THE STORY OF LOCAL FOOD
Member of Edible Communities No. 48 | Spring 2022
TASTE OF FRANKLIN COUNTY Farm tours & dinner event
Presented By: Franklin County Farm Bureau
Save the Date
OCTOBER 2, 2022
1:30PM FARM TOURS START 5:00 DINNER
To receive more information visit franklin.ofbf.org For questions call the Farm Bureau office 800-451-8908
We are seeking talented Chefs & Cooks to teach a variety of culinary classes each season to our audience of home cooks and corporate clients. We are expanding into new areas and looking for individuals who have their own specialties to share, from chocolatiers to cheesemakers and everything culinary in between! We have flexible opportunities available, from teaching a few classes a season to a more robust schedule. Learn more by emailing Jane@theseasonedfarmhouse.com theseasonedfarmhouse.com
SPRING 2022 | CONTENTS
FE AT URES 9
RESPECT FOR THE RADISH This fast-growing and nutritious vegetable provides a first bite of spring By Gary Kiefer | Photography by Rachel Joy Barehl
16 FIVE STEPS TO A BOUNTIFUL GARDEN Advice on growing your own organic produce, in spaces big or small By Katie Carey | Photography by Rachel Joy Barehl
22 IN LABELS WE TRUST
Brought to you by Edible Communities in partnership with Food Tank By Elena Seeley
36 HOW SWEET IT IS Anthony-Thomas celebrates 70 years of making chocolate By Linda Lee Baird | Photography by Rebecca Tien
C O V ER
Watermelon radish photographed by Rachel Joy Barehl
t was a clear and cold January morning with single-digit temperatures and a few inches of snow on the ground when the mail carrier delivered my catalog from Johnny’s Selected Seeds of Winslow, Maine. It immediately brought welcome thoughts of spring—and fond memories of my father poring over his seed catalogs in the middle of winter.
I must confess that as a kid I failed to comprehend why he loved those catalogs or why he spent so much time pondering which vegetables to plant in his garden plot in a corner of our Toledo backyard. I did enjoy the fruits of his labors, however, and his plump red Big Boy tomatoes are among my earliest memories of summer garden produce.
Gary Kiefer | email@example.com
It took me many years to begin to understand that in a garden, as in life, the journey is as important as the destination. What I learned from my father is that seed catalogs and warm thoughts of the approaching garden season can carry you a long way through a gray and cold Ohio winter. Digging and planting and watering and weeding can be joyful and productive ways to decompress after a day at a stressful job. If your garden eventually yields bountiful produce, that’s a bonus, because it already gave you other rewards. During this winter made difficult by the pandemic as well as the weather, my spirits were lifted by learning more about gardening from some very talented people who you will meet in these pages. Michelle Nowak, the accomplished farm manager at Franklinton Farms, took time to educate me about radish varieties and let me sample some of her favorites. Master gardener Katie Carey offered practical advice on starting an edible garden, and we asked her to share it with all of you in this issue.
Franklin County Farm Bureau EDITOR IN CHIEF
Spring officially arrives with the vernal equinox on March 20. The first full moon after that rises on the night of April 16 and is known as the Pink Moon, named for the pink phlox flowers that bloom in the springtime. That full moon also tells us that Easter will be on April 17, because Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Easter is the rare Christian feast that changes dates each year based on the sun and the moon. If your Easter basket this year contains a solid chocolate bunny, it might be one of the thousands produced by the AnthonyThomas Candy Co., and in this issue we tell you the story of this local familyowned company celebrating 70 years in business. Keep reading and you also will encounter interesting jams and cocktails and even kwek kwek (a Filipino dish of battered quail eggs), as well as spring recipes and more. As we push past a challenging winter, my hope is that spring gives you a fresh start on your journey, whatever your destination. —Gary Kiefer firstname.lastname@example.org
Edible Columbus is brought to you by Franklin County Farm Bureau Board of Trustees: Leland Tinklepaugh, president | John Hummel, vice president Roger Genter, secretary | Dwight Beougher | Veronica Boysel Connie Cahill | Ross Fleshman | Denise Johnson Lewis Jones | Jack Orum | Lauren Prettyman Cassie Williams | Nathan Zwayer
Reilly Wright | email@example.com COPY EDITOR
Edible Communities PHOTOGRAPHY
Rachel Joy Barehl | Angela Lee Autumn LeeAnn | Rebecca Tien WRITERS
Linda Lee Baird | Katie Carey Gary Kiefer | Angela Lee Nancy McKibben | Malinda Meadows Christina Musgrave ADVERTISING
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Mark and Kyla Touris
Kyla and Mark Touris cast a delicious spell with their Sweet Thing Gourmet jam By Nancy McKibben | Photography by Autumn LeAnn
nce upon a time, in a modest cottage in an unremarkable corner of Bexley, dwelt a sculptor and a writer. They raised their three children, smiled at their neighbors, clipped their hedges and mowed their lawn. “Nothing to see here,” they might have said. But when the cottage windows were open and the breeze wafted in the right direction, a passerby might catch the scent of something magical—the juiciness of ripe berries, the tart pucker of rhubarb, the yielding ripeness of a peach. “Sweet,” he might murmur, and he would be right. Because that modest cottage is the home of Sweet Thing Gourmet, and every year from its kitchen pour 18,000 jars of luscious jam, the alchemy of imagination and hard work.
Obstacles into opportunities
Fifty-somethings Kyla and Mark Touris have been professional
jam-makers for a combined total of 32 years. And although they are scary good at what they do, jam was not Plan A. Armed with an English degree and a teaching certificate (Kyla) and a Columbus College of Arts degree and a Master’s in Fine Arts in Sculpting (Mark), they married in 1994 and began life in Kyla’s home state of Montana. “We loved Montana, but it’s a tough place to make a living,” says Mark. Baby Aaron’s arrival prompted a move to Columbus in 2000, where Mark became design director at an ad agency, and Kyla became pregnant with twin girls. Determined to stay home with her three young children, and inspired in part by Victoria magazine’s stories of women entrepreneurs, Kyla turned to jam. “Both Mark and I love to cook,” she says. “I remember forag-
ing for rose hips with my mom to put in strawberry jam.” So on a sultry July morning in 2003, with a quaking heart and a borrowed card table, Kyla set up shop at the Worthington Farmers Market with several dozen biscotti and four flavors of jam based on her mom’s recipes. She returned triumphant: “In a couple of hours, I made $300!” Thus began Sweet Thing Gourmet. “I chose that name because I thought it was a sweet thing the way it all came together—I could stay at home with the kids, still feel productive, and supplement our income.” Year after year, Sweet Thing flourished. And when Mark’s company was hard hit by the 2008 recession, he officially became the second full-time jam-maker in the business. Sweet Thing was Kyla’s passion. Mark saw it as “a wise choice.” They expanded their farmers market business and took on more wholesale accounts. “We got busier—as we had to, since it was full time for both of us.”
Jammin’ in the kitchen
When photographer Autumn LeAnn and I arrive at the Tourises’, a batch of Rhubarb and Ruby Grapefruit jam is already prepped and bubbling on their non-industrial stovetop. The grapefruit is fresh, the frozen rhubarb purchased from the Amish. In season they use local, fresh fruit. Typically, they start at 8am and end at 2 or 3pm, making eight to 10 batches of jam. “We work longer days in November and December, 10 to 12 batches,” Kyla says, “with a table set up in the living room for packing gift boxes.” The rest of the day? Labeling, deliveries and bookkeeping. Under Kyla’s artful direction, jam-making looks like a sleight-of-hand trick: Now you see fruit, now you see jam. In between, the fruit boils, Kyla adds sugar and natural pectin
and skims foam from the finished jam, and Mark washes and dries every dirty dish, but they answer my questions as they work, never missing a beat. “We each have our roles,” Mark says, deftly screwing lids on the scalding jars of jam that Kyla has just poured. Among Mark’s tasks are design and branding, which includes the website and product labels. “After our first Home and Garden show in 2009, the local Whole Foods rep approached us about carrying our jams,” Mark says. “They wanted each flavor to have a different label, by color.” Sweet Thing dropped the account when Amazon bought Whole Foods and changed the terms for local sellers. But the labeling has endured: 175 different colored labels to match 175 different flavors of jam. In their home kitchen, they use “regular household equipment,” producing an average of 1,500 jars of jam per month. They have worn out one stove hood, and every two years must replace the enameled tin kettle used for sterilizing jars; stainless steel, which would wear better, is too heavy. Even so, Kyla dons wrist braces to lug the kettle, filled with boiling water and 19 filled jars, from stove to countertop. Ninety minutes later, 37 jars of jam sparkle rosily on the granite countertop. The kitchen is clean; indeed, to my admiration, it never really seemed to get dirty. Sweet Thing is a tiny factory of jammy efficiency. Autumn and I sample the pink foam, at once tart and sweet, and taste summer.
The jam that sells itself
Mark and Kyla make wholesale look easy, too. “We’ve never had to advertise—our jam sells itself,” Kyla says, which |
sounds like magic to me. The Inn at Cedar Falls orders 35–40 cases of jam per quarter to sell at the gift shop, and another 35–40 quart-size jars to use in the Inn’s restaurant. Since 2011, Sweet Thing has produced a signature line of uniquely flavored jams that now form the bulk of their sales. The Speakeasy Collection, based on various cocktails, were “wildly popular” last year, Kyla says. “People buy Cherry Manhattan jam by the case and use it for cocktails.” Sixty percent of sales happen face to face at central Ohio farmers markets. Mark, who works in mediums such as wood, granite and found objects, shares his sculpture studio (aka the garage) with a large pallet of empty jam jars and lids, a chest freezer, a folding table, a tent and other paraphernalia of the farmers market. “It’s not ideal,” he concedes. “It takes us 45 minutes to load after a market,” Kyla says. Multiply that 45 minutes by four (load for the market, set up, tear down, unload again back home) and you begin to understand the rigors of selling at up to six farmers markets a week during the outdoor season. Nevertheless, Kyla looks forward to the outdoor markets, especially in Worthington, where she’s known her customers for almost 20 years. “I’ve developed relationships with many people. I’ve seen them have kids, and the kids grow up.” She smiles her warm smile, the same one customers see at the market. “I get there and I’m just so happy.” And that is also part of the magic. Sweet Thing Gourmet Jams are available at Weiland’s Gourmet Market; Lucky’s; Bexley’s Natural Market; Meza Wine Shop in Westerville; Red Stable Gifts in German Village, and various local farmers markets. For more information and to order online see sweetthinggourmet.com. Nancy McKibben is happy to combine her loves of eating and writing with the opportunity to advocate for sustainable agriculture in the pages of Edible Columbus. Her latest project is Yucatecan Lullaby, a bilingual (English and Spanish) children’s picture book. She is also a novelist, poet and lyricist, the mother of six and wife of one. View her work at nancymckibben.com; contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BEYOND THE TOAST
Kyla and Mark urge customers to “think beyond the toast” when purchasing jam. “Raspberry Jalapeño is delicious on Swedish meatballs,” Kyla says. Cherry Manhattan and Ginger Peach can glaze chicken or pork tenderloin. A cheeseboard is a natural for jam. Apple Cider Jelly or Vanilla Pear Jam match well with Gorgonzola or Roquefort or goat cheese. For ice cream? “The Benjamin!” Kyla and Mark cry in unison. Kyla likes to watch customers sample this jam, made from rhubarb and roasted carrot with cardamom. “They don’t think they’ll like it,” she says, “but they always love it.” The New Albany Country Club specializes in Bourbon and Sweet Thing jam cocktails. Here are two of Kyla’s cocktail recipes: Don’t Call Me Old Fashioned 2 orange slices Cherry Manhattan jam 2 ounces brandy Ice Muddle ½ orange slice with ½ tablespoon Cherry Manhattan jam. Shake well with 2 ounces of brandy and 1 cup of ice. Strain into rocks glass, garnish with orange slice and Luxardo cherry. Spicy Margarita For 2 cocktails: 3 ounces reposado tequila 3 ounces pineapple juice 1½ ounces limeade (½ cup fresh lime juice, ¾ cup water, 4 tablespoons sugar) 1 tablespoon MP3 jam ½ tablespoon fresh lime juice Shake well with ice, strain into rocks or margarita glass rimmed with chile salt. Chile salt: 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, ½ teaspoon chile powder, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
RESPECT FOR THE RADISH This fast-growing and nutritious vegetable provides a first bite of spring By Gary Kiefer | Photography by Rachel Joy Barehl
n the diverse troupe of garden vegetables, the humble radish has never been the star. Too often typecast as a mere garnish, the radish rarely received a credit in most classic cookbooks—where the index typically jumps from “radicchio” straight to “raisins.” But there are good reasons the radish has stuck around for thousands of years. It delivers a peppery bite unlike other root vegetables. It’s easy to grow, takes up little space in a garden and requires minimal maintenance. It comes in a variety of colors and shapes and sizes—and the entire plant is edible. It also provides a good combination of nutrients and dietary fiber. “Radishes are super versatile,” says Michelle Nowak, farm manager at Franklinton Farms. “They can be eaten raw, of course, but they can also be pickled or roasted or grilled or used in soups. They also have a very long growing season.” Radishes are often the first fresh vegetable to make an appearance in spring, because the seeds can be planted early and will deliver mature radishes in a little as three weeks. They are a member of the brassica family, which includes turnips, broccoli and cabbage. Radishes are low in calories and carbohydrates, but they are an excellent source of fiber. For their small size, they also deliver a good dose of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure, as well as immune-boosting vitamin C and other antioxidants. When you eat a radish, you are sharing an experience with Spanish conquistadors, ancient Greeks and even the workers who built the pyramids in Egypt, according to historical accounts. It is generally believed that radishes originated in Asia and spread west through trade. Today they are grown around the world and in almost every U.S. state. Ohio is actually one of the top five states in radish production. At Franklinton Farms, Nowak grows at least six varieties of radishes as part of the vegetable and fruit crops that will be distributed to West Side neighbors, included in CSA packages and sold at the Worthington Farmers Market. Launched as a community garden, the nonprofit urban farm operation has grown to include dozens of disconnected neighborhood sites. With a goal of providing healthy food options to the community, the farm includes 12 high tunnels to extend the growing season and a learning garden at West Town Street and Hawkes Avenue that hosts education programs for neighbors and their kids. Radish season begins with Nowak ordering seeds for about half a dozen varieties from among the dozens of types available in seed catalogs. The spring plantings will include the round red radishes that everyone recognizes, as well as the Easter Egg variety that produces a mix of red, purple, pink and white round radishes. She also grows the French
Breakfast radish, an oblong type with a white tip, considered a bit milder and sweeter than other types. As the name indicates, this variety originated in France in the late 1800s. The classic way to serve them is by placing slices on a buttered baguette along with a sprinkling of salt. As nice as it is to see radishes popping up in the spring, Nowak says that her favorite varieties are the winter radishes, also called storage radishes. Planted in the fall, these slower-growing varieties take six weeks or more to mature, but they can be harvested even after the temperatures drop below freezing. In the high tunnels used at Franklinton Farms, they were still pulling radishes out of the ground during a January visit. “Cold weather really brings out the sweetness in these radishes,” Nowak says. “After they are harvested, you just cut the tops off and you can store them for months in the refrigerator.” For the most recent late-season planting, Nowak settled on some varieties whose appearances are very different from the spring radishes. The Watermelon radish is probably the most familiar, with a name derived from its appearance: pale green to white exterior with a vivid pink-purple inside. The Green Luobo, which originated in China, resembles a small cucumber with bright green skin and interior. She also plants a purple Daikon variety called KN-Bravo, which
has dramatic purple streaks through the white flesh. “We find that people like the novelty of the different colors and shapes, and also the range of flavors from spicier to sweeter,” she says. Dr. Timothy McDermott, an educator with Ohio State University Extension, also is a fan of radishes, especially the
Watermelon, Easter Egg and Purple Plum varieties. “Radishes are an excellent choice for the beginner to seasoned gardener and do very well here in Central Ohio,” he says. “They can be planted in traditional gardens, raised beds or even in containers.” McDermott advises planting your radishes early in the
spring or early in the fall so that they mature in cooler weather. In Central Ohio, the first planting can be done as early as mid-March, weather permitting, and you can plant a short row or patch every two weeks until mid to late May to get a constant harvest. He suggests planting again around Labor Day, then every two weeks until around Nov.1 for fall harvesting. If your soil is classic Central Ohio heavy clay, he says, you should amend it with compost prior to planting so that the roots can achieve a good size prior to harvest. You want to lightly fertilize but not overfertilize, especially with nitrogen, or you will have more leaves than radishes. “A key part of growing radishes is to thin them to a three-inch spacing shortly after they germinate,” McDermott says. “If they are crowded, they will not get to the right size. Radishes prefer full sun as well.” Adding radishes to your diet is becoming easier as chefs around the country explore interesting ways to prepare them. You can start with the raw vegetable by adding thinly sliced radishes to a salad or slaw, or eating them with melted butter or your favorite dip. But here are other suggestions: Pickled—McDermott and colleague Jenny Lobb have posted a YouTube video (youtube.com/watch?v=ee1pC16kQvw) about making spicy radish pickles using an apple cider vinegar brine. Roasted—Nowak likes to roast her root vegetables and offers this advice: Just slice thinly, spread out on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh herbs, and roast at 350–450°F until tender when pierced with a fork. Grilled—North Carolina chef Katie Button recommends that you cut your radishes in half, leave the green tops attached, toss them in a little olive oil and salt and grill them. The leaves get crispy and the radish gets tender but still has a bite to it. Serve with a whipped butter. Grated—The Mid-Ohio Kitchen suggests using grated radishes as a healthy substitution for potatoes in hash brown patties. You can find a variety of recipes online for radish hash browns. Braised—Faith Durand, the Columbus-based editor in chief of popular food website TheKitchn.com, offers up a recipe for Braised Radishes with Shallots and Bacon at her site, where you can find a variety of other radish recipes. Sautéed in a wok—This is the method preferred by Boston chef Joanne Chang, because the radishes take on some sweetness as they are caramelized. You can also take the very simple approach described by pioneer culinary expert James Beard in one of his syndicated newspaper columns almost 50 years ago. Here is what he had to say in a column published by The Columbus Dispatch on Feb. 18, 1973:
“From my earliest years I have adored the crispness, colorfulness, and spicy tang of radishes. I can recall my first feeble efforts at gardening, when I planted little rows of radishes and was so thrilled when they came up, and even more thrilled when it was time to pull them and eat them fresh from the ground. Very few things in life have ever tasted better to me.” To learn more about the Franklinton Farms operation and mission, visit franklintonfarms.org or follow them on Facebook and Instagram. |
Bringing Filipino flavors to a wider audience Krizzia Yanga’s restaurants deliver traditional dishes with a modern flair Story and Photography by Angela Lee
idden in a quiet corner of the neighborhood of Grandview is the restaurant Bonifacio. Amidst the walls of flourishing greenery and the woven furniture is a kitchen radiant with the heat of cultural discovery, food curiosity and tradition redefined. And at the heart of it all is Krizzia
An emigrant from the Philippines at the age of 3, Krizzia and her family took up residence in the suburb of Pickerington. Surrounded by limited cultural representation within the community and a gap in the food industry, Krizzia’s family felt encouraged to open the original Red Velvet Café and slowly introduced the flavors of the Philippines to their original menu of cupcakes and coffees. With a new influx of curious customers, the family found inspiration to create a space where culture, tradition and identity could be explored; thus, Bonifacio was born.
CULTURE Named after Krizzia’s maternal grandfather, Bonifacio Yanga, the new restaurant became a beacon for generations old and new to find their source of community and family. Bonifacio made a name for itself as a place where the Eastern and Western cultures collided and became something new, yet familiar. At Bonifacio, tradition meets innovation in the form of savory, rich and aromatic flavors that tease the taste buds and leave them wanting more.
Within these four walls, strangers became friends, neighbors became family and the restaurant became a home. Here in this hidden sanctuary, breaking bread became an act of celebration and comfort. True to its original intent, Bonifacio evolved to represent the living embodiment of the Filipino phrase “Kumain ka na ba?” (“Have you eaten yet?”). Like the phrase suggests, Bonifacio created a space where care and comfort are interwoven into the dishes that are served and a space where people of color can connect and find community. And it is here where people are welcomed to the table. At this table, authentic Filipino foods such as tapa (brisket smoked in banana leaves with an adobo dry rub) and pyanggang (fire-grilled chicken marinated in burnt coconut and lemongrass) are offered and ready to be devoured. From the success of Bonifacio, Krizzia found herself taking on a new endeavor as a chef partner at Budd Dairy Food Hall and opening up Boni Filipino Street Food. Taking influences from the night markets of Asia, Boni serves to create an approachable take on a traveler’s quest for new flavors and thirst for adventure, perhaps with a pork longganisa skewer and kalamansi juice in hand. For Krizzia, a highlight of Bonifacio and Boni has been the ability to create a space where Filipino food such as lumpia (deep-fried spring rolls), inasal (fire-grilled citrus and lemongrass chicken) and kwek kwek (battered quail eggs) is not only recognized, but also celebrated—and a space where diversity is welcomed and loved. Through Bonifacio and Boni, Krizzia has created a “window into the culture” of the Philippines and a place where customers are “treated like family.” But as a small-business owner, she also has found herself facing difficult decisions as the country continues to deal with the COVID pandemic. The biggest challenge has been “making moral decisions as a small business, like public health decisions,” she says. “It’s tough for us to figure out already with the labor shortage we have. A lot of restaurants are having to close because of COVID going through their entire staff. How do we keep our employees safe? How do we keep our guests safe?” Krizzia asks. “If someone is sick and unable to work, how do they pay for their bills? It’s tough to make those decisions.” Along with the challenges of the pandemic come continuing cases of anti-Asian sentiment. Krizzia recounts turning on the television and watching a news report on yet another incident against
Asians in this country. “It’s pretty scary,” she says. “We are living in a weird time.” She describes the long history of colonialism in the Philippines, which included American military men looking for Filipino wives. “During the pandemic, when I was in the drive-thru, some old guys said, ‘We were in the military, hey, are you married?’” she recalls. It was offensive to her, “but you’re also in customer service, so how do you handle that? Because people have been targeted for speaking out and I don’t want to put myself or my staff at risk. It’s tough. Especially after what happened in Atlanta,” where six Asian women were shot to death in one night last year. As an Asian woman business owner, Krizzia has seen first-hand the inequities faced by minority groups. “I think it’s great that we are becoming more aware of it. We have some Gen Z folks here and we see how the world is changing,” she says. Seeing them be “more aware and more thoughtful in how they live their day-today lives is really encouraging.” Even so, she says thoughtfully, “There’s a lot more work to do. It’s still scary. It’s always been a challenge of being Asian American. It’s tough to think about. But there is optimism for the future.” Looking to the future of her businesses, she remains optimistic for 2022. “We have a lot of cool opportunities that have presented themselves so we are excited for that,” she says with a twinkle in her eye. “With all these changes that continue to come, we’re trying to roll with the punches. I’m proud of what we can provide and create that makes [customers] excited about exploring different foods.” View the menu and learn more about the restaurant at bonifacio614.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/bonifacio614. Angela Lee is a food photographer, freelance writer and social media strategist. She’s always in search of her next culinary adventure. You can find her on Instagram at @FindYourFork or via email at FindYourFork@gmail.com. |
FIVE STEPS TO A BOUNTIFUL GARDEN A garden educator offers advice on growing your own organic produce, in spaces big or small By Katie Carey | Photography by Rachel Joy Barehl
hen COVID took the world by storm, many of us soothed our anxieties by reclaiming vintage hobbies: We fed our sourdough starters, assembled 1,000-piece puzzles and knitted woolly scarves. Vegetable gardening especially took on new appeal. As the experienced gardener in my circle, I suddenly found myself approached by friends and family members for gardening advice and lessons on the basics. I found this work so fulfilling that I started my business, Columbus Foodscapes, to help people learn how to grow an abundance of organic fruits and vegetables in their yards. After working with dozens of beginner gardeners, I can confidently say anyone can rise to the challenge of growing their own food. Here are the five steps all of my clients start with to grow a bountiful garden:
Pick the right location
It matters not how green your thumb, nor how healthy your seedlings, if your plants don’t get enough sunlight each day. The ideal vegetable garden needs over eight hours of sunlight a day. To find a spot in your house or yard with the maximum sunlight, make a simple, bird’s-eye map of your yard that includes the cardinal directions; any existing structures, like houses or trees; and outdoor faucets and water sources. Then play around with a few locations, ideally a sunny, south-facing spot close to the kitchen for easy harvest and maintenance and near a water source. Don’t rule out front- and side-yard spaces. Sometimes the best location is a place you hadn’t even considered before.
Start with raised beds
Raised beds offer a myriad of benefits, especially in urban areas: improved drainage, reduced soil compaction, increased ease of access and opportunity to grow more intensively in a smaller space. When building your raised beds, the two most important factors to consider are the dimensions of your beds and the materials you use. I recommend making garden beds no more than 4 feet wide for easy access (2.5 feet if the raised bed is up against a wall or fence) and a minimum of 11 inches deep to reap the benefits of soil depth. You can use a variety of materials to build raised beds, including concrete blocks, cedar, white pine, brick, stone or steel. Cedar is, by far, the most popular material, and for good reason. Cedar is rot resistant, will last for a couple decades and adds a kind of farmhouse beauty.
Use a stellar soil
Let’s start with a stern, but obligatory, note. Soil is not dirt, but it is of great importance to your plants. Soil serves as both the home for crops and the place where they will receive nutrients. The internet is swimming with contradictory information about the perfect vegetable garden soil blend. Digital sources quibble: Do you use perlite or sand? Compost or rotted manure? What is “loam,” anyway? Here’s the scoop. There is more than one way to build terrific soil for your vegetables. I recommend not getting too caught up in the details and instead starting with a premixed organic soil blend (I’m fond of the one from Price Farms Organics in Delaware County) amended with manure, worm castings, sand or other amendments.
LOOKING TO DIG A LITTLE DEEPER?
Here are some of my favorite resources and local businesses for beginner gardeners to explore: OSU Extension: The “extension,” as it’s affectionately called in the urban farming world, is an indispensable resource for Ohioans. The website offers a range of science-based articles and gardening advice, and you can personally reach out with any gardening troubles you may face.
The Gardener’s A–Z Guide to Growing Organic Food by Tanya L.K. Denckla: A comprehensive guide to growing just about any fruit, vegetable or herb you can think of. Offers detailed guidance on companion planting, planting conditions, timing and much more. Rodale’s All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening by Robert Rodale: A musthave book for all gardeners! An expansive encyclopedia of all things gardening that can give you great foundational knowledge and answer many of your questions.
Make a planting plan
Repeat after me: I will not go to the garden center without making a plan first. A planting plan should include two components: 1) a simple, overhead map of your beds that shows what plants and seeds will go where, and 2) a chart that includes important information about what you’d like to plant. Your planting plan chart should include information such as: • • • • •
The name of the plant (tomato, Black Beauty variety) When to plant it (mid-May) The spacing between plants (12 inches) Whether to start the plant from seed or with seedlings (start tomatoes from seedlings) Any special instructions that might be useful (start pruning suckers about a month after planting, side dress with compost six weeks from planting)
Kitchen Garden Revival by Nicole Burke: This book is a great resource if you want to build your own garden from scratch. Nicole walks you through how to install a new garden step-by-step with tips and tricks for planting and gardening basics. Beechwold Farm Market: A small shop in Clintonville owned by Swainway Urban Farm that offers a curated selection of organic gardening products. Plus, the owner and employees are extremely knowledgeable and always thrilled to offer guidance on products and techniques. City Folks Farm Shop: Also in Clintonville, a shop that offers a wide variety of homesteading goodies and equipment. Everything from seeds to broadforks, you can probably find it here! Columbus Garden School: Hosts hands-on, in-depth local classes and workshops that are taught by a range of experts in their fields. Topics are varied but center around growing food, homesteading and ecological gardening. Price Farms Organics: A local company that offers a range of gardening soils and mulches. If you’re not quite sure what products are best suited for your garden’s needs, give them a call. They are happy to help guide you to the best product and even will help you calculate how much of it you need for your project. Columbus Foodscapes: My company! Columbus Foodscapes makes growing your own organic food abundant and joyful. We design and install new gardens, help fix up existing gardens, offer maintenance services and even offer garden coaching and classes to help folks learn how to grow organic fruits, vegetables and herbs in their backyards.
If you’re a brand-new gardener, try starting with some of the easier crops to grow: • Herbs: basil, thyme, oregano, lemon balm, dill, cilantro, chives, cilantro and others. • Leafy greens: lettuce, arugula, kale, spinach, mustard greens (a personal favorite!) and other leafy greens. • Root veggies: Carrots, radishes, turnips and beets. Once you’ve mastered the basics, move on to plants that require more time to mature and need a bit more care, such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, cauliflower, broccoli and melon.
Maintain with nature in mind
Prevention is better than cure! To prevent disease and pest infestations in your garden and promote plant health, a few simple tasks set you up for success: • Feed the soil to feed the plant: Each time you plant new crops, amend the soil with well-rotted manure, compost or worm castings. • Prune & harvest: Remove any crispy, diseased or browning leaves and stems of plants with clean pruners and harvest regularly to encourage production and plant health. • Check for disease and pests: When you find bugs in your garden, determine whether they are beneficial or not and how to manage them organically. • Water: If watering with a hose head, water deeply and close to the soil surface to avoid splashing
water on foliage, which can foster disease. The best thing you can do, above all else, is just start. Gardens are magical, forgiving things that will bless you with abundance, even if you stumble here and there. Happy growing! Katie Carey is a Columbus native on a mission to support her community in edible gardening. She is a Master Urban Farmer, a Master Gardener and has worked at a variety of urban and rural farms both in Ohio and internationally. Now, Katie owns local business Columbus Foodscapes, where she helps people learn how to grow an abundance of organic fruits, vegetables and herbs in their backyard. To work with her, email email@example.com or visit columbusfoodscapes.com. |
SPRING 2022 | edible| Communities 22
S IG N AT U RE
S E C TI O N
The trademarks and certification marks displayed are the property of their respective owners and are displayed herein for demonstration and informational purposes. Edible Communities and these entities are not affiliated.
IN LABELS WE TRUST
How food certification labels, seals and standards can help eaters make better choices
E L E N A
S E E L E Y,
FO O D
TA N K
CO N T E N T
D I R E C TO R
Danielle Nierenberg, Food Tank president, contributed to this article.
Even before the pandemic, choosing what to eat was difficult.
PROT E CT ING WO RK E RS
What’s healthy? What’s not? Do workers get a fair wage? What’s
In 2020, the World Economic Forum/Ipsos found that 86
better for the planet? For eaters looking to purchase products that
percent of people want a significant change towards a more equi-
are fairly traded or BIPOC owned, it can feel exhausting to find
table and sustainable world post-pandemic.
delicious foods from producers they believe in.
Standards from the food sector are working to eliminate
Certification labels and standards can be useful and neces-
forced and child labor, improve workers’ conditions, promote
sary ways to help consumers, but they’re often confusing. “Un-
gender equity and ensure better pay. Many fair-trade companies
fortunately, the burden is always on the consumer in terms of
are helping growers shift to environmentally sustainable practices.
evaluating the veracity of the label, doing the research to see
“While not a silver bullet, the Rainforest Alliance certification
whether the information on these labels is properly supported
is designed to provide methods and a shared standard for creat-
and accurate,” Brian Ronholm, director of food policy at Con-
ing a more transparent, data-driven, risk-based supply chain…to
sumer Reports, says.
make responsible business the new normal,” says Alex Morgan
Focusing on one issue helps, says Jerusha Klemperer of FoodPrint, an organization that educates consumers about food production practices. Decide which issue you’re most passionate
from the Rainforest Alliance. For foods from the United States, it’s more difficult to find companies upholding fair working conditions.
about and look for a label that upholds those standards. Labels
“Farm employees are still not equally protected under the Fair
can help increase transparency and provide insight into how food
Labor Standards Act and do not have a federally protected right
was produced. They can help eaters vote with their wallets for
to a weekly day of rest, overtime pay, sick time, collective bar-
food choices that support the environment, climate solutions,
gaining rights or even the right to a federal minimum wage on
animal welfare, workers’ rights, and healthy and sustainable diets.
small farms,” says Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm, an Afro-
But even conscientious eaters can get overwhelmed by the num-
Indigenous centered community farm in New York.
ber of choices they face.
Rosalinda Guillen, founder of Community to Community,
Choosing certified labels is a way to avoid empty claims, Klem-
says the Food Justice Certified label by the Agricultural Justice
perer says. But not all certification processes are created equal.
Project (AJP) is the most comprehensive label for protecting
Klemperer advises consumers to “do the research before you get
workers. “We call it the gold standard,” says Guillen, who has
to the store.”
provided input on AJP’s certification since 2000. Her BIPOC-
| podcasts Visit ediblecommunities.com for more photos and 23
led organization fights for better farm working conditions. She trusts
mals suffer unnecessarily,” says Ben Goldsmith of Farm Forward, a non-
the label because farm workers were deeply involved in setting the stan-
profit striving to improve farm animal welfare. It can be easy for us to
dards from the beginning.
imagine ideal scenarios—healthy animals that are free to roam in open
Soul Fire is one of just six farms using Food Justice Certified. And it's advocating for the Fairness for Farm Workers Act. “The exploitation of farm labor is so deeply entrenched in the DNA of this nation that it can feel daunting to confront it, and yet we must,” says Penniman.
pastures—but unfortunately, Goldsmith explains, few animals are raised this way. According to the nongovernmental organization, Food and Water Watch, 1.6 billion farm animals live on 25,000 factory farms, or concentrated animal feeding operations, in the U.S. These animals face over-
I S A L L N AT U R A L ME A N I N GL E SS?
crowded and stressful conditions and are regularly subject to physical
One of the most familiar labels is all natural. It sounds good—even healthy—but it’s an empty marketing tool.
alterations like tail docking and beak clipping. To avoid meats from animals subject to inhumane practices, look for
Klemperer says, “Ignore it.” Look for labels like USDA Certified
the Certified Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) label. Farmers and ranch-
Organic, which is two decades old. According to the Economic Re-
ers qualifying for certification cannot use cages, must provide access to
search Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, organic foods can
pastures and must ensure animals are treated humanely when they are
be found in almost three out of every four conventional supermarkets.
bred, transported and slaughtered. Producers may also add a Certified
To meet USDA standards, foods must be grown in soils that have
Grass-fed label to this certification, meaning animals were fed a 100 per-
not been treated with artificial fertilizers and pesticides for at least three
cent grass and forage diet. Goldsmith says he appreciates the AWA label
years. And organic farmers cannot plant genetically modified organisms
because it helps to “support and encourage small producers.”
Another label is Certified Humane from Humane Farm Animal Care.
Newer labels, like the Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) label,
Minimum space allowances and environmental enrichment must be pro-
encourage farmers to further improve animal welfare, fairness for farm
vided for animals raised under Certified Humane standards. That encom-
workers and soil health. The label’s three-tiered system allows producers
passes the treatment of breeding animals, animals during transport and
to earn bronze, silver or gold certification to incentivize action.
animals at slaughter.
This label is also designed to be adaptable. “As science and culture
These labels are better for animals—and farmers can find them more
morph and change, we can incorporate that into a flexible or dynamic stan-
rewarding. “You get to see animals exhibit natural behaviors,” says Ron
dard that can adjust at that level,” explains Jeff Moyer, CEO of the Rodale
Mardesen, a livestock farmer for Niman Ranch, a beef, pork and lamb
Institute, a nonprofit group dedicated to growing the organic movement.
company with Certified Humane products. For products like eggs, terms like humane raised, free range and hor-
NO N - G M O L A B EL S D E MYST I F I E D
mone free sound good, but lack a clear definition. The U.S. prohibits the
Many growers avoid GMOs without using USDA Certified Organic practices. GMO products are derived from plants and animals, the genetic makeup of which has been altered, often to create resistance to pesticides, herbicides and pests.
use of hormones in all poultry, veal, eggs, bison and pork production, so claims of hormone free don’t mean much. AWA, Certified Humane and USDA Certified Organic labeling standards prohibit the use of antibiotics and synthetic hormones in animal
Consumers can look for the Non-GMO Project Verified label, which indicates that produce or products containing fruits and vegetables are not
production. Consumers looking to buy meat products raised without these inputs should buy certified labels.
produced with GMOs. For meat and dairy products, this label means that SOM ETHING FISHY
animals were fed a non-GMO diet. In 2022, products containing GMOs must use a new Bio-Engineered
The seafood sector is rife with labor exploitation, overfishing, eco-
label from the USDA. But some non-GMO advocates argue this label
system damage, fraud and intentional mislabeling. Mark Kaplan, of the
doesn’t go far enough. Many products derived from new modification
company Envisible, calls the challenges in the industry “appalling.”
techniques, including those having undergone CRISPR gene editing and crops meant for animal feed, will be exempt from the label.
Envisible works to make supply chains more transparent and equitable. Using blockchain, the company can trace a product from a fishing vessel all the way to the supermarket. Data entered at every point along
H U M A N E L A B ELI N G
the supply chain cannot be changed, helping eliminate fraud.
“I think everybody cares about animals and nobody wants to see ani-
Kaplan recommends consumers look for the Global Seafood continued
SPRING 2022 | 24 |Communities edible
S E CTI O N
MAR KE TPL ACE
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Niman Ranch and our network of U.S. family farmers and ranchers raise livestock HUMANELY and SUSTAINABLY to deliver the
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Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices label, a third-party certification that
Numi prefers this approach. She believes that allowing companies to la-
addresses environmental health, social wellbeing, food safety and animal
bel individual products as carbon neutral “can give a green halo to that
welfare along the aquaculture supply chain.
company without necessarily committing to or investing in enterprise
The Fair-Trade Certified seal, a label given to various species of fish
that meet certification requirements, is also helpful. Certification focuses
Numi plans to print on each tea box the precise estimate of green-
on supporting economies, improving working conditions and protecting
house gas emissions associated with it—something Oatly and Quorn are
currently also doing with their packaging.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch is a tool to help guide more sustainable choices on a case-by-case basis. Its website allows users
to search by species to understand the best options and alternatives, and which species to avoid.
Emily Moose, executive director of the nonprofit A Greener World, argues that it’s important for consumers to continually ask for sustainable products. “It can be easy to just say, ‘Oh, there’s too much, it’s too over-
whelming, it might not matter.’ But that’s really not true,” says Moose.
According to Nature Food, more than one-third of greenhouse gas emissions can be traced to the food system. Many eaters are seeing this
“That only benefits an opaque food system and practices that will never improve.”
connection between global agriculture and the climate crisis, and they
If you care about workers, speak with store managers about carrying
want to purchase more climate-friendly food. Some businesses are seeing
products with AJP’s label. For environmental concerns, email store buy-
labels as part of the solution.
ers to let them know you’re happy they purchase organic or local products
Numi Organic Tea has Climate Neutral Certification. It helps com-
but wish they had more.
panies measure, offset and reduce their carbon emissions to reach carbon
And eaters don’t always need labels to do the right thing. BIPOC
neutrality—a balance between the amount of carbon emitted into and
and women-owned businesses have been disproportionately impacted by
absorbed by the atmosphere. Climate Neutral also tries to account for the
the pandemic. Consumers can look to local farmers’ markets or Yelp and
entirety of the supply chain—emissions caused by on-site facilities, pur-
Google for businesses with a Black-owned or women-led badge.
chased electricity, employee transit, shipping and transporting materials.
Ultimately, labels and certifications are helpful tools, but don’t tell us
Instead of specific products, Climate Neutral certifies entire brands
everything about how food is produced. As eaters, though, we have the op-
once they achieve zero net carbon emissions for one year and requires
portunity, every time we pick up a fork, chopsticks or a spoon, to choose
them to commit to emission reduction targets annually. Jane Franch of
more economically, socially and environmentally just food systems.
Closing Thoughts From Our Founder Thank you for joining us on these pages, the fourth in a series of thought leadership pieces from Edible Communities. We would like to send a special thanks to our partners for this issue, Elena Seeley, Danielle Nierenberg and the team at Food Tank, who made this story possible. Exploring, investigating and changing our food system have been guiding principles of Edible Communities since we first began. And while I know our work has impact and is valued, there is still a lot more to do! In the case of labeling, for instance, it would be so easy if there were one label, one certification, one set of guidelines, one choice to make when it comes to our food, but alas, only one option would allow a broken food system to stay broken. Therefore, we hope you find this thought-provoking and thorough coverage on the topic informative and useful. As you are reading this, Edible Communities is fully into our 20th anniversary year as a media company. We are approaching 100 titles throughout North America and reach over 20 million readers each year. Those are statistics we don’t take lightly. We are grateful for you, dear readers, who help guide and sustain us. And if you’re an Edible reader, we feel you will enjoy being a Food Tank reader as well. Part of its mission statement says: “We aim to educate, inspire, advocate and create change,” and it certainly does that. I encourage you to visit foodtank.com, to listen, learn, join and be part of the conversation. Tracey Ryder, Co-Founder & CEO Edible Communities
edible Communities |
| For more on this story, visit ediblecommunities.com 29
BROCCOLINI WITH WHIPPED GOAT CHEESE Makes 6 servings
Try this Broccolini with Whipped Goat Cheese for a unique and fresh twist on a classic vegetable. With broccolini, goat cheese and crispy shallots, this dish from Christina Musgrave of Tasting with Tina is excellent as an appetizer or side dish.
Directions Combine goat cheese, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes in a food processor. Pulse until goat cheese is whipped and creamy. Add whipped goat cheese to a large plate or serving tray and set aside.
Whipped Goat Cheese Ingredients: 8 ounces goat cheese 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add broccolini and cook until bright green, about 3–5 minutes. Remove broccolini from water and set aside.
Broccolini Ingredients: 2 bunches broccolini 4 tablespoons olive oil 1 shallot, sliced thinly 4 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes Lemon wedges, for serving Fresh basil, for serving 30
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add shallots and cook until crispy, about 8–10 minutes. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and stir well. Remove from heat. Top plated whipped goat cheese with broccolini and pour crispy shallots and remaining oil over broccolini. Garnish with lemon wedges and fresh basil. You can find more of Christina’s recipes at her website (tastingwithtina.com) or on Instagram (@tasting.with. tina) or Facebook (facebook.com/tastingwithtinablog/).
BASIL GARLIC PASTA DOUGH Makes 1 pound fresh pasta
Who says you can’t make homemade pasta year-round? Sarah Rachul of Food and Whines believes so, and she delivers with this delicious Basil Garlic Pasta Dough recipe. Sarah suggests keeping this pasta simple with some good olive oil and cheese for a delicious result. Ingredients 2 large eggs 2 large egg yolks 2 cloves garlic 2 teaspoons olive oil 1 teaspoon sea salt 10 large fresh basil leaves 2 cups all-purpose flour Directions Add eggs, egg yolks, olive oil, garlic, salt and basil into a food processor or blender and blend for about 30 seconds, until the basil is completely broken down. If using a KitchenAid attachment: Combine flour and egg mixture in the KitchenAid mixer bowl using paddle attachment. Once a dough starts to form, switch to the bread hook and knead for about 6 minutes. Form dough into a ball, lightly coat with olive oil then wrap tightly and let rest for at least 30 minutes and no more than 60 minutes. Once rested, cut ball into four equal pieces. Flatten the first
piece into a rectangular shape with your hand, then run it through the roller attachment at setting 1 twice. Gradually move up each setting, passing through twice, until you get to setting 6. From here, dust the sheet with flour and switch to the cutter attachment. Once cut, either hang noodles to dry or roll into nests for storage. Be sure there is enough flour on them to keep them from sticking. Repeat with the other dough pieces. If you’re using a tabletop pasta roller or doing it by hand: Cut into four equal pieces and roll out each piece to desired consistency either with pasta roller or rolling pin. Use a pizza cutter to cut even noodles from the sheets of dough—be sure to dust with flour! These pasta nests will store for 1–3 days in the fridge or a couple months in the freezer! Remember, fresh pasta only takes 2–3 minutes to cook in boiling water so watch it carefully. Enjoy!
You can find more of Sarah’s recipes at the Food and Whines blog (foodandwhines.com), and on Instagram (@foodandwhines). |
MUSHROOM RICOTTA TOAST Makes 4 servings
Laura Lee Pendy of Cuisine & Cocktails delivers with this fresh Mushroom Ricotta Toast. This simple yet delicious appetizer is a great option for entertaining a crowd. Be sure to top with some thyme for freshness in every bite. Ingredients 2 cups Hen of the Woods (Maitake) mushrooms or similar 1 loaf sourdough, sliced and halved 6 ounces ricotta cheese ½ tablespoon butter ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar ½ teaspoon sugar ½ tablespoon fresh thyme leaves ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper Extra fresh thyme for topping
Directions Toast bread to desired crispness. In medium skillet, heat butter and olive oil. Add mushrooms and sauté for 3–4 minutes. Stir in vinegar, sugar, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to slight boil. Reduce heat and sauté until liquid is mostly absorbed (about 4–5 minutes). Spread ricotta onto toast and top with mushroom medley. Sprinkle with fresh thyme and serve.
You can find more of Laura’s recipes at the Cuisine & Cocktails website (cuisineandcocktails.com), and on Instagram (@cuisineandcocktails) and Pinterest (pinterest. com/cuisineandcockt).
BAKED RASPBERRY GLAZED LEMON DONUTS Makes 12 donuts
Local blogger and baker Autumn LeAnn celebrates the beginning of spring with these zesty Baked Raspberry Glazed Lemon Donuts that are as beautiful as they are delicious. Enjoy these on a brisk spring morning with some local coffee. Lemon Donuts Ingredients: 1⅓ cups cake flour ¾ cup granulated sugar 1 pinch salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 3 tablespoons lemon zest 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 egg ½ cup whole milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted Directions Preheat your oven to 375°F and grease your donut pan with shortening or butter. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a regular mixing bowl—this recipe can be made either way!), mix the cake flour, salt, baking powder and lemon zest. In a separate bowl, combine the whole milk, sugar, lemon juice, egg, vanilla extract and melted butter. Whisk until smooth. With the stand mixer on low, slowly pour the wet ingredient mixture into the dry ingredient mixture. Mix until just combined. Transfer the donut batter into a piping bag and pipe each section of the donut pan ⅔ to ¾ full. Place in the oven and bake at 375°F for 15–20 minutes, or until
Raspberry Glaze Ingredients: 1 cup powdered sugar 3 tablespoons raspberry purée Garnish Ingredients: Lemon zest, as desired Freeze-dried raspberries, crushed, as desired
an inserted toothpick comes out clean. While your donuts are baking, let’s make the raspberry glaze! Add the powdered sugar and raspberry purée to a bowl and mix until smooth. If it is too thick (which can happen depending on the consistency of your raspberry purée), add a teaspoon of water at a time until you get your desired consistency. Once the donuts have cooled enough to pick up without burning your fingers, remove them from the donut pan. Dip one side of each donut in the glaze until evenly coated. Repeat until all donuts are glazed. Sprinkle the glazed side of each donut with freeze-dried raspberries and lemon zest as desired. It adds a little texture and makes them look extra beautiful!
Check out all the great recipes on Autumn’s website (autumnleann.com), and follow her on Instagram (@theautumnleann) and Facebook (facebook.com/theautumnleann/). |
A toast to the craft cocktails of Columbus Try new drinks and meet top bartenders on this curated tour Story by Malinda Meadows
eigh Ann Simms and Blair Beavers had long known that when it came to elevated cocktails and highly skilled bartenders, Columbus was a gold mine. But there was just one small problem: Places like Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and New Orleans were getting all of the recognition for their craft cocktail scenes.
skills and craftsmanship of the city’s best bartenders. Like all new endeavors, it began with extensive research and development. This included sampling various bars in the neighborhoods, engaging with the bartenders, learning their favorite techniques and perhaps nursing a hangover or two. “A personal sacrifice,” Leigh Ann jokes.
The pair felt that Columbus was underappreciated, that the cocktails they were sampling here were just as good—if not better—than ones in the bigger cities. So, in 2016, to address this atrocity, they decided they wanted to help give credit where credit was due.
After thoughtful R&D, they chose 15 or so bars to be part of the experience. Tours are divided into neighborhoods—such as Grandview, Downtown or the Short North—and each tour consists of three bars within walking distance. So if you sign up for the Short North tour, for example, you may find yourself starting at ROOH then strolling to Denmark and Soul at the Joseph. (You’ll even get a peek at the hotel’s artwork at the last stop.) Yet just because C3 is a walking tour, Leigh Ann is adamant about expressing that it’s not a bar crawl by any means. It’s something much bigger.
The rise of the Columbus Craft Cocktail Tour
When the duo started the Columbus Craft Cocktail Tour, or C3 for short, their mission was simple: to highlight the
DRINK From newbies to regulars
“It’s like being at the chef’s table—for cocktails,” she explains of the C3 experience. A chef carefully chooses ingredients, understands which ones complement and which ones contrast, and knows how to best prepare them. A craft cocktail bartender does the same with their mélange of spirits, ingredients and garnishes. The bartenders craft the cocktails right in front of the guests, creating a dedicated, intimate experience unique to the tour. Both newbies to the cocktail world and more seasoned enthusiasts can feel free to ask questions while gleaning new ideas and techniques to try at home. “We’ve had everyone from 21 to 65 partake in the tours,” Blair says, with anniversaries, birthdays and bachelorette parties among the most common reasons for imbibing. Private
tours are available too—all you have to do is ask—but the most surprising group of participants to me was this: longterm Columbusites. “It’s funny because we’ll get people who live in the Short North on the Short North tour,” says Leigh Ann. Sure, it’s a great way to get to know your local haunts, but it goes deeper than that. “A lot of times people will say, ‘I never know what to order,’” she continues. “After the tour, they’re equipped with the knowledge of what they like and how to order it. Many of the guests even turn into regulars.”
More ways to wet your whistle
The C3 experience doesn’t end at the final bar of the evening. After each tour, guests vote on their favorite cocktail, which gets shared to the Columbus Craft Cocktail Tour website with instructions and tips from the mixologists who made them. Some of the most recent winning cocktails include “Put That In Your Pipe” from Denmark, “Garden Delight” from Goodale Station and “Diehard IS a Christmas Movie” from Soul at the Joseph. For those who want to dive deeper into the world of spirits, try their podcasts: If This Bar Could Talk and Women & Whiskey: Stop Mansplaining Me. The former is an intimate chat with the folks behind the bar, Blair explains, and a way to get to know the person making your drinks. Leigh Ann hosts the latter, where she talks with trailblazing women who are shattering the glass ceiling of the whiskey industry. Keep your eyes open, too, for the annual Columbus Cocktail Classic, where guests and bartenders alike can sample new and exciting cocktail creations, listen in on seminars or watch a little friendly competition. Bartender-chef teams pair up to create the best cocktail and amuse-bouche complement, and the audience gets a taste as the judges deliberate. It’s akin to the cocktail tour under one roof, occurring on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. But for now, as we enter into spring, the cocktail tour is an excellent way to stretch the legs, oil the pipes, support our city’s talented bartenders and raise a toast to something that Blair and Leigh Ann have known for many years: Columbus is the place to be for craft cocktails. Book a tour at columbuscraftcocktailtour.com, follow on Instagram and Facebook @cbuscraftcocktailtour and listen to their podcasts on the website or streaming services. Malinda Meadows is a freelance writer based in Columbus but will travel the world for a good meal. She loves handmade pasta, Swedish music and the first day in a new city. Find more of her writing at malindainthesnow.com or follow along on Instagram @malindainthesnow. |
Anthony-Thomas celebrates 70 years of making chocolate By Linda Lee Baird | Photography by Rebecca Tien
from Greece. Trifelos said his great-great-grandpa was “an apprentice candymaker, and he really loved the art of making candy.” After owning several different food businesses in partnership with Thomas, the two realized that their candies were outselling everything else. That’s when they decided to make candy their full-time jobs, charting the course for the future of both the company and the family.
s a child, Nick Trifelos lived the proverbial dream: He grew up as a kid in a candy store. Only the store wasn’t just a small shop with customers stopping in to sample and purchase sweets. Behind the retail space was a 152,000-square-foot candy factory, pumping out up to 60,000 pounds of everything from Buckeyes to buttercreams each day. The Anthony-Thomas Candy Co. was founded by the father-son team of Anthony and Thomas Zanetos as a small business in Franklinton in 1952. Today, it’s the Midwest’s largest family-run candy company, representing five generations. “Anthony and Thomas were my great-great-grandfather and my great-grandfather,” Trifelos says. In 2020, he was hired as a sales and marketing manager; his grandfather and mother continue to work for the company alongside him. The company is celebrating its 70th birthday this year, but its history extends over a century, going back to 1907 when Anthony Zanetos arrived in Columbus after immigrating
As the Zanetos family grew, the company expanded right along with it. In 1970, Anthony-Thomas moved to a larger production facility in Franklinton. By the early 1990s, they had outgrown that as well, and settled into a new factory on the West Side, which now has nearly 100 employees. Today, they operate 13 retail shops across Columbus, including one at the factory. And while Franklinton is no longer the center of operations, the family retains ties in the community, lunching together every Friday at Tommy’s Diner, just down the block from their former production facility. Something that hasn’t changed over the years is the company’s dedication to making quality confections. When I visited the Upper Arlington store in late January, the shelves were stocked with almost every type of chocolate imaginable, including peppermint-filled, dark chocolate coconut, milk chocolate crunch and classic filled buttercreams. Sugar-free options were available, as well as roasted nuts and chocolate-covered pretzels. My sons picked out some solid chocolates, colorfully wrapped and shaped like cars, that they joyfully ate on the way home. One thing we didn’t try were the Buckeyes, and apparently that made us an exception: The company sold over 8 million
Piles of pecans are topped with caramel and chocolate to create Pecan Dainties.
of them last year. Theirs are finished with a distinctive glossy coat that comes from a special heating and cooling process, and stands out from competitors. “We didn’t create the Buckeye, but we feel we perfected it,” Trifelos says.
On the job with Mom
Trifelos compares his life to both My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Picture a closeknit family managing Wonka’s workshop, and you might have a sense of Trifelos’s upbringing. “I grew up with this company being kind of like a babysitter for me,” he says. He tells stories of helping on the factory line as a child, watching piece after piece of chocolate get packed carefully into boxes. He remembers the large Easter open houses they would hold at the plant every year (prior to COVID), where they would host up to 6,000 people eager to celebrate the season. Once, the hired Easter bunny was taking a break when Trifelos and a cousin played a prank, taking the bunny’s oversized stuffed carrot and running it through the factory, confusing the bunny and the guests. While it sounds like a dream for a child, working with your family full-time as an adult can present challenges. “Most people cannot work with family members and then see them after work and on the weekends all the time,” Trifelos says. “We are just able to do that.” His mom is both his direct
boss and also his “best friend,” and he’ll frequently go to her home for dinner after they work a full day together. The family feeling extends to employees as well. Retail Operations Manager Kathy Robbins is celebrating 30 years with the company this year, after starting as a part-time retail employee at a kiosk in the now-defunct Westland Mall. Part of what has kept her with the company for so long is the relationships. “Ownership is great to work with. It just seems like you’re part of their family,” she says, adding that her own kids chose to work for Anthony-Thomas while in high school and college. But when the family is such an integral part of the business, tragedy can strike both together. The Zanetos family experienced this firsthand in 2020, when Trifelos’s Uncle Steve Scully passed away suddenly from COVID. He had been with
the company for 21 years, serving as the vice president of operations and running the production side. “When you have a loss, you feel it not only on the work side, but on the personal side,” Trifelos says. “With his passing, we had to take on his responsibilities and learn and fast track. And we’ll never know all he knew.” Trifelos has found himself spending more time on the factory floor after his uncle’s passing, pitching in to keep things moving forward. It’s what family does.
Caring for the community
Being part of the Columbus community has always been important to the Zanetos family. Trifelos said that, growing up, he would attend Ohio State football games with his grandpa, befriending those seated around them by bringing Buckeyes to share with the crowd. Beyond the candy business, his grandfather was involved in establishing the Greek Orthodox church in the Short North. And they’ve partnered with the community in many other ways, from those famed Easter open houses to the fundraising arm of the business, an aspect of Anthony-Thomas that Trifelos is especially proud of. Students can resell Anthony-Thomas candy purchased in bulk to fund extracurricular programs. Jason McGee, an architecture instructor at Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools, has had his students selling Anthony-Thomas chocolate bars for the past six years, generally raising about $1,000 annually. This year, the money will support a trip to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house in Pennsylvania. McGee says the brand is so popular, the hardest part for him is making sure he orders enough every year. Just as candy fundraisers have been going on for generations, bringing people together in stores for the same sweet experience their great-great-grandparents had is something Trifelos appreciates about his work. “We’re really focused on keeping the tradition alive.” Learn more about the company and its products at anthony-thomas.com. Linda Lee Baird is a Columbus-based freelance writer and educator. Follow her adventures in food, writing and parenting on Instagram at ms_lindalee and at lindaleebaird.com.
A helping of news and updates from the Edible world
Distillery Trail launches
egular readers of Edible Columbus have already learned about the Columbus Ale Trail for breweries (Spring 2021 issue) and the Central Ohio Wine Country Passport Trail for wineries (Fall 2021 issue). The trend continues with the January introduction of a new Columbus Distillery Trail. Seven local distilleries are participating in the new venture, which has a passport and prize program much like the other trails.
“Columbus distilleries are defining one of the most exciting spirits and cocktail scenes in the country,” officials of Experience Columbus said at the launch. Distilleries taking part in the new program include Echo Spirits Distilling Co., Endeavor Brewing and Spirits, 451 Spirits, High Bank Distillery, Middle West Spirits, Noble Cut Distillery and Watershed Distillery. The trail will help visitors experience a wide variety of tastes, from the small-batch experimental creations at 451 Spirits to Noble Cut’s limoncello and the reimagined classic genever at Echo Spirits. Middle West Spirits alone offers 15 types of spirits, including whiskies, vodkas and bourbon cream. Making a purchase of liquor or food or souvenirs at any four stops will get you a custom Simple Times mixer, and visiting all seven earns a “The Proof is in the Proof” Columbus Distillery Trail T-shirt.
Former school repurposed
Food Truck Festival expands
In January, Wolf’s Ridge Brewing opened its new Understory lounge and bar concept at the redeveloped Open Air complex at Neil Avenue and West Hudson Street. They also maintain a space that can be rented for weddings and other events. Understory was quickly followed by Emmett’s Café, which opened its second location there and is serving an expanded menu based on the original Brewery District operation. As the weather warms, both operations will take advantage of a large outdoor patio overlooking the park and the Olentangy Trail.
More than 50 food trucks from Ohio and neighboring states are expected to participate in the festival Aug. 19–21. The event features two dozen artisans and crafters as well as live music throughout the weekend on two stages. There also will be an activity and play area for kids.
n unusual “open air” school built in the 1920s for local students at risk of tuberculosis has been transformed into a unique restaurant and bar complex bordering Tuttle Park. The historic building was designed by local architect Howard Dwight Smith, best known as the designer of Ohio Stadium.
Opened in 1929, the brick Open Air School replaced an earlier frame building but served the same purpose: to try to fend off the rampant tuberculosis of the era by providing students with abundant fresh air and outdoor play areas. As antibiotics helped stem the disease, the building became Neil Avenue Elementary before closing in 1975. The Columbus school district sold the site to the Kelley Companies in 2017.
he Columbus Food Truck Festival will return to the Franklin County Fairgrounds this summer and will expand to a three-day event. Now in its 11th year, the festival was based in Downtown Columbus until the pandemic shut down the event in 2020. It returned last summer and chose the fairgrounds location for better crowd management and safety protocols, as well as accessible parking. “We had an amazing turnout last year that far exceeded our expectations and our guests really liked the location,” said Mike Gallicchio, co-organizer of the event with Chas Kaplan.
Admission is $5 per person for a single day ticket or $10 per person for all three days. Children 12 and younger get in free if accompanied by an adult. A portion of the proceeds from the festival benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio and Music Loves Ohio, a nonprofit group supporting opportunities for students to pursue their passion for music. Tickets are now on sale at ColumbusFoodTruckFest.com. |
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