From Mexico to Minnesota
By Jorrie Johnson
According to the 2018 AvoScore Card published by Hass Avocado Board, avocado unit sales increased by 25.4% from 2017 to 2018, with the Great Lakes Region leading with a 26.3% increase. While the quantities increased, prices decreased 14.1% in 2018, and the average price per avocado was $1.10 across the United States ($1.16 in the Great Lakes Region and $1.11 in the Plains Region). Continue reading
Grown in Zumbrota
By Jorrie Johnson
Just three months after Dean and Jayne Bredlau met in 2014, Jayne was in a serious accident and fractured her tibia and fibula. During her recovery, the couple spent time conversing about life, challenges and their faith in God. In September 2015, they married and began their life together in Zumbrota. Combining Dean’s passion for farming and Jayne’s interest in marketing, My Sweet Greens MN was born in 2016 out of a dream to get back to what’s real and meaningful. Continue reading
There are numerous types of Asian cuisine, reflecting its diverse history and culture. As the modern Asian-American population evolves, the transformation of Asian ethnic cuisine continues to blend traditional and contemporary styles and flavors into Asian-American cuisine.
While there is a great deal of variety from one regional cuisine to another, the overriding commonality is that Asian cuisine is simply delicious. With an explosion of flavor in every bite, it’s always fun to dine at an Asian restaurant—whether it’s the food, the chopsticks, interior decor or the personable wait staff—it always seems like a special occasion.
Sake (pronounced SAH-kay), is a Japanese beverage made with rice and served at a variety of temperatures. It’s usually sipped while indulging in appetizers or sashimi and sushi at Japanese restaurants. Sake is also enjoyed on special occasions in traditional Japanese rituals, and it pairs well with lighter fare like fish, chicken and vegetarian dishes.
Rochester has a vast international dining scene given its size. There are numerous fantastic Asian restaurants in town—some are trendy and upscale presenting new twists on classic dishes, while others are traditional and beloved by visitors and locals alike.
In honor of Chinese New Year (February 5, 2019), my husband and I wanted to explore a sampling of new and established Asian restaurants in Rochester. There are several excellent Asian eateries, but we chose to visit Hunan Garden and Asia Fusion.
For the past 28 years, Wines of the World has offered an opportunity to enjoy a fine evening of food and wine tasting, while supporting the mission of Bear Creek Services. Rochester International Event Center is transformed to a showcase of more than 200 wines and delicious food, along with select beers and craft spirits, auction items, live music and more. The event closes with an opportunity to order wines featured at the event, at special event prices. Plan to enjoy these at a later date, in your souvenir wine glass.
WINE TASTING HOW-TO’S
At an event like this, where there is so much to sample, remember, you don’t have to try it all–well you can’t–and you don’t have to like everything you try. That said, being open to hearing why someone likes a wine you don’t can help you better understand, and identify, those wines which you are more likely to enjoy. Such insight can help you make better decisions when ordering wine at a restaurant or purchasing a bottle at a wine shop.
I WAS RAISED IN NORTHERN MINNESOTA EATING A BASIC, BLAND DIET. When I moved to Rochester about 20 years ago, a doctor’s wife told me about using chutney to flavor meat. Not knowing what chutney was, I simply nodded, smiled and agreed with her exotic palate.
A few years ago, after hearing about chutney again and again, I decided to learn more about it and discovered chutney is made of spices, vegetables and fruits. Commonly, chutney is a spiced relish or condiment used in Indian cooking. The holidays are apropos to bring on the spices, so let’s get started.
TO SOME PEOPLE THERE IS NO QUESTION—THEY HAVE THEIR ANNUAL TURKEY BRINING TRADITION.
I first heard about brining last year and upon being introduced, I searched and found that brine is a salt and water solution and learned that soaking in brine before roasting makes turkey juicer and tastier.
Myrecipes.com says, “Brining is a technique that submerges food in a salt solution to prevent moisture loss during cooking, creating succulent, juicy bites.” A basic brine can be used for fish, shrimp or white meats such as chicken, turkey or pork.
Smithsonian.com says when you place a turkey in a brine, the proteins in the turkey rearrange to incorporate the sodium and chloride ions from the salt. This reconfiguration of the protein makes the meat more tender.
Frozen turkeys found in the grocery stores are pre-brined, containing turkey broth, salt, sodium phosphate, sugar and “natural flavorings for tenderness and juiciness.” Brining a store-bought turkey is unnecessary. Untreated turkeys, from the wild or raised on a turkey farm, such as Ferndale Market, are best treated with a brine solution.
STUMPED ON SECRET SANTA IDEAS? NEED A HOSTESS GIFT? ATTEND THE FIFTH ANNUAL FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace, December 1, 2018, Mayo Civic Center, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. With treasures locally sourced and crafted by over 100 food artisans, Feast! features culinary gifts sure to impress everyone from Bob in accounting to your child’s third-grade teacher. For only $8, you can sample everything before you buy and watch cooking demonstrations. Supporting the local economy never tasted so good.
Check out a few of our FEAST! favorites at the event or on their websites. Visit local-feast.org for a complete list of exhibitors.
Maple Syrup from B&E’s Trees
B&E’s Trees is offering a bourban barrel-aged maple syrup as beautiful as it is delicious. Produced on an off-grid farm in Viroqua, Wisconsin, this pancake topper’s smoky vanilla tones (with hints of bourbon) enhances everything from carrots to cocktails. For more information visit BandEsTrees.com.
ITALY HAS OVER 2,500 INDIGENOUS TYPES OF GRAPES. ITALIAN WINEMAKERS CREATE WINE RANGING FROM FRUITY ROBUST REDS TO CRISP DRY AND SPARKLING WHITE WINES. WITH SO MANY VARIETIES, IT CAN MAKE THE SELECTION PROCESS DIFFICULT.
The Struggle is Real
There are so many native types of grapes in Italy because the landscape is superb for growing grapes. “Grape vines like to struggle. They grow well in rocky, mountainous or hilly regions, and they thrive in volcanic, prehistoric ocean beds,” says Robert Riggs, wine expert at Apollo Liquor. There are three volcanoes in Italy creating the perfect conditions for grapes: Mount Vesuvius on the mainland, Mount Etna on Sicily and the island volcano of Stromboli.
Expressive Italian White Grapes
“I love Italian whites. They are so, so expressive. The two main grapes are vermentino and verdicchio,” Riggs says. “Vermentino grapes are grown all over Italy, and even though it’s the same grape, it has different expressions.” In Sardinia the grapes create crisp and acidic wine. In Tuscany the wines are softer and rounder, and in Piedmont the wine is crisp with less mineral. Wine buyers beware: Italians have a habit of changing the name of the grape depending on the region. For example, the vermentino grape is known as the favorita grape in Piedmont.