It’s All About the IngredientsBy Carla Beocklin
Take a moment to consider where last night’s meal originated, or what the salad from this afternoon’s lunch contains. Because there is a large amount of discussion around eating healthy, living consciously, and choosing organically, people are beginning to look into one of the most important factors about food: what is actually in it. In many instances, the answer may be a bit alarming, but in the growing number of many Park City eateries, venues, and homes, diners can rest assured that their cuisine is responsibly procured.
Last March, the Park City Chapter of Slow Food Utah hosted an event at the Swaner EcoCenter to introduce the greater Park City area to
producers that help deliver local, healthy foods to neighborhood tables. Meet the Producers, which is free and open to the public, was Park City’s third annual event. Over 30 regional bakers, ranchers, farmers, artisans, cheese makers, and other members of the local food scene were on site to share a taste of their fare and greet their consumers. The event puts a face to a name to some of the local artisans, such as Gold Creek Farm’s cheese maker Fernando Chavez, who described his award-winning processes to an eager crowd (his Smoked White Cheddar won Best of Class honors in the
2012 World Championship Cheese Contest). Familiar labels such as Paisley Farms and Summit County Beef ushered in visitors with tasty samples. Edible Wilds, new to the event, had curious visitors lined up for their unique blue spruce syrup. The syrup is handcrafted on their ranch from the lower branches of their blue spruces (Utah’s state tree). Once they have gnashed and soaked the wood, they collect the sap, boil it, and add cane sugar. The result is an utterly creative approach to syrup: sweet yet earthly with a pine undertone.
Other specialty items appealed to finest of connoisseurs. Creminelle’s Fine Meats produces handcrafted artisan salami and prosciutto, which is currently served at High West Distillery, Deer Valley Market, and Whole Foods; interestingly, the dry Utah climate (much like Biella, Italy), is ideal for making salami. Utah’s high desert and low humidity is also an ideal honey-making environment, a
fact well known to one Cache Valley clan. The Bees Brothers, a small family honey business, used Meet the Producers to display their honey caramels, which blend the buttery flavor of traditional caramel with their extra thick and delicious Utah honey. Restaurants like 350 Main, Escala Provisions Company, and The Farm also showcased dishes crafted from locally-sourced ingredients.
Meet the Producers was a great way to kick-off the growing season. Representatives from featured Community Supported Agriculture distributors, such as Park City’s Copper Moose Farms, were
on hand to educate people about their services and products. CSAs offer alternative models for
agriculture and food distribution for all seasons, and Meet the Producers provided an opportunity for people to learn more about these programs, support locally sourced products, purchase shares, and become proactively involved.
At the core of its mission, Slow Food Park City celebrates and promotes sustainably grown products and honors the hardworking farmers and artisans that provide the community with natural, nutritious, exquisite food. The organization also emphasizes that eating locally is about pleasure, commemoration, and health. With this year’s event attracting over twice as many guests as last year’s, it appears as though word is getting out: shop and source local!
Slow Food Park City | facebook.com/slowfoodpc