.
PURVEYORS After 70 years in the business, Rodriguez Seafood has seen the tides shift and the markets change.
TABLE The Tao of Chris Bianco comes to Tucson.
PROFILE In Armory Park, chef-turned-Deacon Jefferson Bailey feeds his neighbors and builds community.
106 BUZZ Mark Beres and Marc Moeller take a flying leap with their Elgin winery. 118 SABORES DE SONORA Make a personal posole with a simple recipe for the Sonoran staple, posole de trigo. 126 ESSAY Remembering abuelita: This Sopita Is Haunted. 130 INK Book reviews: Ground|Water; Dirt Candy; Balancing on a Planet. 146 LAST BITE Jim Harrison on eating where you live.
edible Baja Arizona
THERE ARE SOME FISH THAT CANNOT BE CAUGHT...
GRIST FOR THE MILL
we were scrambling to create a brand new magazine out of thin air. Just a month earlier we had convened a half-day retreat at the historic Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill, seeking input from a broad range of folks involved in the burgeoning local foods revolution in Baja Arizona. And then we started racing a self-imposed deadline to have the inaugural issue on the streets by the first of June. What a difference a year makes. In the first issue’s “Local Foods Manifesto,” we said: “Food is our most direct and enduring connection to the cultures, land, water, and weather cycles of our bioregion. In our pages, we will be using regional foodways as a lens into the social and environmental issues, the rich heritages, and the future options for living well in the desert despite our very real limitations.” We’d love to know, dear reader, if you think Edible Baja Arizona is achieving that objective. Its dogged pursuit has been our passionate pleasure. We do know this: The response from our communities has been nothing short of astounding. Baja Arizona businesses have stepped up to support our mission of building a strong local foods economy, with nearly 250 of them becoming advertising partners in the last 10 months. As always, please make it a point to patronize our advertisers and thank them for making this publication possible. It is the single best thing you can do if you love the magazine. Reader response has been just as enthusiastic and gratifying. We have a difficult time meeting demand for the publication, with many outlets running out of copies in just a few days. Immense gratitude to everyone—from our intrepid and hard-working staff to the large group of freelance contributors—who has helped make Edible Baja Arizona the largest of the more than 80 independently-owned Edibles in North America. We believe our work is just beginning. In this issue, we have quite a few fish stories to tell. Drive a few hours south of Tucson and you’ll be standing on the shore of the Sea of Cortez. Every year 170,000 tons of seafood is pulled from the sea, with most of it ending up on American tables. Megan Kimble chronicles the rise and fall of a more sustainable fishing industry in that part of the Baja Arizona foodshed and its longer-term prospects. Lourdes Medrano tells the story of Las Mujeres del Mar, a cooperative owned and run by women in Puerto Peñasco that for three decades has farmed oysters in the estuary just south of town. And Lee Allen revisits the 70-year history of Tucson’s Rodriguez Seafood, a business that has seen the many changes in the Sonoran fishing industry firsthand. In a city—and a region—that has a plethora of outstanding pizza purveyors, the anticipation for the arrival of Chris Bianco’s Pizzeria Bianco is nonetheless palpable. Dave Mondy undertakes the task of unpacking what it means to call a given concoction of wheat, tomato, and cheese the “best pizza in America.” There is much more: Profiles of Jefferson Bailey, a formidable culinary force in Tucson who is now doing exemplary work in the kitchen of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church; Boca Taco’s irrepressible Maria Mazon; sisters Marcela and Sandra Davila of the Little Café Poca Cosa, whose comida casera is flavored with love. A feature on Sunizona Family Farms, an innovative small farm in Willcox that is delivering nearly all of its “veganically” grown produce to local consumers. And a tale of friendship and meticulous attention to research, with former Air Force pilots, engineers, and mathematicians making the decision to grow grapes and make wine in the desert at Elgin’s Flying Leap Vineyards. Enjoy this issue! We’ll see you around the table. year ago
— Douglas Biggers, editor and publisher
P.S. Find us online—we post a lot of things we couldn’t fit into the magazine to the website (ediblebajaarizona.com), Facebook (facebook.com/ediblebajaarizona), and Twitter (twitter.com/EdibleBajaAZ). 6 M ay - June 2014
edible EDITOR AND PUBLISHER
Douglas Biggers ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER
Jared R. McKinley MANAGING EDITOR
Megan Kimble ART DIRECTOR
Steve McMackin CHAIR, EDITORIAL BOARD
Gary Paul Nabhan COPY EDITOR
Ford Burkhart INTERN
Jennifer Hijazi ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS
Becky Reyes, Stephanie Chace, Kenny Stewart CONTRIBUTORS
Molly Kincaid, Lisa O’Neill, Lisa Levine, Haile Thomas, Lee Allen, Dave Mondy, Michael Mello, Renée Downing, Lourdes Medrano, Mike Gerrard, Emily Gindlesparger, Bill Steen, Gwendoline Hernandez, Amy Valdés Schwemm, Peter Bourque, Jim Harrison PHOTOGRAPHERS & ARTISTS
Steven Meckler, Jeff Smith, Liora K, Omer Kreso, Jeff Walcott, Robert J Long, Maria Johnson, Bill Steen, Josh Schachter, Danny Martin WE’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. 307 South Convent Avenue, Barrio Viejo Tucson, Arizona 85701 520.373.5196 info@edibleBajaArizona.com EdibleBajaArizona.com Volume 1, Issue 6. Edible Baja Arizona is published six times annually by Coyote Talking, LLC. Subscriptions are available for $36 annually at EdibleBajaArizona. com or by phone. Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used without the express written permission of the publisher. Research and community outreach for Edible Baja Arizona is cosponsored and funded by the W.K. Kellogg program in Borderlands Food and Water Security at the University of Arizona.
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edible Baja Arizona
What’s Life Like Behind the Bar? Photography by Jeff Walcott
Laura Kepner-Adney, Rialto Theatre
Barb Trujillo, Hotel Congress
ne of the best parts of working [at the Rialto] is getting exposed to music that I would never ordinarily listen to. The Dropkick Murphys came a few weeks ago—they’re like an Irishflavor punk band. It was music that I would never go to Pandora to find, but it was one of the coolest shows I’ve ever seen. It’s never ever the same thing here. It’s not just the bands onstage that are different. It’s the entire audience that is different. Every night, you are going to see a different group of people and encounter a different subset of Tucson music culture. A couple of weeks ago, I got proposed to while the guy was spilling a drink on himself. At the Rialto, we’re all at different bars, at different stations, so it’s fun to count out at the end of the night. We all exchange stories. Like, “Oh that guy proposed to you, too?”
8 M ay - June 2014
’ ve wor k ed at C ongr ess for 18 years. Our staff has all been here a really long time. I love the energy of Congress. People want to share their anniversaries, their birthdays. People come in and they say, “You served me for my 21st birthday, like nine years ago.” And then I feel kind of old, but they say, “But you look the same!” They’ll come back and look around and say, “We met here,” or “We got married here.” It’s so cool to be a part of that kind of energy. And I love taking care of people. Everyone’s anniversary—and their anniversary drink—is personal. What makes it so cool is that they’re coming back here. This is the stage. They are the rock star, I am the roadie—facilitating a good time.
He thanks me for remembering his drink. Later that night, we get to talking about the movie Super Troopers; I say I haven’t chugged maple syrup since I was 13. So he bets me he could beat me in maple syrup drinking contest. A couple of weeks go by. He doesn’t come in one week. I forget the syrup at home the next week. Then it happens. He comes in. I’ve got the syrup ready to go. ...3,2,1, go. I think I’ve got him beat a third of the way in, but he finishes well ahead of me and I’m stuck finishing the last of the maple syrup all by myself. Ever since that, we have hung out and had fun times together. But I would have never met him if it wasn’t for being behind that bar.
“jewels and valuable minerals” to pawn off on the staff as payment or gratuity. He always promised that he was going to return with an amethyst the size of a basketball to make up for never leaving any gratuity. According to him, the stone was worth $50,000. Why anyone would bestow a $50,000 stone upon a bartender in exchange for some Sutter Home and a few chicken sandwiches is beyond me. But he was so insistent that it was real, and the concept of it was so absurd, that for years the thought would always linger in the back of my mind that it might just be real, that he would come staggering in some day, rock in tow, and I would end up with the ultimate conversation piece for a bar of my own some day.
Jon Tokar, The Parish
Aaron DeFeo, Casino del Sol
used to wor k every Sunday. The bar was usually moderately busy so I could have a conversation with someone if time permitted. One Sunday it was fairly slow; in walks a tall gentleman who orders a Grey Goose and soda. I make the drink and think nothing of it. He orders another. A third. A week later, he comes back to the bar. I make him a Grey Goose and soda before he orders.
’ m always intr igued when people try to pay with goods or services rather than money. My favorite has to be a gem aficionado who would frequent the bar and try to pay with worthless stones. I’m no appraiser, but I grew up in Tucson around the Gem Show and I can spot pyrite a mile away. He would order a big meal, cocktails, glasses of wine, and then whip out a small leather pouch containing
edible Baja Arizona
is cool because you get to talk to so many different people you might not interact with in your day-to-day life. Especially here [at Cocina], because we have a lot of travelers. We have a lot of people from not only all over the country, but also all over the world come in and sit at the bar. It’s great to have a conversation with someone about where they’re coming from and why they’re in Tucson, and at the same time get to make them a really delicious cocktail. We’re in the Southwest, so people are really interested in tequila. I love tequila—I have an agave tattoo. Also, I love our bar, because we really try to celebrate the local culture. We pour all local brews on tap.
hink bartending looks like an easy and fun-filled career? Think again. Don’t get me wrong: I love my job. Tending bar can be incredibly fun but it’s anything but easy when most nights are filled with grumpy guests and rude patrons. We have to deal with 20 people trying to get our attention and remember 10 drink orders, with a smile on our face the entire time. Once, in the middle of a rush, I cut off the tip of my finger with a fruit peeler; after a quick mend, I worked the rest of the shift in awkward pain while trying to keep everyone happy. The next time you are at a busy bar, don’t snap your fingers at the bartender. Just make eye contact and smile—common courtesy will get you the best service. That, and a good tip.
Allie Baron, La Cocina
Ciaran Wiese, Agustín Kitchen
Drew Record, Playground
eing behind the bar
10 M ay - June 2014
’ ve been doing this for 10 years now, and what’s really fantastic is the sense of community among the Tucson bartenders. If someone discovers a new trick, or a new product, everyone is calling everyone else up and going, “Hey, did you just see this? Try this.” There’s a great camaraderie that a lot of other bar communities may be missing. We’re all looking to make Tucson succeed. We’ve got a great little band of brothers and sisters. I’m able to say, to people who come in, “Oh, well, if you like this, you should go over to get this—go to Scott & Co., go to Penca, try this over here and that there.”
A Long, Strange Trip
Photo by Skye Tamburo
How a New Yorker came to own Bisbee’s most beloved place to relax and nosh. By Molly Kincaid
at an outdoor table at High Desert Market and Café in historic Old Bisbee, you’re bound to have some interesting conversations. Many older folks and retirees call Bisbee home, but they aren’t exactly the bingo- and bridge-playing set. Some, like High Desert Market owner Peyton Tamburo, have much more interesting stories to tell. Tamburo grew up in New York and lived there for 50 years, working as an actress—that is, until she embarked on a cross-country motorcycle journey to Bisbee and began planting vegetables. For a few years, she sold her vegetables on the highway leading into the quirky little mountain town. In 2000, she moved into the space that her successful restaurant now occupies. f you sit long enough
12 M ay - June 2014
It didn’t become a restaurant overnight, however. Tamburo has seen the place evolve from a little vegetable market to a restaurant in 2006, finally opening its full space in 2008, which is complete with a smoothie, juice, and coffee bar. The store carries a variety of local foods and crafts, as well as a selection of gourmet cheeses, wines, and other picnic necessities. You’ll also find Mexican pottery, French soaps and table linens, African baskets, and natural cosmetics. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is constantly evolving. “When I started, I didn’t pay any rent for a year. That’s just the way it is in Bisbee,” recalls Tamburo, who never worked in a kitchen before opening her place. “The people are the key to my
Photo by Becky Reyes
Almost 15 years after she first opened the doors at High Desert Market, Peyton Tamburo is still adding to the eclectic mix of food and wares.
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14 M ay - June 2014
success—I’ve been growing the business according to what people wanted. Also, we have a great staff—several people who’ve been here for many years.” What Bisbee residents and tourists want, evidently, is variety. On a recent weekend, Tamburo was filling up chiles rellenos with a creamy corn and cheese filling for the dinner special. Another night that week, the special was Thai BBQ Chicken with Lemongrass and Coconut Ginger Green Beans. Another night featured New Orleans Style Shrimp and Cajun Rice. “I try to balance the menu,” Tamburo says. She and another chef alternate nights cooking for the early dinner crowd. Then they close up shop at 7 p.m. and sell what’s left as heat-and-serve meals the following morning. The breakfast and brunch menu remains more constant, and includes a savory bread pudding with Italian sausage, excellent fresh salads, and crispy grilled focaccia sandwiches. “I still grow veggies and raise chickens for eggs and use them [at the restaurant] whenever I can,” says Tamburo. Desserts are not taken lightly at High Desert Market. Tamburo and her bakers stock a wide variety of cakes, pies, and cookies, including a decadent gluten-free carrot cake. For locals, High Desert Market is a hangout, a place to gather and converse with neighbors and to pick up a bite for dinner. For visitors, it’s an ideal spot to start your day, get your caffeine fix, and power up to walk around town antiquing and touring. If you get to chatting with the locals, you might start to sense why people love Bisbee so much. Tamburo will be the first to tell you her amorous feelings about her new home. “I like everything in Bisbee. After so many years in New York, I wanted to be outside, but I thought the rest of the U.S. was so provincial,” she says. “But this is a diverse and kooky kind of place—not unlike a neighborhood in New York.” High Desert Market. 203 Tombstone Canyon, Bisbee. 520.432.6775. HighDesertMarket.net.
we are growing
Dig this: We’ve got a new urban micro farm behind the co-op. It’s fed by harvested rainwater and compost born of scraps from our Conspiracy Kitchen. So far, you can find our lettuce, spinach, chard, beets, carrots, and radishes in the Food Conspiracy Co-op produce section. Just look for the Conspiracy Grown logo. It doesn’t get any more local than this!
www.foodconspiracy.coop • 412 n fourth ave • (520) 624-4821
Photo by William Kovacs
Confit Me! Prep & Pastry opens with a punch of flavor.
for a boring eggs-and-toast breakfast, don’t come sniffing around Prep & Pastry. The new breakfast and brunch spot at Campbell and Fort Lowell specializes in modern comfort fare that’s brimming over with flavor, creativity, and a serious sense of indulgence. Fries for breakfast? Totally O.K. here. And there’s gravy and pork belly to spare. For the adventurous diner, the greatest dilemma is choosing what to order. Oh, man. How can you pass up fried chicken with rosemary brioche French toast with blueberry reduction? But, on the other hand, the duck confit hash with cherries and goat cheese mousse is calling your name out seductively. The splurge-worthy breakfast poutine beckons with its perfectly cooked pork belly, duck fat gravy, house-made fries, local cheese curds, and over easy eggs. Yep, you’re in a bit of a pickle—and it isn’t just the pickled veggies topping the craft Bloody Marys that will soon be served here (liquor license is pending). Nate Ares, who co-owns Prep & Pastry with several of his best friends, says the secret to the hypercreative menu is a free-flowing brainstorming process. “We just turn on some loud music, start coming up with crazy ideas, and throw them at our chef,” he says. “We’re just a bunch of restaurant geeks.” Chef Donovan Hale f you ’ r e look ing
Restaurant & Bar
Only a short stroll across the Arizona border, nestled in the historic Casa Margot is La Roca. Savor clasic Sonoran cuisine made with produce from Northern Mexico’s fertile valleys, the freshest seafood from the Sea of Cortez, and choice beef from the foothills of the Sierra Madres.
Plutarco Elías Calles, Nogales, Sonora, Mexico T: (520) 313-6313 www.larocarestaurant.com
16 M ay - June 2014
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g cooked at Penca briefly before coming to Prep & Pastry, and Ares is a long-time student of the Metzger restaurants, having worked at both Jax Kitchen and The Abbey. Whatever the process, it seems to be working. On any given day, Prep & Pastry’s pretty French-country dining room and pleasant outdoor patio are both buzzing with happy patrons. A bearded customer is overheard raving about the pistachio pesto tucked inside his ooey-gooey grilled cheese. Another wordlessly dives into his corned beef hash with fried gnocchi and Brussels sprouts—the St. Patty’s week special. The beni—Prep & Pastry’s name for eggs benedict—is also a favorite. The pork belly beni comes perched on a perfectly flaky herb biscuit, and the veggie beni is a stack of lightly fried seasonal veggies (eggplant, most recently), with roast cherry tomatoes, poached egg, and an Easter-egg pink beet hollandaise sauce. It is clear that Ares takes pride in his restaurant and is meticulous in its operation. Commenting on a picturesque breakfast poblano stuffed with eggs and piled high with tortilla strips and queso fresco, he says, “We have all the dishes photographed, and if it doesn’t look just like the photo, I don’t put it out there.” Ares and his partners also value staying connected to the local food community, and take pains to incorporate as many local goods as possible. The eggs come from Zamudio Farms, the peppers in the delicious mole come from Native Seeds/SEARCH, located just next door, and most seasonal veggies come from local farms. The final challenge at Prep & Pastry will be saving room for dessert. The pastry case is packed with tempting scones, cookies, and doughnuts. Ares suggests taking a maple-glazed candied-bacon doughnut to go. Twist my arm, why don’t you? Prep & Pastry. 3073 N. Campbell Ave. 520.326.7737. PrepAndPastry.com.
How Sweet It Is Zucarmex sugars to open in Tucson.
company based in Sinaloa, Mexico, has secured a space to begin producing and distributing sugar and liquefied sugar products here in the Old Pueblo. While we mostly laud Baja Arizona’s steady growth in smallscale, locally produced foods, we recognize that the overall economy receives a boost when large manufacturers make their home here, too. The Arizona Daily Star recently reported that Zucarmex expected to make 50 new hires here in Tucson. The family-owned company, which started as a small sugar mill business over a century ago, sources natural sugar cane from more than 15,000 farmers in Mexico and processes the raw materials in four sugar mills throughout Mexico. At the new Tucson facility, Carlos Rionda, Zucarmex vice president of sales and marketing, ucar mex , a sugar
18 M ay - June 2014
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g says, “We plan on producing, packaging and distributing dry and liquid sugar products.” Rionda stresses that Mexican cane sugar farmers are “true partners” of Zucarmex and that under Mexican law they receive a significant portion of final profits. The company prides itself on making Morena pure cane sugar, which it claims tastes better than refined white sugar, “retaining a flavor profile that’s as close to fresh sugar cane as possible.” Also, according to Rionda, many beverage makers in the United States are making the switch from high fructose corn syrups and highly processed beet sugars to more natural cane sugars produced in liquid form, which means Zucarmex has been producing more liquefied sugar in recent years. Rionda says that location was a major concern in siting the Tucson distribution operation. “The main reason for relocating to Tucson is the supply chain benefits provided by the Port of Tucson,” he says. Zucarmex currently has five other sugar distribution hubs in the United States, and Tucsonans can buy their sugar at any major supermarket—look for packages labeled as Zulka Morena Cane Sugars. Zucarmex.com.
and of course, delicious.
- Chef Omar Huerta
Arizona Sprouthouse serves up supercharged nutrition.
the Arizona Sprouthouse booth at St. Philip’s Farmers’ Market many times and not thought twice about stopping. Wheatgrass and sprouted beans are only for über-hippie-vegans, right? You might reconsider that notion when you learn about the nutritional powers of these little sprouts and grasses. Plus, thanks to their sharp, spicy, vibrant flavors and satisfying crunch, many Arizona Sprouthouse regulars snack on them plain, straight from the bag. Once you try them, you might just be sold. Diana Elbirt, the proprietor of Arizona Sprouthouse, says that sprouts and grasses “offer food with enzymes that we’re lacking in the food chain, so there’s a lot of illness because people aren’t getting the enzymes they need.” She and her business partner started up in 2011, and have been shocked by the demand they’ve seen. Their farm is located in the Tucson Mountains, and all products are certified naturally grown. Both sprouts and nutritional grasses have enzymes because they are still “alive” when you consume them. And although all vegetables have enzymes, the second you start to cook with them, those enzymes start to dissipate, says Elbirt. In addition, grasses have chlorophyll, which she says is great for the blood, and sprouts are protein-packed. “Our customers are either tackling health issues or they just want to stay healthy, or they like the taste,” says Elbirt. “I like ou m ay have passed by
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Green Fields is now accepting applications for Grades K -12.
Diana Elbirt, the owner of Arizona Sprouthouse, says that sprouts and grasses â€œoffer food with enzymes that weâ€™re lacking in the food chain.â€?
warm foods, so I add them to noodle and rice dishes, but many people eat them in salads and others juice the grasses. Some people even cook with themâ€”like sprouted lentil burgers or mung bean pancakes. Iâ€™ve learned a lot from my customers.â€? In addition to the overwhelming demand from individual customers, Elbirt sells to a variety of local restaurants. Primo, at the Marriott Starr Pass Tucson Resort, and Maynards both buy her microgreens; Urban Fresh and Sky Bar juice her wheatgrass. Brooklyn Pizza makes fresh subs with her sunflower sprouts. In addition to wheatgrass, Elbirt grows barley grass and pet grasses, which help dogs and cats with digestion. She carries a wide variety of soil-grown microgreens: sunflower, pea shoots, buckwheat lettuce, basil, cilantro, beet, kale, and kohlrabi. In the sprouts department, she offers alfalfa, broccoli, radish, mung bean, and lentils. Mixed bags of microgreens are one of the most popular items. â€œItâ€™s kind of like a salad in a bag,â€? says Elbirt. â€œThatâ€™s the cool part because people want to eat fresh food. But itâ€™s crazy how busy we are.â€? Elbirt makes clear that although sheâ€™s a proponent of sprouts and microgreens, they are only part of a holistic diet. â€œI eat meatâ€”I donâ€™t sit at the juice bar all day,â€? she says, â€œbut people are starting to see that their bodies crave diversity.â€? Arizona Sprouthouse sells at St. Philipâ€™s Farmersâ€™ Markets on Sundays. Prices range from $2 to $9 per bag. Thearizonasprouthouse.com.
For more information call: (520)297-2288
FOR THE RECORD
or visit: greenfields.org
First day of school 8/20/14.
The story in the March/April issue, â€œThe Revolution Requires Cover Crops,â€? misidentified Melanie Daniel as an AUSD teacher; she is an employee of Desert Senita.
22â€ƒ M ay - June 2014
by Tucson Foodie
in last issue’s New Eats, you’d think there couldn’t be nearly enough fresh local news to fill an entire column with. Think again. A no-brainer of an idea, Café Botanica opened inside the Tucson Botanical Gardens not long ago. Inspired by the “culinary traditions of the Sonoran desert and high-desert of Northern New Mexico,” they feature local produce, meats, and cheese. They’re only open from 9 ‘til 4 p.m., so you’ll have to skip this option for dinner. Menu highlights include Slow Roasted Double Check Ranch Beef Tacos, Josh’s Shredded Willcox Chicken Torta, Seasonal Green Salads, and soups made from scratch. Bonus points for being at the Botanical Gardens. Viva’s Bar + Grill has taken over what used to be Sabor Tropical near Karuna’s Thai at 1929 E. Grant, just east of Campbell. It’s a small menu featuring just three types of tacos, a burger, wings, Caesar salad, and fries. Try the Al Pastor taco, made with pork. Bacon comes from pork, too. Bacon. Sorry … lost my train of thought there for a second. Another Campbell Avenue restaurant is coming soon. Pionic Pizza & Pasta is currently under construction at 2643 N. Campbell Ave. No word yet on menu or open date, but word is there’s a connection to The Eclectic. And, everyone loves The Eclectic. Visit pionicpizza.com for more information. Brushfire BBQ recently opened an Ice Creamery next door to their east side location at 22nd and Kolb. All flavors are made in-house daily, and although we haven’t made it over to the new location just yet, samples were available at SAACA’s Savor event, which were delicious. Goodness Juice Bar & Fresh Food is open in the former Umi Star space at 2502 N. Campbell, just north of Grant, and features fresh pressed juices, salads, wraps, sandwiches, smoothies, and healthy bowls such as a Roast Vegetable & Quinoa Bowl and a Kale Bowl. In April, Taco Urbano opened quietly at 2513 N. Campbell, across the street from the new Goodness Juice Bar & Fresh Food. Started by the family that owned Aguirre’s Mexican Food, Taco Urbano cooks everything on an actual grill, as opposed to a flat top, and is hoping to shift into cooking their chicken and carne asada out back over mesquite. As an added bonus, they open at 7 ith everything mentioned
Something sweet to start? Fresh Mexican pastries from El Triunfo Bakery are on offer at Taco Urbano. Photo by Adam Lehrman
a.m. during the week (8 a.m. on Saturday) and feature fresh daily Mexican pastries from El Triunfo Bakery. Former manager of Gentle Ben’s and Barrio Brewing Gerard Meurer recently opened Baja Café at 7002 E. Broadway Blvd., at the southwest corner of Broadway and Kolb, in the former Biscuits Café. Serving breakfast and lunch only, everything is made fresh and the menu strays considerably from standard fare with ingredients and items such as House Made Granola, Jalapeño Bacon, Red Velvet Pancakes, Hatch chiles, nopalitos, Prickly Pear Salad, house made adobo sauce, and much more. Not the freshest of news, but in case you missed it, Blu: A Wine & Cheese Stop opened a dedicated location at the Mercado San Agustín in addition to their smaller, remote locations inside of Alfonso’s Olive Oil & Balsamica at St. Philip’s Plaza and their new store at Oracle and Magee. For all you coffee fiends, local roaster Yellow Brick Coffee will open a stand-alone store at 3220 S. Dodge Blvd. It should be a pretty cool space, built out with recycled industrial materials. In addition to serving and roasting coffee, YBC also plans on using the space to promote coffee education with weekend cuppings (tastings) and courses, as well as to offer local artists a place to showcase and sell their creations. In further downtown revitalization news, word recently broke of a possible 6,000-square-foot, full-service, grocery store to open in December in the former Beowulf Alley at 11 S. Sixth Ave. And, no, it won’t just be weightlifting shakes. At the new Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market, the current and former owners of Rincon Market, Ron Abbott and Paul Cisek respectively, plan to offer a range of specialty and organic foods, as well as bicycle delivery service. What is this, Marin County? ✜ Since 2009, Adam Lehrman as Tucson Foodie has provided opinions and information on a wide variety of topics pertaining to food in Tucson. Find him on the web at TucsonFoodie.com.
edible Baja Arizona
That one thing they should never take off the menu.
1234 Photography by Liora K
The Original Abbey Burger and Fries The Abbey
Take refuge in the layers of this burger—two grilled English muffins contain two patties, cooked medium, along with bacon “jam,” caramelized onions, and white cheddar cheese. Monk’s robes not included. $14 6960 E. Sunrise Drive
Hot Corned Beef Sandwich, Jumbo Sized Fifth Street Deli & Market
Baja Arizona’s only fullservice kosher deli offers mouth-watering, mile-high sandwiches Sunday through Friday. As if you needed more than a stack of hot corned beef, it comes with potato salad and a half-sour deli pickle. $11.95 5071 E. Fifth St.
No. 1 Bagel Café Passé
When a doughnut’s too sweet and toast is too light, sometimes all you need is a reliable bagel. At Passé, it comes toasted with cream cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, organic greens, and fresh basil. $4 415 N. Fourth Ave.
Squid and Pork Bulgogi Kimchi Time
It’s a cornucopia—spicy seasoned squid and pork stir fried with vegetables, with multiple sides that change daily. Pictured: kimchi; house rice with wild black rice, white rice, sweet rice, fish cake, house tomato and cucumber salad, house potato salad, kaktugi, kimchi (Korean radish). $15.95 2900 E. Broadway Blvd.
edible Baja Arizona
Sit n Feast on your life n
9121 E Tanque Verde Rd n 749-3903
28â€ƒ M ay - June 2014
To find where to buy seasonal produce, visit EdibleBajaArizona.com for a complete listing of CSA programs and farmers’ markets.
What’s In Season
1. Green onion 2. Cucumber 3. Fig 4. Carrot 5. Swiss chard 6. Sweet corn 7. Artichoke 8. Parsnip 9. Green bean 10. Cilantro 11. Summer squash
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THERAPEUTIC • THAI • SPORTS ESTHETICS • SHIATSU • PRENATAL
THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE AND BODYWORK
1600 n tucson • 326.8300 www.rootedmassagetucson.com
30 M ay - June 2014
Mixing It Up with Haile Thomas
I definitely enjoy the occasional creamy, crunchy, or cheesy side dish to go with whatever main dish I’m preparing or enjoying out at one of my favorite local restaurants. After all—all things in moderation, right? (Well, maybe not all things—I try never to eat things that can cause our bodies to become sick!) At any rate, it’s my mission to get in my kitchen and create meals that are yummy and good for our family. And I think my latest creation definitely qualifies as both delicious and healthy! It’s my flavorful cilantro, lime, and garlic-roasted cauliflower recipe. In terms of health benefits, cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable (same plant family as broccoli, kale, cabbage, and collards). Cauliflower is low in calories and an excellent source of Vitamin C, K, and B6, and a great source of dietary fiber. Focusing on the yummy side, the roasted cauliflower is topped with creamy avocado, shaved Parmesan cheese, and my favorite herb—cilantro. It might sound like an odd combination, but trust me it works. It’s super delicious! So, give it a try and, as always, let me know what you think.
Cilantro, Lime, and Garlic-Roasted Cauliflower Ingredients: 2 large heads cauliflower 6 garlic cloves, minced 2 tablespoons tequila-lime seasoning mix (or your favorite seasoning blend) 8 tablespoons olive oil 1 large lime, juiced 1 cup cilantro, chopped 1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese 2 avocados, chopped Directions: Preheat oven to 325º. Mix together garlic, tequila lime seasoning, olive oil, and lime juice. Separate the cauliflower and cut into florets, then toss gently with oil mixture to coat well. Spread the seasoned cauliflower in a shallow glassroasting pan. Roast 1 to 1.5 hours or until tender, stirring occasionally. When done, remove from oven. Mix in chopped cilantro leaves, shaved Parmesan, and chopped avocados. Enjoy!
Photo by Steven Meckler
ik e most k ids ,
Haile Thomas is a seventh grader at St. Gregory College Preparatory School, a motivational speaker, and a young chef recently featured on the Food Network’s Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off. She is an advisory board member with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, ChopChop magazine, and the Tucson Village Farm. Haile is also the founder of the HAPPY Organization, which partners with the YWCA to offer kids cooking classes, fun physical activities, and nutrition education. This is the second in a series of recipes designed for kids, by kids.
edible Baja Arizona
[E dible H omestead ]
“All the children are insane ... Waiting for the summer rain.” -Jim Morisson
Summer is Coming. by Jared R. McKinley | Illustrations by Danny Martin
he summer is a tough time for both humans and gardens like. But a change of attitude can change your experience. Be the type of person who loves Baja Arizona because of the summer, not in spite of it. May and June offer the biggest challenge to summer gardening, although the biggest challenge might simply be changing your habits. If you move along with the season and prepare for what is ahead, you can learn to love summer gardening. The biggest disappointments come with expecting that the ease of spring gardening is going to continue. Spring is wonderful with its bounty. But summer can offer unique gifts, too; it just takes a little more work.
S ummer S urvival Tips
irst of all, remember this: Most plants don’t mind the summer sun. It is the heat that causes problems. Warm-season plants love the sun, but can sometimes look toasted, burned up, or shriveled—it’s no wonder that
people blame the sun when they see plants succumb to the summer heat. Here are some survival tips for the next two months while we wait for the sky to burst with rain. Mulch, Mulch, Mulch. Providing a layer of mulch at the top layer of your soil profile, around plants, helps to insulate the soil from summer heat, slowing down water evaporation and keeping the root zone of the plants a few degrees cooler. It also keeps the microorganisms of the soil happier—and those microorganisms provide food for your plants. You can mulch with straw or compost. Feed the Soil. As you water your plants throughout the summer, the nutrient content of the soil decreases as the organic components of the soil get used up. Plants that are nutrient-deficient are more likely to have problems (and use water less efficiently). When you pull out plants that have finished their season, use that opportunity to add some fresh, rich compost and manure to the soil. Also, use balanced organic fertilizers, like water-soluble kelp meal, to feed the plants still growing. Adding those organic fertilizers to the soil allow you
edible Baja Arizona
[E.H.] G ood Bugs and Bad Bugs
I to get nutrition into the soil without disturbing its structure. Cast some shade, but not too much. In an effort to do good, many do harm by casting too much shade on their plants. If you want to take the edge off the sun, use a shade cloth with no more than about 30 to 40 percent filtering (shade cloth is rated by how much sunlight it screens out). Too much shade invites a lot of problems. Plants need the sun, even in summer. When they don’t get enough sunlight, they etiolate—they become leggy and weak. Such growth attracts harmful insects like aphids, whitefly, and more. Grow appropriate plants. There are many crops that do well in our summer heat: black-eyed peas, okra, sweet potato, basil, Armenian cucumber, and various melons varieties. Many varieties of eggplant, peppers, and even some tomatoes continue to produce throughout the next few months. Also, though many of our warm season crops slow down fruit production when the temperatures hit triple-digits, the plants themselves can be fine. Start new seedlings of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant so when late summer and fall arrive, you will have fresh new plants that will be more productive than an older plant you spent a lot of energy nursing through the summer. Pull out unproductive plants. As mentioned above, this gives you an opportunity to freshen up the soil. But also, keeping plants around that are past their prime offers little reward, takes up precious resources, and also invites insect problems like aphid and whitefly. Pull those old plants up and make room for new ones.
f you have the time (and if you have the garden, you should make the time) check the undersides of leaves and stems for larvae with an appetite/ Watch out for tomato hornworms, grape leaf skeletonizers, and squash vine borers. If you see their little eggs on the undersides of leaves, rub them out with your fingers. They look like little pin pricks, but are surprisingly easy to notice if you pay attention. If you notice the damage, move quickly. With squash plants, the tips of the vines will start suddenly drooping, regardless of soil moisture—follow the droop until you find the larvae burrowing its way along the stem and snip off that part of the plant before the larvae reaches the base. Tomato hornworms may devour large quantities in a short time, but the big, fat, green caterpillars are easy enough to spot, pluck, and destroy. As a preventative measure, you can apply Bacillus thurigensis, a beneficial bacteria that destroys various harmful insects. There are many varieties of Bacillus thurigensis that can be obtained from Arbico Organics (Arbico-Organics.com). They also offer many other safe, organic methods of pest control. You might get an aphid infestation. If you do, a powerful spray of water is often sufficient for removing them, though you may have to do this every morning for a few days to a week to control the population. If the aphids are persistent, try using soapy water (1 tablespoon per gallon of water). If that doesn’t work, the host plant may simply be weak.
The Citrus N eed S ome L ove
itrus trees need a lot of food this time of the year. Feed them a balanced organic fertilizer, with lots of micronutrients like iron and magnesium, and avoid watering too shallowly or frequently. You may notice the tops of trees yellowing. This is sunburn and pretty much unavoidable, especially on larger-leafed trees like grapefruit. For the most part, this damage is mostly cosmetic and sunburned leaves will soon be replaced with fresh new growth when the monsoon is in full swing. ✜
34 M arch - April 2014
C lasses with the C ommunity F ood B ank of S outhern A rizona Thursday, May 15 4-7pm
with Amy Valdés Schwemm Learn to collect these nutritious cactus pads from your own yard and cook them into a tasty dish everyone will love.
Thursday, June 5 4-7pm
Mesquite Harvesting with Jeau Allen
Learn how to safely identify, harvest, and store mesquite pods to be milled into flour in the fall!
Thursday, June 19 4-7pm
with Barbara Rose Join Bean Tree Farmers to learn how to add nutritious mesquite, ironwood and palo verde beans to your kitchen table! All workshops free to the public. Workshops are ongoing during the farmers’ market. No need to make reservations, just show up and learn. Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market run by Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona at Mercado San Agustin 100 S. Avenida del Convento, Thursdays 4-7pm (May-October) For more information call Nadia at 882-3304 or www.communityfoodbank.org/farmersmarket
Classes with W atershed M anagement G roup Thursday, May 22 & Thursday, June 19, 2-5p Tucson Water Rainwater Rebate Educational Sessions, City of Tucson Ward 3 Council Office, 1510 East Grant Road WMG’s Tucson Water Rainwater Harvesting Rebate educational sessions will include a brief tour of water harvesting features on site, an introduction to rainwater harvesting, information about the rebates, and a design process.
May 10, 11:30am
Community Water Harvesting Workshop in Agua Dulce Neighborhood Join neighborhood residents and community volunteers as we sculpt water harvesting earthworks to harvest the rain along a neighborhood bicycle and pedestrian pathway! For more information about events and classes sponsored by Watershed Management Group, call 520-396-3266 or visit WatershedMG.org
Kitchen Project Making Sweet Potato Slips
ou may have noticed that if you leave them long enough, sweet potatoes start to grow. If you were to plant the tuber, you would get a sweet potato plant. Unfortunately, if you plant the tuber as is, it will not produce more tubers. And if you are going to bother growing a sweet potato plant, which likes lots of sun, water, and food, you will want to get tubers. To get a sweet potato start that will produce numerous tubers, you will want to make slips. Select a healthy tuber from the grocery store. Cut the tuber in half and place into a jar with the cut side face down, half submerged in water. You might use toothpicks to secure the tuber in place. Place in the sunniest window you can find. In a week or so, buds will appear (sometimes it takes longer—some varieties of sweet potato are quicker than others). Let these buds grow and produce a few leaves. Roots may also appear where these buds emerge from the tuber. When these buds have about three leaves, and/or look vigorous, use a razor blade and slice away from the tuber. Take the buds and place them in water with leaves out in the air. Keep watered and wait for roots to grow. These are your sweet potato slips. Once the slips have put out a good amount of roots and
36 M ay - June 2014
look vigorous, you can plant them outside. Plant at least 1 ½ feet apart and keep very well watered. If they were not in very much sun, you might give them some shade at first, until they are established. Keep in the ground until just before frost (a hard frost will damage tubers). You can push more dirt up and around the base of plants as they grow to encourage more tuber development. When you harvest them, dry them out in the open air (in a shady spot) to cure them. If you want to grow more unusual varieties of sweet potatoes, besides what are available in grocery stores, try Duck Creek Farms (DuckCreekFarms.com). They sell rooted slips that you can plant immediately. ✜
R I LLI TO Nursery & Garden Center
Harvest the Rain Grow Shade & Food! Conserve Water, Save Money.
Beat the heat with more heat! 6303 N. La Cholla Blvd. Tucson, AZ (520) 575-0995 RillitoNursery.com
WMG’s Design Consultation Service will help you harvest every last drop of rain for your benefit.
Get your home ready to harvest the monsoon! Schedule a site visit with our design professionals today.
watershedmg.org 520-396-3266 WMG is a non-profit organization working for the prosperity of people and health of the environment
edible Baja Arizona
Try the Cowpea for Luck
or those of us who reside here throughout the summer and still garden, the cowpea or black eyed pea (Vigna unguiculata) is an easy summer crop. If you haven’t grown any sort of bean or legume before, this is the best one to start with. The cowpea loves heat. It also doesn’t require extra nitrogen to grow since it a nitrogen-fixing plant—that is, it has a relationship with symbiotic bacteria called rhizobia within nodules in their root systems, producing nitrogen compounds that help the plant to grow. Plant seeds directly in the ground (they don’t transplant well from starts). Seeds germinate easily within about a week or so. While seedlings, keep them moderately moist. Once full-grown, water thoroughly when they droop (don’t let them wilt too much) but let them dry out a bit between waterings. Some varieties are determinate (bushy, no need for additional support) while others can be indeterminate (viney, in need of a trellis or some other medium to grow on). In general you will find them easy to grow. Some people will stick to growing just cowpeas in the summer as a cover crop (a crop that demands little from the soil and allows or encourages a
38 M ay - June 2014
buildup of microorganisms) and also because they require so little care. What is more, cowpeas are shade tolerant which makes them a great companion crop. Try growing them next to other taller crops like corn, tomatoes, amaranth, eggplant or peppers. There are many varieties to choose from. Seeds can vary from the very traditional white pea, with the black “eye,” to mottled- or solid-colored; they can also range in colors: white, black, brown, purple, and red. Native Seeds/SEARCH has a great variety of cowpeas to choose from (NativeSeeds. org). Some people collect the pods green but most grow cowpeas to store. For dry beans, wait until the pods totally dry on the plant. Sometimes the entire plants may dry up with the pods. Cowpeas, once dried, can store for many years. Native to Africa, black eyed peas have a culinary tradition that is very embedded in southern American culinary culture. It is traditional in southern states to eat them on New Years Day for good luck. ✜
Family owned and operated Organic vegetables, fertilizers, soil & amendments Plants, shrubs, trees, cacti Premium dog & cat food, animal health products Mesquite firewood Landscape istallation & maintenance
2730 N Silverbell Rd.
edibleâ€‚ Baja Arizonaâ€ƒ
Visit Tubac, Arizona
our experience will be positive if you plant crops appropriate for the warm season, especially if you select heat-resistant varieties.
From seed: • • • • • • •
Black-eyed peas Cowpeas Tepary beans Corn Okra Melons Cucumber (especially Armenian cucumber)
• • • • • • •
Watermelon Cantaloupe Gourds Sweet potato (from slips) Amaranth Devil’s claw Tobacco
You can also plant these herbs ( just keep them well-watered): • • •
Lemongrass Oregano Basil
When monsoon season arrives, you can continue to plant most warm-season crops: • • • •
Tomatoes Eggplant Peppers Tomatillo
• • •
Squash Pumpkins Watermelon
Summer is also a great time to browse the seed catalogs for cool-season crops. Before you know it, fall planting time will be here — you’ll be glad you thought ahead. Jared R. McKinley is the associate publisher of Edible Baja Arizona.
edible Baja Arizona
Eat The Cactus
Easy to harvest and full of nutrients, there’s no reason not to harvest your own prickly pear cactus pads. By Amy Valdés Schwemm
love nopalitos—the tangy green vegetable is not only full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, but it’s also fun to harvest. Ubiquitous in neighborhoods and in the wild, harvesting a few pads does not harm the plant or jeopardize the supply for other animals that also love them. A mature nopal, planted in a garden or an earthen basin, serves as a low-maintenance perennial food crop, a living fence, habitat for birds and beneficial insects, a remedy for burns and swelling like aloe vera—and it’s simply beautiful. Some species of nopal make better fruit, called tunas, and some make better nopalitos, but eat whatever you have. In the wild each spring, many species grow edible pads, which are covered with stout spines as well as many tiny spines called glochids. Mexican cultivars produce nearly spineless young pads from spring until fall with minimal irrigation or summer rains, but are frost sensitive. Nopalitos most often appear in my Community-Supported Agriculture, or CSA, share in May and June, due in part to the gap between winter and summer produce. They are also available in jars and fresh at Mexican groceries. A man used to glean nopalitos from his Tucson neighborhood, then clean and sell them in front of his apartment complex during Lent—much to the dismay of my neighbor who was waiting for his living fence to grow. Harvest young pads, smaller and brighter in color with tiny, fleshy cones (leaves) growing near the spines and glochids at raised places called areoles. As the pads mature, the color dulls
42 M ay - June 2014
and the leaves fall off. Larger pads have woody fibers in the center, but harvested too small, they are more work for less food. Hold the pad with tongs and cut from the plant with a knife at the base of the pad. I hate ruining gloves, so I don’t use them, but I’m careful and I don’t mind removing a few glochids from my fingers with flat-tipped tweezers. If large spines are present, singe them over an open flame, like a gas stove or campfire. They burn as quickly as paper. This step is not necessary for many species. Place the pad flat on a table, put the knife flat against the pad, and cut off each areole. Do not remove the skin from the entire pad. Trim the top edge of the pad, where there are many areoles. Trim the base of the pad, which can be fibrous. Rinse off glochids. Cut in pieces or cook whole in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Drain, rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Alternatively, grill or sauté. Some people are repulsed by the texture of soluble fiber in okra and nopalitos, and some of us love it. Rinsing and drying does help. Serve cooked nopalitos in a quesadilla or a cold salad with onion, tomato ,and cilantro, or pickle nopalitos in vinegar with onion and jalapeño. To win over slime-phobic eaters, scramble with eggs or put in red chile sauce or pipián rojo. ¡Buen provecho! ✜
Amy Valdés Schwemm sells mole powders at ManoYMetate.com.
edible Baja Arizona
MEET YOUR FARMER
Growing Veganically In the greenhouses of Sunizona Family Farms, Byron and Janice Smith are conducting an agrarian symphony of balanced efficiency. By Michael Mello | Photography by Jeff Smith
hen B yron S mith decided to leave northern British Columbia to grow vegetables elsewhere, his checklist for a new farmstead had three items: It had to have year-round sun; the winters had to be cold, and the nights cool; and, it had to be way out in the country—having grown up in a remote part of western Canada, Smith wanted a similar experience for his children. One spot met all three criteria: A swath of land on a desert plain about 30 miles south of Willcox, about 4,500 feet above sea level. In the late 90s, Smith and his wife, Janice, moved to Willcox and created what is now known as Sunizona Family Farms. It’s considered to be a small operation, but it has a big reach. Each week, the 20-acre farm ships 700 to 800 boxes of vegetables—and even fruit pies and whole grain breads—to “farm box” subscribers across Arizona. In addition, Sunizona Family Farms sells produce directly to stores such as Whole Foods. Their work, Janice said, is governed by one belief: “Food is the essence of life. If we don’t have food, what are we going to do as a people?” Granted, there’s food, and then there’s food. The Smiths endeavor to produce the best produce they can
46 M ay - June 2014
without pesticides or chemical fertilizers, thus, they said, making it the healthiest kind of food. Indeed, they like to joke that “Even their vegetables are vegetarian.” To achieve that, they start with the soil, composting their own for the greenhouses and outside growing areas. That soil comes from composted tomato plant leaves and other prunings that otherwise would be cast off. “When you make your own potting soil, you have better consistency,” Janice said. “It’s not just about sustainability,” Byron said. “It’s not just about providing food. I want to go a step beyond that. It’s about the quality of life.” A biomass boiler supplies hot water to keep the hothouses that way. Pecan hulls from orchards near Green Valley fuel the boiler. The resulting ash, instead of getting tossed, is used as a soil amendment. “When we first decided to do this, we didn’t think, ‘Hey, we’ve got all this wonderful ash we can use,’” Janice said. But every day of the farm’s operation, she said, has been an exercise in efficiency. Efficiency has its limits, however. Growing in a hothouse takes energy. The Smiths grow several varieties of vegetables to meet customer demand. The farm uses natural methods to control pests, which Janice says isn’t as efficient as using chemicals. The natural pest control, like growing heirloom varieties, Janice admitted, is a
Above: No sunscreen needed here. Sunizona workers harvest greenhouse-grown lettuces for the weekly farm boxes. Opposite: Janice and Byron Smith stand among their hard-grown tomato vines.
edibleâ€‚ Baja Arizonaâ€ƒ
Above: After their cucumber crop failed, the Smiths started growing the “veganic” way, with intensive care in greenhouses. Bottom: The 20-acre farm now supports the production of 75 kinds of fruit, vegetables, and microgreens.
somewhat inefficient way to run a growing operation. “But it’s a good way for us, because it allows us to have a good variety for people.” While the Chiricahua Mountains in the distance and the occasional barn dotting the landscape might suggest the typical farming operation, Sunizona Family Farms is anything but. Most farms don’t have hothouses like this, where 10-foot high tomatoes thrive across from beets and turnips comely enough to be included in a still-life painting. But idyllic as the scene may seem, the word “farming” can almost be a synonym for challenge. It was the same for the Smiths. At one point, vandalism wiped out nearly every crop they grew. In another instance, a then-undiscovered virus yellowed the leaves and curled their young cucumbers, resulting in a total loss for the crop, since all they had planted was cucumbers—which taught them, they said, to take refuge in diversity. Today, the farm grows 75 kinds of fruit, vegetables, and microgreens. The décor of the main greenhouse includes tomatoes in nearly a rainbow variety of colors. Greens grow daintily in broad trays in another growing house, and green onions reach for the sky outside. The hothouses allow for year-round production of many vegetables. Once one crop is harvested, fresh seedlings immediately
take their place in an orderly, rhythmic fashion—a kind of agrarian symphony. To conduct that kind of efficient rotation takes effort. “People think of a farmer as wearing bib overalls,” Janice said. “But these days, farmers spend a lot of time on Excel spreadsheets.” The manifested vision of the Smiths’ growing operation began hundreds of miles to the north. Byron got his start in agriculture when he worked to create a growing program at a high school in a remote section of British Columbia. As he began to master the art of growing cucumbers, he realized he wanted to relocate to an area that would facilitate that endeavor a bit more than Canada’s stingy growing season—hence the move to Willcox. After establishing a hothouse in Arizona, the Smiths filled it with cucumber plants. But after a time, the plants’ leaves yellowed, a harbinger of catastrophe. “[The] cucumbers began curling up,” Janice recalled. It would be months before they found out that a heretofore undiscovered virus was the likely killer. By that time, the farm was nearly bankrupt. If they were going to go down anyway, they would use the opportunity to realize their desire to grow organically—or as they put it, “veganically.” Going veganic, they reasoned, meant minimizing foodborne illness that the Smiths attribute mainly to the animal products commonly used to fertilize crops.
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Every week, workers pack and ship 700 to 800 boxes of vegetables to “farm box” subscribers across Arizona.
It wasn’t easy. “Financially, we had hit rock bottom. We couldn’t even afford the gun to put the stickers on the packages,” Janice said. “My daughters and I would spend mornings putting stickers on them.” With cucumber farming behind them, they turned to tomatoes. Soon, chefs and stores in Tucson began demanding the Smiths’ tomatoes. Then they asked for heirloom varieties. That led to requests for microgreens. From the ashes of disaster, they grew a revived farm. The flirt with bankruptcy “was the best thing to ever happen to us,” Janice said. “It opened a whole new world to us.” Part of the farm’s new efforts at diversity is a bakery, which produces fresh, preservative-free breads and pies for customers. The bread is produced from khorasan, an heirloom wheat, and spelt. The grains are washed, soaked, and sprouted before getting milled and baked. To realize Sunizona Family Farms’ mission, the Smiths have surrounded themselves with like-minded employees. As the number of small family farms dwindles around the nation, Sunizona Family Farms has attracted people who want to learn about agriculture. One of them is Timothy Hyde, 19, who grew up near Kalama50 M ay - June 2014
zoo, Michigan. He came to the farm last year and has worked his way up from the heavy labor work to being a “scout” who inspects the crops for pest and disease threats, then works on how to deal with them. At some point, he said, he wants to return to Michigan and put what he’s learned to use. “If you can grow [crops] in the heat of Arizona, you can grow anywhere,” he said. Farm work is not easy work. But it’s difficult not to see smiles on the employees’ faces, like when Jesus Garcia, a 13-year veteran of the farm, prunes tomatoes. “It’s a happiness for us. We know we’re doing the best for the families” who buy the farm’s products, he said. One of his production secrets? He talks to the tomatoes, complimenting them, encouraging them to grow and be bountiful. “People must think I’m crazy,” Garcia said, “but it works.” The effort shows in the end product, when ruby-hued tomatoes and sweet, tender baby beets go out in the farm boxes. ✜ Sunizona Family Farms. 5655 E. Gaskill Road, Willcox. 520.824.3160. SunizonaFamilyFarms.com Michael Mello is a writer who has worked for The Orange County Register and The Los Angeles Times. He is currently lost in Arizona.
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IN THE BUSINESS
Hugs Mandatory If you’ve breakfasted (or lunched) at Little Café Poca Cosa, Marcela and Sandra Davila probably remember the dish you ordered. Interview by Lisa Levine | Photography by Omer Kreso
Does Little Café Poca Cosa represent a certain kind of cuisine?
Where in Mexico?
Sandra: What you’re feeling goes into your food. I know I can count on at least 150 hugs a day. That goes into our cooking.
Sandra: My fishing village has no running water or electricity. We had a little girl in a wheelchair, and what can we do? Marcela: Sandra, because she drives back and forth all the time, is able to see this little girl is going to need a $300 operation, a world of money to them.
Sandra: We like to call it comida casera, home cooking. If I’m roasting chile ancho, I might put a little tamarindo, with a little bit of goat cheese, and it’s like, Oh, my God. Where does it come from? I don’t know. I just invented it. Marcela: That’s the joy of what Sandra is so good at. See what you have, what you can get, what is in season, and create, play.
Has growth changed your crowd?
Marcela: We know everyone by name. They have been coming for years. My daddy started this—fed people, gave people a hug, a cup of coffee. Sandra: The same people, more people, different people, but people stay, they continue to come. I can walk down any street and tell you what the people had for breakfast. I may not remember your name, but you are huevos rancheros with barbacoa on the side. That’s very community feeling.
How would you describe your management style?
Marcela: Actually, it’s a matriarchy, and the mama is in charge. Sandra: I’m 11 years older. She’s doing her new business venture, which is a fabulous thing for her. Marcela: We grew up like this, waking to a pot of something delicious emanating out of the kitchen. I’m the only one of my siblings who grew up here. The rest grew up in Mexico.
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Sandra: Guaymas. That’s where I still go to, the fishing village outside of San Carlos. Marcela: That’s where Sandra does her volunteer work. Sandra: We take care of three schools and help out with an orphanage program. Marcela: It is amazing. People will come, pay their bill with a $50 bill, and say “Take a fair tip, and put the rest for the kids.”
Does the restaurant have capital considerations?
Marcela: We don’t own the building. It would be silly for us to put investment into something we don’t own. Sandra: Daddy’s rule always was: You give good food at a good price and put out a good plate, you’ll never be empty. Marcela: We honor a lot of what Daddy started. Sandra: Women in their 30s will come in and say, “I remember your Daddy used to put the rice bag on the chair so I could reach the table.” And now they have kids.
Marcela (left) and Sandra Davila keep track of the charitable donations that trickle (or pour) in from loyal customers.
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Do you have ceremonies?
Marcela: In a family sort of way. We don’t beat around the bush with what we say. We don’t like to throw food away because we see people every day asking for food. We put together these stunning plates. I wouldn’t throw that away. Things like that are very ceremonial to us. There are times that we mess up. We don’t follow recipes. We don’t pretend to give people hugs.
Can food change a person’s heart? Say Jan Brewer walked in the door.
Sandra: We don’t discriminate; however, I also don’t hold back. If you’re going to walk in with attitude yourself, I’d just as soon lose the chair. We leave politics at the door, as we leave religion; we leave all of that behind. We love food, and we love people, as we love creativity, and tasting stuff. And we may not remember your name—
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Marcela: But we remember your face. We remember that you asked for roasted jalapeño on the side, no rice, and a big salad with no tomatoes. We have a customer who comes in every day. She eats chicken soup every day of her life. One day, we take off holidays, and she calls me and she says, “Hey, doll, are you going to be open?” And I’m like, “No, we’re closed, but I’m at the assisted living home. Come join me for coffee.” Damn it if she didn’t show up. I opened the door of the assisted living and there’s Rose: “Hey doll, did you bring creamer?” So she sat down and had a cup of coffee with me. Those are the customers that we have.
Are local foods on your menu?
Sandra: Depends on what’s available. The tiny key limes from Colima I use to make limonata normally are $17 to $23 a case, but they went up to $65 today, so I may make beet mandarin with some lemon. When you cook fresh, you have to know what’s available and tasty at the time. Five-thirty in the morning, my hour to play, I’ve got every burner going on the stove. I’m roasting garlic; I’m roasting chilies; I’m roasting pecans; I’m roasting almonds. Everything’s going to get incorporated.
Do you prefer raw or refined flavors?
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Sandra: Raw, not refined. The beets are raw, and with mandarins and lemons and limes, it’s refreshing. Whoa, what just happened to my lemonade? Marcela: I like taking regular dishes, like meatloaf, and changing them. Something people feel comfortable with can actually become a hundred different dishes.
Is that love?
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Marcela: Absolutely. We like to love people. Sandra: We have so many people say, “Not only are you in the heart of Tucson, but you are the heart of Tucson.” Nothing feels better than that. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that what you’re doing is coming across. ✜ Little Café Poca Cosa. 151 N. Stone Ave. LittleCafePocaCosa.com. Lisa Levine believes in fiction. Her short story, Shelter, inaugurated Bird’s Thumb literary journal, and her backcountry lit blog lives at cargocollective.com/alluvialdispositions.
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From Her Kitchen to Your Boca Come for the tacos, stay for the salsa—and linger in the company of chef and owner Maria Mazon. By Lisa O’Neill | Photography by Liora K
nder the giant r ed lipstick m ar k , the marquee of Boca Tacos y Tequila reads: “Our Salsas Are Hotter Than Your Wife.” That is much like the restaurant itself: clever, spicy, and always ready to take risks. The logo, décor, and menu are all the creations of chef and owner Maria José Mazon. You might have seen Boca Tacos y Tequila when driving down Speedway Boulevard and dismissed it as just another taco joint serving what most Americans think of as Mexican tacos— hard shells, ground beef, sour cream, yellow cheese—but you would be wrong. “People think because it’s Mexican food that it can’t be elegant,” Mazon says. “I respect Mexican food. I play with color and texture. I make food an art.” At Boca Tacos, Mazon, 33, makes 25 varieties of tacos but none of them are what she calls “non-Mexican tacos.” Last week, a customer came in asking, “Do you guys have any ‘regular tacos’?” Both she and the server knew what the customer meant and both felt bothered at the suggestion that yellow cheese and ground beef tacos are more authentic than the ones she creates. In that way, Mazon’s menu is not only a gourmet experience but a political act. “In a border town like Tucson, it can be all tacos with yellow cheese sour cream. [Then] there are the sombreros, the sugar skulls. People don’t always know what is real [Mexican culture],” she says. As we talk, Mazon chops cabbage. She chops a lot of cabbage, since every taco is topped with cabbage and guacamole. She explains, “That is the traditional way.” And she knows something about tradition. Although her mother was a good cook, Mazon credits her nanny as one of her early culinary influences, as she used to watch her make tortillas from scratch. But Mazon learned her chopping skills from a hot dog vendor with a stand just down the street from her childhood home in Sonora. She was mesmerized at how flawlessly and quickly he chopped and told him so. He offered to teach her. Besides a few formative moments like these, Mazon is self-taught, having used
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television cooking shows and cookbooks to learn culinary techniques and recipes. While Mazon was born in Tucson, she grew up in Navojoa, Sonora, leaving to attend high school back in Tucson when she was 15 years old. She began her culinary career 10 years ago, as a server at Papagayo Cantina Mexican restaurant, where she suggested the restaurant start offering specials. “The first thing I cooked was a seafood soup. After that, one thing led to another.” After she started Para y Bar, a taco stand and catering company, in May of 2010, Mazon opened Boca Tacos y Tequila with a business partner, taking over the place entirely two years ago. The restaurant’s name comes from a beach in her Sonoran hometown called Las Bocas. On the wall read the words: “From my Kitchen to your Boca.” Boca Tacos stand out because of their inventive flavor profiles, all born out of the Mazon’s creative mind. “It’s something I’ve always been confident in,” she says. “Ideas for flavors come to me. If it works, it works, and if it doesn’t, I make it work.” Like the time she ran out of salsa and looked over to her personal groceries from Food City. “I had grabbed some bananas and I thought, ‘Why not?’ I grilled them up and made them into a salsa.” People may come for the tacos, but they return because of the salsas. On the day I visit her salsas include: blueberry, balsamic vinaigrette, basil and serrano peppers; garbanzo kidney beans, barley, and rosemary; and rosemary, horseradish, and poblano peppers. Mazon hadn’t intended to make wildly eclectic salsas but calls them, like her career as a chef, a happy accident. “When you don’t know what is going to happen, that’s when there are so many possibilities.”
Grab a taco at Boca Tacos Y Tequila and chances are, Mario Mazon will be the one who brings them to your table—with an array of salsas, of course.
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of Mondays, you know what I mean?” Chef Mazon says on Friday afternoon as she paces through the kitchen. Although the restaurant has proved more work than she imagined, Mazon is grateful for the community she’s convened within its walls. She’s known her manager and right hand man, Eddie Gil, for seven years. She calls the five young men who work alongside her “my kids” and talks endearingly about their interests. One is a music major who totes his guitar case into the kitchen; another she calls her “hipster,” to his protest. Pointing in the direction of another employee, she says, “When he came here, he had zero cooking experience. He’s been working here a year and knows it all. It’s about the chance, learning little by little. I would love to teach the younger generation how to cook.” Her 5-year-old son, René, and girlfriend, Lily, are regular fixtures at the restaurant. When René wants a treat, he can bus the tables at 75 cents a table to earn it. Lily also often comes in to help, on this particular afternoon bringing the staff Klondike bars and refilling utensils and napkins at all the tables. This kind of loyalty and commitment is also true of regular customers. “Some of the customers here since the beginning are like best friends. When we are busy, they’ll stop eating and help bus tables. If I needed their help and called them, they would drop everything and come down here.” Even her dad, who lives in Mexico, helps support her by sending her the restaurant’s most important ingredient: Yavaros salt. “It’s white gold,” Mazon says. Her dad, who attended the University of Arizona and is a die-hard Wildcats fan, also keeps her up-to-date on the UA game schedule. He remembers the restaurant when it was a UA dive called Greasy Tony’s. She says, “Their motto was ‘Extra Grease, No Extra Charge.’” It took her 14 months to get the restaurant up to code after Greasy Tony’s tenure. Boca Tacos has not been without controversy. For a weekly exotic meat night, Mazon has made tacos comprised of silkworms, ostrich, blood sausage, kangaroo, and rattlesnakes. A few years ago, a Facebook group called for a ban of the restaurant when lion tacos were planned for one Exotic Wednesday. Mazon promptly cancelled the scheduled menu. Mazon listens to her patrons and tries to meet their needs and suggestions. One accommodation is the offering of Taco Lite: instead of being served on a tortilla, every taco can be served on a cabbage leaf instead. Mazon does her best to support local businesses. Boca’s tortillas come from Alejandro’s Tortilla Factory, the carne asada is from Taqueria Jenny’s, and the exotic meats come from Dickman’s Meat & Deli. Recently, she began ordering produce from Sunizona Family Farms allowing for organic salsas. t ’ s been a week
s a child , Mazon aspired to work in radio or photography. A keen observer, Mazon says, “I call myself a peoplewatcher. My girlfriend calls me a people-starer.” But she was in the restaurant business for years before she realized that it was her passion. In 2011, Mazon competed against another female chef at Iron Chef Tucson during Tucson Meet Yourself. She was in the zone, chopping and sautéing and mixing and suddenly, she thought to herself, “Hey! I’m really good at this.” She ended up winning the contest, an external validation of her talent, but she says it was more the process than the result that inspired her: “I realized that awards don’t make me something, I make me something.” After that contest, Mazon poured her heart into her work. “How you all doing today?” Mazon calls from the kitchen to customers just entering. Although she doesn’t know all regulars by name, she remembers their faces and orders. “I’ll think, Oh that’s the two-carne-asada guy.” She appreciates the diversity of her customers: undergrads and graduate students, tourists, artists, singers, people who work nearby or walk by. The restaurant has been consistently busy lately, which excites Mazon. “I don’t question the busy. When there is a sale on jeans, you don’t question the sale, you buy the jeans,” she says. Mazon would like to open more Boca Tacos, creating a family-owned franchise. She’s also dreaming up a Mexican fine-dining restaurant with just 10 tables and 10 items on the menu. “I have the name and the menu already here,” Mazon says pointing to her head. The bandanna across her forehead is emblazoned with the restaurant’s signature red lipstick mark. For now though, she is content to be busy, doing what she loves most: inventing, cooking, and delivering high-quality, fresh, and flavorful tacos to her customers. “They say if you are open five years, you are good. You are not going to close.” May marks Boca Tacos y Tequila’s four-year anniversary. On the day I visit, I try the calabacitas and pescado tacos. The calabacitas taco is spicy and hearty, the pescado taco is crispy without being heavy. When I compliment her on her barley, garbanzo, and kidney bean salsa, she tells me of her recent obsession with barley. “It adds texture to the taco. I love playing with texture in salsas.” “It seems the possibilities are endless,” I say. “Yes, infinite possibilities,” Mazon responds, and then adds: “It’s like Buzz Lightyear, ‘To infinity and beyond.’” ✜
Boca Tacos. 828 E. Speedway Blvd. 520.777.8134. BocaTacos.com. Lisa O’Neill originally hails from New Orleans but has made her second home in the desert, where she writes and teaches writing. Her favorite food to make is lemon icebox pie.
58 M ay - June 2014
Something Fishy This Way Comes After 70 years in the business, Rodriguez Seafood has seen the tides shift and the market change. By Lee Allen | Photography by Jeff Smith
Rodriquez Seafood’s storefront on the south side of Tucson are cooler cases full of seafood on ice—cabrilla, red snapper, grouper, flounder, shrimp, scallops, oysters, clams, mussels, and octopus. On the other side of a small wall divider is La Costa Brava Restaurant, where those fresh seafood items go into a pot or oven and are served in the form of 7 Seas Soup, shrimp prepared in over half a dozen ways, seafood cocktails of abalone, campechana, or tostada de ceviche, and cabrilla fillet grilled, steamed, or fried. For the really hungry fish lover, a two-pound crispy deep-fried “Catch of the Day” will fill a large oval dinner plate. The Rodriguez family has been importing seafood from the Gulf of California since 1944; in those 70 years, they’ve been witness to many changes in the marketplace, both locally and through their California-based subsidiary, Gulf Seafood Importers. “Starting in the early 1940s, friends in Rocky Point would sell us fish. We’d pack them on wet ice in a warehouse in Douglas and sell them out of a truck in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas,” says the owner of Rodriguez Seafood, Gloria Rodriguez. “It was a family operation even then. Several relatives drove the trucks that traveled to small communities like Saint David, Morenci, and Silver City—fishmongers right to your door.” A decade later, in 1953, the operation moved to Tucson and set n one side of
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up shop in a small warehouse on North 10th Avenue, a place called the Roof Garden. The company has grown slowly but steadily since then, opening (and then closing) a location on Broadway and now selling to both restaurants and private buyers out of its market and restaurant on South 12th Avenue. First-time visitors should save some time to gawk at the many seafaring items on display, from commercial netting to stuffed sailfish. And don’t overlook the two swabbie statues at the front door welcoming those who wish to share the bounty of the sea. That “bounty” has undergone changes over the years in numbers, cost, and ease of acquisition. Art Rodriguez, company president, pulls out an invoice book from the mid-1940s and quotes back-then prices: “Sea bass, 25 cents a pound. Flounder, 15 cents. Shark for only 10 cents a pound.” Gone are the days of cheap gasoline, nickel cigars, and inexpensive seafood. Higher demand has resulted in leaner supply and higher cost. “It’s a changing consumer market,” says Gloria Rodriguez. “For a while in the nineties, people were eating lots of fish and the back-to-nature health movement brought us new customers, but prices for wild-caught fish keep going up. With the economy the way it is now, a lot of people can’t afford quality [fish]. I understand a family of six can’t always spend $12 to $15 a pound to feed the kids supper.”
Although Art Rodriguez says that the border has gotten more difficult to cross in the past decade, pallets full of fresh fish still arrive weekly at the Rodriguez Seafood warehouse on the south side of Tucson.
Discriminating diners find a way to please their palates, however, at several well-known dining spots. Two of the most popular places to find fish from Rodriguez Seafood are Kingfisher and Bluefin Seafood Bistro, where seafood items represent 70 to 85 percent of their menu items. “We do millions in sales of just seafood alone,” says the owner and chef, Jim Murphy. “We’re really not that far from the ocean and the bounty that comes out of the Sea of Cortez is amazing. The bestseller at our two restaurants is sea bass, although we also sell a lot of shrimp and cabrilla from the Gulf.” Another veteran fishmonger with 30 years in the industry is Steve Tidwell, manager at the Tucson-based family-owned operation, Blessing Seafood. “We’re the smaller fish tail that wags the larger shrimp dog,” says Tidwell, who ran the fish departments at the now defunct City Meat and 17th Street Market. “Here I supply high quality fresh fish to most of the smaller restaurants.”
Both suppliers, Rodriguez and Blessing, long for the old days. Says Gloria Rodriguez: “Times were easier back then, more simple. Now that we have refrigeration, we keep fish skeletons and make our soup stock from them. Years ago, lower income folks would pick up our leftovers instead of sending them to the landfill.” “We used to bring in 4,000 to 5,000 pounds of fish weekly, but some weeks now I can only get a limited number of pounds because fish is going to competing buyers in places like California and China where they’re paying big bucks,” says Tidwell. “I’m not here to serve a small niche market and get rich. I want to feed fish to the masses to make them healthier in the process.” Similarly, Gloria Rodriguez looks back a decade ago when they had four 10-wheeler trucks that carried nearly 20,000 pounds of product and sold all over the Southwest. “We used to move
If all goes as planned, you can get a truckload of fish from point to point in 24 hours—off the boat, into a truck, and in our backyard within a day. That’s if all goes as planned.
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Art and Gloria Rodriguez say that they might soon be ready for retirement—perhaps even a relocation to a fishing community like Puerto Peñasco.
150,000 to 200,000 pounds of seafood a year … probably triple what we do now. Today, a weekly load of 400 to 500 pounds is considered good. Wild-caught seafood is still available, but it’s becoming more elite and much pricier.” Partly that’s because it’s now more expensive for fisherman to get on the water. Increasing costs of doing business, as well as new health regulations, make it nearly impossible for individual fishermen to make a living without joining forces. Some cooperatives or middleman “foot the bill for the fishermen so they’ll sell directly to them,” said Art Rodriguez. “Fishermen sell to the middleman who buys fish from a number of independents until there’s a couple thousand pounds that will make a sales trip [across the border] feasible. Once the truck is loaded with a variety of fish and the manifest is prepared and certified, the trip from Guaymas begins. Before, you used to come across the border easy, but new regulations can slow the delivery down. If all goes as planned, you can get a truckload of fish from point to point in 24 hours—off the boat, into a truck, and in our backyard within a day. That’s if all goes as planned.” Drivers need to notify federal officials in advance of their arrival so the cargo can be physically examined for illicit drugs that 62 M ay - June 2014
might be hidden in the hundreds of pounds of iced fish. Samples of each species are taken and sent for laboratory examination to ensure the health and safety of the product. “If you’ve got a truckload of fresh fish and you’ve got to sit idling at the border for hours on end, that can complicate the issue,” Tidwell says. Once fish brokers clear the border checkpoint, they head straight for the Rodriguez Seafood unloading station. Guaymas-based broker Enrique Vasquez arrived carrying 400-pound assortment of kilos of Gulf shrimp and lots of fish, gutted and cleaned but with heads still on. “The heads and skeletons make great soup stock,” Gloria advises. Once the shrimp get separated from the pile and fish are sorted into buckets by species, fillet masters like Carlos Medina at Rodriguez and Manny Alvarado at Blessing Seafood work their magic processing fish for local trade—large fish into marketable portions for both wholesale and retail consumption. “Restaurants want larger fish that provide hefty fillets,” says Tidwell. Availability of seafood varieties is dependent on several factors, most importantly the season. With annual water temperatures in the Gulf ranging between the low 60s and the upper 80s, different finned prey visit or stay elsewhere until conditions are as they like
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Straight from the border: Fresh fish arrives to the Rodriguez Seafood warehouse, where it will be filleted and served at La Costa Brava Restaurant next door, sold wholesale to other area restaurants, or sold to directly to customers via the cooler cases of the Rodriguez Seafood storefront.
them. Cabrilla, snapper, pinto bass, grouper, and large yellow-tail tuna like late fall and early spring, while sportfishing quarry like marlin and sailfish splash and play in the hotter months. Shrimp lovers can plan ahead to fill their freezers with the crustaceans. “High season for shrimp gets under way in late summer when the independents chase small-to-medium-size bait shrimp and the big boats go after big shrimp and a lot of byproduct,” says Art Rodriguez. “Nobody calls me at that time of the year to say they’ve got fish available,” says Tidwell, “so I suspect there’s still money to be made in shrimp.” But, he says, “The fish business has basically become dominated by the chains and everybody is carrying the same half-dozen species. There’s a ton of species that are not being utilized and are
available in quantity—things like trigger fish (cochito) or rabbit fish (conejo) or gray tile that are great for fish and chips. Lots of them, tasty and cheap.” The changing times may end up being too much for Gloria and Art Rodriguez, however. “I’ve been ready to retire for some time now,” she says. “I could see myself going to Rocky Point and bringing back fresh fish to satisfy my family, but once Art and I decide we’ve had enough, it will be the end of an era that we’ve been involved in.” Which is to say: Rodriguez Seafood could soon be for sale. ✜ Rodriguez Seafood. 3541 S. 12th Ave. 520.623.1931. Lee Allen likes to see what’s growing in other people’s gardens.
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The Tao of Bianco Chris Bianco doesn’t just make pizza— he relishes relationships, builds spaces, and crafts experiences. By Dave Mondy | Photography by Bill Steen
B est P izza in A mer ica is the best pizza in America, but it’s not the best pizza in America. Does that make sense? Of course it does, or doesn’t. The maker of The Best Pizza in America could clear this up—but he’d rather not. He’d rather you just eat his pizza. Let me explain: Chris Bianco, the chef and owner of Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, has been called the best pizza chef in the United States (by the New York Times, by Bon Appétit). He’s been called “the godfather of American pizza” (by GQ) and an “acknowledged master of his discipline” (by Gourmet); he’s the only American pizza chef to win a James Beard Award. But Bianco himself dislikes the labels, shrugs off superlatives, and seems allergic to accolades. Of his pizza, he’ll say, “I hope it’s never better than your mother’s or your favorite.” Regarding his plaudits, he’ll reply, “We all get our 15 minutes of fame, and I think I’m overtime on mine.” And yet, he works maniacally to make the best pizza possible—he still rises at 7 a.m. and works until midnight; still shops for ingredients at the local farmers’ market, still makes his own mozzarella, still kneads the dough. “Oh,” he’ll tell you, “I need it.” He wants things precise—farmers have been known to hold rulers up to their arugula because Bianco prefers it to be a certain length (these farmers also happen to love him). The man is casually exacting. The best pizza in America is and isn’t the best pizza in America; is a koan; is a paradox; is a palindrome. A man. A plan. A pizza. he
During the time it took you to do so, Americans inhaled more than 350 slices of pizza. As you first glanced at the “R” in “Read”—well, a full pizza disappeared. Americans eat more than 2,500 pizzas every minute. We love it: Tick tick tick, chomp chomp chomp. And yet, we generally think that eating pizza is unhealthy. We think of it as fast food—a more benign fast food than, say, burgers, but not by much; we’d never call it health food. But what if pizza were a health food? What if, when you ate pizza, you thought, “Well, at least that’s one good thing I did for my body today.” Such is the promise of Bianco’s product: a pizza that might not only be good for you, but—composed entirely of local ingredients—might also be good for the place where you live? But that promise requires staying close to home. “I don’t want an imitation or a cloned deal,” Bianco told the Arizona Republic in 2006. “The place is so small and cramped and I’m sweaty and it’s loud, but somewhere in the chaos of it all, you find a sense of place.” Bianco so loved that sense of place that during his first two decades, he had a hand in creating nearly every pizza at Pizzeria Bianco. Two-hundred and fifty pizzas a night, and Bianco’s digits danced over nearly every one, night in, night out—until he eventually acquiesced to excessive demand for his wares. He opened a sandwich shop in 2005. Then he opened a bar next to his original pizza place, to accommodate overflow; then he opened an alternate “Italian restaurant” locale in Phoenix. But it wasn’t until just one year ago that Bianco agreed to create a new Pizzeria Bianco. This time, 150 miles southeast from the original. This time, in Tucson. ead this sentence .
Chris Bianco’s expansion to Tucson required a gestation period of nearly a year. “We’re not creating a space just to flip it,” he says. “We want to do a thing that is forever.” 66 M ay - June 2014
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For Chris Bianco, every object has a story, down to the oversized clock that will keep the time at his new pizzeria.
an old woman asked. She was asking the bartender this at the original Pizzeria Bianco—an innocent question; she’d simply enjoyed a great meal and wondered if she could have a similar experience closer to her house—and she had no way of knowing that Chris Bianco himself sat a few stools away. I was interviewing him—or had been interviewing him—but once he’d heard her question, he couldn’t concentrate on anything else. “Is this a chain?” he asked himself. “Well, we’re not the dog on a fucking leash, I can tell you that. We’re just a link in the chain. Hopefully a good link.” s this a chain ?”
ow does one become the best pizza chef in America? Let us zoom backward, as if this were a comic book, to see his “origin story.” First panel: Rowdy, hardscrabble kids goof around in a back alley in New York—perhaps they play street ball. Next panel, say a third floor window: a saddened child looks down, wishing he could play, too—but he can’t; he has asthma. Last panel: Young Chris is slumped in the corner, turned away from the window, knowing he can’t go outside—but, curiously, he doesn’t look sad. His eyes are somehow bright—he’s watching the magic happening at the stove; he’s reading his aunt’s Gourmet magazines.
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Next page of the comic book: TEN YEARS LATER! We see a young man-boy Bianco leaving the little shop in the Bronx, Mike’s Deli, where he learned to make the magnificent mozzarella that would be a key weapon in his utility belt. Bianco drops out of high school, but finds salvation in restaurant work. “I started to cook,” he told me, “because I felt incredibly insecure. I needed to know, we need to know, that it’s all right. That’s why we cook, why we break bread, why we offer someone a pint. To feel it’s all right.” And then, Bianco’s big ticket out was an actual ticket. Bianco won a plane ticket to anywhere in America, and so he chose … Phoenix? He still can’t say why, but apparently his instinct was well founded. “When I got here, I felt connected.” To finish up this history, a rapid montage: See Bianco making mozzarella in his little Phoenix apartment, then selling it at the back door of various Italian restaurants. See Bianco being offered a small corner at a local grocery—a little corner with a wood-burning stove where he could try to make some pizza. See the pizza sell extremely well. See a thought balloon form above Bianco’s head: “I could open my own pizza shop.” See Bianco work for a few years as a sous chef. See Bianco travel through Italy, sharpening his skills. See Bianco return to Phoenix. See him open Pizzeria Bianco.
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Above: For Bianco, creating a restaurant requires more than simply buying equipment and getting into operation. What’s important, he says, are the people who contributed to it coming together: from left, Oso Steen, Gary Paul Nabhan, and Dos Cabezeas’ Kelly and Todd Bosotck, with their son.
that after just four years there were lines around the block on Saturday nights. You can still find these lines. The original Pizzeria Bianco hasn’t expanded from its original small space, and it doesn’t take reservations. But Bianco is still focused on the present, and on the future. If you want to talk about his past, he’ll want to talk about his new restaurant. “It just felt right,” he said. “I mean, maybe it’s that I’m getting older. I think I start to think about what I want to leave behind.” Right or not, he said that expansion had been “the last thing I wanted to do. [But] it’s like with a puppy or a significant other,” he said. “When you’re looking? Very hard to find. But if you’re not looking …” When you’re not looking, you find the perfect space in downtown Tucson. “Tucson has always been a place of respite for me,” he said. “An incredible concentration of all the things I love, in art, architecture, music—it’s a place that’s always inspired me. And there’s a movement here now, with food—is ‘movement’ the right word? You tell me, is it a movement? Yeah. Cool. I think so, too.” ianco m ade such good pizza
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t ’ s notor iously difficult to pin down a time to talk to Chris Bianco, given that, in spite of his expansion, he still works lunch shifts at the original Pizzeria Bianco. But then again, he’s a busy man, all around. “I’m having a child,” he said. Then clarified, “I mean, my wife is having a child. Soon.” As I walked into the semiconstructed space of his new restaurant in Tucson, I couldn’t help but hear the words of my brother-in-law, himself a recent first-time parent: “During the pregnancy, your wife spends all this time with the child, she does all the hard stuff,” he said, “but I didn’t know what to do with my nervous energy. So I just built the nursery.” Though Bianco and his group have owned the new space for over a year, the opening date keeps being pushed back. “I hear what people are saying, ‘When will it open? When will it open?’ But it’s like with a baby. There’s the day of conception, and then the due date [and] there’s some time between,” he said. “But I guess the good news is that with the baby and the restaurant, I’m in it for the long haul. We’re not creating a space just to flip it. We want to do a thing that is forever.” Bianco showed me the small wall in the new restaurant where he’ll display paintings made by his father, a lifelong painter. “He’s
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86,” Bianco said, “but he’s still painting!” And so, one wall of the restaurant will display the man’s work. “My friend, Bill Steen, has this photo of Churro lambs. Out in the desert. My father loved that photo. So he’s painting it. How cool is that? Say we roast a Churro lamb. And serve it on pizza, here? Say people can have a pizza with meat served from the lamb they see painted on the wall? Full circle,” he said. More full circling: Bill Steen took the images that accompany this piece; his son built one of the large tables that diners will soon sit at—a beautiful table, with weird whorls overlaying various veils and veldts of varnish, layers beneath layers. “Some of the things we revere, the deeper we dig, we find compromise. In origin and intention,” Bianco said. “But sometimes we can create things where the deeper you dig, the better it gets.” Then there’s the antique Coke sign Bianco plans to mount in the restaurant. Bianco is all about the local, the individual—about the singularly produced. But he likes the Coke sign. Yes, Pizzeria Bianco will be serving glass-bottle Mexican Coke. But mostly, the sign belongs in the space because Bianco loves its worn surface. The patina. “We say words like ‘patina’ or ‘time-worn,’” he said. “But all that means is journey. All these objects have gone on a journey. They show their scars. Maybe it’s just me getting old, but I like things that show their scars. Especially as a chef,” and he looked at his forearms, where every chef worth his salt bears burns. “The scars are what matter … You learned because you didn’t listen.” In the middle of the room: A big concrete box, made of bricks, elevated off the ground. “And that …?” I said; “That’s the epicenter,” he replied. He walked over to the newly installed wood-burning pizza oven. He looked at it. He started to say something, then stopped. He fingered a weird corner of the metal—then walked away. He looked back at it and said, as if in a comic book, a dramatically sparse statement for a man so loquacious: “The fire.”
o, is the pizza really that good? is the question you’re asked when writing about “the best pizza in America.” Hidden implication: Come on, it can’t be that good. We all, generally, like pizza. So what could the “best pizza” even be like? The phrase carries with it an absurd level of expectation. One expects, at the very least, that one’s jaw will be literally blown from one’s cranium, since one’s taste buds have just exploded. But when I ate the pizza, it was simply delicious. The first time I tried it, I was on vacation in Phoenix. It was one great part of one great night. The pizza was great. I loved it. But it was just part of the night. “I hope you’re never here to judge,” Bianco said, “just to enjoy.” He wants the full experience to be enjoyable at Pizzeria Bianco. “Food itself never mattered to me. It’s all the stuff that goes into it, everything—and everyone—around it. I want you to have an experience.” Bianco’s menu in Phoenix—“It’ll be the same thing in Tucson, with maybe a funky local thing or two”—is just one page: one starter; a salad or two; and then six pizzas, all of them pretty simple. For Bianco, it all starts with his sourcing, and he’s been ad72 M ay - June 2014
vocating for local ingredients before the portmanteau “locavore” was ever portmanteauxed. “The biggest thing I had to learn,” he said, “growing up when I did? Not everything that tastes good is good for you.” That seems obvious to us now, but way back whenever Bianco wanted to create something that was both. Bianco wants his food to be good for you, but “that said, none of that fucking matters if the food doesn’t taste fucking delicious.” He adds: “Health food stores would have sold a lot more if they didn’t call themselves ‘Health Food Store’ —instead just called themselves ‘Good Restaurant.’ “All that said, I hope if someone walks in here and doesn’t know shit about shit, just wants pizza … he gets it. He eats it and thinks, fuck ... and it makes him dig deeper.” Fuck, yes.
lmost 30 years ago , right before opening the first Pizzeria Bianco, Bianco was in New York and spied a very old Italian restaurant that was going out of business. “I was looking for stuff for my bar, so I poked my head in,” he said. He tracked down the remaining owner—a widow who was eager to retire. “I had to tell her, ‘No, no, no, I’m not crazy, I’m just starting a restaurant. I want to know if you’re selling anything.’” “I have one thing,” she said, “but it’s too expensive.” When he asked to see it anyway, she took him into her garage and revealed a beautiful old oak bar. The bar had upheld the elbows of her restaurant patrons since the 1920s—but it was older than that: The widow and her husband had originally purchased it from a New York grocery that had been in business since the 1880s. “It had marks from cigars,” Bianco said, from “guys back then.” Bianco rested his palm very briefly on the bar where he sat while telling me this story, in the original Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, and I realized we were sitting at the widow’s bar. The cigar stain near my own elbow was 150 years old. “She took pity on me,” he said, and sold it to him at the only price he could pay. But I’m not sure it was pity. I think it was that he valued her bar about as much as he valued her (and she could tell this); which is to say, he valued her and her bar very, very highly. She parted with these remnants of her bar, saying, “I hope it brings you good luck.” Bianco loves things—but in the most nonmaterialistic way. Bianco loves things, objects, but loves them merely as tangible representations of moments, people—tangible totems of moments spent with people. Indeed, Bianco loves things that he senses were created by people. People he likes. I think this is what he means when he repeatedly uses the word “authentic.” What it takes to create a restaurant is more than buying equipment and serving food. Of greater importance are the people that contribute, said Bianco. The restaurant is built on relationships. And this is why Chris Bianco could never create a “chain”—at least not in the modern, American sense. He cares far too much about people. About things. About things as representations of all the people he loves. Each an individual. A man, a plan, a pizza. ✜
Pizzeria Bianco. 272 E. Congress St. PizzeriaBianco.com. Dave Mondy is a freelance writer/imbiber, as well as a college instructor.
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The Poetics of Place Spoken by Chris Bianco | Edited by Gary Paul Nabhan | Designed by Steve McMackin I remember when I first lived in the Southwest where there was …
e xtremely hot summer season, when the melons came in. Their flavor was
, I said to myself, this is what it’s about. Melons have sweet flesh and seeds you spit out and juices that drip down your chin … like turkeys have bones and feathers and wattles and bleed when you cut them. This is g r i t t y , stuff. It’s living and dying …
when I got to the Southwest and then to M e x i c o I felt it all around me. You look at the way M e x i c a n s and Mexican-Americans celebrate death … they do so fearlessly.
Then you look at some segments of the United States, and the Americans there are in denial. They want skinless, boneless chicken breasts, not anything that reminds them of an animal, or that we are animals. A lot of Americans don’t even want to be reminded of that when they eat. They don’t want to know that the chicken died, or that the thigh they put in their mouth was once attached to a foot with bumpy yellow skin on it.
People are very rarely prepared to answer why some fd or some thing is
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parsley mixed in. It might take it to another level. ng
Whether it’s grass-fed beef from Paul and Sarah at Double Check Ranch or unfiltered olive oil from those Greek Orthodox monks at St. Anthony’s down in Florence, suenly realize as chefs that the best of what we’re giving to our community
e is simply the best that has been given to us. fr y r e v s i y a We simply pass it on, and that gesture of giving it all aw
and maybe a little
how do I deal with trends in the culinary arts, fads in the restaurant business, the latest crazes? Man, that part’s exhausting for me … it’s all too complicated and ephemeral. When I’m traveling and looking for a great place to eat, I don’t go to the magazine listings.
Basically I’ve learned to trust my instincts and to trust my iends’ tastes.
From my view, it’s like trying to find a place where there’s a good fishing hole.
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I know that if I visit some old friends in their town,
they know me well enough to take me to a place I’ll really like, you know … where the fish are biting.
And oftentimes, that means that they’ll be taking me to places where there’s a lot le traffic than at the more famous fishing holes. ✜
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Listen to the Deacon In the St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church kitchen in Armory Park, chef-turnedDeacon Jefferson Bailey is feeding neighbors and building community. By Renée Downing | Photography by Steven Meckler
ou ’ ve got a gu y who coordinates a small, volunteer program feeding homebound neighbors from a tiny church kitchen in Armory Park. Now he’s starting a full-service catering business that he’s confident will quickly grow into a fulltime, volunteer-fueled enterprise generating enough profit to not only support the meal program, but also allow it to expand. Sounds delusional, right? It would be, if the individual in question weren’t Jefferson Bailey, Deacon of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Armory Park, who will no doubt run the new business, St. Andrew’s Catering, with his left hand. And without breaking a sweat. In the immaculate kitchen of St. Andrew’s, the photo of Chef Janos Wilder whipping up a big salad in that same space is the first clue to Bailey’s confidence in his group’s new venture, while the aromas drifting around make their own argument. With minimal direction, three chatty, cheerful volunteers—Anne, Marianne, and Becca, the regular midweek crew—are briskly transforming cases of donated vegetables into sides for nourishing, beautifully packaged meals. “Just wash up that spinach and sauté it with a little olive oil and some garlic,” was all Bailey had said. Twenty minutes later, it smells fantastic. Before starting Neighbors Feeding Neighbors in 2007, Bailey coordinated a similar program for the Southern Arizona AIDS
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Foundation, or SAAF, for nearly 10 years. But for those of us who’ve been around Tucson awhile, his critical local cred is that he was one of the B’s behind the late, beloved Bowen & Bailey Café (known to most of its fans as the B&B Café), which he founded in the Hotel Congress with a friend and business partner, Anne Bowen, in 1986. Soon after Richard and Shana Oseran bought and renovated the hotel, the B&B opened, becoming one of the first places to make downtown a destination for food and drink. “We were in a tiny space off the lobby,” Bailey says. “We had no stove—just two convection ovens and two stockpots. The espresso machine we installed was the second one in Tucson. Imagine that.” In 1990 the B&B moved into the space on Sixth Avenue currently occupied by DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails, where, in addition to offering upscale, à la carte counter service, Bailey and Bowen ran the first modern farmers’ market in town, the Tucson Public Market. (The market was an attempt to address a perpetual downtown issue—where to buy groceries.) Eventually, Bailey bought out Bowen and moved the B&B into its final home, the Temple of Music and Art, where, in the café’s last incarnation, he presented unforgettable smorgasbord-style themed menus that reflected each evening’s production. That ended in 1997 when treatment for hepatitis C knocked him flat for eight months. But these are just the local chapters of Bailey’s backstory. Be-
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fore moving here, Bailey spent years managing the largest club in New York City—The Red Parrot, a giant disco that seated 2,000. And before that he ran an exclusive, before-its-time nouvelle cuisine restaurant outside the spa town of Saratoga Springs, New York. He’d studied theater and dance and worked for the New York City Ballet, but segued into the restaurant business when his friend Earle Sieveling, a retired New York City Ballet dancer, became a chef. Bailey owned a picturesque bungalow 17 miles from Saratoga Springs where they created The Dacha, a sophisticated but casual country restaurant designed to appeal to city people who migrated upstate for the summer season. (The NYC Ballet’s summer home is in Saratoga Springs.) “We were only open June through August. We fed Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Lincoln Kirstein, Peter Martins—that was the world we came from and they were our friends,” says Bailey. “But it quickly spilled over from the dance crowd into the horse-owners—Rockefellers and Vanderbilts and that whole scene.” Guests entered through the kitchen garden, which supplied
Intermediate Magnet School last year, is now the meal program’s primary deliveryman. “He never sets foot in church but does more ministering to people than I ever will,” says Bailey.) “We just came out to see my folks and soak up a little sun. That was the plan. But we realized that we were ready to get out of New York. During that visit, we bought the little yellow house we [still] live in, the day we first laid eyes on it. “Every Friday evening we sit out on the front porch and drink cocktails and chat with whoever strolls by. We call them our Front Porch Fridays,” says Bailey. “So there’s loving the place and the people. Then in 1997 I got the hep C diagnosis. I never felt sick from the infection for a minute, but the treatment made me feel as if I were dying. For months. As it turned out, I was one of the lucky ones—I came out of it completely cured. But I kept thinking, ‘Why didn’t I die?’ ” He spent two weeks at the monastery at St. David, which is where he says he met his spiritual mentor. “I had a revelation: I needed to serve. It wasn’t hard to figure out how. I’m a good cook
Left: When Jefferson Bailey realized he wanted to serve, “It wasn’t hard to figure out how. I’m a good cook... and people need to be fed.” Above: From left, longtime volunteers Randy Spaulding, June Briggs, and Gary Kautto pitch in on food preparation.
produce and inspiration for each day’s menu. Dinner was five courses, by reservation only. Food & Wine featured an opulent spread on the restaurant in 1981. So, how, exactly, did its owner wind up in a church kitchen in Armory Park? “Well first, of all, I’m very attached to this place,” says Bailey. The quiet old neighborhood south of downtown spoke to him and to his longtime partner, Richard Steen, when they first visited Tucson in 1986. (Steen, who retired from teaching at Holladay 80 M ay - June 2014
and I love to feed people. And people need to be fed.” Bailey undertook the four-year process of self-examination and study required for ordination as deacon in the Episcopal Church. “The main duty of a deacon is to minister to those in need—the hungry, the sick, the poor, and friendless. The job, basically, is to take care of people. Anne Bowen had been running Food for Life”—the SAAF’s meals program for people with AIDS—“and so getting involved in that was an obvious move,” he says.
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Above: Jefferson Bailey prepares ingredients to include in a spread of healthy, portable meals, which will be packed in coolers and distributed to clients by a team of dedicated volunteers. Below: Bailey’s longtime partner, Richard Steen, is the program’s primary deliveryman.
“Over time it naturally developed. ‘Wait, one of our volunteers is sick—shouldn’t we feed our volunteers, too? Shouldn’t we feed people in the neighborhood who aren’t sick but who are frail and can’t cook a nice meal for themselves?’ The mission kept growing and Neighbors Feeding Neighbors is what came of it.” Using monetary contributions in addition to in-kind donations from individual gardeners and local businesses—including The Food Conspiracy Co-op and Small Planet Bakery—the program’s disciplined volunteers prepare and deliver homemade meals to more than 15 clients each week. (The number of meals per client varies according to the circumstances of each; dietary needs and preferences are also accommodated.) Meals are packed in a cooler and delivered within a half-hour of leaving the St. Andrew’s freezer. They can be reheated in the compostable containers in which they’re packaged. “We’d love to deliver meals still warm. But in this climate, that’s not happening,” Bailey explains. His years of providing meals to AIDS patients with compromised immune systems have made him “an absolute fanatic” about food safety. Interestingly, a major challenge for 82 M ay - June 2014
the program has been identifying people who need the service. “We find that many people would literally rather starve than ask for help, so we ask others in the community to help us find our neighbors who need assistance,” says Bailey. “The Armory Park Neighborhood Association has been a great partner in this. Sometimes it’s not even about money. A few of our recipients pay for their meals—they have adequate incomes but aren’t able to shop and cook.” The program is poised to expand as it develops its outreach and forms new partnerships. The purpose of the nascent catering service, St. Andrew’s Catering, is to fund that expansion. With a graceful, airy room that seats 60, a pretty garden patio, and a location within a few blocks of downtown, St. Andrew’s—located at 16th Street and Fifth Avenue—is an appealing venue. “We can do anything, from a locally sourced, organic, multicourse dinner to simply furnishing a pleasant space for an offsite meeting,” Bailey says. “And why wouldn’t you want your dollars to go to helping feed your community?” Among Bailey’s thoughts for the catering menu is the B&B’s most fondly remembered dish, Chicken Tarragon with Wild Rice and Deviled Eggs. “People still
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Above: Neighbors Feeding Neighbors client Doris Kirk prepares to eat a hot, homecooked meal—in the comfort of her own home.
ask me about it,” he says. With the ink barely dry on the flyers for the catering service, inquiries are already coming in. Watching the burgeoning local restaurant scene, Bailey has come up with another, edgier idea for raising funds. “I was talking to [Hotel Congress owner] Richard Oseran the other day and he said, ‘Can you believe there are now 63 restaurants within a mile of where we’re standing?’ And I said, ‘And maybe in a few years 30 of them will be good.’” To help them get there, he’s thinking about establishing a restaurant consulting service to be called, tentatively, First Impressions. 84 M ay - June 2014
“I walk into your coffee shop or café or restaurant for a fee and tell you what you’re doing right—and what you must improve if you hope to make it: ‘Here are a few little things you might want to attend to.’” Bailey elaborates: “The person making juices in full view of your patrons has her hair hanging loose and is wiping her nose on her hand. The guy running the front of the house is a jerk. You’re keeping people standing with empty tables in view when you could be serving them cocktails, making them happy, and making money. Your staff is obviously miserable and enjoys saying ‘no’ to your guests.
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“These things will kill you, no matter how beautiful your food is. I’ve been around long enough to see what’s wrong in two minutes, and how to fix it.” You know it’s true. They should listen to the Deacon. ✜ Neighbors Feeding Neighbors and St. Andrew’s Catering. 545 S. Fifth Avenue. To donate to Neighbors Feeding Neighbors or inquire about St. Andrew’s Catering, contact Jefferson Bailey at email@example.com or 520.622.8318. Renée Downing has been eating and writing in Tucson for nearly 40 years.
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Las Mujeres del Mar
rom the banks overlooking Morúa Estuary on the outskirts of Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, Francisca Luna gazes out at the rows of stacked trays anchored in mudflats to bolster the life cycle of oysters wrapped inside. It’s a balmy Saturday morning and Luna has just arrived at the open-air restaurant where she and other women sell the oysters they cultivate in the water. She squints in the bright sun as she tries to assess whether it is prime time to don her rubber boots and plunge into the lagoon. After brief contemplation, she decides to wait. “The water is still high,” she says, almost in a whisper. Luna’s sturdy frame slips past a ramada and into a narrow kitchen where her sister, Rosario Luna Javalera, shucks oysters over a big sink. Nearby, Francisca’s daughter, Angélica Medina, chops onions and chile peppers. Luna dives into a supply basket to retrieve crackers, condiments, and napkins. The crew’s daily ritual of preparing to serve the oysters nears completion. “Let’s hope for a good day, girls,” Luna says, then rectifies. “It’s going to be a good day.”
Three decades after it began, the Women of the Sea oyster cooperative is still thriving in the wetlands south of Puerto Pe単asco. By Lourdes Medrano | Photography by Josh Schachter
The trio belongs to a women’s cooperative that for three decades has farmed oysters in the estuary just a few miles south of the heart of the town known in English as Rocky Point, which is about 60 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border. The women’s enterprise is among the oldest oyster-farming ventures in Sonora, a leading producer of the shellfish. Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) are the species most commonly produced in the state. One of seven oyster farms in the region, the Women of the Sea cooperative has the distinction of being the first established by an all-female membership. In Puerto Peñasco, residents refer to the cooperative simply as Las Mujeres, or The Women. Luna is one of the original 118 members who staked out a place in the estuary back in the early 1980s, when the beach resort that hugs the Sea of Cortez was still an isolated fishing village few Americans had discovered.
hrough the years, the back-breaking labor that is seeding, sorting, and cleaning oysters tested many members who chose to leave. Some left because of the unpredictable nature of trying to make a living growing oysters, others over apprehension about the staying power of the cooperative. The physical rigors of the job, which requires standing in water for hours at a time, also forced members out. Nowadays, six hardy women comprise the cooperative. Most rely on family members—including some males—to lend a helping hand. “Growing oysters comes with many challenges,” says Maria Isabel Cervantes, the president of the cooperative. “It’s not for everybody.” In the beginning, oyster mortality posed the greatest threat; cultivating the bivalve mollusks is risky because they are vulnerable to natural forces. But the mid-1990s ushered in a boom in growth that began to transform the town into a coveted tourist destination. Pristine beaches and teeming fisheries beckoned vacationers from both sides of the border. The wetlands became increasingly attractive to developers as new luxury houses and resorts took shape all around. Sitting behind the wheel of her work truck one early afternoon, the soft-spoken Cervantes is not in the mood to recall legal battles waged to defend the women’s livelihood. She would rather talk about how the women are working to boost oyster production and obtain organic certification from the government. Someday, she says, the cooperative would like to export oysters to the United States. From her vantage point on the shoreline, Cervantes points toward a wooden structure that stands half-built next to the 88 M ay - June 2014
restaurant up above. When completed, it will serve as a lab where the women will grow their own oyster seed, or larvae. The idea is to reduce the millions they buy from hatcheries each year to stock their operation. “We will start small and, little by little, add more of the seeds we raise ourselves,” she adds. All the women will be trained to handle the lab work, while continuing to care for oysters in the trays that stay in the water for months at a time, feeding on plankton and algae as they grow. Luna was in her mid-20s when she attended the first workshop on cultivating oysters after a friend told her about the nascent cooperative. She was an unemployed, single mother who had moved to Puerto Peñasco from Sinaloa state after the death of her husband. Luna knew little about oyster farming, but she quickly seized on the new opportunity and set out to learn the trade. “It’s intense labor,” she says. “But I’m grateful I came across the cooperative when I needed a job the most.” Though her earnings are unpredictable because they depend on a variable rate of oyster mortality each season, Luna says she makes enough to raise her family’s standard of living and put two of her four children—three girls and a boy—through college. Luna’s second-oldest daughter chose to work alongside her mother and aunt. The job has allowed Luna to be her own boss and, when her children were growing up, to bring them along to work and keep watch over them. Compared to more than 30 years ago, when Luna and the other women farmed oysters without running water, the operation has come a long way, she says, wiping down kitchen counters before heading outside again. She jumps into her pick-up truck and drives to a shack overflowing with old boxes, foam squares, and plastic trays. Before she owned a car, Luna and her kids often slept in the darkened, closet-sized dwelling because transportation in and out of the estuary was hard to find. “We spent a lot of weekends here,” she recalls. On the shore a few minutes later, Luna unloads her gear from the back of the truck, puts on her rubber boots and long apron, wades through the water, and pulls out a tray full of oysters fit for consumption. She dips the heavy tray in the water forcefully, again and again, rinsing off the sediment covering shells. By the time she’s finished selecting and washing out the nearly 500 oysters she needs for the restaurant, Luna’s breathing has turned heavy. Tiny sweat drops on her forehead glisten in the sun as her ungloved, swollen hands carefully pick through the hundred in the last tray retrieved.
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“These are ready,” she says, holding up one of the delicacies she would soon prepare for her customers. Oyster farmers like Luna know about patience. It can take a year, and sometimes longer, for an oyster to reach maturity. Cooperative members plant seed at different intervals to produce oysters year-round.
90 M ay - June 2014
The Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans, known as CEDO for its Spanish acronym, holds up the women’s enterprise as a model for responsible use of the estuary because of its low impact on the fragile ecosystem. Oysters act as natural filters, improving the quality of the water as they grow. The nonprofit works with the women and other area oyster
farmers to promote conservation of wetlands replete with crabs, octopus, snails, and dozens of bird species. The critters and plants that inhabit the estuary also grace the women’s restaurant in the form of a mural that University of Arizona students painted some years ago. The center, which has an office in Tucson, long has encour-
aged oyster farmers to participate in ecotourism activities that can boost their business income and keep developers at bay. “We go out there often with class groups and researchers that are coming to the area,” says Peggy Turk Boyer, the center’s director. She and other conservationists are working to revive a dor-
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mant ecotourism corridor that in past years sought to connect visitors with the women’s cooperative and other local enterprises. The project had been going strong until the mid-2000s, when the economy crumbled and safety worries about Mexico travel kept tourists away. The project stalled because “it has been really unclear where tourism was going,” she says. “But it seems like it’s picking up now.” Back in the kitchen, Luna’s sister has finished her shift and gone home. It is Luna’s turn to shuck oysters, a skill she mastered long ago. She cups a hand over each oyster, jabs a short knife between its two shells and, in a swift motion, pries it open. For optimum freshness, Luna shucks oysters as orders come in. Her daughter prepares oyster plates. The women also serve fish tacos and ceviche, but raw oysters on the half shell are by far the most popular item on the menu. It is late morning and a few customers start to trickle in. Off in the distance, tour guide Abraham Meza, who works for CEDO, explores the estuary with a Phoenix family. The group’s last stop is the restaurant, where some sample raw and steamed oysters. Medina walks out to the ramada and shares a bit of history about the women’s cooperative. Around lunchtime, Luna’s two other daughters and their children burst into the restaurant, breaking the relative quiet with boisterous conversation and laughter. The kids soon scurry out of the room to frolic in the sand, as their mothers had done as girls. Luna’s youngest daughter, 30-year-old Rosalba Corral, recalls spending a good part of her childhood in the estuary. “I’ve always loved it here,” she says. She and her oldest sister, Silvia Medina, especially liked playing with their other siblings in the bony hull of a vessel that had washed ashore and become a landmark in the estuary. Later, in a 92 M ay - June 2014
nod to the old shipwreck, the women named their restaurant El Barco. With full-time jobs and children to rear, Corral and her sister mostly drop by the estuary on weekends when their mother runs the restaurant. They help out, they chat, they eat together. On this Saturday, the family feasts on oysters and manta ray tacos. By midafternoon, the tables under the ramada are emptying out. The last customers are leaving. Inside, Luna’s children and grandchildren are kissing her goodbye. The grandmother looks tired, but content. Luna and her second-born daughter, Angélica Medina, take advantage of the lull in business to clean up. “Not a bad day so far,” Luna says.✜ Para leer este artículo en español, visite EdibleBajaArizona.com. To read this story in Spanish, visit EdibleBajaArizona.com. Lourdes Medrano is a Tucson writer who covers stories on both sides of the border. Follow her @_lourdesmedrano
Photos: Page 86-87: Francisca Luna collects oyster trays in the waters off Estero Morúa. Page 88: Whole families are involved in the cooperative, including kids. Page 90-91: At “El Barco” Restaurant, the taste for oysters is cultivated early; Natividad Hernandez watches over her daughter. Page 92: Oysters grow from larvae in these stacked trays, which sit in the warm, shallow waters of the estuary. Page 94: Harvesting oysters can be intense, backbreaking work, as María Esther Tanores Zepeda demonstrates.
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Eat, Visit, Farm
asanova, the 18th-century lothario, was a believer in the aphrodisiac properties of oysters. Although many scientists dispute this claim, it nonetheless persists among many lovers of the bivalve mollusks. Oysters are a low-calorie and highly nutritious food. They are a rich source of zinc, magnesium, potassium, and other essential nutrients. On the down side, oysters are high in sodium and can be infected with the Vibrio vulnificus bacterium commonly found in marine waters. People with compromised immune systems who eat raw oysters can be particularly susceptible to illness. At the Women of the Sea oyster farming cooperative in Estero Morúa, members say they take great care to follow health regulations and ensure frequent testing of the water in which they grow oysters to ensure as much food safety as possible. To visit the women’s cooperative and other oyster farmers in
the estuary, head over to the highway that connects Puerto Peñasco and Caborca. The cooperative’s billboard, depicting two mermaids, stands near Kilometer 7 and points to a dirt road leading to the oyster farm and restaurant. In their open-air eatery, the women serve plates of oysters, raw or steamed on a half shell and sprinkled with bits of cheese, tomatoes, chile peppers, and onions. Fish tacos and other seafood dishes also are on hand. Don’t be shy about asking about their oyster farm; the women enjoy talking about it with customers. The restaurant is open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. CEDO offers guided tours of the oyster farms in the estuary. Visitors seeking a hands-on experience can become oyster farmers and chefs for a day. For more information and to make reservations, visit the center’s website at CedoIntercultural.org.
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f gas costs $12.50 pesos per liter and Pacific mackerel sells for $16 pesos per kilo, then Gerardo Aguado Hernández needs to stay out on the water for a few more hours. He’s been out since 6 a.m., but the catch hasn’t been good. Only a few dozen of the slim silver fish fill the hold of his boat, piled like dropped matchsticks—maybe half of what he needs just to break even. It is a scene in primary colors. Blue boat, sapphire sea, orange overalls. As Hernández steers the small boat slowly forward, his son tosses sections of a bright green gillnet into the water. As the net unfurls into the ocean, the gauzy pile between the two men evaporates like cotton candy in water. Styrofoam buoys hold the top line of the net afloat—within a minute or two, the net extends 200 meters behind the boat in a ragged line. A gillnet hangs in the water like a curtain—like a membrane, impermeable to fish of a certain size. The size of the stitch—the width of the opening between knots of twine—reveals how big a fish you’re hoping to catch. Today, gillnets are mainly used to catch mackerel, mullet, or grouper—there aren’t very many big fish left to take from these waters. “We used to see fishermen come in with big fish, four feet long, all the time. Now, it’s maybe once every six months,” says Hernández. Today, the only big animals Hernández has to contend with are sea lions, which have proliferated since large shark populations dwindled. “There are fish in the water, but the sea lions won’t let me work,” he says. “They pull the fish right out of the nets.” They’re so bad that if he sees four or five around his boat, he’ll pull up his nets and go in for the day—it’s not worth them breaking his nets. “Fishermen like me are an endangered species,” he jokes. “We’re being hunted by the sea lions.” But if he’s lucky and the lobos don’t show up, Hernández will leave the net in the water for another half an hour and then turn the boat around to retrace the ragged line, hoisting the water-heavy net back into the boat—hopefully, this time, heavier still with fish. But Hernández isn’t optimistic. Today’s low catch is just one in a string of low catches—one season of struggle among many.
As overfishing drives fisheries toward collapse across the Sea of Cortez, connecting fishermen directly to their markets may offer them a more sustainable future. By Megan Kimble
T Photo by Megan Kimble
of Bahía de Kino—the story of the many fishing towns strung along the Gulf of California—is the story of its fisheries. Also known as the Sea of Cortez, the Gulf is home to 950 species of finfish, 100 of which are found nowhere else in the world. The world’s most endangered marine mammal, a small porpoise called vaquita, lives in the Upper Gulf, just below the delta where the Colorado River once flowed. At the turn of the century, the coastline along the Gulf was mostly uninhabited, except for the tenacious Seri Indians, whose population had dwindled to less than 120 survivors. In the 1920s and 30s, fishermen from the Baja coast came across the Gulf to settle in Kino, looking for large predator species for the Southern California market. They primarily targeted the totoaba, a large drumfish native to the northern Gulf; sharks; and sea turtles. In the 1940s, shrimp trawling emerged; foreign fleets maneuvered up the Gulf with bottom trawlers in their wake, scraping up eight inches of ocean floor to find just one fish. (The bycatch rate for these trawlers continues to hover around 85 percent—that is, for every 100 pounds of seafood caught, 85 of it is left on a boat deck to die.) Virtually all the Gulf’s sandy bottoms have now been he essential story
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“By the 1980s, you see a collapse in a lot of the primary fishdredged by Japanese and Korean trawlers, except for the shallow eries,” says Pfister. In 1975, after a near collapse in the totoaba shoals of the Canal del Infiernillo, which the Seri protect as their fishery, the Mexican government banned totoaba fishing. By the own nursery grounds for fish, turtles, and crabs. end of the decade, sharks had all but disappeared from Gulf wa“In the 1970s, everything exploded,” says Tad Pfister, a Uniters. Game fish, like tuna, dwindled, as did manta ray. Instead, versity of Arizona researcher and the founder of PANGAS, a smaller species like corvina, Pacific mackerel, and bottom flatfish consortium of NGOs and nonprofits working with fisheries in became mainstays of the small-scale fishing economy; as those the Gulf. “You see this huge expansion of fishing in the Gulf, of stocks dwindled, fishermen turned to striped mullet, triggerfish, people coming to the Gulf.” and leopard grouper. The market kept demanding fish, so fisherThis explosion was in part in response to market forces—to men kept fishing down the food chain, seeking smaller species to a global population demanding more fish. “It was also a result replace the bigger ones that were disappearing. (Which is, to state of government privatization,” says Marcela Vásquez-León, an the obvious, counterproductive to fishery health, as big fish need associate professor of anthropology at the UA. “As the ejidos, comto eat little fish in order to become big fish.) munal agricultural lands, were being privatized, a lot of people Today, Mexico’s annual lost their land. You have a huge catch rate is more like 1.7 number of people from the agmillion tons. Three quarters ricultural sector that are all of of what is caught in the Sea a sudden without jobs. You saw of Cortez ends up on Ameria huge migration to the coastal can tables, which amounts to areas. A lot of people who were as much as 170,000 tons of not fishermen started fishing.” seafood. What they lacked in knowlFishery collapse comes in edge, they compensated for many forms. “There can be with technology—larger boats, commercial collapse, where better motors, bigger nets. it’s no longer viable commerSome boats were fitted with cially,” says Pfister. “There electronic sensors to detect can be complete species where schools of fish were agcollapse, like vaquita, totoaba, gregating. or sea turtle, where the popThe problem with this ulation has gotten so low that influx of people who were not reproduction can’t keep up fishermen into Gulf waters was with mortality. Then there that local fishermen had been is ecological collapse, where enacting much of fisheries you see the widespread effects management work themselves. of actions like overfishing in If your livelihood depends on the overall ecological condithe sea’s yield—if you want tion … And that’s what we’re your children’s livelihood to seeing. Today, there is a total also depend on it—then you collapse of fisheries in the don’t fish during spawning Gulf.” season or dive for sea turtles Jesus León keeps an eye on the comings and goings in Old Kino from behind when they are hibernating in the counter of his small fishing supply store. Photo by Megan Kimble the winter. You don’t go after pregnant female crabs or juveesús L eón sells rub nile fish before they have the chance to reproduce. You know that ber boats and rubber to abstain now is to invest in more, later. overalls, motor oil and The forty to fifty thousand fishermen in the Sea of Cortez haul WD-40. He’s known as the historian of Old Kino—the storefront in roughly 60 percent of all fish commercially caught in Mexico. of his fishing supply store faces the main drag down to the docks, According to the Anuario Estadistico de Pesca, Mexico’s federal so, day in and day out, he stands behind his counter and watches fishing report, the amount of fish caught increased from 77,000 the comings and goings of this small town. tons in 1950 to 254,000 tons in 1970. By 1981, Mexican fishermen Unlike the so-called New Kino, a beachside stretch of cleanreported 1.36 million tons in total catch. lined vacation homes—many owned by weekenders from Hermosillo—Old Kino is hodgepodge, one thing on top of another. It is people in the streets, fish carts on the corners, and hammocks Left: There’s a diver at the end of that line, seeking sea scallops or lobster strung at the loading docks. The taco joints fill up on weekends, on the ocean floor. Divers rely on these “hookah” systems, breathing at the but it’s quiet on Monday morning—most of the men are out on end of a long tube that’s connected to a compressed oxygen tank on board. their fishing boats. Because many stay under water for as many as eight hours, decompression “Before, there wasn’t so much abuse of the fisheries,” León sickness is a real danger. Photo by Maria Johnson. says. He’s been fishing in Kino for 45 years; 20 or 30 years ago, he
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says, people respected the limits of the ocean. “It’s such a shame. They’ll take the lobsters and just scrape the eggs right off them.” They don’t respect the vedas, he says—the seasonal closures mandated by the Mexican government during spawning season, which is when female fish lay eggs. Sure, he says, the sea lions are a problem for fishermen. “But the worst sea lions of all are the humans.” “All the fish are diminishing here, and they know production is going down, but they still have to take it out,” he says. “Everyone works just to make money. It is in critical condition. We are fishing too much.” Overfishing is exacerbated by the fact that “at least 50 percent of the fleet is illegal,” says Pfister. “When the fleet is illegal, you don’t know who, want, when, where, or how.” Those questions—who’s fishing, what they’re fishing, when they’re doing it, and how they’re catching it—are the core of what constitutes a fishery management plan, which is required for all fisheries by the Mexican government. (“Do they have them?” says Pfister. “No. But they’re supposed to.”) There are two basic ways to manage who takes what out of Gulf waters. The first is to regulate fishermen themselves, by allowing only those fishermen who have permits onto the water; by closing certain fisheries, like crab or flounder, during known spawning seasons; and by restricting what type of gear fishermen can use to catch certain kinds of fish in order to reduce bycatch rates. The second way is to regulate the waters themselves, by establishing Marine Protected Areas—a sort of aquatic National Park, although access varies by type—or fishery refuges, which severely limit fishing or outright prohibit it, either to restore fishery health or to protect endangered species. (The primary funder of the latter strategy was a former Arizonan—Sam Walton III, who, through the Walton Foundation, pioneered Marine Protected Areas by purchasing coastal lands that were linked to offshore fisheries.) “Mexico has a good structure, legally, as far as what is required to fish and regulation,” Pfister says. “But there’s no enforcement, or spotty enforcement. Some of the enforcement agencies don’t have any money. They’ll say, ‘We only have two boats, we don’t have any money to buy gas.’” Given such limited enforcement, given the tremendous worldwide demand for fish, and given that fishermen have almost no other way to make a living besides taking as much fish out of the ocean as they possibly can, “The primary issue in the Gulf is overfishing,” Pfister says. “Period.” 100 M ay - June 2014
R enter ia M ayorquin is preparing to send 27 tons of Pacific mackerel—enough to fill a semitrailer truck—to Colombia. The Kino fishermen he contracts with haven’t yet caught 27 tons of Pacific mackerel, the region’s most popular export, so much of the order is on ice, waiting in his walk-in freezer. Mayorquin says that he’ll pay fishermen 16 pesos per kilo that they bring in—about $1.23 in U.S. dollars. He might sell the mackerel to a market in Hermosillo for 60 pesos per kilo, and it might in turn sell the fish to an international buyer for an even higher price. “It goes through a lot of hands,” he says. In 2000, as a response to overfishing, the Mexican government issued a law called Ordenamiento Pesquero, which effectively stopped new permits from being issued in an attempt to “normalize” fishing activity. What that means in practice is that permits are now simply sold (and resold) to the highest bidder. Demand is high, so prices are, too—who holds the permit holds the power. And, more often that not, that person is not a fishermen. Mayorquin is what’s known as a permissionario, which roughly translates to marketing agent. Permissionarios are the middlemen between those who catch fish and those who buy it. Most permissionarios hold their own fishing permits, usually for multiple boats, and simply contract fishermen to catch whatever it is they think they can sell. “Permissionarios are not fishermen; they don’t know about the biology of fish. They just buy and sell,” says Vásquez-León, who works primarily in the Upper Gulf, near Puerto Peñasco. “So they would go tell local fishermen, ‘You have to go out and get lobster.’ The fishermen would say, ‘No. You’re going to find gravid [pregnant] females, so we shouldn’t catch lobster right now.’ And they’d say, ‘We don’t care. If you’re not going to do it, we’re going to bring fishermen from the south of Mexico.’” In a market-based system, Vásquez-León says, “when the buyers and the sellers are the ones making the decisions as to how the fishery is going to be used, then you really have problems.” She says that fishermen should be the ones making those decisions. And fishermen, when asked, say that they want stronger enforcement of existing regulations. When just one person exploits enustiano
Above: At the end of the day, two fishermen work together to pull a heavy gillnet out of the water. Photo by Maria Johnson. Right: A solitary sea snail is snared in a bottom cage; once it fills up, after a day or two, fisherman will come to collect their catch. Photo by Megan Kimble
t J orge ’ s R estaur ant , located on the north end of New Kino, open windows pour sea air onto tables. Jorge Luis Ramírez has been serving fish pan fried or simmered in garlic sauce for 15 years. “There’s less fish, so it’s more expensive to buy,” he says of how the market has changed. His customers—mainly from Hermosillo, some from the United States —don’t much ask about the sustainability of the fish he’s serving, he says. Either they know the answer, or they’re on vacation. At Jorge’s, you can order your lenguado grilled or covered in onions, but you can’t know exactly what kind of lenguado you’re eating—the word translates into English as California halibut, foureye flounder, dappled flounder, or fantailed sole. This is not an ambiguity in translation—“Lenguado is a catch-all term for any flat-bottom fish,” says Lorayne Meltzer, the co-director of the Prescott College Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies. “The market doesn’t distinguish. That’s exactly why we need truth in labeling. What are you really eating?” Meltzer says it’s up to consumers to demand these answers. “Where did this fish come from? How was it caught? What, really, is it? What’s the species, and was it produced through aquaculture or was it wild caught?” she says. “If people cared enough to say, we will pay more for fish that we know is sustainably caught, if there is demand, it might spread like [sustainably produced] chicken or vegetables did.” How, exactly, consumers can demand sustainably caught seafood is a trickier question to answer. The chain of custody for seafood is notoriously hard to follow. Fishermen don’t know who buys their fish, once it leaves the docks; permissionarios often don’t either, as they sell fish to large import-export businesses—the two largest operating in the Gulf are Selecta Fish and Ocean Gardens Products—which then consolidate fish from oceans across the world to fulfill an order from Red Lobster or Safeway. Because of how the supply chain works, “Even if a fishery decided,
102 M ay - June 2014
Photo by Maria Johnson
a common resource, it de-incentivizes everyone else to follow the rules. “The attitude is, ‘If I don’t take it, someone else will,’” says Leopold Encinas, a lifelong Kino fisherman. Encinas started fishing in 1978, although he stopped in 2009 when he was hired by a nonprofit conservation agency called Communidad y Biodiversidad, or COBI, to inventory fish stocks. “If I’m fishing and I see a lobster, and I know it’s a female and might be spawning, I know I should leave it. But if I leave it, then someone else will just take it,” he says. As fish stocks plummet, the dilemma becomes even more acute. If your catch has been bad Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and you come across a big school of fish on Thursday, even if you know you should leave it, “You have to pay for gas. You have to earn a little bit of money. And someone else might come along. So you’re going to take it,” Encinas says. “We fishermen live day to day. What I earn today, I spend today. This is the mentality, so it’s hard to get us to think about the future.” While some communities in the Gulf have organized fishing cooperatives to prevent precisely this phenomenon, Kino remains mostly unorganized. The fishing grounds are large, which means they’re hard to control—even if local fishermen designated a reserve, outsiders might come in and simply scoop up the fish they’d been trying to protect. There are many organizations working against this trend—working to organize and empower fishermen in the Gulf to see that they do have the ability to change the way things work. Encinas is one of eight fishermen in Kino working with COBI to inventory fish and wildlife. “We want to raise awareness about how conservation can benefit everyone. If we don’t leave species to reproduce, then we’ll run out soon,” Encinas says. “But we can still do something, because there is still fish here today.”
‘O.K., we’re going to get our act together,’ it’s impossible for any individual fishery to market sustainably caught shrimp,” says Meltzer. “It would disappear into the larger market.” Which doesn’t much help a consumer standing at a fish counter. Partly as a response to this confusion, in 1999 the Monterey Bay Aquarium started publishing a Seafood Watch guide, which uses scientific data to categorize seafood species in three categories: Best Choice, Good Alternative, or Avoid. Now considered the authoritative consumer advisory list for sustainable seafood, Seafood Watch also publishes regional guides, like a Gulf of California Seafood Report. They are available as apps for iPhone or Android. But the information available to consumers to make that choice is often limited. What do you do if your Seafood Watch app tells you the choice between a California halibut caught with a set gillnet and one caught with a hand line is the difference between a Best Choice and a Good Alternative—and the menu simply says “halibut”? The Tucson-based Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans, known as CEDO, is one organization that’s working to fix that. “One of the visions I have is to connect the local Upper Gulf markets to the Tucson community and create a partnership between our two communities for sustainable resources,” says Peggy Turk Boyer, CEDO’s executive director. For the past several years, Boyer has been working with a dozen environmental groups, including COBI, to redefine the term “sustainable” as it relates to fisheries in the Gulf, setting benchmarks for the three levels that fisheries must navigate as they move toward sustainability. Because “there are very few fisheries in the world that are truly sustainable,” says Boyer, the point of the classification system is to help consumers identify—and support— communities and fisheries that are taking tangible steps to protect and build their region’s fish stocks, even if they haven’t yet arrived. Indeed, if a fishery is managed according to market forces, logic dictates that if you change the market, you change the fishery. For all the dire predictions, the ocean is still—for the time being—a resilient resource. Other communities in the Gulf have shown that if treated well—if managed and protected—the ocean can bounce back. On the tip of the Baja Peninsula, in Cabo Pulmo, “in the 80s and 90s, the fishery was totally fished out. It was kind of barren,” says Pfister. “The local community said, ‘We gotta do something. Because it’s gone.’ So they completely closed it off to fishing. Now it’s insane. There are groupers and snappers and now you’re seeing large sharks. We’ve seen a rebound.” “What’s important is to show fishermen and consumers that they have the power to make that change,” says Meltzer. ✜ Para leer este artículo en español, traducido por el National Center for Interpretation de la Universidad de Arizona, visite EdibleBajaArizona.com. To read this story in Spanish, translated by the University of Arizona National Center for Interpretation, visit EdibleBajaArizona.com. Download the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch app and guide online at SeafoodWatch.org. Megan Kimble is the managing editor of Edible Baja Arizona. Follow her @megankimble.
104 M ay - June 2014
Drinking The Colorado River
Photo by Maria Johnson
ravel back a century and you’d find a different Gulf of California. Head north, to the Colorado River Delta, and you’d see a place teeming with life—with birds, marine mammals, and fish. With its seasonal floods, which flushed important waterborne nutrients into the Gulf, the Colorado River Delta was once an important spawning ground for many fish species, including corvina, shrimp, and totoaba. But when in 1922 the Colorado River Compact divided river flow among seven states in the United States, whatever river flow remained was diverted at a dam north of the Mexican border, and the delta dried up. Without water, the thriving marine ecosystem sank into silty soil; without fish, fishermen sought sustenance elsewhere. The last time the river and the delta were connected was in 1998, when surplus snowmelt from the Rockies made it into Mexico. What that rare event showed was that even a little water had a huge impact on estuary ecosystems. “The amount of water that is needed to enhance habitat in the delta is about one percent of annual river flow,” said Francisco Zamora, the director of the Sonoran Institute’s Colorado River Delta program. “It’s a very small amount of water.” In March, as part of a landmark agreement between the United States and Mexico, the Sonoran Institute helped oversee the release of 34 billion gallons of water over eight weeks at the Morelos Dam, near Yuma—a one time “pulse flow” event—with the hope of improving ecological conditions along the river and, eventually, reconnecting it to the sea. “There is no doubt that if you put more water in the river, it will benefit the fisheries,” says Zamora. “The key unknown is how much water you need. This release will help us to better refine that.” The Sonoran Institute is working to raise money to secure water rights to keep an annual flow to maintain water in the river and delta, says the Sonoran Institute’s Seth Cothrun. “A healthy delta would make a huge difference to the economy of both countries.” ✜
edible Baja Arizona
Right on the Mark Mark Beres and Marc Moeller Take a Flying Leap with their Elgin Winery B y M ike G errard | P hotography
he story begins with two teenage boys at parachute school. Told to find partners to help with safety procedures, Mark looked at Marc, or possibly Marc looked at Mark, and said (insert goofy teenage voice here), “Do you wanna be my buddy?” The question was asked almost 30 years ago at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, and Mark Beres and Marc Moeller have been best buddies ever since. Beres went on to be a Special Forces pilot through two tours of duty, picking up an injury in Afghanistan and eventually retiring in 2006. He moved to Tucson to work at the aerospace company Raytheon. Moeller rose to become a training pilot on Air Force Two, the plane that carries the vice president and other dignitaries. “Yeah,” he says. “I was responsible for flying people like Clinton, Cheney, Biden, Condoleezza Rice.” He retired in 2011, and along the way Beres and Moeller became close friends with another pilot, Tom Kitchens. So far, so conventional. But what happened next was a flying leap. The buddies, who had racked up years of experience flying some of the most advanced planes and helicopters in the world, decided to open a vineyard together in southern Arizona—and called it Flying Leap. It seemed an atypical and unpredictable move for the three highly disciplined individuals.
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S teven M eckler
I ask M arc Moeller about it at their vineyard and tasting room on Elgin Road, next door to one of the area’s leading names, Callaghan Vineyards, Moeller is doing his fortnightly job of topping off the barrels, replacing the evaporated wine, called the Angels’ Share, with fresh wine to keep air out. “We always knew we would leave the Air Force one day, and wanted to be in business together—but we didn’t know what that business would be. We thought of starting our own small airline, and thought of opening a helicopter manufacturing plant. But about five years ago, Mark fell in love with the Arizona wine industry and decided he wanted to open a vineyard. “When he told me about it I told him not to open one of those hobby vineyards. If we do this, we do it as a proper business, we do the research, we draw up a business plan.” When they told Kitchens about the idea, his response was fairly typical: “What? A vineyard in the desert?” It was the very potential of a vineyard in the desert that Beres and Moeller had seen in their research. Neither of them was a total novice when it comes to wine and farming. Moeller is a first-generation American of Swiss-German heritage, and his family has run a vineyard in Switzerland for several generations. hen
Above: At Flying Leap’s Elgin tasting room, vinter Marc Moeller is often the one you’ll find pouring sips from behind the bar. Opposite: Designed by Tom Kitchens, the Tempranillo label is a play on the temperance card found in a deck of tarot cards.
edible Baja Arizona
Mark Beres is the farmer of the pair, focusing on the health of their vines rather than the taste of their wines.
He’d already been making regular trips back to Switzerland, which offered him the chance to learn wine making firsthand. Beres’s family were cantaloupe farmers in the Walla Walla Valley, one of Washington State’s premier wine-growing regions. “I’m a red-necked farm boy,” he says. “[I] grew up working on farms and vineyards. “One of our secrets,” he explains, “and why we’re doing well in wine, is that we’ve segmented our business into farming, winemaking, and the business side. Vineyards have nothing to do with winemaking. They’re two totally separate skill sets. Yes, they come together but they involve different skills. Where some small vineyards go wrong is the same person tries to do everything, and they can’t always do it. Marc is the winemaker. He knows that stuff. I have my input, but basically leave it to him. I look after the vineyard side.” Where the two are similar is on their meticulous approach to research. “We did a lot of research and data-gathering before we started the company,” Beres says. “That’s what Marc and I are like. We want to know everything before we make a decision. We’re engineers and mathematicians so it’s in our DNA. We studied Napa, and I mean we studied Napa. Why are some wineries successful and some not? What are they doing right and wrong? Why do customers go back? We found that the customers who go back to a place and buy more wine 108 M ay - June 2014
from a place enjoy a more low-density experience. That means a more personal experience. You’re not in a crowd, not doing a tasting where you can’t get near the bar. Low density means you get time with the people who make the wine.” That’s certainly the case at Flying Leap’s Elgin tasting room. It’s the winegrower himself, Marc Moeller, who is pouring and describing the tasting wines. So far, the wine they are selling is partly the production they inherited when they bought the Canelo Hills Vineyard in January 2013 from the previous owners who were getting ready to retire. They then brought in grapes from Lodi, California, to make their own first bottlings as Flying Leap; this summer, they’ll release their first estate wine, a 2013 grenache rosé. Moeller even comes up with many of the labels, with the help of a graphic designer, although Kitchens designed their new tempranillo label. It’s a play on the temperance card found in a deck of tarot cards. “But we don’t believe in temperance,” says Moeller. “We believe in tempranillo.” Kitchens also came up with Flying Leap’s logo. It has three elements for the three partners, but also resembles three vine leaves, an airplane propeller, and a variation on the Celtic Knot, a symbol of friendship and tradition. It’s done in copper, to represent Arizona. Indeed, given that less than 1 percent of wine drunk in Arizona comes from Arizona, part of the mission of Flying Leap is to get
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In early April, Flying Leap’s vines in Elgin are just beginning to show signs of growth.
Arizonans to drink locally. One way they’re hoping to increase access to their wines is by opening tasting rooms outside of the one at the vineyard, in Bisbee, Willcox, and, as of March, at St. Philip’s Plaza in Tucson. Why go this route rather than through distributors? “If you look at the numbers, the revenue stream is about the same,” Moeller explains. “Yes, you’ve got the bricks and mortar to pay for, and the overhead, but at the end of the day the distributors take such a big cut that you only get a small percentage. We also wanted to get our wine out to the folks in a more personal way. We want them to know us and like us. If people are going to drink more Arizona wines, first they have to know they’re available, and that it’s good. But we are working with distributors too.” “And I’d like people to drink Arizona wine,” Beres adds. “I’m into the locavore movement. I believe in that. I support local businesses and hope people will support us. Sure, the guy down the street might charge a little more for something than you pay at WalMart, but he doesn’t have their economies of scale. Besides which, he’s my buddy and his kids go to school with my kids.” 110 M ay - June 2014
And the guys at Flying Leap are still leaping. “We have plans for more tasting rooms. We have our eye on some locations, but I don’t want to give all our secrets away,” says Beres. “We’re also adding a new building here, as we need the cellar space if we’re [going] to expand, and we’re opening a wedding venue.” Their plans for expansion don’t stop there. Marc Moeller is planning a trip to New York and then Kentucky to learn the art of distilling. Flying Leap hopes to be making and selling grappa, vodka, and grape brandy by 2018. The three buddies may have traveled around the world as Air Force pilots, but clearly they’re still intent on going places. ✜ Flying Leap Vineyards. 342 Elgin Road. Elgin. 520.455.5499. FlyingLeapVineyards.com. Mike Gerrard is an award-winning travel writer who divides his time between the United Kingdom and southern Arizona. He has written for National Geographic and American Express.
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edible Baja Arizona
Booze News by Dave Mondy
All the news that’s fit to drink
southeast of Tucson and you’ll find the many wineries of Willcox; in both output and plaudits, these vineyards are really on the rise—and an event in mid-May might be the perfect time to introduce yourself (or, if you’ve already made your introductions, then it’s a great time to get back in touch). The 2014 Willcox Wine Country Spring Festival takes place over the weekend of May 17 and 18 and will feature the emissaries of 23 local wineries and 25 local food vendors, accompanied by, of course, much live music—in a region as rich as Baja Arizona in both music and booze, should the twain ever part? It all takes place in Railroad Park, in historic downtown Willcox, at 157 N. Railroad Ave. Speaking of which: Every time I hear of a weekend wine event—one located within a pastoral vineyard only an hour away—I try to imagine a more idyllic use of my time. I try, but always fail. With that in mind, I present: Arizona Hops and Vines Spring Bacchanal Festival on Saturday, May 10, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Many wanderers have fallen under the spell of the weird/wonderful wiles of this vineyard’s wines (and proprietors), and it’s easy to see why. In addition to featuring the vineyard’s own vino (along with a lot of local beer), there’ll homemade sodas at the Sober Shack, a great place to stash the kids, and all kinds of tasty victuals. La Cocina has always carried a rotating cast of house-made infusions and curious cocktails within an al fresco drinker’s dream. And now, they’ve grown a rotating cast of weekly events, too. Eclecticism abounds! Speaking of rotations, there’s 5, 6, 7 WAX on Thursdays at 10 p.m., when DJs spin their favorite gems from the 50s, 60s, and 70s; check out game night on Wednesdays, complete with video games, board games, and DJs. If you prefer a more magisterial métier, a live harpist plucks dulcet tones at 12:30 p.m. for Saturday brunchers; or, if a harp is too staid for your tastes, Sunday brunch features a beat-box/looping DJ—beats with Bloodies. Also, many live musicians are scheduled for upcoming Arizona nights in May and June, so check their calendar at lacocinatucson.com/events. Picture it: Creamsicle beer floats! Made with orange liquor and sudsy brew! And next to that float, you find an adult s’mores milkshake made with marshmallow vodka. Such strange wonders— surrounded by walls awash in 3D graffiti, alongside another wall piled high with vintage speakers and old televisions; meanwhile, behind you, a UFC cage match blinks on the big screen, while your friend eats a meatball slider from a sizzling skillet, while a DJ drops bass, while coeds consume the milkshakes all around … r i ve one hour
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What in the holy hell? Am I accidentally writing a dream journal instead of Booze News? No. Hi Fi Kitchen + Cocktails is expanding into the huge 8,000 square foot space across from the Hotel Congress in the Plaza Centro (there’s an original, flagship Hi Fi in Scottsdale). I can’t quite picture the mad mélange, but one thing is certain: one cra-azy club is opening opposite The Cadence, the new student housing downtown. Is this perfect symbiosis, or a parents’ worst nightmare? Both, or somewhere in between? I don’t know, but here’s one other certainty: There shall be selfies! Speaking of surreal happenings within the Tucson booze world: Imagine an old mortuary morphing into a pizza place, and then imagine that mortuary-turned-pizzeria creating a speakeasy within its basement. What would such a place even look like? I’m not sure, but I’m excited to find out: The team that brought you Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink (which also has an outdoor beer garden now, by the by) will be opening an underground (literally) lounge and speakeasy—underneath (6 feet under?) their current space at 101 E. Pennington St. (the original locale of the Reilly Funeral Home). What’s the password? It’s top secret, but I’m guessing since this is a desert locale, it’s not “swordfish.” You could look around for someone stage-whispering out of the side of their mouth … or just call 502.882.5550. As you’re riding along Broadway Blvd., keep an eye out for Sidecar—a new neighborhood craft lounge from the same man who brought you Falora, Sparkroot, and Xoom Juice. “We’ll have an emphasis on fresh, artisanal-type ingredients and drinks, as well as a strong emphasis on classic, historic cocktails,” says owner Ari Shapiro. Look for the small bar two doors south of Falora, which will be providing roasted nuts and house-pickled vegetables for Sidecar’s bar snacks. Given that the name comes with a multitude of interpretations—a sidecar is a classic prohibition-era cocktail, as well as a common name for a beer with a shot on the side—expect a playful array of “sidecar” options. 139 S. Eastbourne Ave. 520.795.1819. BarSidecar.com.
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SONOITA/ELGIN & TOMBSTONE WINE MAP To Tuc s
To New M
6.3 Mi. 1
1 km N
Lower Elgin Rd. Phoenix
m 15 nia ( o g a t to Pa
To Sierra Vista (30 min.)
To Bi sbee (25 min. )
Note: Many roads have been omitted for clarity.
18585 S. Sonoita Hwy, Vail 520-762-8585 CharronVineyards.com Fri–Sun: 10-6
21 Mtn. Ranch Dr., Elgin 520-455-9291 WilhelmFamilyVineyards.com Oct–April: Daily 11-5 May–Sept: Fri – Sun 11-5 Mon-Thurs by Appointment
Dos Cabezas WineWorks 3248 Hwy 82, Sonoita 520-455-5141 DosCabezasWinery.com Thurs–Sun: 10:30-4:30
AZ Hops & Vines
3450 Hwy 82, Sonoita 520-955-4249 AZHopsAndVines.com Thurs: 11-4, Fri-Sun: 10-6
Wilhelm Family Vineyards
Rancho Rossa Vineyards
32 Cattle Ranch Ln., Elgin 520-455-0700 RanchoRossa.com Fri–Sun: 10:30-3:30
45 min. to Sonoita via Hwy 82 75 min. to Tucson via I-10 3 hours to Phoenix via I-10
in) 5m 3 ( es gal
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Las Cienegas National Conservation Area
Upper Elgin Rd.
to To m b
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From this exit: 2.5 Hours to Phoenix 30 minutes to Tucson 30 minutes to Sonoita
Callaghan Vineyards 336 Elgin Road, Elgin 520-455-5322 CallaghanVineyards.com Thurs–Sun: 11-4
Flying Leap Vineyards 342 Elgin Road, Elgin 520-954-2935 FlyingLeapVineyards.com Wed-Sun: 11-4 Mon-Tues: By Appointment
Kief-Joshua Vineyards 370 Elgin Road, Elgin 520-455-5582 KiefJoshuaVineyards.com Daily: 11-5
To Ft. Huachuca (50 min.) Sierra Vista (1 hr.)
471 Elgin Road, Elgin 520-455-9309 ElginWines.com Daily: 11-5
W W 12 T15 N 4th St, Tombstone ombstone
S V 10 290 Elgin Canelo Rd., Elgin onoita
520-455-5893 SonoitaVineyards.com Daily: 10-4
L R C 11 2368 Hwy 83, Elgin ightning
520-455-5383 LightningRidgeCellars.com Fri-Sun: 11-4
520-261-1674 TombstoneWinery.com Daily: 12-6
W 13 S334 E AllenS St., Tombstone ilver
520-678-8200 SilverStrikeWinery.com Daily: 12-6
14 H3989 State’ HwyH 82, Elgin annah s
(520) 456-9000 HannahsHill.com By Appointment Only
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WILLCOX AREA & BISBEE WINE MAP Fort G ra nt Rd .
From Exit #331 1 Hour to Tucson 1 hour to Sonoita 3 Hours to Phoenix
36 xit #3
d. 9 10
ve. ll A ske
Phoenix Willcox Area
3 From Bisbee
1 hour to Sonoita 2 Hours to Tucson
N E W
Note: Many roads have been omitted for clarity.
Sand-Reckoner 130 S. Haskell Avenue 303.931.8472 Sand-Reckoner.com By Appointment Only Flying Leap Vineyards: Willcox Tasting Room 100 N. Railroad Avenue 520.384.6030 FlyingLeapVineyards.com Wed-Sun: 12-6 Keeling Schaefer Tasting Room 154 N. Railroad Avenue 520.766.0600 KeelingSchaeferVineyards.com Wed-Sun: 11-5 Carlson Creek 115 Railroad Avenue 520.766.3000 CarlsonCreek.com Daily 11-5 Aridus Tasting Room 145 N Railview Ave 520.766.9463 AridusWineCo.com Sat-Sun: 11-5, Mon-Fri: Appt. Only
W. Rex Allen Dr.
Go N lde M nR es ul qu e R ite d. Rd .
Las Cru ces)
St. art tew E.S ley St. a . E. M ant St Gr W.
to New Mexico (3 hrs
Aridus Crush Facility 1126 N. Haskell Avenue 520.766.2926 Mon-Fri: 11-5, Sat-Sun: By Appt. Passion Cellars at Salvatore Vineyards 3052 N. Fort Grant Road 602.750.7771 PassionCellars.com By Appointment Only Coronado Vineyards 2909 E. Country Club Drive 520.384.2993 Mon-Sat: 9:30-5:30, Sun: 10-4 Zarpara Vineyards 6777 S. Zarpara Lane 602.885.8903 Zarpara.com Fri-Sun: 11-5, Mon-Thurs: By Appt. Pillsbury Vineyard 6450 S. Bennett Place 520.384.3964 Pillsburywine.com Thurs-Sun: 11-5, Mon-Wed: By Appointment Only Keeling Schaefer Vineyard 10277 E. Rock Creek Lane 520.824.2500 Wine Club Events Only Lawrence Dunham Vineyards 13922 S. Kuykendall Cutoff Rd. 602.320.1485 LawrenceDunhamVineyards.com By Appointment Only Golden Rule Vineyards 3649 N. Golden Rule Road 520.507.2400 GoldenRuleVineyards.com By Appointment Only Flying Leap Vineyards: Bisbee Tasting Room 67 Main St. Bisbee Wed, Thur & Sun, Noon to 6pm Friday & Saturday, Noon to 8pm 520.384.6030
10 11 12 13 14
t n e R
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Located on the Amerind Museum’s 1900-acre campus in scenic Texas Canyon, the Fulton House is the ideal place for your next retreat, workshop, board meeting, luncheon, or other event. Call today! Amerind Museum • 2100 N Amerind Rd. Dragoon, AZ 85609 • 520.586.3666 • www.amerind.org
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SABORES DE SONORA
A Personal Posole Making the elegantly simple posole de trigo (wheat posole) is traditionally Sonoran—and endlessly adaptable. Text and Images by Bill Steen
that is rich with history and tradition, that is symbolic of a disappearing way of life, that is made from local ingredients, has evolved over generations and is worthy of honoring a saint on his feast day, is not so easy. Indeed, assembling these varied ingredients into a single story is a most challenging undertaking. This is the story of a little known stew (caldo) that was traditionally made with heritage Sonoran wheat. Today, white Sonora wheat is the heritage variety that is most common, but in a pinch any type of wheat berry will work. There are also other varieties of Sonoran wheat, but they are much less common and difficult to find. It is obvious to most that bread is made when wheat is ground into flour. But this article is about a stew that is known as posole de trigo or wheat posole, in which the newly harvested wheat berries are substituted for the corn. Traditionally the posole is made with a beef base and includes a variety of ingredients that can include corn-on-the-cob (elotes), garlic (ajo), onions (cebollas), wild and domestic greens (bledos y verdolagas), potatoes (papas), squash (calabazas), carrots (zanahorias), cabbage (repollo), tomatoes (tomates), and green chiles (chile verdes). This particular posole is the fiesta food for the feast day of San Ysidro Labrador or St. Isadore, who is the patron saint of agriculturalists. His feast day is essentially a harvest festival for winter crops such as wheat. In rural Sonora, this feast day is still widely celebrated on May 15th, and always accompanied by this stew. Traditionally, many families would go to their fields, or milpas, and prepare it there. r iting about a stew
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It is easy to understand why farmers in Sonora, who regularly face the challenges of very dry spring weather and unpredictable summer rains, were quick to call upon San Ysidro for whatever help he could offer. Legends have it that angels walked behind his oxen plowing the field while he prayed and that he fed the birds with his employer’s wheat, only to have it miraculously replenished. In essence, this is a story about the kind of food that is rooted in Sonora’s rural culture. For me personally, caldos—the soups and stews of Sonora—tell the story of the complex combination of historical, climatological, technological factors and the efforts of the Europeans, indigenous, and Creole peoples. Given the arid climate, scant resources, and lack of agricultural diversity, it took a great deal of imagination and resourcefulness to create what we think of as Sonoran food. Farmers and ranchers, who were scattered along the river basins in small villages and towns, had to work in conjunction with seasonal variations and rainfall patterns, while blending together European and indigenous cultivated crops with a variety of wild foods. Wheat, cattle, figs, grapes, and pomegranates combined with corn, bean, chiles, chiltepines, and quelites. I think the main reason Sonoran soups and stews truly embody the essence of Sonora is that they repeatedly combine the same basic ingredients in a variety of different ways. These combinations are far from what one would call sophisticated and Right: Traditional posole de trigo has everything you need: meat, vegetables, grains, and chiltepines.
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Armida Elena Contreras de Maldonado, from the town of La Estancia on the Rio Sonora, has been making posole de trigo her whole life. This recipe, along with many others, is included in her handwritten cookbook, Sabrosas Tradiciones de Mi Pueblo. 120â€ƒ M ay - June 2014
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Above: Prepared White Sonora wheat berries are the perfect start to any posole.
exotic, but they are seasonal, simple, flavorful, filling, balanced, and nutritious. In the words of my friend the Sonoran cultural anthropologist Ernesto Camou, “Sonoran food is straightforward with a dignity and seriousness that is quietly assumed.” In this grouping of soups and stews, one finds the classics such as menudo, posole, and albondigas. Caldo de queso, made from queso fresco, is classically Sonoran. Cazuela or caldillo, which combines machaca (shredded dry beef), potatoes, green chiles, tomatoes, and onions, is nothing less than pure Sonoran in character. Posole de trigo closely resembles two other Sonoran stews. The first is known as cocido, which combines beef and a similar combination of vegetables. The other is known as guacabaque, which closely resembles cocido and is traditionally served in Yaqui and Mayo communities on the last day of the Easter Holy Week. If you are motivated to try posole de trigo, you have several options. The first is to make it using the recipe below. (Vegetarians, don’t shy away—simply eliminate the beef base and substitute something else.) But if you’re up for a little adventure, you might visit one of the small rural Sonoran towns and ask on the street if anyone in town is making the posole. You just might find yourself delightfully surprised and at someone’s table for the midday comida. 122 M ay - June 2014
If you find yourself in Magdalena, Sonora, visit a small food stand on the street behind the main plaza. The proprietor always has large caldrons of soups and stews cooking on his wood fired stove. There is a good chance that on May 15, he will be serving posole de trigo. And although the stew is not commonly served in restaurants, it can be found at the restaurant Viva Sonora on the outskirts of Hermosillo, Sonora, on the road to Ures, as well as any of the small restaurants in Guadalupe de Ures. An easy way to make this stew is to combine the wheat berries and a selection of seasonal vegetables in a pot and season it according to your tastes—you’ll have your own personal posole. I like to begin with the traditional version of how a food is prepared, figuring that after centuries of tradition, cultures tend to evolve their traditional dishes to near perfection. I abide by the words of Picasso: “Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them as an artist.” To capture the true essence of this stew, an excellent choice is to use heritage White Sonora wheat, which can be purchased through Hayden Flour Mills. Visit HaydenFlourMills.com to find retail outlets. If you cannot immediately secure some of the white Sonora wheat, don’t be deterred, as any wheat berry will work with this stew. ✜
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For the recipe below, I went seeking the guidance and expertise of someone who has made it all of her life. I called upon our friend Armida Elena Contreras de Maldonado, from the town of La Estancia on the Rio Sonora. Of course there are many fabulous cooks from that region, but in my small world she has no equal. She is especially known for her cakes, which are served at birthdays, quinceañeras, and weddings up and down the Rio Sonora Valley. At a snail’s pace, we have been helping her create a printed version of her handmade cookbook, Sabrosas Tradiciones de Mi Pueblo, which focuses on foods from the Rio Sonora.
In her words, “This collection of recipes has been created realizing that with time, things change, often for the better; our customs and traditions are lost but who doesn’t affectionately remember that rich cazuela (soup from machaca) that our mothers prepared, that wonderful postre de nubes (pudding) made by our grandmothers, and the melindres de bellota (emory oak acorn cookies) made by our aunts.” This recipe for posole de trigo comes from her cookbook. Of course, the way this stew is prepared varies according to the maker, the town, and the available ingredients. Feel free to experiment and modify this wonderful dish to your own liking.
Posole de Trigo de Milpa 4-5 quarts water 1 cup wheat berries (trigo) 1 bulb garlic (ajo) 3 small potatoes (papas) 3 carrots cut in 2 or 3 pieces (zanahorias) 3 summer squash cut in half (calabaza arota) 2/3 cup peas (chicharos) 1 pound of green beans cut into 2- or 3-inch pieces (ejotes) 2/3 cup beans (frijoles) 2/3 cup garbanzos (garbanzos) 1 bunch purslane, remove the large stems (verdolagas) 1 bunch wild amaranth greens, large stems removed (bledos) 4 pounds of mixed bones (optional) Salt to taste
Variations of the recipe include: 2 pounds beef neck bones (pescuezo con hueso) 2 pounds beef tail (cola de res) 1 green chile (chile verde) 1 white onion (cebolla blanca) 1 pound unpeeled sweet potato (camote) 2 ears tender white corn (elotes blancos) Cooked nopalitos Fava beans Cilantro
Directions 1. In a pot that has a capacity of at least 6 quarts, put the bones, water, and salt. When foam appears at the top of the pot, lower the flame and remove all that you can. Add the beans, garbanzos, garlic, and onion, if included. 2. Cook the wheat separately in 2 quarts of water until it flowers (opens). 3. Put the purslane and wild amaranth in a container and pour boiling water over them, Leave for a short time, then remove and drain. 124 M ay - June 2014
4. When the meat is cooked, add the vegetables. Armida doesn’t specify any particular order, but it seems that the potatoes, carrots, and green beans would be the first, and then after 5 minutes or so, the peas, squash, amaranth, and purslane. 5. Add the wheat, salt, additional water if needed, and cook until the vegetables are tender, approximately 30 minutes. 6. When ready, the ideal accompaniments include tortillas de harina (flour), queso fresco, chiltepines, and perhaps a squeeze of lime.
This Sopita Is Haunted By Gwendoline Hernandez | Illustration by Robert J Long
scolding me when I cook. The only problem is, she is dead. I’m trying to make sopita and, without warning, she mocks me as I sauté the macaroni in a pot. “Careless child, you’re burning the pasta, lower the heat.” I begged her on her deathbed not to come back to pay me a visit, but she still loves to whisper behind my ear. With a tone of mischief, she’ll tell me that I put too much sage on the cocido or not to stir too much the chilaquiles. “See, I told you! That’s why they come out all mushy.” Josefa Pérez, or Doña Chepa, as my abuelita was respectfully called, was not a celebrity in the Old Pueblo but her cooking was recognized in the heart of the west side of town, in neighborhoods like El Rio, Barrio Hollywood, and Menlo Park. Doña Chepa’s culinary skills were her only source of income throughout her lifetime. Thanks to the nostalgic palates of the Mexican-American community of Tucson, she established an intimate and loyal market for her wares. Every morning my grandmother gave San Martin Caballero, the patron saint of business, a glass of water for the saint’s horse to drink. Before she finished her coffee, she had already watered her garden and fed the little birds in exchange for a chirp. Her work started with the tying of her apron. Rolling pins and flour-dusted tables were often in the agenda of the day. Doña Chepa offered homemade Mexican food for sale. Her don ’ t mind my gr andmother
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menu consisted of tamales, empanadas, flour and corn tortillas, posoles, menudos, and poked gorditas with butter. When the seasons were right, she made buñuelos for New Year’s Day and capirotadas for Lent. When my cousins were young, they helped grandmother sell tamales and empanadas on the corners of the streets. Her fame led her to take pedidos (orders) from her neighbors and friends. With every delivery of tasty Mexican cooking, word spread around the community about her tamales and pumpkin and piloncillo empanadas. Doña Chepa was born in Navolato, Sinaloa, between the sea and the tomato fields. Raised by her father, a rancher, in the midst of the Mexican Revolution, she once told me “You never knew who the good guys were.” She learned how to cook during her childhood in the hut where they lived—a hut sometimes looted by the federales, maderistas, and even villistas. When they entered, she learned to keep quiet about the vegetables and grains hidden inside her petticoat. She was forbidden to go to school. She learned arithmetic and writing through practice, lining up the letters of her name to compose her signature. She’d learn the knowledge that would sustain her throughout her life by the time she was 10 years old. By then, she knew how to distinguish herbs and their healing properties, how to break a chicken’s neck, how to use a machete in
the field to harvest the corn, how to pick tomatoes, how to grind and season fresh meat for chorizo, and how to make a hearty stew for her siblings. Sometime during the 1930s, Doña Chepa became the head cook at the defunct Restaurant Sonora Sinaloa in Nogales, Sonora. Customers stood in line for a table to taste her caldo de queso y de papa, enchiladas, calabacitas con queso y elote, and gallina pinta. In the 1950s, she was offered the position of head cook at a ranch in Oracle. The cowboys and the rancher’s family were delighted to have her stirring up the taste of home-style Mexican cooking. That’s how she made her way to Tucson, where she continued to make a living by offering tamales, empanadas, and other meals by the order. I remember the early Saturday mornings when local farmers were already pulling up by her curb. They opened the back of their trucks to reveal mountains of corn in their husks, Anaheim and poblano chiles, figs, zucchini, squash, and other vegetables and fruits of the season. Doña Chepa had the privilege of selecting first, long before the produce was offered to local businesses or at the Tanque Verde swap meet. She touched among the heap, smelled, calculated amounts, and negotiated wholesale prices, just as any renowned chef would do. With a giant tin bucket full of recently purchased produce, I used to accompany her to the back porch of her Barrio Hollywood home. That’s where we peeled the corn out of their husks and silky fibers. A frightened little worm would be exposed and crawl here and there, proof that you couldn’t get more organic than that. By the end of our work, our dusty hands would smell of earthy sweetness. They showed the evidence of the land that helped conceive the corn. The kernels were washed and polished until they looked like an array of pearls. The grains were shaved off with a knife that looked like a small machete. Grandmother took the grains to the kitchen, poured a mixture of water and cal (lime), let them boil a little, and soaked them overnight. The next morning, the drained grain was ready to travel to the molino for the grinding at Grande Tortilla Factory, where we waited in line to get it back as masa, the dough we would turn into tamales. I never noticed how or when, but when we got home, she’d already prepared the meat filling, which simmered in its tangy, mildly spicy sauce. Together, we assembled the ingredients. Soft corn husks first, masa second, and the meat nestled in the middle, adorned with a manzanilla olive. The tamales would lean one against the other in a large pot, ready for steaming. What would emerge was a thick, spongy masa oozing with the juices of the
carne or the gooeyness of the cheese and green chiles. When I entered Doña Chepa’s house, I’d be captured by a range of scents, from calming cinnamon to red chile smokiness. My grandmother’s odor was a mixture of celery and orange blossom Sanborn’s cologne. Her garden was an array of color, a perfumery of fragrant herbs, and a pharmaceutical depot. The bees were friendly companions in lessons on the curative properties of chamomile, epazote, gordolobo, and tila. She taught me to grow a garden’s other indispensable herbs, oregano, parsley, and cilantro, and that a chiltepin bush is absolutely necessary because every good posole or menudo will need freshly cracked chiltepines on the side. Any seed thrown in her yard would inevitably blossom and burst with color during the late summer. Soon, a few watermelons and pumpkins and squash would be ready for the picking. Sometimes, the flor de calabaza, the squash blossom, would be selected, cleaned, breaded, and fried, and the two of us would sit at the table to enjoy the warm dish with a little pico de gallo. Doña Chepa spent most of her life in the kitchen and the latter part of her years anticipating the weekend. Visiting grandmother on Sunday was paid with a warning that we’d “better enjoy the food for it might just be the last batch.” The menu ranged from tacos to carne con chile to beef stew with carrots and potatoes. Recipes were never given. You had to watch. Portions and ingredients were unmeasured. Taste and aromas determined the contents. Doña Chepa left this earth with an unfinished pot of calabaza enmielada on the stove, but her spirit and legacy lives among all her descendants in Tucson. From her I learned to keep boiled pinto or mayocoba beans ready for consumption, to keep at least two boiled potatoes stocked in the refrigerator as they add chunkiness to a main course or side dish. I learned the base for soups and frijoles charros, and to always have a little chicken stock sopita for the children. My grandmother is my patron saint of cooking and the saint that puts the evil eye on my albondigas. But when it comes to my sopita, my children tell me that I “make the best food ever!” I guess it’s a good thing to still have her next to me—or should I say, behind me. “Muchachita cuachalota, look at how sloppy you poured that sauce.” Doña Chepa can keep haunting me and my soup any day. ✜
When I entered Doña Chepa’s house, I’d be captured by a range of scents, from calming cinnamon to red chile smokiness. My grandmother’s odor was a mixture of celery and orange blossom Sanborn’s cologne. Her garden was an array of color, a perfumery of fragrant herbs, and a pharmaceutical depot.
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Gwendoline Hernandez, a proud Tucson native, is a former information technology professional who now dedicates her time to her family and writing. Her favorite Mexican dishes are Posole al Estilo Sinaloa and Marlin en Escabeche.
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ture’s inclination toward seeking a connection to the natural world, as being foreshadowed by writings of Erasmus Darwin (physician, writer, and grandfather to Charles). Although he warned that humans could have no control or even real understanding of the awesome powers of nature, he also wrote of a responsibility for “harnessing that power toward its continual improvement.” The many images in this book strike the reader forcefully with the notion of how much our human presence has been destructive. The message might well be seen as a desperate rallying cry. “The problem that faces us today is not one to be ‘solved’ by ‘saving’ something,” Dushane writes. “Rather, it is necessary to marshal all of the resources at our disposal, scientific, and humanistic, towards rethinking, reimagining, and reinventing a world that recognizes the inseparability of human and non-human concerns.”
Ground|Water: The Art, Design, and Science of a Dry River Edited by Ellen McMahon, Ander Monson, and Beth Weinstein (University of Arizona Press, 2013)
Review by Molly Kincaid
ost Tucsonans are accustomed to dry rivers and dusty landscapes, dotted with bountiful cacti but very few green trees. But there was a time, not so very long ago, when the Rillito and Santa Cruz Rivers ran with water, and that water nourished lush cottonwood forests on the rivers’ banks. Of the environmental degradation that has resulted from the overutilization of surface water and decades of environmentally insensitive resource management, the climatologist Gregg Garfin writes, “These facts are in plain sight in the public record, and yet are obscure to many Arizonans.” Ground|Water is a multidiscipline study published by University of Arizona’s Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry that seeks to illuminate this phenomenon. At times mournful and other times hopeful, the book weaves together poetry, visual arts, scientific, literary, and intellectual criticism with the unifying focus on water, or the lack thereof. Central to the book is the Rillito River Project—a group of artists, musicians, writers, and scholars who began in 2007 to try to raise awareness about the detrimental effects of climate change in the Southwest. The group puts on events such as Bat Night, which draws city residents to the dry riverbank to witness the migratory habits of Mexican free-tailed bats. It also hosts installations, like that of Jessica Gerlach, a visual artist who has put on ephemeral environmental installations illustrating key species that once thrived in the riparian habitat and are now endangered, such as the Fremont cottonwood, the western yellow-billed cuckoo, and the Gila topminnow. Among the many provocative pieces in the collection, a highlight is Allison Dushane’s essay exploring the Romantic era’s forward-thinking musings on the relationship between humans and nature. She describes the development of ecocriticism, or litera130 M ay - June 2014
Dirt Candy By Amanda Cohen and Ryan Dunlavey and Grady Hendrix (Clarkson Potter, 2012)
Review by Molly Kincaid
egetarian food has become about saying no to meat rather than saying yes to vegetables. It focuses on what it’s not rather than what it is. At Dirt Candy I obsess about what I can serve, not about what I can’t.” This pretty much sums up Amanda Cohen’s fearless mission with her popular NYC restaurant Dirt Candy and her eponymous cookbook. Cohen is all about creating surprising, whimsical, indulgent dishes starring vegetables as the main event. For the home cook, some of the recipes in this book are a little over the top. For example, her famous carrot buns with carrot, cucumber, and ginger salad are an all-day project, as is her olive fettuccine with pickled eggplant and eggplant jam. But even if you aren’t up for a marathon kitchen session, certain elements of her complex dishes are more approachable. The chickpea dressing on
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her smoked sweet potato niçoise salad can be whipped up quickly and used as a dressing for any number of green salads and simply roasted vegetables. Or you might make her lively butternut squash soup and skip the squash dumplings and coconut cream for a weeknight meal. She refreshingly recommends making the pasta sauces with boxed pasta if you don’t have the energy to roll out the pasta maker. But the most charming thing about this book is its entertainment value. Most cookbooks simply contain recipes and food porn photography. Cohen, on the other hand, has created a raucous documentation of her experiences in the restaurant industry through comic book-style storytelling. She gives hilarious, often self-deprecating, accounts of appearing on “Iron Chef” (and losing), serving Martha Stewart (who remained stone-faced throughout dinner), and leasing and building out a restaurant in a run-down NYC building. She even broaches the subject of immigration policy through the story of her undocumented immigrant dishwasher. Cohen also seems bent on breaking down the popular myths about successful chefs—that they return home and cook lavish meals for their waiting families, that they always get along famously with their co-workers, and that they prepare every dish with ease and grace. Instead, she portrays a messy, stressful, and lonely lifestyle—albeit one punctuated with moments of glory and the satisfaction that comes with hard work turning into deserving accolades. It’s evident that Cohen and her team put as much painstaking work and creative energy into this book as they do into each intricate dish, and the result is a rare treat among cookbooks.
Balancing on a Planet: The Future of Food and Agriculture By David A. Cleveland (The University of California Press, 2014)
Review by Peter Bourque
ccording to David Cleveland, Santa Barbara County produces ten times more fruits and vegetables than it consumes. Almost all of it is exported, while over 95 percent
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of the produce consumed in the county is imported. This one small example, based on David Cleveland’s research, shows the complexities and contradictions of the world’s “agrifood” system. Balancing on a Planet is for those who want a better understanding of the big picture of global food production and distribution and how these elements of the food system can be sustainable. Cleveland is a professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in ecological anthropology, and lived and gardened in Armory Park for many years. His research is based on work he has done in Ghana, Mexico, Pakistan, Zuni, and Hopi lands, and in Santa Barbara. The strength of Cleveland’s book is how he uses his experience, expertise, and widely collected data to scientifically analyze the world’s food and agriculture system. Balancing on a Planet isn’t a light read—Cleveland provides more than 1,000 references within the text. Yet, while citations, graphs, figures, and tables abound, the lay reader will get an understandable explanation of the complexities involved in creating an enduring and diverse worldwide agricultural system where socioeconomic, cultural, and ecological needs are met. Cleveland repeatedly calls for the need to use critical thinking, which “will require a willingness to be explicit about our own values and empirically based assumptions and to assess them just as critically as the assumptions … different than our own.” In other words, every player (or producer, transporter, consumer) must be ready to look at real empirical evidence to contribute to developing an appropriate agrifood system. To achieve this, he writes that we will need “a combination of critical engagement and non-attached advocacy for our values.” One trap that concerned activists risk falling into is mistaking indicators for goals. As an example, Cleveland brings up the worthy goal of getting malnourished children to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. One tool for attaining that goal is to increase the number of stores selling produce in or near a low-income neighborhood. But merely having these stores (an indicator) does not necessarily mean that that food will get into the stomachs of the targeted audience. Factors such as food cost, buying habits, food preparation, and, lastly, whether the kids are actually eating the produce will strongly influence whether that new store (or community garden) will actually improve the nutrition of these low-income youth. Cleveland maintains that we must act immediately and discontinue our business-as-usual approach to producing and consuming food because, as is, the system is not sustainable. He concludes that the world must combine the best elements of small-scale food production with select aspects of modern, scientific agriculture. Given the current economic forces and political conditions, it won’t be easy, but the alternative is a catastrophe down the road. Peter Bourque is the former director of the Hunger Action Center of Tucson and the author of Tarnished Ivory: Reflections on Peace Corps and Beyond. He has gardened in Tucson for 35 years. Molly Kincaid is a Tucsonan who is obsessed with tinkering in the kitchen and reading cookbooks. Her favorite foods are, paradoxically, kale and pork belly.
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Source Guide This SOURCE GUIDE is an annotated directory of our advertisers. Many of our advertisers are also distribution outlets where you can find a complimentary copy of the magazine. Our incredible advertisers are the reason we can provide this publication at no cost. Please make it a point to patronize them often and let them know how much you appreciate their support of Edible Baja Arizona and the local food and drink economy. Baja Arizona towns and cities are noted if the business is not located in Tucson. ARTISAN PURVEYORS & DEALERS ALFONSO OLIVE OIL A world of flavor, locally owned. We invite you to a unique tasting experience of the freshest, first cold pressed, extra virgin olive oils and flavored olive oils from around the world, and all natural traditional aged balsamic vinegars from Modena, Italy! “Taste first…buy when the excitement becomes overwhelming.” Central location: 4320 N Campbell Avenue, Oro Valley location: 7854 N. Oracle Road 520.441.9081 AlfonsoOliveOil.com BISBEE OLIVE OIL Come visit us in Bisbee and experience everything the town has to offer. We are located in a 111-year-old renovated building and carry 180 different items for sale. With 45 different olive oils and balsamics there is a flavor for everyone. We also offer free tastings! 8 Brewery Avenue, Bisbee 520.432.4645 BLU—A WINE & CHEESE SHOP There’s a new cheesemonger in town! Tana Fryer of Blu has been crowned “cheesemonger in chief” by Tucson foodies. Also sold in Alfonso Olive Oil locations. 100 S. Avenida Del Convento 520.314.8262 BluArizona.com CHILTTEPICA SALSA Fresh, artisanal Chiltepin Salsa RED or VERDE, fresh and local ingredients, find it at Santa Cruz Farmers Market at Mercado San Agustin, Food Conspiracy Co-op on 4th Avenue. Inquiries at info@ chilttepica.com 520.977.3043 Chilttepica.com CHOCOLÁTE All our boxed truffles are handmade with the freshest ingredients and fine chocolate. We use regional ingredients whenever possible. We use no chemicals, preservatives, additives or artificial flavorings.134 Tombstone Canyon, Bisbee 520.432.3011 SpiritedChocolate.BusinessCatalyst.com GRAMMY’S JAMS Grammy offers artisan jams, jellies, chutneys, mustards, and pickles. Habanero Dills, Dilly Beans, Rolling Thunder and Habanero Jams are favorites. Backyards, our trees, local farms and orchards provide fruits for Grammy’s special products! Find Grammy’s at Heirloom Farmers’ Markets. 520.559.1698 Facebook.com/Grammys.AZ HAYDEN FLOUR MILLS A family business working to revive heritage and ancient grains in the desert. We have revived the tradition that started in Tempe, Arizona more than 125 years ago by Charles Hayden and his Hayden Flour Mills. While not milled at the iconic Hayden Flour Mills’ building, our fresh flour harkens back to a time when flour still was full of nutrients and flavor. 4404 N Central Ave., Phoenix. 480.557.0031 HaydenFlourMills.com QUEEN CREEK OLIVE OIL MILL Oils & olives. A familyowned local business that produces Arizona’s only extra virgin olive oil. Their olives are Arizona grown and pressed at their mill in Queen Creek, Arizona with four stores and tasting rooms in the state. At La Encantada 2905 East Skyline, Suite 167, 520.395.0563 QueenCreekOliveMill.com
SANTA CRUZ CHILI & SPICE CO. Both manufacturer and retailer of fine chili products. At our Spice Center in Tumacacori we sell, along with Santa Cruz Products, a wide variety of gourmet southwestern foods, cookbooks and more. 1868 E Frontage Road, Tumacacori 520.398.2591 SantaCruzChili.com SKYE ISLAND OLIVE AND GRAPES We carry’s over 30 different flavors of olive oils and balsamics! Come in and sample in our tasting room! Browse our gift shop for locally made items! Open Wednesday through Sunday 10am to 5pm. 3244 Hwy 82 Sonoita 520.455.4627 SkyeIslandOliveAndGrapes.com SONORAN SNO-CONES Savor the flavors of the border at this raspadería offering fresh-squeezed juices, ice cream, fruit salad and of course, snow cones. 100 S. Avenida Del Convento 520.344.8470 SonoranSnoCones.com AUTOMOTIVE BLUE + WHITE SPECIALISTS We’re dedicated to offering the best for you and your baby – the most accommodating BMW service in Tucson, thorough expert maintenance and the most precise and knowledgeable repair. We are also gifted in meticulous detailing to protect and indulge your vehicle. 5728 E. 22nd Street, Tucson 520.300.4220 BlueAndWhiteBMW.com BAKERIES BARRIO BREAD Tucson’s first Community Supported Baker. Don Guerra’s artisan breads, prepared with wild yeast cultures, long fermentation and hearth baking create a truly inspired loaf. Crafting top quality bread and supporting local foods in Tucson since 2009. BarrioBread.com BAVIER’S BAKERY Tucson’s premier provider of locally sourced, artisan, organic wedding cakes. Our pastries, cakes, and breads are enjoyed by thousands of Tucsonans every year. Trust us to create the perfect, unique cake for your wedding. 520.220.0791 DOLCE PASTELLO Specializing in Mexican home-made style cakes, such as pastel de tres leches in vanilla, caramel, chocolate, and 20 other varieties, sold whole or by the slice. Also available: homemade style tamales. Monday-Saturday 10a.m.-7p.m., Sunday 10a.m.-4p.m. 120 S. Avenida del Convento 520.207.6765
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LA ESTRELLA BAKERY At the Mercado: A Tucson staple with yummy traditional Mexican pastries and pan dulce you won’t find anywhere else in town. Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m., 100 S. Avenida del Convento 520.393.3320 LaEstrellaBakeryIncAZ.com SMALL PLANET BAKERY We started baking bread in February of 1975. At that point, we were a collective of six, only one of whom had any baking experience. We now service many stores and do custom baking for eight restaurants and participate in many farmers’ markets. 411 N. 7th Avenue 520.884.9313 SmallPlanetBakery.com
At the Tucson Botanical Gardens 2150 N. Alvernon Way GalleryofFood.com
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BEER, WINE, & DISTILLED LIBATIONS ARIDUS WINE COMPANY Family-owned Aridus Wine Company opened custom crush cellar doors in August 2012. Tasting Room open 11-5 daily. 145 N Railview Avenue, Willcox 520.766.9463 AridusWineCo.com ARIZONA HOPS & VINES We’re a small winery that’s awesome! One of many great Sonoita-area wineries in Southern Arizona, our family farm is a fun, warm place for families and wine aficionados alike. Come in and enjoy our patio, tell some stories, and explore the wonders of a winery that has free Cheetos. 888.569.1642 AZHopsAndVines.com BEAST BREWING COMPANY Arizona’s first and wildest craft beer. Our mission is to inspire a renewed passion for flavor, one pint at a time. 1326 W. Highway 92 #8, Bisbee 520.284.5251 BeastBrewingCompany.com BREW YOUR OWN BREW The Southwest’s largest home brewing supply store. It’s where the art of brewing starts. Ingredients and equipment for making beer, wine, sodas, liquors and cheese. 2564 N Campbell Avenue 520.322.5049 BrewYourOwnBrew.com CALLAGHAN VINEYARDS Located in the rolling, oakdotted hills of southeastern Arizona, at an elevation of 4800 feet, we produce rich, complex red and white wines from a 25 acre vineyard. Mediterranean and Spanish varietals—Tempranillo, Mourvedre, Petit Verdot, Petite Syrah and Grenache—are the basic building blocks for our red blends, while Viognier and Riesling are blended for our estate white wine. 520.455.5322 CallaghanVineyards.com CARLSON CREEK VINEYARDS A cozy, comfortable tasting experience, with plush seating and charming staff. Carlson Creek’s cottage tasting room allows you to relax and enjoy our wines in a stress free atmosphere. 115 Railview Avenue, Willcox 520.766.3000 CarlsonCreek.com
STARBAR FAR M & R AN C H McNeal, Arizona
NATURAL GRASS FED BEEF Lovingly and humanely raised in beautiful Southeast Arizona. Artisan Dry aged 28 days Find us at the Oro Valley Farmers Market-Saturdays & Sierra Vista Market Thursdays 520-805-3345 StarbarRanch.com 136 M ay - June 2014
CHARRON VINEYARDS & WINERY Less than 30 minutes from downtown Tucson is a small vineyard producing quality hand crafted Arizona wines. Visit one of the oldest wineries in Arizona where you can sample an array of award-winning wines in the glass enclosed tasting room or on the wine deck surrounded by mature vineyards and breathtaking mountain views. 520.762.8585 CharronVineyards.com
KIEF JOSHUA VINEYARDS A small family business with 20 acres in beautiful Elgin and 40 acres in Willcox Wine Country. Our Elgin tasting room is open daily and is situated right in the middle of what is know as “winery row.” The Sonoita Arizona Wine Tour boasts ten different tasting rooms and was selected by USA Today as one of the top ten wine trails in the United States. 520.455.5582 KiefJoshuaVineyards.com LIGHTNING RIDGE CELLARS A small family winery proud to offer wines based on our Italian heritage. Our estate wines are made from classic Italian varietals: Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, Primitivo, Malvasia and Muscat Canelli. Clay soils, long warm summers, cool nights and an Old World style of winemaking provide the perfect combination to produce rich, full-bodied wines. 520.455.5383 LightningRidgeCellars.com OLD BISBEE BREWING COMPANY Come and visit lively, historical Bisbee and taste the premium beer at Old Bisbee Brewing Company in the heart of Brewery Gulch! 200 Review Alley, Bisbee 520.432.2739 OldBisbeeBrewingCompany.com PAGE SPRINGS CELLARS A family owned winery located 15 minutes south of Sedona. Offering tastings, glasses and bottles of Arizona-grown wine as well as pairing plates. Information, event listings and current specials on website. 1500 N. Page Springs Road, Cornville 928.639.3004 PageSpringsCellars.com PILLSBURY WINE CO. Winemaker Sam Pillsbury is dedicated to crafting fine wines that celebrate Arizona’s high desert terroir. His sustainable Rhone vineyard in Willcox’s Kansas Settlement produces award-winning wines that are crisp, clean, and dry— created to complement the foods you love. 928.639.0646 PillsburyWine.com PLAZA LIQUORS A family-owned and independent store, Plaza has been around under the ownership of Mark Thomson for 35 years now. Plaza specializes in familyowned wineries, breweries and distilleries from around the world. The service and selection speaks for itself. 2642 N. Campbell Ave. 520.327.0542
DOS CABEZAS WINEWORKS Planted, harvested and fermented in Arizona! Come try a glass! Our winery tasting room is open Friday-Sunday 10:30-4:30. Tasting fee of $15 includes a souvenir glass. 3248 Highway 82, Sonoita 520.455.5141 DosCabezasWineWorks.com
SAND-RECKONER VINEYARDS Located on the Willcox Bench at 4,300 feet in elevation, Rob and Sarah Hammelman tend to the vineyards. Our name, SandReckoner, means ‘sand-calculator,’ and references Archimedes’ revolutionary and thought provoking third century B.C. writing. In this text, Archimedes calculates the size of the universe by figuring the number of grains of sand that will fill it. The name alludes to our sandy loam soils, our connection to the cosmos, and the infinite calculations required to create a wine that expresses the very sand into which our vines’ roots grow deep. 303.931.8472 Sand-Reckoner.com
DRAGOON BREWING COMPANY Dedicated to increasing the quality and quantity of craft beer in Arizona. Enjoy our beer at various restaurants and bars in Tucson or come to our tasting room at 1859 W Grant Rd., #111. 520.329.3606 DragoonBrewing.com
TAP & BOTTLE A craft beer and wine tasting room in Downtown Tucson featuring hundreds of beverage options to enjoy on site or carry out. Look forward to beer flights, events and merchandise. 403 N. 6th Avenue 520.344.8999 TheTapAndBottle.com
FLYING LEAP VINEYARD With developed acreage in both Sonoita AVA and Cochise County, Flying Leap offers a diverse portfolio of ultra-premium, carefully crafted wines. Visit the tasting rooms at estate vineyards in Willcox and Sonoita, and tasting rooms in Bisbee and Tucson. 520.954.2935 FlyingLeapVineyards.com
UNPLUGGED We’ve sourced the wine world to find a unique blend of varietals at prices that are right for all occasions. Come downtown for this exceptional experience. We also regularly feature live jazz. 118 E. Congress St 520.884.1800 UnpluggedTucson.com
HAMILTON DISTILLERS Whiskey del Bac is handmade by Hamilton Distillers in small batches using a copper pot-still and house-malted, mesquite-smoked barley. Three desert single-malt whiskeys made in Tucson. Contact: Stephen Paul: firstname.lastname@example.org IRON JOHN’S BREWING COMPANY A rotating selection of small batch craft beers all bottled by hand. We produce all our beer at our brewery and have a small retail bottle shop on site. We invite you to stop by and purchase some of the beer you like. 245 S Plumer Avenue 205.737.4766 IronJohnsBrewing.com
VILLAGE OF ELGIN WINERY The largest producer of wine in the Sonoita AVA. This family-owned winery still produces wines in the traditional manner. Classically styled and aged in fine European wood, the wines reflect the subtle grace of Arizona terroir. The winery produces a wide range of wines to please all of its customers’ tastes. 520.455.9309 ElginWines.com ZARPARA VINEYARD Visit our tasting room at the vineyard just 15 minutes south of historic downtown Willcox. Sample exceptional, hand-crafted wines while you experience breathtaking views of the Dos Cabezas Mountains from the outdoor terrace. Open FridaySunday, 11am-5pm. 602.885.8903. Zarpara.com
BISBEE COFFEE CO. Hot Beans! Bisbee’s original and best coffee roasters and coffee shop in downtown Old Bisbee. Award-winning favorites include: Miner’s Blend, Bisbee Blues Blend, Copper Queen, and Bisbee Breakfast Blend. Café open daily. 2 Copper Queen Plaza, Bisbee. 520.432.7879. BisbeeCoffee.com CAFE JUSTO Grower-owned coffee cooperative based in Chiapas, Mexico with roasting and exporting in Agua Prieta, Sonora. The coffee is excellent, fresh, organic and LOW in ACID. Fair Trade and Direct Trade is GOOD TRADE. 826 E 11th, Douglas, 866.545.6406 JustCoffee.org CARTEL COFFEE LAB Craft. A faddy buzzword marketers use to spin anything not-so-mainstream. But craft is more than a fad. It’s Cartel’s origin, philosophy, daily practice. No corner-cutting. No compromising. Craftsmanship: our sourcing, roasting, brewing, and serving. Since day one. Two locations in Tucson. 480.432.8237 CartelCoffeeLab.com EXO ROAST COMPANY Exo seeks out the world’s finest coffees, craft roasts them in small batches, and distributes them in limited quantities to ensure unequaled quality. Roastery and café open MondaySaturday, 7am to 7pm, Sunday 7-3. Come by for free twice-weekly tastings. Custom wholesaling for area cafes and restaurants. 403 N. Sixth Ave. 520.777.4709 ExoCoffee.com SAVAYA COFFEE Our goal is to offer superior quality coffees available around the corner from where you brew at home, so the fresh flavors of the Americas, Africa and Asia are right here for you to enjoy. Three locations in Baja Arizona: 5350 E. Broadway, 2905 E. Skyline and 12120 N. Dove Mountain Boulevard, Marana SavayaCoffee.com SEVEN CUPS An American tea company based in Tucson. We source traditional, handmade Chinese teas directly from the growers and tea masters who make them, and we bring those teas back from China to share with people everywhere. Seven Cups is the only American tea company with our own Chinese trading license, so we are in complete control of our supply chain from tea maker to consumer. 2516 E. Sixth Street 520.628.2952 SevenCups.com
fireplaces, and architectural salvage. 526 N. Ninth Avenue 520.792.4207 OriginateNBM.com RED BARK DESIGN, LLC Landscape Design + Consultation. RedBark Design offers regionally and ecologically appropriate landscape design services for residential, commercial and consulting projects. P.O. Box 44128 Tucson, Arizona 85733, 520.247.2456 RedBarkDesign.com FARMS, RANCHES, PRODUCE COMPANIES APPLE ANNIE’S U-PICK FARM A fruit and vegetable U-Pick farm for the whole family. Go to website for information on seasons for various crops. AppleAnnies.com AVALON ORGANIC GARDENS & ECOVILLAGE Avalon Gardens practices traditional permaculture principles and time-honored techniques of organic gardening, as well as new sustainable technologies; they also promote seed-saving and the cultivation of heritage varieties of produce provided to our local area through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Tours available by appointment. 2074 Pendleton Dr., Tumacácori 520.603.9932, AvalonGardens.org CHIRICAHUA PASTURE RAISED MEATS Home of “Josh’s Foraging Fowls” pasture raised poultry (chicken, eggs, and holiday turkeys). Also high quality grass-finished beef and lamb. All of our livestock are raised on our irrigated pastures near Willlcox, AZ. Visit us online or call to order. 520.507.3436 CPRMeats.com CHIVA RISA We make artisanal, all natural, Europeanstyle cheese on an off-grid, sustainable site situated in the upper San Pedro Valley near the Mexican Border. We treat our animals, land, and cheese with the utmost care and respect. Sharing nature’s bounty with our community through finely-crafted cheese is Chiva Risa’s primary goal. 520.901.0429 ChivaRisa.com DOUBLE CHECK RANCH We are a family business that raises, processes (on-farm), and directly sells hearty, wholesome pasture-raised meats in ways that would be familiar to our grandfathers. For eighteen years we have been reinventing local, small-scale agriculture in a way that respects land, animals, and people. St. Philip’s Plaza (Sat/Sun), Santz Cruz Market (Thurs), Phoenix/Gilbert (Sat). 520.357.6515 DoubleCheckRanch.com
SPARKROOT A cornerstone of a burgeoning downtown, Sparkroot serves up Blue Bottle Coffee & vegetarian fare with flare, in a striking atmosphere. Vibrant community flavor, morning through evening. Great meeting spot; you can even reserve our loft! Beer, wine & killer Irish coffee. 245 E. Congress at Fifth Avenue 520.623.4477 Sparkroot.com
FEATHERED REPTILES FARM Local hobby poultry farm raising chickens and turkeys on organic feed. Processed organic chickens and eggs. Show quality heritage and standard breeds for backyard flocks. Farm pickup near Ina & Silverbell Roads. FeatheredReptilesPoultry@gmail. com, FeatheredReptilesFarm.Weebly.com
STELLA JAVA Enjoy delicious espresso drinks made from locally roasted coffee beans at this unique family-owned Tucson café. Mon-Sun 8am-2pm 100 S Avenida del Convento 520.777.1496 StellaJava.com
FIORE DI CAPRA Raw Goat Milk, Yogurt, Kefir, Artisanal Farmstead Goat Cheese and Confections. Healthy, happy goats fed grass, alfalfa and local browse. Awardwinning products can be sampled and purchased at the Heirloom Farmers’ Market, Sunday at St. Philip’s Plaza. 520.586.2081 GoatMilkAndCheese.com
DESIGNERS & BUILDING SUPPLIES ARIZONA DESIGNS KITCHENS & BATHS, LLC Your home should be an extension of things in life you enjoy and value. Our designers have more than 100 years total experience designing kitchens and baths in homes throughout Southern Arizona. Come see us! 2425 E. Fort Lowell Rd. 520.325.6050 ArizonaDesigns.ne CARLY QUINN DESIGNS Custom and one-of-a-kind hand glazed tile murals, trivets, coasters, house numbers and more. We hand glaze all of our tiles right in our showroom in downtown Tucson. Great for indoor and outdoor use. Located in The Old Market Inn Tile Shop. 403 N. 6th ave. #119, 520.624.4117 CarlyQuinnDesigns.com ORIGINATE NATURAL BUILDING MATERIALS SHOWROOM Specializing in environmentally-friendly building materials made from natural, renewable & recycled resources. We offer innovative and unique materials that rival the aesthetics and performance of more traditional interior finishes. Flooring, countertops, cabinetry, paints, plasters, alternative plywoods,
COFFEE & TEA
HARRIS HERITAGE GROWERS Pick it your self veggies right out of the field. Also a small shop filled with paintings, handcrafted wood items, crafts, handmade jewelry and much more. 27811 S. Sonoita Highway (Highway 83), Sonoita 520.455.9272
Desert Grown Bamboo Plants for Shade & Screen Non-Invasive Clumping & Cold Hardy Types Expert Advice
OSWALD CATTLE COMPANY Not all beef is grown equal. High quality irrigated pasture and Black Angus genetics make our meat better. Happy land makes happy cattle, which means delicious beef. Available at the Tubac Market and Walking J Farms. Amado, 520.398.2883 PATAGONIA ORCHARDS An organic grower, packer and shipper based in Rio Rico, Arizona. We ship premium organic fruits grown in Arizona and Mexico to wholesalers and retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada. We partner with more than 15 organic growers. 520.761.8970 PatagoniaOrchardsLLC.com
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RAMONA FARMS Akimel O’odham Farm producing ancient, heirloom food crops on ancestral land along the Gila River. Products grown and packaged on farm. Visit our website for wholesome, delicious, traditional Pima recipes for tepary beans, corn and wheat. Shop at our online store. Wholesale + food service prices. Sacaton, AZ 602.322.5080 RamonaFarms.com RIO SANTA CRUZ GRASS FINISHED BEEF Our farm on the Santa Cruz River near the US-Mexico border uses the Argentine beef finishing system based on a chain of annual forages crafted for the climate and soils of Santa Cruz County. Our calves are born on our ranch in the uplands of the Santa Cruz River. At weaning, they are moved six miles to our finishing farm on the Santa Cruz River. Here they live peacefully and naturally on forages sustained by irrigation and summer rains. 520.394.0243 RSCGrassFinishedBeef.com SAN XAVIER CO-OP FARM The San Xavier Cooperative Association envisions a farm committed to sustainable farming practices that support economic development in the community. Visit our farm store. 8100 S. Oidak Wog 520.449.3154 SanXavierCoOp.org
HEIRLOOM FARMERS’ MARKETS Four local farmers markets that support our region’s farms by: connecting consumers directly to local food producers, strengthening urban-rural agriculture and small food businesses. Heirloom Farmers’ Markets dedicated to the benefits of local food. 520.882.2157 HeirloomFM.com HIGH DESERT MARKET Gourmet food and gift market and cafe. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with indoor and outdoor seating. We do all our baking on premises, serve generous gourmet salads and sandwiches, quiches, pizzas, desserts and more. 520.432.6775 203 Tombstone Canyon, Bisbee, AZ 85603 HighDesertMarket.com
SLEEPING FROG FARMS Sleeping Frog Farms is an intensive 75-acre farm nestled in the Cascabel corridor of the San Pedro River Valley in Southern Arizona. Our mission is to improve the health of our land and community by growing high quality fruits and vegetables without the use of chemicals. 520.212.3764 SleepingFrogFarm.com
MATT’S ORGANICS Dedicated to providing convenient home delivery of top quality organic fruits and vegetables. You have the satisfaction of supporting organic farmers and the knowledge that you are eating the healthiest food free of pesticides. We guarantee 100% satisfaction on all purchases. 520.790.4360 MattsOrganics.com
STARBAR RANCH Natural grass fed beef. Lovingly and humanely raised in beautiful Southeast Arizona. Our beef is dry aged 28 days. Saturdays at the Oro Valley Farmers’ Market. Online & phone orders.The way beef used to taste! 520.805.3345 StarbarRanch.com
NOGALES MERCADO Enjoy the border experience at our all-local farmers’ market in the heart of downtown Nogales with Santa Cruz County produce, meat, baked goods, jams/jellies and much more every Friday afternoon. The Nogales Mercado is part of Cosechando Bienestar, an initiative in Nogales to renew food traditions so that locally-grown food is enjoyed by all for better health. 520.375.6050 Facebook.com/NogalesMercado
SUNIZONA We are a family-owned, certified organic farm in Willcox, Arizona growing fruits and vegetables with sustainable, veganic practices and greenhouse technology. CSAs available all over Baja Arizona. 5655 E Gaskill Rd. Willcox 520.824.3160 SunizonaFamilyFarms.com
WHOLESUM FAMILY FARMS In 2012 the Crisantes family began farming in Southern Arizona after farming for generations in Mexico. The greenhouses built here are of the finest quality and latest technology available anywhere in the world. With three generations of experience, Wholesum Family Farms is producing outstanding quality organic tomatoes. 816.522.8262 WholesumFamilyFarms.com
FOOD CONSPIRACY CO-OP Located on funky Fourth Ave., the co-op is a natural foods grocery store that has served the Tucson community since 1971 and emphasizes organic, local and fair trade options. Among its many delicious offerings, the co-op serves homemade bagels, muffins, and green chili breakfast wraps, and features a hot food and salad bar. Everyone can shop at the co-op and anyone can join. 412 N. Fourth Ave. 520.624-4821 FoodConspiracy.coop
SKY ISLAND BRAND BEEF From conception to consumption, you’ve got a friend on the land, Sky Island Brand! We are located between Tombstone, Bisbee, and McNeal, Arizona. Find us at the Bisbee Farmers Market and in Tucson, at the Food Conspiracy COOP. 520.642.9368
WALKING J FARM A polyculture farm specializing in grass fed, pasture-raised beef, poultry and pork, and organically grown vegetables. At Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market on Thurs, Nogales Farmers’ Market on Fridays, and Heirloom Farmers’ Market on Sun (St. Philip’s Plaza). 520.398.9050 WalkingJFarm.com
GROCERS, FARMERS’ MARKETS & CSAS APPLE ANNIE’S COUNTRY STORE Open year-round offering our famous pies, apple bread, fudge, jarred good, gifts and other Apple Annie’s goodies that you love! Visit our U-Pick farm in season. 1510 N Circle I Rd, Willcox 520.766.2084 AppleAnnies.com BISBEE FARMERS’ MARKET Vibrant village market appears magically at Vista Park in the Warren district in Bisbee every Saturday morning. We feature local musicians while you enjoy shopping for healthy local foods and artisan crafts. Choices for Sustainable Living booth features workshops for healthy lifestyle changes. 9am-1pm, Saturdays, BisbeeFarmersMarket.org
138 M ay - June 2014
FOODINROOT FARMERS’ MARKETS FoodInRoot is dedicated to building a better blueprint for farmers’ markets, while helping new markets grow and existing ones to flourish. There are currently several locations offering locally-sourced foods grown, made, or prepared by small businesses. 520.261.6982. FoodInRoot.com
RINCON VALLEY FARMERS & ARTISANS MARKET Enjoy the beautiful scenery and discover a one-of-akind shopping experience featuring fruit, produce, eggs and meat from local Arizona farmers, local raw honey, artisan breads, beautiful artwork, crafts, furniture, aprons and more handcrafted by our Artisans. We are open EVERY Saturday year round from 8am to 1pm. 520.591.2276 RVFM.org RIVER ROAD GARDENS We are a small urban farm, using Biodynamic principles, located on the grounds of the Tucson Waldorf School. CSAs available. 3605 E. River Road, 520.780.9125 RiverRoadGardens.com SANTA CRUZ RIVER FARMERS’ MARKET Fresh, sustainably grown foods from local farmers. Arizona fruits and vegetables, free-range meat, eggs, honey, baked goods, and natural plant products! Live music, cooking demonstrations, children’s activities and free workshops. A great place to get to know your community! West Congress Street, just west of I-10 at Mercado San Augustín, 520.882.3313 CommunityFoodBank.org SHOPORGANIC.COM An online retailer of carefully selected Organic and Non-GMO products. Local Tucson customers can shop online and pick up at our facility. We offer shelf stable groceries, bulk foods, personal care, household items, gluten free, raw, and more. 520.792.0804 ShopOrganic.com SIERRA VISTA FOOD CO-OP Our store has a full natural & organic grocery selection as well as frozen, dairy, bulk foods, organic and local produce, specialty & organic cheeses, olives, cruelty-free cosmetics, premium supplements, and more! 96 S. Carmichael, Sierra Vista 520.335.6676 SierraVistaMarket.com
TIME MARKET A neighborhood market since 1919, we bring specialty goods to the table: craft beers, esoteric fine wine, wood-fired pizza, espresso, and artisan handcrafted organic natural yeast breads. We sell organic produce and use it for our restaurant in sandwiches, salads and pizzas. We are committed to honest communication about sourcing, and enjoy featuring local farms in our menu. 444 East University Blvd., 520.622.0761 TUBAC MARKET Cold beer and wine, groceries, fresh meats and seafood, local and organic produce, sandwiches, homemade deli salads and an in house bakery. We have it all!! 10 Avenida Goya, Tubac 520.398.1010 TUCSON CSA Offering weekly boxes of local, organically-grown produce since 2004. We also offer pasture-raised eggs and chickens, grass-fed meats, cheese, and bread (from Barrio Bread). Pickups are Tuesdays or Wednesdays, 4:00-7:00 pm, The Historic Y, 300 E. University Blvd., TucsonCSA.org HARWARE & HOUSEWARES ACE HARDWARE Locally-owned and managed, we are an affiliate of the Ace Hardware co-operative. Five locations across Tucson, from Downtown on the West to the far Southeast side. We look forward to helping with your next project, no matter how small or large. Our locations listed at 135Hardware.com HF COORS Lead free, microwave, oven, broiler, freezer and dishwasher safe. All our scrap and waste is inert or recycled. Our 200 foot long primary kiln is one of the most energy efficient in the world. 1600 S Cherrybell Stravenue 520.903.1010 HFCoors.com TUMACOOKERY 45 minutes south of Tucson, in Tubac, this well-stocked kitchen shop is a foodie destination for gadgets, appliances, cutlery, gourmet food and more. Great local products, and knowledgeable, friendly staff, make Tumacookery a regional favorite. Worth the drive to Tubac all by itself! 2221 S. Frontage Road, Tubac, 520.398.9497 Tumacookery.com HERBAL MEDICINE DESERT TORTOISE BOTANICALS We provide handcrafted herbal products from herbs wildharvested and organically grown within the Sonoran desert bioregion. Owner John Slattery conducts the Sonoran Herbalist Apprenticeship Program, wild foods class, private plant walks, and individual wellness consultation services. 4802 E Montecito Street DeserTortoiseBotanicals.com TUCSON HERB STORE Located in the Heart of Downtown since 2003. Dedicated to serving a variety of ethically wild-crafted and botanical products of the southwest desert. We carry: bulk herbs, teas, herbal tinctures, beauty care products, soaps, books, incense, and much more! 408 N. 4th Ave., 520.903-0038 TucsonHerbstore.com YARD WOMAN An old-fashioned natural remedy shop specializing in herbs and herbalsin the Western Herbal Tradition. Custom blending, essential oils, homeopathics, handmade soaps and lotions, books, tarot cards and yard art. All natural. Servicing Baja Arizona since 2004. 6 Camino Otero, Tubac 520.398.9565 YardWoman.com
SIERRA VISTA FARMERS’ MARKET Open Thursdays at Veterans’ Memorial Park in Sierra Vista, AZ. Meet local growers, ranchers, beekeepers and bakers. Take home some of the bounty of southern Arizona! Grass-fed meats, desert heritage foods and plants. Contact email@example.com SierraVistafarmersMarket.com
INNS AND B&BS CAT MOUNTAIN LODGE A bed & breakfast in the desert! Featuring eco-friendly accommodations in a vintage ranch setting with five unique spacious rooms. Providing Southwestern comfort—mixed with modern conveniences. Enjoy free full breakfast at Coyote Pause Cafe. Reserve on-site Star Tours at Spencer’s Observatory. 2720 S. Kinney Road 520.578.6085 CatMountainLodge.com COPPER CITY INN A truly delightful inn in the heart of Old Bisbee, with beautiful rooms, excellent queen beds, abundant lighting, spacious bathrooms, balconies, free wi-fi, complimentary bottle of wine, organic coffee, parking, free off-site continental breakfast, DVDs, electronic locks. View website video: WYSIWYG. Bisbee is cool! 99 Main, Old Bisbee, 520.432.1418 CopperCityInn.com ELDORADO SUITES HOTEL Offering an excellent downtown Bisbee location, expansive outdoor balconies, beautiful views, spacious suites, and many modern amenities. 55 OK St, Bisbee. 520.432.6679 EldoradoSuitesBisbee.com JAILHOUSE INN Once the Bisbee Police Station, the historic Jailhouse Inn offers five clean, quiet rooms with full modern baths, Cable TV, wi-fi, refrigerator. Perfect downtown location, parking available. Walking distance to restaurants, bars, galleries, shops and Old Bisbee attractions. 8 Naco Road, Bisbee 520.432.8065 JailhouseInnAZ.com LA POSADA DEL RIO SONORA La Posada del Rio Sonora is a boutique hotel and restaurant on the Plaza Principal of Banámichi. Our 250 year old adobe has 10 rooms and suites and two apartments. This is the heart of “La Ruta Rio Sonora” with nearby hot springs. 70 Calle Pesqueira, Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico, MexicoEcoResort.com LANDSCAPING & PERMACULTURE AHIMSA LANDSCAPING Ahimsa Landscaping is an ethically-focused, small design + build business specializing in creating sustainable landscapes through the integration of permaculture design principles and water harvesting techniques for the desert environment. Inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org 520.345.1906 AhimsaLandscaping.com LOCAL ROOTS AQUAPONICS We raise fish and plants together to create mutually beneficial ecosystems with a focus on food production. Aquaponic system sales, live fish, heirloom seedlings, consulting, site assessments, pool/pond conversions, tours, workshops, speaking events and more. 765.276.6427 LocalRootsAquaponics.com PRIMAVERA WATER HARVESTING + SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPING Design and installation of earth works, cisterns, or greywater systems for food producing plants or gardens. Free estimates on all projects. 520.882.9668 Primavera.org/WaterHarvesting SOUTHWEST GARDENWORKS A full vegetable garden service that installs and revamps existing gardens. Our gardens are built to last! Using bio intensive methods and soils we ensure the best results with your backyard garden.3661 N. Campbell #312, 520.419.2886 SouthwestGardenworks.com WATERSHED MANAGEMENT GROUP Helping you with water harvesting, soil building, edible and native gardens, and watershed restoration. We’re a Tucsonbased non-profit serving the community by sharing our technical expertise and offering hands-on workshops, training programs, custom property consultations, site plans, and project implementation. 520.396.3266 WatershedMG.org
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LITERATURE ANTIGONE BOOKS Zany, independent (and 100% solarpowered) bookstore. Books for all ages plus large selection of unusual gifts and cards. Regional books on cooking, gardening, sustainability, green living and more. VotedAZ Tucson’s best independent bookstore. Located in Tucson, Tucson’s unique Fourth Avenue shopping district. 411 N. 4th Avenue 520.792.3715 AntigoneBooks.com
* Wild harvested Herbals the Sonoran Desert *Herbalfrom Education * Consultation Services BOOK STOP A Tucson institution for decades (since * Herbal Education 1967!), the Book Stop stocks thousands of quality used www.desertortoisebotanicals.com www.sonoranherbalist.com *Consultation Services
and out-of-print titles. Monday-Thursday: 10am-7pm, Friday-Saturday: 10am-10pm, Sunday: noon-5pm. 213 N. 4th Avenue, 520.326.6661 BookStopTucson.com
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Reed Porter - (520) 419-2886 www.southwestgardenworks.com Not a licensed Contractor
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MASSAGE, SPAS & SALONS COYOTE WORE SIDEBURNS A high quality progressive hair salon. Our stylists are well-trained and current. If you would like to speak to a stylist about your hair service prior to making a commitment, consultation appointments are available. New location: 2855 E. Grant Road 520.623.7341 DR. FEELGOOD’S SPA & SALON A full service salon in Bisbee offers women’s and men’s hair styling, nail service, facials, waxing and more. We also offer a variety of relaxing massages and the only private sauna and hot tub in Bisbee, Arizona. 8 Naco Road, Bisbee 520.432.8065 DrFeelgoodsAZ.com ESTUDIO DE PIEL This beautiful skin studio is the perfect place to treat yourself. The professionals at Estudio De Piel provide relaxing massages and clinically effective skin care treatments. 100 S. Avenida del Convento 520.882.5050 EstudioPiel.com GLOW SKIN CARE & LASHES Melinda M. Spreng’s philosophy is ‘beauty from within.’ She uses all natural products and methods to make you look and feel your best! 3101 N Swan Rd. 520.261.4635 GlowSkinCare-N-Lashes.SkinCareTherapy.net ROOTED THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE & BODYWORK A small, locally owned clinic staffed by independent massage therapists located in the heart of Tucson, minutes from downtown and the University of Arizona. Rooted offers a wide range of modalities, including therapeutic, sports, Thai, prenatal massage, and Skincare. 1600 North Tucson Boulevard Suite 120, 520.326.8300 RootedMassageTucson.com ORGANIZATIONS BISBEE HUB Are you traveling to Bisbee soon? Find out what’s in store before you travel by visiting BisbeeHub. com and checking out the events calendar. We are also working on a business directory so come back again and again and see why Bisbee is so special! BisbeeHub.com COSECHANDO BIENESTAR An initiative to renew food traditions in Nogales so that locally-grown food is enjoyed by all for better health. We do this by improving access, building residents’ capacity to grow food, supporting sound policy and promoting local business. 520.375.6050 Facebook.com/NogalesMercado ETHERTON GALLERY Founded in 1981, Etherton Gallery specializes in 19th, 20th century and contemporary fine photography, and features top local and regional artists working in all media. We also manage the Temple Gallery at the Temple of Music and Art. 135 S. 6th Avenue 520.624.7370 EthertonGallery.com
Hours: M-F 7:30am - 2pm 525 N. Bonita Ave. Tucson, AZ 85745 (520) 884-7810 ywcatucson.org 140 M ay - June 2014
FOOD TRUCK ROUNDUP Helping independent chefs do what they love to do: cook great meals in their motorized, mobile kitchens, or full-size trailer. Gathering several times a month, in one place, at different locations, so that you can sample their innovative menus with your family and friends. TucsonFoodTruckRoundup.com KXCI COMMUNITY RADIO Connecting the communities of Tucson and Southern Arizona to each other and to the world with informative, engaging and creative community-based radio programming.Tune in at 91.3 KXCI Tucson, or listen on-line at kxci.org.
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART The MOCA inspires new ways of thinking through the cultivation, interpretation and exhibition of cutting-edge art of our time. 265 S. Church Avenue 520.624.5019 Moca-Tucson.org TUCSON CLEAN & BEAUTIFUL A non-profit organization with the intent to preserve and improve our environment, conserve natural resources, and enhance the quality of life in the City of Tucson and eastern Pima County. These goals are achieved through initiating educational and participatory programs implemented with broad-citizen, multicultural support. 520.791.3109 TucsonCleanAndBeautiful.org TUCSON MUSEUM OF ART Western, Latin, modern and contemporary, and Asian art fills our historic city block in downtown Tucson for an everlasting experience while traveling exhibits keep the paint and clay fresh for each visit. 140 North Main Avenue, 520.624.2333 TucsonMuseumOfArt.org TUCSON ORIGINALS Since 1999, The Tucson Originals have been the driving force in promoting the value of Tucson’s independent restaurants and supporting Tucson’s culinary diversity. Visit our website for information on restaurant membership, events and special offers. 520.477.7950 TucsonOriginals.com YWCA TUCSON The Cafe at the YWCA: Setting the Table for Change. The Galleria Art and Gifts: Gifts with Purpose. Social Enterprises of the YWCA Tucson. Our Mission: Eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. 525 N. Bonita Ave. 520.884.7810 YWCATucson.com PLANTS, SEEDS & GARDEN SUPPLY ARBICO ORGANICS Arbico Organics has been providing organic solutions for homeowners, gardeners, farmers and pet, horse and livestock owners since 1979. Products include beneficial insects and organisms, natural fertilizers, amendments, composting supplies, weed and disease controls, critter control and more. 800.827.2847 Arbico-Organics.com ARID LANDS GREENHOUSES We sell the most unusual plants: cacti, succulents, pachycaul trees, pachyforms, terrestrial bromeliads and orchids, and bulbs. Order online or to visit and browse, call ahead. 520.883.8874 AridLands.com BAMBOO RANCH Providing Desert Grown Bamboo since 1986. Specializing in non-invasive clumping bamboo suited to harsh conditions. Providing plants, poles and expert advice on species, growing and care, for privacy screening and shade. 520.743.9879 BambooRanch@juno. com, BambooRanch.net B&B CACTUS FARM A cactus and succulent grower in Tucson, Arizona, B&B has both seasoned landscape specimens and plants for the collector. 11550 E. Speedway 520.721.4687, BandBCactus.com ECOGROW A recognized resource for aquaponics, sustainable growing methods, unusual and rare plants, education, equipment and supplies so that plant and garden enthusiasts can acquire the tools and knowledge to achieve their goals of growing healthy food, minimizing environmental impacts, enjoying healthy plants and experiencing the pride of achievement. 657 W. St. Mary’s Road 520.777.8307 EcoGroHydro.com MESQUITE VALLEY GROWERS NURSERY A destination garden center with 24 acres of plants grown onsite, including desert natives, shade trees, fruit and nut trees, shrubs, roses, cacti and succulents. Also featuring fountains, statuary and garden accessories. Knowledgable staff on hand for planning, learning & diagnosis. 8005 East Speedway Boulevard 520.721.8600 NATIVE SEEDS/SEARCH Revered Tucson nonprofit and world-class seed bank saving and sharing the seeds of the desert Southwest since 1983. Classes, tours, seeds, native crafts and more! 3061 N. Campbell Avenue (store) and 3584 E. River Rd. (Center). 520.622.0830 NativeSeeds.org
SILVERBELL NURSERY & COUNTRY STORE We sell bedding, garden and landscape plants, water harvesting supplies and now even pet food. “Our success is yours.” We believe that if we sell you a plant and tell you how to plant it, feed it, water it, harvest it and prune it, and you and the plant are successful, you will be back. 2730 N. Silverbell Road 520.622.3894 TANK’S GREEN STUFF Our mission is to create value added products from stuff that was once considered waste. To create jobs and great products that can be used to build a sustainable local economy. Our compost is a naturally made soil amendment, containing no fertilizers or chemical products. 520.290.9313 TanksGreenStuff.biz REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY MANAGEMENT BARRIO VIEJO RENTALS Become part of downtown’s historic district. Apartments rent from $650-$900 a month. Offices range from 400 to 6,000 square feet, and leases include off-street parking. Let us welcome you to the neighborhood. 520.623.4091 BarrioViejo.com HERBERT RESIDENTIAL Offering modern, urban living in downtown Tucson! Come see our newly remodeled studio and one bedroom apartments with breathtaking city views. 520-777-5771 HerbertLiving.com JILL RICH REALTOR I am dedicated to our Long Realty mission: To create an exceptional real estate services experience that builds long-lasting relationships. “It’s like having your grandma in the real estate business.” 520.349.0174 JillRich.LongRealty.com RESTAURANTS, BARS & CAFES 1702 A pizzeria and craft beer bar extravaganza. On tap, 46 craft beers from the all over the 50 states and world complement our fresh hand-tossed pizza made with the very best ingredients. 1702 E. Speedway Boulevard 520.325.1702 1702AZ.com 5 POINTS MARKET & RESTAURANT Bridging South Tucson and downtown Tucson, We serve breakfast and lunch. We are also a grocery store and deli. 756 S. Stone Avenue 520.623.3888 5PointsTucson.com ACACIA Located in the Catalina Foothills, Acacia offers an exquisite panoramic view of the city and features award-winning cuisine by Chef Albert Hall. Enjoy fresh, natural and local ingredients lovingly prepared in the friendliest and most comfortable setting in Tucson. Join us for lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch and Happy Hour daily. 3001 E. Skyline Drive 520.232.0101 AcaciaTucson.com ARMITAGE WINE BAR & LOUNGE The setting changes character as the night lengthens, with its Old World ambiance and intimate conversation areas providing a relaxing setting for lunch, dinner, weekend brunch or winding down after the workday. As the evening progresses, the lights dim and the music picks up tempo, transforming into an energized nightspot. 2905 E Skyline Drive 520.682.9740 ArmitageWine.com AUGUSTIN KITCHEN Three-time Iron Chef winner Ryan Clark’s Agustin Kitchen is a twist on new American and classic French cuisine with an emphasis on local ingredients. 100 S. Avenida del Convento 520.398.5382 AgustinKitchen.com AZUL RESTAURANT & LOUNGE Restaurant/Lounge at The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa. Experience vibrant cuisine and local ingredients at AZuL. Nestled on 250 acres of high Sonoran Desert foothills in the Santa Catalina Mountains, our guests experience picturesque mountain and golf course views from 3-story arched windows while savoring the culinary creations of Chef Russell Michel. 3800 E. Sunrise Drive 520.742.6000 AzulLaPaloma.com
BEYOND BREAD Locally-owned and operated since 1998, we offer a variety of hand-crafted breads, delicious sandwiches, house-made soups, fresh salads and decadent pastries all in a comfortable and friendly environment. We make just about everything from scratch, using only the finest ingredients. Serving Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Three locations in Tucson, visit our webpage to find the one closest to you. BeyondBread.com
RILLITO NURSERY & GARDEN CENTER An independent family-owned business that has provided our customers with a diverse inventory of quality plants and products since 1994. Our goal is to provide quality products and excellent service at a fair price. 6303 N. La Cholla Boulevard 520.575.0995 RillitoNursery.com
BISBEE’S TABLE New American Cuisine in the heart of Old Bisbee. Fresh. Local. Original. Seasonally-updated menus. Featuring Arizona wines and a craft cocktail menu, including microbrewed beers. Special menu for gluten free diets. 2 Copper Queen Plaza, Bisbee. 520.432.6788 facebook.com/BisbeesTable BOCA TACOS Tacos with attitude! Happy Hour daily 3pm to 6pm. Come explore with us on Exotic Taco Wednesday. Catering services available. 828 E. Speedway Boulevard. 520.777.8134 BocaTacos.com CAFÉ 54 We are an urban bistro serving lunch in the heart of downtown Tucson at 54 E. Pennington Street and featuring imaginative “ American Fusion” cuisine using only the finest and freshest ingredients. Café 54 also functions as a unique employment training program for adults recovering from mental illnesses. 54 E. Pennington Street 520.622.1907 Cafe54.org CAFÉ BOTANICA Recipes from our imagination, fresh produce, committed chefs, and un-adulterated, handmade food have always been the hallmark at Gallery of Food Catering Company. And… well… Café Botánica is our experiment. We are diving in with commitment to sustainable, locally-grown and seriously pleasurable dining. Join us for lunch at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. 2150 N. Alvernon Way 520.326.9686 GalleryofFood.com
Enjoy beautiful scenery & discover a unique shopping experience featuring fruit, produce, eggs & meat from local Arizona farmers, local raw honey, artisan breads, beautiful artwork, crafts, furniture, & more crafted by our artisans.
CAFÉ DESTA Offering authentic Ethiopian cuisine, great food and great coffee in a relaxing environment. 758 South Stone Avenue 520.370.7000 CafeDesta.com CAFÉ PASSÉ Dedicated to serving great coffee and coffee drinks, locally-sourced organic food whenever we possibly can, craft cocktails and an eclectic beer menu. It is also home to Tucson’s best patio and biergarten with a patio bar, live music four nights a week and local art. 415 N. 4th Avenue 520.624.4411 CafePasse.com CAFÉ ROKA Celebrating 20 years of serving the Bisbee community and Baja Arizona. We create a wonderful dining experience for our guests, providing delicious food, beverages & warm hospitality. Reservations recommended. 35 Main St., Bisbee, 520.432.5153 CafeRoka.com CHEF’S KITCHEN & CATERING A family affair, owned, operated by husband and wife, Chris and Mary Cryderman and son Ivor. Chris and Ivor have a combined 50+ years experience as chefs involving a wide spectrum of upscale cuisines. They use this knowledge and love of making fresh, healthy food from scratch to provide excellent, flavorful mobile dining and catering like one could expect in a high quality restaurant. 520.903.7004 ChefsKitchenCatering@yahoo.com
Landscape Design Darbi Davis, MLA, ASLA 520.247.2456 RedBarkDesign.com
THE CORONET Brasserie-style restaurant, old world rustic cuisine, cute bar, quiet music, big patio, good shade, outstanding coffee. 402 East 9th Street 520.222.9889 COYOTE PAUSE CAFE Comfort food with a Southwestern twist! Cheerful unique atmosphere. Breakfast & lunch daily 730am-230pm, dinner Fridays 4-8pm. Serving omelets, salads, sandwiches, vegetarian choices, beer, and wine. Located in west Tucson at Cat Mountain Station with shopping, buy-sell-trade fashion, art, antiques. 2740 S. Kinney Road 520.883.7297 CoyotePauseCafe.com
edible Baja Arizona
full bar | Fresh kitchen burlesque | live music billiards | air hockey | arcade 520-882-0009 www.SurlyWenchPub.com 424 n. 4th avenue tucson, arizona
SILKSCREEN PRINTING STICKERS HATS SHIRTS PATCHES POSTERS «««««« 520.907.9309
CUSHING STREET BAR & RESTAURANT Uptown comfort food, garden patios, full bar and live jazz have made this 1860s historic landmark a local favorite for 40 years. Book an intimate party in a private dining room or a wedding for 100 guests. Family-owned since 1972. 198 W. Cushing St. 520.622.7984 CushingStreet.com DELECTABLES International selections in a casual atmosphere. Breakfast, lunch, dinner & late night. Dogfriendly patio dining, Live music every Friday & Saturday. Full bar, excellent wine list. Home-made desserts. Vegan & gluten-free menus. Catering. 533 N. 4th Ave., 520.884.9289 Delectables.com DIABLO BURGER Named Arizona’s Best Burger in USA Today, Diablo Burger is a local foods-based burger joint serving 100% grass-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free, open range-raised beef. “All about local” and totally committed to enhancing the connection of people to place through local foods. 312 E. Congress Street 520.882.2007 DiabloBurger.com DOWNTOWN KITCHEN + COCKTAILS Innovative farm to table cooking with global influences + killer cocktails from James Beard Award Winner Janos Wilder in an art-filled, urban setting with roomy outdoor patio. Dinner, Happy Hour, Bar Menu seven nights and Late Night Friday and Saturday. 135 S. 6th Avenue 520.623.7700 DowntownKitchen.com ELVIRA’S Established in 1927 in Nogales, Mexico, Elvira’s is now in Tubac, bringing you the best Mexican cuisine and award-winning dishes! 2221 E. Frontage Road A101, Tubac 520.398.9421 ElvirasRestaurant.com EPAZOTE KITCHEN & COCKTAILS A sensory experience for the eyes and the palate featuring locally inspired innovative Southwestern fare and majestic views of Pusch Ridge. Enjoy patio, bar and restaurant dining nightly. 10000 N. Oracle Road 520.544.1705 EpazoteKitchen.com FALORA In the historic Joesler-built Broadway Village, Falora builds pizzas & salads anchored in tradition, with a sharply creative angle. Ingredients are simple, fresh; imported from Italy or brought over by local farms. Lunch/Dinner— charming patio or cozy interior. At Broadway Village: 3000 East Broadway 520.325.9988 Falora.com FOOD FOR ASCENSION CAFÉ A new paradigm of sustaining community by providing pure food through fair systems that interact together and support a vibrant life, vibrant community, and a vibrant self with the ultimate intention of reconnecting our body mind and soul. Opening Fall 2013. 330 East 7th Street 520.882.4736, FoodForAscension.org
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CUP CAFE The signature Hotel Congress restaurant, attracts every walk of life for its eclectic American fare served seven days a week in downtown Tucson. “The Cup” is an award-winning destination for locals and visitors alike, complete with a full bar, dining room and plaza seating. 311 E. Congress Street 520.798.1618 HotelCongress.com/Cup
3101 N. Swan Rd Tucson, AZ 85712 (520) 261-4635
142 M ay - June 2014
GOODNESS Our goal is to create innovative and healthy food that tastes great. From fresh pressed juices to salads and wraps, something for everyone. 2502 North Campbell Avenue 520.777.4465 GOURMET GIRLS GLUTEN FREE BAKERY/BISTRO Everything is gluten free, from the seasonally-inspired menu to the outstanding selection of handcrafted baked goods. Enjoy house specialties all prepared in a dedicated kitchen with no cross-contamination. Breakfast, lunch, dinner by reservation. 5845 N Oracle Road 520.408.9000 GourmetGirlsGlutenFree.com HARVEST MOON Providing lovingly prepared Chinese food, reasonable prices, elegant surroundings, a spoltless kitchen, restaurant, and exceptional service Make sure to open your fortune cookie; you may get a free meal out of it! 12125 N. Oracle Road Suite, Oro Valley 520.825.5351 HarvestMoonTucson.com
HUB RESTAURANT & CREAMERY Enjoy American comfort food, downtown made ice cream and over 20 craft beers on draft. Voted Best Casual Dining, Best Ice Cream and Best Late Night-Eats 2013. 266 East Congress Street 520.207.8201, HubDowntown.com JIMMY’S HOT DOGS Jimmy’s Hot Dogs carries on the tradition of the original Jimmy’s Chicago Style Hot Dog and Italian Beef stand from the NW side of Chicago. Our menu is limited, but every item is a masterpiece, using genuine Vienna Brand Beef, Hot Dogs, Sausages, as well as authentic Gonnella Italian Bread. 938 W. Highway 92, Bisbee, 520.432.5911 KINGFISHER An American bar and grill specializing in regional cuisine from across the U.S. serving several varieties of fin fish, shellfish, and oysters. Great intimate bar with happy hours and late night menu everyday. 2564 E. Grant Road 520.323.7739 KingfisherTucson.com LA COCINA RESTAURANT CANTINA & COFFEE BAR We care deeply for our community and strive to provide a gathering place for all. Tucson musicians take the stage most days of the week, our Cantina pours local beer, and we support our local farmers and ranchers. 201 N Court Avenue 520.365.3053 LaCocinaTucson.com LA ROCA Enjoy authentic Sonoran cuisine with the freshest ingredients from Mexico. Take in the rich ambiance of the historic Casa Margot. Visit our unique shops below the restaurant to find local art, hand-crafted home goods and beautiful clothing. LaRocaRestaurant.com for more information & reservations. LE BUZZ CAFFE A one-of-a-kind hangout popular with cyclists, climbers and locals with great in-house roasted coffee, full espresso bar, sublime baked goods, hearty breakfasts, soups, salads, panini and quiches. The Le Buzz “house” cookie is worth the trip alone. 9121 E. Tanque Verde Road 520.749.3903 LeBuzzCaffe.com MARTIN’S COMIDA CHINGONA Nestled right on Fourth Avenue, Martin’s is fun, casual, and independent. Martin’s serves traditional Mexican food with awesome interpretations by chef/owner Martin Fontes. 557 N 4th Avenue 520.884.7909 MAYNARDS MARKET & KITCHEN We established the first downtown market, and paired it with a charismatic restaurant and bar. Both are fueled by a passion for celebrating the best of place, product and service. 400 N Toole Avenue 520.545.0577 MaynardsMarket.com MOTHER HUBBARD’S CAFE Serving contemporary Native American Comfort food. Breakfast & lunch only at the NW corner of Grant and Stone —just minutes from Downtown Tucson. Come taste the love! 7 a.m-2 p.m. daily. 14 W. Grant Road 520 623 7976 NOBLE HOPS Noble Hops offers an ever-changing menu of craft beer plus fine fare, including an impressive selection of more than 175 beers from around the world —including 28 on tap—plus fine wine, keg wine and cocktails. Dining options include delicious, fresh homemade soups, salads, appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, hearty entrees and desserts. Patio dining and private dining facilities available. Open daily at 11 a.m. 1335 W. Lambert Lane, Oro Valley 520.797.HOPS NobleHops.com OVERLAND TROUT Farm to table restaurant in Sonoita by celebrated chef Greg LaPrad. Dedicated to supporting local and producing quality meals. Lunch, Dinner, Cocktails. 3266 Highway 82, Sonoita 520.455.9316 OverlandTrout.com PASCO KITCHEN & LOUNGE Urban farm fare is how we describe traditional comfort food and drink, approached with an eye toward modern techniques and an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. Our menu is infused with the soul & passion that Chef/Owner Ramiro Scavo brings into the kitchen and also into the lounge. Enjoy Chef “Miro’s” unique creations in our comfy neighborhood setting or grab & go from our curbside farm cart. 820 E University Boulevard 520.882.8013 PascoKitchen.com
PITA JUNGLE “The Art of Eating Healthy”. Mediterranean inspired dishes made from scratch daily with only the freshest ingredients. The menu is based on offering a healthful and natural cuisine abounding with vegetarian and vegan options. Catering available. 5340 E. Broadway Boulevard 520-207-6873 and 7090 N. Oracle Road, 520-797-7482 PitaJungle.com PIZZARIA BIANCO Chris Bianco who won the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest in 2003, helped spawn a generation of independent and artisanal pizzeria’s, lending his advice, wisdom and food philosophies to dozens of fellow chefs and restaurateurs. Now he brings his philisophies to Tucson. 272 E Congress Street PizzeriaBianco.com PREP & PASTRY We are a “Modern American Eatery,” serving breakfast, lunch, and brunch. All food and drinks are prepared with fresh ingredients and sourced locally. 3073 N. Campbell Avenue 520.326.7737 PrepAndPastry.com PROPER A casual, urban dining establishment serving contemporary, farm to table cuisine. Brunch daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner nightly from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Happy Hour M-F, 3-6 p.m. Late Night, seven days, 10 p.m. to midnight. 300 E. Congress Street 520.396.3357 ProperTucson.com GREEN START JUICE BAR This juice bar at La Entrada de Tubac is locally owned and features organic juices made from the freshest ingredients. We offer super-food smoothies, juices and salads. Gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, vegan. Try our Juice or Raw Food Challenge! 2221 Frontage Road, Ste N-101, Tubac 520.841.0001 REILLY CRAFT PIZZA & DRINK Offering reasonably priced modern Italian food in a casual urban setting. Our menu features artisan hand-made pizzas, as well as craft drinks. We also offer fresh baked sandwiches for lunch and fresh hand-made pastas for dinner. Check out our brand new beer garden! 101 E Pennington Street 520.882.5550 ReillyPizza.com RENEE’S ORGANIC OVEN Renee’s Organic Oven serves up creative and traditional pizzas + so much more. We offer a casual space for you to enjoy a menu filled with local and organic ingredients. Everything we do is made possible by our connection to great people and we would love to add you to our mix! Happy Hour, dine-in, take out . Reservations encouraged, but walkins welcome! 7065 E. Tanque Verde Road 520.886.0484 ReneesOrganicOven.com REVOLUTIONARY GROUNDS Your local source for shade grown, organic, direct-trade coffee; vegetarian & vegan sandwiches, salads and homemade desserts, with a great selection of books on local agriculture and sustainable living. 606 N. 4th Avenue 520.620.1770 RevolutionaryGroundsOnline.com ROCCO’S LITTLE CHICAGO PIZZERIA Real Chicago Pizza, right around the corner! Since 1998 Rocco DiGrazia has been serving perennially award-winning pizzas, Buffalo wings, and chocolate chip cookies on Broadway’s Sunshine Mile. Check our gigantic beer selections, too. You’ll agree it’s a Helluva Pie! 2707 E. Broadway Boulevard 520.321.1860 RoccosLittleChicago.com SANTIAGO’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT Authentic, fresh creative Mexican cuisine in the heart of Old Bisbee. Fresh fruit margaritas! Designated as one of the top 25 restaurants in Arizona by Arizona Highways Magazine. 1 Howell Avenue at Brewery Gulch, Bisbee. 520.432.1910 Facebook.com/SantiagosMexican
SCREAMING BANSHEE PIZZA AND WINE BAR A unique, eclectic restaurant housed in a renovated gas station. We take pride in our hand-crafted woodfired pizza, salads, small plates, calzones and sandwich specials. Featuring a full bar, signature cocktails, local beers, and unique wines. 200 Tombstone Canyon Road, Bisbee. 520.432.1300 ScreamingBansheePizza.net SEIS KITCHEN Experience the sights, sounds, and smells of Mexico’s beloved street food at its finest—warm handmade tortillas, hot of the griddle quesadillas, fireroasted salsas or artisan tortas, Seis Style, inspired from six culinary regions of Mexico. 130 South Avenida del Convento 520.260.6581 SeisKitchen.com SURLY WENCH Established 2004. Late night kitchen featuring fresh, never frozen beef and homegrown herbs. Delicious burgers, tacos and more. Full bar, Black Cherry Burlesque, live music, djs, billiards, air hockey, arcade, foosball, darts. Daily happy hour/ nightly drink specials. 424 N 4th Avenue 520.882.0009 SurlyWench.com
Tucson's Best Mobile Bistro We cater wedding, holiday party, picnics and office lunches
find us on facebook!
TASTEFUL KITCHEN Modern vegetarian cuisine creatively prepared and farm-to-table fresh. We showcase regional heritage foods infused with Southwestern sauces and flavorings. Everything from scratch using whole foods, local organic when available, and few processed ingredients. Dine in, take out, weekly meals to-go, boutique catering, cooking classes, private function room. Dinner is served Tue-Sat 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Free parking. Reservations recommended. 722 N. Stone Avenue 520.250.9600 TheTastefulKitchen.com TAVOLINO RISTORANTE ITALIANO Specializing in simple, elegant food, Tavolino’s Northern Italian cuisine features: fresh salads, homemade pastas, wood-fired pizzas, succulent rotisserie meats and luscious desserts. Lunch: Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Dinner: 5:00-10 p.m. (11 p.m. Thu-Sat), Happy Hour Mon-Sat 3-6 p.m. and 9-11 p.m. 2890 E. Skyline Dr. 520.531.1913 TavolinoRistorante.com THUY’S NOODLE SHOP Authentic, from-scratch Vietnamese food, specializing in pho, a noodle soup Beef or vegan. #9 Naco Rd., Bisbee, 520.366.4479
Learning. Growing. Eating. 520.375.6050 · facebook.com/NogalesMercado
TIA NITA’S CANTINA Enjoy your favorite drinks in postmodern bordertown surroundings (in Sonoita). Full bar opens at 2pm daily, serving Barrio beers on tap. Italian kitchen open for dinner nightly, serving fresh homemade pizza, wings, sandwiches and more. Closed Tuesdays. 3119 S HWY 83, Sonoita 520.455.0500 TUCSON TAMALE COMPANY More than 30 different kinds of incredible tamales. Mild to spicy, Meaty to Vegan to sweet, we have just about any kind of tamale you can think of and then some! Two locations to serve you. 520.305.4760 TucsonTamale.com WILDFLOWER AMERICAN CUISINE This award-winning restaurant sets the standard for innovative, classic cuisine. With European and Asian in uences, the New American menu changes seasonally. Modern meets shabby-chic in the colorful sky-lit dining room; or choose to dine in the climate controlled patio. 520.219.4230 FoxRestaurantConcepts.com VERO AMORE Vero Amore’s two locations serve authentic wood-fired Neapolitan pizza, plus a selection of fresh pastas, Italian specialties, panini, salads and delicious desserts. Vegetarian and gluten-free dishes are always available. Catering, full bar, patio dining and private dining facilities available. Open daily at 11 a.m. Plaza Palomino (Swan & Ft. Lowell), 2990 N. Swan Rd., Tucson 520.325.4122, Dove Mountain, 12130 N. Dove Mountain Blvd., Marana, 520.579.2292 VeroAmorePizza.com WHYLD ASS COFFEE SHOP An organic, plant-based, culture experience. We feature “more than fair trade” coffee. Our restaurant offers healthy, tasty vegan alternatives that are made with only the finest organic ingredients, many locally sourced. Live music and poetry on weekends. 54 Brewery Avenue, Bisbee 520.353.4004
ingredients for a healthy home
natural building materials showroom 520.792.4207 X 526 north 9th avenue www.originateNBM.com
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PENCA Mexico City Cuisine and international Bar located in the heart of Downtown Tucson. In December 2013, Food & Wine magazine named Penca “one of America’s best bars.” 50 E Broadway, 520.203.7681 PencaRestaurante.com
ARTISAN JAMS, JELLIES, PICKLES AND MUSTARDS, HEIRLOOM TOMATOES located in Cochise Arizona
Grammys.AZ Always a great place to find Briggs and Eggers organic fruit. BRING YOUR KIDS BY FOR A FREE APPLE!
Find us at all Heirloom Farmers’ Markets and the Sierra Vista Farmers’ Market
WILKO A modern gastropub featuring inventive classic American comfort food in the Main Gate district at Park and University. Everything on our menu is prepared on site and whenever possible we use local and organic ingredients. We have more than 30 wines by the glass, a craft cocktail bar, 11 quality brews on tap, and an extensive tasting menu featuring the best artisan cheeses and salume available from small local and regional producers. 520.792.6684 BarWilko.com WISDOM’S CAFE Your neighborhood restaurant for more than 69 years. Let our family serve your family mouth-watering Mexican food that is lovingly prepared and steeped in tradition. Owned and operated by four generations of the Wisdom family. 1931 E. Frontage Rd., Tumacacori 520.398.2397 WisdomsCafe.com
ÓPTIMO HATWORKS We have original designs, both in contemporary and period fashions, along with cleaning and re-blocking. The Hatworks is museumlike in its layout so the public can view hat-making in the Old World style. Óptimo—the best, the very finest. Known the world over. 47 Main St., Bisbee, 520.432.4544 OptimoHatworks.com
WISDOM’S DOS Street Tacos, Sonoran Dogs, Sliders, Nachos, Burritos, Hummus, Soup, Salads, Cheese Crisps and homemade Ice Cream await you when you want a quick, delicious lunch or want to stop in for drinks and apps BEFORE dinner. 4 Plaza Rd., Suite 102, Tubac 520.216.7664 WisdomCafe.com/dos
PANTERRA GALLERY Featuring an eclectic collection of fine art photography, clothing, handcrafted jewelry, handbags, accessories and gift items. We also promote local artists and craftsmen in our historic Old Bisbee location. 22 Main St, Bisbee 520.432.3320 PanTerraGallery.com
ZONA 78 Tucson’s premier destination for artisan pizza, Italian specialties, and an eclectic selection of wines, spirits, and beers. Zona 78 sources many ingredients locally and has an in-house charcuterie. Two locations: 78 W. River Rd., and 7301 E. Tanque Verde Rd. Zona78.com
PICÁNTE A treasure trove of traditional handmade crafts from Mexico, Guatemala and Latin America. Artisan works include colorful ceramics, tin objects, carved wood santos, and fine silver jewelry. There is an incredible collection of textiles, huipils, fabric by the yard, hand-embroidered blouses and dresses, and oilcloth. 2932 E Broadway Boulevard 520.320.5699 PicanteTucson.com
RETAIL SHOPS & PLAZAS ANGEL WINGS THRIFT & GIFT SHOP Offering a “boutique” shopping experience with an ever changing and wide variety of inventory. All proceeds go to Our Lady of the Angels Mission Catholic Church, newly built, in Sonoita. 22 Los Encinos Road. COPENHAGEN IMPORTS Committed to providing the highest quality service to our customers and invite you to come by and be inspired by our beautiful designs and innovative styles. Come in and experience our comfortable showroom with exciting displays and sales consultants who are truly interested in your furniture needs. 3660 E. Fort Lowell 520-795-0316 COWGIRL FLAIR Sonoita’s local “Gussy’d Up Outfitters” providing locals and tourists a variety of contemporary western wear, boots, jewelry, and home décor with a unique style at 3244 HWY 82 #5 in Sonoita, Arizona Wednesday through Sunday 11am to 5pm. 3244 HWY 82, Sonoita CowGirlFlairSonoita.com DESERT LEGACY GALLERY Offering Southwestern gifts and accessories. We also have a frame shop and an interior design service. If you like beautiful Native American and contemporary Southwest jewelry, saddle up your horse and ride on in! 3266 Highway 82, Sonoita 520.455.0555 DESERT VINTAGE We’ve come to be known as a great source for excellent, one-of-a-kind vintage pieces of quality and flair. We buy men’s and women’s vintage clothing and accessories seven days a week. Come by and check us out! 636 N. 4th Avenue 520.620.1570 ShopDesertVintage.com
HOW SWEET IT WAS Locally-owned since 1974, we specialize in vintage fashion from the 1880s-1980s. We also buy vintage everyday. No appointment necessary. 419 N. 4th Avenue 520.623.9854 LA CABAÑA Offering an artful collection of furniture and decor including traditional talavera, blending Spanish colonial and classic styles from around the world, antique and contemporary. 120 S Avenida del Convento 520.404.9008 MAST TUCSON A local lifestyle boutique. Specializing in handmade jewelry, leather goods, accessories, home goods & select furnishings. The three co-owners create the lion’s share of the stock, artfully curating an enticing selection from fellow independent designers and artisans. At Mercado San Agustin, 100 South Avenida Del Convento 520.495.5920 ILoveMast.com
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MERCADO SAN AGUSTIN Tucson’s first and only Public Market plays host to several locally-owned shops, eateries and incredible experiences. Our courtyard is home to the award-winning Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market and many other special events. Open seven days a week with Farmers’ Market on Thursdays from 4-7 p.m. 100 S. Avenida del Convento 520.461.1110 MercadoSanAgustin.com
POP-CYCLE A gift shop devoted to handmade items produced from recycled, reclaimed and sustainable materials. The products are fun and whimsical, with a little something for everyone. Many items are produced locally, some by the store owners. Treat yourself! 422 N. 4th Avenue 520.622.3297 PopCycleShop.com RUSTIC CANDLE COMPANY Locally-owned and operated.Our candles are hand poured on site. All styles, sizes & fragrances. Enjoy a fabulous selection of home decor, gift, incense, soap & much more! 324 N. 4th Avenue 520.623.2880 RusticCandle.net SAN AGUSTÍN TRADING CO. In addition to handmade moccasins from artisan Jesse Aguiar, this shop showcases fascinating Native American crafts and jewelry. 520.628.1800 120 S. Avenida del Convento SanAgustinTradingCompany.com STAGECOACH BAGS Handmade, one of a kind, cowboy boot purses made from authentic cowboy boots. Custom orders available. Unique styles for all that love the look of bling and western flair. Located in Cowgirl Country. 36 Pony Trail, Sonoita 480.265.5312 StageCoachBags.com SWEET RIDE GIFTS & ACCESSORIES We carry a variety of Sonoita tees for men women and kids. Old guys Rule Tees, Hats and gift Items, Beautiful Bling Belts by Nocona and Jewelry for ladies. Also motorcycle related gift items for our biker enthusiasts. Stop in and see Valorie, she will be glad you did. 3244 Highway 82, Sonoita 520.455.4717 TUCSON THRIFT SHOP Tucson’s unique vintage and costume-wear resource for the fun side of life! Established in 1979, we have evolved with the 4th Avenue community into a blend of old and new. A marketplace for street-wear and theme party needs. Hours: M-Th: 10-8, F-Sat: 10-9, Sun: 12-6. 319 N. 4th Avenue 520.623.8736 TUMACACORI MESQUITE SAWMILL A leader in raw and finished mesquite materials. From lumber, slabs, posts, to exotic burls and burl slabs, The Sawmill has an ever changing selection. 2007 E. Frontage Road 520.398.9356 Tumacacori MesquiteDesign.com YIKES TOYS! A cornucopia for the curious! Enchanting books, wacky wonders and old-school novelties. Brainbuilding science, kooky kitsch and fantastic fun. We offer amazing toys and gifts for all ages. Specializing in Pop Culture & Quirky Fun. 2930 East Broadway Boulevard 520.320.5669 YikesToys.com
GREEN FIELDS COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL Challenge. Inquiry. Balance. The foundations of a Green Fields education. From Kindergarten to Commencement, students are encouraged to develop their interests in Academics, Fine Arts, Sports, and more. Class sizes are small and students receive individual attention. 6000 N. Camino de la Tierra 520.297.2288 GreenFields.org KINO SCHOOL Where students are given the responsibility and freedom that are the essence of a democratic society. Students of all abilities succeed where learning, creativity, respect for others, and community thrives. 6625 N. First Avenue 520.297.7278 KinoSchool.org ST. GREGORY COLLEGE PREPARATORY SCHOOL Inspired learning—Beyond strong academics. St. Gregory develops inspired students who are encouraged to pursue their individual passion and develop a love for learning. Our students are well prepared to excel in college and go on to create impactful and fulfilling lives. 3231 N. Craycroft Road, 520.327.6395 StGregorySchool.org THE IDEA SCHOOL Explore. Build. Learn. We encourage students to let their passions and insights lead them in unique directions, and provide real-world tools for them to create, design, build, and explore. At IDEA, students are engaged in their learning and love every minute! Opening Fall 2014. K-3. Downtown. ExploreBuildLearn.org
SUN SPROUT DIAPER SERVICE Bringing clean cotton diapers to your door every week and cleaning the dirty ones for you. Choose the ecological alternative to disposable diapers. Check out our free monthly presentations on topics important to babies and moms. 520.351.2370 SunSprout.us TRANSIT CYCLES Tucson’s premier shop for commuter, cargo and touring cyclists. Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Sunday. 100 S Avenida Del Convento 520.352.9490 TransitCycles.com SOLAR ENERGY SERVICES & PRODUCTS SOUTHWEST SOLAR Providing the highest quality evaporative cooling products, customer service, and passive heating/cooling techniques; while being a model business for environmentally conscious and safe business practices and ethics through our use of renewable and sustainable energy sources and green building technology. 5085 S. Melpomene Way 520.885.7925 Southwest-Solar.com TECHNICIANS FOR SUSTAINABILITY A Tucson based, locally-owned, mission-driven company specializing in renewable energy and sustainable technologies for residential and commercial settings, including solar electric (PV) and solar hot water. 520.740.0736 TFSSolar.com TRAVEL & TOURISM
TUCSON WALDORF SCHOOL Tucson Waldorf School is located in the scenic Binghampton Rural Historic Landscape and is home to the River Road Gardens CSA farm. Children from Parent-Child Classes through 8th Grade experience an engaging education which cultivates joy and excellence in learning. The arts are integrated throughout a classical curriculum and handson work. Weekly tours available.520.529.1032 Tucson Waldorf.org
SILVER CITY Be here for lunch—a three hour drive from Tucson. Nationally recognized cuisine, historic downtown district, arts, Gila National Forest, WNMU University, fresh air, clear skies, mild climate, great festivals, a top-ten destination, quaint and quirky! 575.538.5555 SilverCityTourism.org
LOFT CINEMA A local nonprofit cinema dedicated to creating community through film, honoring the vision of filmmakers, promoting the appreciation and understanding of the art of film. Check out the Loft Cinema Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 8 a.m.12 noon on the patio. 3233 East Speedway Boulevard 520.795.7777 LoftCinema.com
DNA PERSONAL TRAINING/CROSSFIT Science-Based Fitness and Nutrition - CrossFit - Kettlebells. Wise training for wise people. 186 E Broadway Boulevard 520.327.0600 DNAPersonalTraining.com ORDINARY BIKE SHOP Servicing bikes of all sorts and selling new and used bikes and parts. “Life is like riding a bicycle—in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.” ~Albert Einstein. 311 E 7th Street 520.622.6488 OrdinaryBikeShop.com
VENUES, THEATRES & ENTERTAINMENT
edible Baja Arizona
Eat Where You Live By Jim Harrison
P atagonia for the winters 25 years ago was a considerable revelation. I had visited Tucson a number of times but didn’t catch on to the cuisine. I had been to Mexico City on the way home from Cozumel but had settled for French food in a hotel that was pointlessly expensive. When I was at Michigan State University, our late night college hangout was a Mexican place with what I later recognized as TexMex food. I had eaten the wonderful roast cabrito at Mi Tierra in San Antonio. It took a while to recognize my limitations. A flash point was eating grilled baby octopus in Zihuatanejo on a fishing trip. This is Mexican food? Of course. We northerners are perversely misinformed. Without question, Mexicans cook seafood much better than we do in the states. I don’t mean border food, far from it. I have been in the Veracruz area several times where you can get wonderful whole roasted robalo (common snook). The same is true on the west coast in terms of roasted fish. We ate a nine-pounder one evening in Tulum with many bottles of good Mexican white wine. Closer to home, we’re within 20 miles of Nogales. I’ve eaten at Las Vigas perhaps a hundred times, most for the superlative machaca sonorense. I had them organize a banquet when I paid off the mortgage, and it included a wild pig shipped from Florida, and also a large snapper, some enormous wild shrimp, and a Mariachi ov ing to
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band, of course. I’m hoping in the future to travel around Mexico and hire housewives to cook me their favorite bean dishes. The other half of the year we live in Montana where food Photo by JB Miller choices are distinctly limited. You can’t even buy an edible tortilla in Montana and my past experiences trying to make them were a disaster. You can’t buy a calf’s foot in Montana to make menudo, an obsession of my taste. Millions of calves and no feet for sale. This was also true in northern Michigan where I began making my own menudo. It’s clearly against the law to wander into a pasture and cut your own. So here we are happily for half the year. I’ve been given both javelina and mountain lion sausage but didn’t care for either. We eat lots of doves and quail roasted over wood fire and my ace urologist, Dr. Alfredo Guevara, cooked a wonderful cabrito last year. Down here much of my taste for American food wanes. Eat where you live is a far better practice. ✜ Jim Harrison is an author of numerous works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and screenplays. He has published several collections of novellas, two of which became films: Revenge (1990) and Legends of the Fall (1994). Harrison wrote a food column, “The Raw and the Cooked,” for Esquire magazine; his essays and articles have appeared in The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times Book Review. He lives in Patagonia and Livingston, Montana.
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