Thursday, July 15, 2010

If you're going to San Francisco...

pologies for the delay in posting! We were in San Francisco for a week, and didn't have much of a change to squeeze a blog post in between visiting friends and exploring the city.

What of the 100 mile challenge, you ask? WELL. One aspect of the rule-book for the Challenge is that when you travel, you either take food from your local area with you, OR... you try to ensure that the food you're eating at your destination is as local as possible. Since we were in California, we had some of the freshest ingredients possible at our disposal, and we had the chance to enjoy some great food that we'd been missing terribly here in Toronto.

I had noticed how much my palate had changed in terms of being able to appreciate the nuances of flavour in the foods we cooked without them being slathered in spices, but to suddenly have exposure to items I'd normally taken for granted was mind boggling. I'd always loved avocados, but eating them again in SF was like an entirely new experience: there are intricate textures and flavours present in those gorgeous green fruits, and I had never taken the time to just sit down and appreciate every layer of them before.

LEMONS! I normally have half a dozen of them at the house at any given time, but after not having had them for a month, it was something truly special to have it freshly squeezed into a glass of water, or over an organic salad. I'd been using lemon balm or sorrel on occasion to get that lemony-sort-of-taste in food, but really? It just wasn't the same.

I loved so many things about San Francisco, but one of the aspects I appreciated the most was the abundance of fresh produce and really, really good vegetarian food.
We ate breakfast one day at a little Vegan restaurant called "Herbivore" on Valencia avenue:

I'd recommend this place to ANYONE who'll be visiting the Bay area, regardless of if you're a veggie-vore or not. The food was exquisite, the energy of the place was vibrant and welcoming, and the servers were sweet and friendly. Seriously, one of my favourite places I visited while we were there.

We were a bit spoiled in being able to diverge a little from local Canadian fare for a week, but we've returned just as eager and dedicated to this 100 Mile sojourn as before. Today I picked up some incredible blueberries, honey, tomatoes and potatoes from the Mel Lastman Square farmer's market, and will be heading back to the St. Lawrence Market this weekend for some additional ingredients.

Note: I'm afraid that I will personally have to make some amendments/allowances for my own part of the 100 mile journey: I've developed a wheat sensitivity, and since I can only eat so much barley, I'm re-introducing rice and quinoa into my meal planning. No, they're not local grains, but if allowances have to be made for health reasons, they are going to be organic and free-trade. Nathaniel will still be adhering to more stringent locavore guidelines, so the foreign 'contraband' will be limited to meals I make to take to work with me, etc.


Unknown July 19, 2010 at 1:08 PM  

do you want any local, organic spelt flour? I can pick some up on saturday, if you'd like.

Catherine (Cate) July 22, 2010 at 1:35 PM  

Oh my gods. You can get local, organic spelt flour??? I'm unemployed now and have to be a bit $$ conscious for a bit, but if I could just get you to scout out for me the cost of the stuff, that would be divine, thank you!