Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday Chewsday

What are you eating around Michiana?
Let me know in the comments below, and share what local dish you had and where.

I had one of my personal favorites at the South Bend Farmer's Market Cafe, Ham and Bean soup.  They make it fresh every Tuesday and serve it with a huge slice of tender cornbread and some chopped white onion upon request.  I know some readers out there may turn their nose up at this, but I can't get enough of it, and apparently other South Bender's can't either.  Time and time again, I see many locals show up for their weekly bowl.

I think that tastes just as good as my mom's recipe (maybe better, but don't tell her that).  In addition to great Ham and Beans, the cafe offers a classic menu of Americana diner food.  They have all of the favorite breakfast dishes, prepared with farm fresh eggs and local produce, as well as an awesome lunch menu, featuring huge burgers made with fresh beef patties.

If you're in Goshen this week, make sure to stop by one of my favorite restaurants in Michiana, Constant Spring.  In addition to their great craft beer list, they have a great menu that is focused on sourcing local ingredients.  As stated on their homepage, "Here at Constant Spring we believe that knowing where our food comes from is very important, especially if we are inviting you to eat it."  

Michiana has some great hidden gems when it comes to dining, and some of them are making sustainability a main dish.  Let's find them, share them here and with the world. 



Thursday, October 3, 2013

Food for Thought

If you read my "About This Blog" entry, I'm sure you would conclude that this picture illustrates the saying, "You are what you eat."  And of course you would be right, however, by looking at this picture from a different perspective, other questions come to light.

This piece was painted by Giuseppe Arcimboldo and the subject is Rudolph II, the Holy Roman Emperor, portrayed as Vertumnus, the Roman god of seasons, bounties of food, and change.

The American food system has become so large, reaching the four corners of the world, that seasons don't really matter anymore.  Large chain grocery stores will almost always carry the same products year around.  The only thing that changes is the price and where in the world the item came from.  Because of this fact, most people don't consider changing how they cook to adapt to the seasons, and often just use the same ingredients year in and year out.  This routine allows for people to eat the same dishes and to never explore the wonderful bounty that local farmers and food producers offer.

Here are some questions to chew over:
If we didn't have access to certain foods year-round, how would that change the way we eat?
If we were to illustrate ourselves with the foods we consume, what would the portrait look like?
If foods reflect who we are, what does our modern food system say about us?

Tags: Food for Thought, Vertumnus, Arcimboldo, food system  




Wednesday, October 2, 2013

About This Blog: You Are What You Eat

As a foodie I love to talk about food, think about food, read about food, cook food, and of course, eat food.  Food is one of life's great pleasures.

Cooking is a passion of mine and when I set out to make a meal, I always try to start at absolute scratch.  I want to know what it takes to make a meal from the bitter beginning to the rewarding finale.  I wake up at 6 a.m. so as to form loaves of bread to rise and be ready for the oven by 8 a.m.,  I painstakingly peel little tiny pearl onions to put into my Beef Bourguingnon, I shake my head in disgust when a yolk in prematurely popped in the frying pan.

I am meticulous when it comes to food...some may even say I am a snob.

If it is snobbish to want the best of the best and the freshest of the fresh to make my meal the most delicious and nutritious, then I am a snob.  However, I think more people need to really look at their food with a critical snobby eye.

When buying an item from the grocery store, what sorts of questions do you think about?  I try (but not always succeed) to think of questions like:  Where does this item come from?  What sort of customer are they trying to sell it to?  Would I pay more for an organic version?  Are these companies selling images or food?

It is is this sort of thinking that has made me begin to explore the American food system and how it shapes (for better and for worse) the global economy, scientific advancement, and of course, each of us.

As the saying goes, "You are what you eat."  And if that is true...what am I?