April 15, 2014

Springtime Frittata



This is what we're making folks!
It is recipe time folks.  I was gifted some Utah’s Own asparagus from Castle Valley Farms in Moab and since asparagus is the hallmark vegetable of spring to me I wanted to do something light and fresh.  I decided on a frittata which is excellent and easy to throw together and can be made in advance if you have an event to prepare for.  Frittatas are a favorite at my house because you can put just about anything in them.  We make them when we have leftovers that need to be used up.  Pulled pork?  Roasted veggies?  Taco meat?  Curried tofu?  All of these things are wonderful in a frittata, just maybe not at the same time. 
Since I was taking the opportunity to make a non-leftover based frittata I took some time and went to Tony Caputo’s Downtown Market for some unique ingredients.  That was fun and quite an education.  The folks at the deli counter were incredibly helpful, they are all passionate about the products they sell and excited to show them off.  I explained what I was doing and then spent the next hour tasting cheeses and meats they suggested and enjoying myself thoroughly.  I ended up choosing some Calabrese from Creminelli’s Fine Meats and the house made Caputo Burrata for my cheese. 

A little about my ingredients.  Italian Calabrese Salami is more commonly known as pepperoni to those of us in the U.S. and Creminelli makes the best I’ve ever had.  It’s got the perfect level of spiciness; you can feel the heat, but it doesn’t overwhelm the really wonderful flavor.  It’s the perfect thing to kick up my frittata and accentuate my beloved asparagus. 
Creminelli Calabrese.  Sooooo tasty.


The cheese I chose (say that 10 times fast) is a house made cheese from Tony Caputo’s, it’s called Burrata and if you like mozzarella you will go crazy for Burrata.  It’s kind of like mozzarella’s smoother, tastier cousin.  It is creamy, dreamy and the flavor is so rich.  Also, they present it wrapped up in banana leaves and tied with twine.  Cute!

Asparagus is the favorite vegetable of spring at my house, we eat as much of it as we can get for as long as it lasts.  People either love or hate it and I’ve discovered this has a lot to do with preparation.  The most common complaint is that it’s tough and woody.  This is true because once you harvest asparagus it starts to lignify (turn woody) from the base up but the woodiness can be avoided by trimming your spears.  Contrary to popular belief, peeling the base of the stalk won’t fix it.  There are a couple of methods for trimming, the cut or the snap.  I prefer the snap but I’ll tell you about both. 
The stars of this show, Caputo's Burrata, Creminelli's Calabrese and Castle Valley asparagus.


For the cut, you take a single spear of asparagus from your bunch and cut it where the white part turns to green.  Look at the end where you just cut it. You should see tightly packed, smooth looking, moist fibers.  If it doesn’t look like this or you see air pockets, keep trimming off a bit at a time until it looks like it should.  Once you have that done, use that spear as a guide, line it up with the rest of the bunch and cut them all together. Then peek at the cut ends and trim a little more if any of them look like they need it. 

Woody asparagus ends

The snap is pretty basic and goes faster for me.  You just take the spears, hold them by the ends, bend them and where they snap is a pretty good indicator (though not perfect) of where the woody part ends and the tender, glorious part begins.  I save my asparagus ends in a bag in the freezer along with a LOT of my vegetable trimmings and I use them to make vegetable stock when I’ve accumulated enough.

My girls make pretty eggs
Aside from the frittata filling ingredients the main player are the eggs.  I used eggs from my chickens for this but I LOVE Oakdell eggs and use them when my girls stop producing in the winter.  Also, when you season your ingredients you will want to over season because you’re not just seasoning the sautéed meats and veggies, you’re also seasoning a pan full of eggs and milk.  Here’s what we made:
 
 

Springtime Frittata
Ingredients:
4 oz. Creminelli Calabrese, cut into strips
8 oz Caputo’s Barruta, torn
1 bunch Castle Valley Asparagus, trimmed and then cut into 1 inch sections
8 large eggs
½ cup 2% milk
1 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

      
1.     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2.     Over medium high preheat an oven safe skillet (cast iron is an excellent choice) and if your pan is NOT non-stick you will want to oil the bottom and at least an inch up the sides.  Sautee the Calabrese in the skillet.
3.     When the meat is warmed through add the asparagus and your seasonings.  Let that cook until the asparagus is almost tender, stirring occasionally.
4.     Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.  Set aside.
Right before I added the egg mixture
5.     Once the asparagus is almost tender sprinkle the torn Burrata over the top.  When the cheese barely starts to melt, pour the egg mixture over the ingredients.  Once the egg mixture has been added you will not stir any more.  You can jiggle the pan to make certain there is good coverage and this helps keep the eggs fluffy.  When the eggs start to set up around the edges you will move your pan from the burner to the oven. 
Baked and set
6.     Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the center is firm and set.  Test it like you would a cake.  Use a toothpick or a knife, insert it into the center of the frittata and if it comes out clean it’s done.




I prefer to serve my frittata hot out of the oven, but some people like them slightly warm or cold. It’s your choice. I like to put a wooden cutting board over my pan and flip my frittata out, I like how it looks. It tastes just as good if you serve it straight from the pan.
Sliced and ready to eat


April 8, 2014

Su·per·la·tive: adjective : of highest kind, quality or order.


This will be the first in a series of blog posts putting a spotlight on Utah’s Own businesses and more importantly their owners.  If you know a Utah’s Own member that has a great story to tell (and really, don’t they all) please comment below.
I wanted to come up with the sweetest possible way to start with our Utah’s Own Member Spotlights so let’s talk about chocolate for a minute, shall we?  It’s amazing, wonderful and downright tasty in its sweetened candy form.  If you’ve ever made the mistake of eating a spoonful of bakers cocoa you know what I’m talking about and let’s just say that was a tough lesson for me to learn as a sneaky 5 year old.  We need to give proper credit to the Masters of chocolate confection creation who can take what is actually a rather bitter bean and turn it into, oh, let’s say, an Idle Isle Cherry Bomb.  Have you had one of these?  No?  Go get one, I’ll wait.  Yes?  You get to thank Rich VanDyke for them.

Rich and his wife Shari own and operate Idle Isle Superlatively Fine Candies in Brigham City.  I had a nice chat with Rich all about Idle Isle, chocolate and his family.  Backstory is so cool. 


Rich and Shari have been full owners of Idle Isle since 1984 but Rich was raised working for the family business.  His grandparents, Percy and Verabel Knudson opened the store in May of 1921 to sell sandwiches and candy but Rich described Grandma Vera to me as a serious cook and she eventually expanded the café into a full restaurant.  They even added an old-fashioned soda fountain, though at the time they just called it a soda fountain.  Grandma and Grandpa hired a man to come up from Salt Lake City to make the candy for them.  After several years Percy and Vera invited her brother and his wife, David and LaRita Call, to help with the Soda Fountain as David had experience running the Soda Fountain at Walgreens.  David started taking lessons from their chocolate maker and eventually took over the candy creation.

Over time, David created over 40 signature candy recipes for the family.  The most popular of which is the Almond Crème Toffee.  Talk about a hallmark invention in chocolate history.  He started with their standard ‘Melba’ chocolate (soft vanilla center dipped in chocolate) and worked his magic until you get the signature Almond Crème Toffee.  This candy is so popular that it has been ordered as gifts for various US Presidents.  Rich also told me, almost as an afterthought, this candy has been presented as a gift to the Queen of England and the Premier of Japan, neither of whom could be reached for comment.  President Nixon even included them in a gift of American products that he gave to the Leadership in China while trying to open up trade with that country.
Rich began helping out when he was still a little boy, Grandpa Percy paid him change to sweep ash out of the stove and haul coal.  Seriously, he was paid in nickels.  Grandpa wanted to make sure he understood the restaurant business from the bottom up and I’d say he was successful.  Rich started learning the secrets of candy making from his Uncle David when he got a bit older and eventually became one third owner of Idle Isle.  After committing 50 years to the business, Grandpa Percy sold his third to Rich in 1971.  Rich and Uncle David continued with Idle Isle until David retired and Rich bought the last portion of the business in 1984.  Rich and Shari have been sole owners ever since. 

In 1994 they decided to put all the focus onto the candy portion of the business and sold the café which is still in business and still sells some Idle Isle candies.  Rich said it was a tough decision but the best one he ever made for Idle Isle.  In 2004 they moved across the street into a shop dedicated to the family chocolates and have been expanding.  They’ve been able to add back in some homemade jams just like Percy and Vera used to make.  They also feature other candy makers in their shop, such as Boden Stick Candy from Hyrum, UT.  They’ve got fudge, chocolates, sugar free chocolates, beautifully colored rock candy (I just wanted to get a bunch and keep them in a jar on a window sill, so pretty), nut brittles, chocolate covered nuts and English toffee popcorn.  Did you hear me? ENGLISH TOFFEE POPCORN.  I can personally vouch for the wonderfulness of this.  They’ve even added a few new specialty candies.  You’ve heard of the Idle Isle Cherry Bomb?  They also have a Huckleberry Bomb and a Peanut Butter Bomb.  Rich tells me his kids named them, they took a taste and said, “DAD!  These are the BOMB!”  Totally sounds like something I would say.  In fact, I have said something like that.  When I got to visit the shop I said that about every single thing I tasted.  I’m not sure I could pick a favorite it but I think the chocolate caramels are in the top three. 
If you can’t make the pilgrimage to the store at 41 South Main in Brigham City please don’t despair, you can always order online here.  Also, check out their Facebook page for the latest happenings.

March 31, 2014

Introducing......


Utah’s Own has some major changes in the works.  You are probably well acquainted with Seth Winterton and Tamra Watson, the usual Utah’s Own fanatics – but I’m excited to introduce you to some new team members.  We’ve got a new Grand and Illustrious leader, Commissioner LuAnn Adams.  She’s passionate about local food and agriculture and is a driving force in our little group.  She also bakes a mean pie.  Seriously, ask her about her Lemon Merengue.  Then there’s me, I’m Sarah Dalton, a Utah’s Own fanatic in training, a food-lover and chef.  I love everything about Utah Food, and am eager to share my thoughts with you.  
The coming year is full of so many exciting plans: more featured members, more social media interaction, and a new awesome website in August. I find it fitting that we’re getting this rolling in the Spring.  Talk about your new beginnings.  I know what Utah’s Own is amped up about, and I’m going to tell you all about it. BUT, more importantly, I want to know what YOU are interested in too.  We’re going to chat about that in a bit. 

Let’s get this party started:
I’m going to tell you some ideas the team has been thinking about. As you read through our ideas please consider anything that you might like to see:

Upcoming blog posts:

·         Weekly Member Feature: This is where I meet with our amazing business owners; tell you their story and hopefully sample yummy food. 

·         Who’s New: An introduction to new members will give everyone an idea of where to spend your local dollars.

·         Lots and LOTS of recipes

·         Local ‘Food Challenges’ (because eating to excess can sometimes be fun, especially when there are prizes involved)

·         Farmer’s Markets statewide.  Utah’s Own is not only for the Wasatch Front.

·         Roadside produce stands:  Where they are and what they sell.

·         Pick your own produce destinations:  Do YOU know Utah has a large number of farms that allow you to pick your own produce, usually for a substantial discount?

·         What’s ripe NOW updates because the growing season is upon us.  Yay!

·         Guest Chef and Food Bloggers

·         We’ve got more ideas, but this covers quite a bit of what we’re thinking so far. 

We will be blogging once or twice a week to start, possibly increasing if you show us love.  (You know, likes, comments, shares, etc.)
Second, ideas for events (some of these are in the works, some are being debated):

·         More contests than we have ever done before.  Mostly recipe contests because, well, FOOD!

·         Maybe a tree or even a booth at the Festival of Trees

·         A Utah’s Own Pavilion at the Utah Arts Festival

·         A Utah’s Own party at Sundance

·         Cooking Classes led by a local chef, using Utah’s Own ingredients (Of COURSE!)

·         Tastings (Chocolate,  honey, baked goods, gourmet candy and popcorn, local cured meats, jams and jellies, cheeses, whatever else we can justify)

·         An ENTIRE FESTIVAL sponsored by and featuring Utah’s Own businesses and products!  I’m really excited about this one, can you tell?
Third and finally, things we have already done:

·         Pinterest:  WOW, that site is popular and is such a good place to share recipes.

·         Facebook:  You should check it out; we are always geeking out about food, and agriculture, but mostly food.

·         Twitter: @utahsown, @seth61, @SarahUTFoodie, Sometimes you just need to send out a tweet about a REALLY good deal or snack or something.

·         Instagram account (utahsown): If everyone is going to sharing food pictures we want to be in on that.  We promise, NO DUCK FACE (unless it is attached to an actual duck).

·         New website (this should be up in August)


As you can tell, I’m a foodie, all of the Utah’s Own folks are foodies.  We love the stuff.  Particularly the local stuff.  Here’s what else we’re passionate about:  Helping out the people in our community.  Aside from the fact that doing your buying and consuming locally just makes sense, it is also the best thing for our local economy.  This is all about helping Susie-Neighbor-lady and Mike-Next-door-guy.
So now that I’ve given you an idea of what we have floating around in our headspace, I want to hear from you.  What kinds of things do we need to talk about?  Particular businesses or types of businesses that you want to hear about? More food pictures?  Fewer food pictures? (I don’t understand this one, but I’d be willing to entertain the thought) Interesting news in the local food business scene?  Who do you know that would GLEAM in a blog spotlight?  Who has a fantastic business that could benefit from all the perks (read: free advertising) that comes with being a Utah’s Own member?

Now that you know about our plans, I hope you stay on board and tell all sorts of people about us. This is going to be fun.

November 20, 2013

Sharing the Miracle and Gift of Food - Do you want to help?

Call it a simple experiment of gratitude.

I have spent countless hours contemplating food – its origin, how it was grown/made, and why YOU should buy it.

Naturally, as a food marketer I have the chance to mingle among many groups and organizations seeking to grow, produce, process or sell food.

I have sat in countless meetings debating the adequate size of farms, availability of distribution, and the lack of agriculture education. I’ve learned of finance structures, savvy marketing techniques and point-of-sale strategies. People have marched me to their bandwagons of “food” causes and encouraged me to join the movement.

Food education and marketing is important, yes. Evaluating sustainable practices and proper ingredients is also of value. Yet, I have come to the realization we as a society can become so “obsessed” or “specialized” in our causes that perhaps we miss the greatest lesson of all: Food is a Gift, and Growing Food is a Miracle.
Our fruits and vegetables come from a tiny seed – that is placed in the earth, and with a bit of light and nourishment, it grows and produces fruit to sustain us.

Bread, Pasta, and Rice – all derive from seeds. Even your favorite brand of potato chip was once in the form of “corn” or “potatoes.”

And don’t forget the gift of livestock in the form of chicken, turkey, pork, beef or lamb. Incredible animals that can turn the vegetation unfit for humans – grass, alfalfa, range plants and weeds – into a plethora of meal-time options from chops to roasts to a fast-food burger.
Yes, Food is Miracle.

So, as I look forward to the annual celebration of Thanksgiving -- a holiday to celebrate a bountiful harvest and the gift of food -- I am truly grateful.

As I embrace this new found gratitude, I want to celebrate the miracle of Utah food with you. I want to share some of Utah’s bounty with those who perhaps are not as lucky as I this season.

And so, I offer these gifts, Two Simple Thanksgiving Meals made from Utah's Own Ingredients:
  • Meat: 2 Frozen Norbest Turkeys (12 to 14 lbs)
  • Seasoning: RealSalt
  • Bread: 2 Bags of Terrels Country Rolls with Honey Butter
  • Fruit: 2 Boxes of Utah Apples
  • Assorted Vegetables: Lettuce, Onions (all Utah Grown)
  • Beverage: 2 half-gallons of Fresh Apple Juice
  • Dessert: Farr’s Ice Cream
But I need YOUR help in sharing these gifts. How, you may ask?

Simply express your “interest” in helping us spread the bounty – leave us a “I want to help” message on this blog post, Facebook page, or tweet @utahsown. If you're hashtag savvy - use #miracleoffood or #utahsown to help spread the word.

Please note: you don’t have to describe your candidate’s dire need or even their back story. Really, this is about us trying to help you, help them. We’ll collect comments through Sunday evening, and select two interested helpers, and announce them via our Blog, Facebook and Twitter feeds. The meals will be available to pick up at our office (350 N Redwood Road, Salt Lake City), as early as Tuesday morning.

Remember, the key to this “experiment” is to help another in need, and not one’s own. It is about recognizing the gift of food, and then giving it to another – just like the Native Americans did with the pioneers.

Thanks in advance.

Food is a Miracle, a Gift – help me spread its bounty.

November 18, 2013

Thanksgiving Turkey Talk: Fresh to Frozen Birds and Knowing the Difference

Let's talk turkey.

Maybe the common idiomatic phrase is proving to be prophetic. This common idiomatic phrase means "to talk frankly" or openly. I find it fascinating that the changes currently happening in the food industry are demanding this exact definition: a plea to be honest about their food, how it was grown/raised, and processed.

As I spend much of my time in the marketing world, I am amazed how easily terms can be interchanged, stretched and molded to try to market to perhaps a less informed crowd that simply likes the illusion that perhaps they have jumped on the bandwagon.

So let's talk turkey: literally, let's be "frank" about some terms you may see this week as you are shopping from the Winter's Farmers Market to a big-box store.

Term #1: Fresh Turkey
The word "fresh" is becoming a buzzword among grocery retailers; but when it comes to purchasing meat, its crucial to understand the true meaning.

According to the USDA, a "fresh" turkey means the deep internal muscle has not fallen below 26 degrees Fahrenheit, during or after processing. Fresh meat does not have a long shelf-life and is susceptible to spoilage when not stored correctly. If you plan on purchasing fresh meat, according to the USDA definition, make sure you plan on cooking the meat within days of purchase. 

However, to some consumers "fresh" simply means the bird was gobbling on a Utah Farm during the last few weeks. This definition of "fresh" can come refrigerated or frozen. Some local growers, like Utah Natural Meat or McDowell Family Farms have cornered a niche marketing in growing your bird; in addition, Norbest, the marketing brand for Moroni Feed Processing Plant in Sanpete Co., also have "fresh" options that meet consumers expectations. Talk with these "experts" on how to best store your turkey until the holiday. Keep your family safe, by keeping your bird at the right temperature. 

Term #2: Refrigerated Turkey
As you browse the market, you'll also notice some turkeys will be advertised as refrigerated. At the time of processing, a refrigerated turkey is quickly chilled to 24 to 26 degrees Fahrenheit. A consumer will notice a bit of "stiffness" or a "frosted" exterior, but its not as hard/solid as a frozen bird. 

Refrigerated birds reduce the time of thawing for consumers, but also protect the consumer from food borne illness that could occur with fresh meat. The shelf-life of a refrigerated bird is also extended to about 28 days (as long as stored at proper temperatures). Keep in mind if you plan on purchasing this type of turkey a few days in advance, you'll need the extra space in your refrigerator. 

Term #3: Frozen Turkey
For most, a frozen turkey will be sufficient. According to the USDA, a frozen turkey is one that has been cooled to zero degrees Fahrenheit. Most turkeys that are sold in traditional grocery stores are frozen, because it enables a retailer to extend the shelf-life of the product to ensure a profitable sale. A frozen bird can maintain its flavor for about two years.

A frozen bird are the most popular for the economically conscious. They're often offered at discounted prices to lull a consumer into a store.

If a frozen bird is your choice, please make sure you schedule plenty of time for thawing your frozen bird. The average turkey will take 2 to 3 days to thaw in a refrigerator, or if your a mathematician, its about 4 hours per pound.

So, now that you've been informed - let's talk turkey. Perhaps you are a curious consumer aching to know the very second your turkey sacrificed itself for your meal. Guess what? It's on the original label of every bird every manufactured, and called a Julian Date. Such dates are required by the USDA, for traceability, in case of a breakout of food-borne illness.

So, let's have some fun. Recently, I took this picture of a Norbest Turkey Label:

The Lot number identifies the Julian Date (pictured at the very top of the label). I called Norbest Customer Service, and they were kind enough to tell me the Julian Date.

Here's how to decipher a Julian Code on a Norbest Turkey:

Plant Code: 0
Flock Number: 22
Julian Date: 278 (or Oct 5)
Last Digit of Year: 2 (or 2012)
Batch Number: 00

What does this mean in English? The frozen turkey I looked at was processed Oct. 5, 2012. So I know it still has another year before it will lose its good flavor.

Please note, consumers don't have to worry about purchasing an out-of-date turkey at the grocery store; food processors and manufacturers are regulated regularly to ensure public food safety. I share the Julian date code merely for the curious of heart.

So congratulations, if you've made it to the end of this article, you definitely talked more "turkey" than most this season. Share your new found knowledge with your friends.

October 8, 2013

Savor a Utah Apple - Orchard Guide

Consider me an Apple Addict - eat 'em plain, with fresh ground peanut butter, or even a slice of cheese. Even dietitians rave about the healthy benefits - mainly fiber - that are found in apples. Hence, the famous adage: "An apple a day, keeps the doctor away."

Well with flu season on its way, its good thing apple season is here to stay.

So, do yourself a favor - stop by a local farmers market and/or orchard to pick up some local apples. They'll be in season until Christmas, so you don't want to miss your opportunity to savor them at their peak flavor.

If you're unfamiliar with Utah Apple Orchards, or want to try a new place, check our listing below:



August 7, 2013

Cheese and Potatoes?! Yes Please!

funeral potatoes \ fyün-rəl  pə-ˈtā-tōz \ : a baked cheesy potato casserole often served at family gatherings and luncheons following funerals.
When "mmmmmmm's" and "yummmmm's" are the reaction to a traditional, well-known  Utah dish, you know you must have a winner. So why not obtain the title and bragging rights to accompany your family's famous funeral potato recipe?
Plan to enter the Utah's Own Funeral Potatoes Cookoff, Sept 12, Utah State Fair Park, at 7 p.m. and win a grocery-store gift card. Prizes will include $150 for first, $100 for second and $75 for third.
For contest rules and entry, please visit the Utah State Fair Indoor-Cook-Off Page.
As each recipe will be required to use at least 3 Utah's Own ingredients, a simple list has been provided below: 
  1. Potatoes:
    • Buy a local potato at a farmers market or from a Community Supported Agriculture Farm/Garden; if you are looking in a grocery store - try a small cooperative store (such as Liberty Heights Fresh or Wasatch Front Farmers Market Store); or maybe you've even grown some this year in your personal or community garden. Take advantage of those potatoes that are ready to harvest.
  2. Utah Cheese: 
  3. Other Dairy (Milk, Butter, Sour Cream, etc):
    • Perishable dairy products such as milk, butter and creams are not permitted to be sold at a community farmers market - so search your grocery store for brands like Meadow Gold* and Winder.
  4. Spices/Seasonings:
  5. Other Vegetables: (Peppers, Onions, etc) 
    • Including vegetables in your recipe can add a unique flavor - or you can used them for your dish's appearance/presentation points. Consider placing a local tomato in the form of a rose on top, or decorating with some colorful Utah peppers (red, yellow and green). Onions do well in this dish, so make sure to find them at your local farmers market.
  6. Utah Breads or Tortilla Chips (potential topping):
*Not locally owned, but use local ingredients.
Other local products can be found at utahsown.utah.gov.

Best of Luck in the Contest - We will see you Sept. 12!
 

September 24, 2012

Utah's Own Funeral Potatoes Cookoff

Seven dishes, and five contestants gathered at the State Fair, Sept 13, for the 2nd annual Utah's Own Funeral Potatoes Cook-off.




Surprisingly, the winner, Laurie Wilberg had never made funeral potatoes before, except for a trial pan she fed to some close family and friends. Her winning recipe (below) was inspired by the Utah's Own Listing.

"I was scanning the list, and the first thing I noticed was Don Julio Chips." She said.

A simple tortilla chip, inspired her to create a scrumptious, non-traditional, southwestern funeral potato casserole. Her use of Sawyer's Premium Potato Soup Mix, instead of the traditional cream of chicken or cheddar cheese soup also gave her recipe a winning edge.



The second place winner, Gina Varni, used farm fresh dairy products from Winder Farms to give her recipe a winning flavor. She also used fresh potatoes.


The third place winner, Nancy Judd, may consider herself to be a funeral potato enthusiast. She entered three different dishes with a variety of different flavors. The secret to her third place recipe was the use of sharp cheddar cheese and garlic flavored croutons.


If you are interested in trying any of the seven dishes entered during Utah's Own Funeral Potatoes contest, you'll find the recipes here.

Utah's Own would also like to thank the Utah Department of Agriculture, Beehive Cheese and Oh Sweet Basil for providing judges, as well as Harmons Grocery Store for providing gift cards ($150, $100, $50), for the winners.

August 27, 2012

Taste of Utah: Redefining the Quality of a Free Sample

Join Utah’s Own in celebration of more than 50 locally grown, processed and manufactured products, Sept. 6, noon to 8 p.m., in the Specialty Event Tent at the Utah State Fair.

On opening day at the fair, visitors will be free to roam the tent and sample a variety of local meats, fresh produce, cheeses, beverages, sweets and more. This feast of local food is included with the purchase of a one day fair pass ($5).

Exhibitors will include popular farmer’s market vendors, such as Beehive Cheese, Butchers Bunches and Happy Monkey Hummus, to grocery store favorites like Miller Honey, Fat Boy, Snap Daddy's and Utah Truffles.

In addition, the event will offer a gluten free section full of sweets, breads and crackers. Other unique exhibitors will sample handmade soaps. A complete listing of exhibitors can be found here.

June 18, 2012

Utah 10,000 Garden Challenge

Utah's Garden Challenge is asking gardeners to step forward and register their gardens, large or small. This is a chance to celebrate locally grown food. Take pride in your community; join your freinds and neighbors and document your agricultural roots.

10,000 gardens is the goal. There is no timeline, but we hope to have accomplished this goal by the fall harvest.

 "The Department of Agriculture and Food recognizes the self-sufficency and sustainability of our Utah citizens and we want to acknowledge that quality by issuing this challenge", said Leonard Blackham, Commissioner of Agriculture and Food. "It is our hope that all of our food growers and communities will participate in this fun and worthwhile event. "

Sign up  to win a $500 gift certificate from IFA County Stores or dinner from the Slopes or The Farm Restaurants in Park City. Winners will be selected at random for each 1000 gardens registered.

Check back to the site frequently and watch the website map grow in population. This is your chance to put your garden on the map!