If the recent ban in California has you thinking of your foie gras options in Atlanta, you're not alone. The controversial and delectable fatty liver has been showing up on the menus of a few of the most prominent new restaurants in town. The Spence and White Oak Kitchen are featuring some plates with it, while the Lawrence has the more subtle inclusion of "foie butter" in their stuffed poussin.
National Farmers Market Week, this year to occur Aug. 5-12 as proclaimed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is a very nice idea, but here in metro Atlanta, it just won’t do. No, we’ve got Farmers Market Month, thankyouverymuch. It’s brought to you by—who else?—area farmers markets.
It’s an irony of our city that, although we are surrounded by roads named Peachtree, very rarely do Atlantans set eyes on actual peach trees. Scoring a true Georgia peach is almost as difficult. Grocery stores shamelessly display South Carolina and – horror of horrors – California peaches, as if Georgia's core identity weren't on the line.
When an independent restaurant buys from local farmers, it sends an important message to the community about the quality and value of locally grown foods. But when large hotel companies start allowing—or even encouraging—their chefs to source locally, then you can be sure something big is happening.Such changes made on a corporate level represent a shift in companies’ attitudes, a significant revision of purchasing and accounting procedures, and a sea change in the dining preferences of their customers.
Launching a new business is challenging. Launching a food-related business can be especially difficult. First, there are all the costs associated with any manufacturing venture: sourcing and storing supplies, purchasing equipment, courting customers, establishing delivery and billing procedures. And then, because the end product is edible, there’s a maze of state licensing rules to navigate, with resulting fees and inspections from various government agencies. The process can take months and cost thousands—or hundreds of thousands—of dollars.
When the warm weather dissipates, farmers begin to fill their market stalls with hardy root vegetables: turnips, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, winter radishes. But this year, customers can also find an exotic tuber among the local mix: fresh ginger.