Below is a weekly food roundup, locally and beyond, of ideas for what to cook, where to eat, things to consider and actions to inspire. If you have something to add to a future Friday Food list, please share it in the comments section below. Enjoy the weekend!
Watching Football This Weekend?
Cheddar-Beer Fondue – A great twist on the more well-known Gruyère and Swiss variety.
Ina Garten’s simple, delicious Guacamole
For chips, try the Simply Beyond Black Bean from Way Better Snacks.
Nutritious and flavorful even if you find yourself without mustard seeds on hand.
This is on the to-try list.
Can be made in advance and served hot or at room temperature. It’s a hit even for the non-olive and/or prune lover.
Good Food Awards
I had the opportunity to volunteer at this event last night at the Palace of Fine Arts and was inspired to witness the 126 winners representing 32 states be honored for their tasty, authentic, responsible food or drink.
Alice Waters and Ruth Reichl presented the medals to winners selected from 1,450 entries in the categories of chocolate, cheese, charcuterie, coffee, confections, pickles, preserves, olive oil, beer and spirits. Post ceremony, there was an opportunity to sample dishes from local restaurants and products from winners. The chocolate combinations including a Rosemary Almond Brittle from Ohio and a creamy Butter Caramel with Fleur de Sel from Colorado were beyond phenomenal. I can’t stop thinking about them.
FOOD for THOUGHT
Marion Nestle, NYU professor and public health and nutrition policy expert, wrote her last column for the San Francisco Chronicle last month, providing a look back at 2013 and the progress made toward a food system that values health and the environment over corporate profits.
The area she sees a gap in progress is in “the creation of a stronger and more compassionate safety net for the poor and unemployed.”
One group working toward that goal is The California Food Policy Council, a network of 19 groups around the state with a goal to ensure that California’s food system reflects the needs of all of its communities. They are working to persuade legislators to pass laws that would support sustainable agriculture and safeguard soil and water quality for large and small farmers.
The idea, organizers say, is to make healthful, affordable food options available for low-income urban dwellers, schoolchildren and others. The council, in a report, already is touting some successes, including the passage last year of bills that expanded access to fresh produce for food-stamp recipients, gave property owners a tax break for urban farms and gardens and cleared the way for driver’s licenses for immigrant farm workers.
“A lot more can be done that hasn’t been done,” said Michael Dimock, the group’s strategic adviser and president of Roots of Change, a nonprofit dedicated to revamping food policy. “We think California is a bellwether for food and agriculture policy and Californians are more interested than ever in local food systems.”
The California Food Policy Council hopes to be a significant resource for voters as well as to politicians and policy circles that need guidance on what the public wants.