Don’t cry baby, it’s sweet onion season. Walla Walla sweet onions became Washington’s official state vegetable in 2007 thanks to a dedicated group of junior high students who lobbied the state legislature. A soldier named Peter Pieri is credited with bringing sweet onion seeds to Washington from the island of Corsica in the
1880s. Sweet onions have a very low amount of pyruvic acid which is the compound that makes you cry and gives onions their pungent bite. This favored allium is also 95 percent water which means they have to be harvested by hand as they are much more delicate than their regular onion brethren. Their shelve life is shorter too, usually only available from mid-June to late August.
Continue reading Onion Funion – Washington
Yes, we will admit, we are smitten with the mitten – the state of Michigan, that is (look at a map of the state if you don’t get the mitten reference). The whole state is crazy for cherries, but tart cherries are a whole ‘nother story. Michigan is the top producer of tart cherries in the country, with 217 million pounds produced in 2013 according to the USDA.
Besides being delish, tart cherries are good for you. Studies link tart cherries with soothing inflammation and arthritis symptoms, easing muscle pain after a workout and enhancing sleep, according to the Cherry Marketing Institute. Continue reading Tart Cherries are so Very – Michigan
Indiana is pie country and Hoosiers are serious about their pastry. In 2009, the Indiana legislature declared sugar cream pie — also called Hoosier pie — as the official state pie of Indiana. Pies of this type, also known as desperation pies, were created when folks had to make do with whatever ingredients they had on hand. This delicious custardy concoction of very unpretentious ingredients probably dates back to the 1850s and might have the Amish or Quakers to thank. Both groups historically have had strong representation in the state. Even today, Indiana has the world’s third largest population for Amish. Lots of variations of this pie exist, but we liked this recipe as the filling stays firm and tends not to weep. Yup, sometimes simple is best.
Continue reading Give Mama Some Sugar … Sugar Cream Pie – Indiana
As the official state fruit of Oregon, pears are one of the oldest cultivated fruits. Pears were probably brought to this part of the country by early colonists. They thrive in the Northwest due to ideal growing conditions which include volcanic soil, warm days and cool nights. Pears are the state’s number one tree fruit crop and Oregon
is ranked second in the U.S. for fresh pear production, according to USA Pears. At only 100 calories each, the pear is a good source of vitamin C and provides almost a quarter of the daily value for fiber.
Continue reading Picka Pecka Pears – Oregon
Time to bust out your fancy hats, snappy suits and dresses, it’s Kentucky Derby season! Folks in Louisville (say it right, “Lew-a-vul”) have some menu favorites that will be part of the festivities – among them, mint juleps, Hot Browns (hot turkey club sandwiches with Mornay sauce), rolled oysters, and those little fancy cucumber sandwiches that are cut oh-so elegantly. The sweet finale often is a chocolate chip pecan pie flavored with a bit of Kentucky bourbon.
Continue reading A Race Day Favorite – Kentucky
The Arkansas Delta is the sister region to the Mississippi Delta, both sharing an alluvial plain that is home to small rural towns, migratory birds, and large, flat tracts of farmland. One of the key crops grown on the Arkansas side is rice – that versatile grain that feeds a good portion of the world. A little more than a century ago, a farmer by the name of W.H. Fuller took a hunting trip to Louisiana where he saw rice growing. Thinking that the agricultural conditions in Arkansas would be quite similar, he brought the grain back, and is credited with starting the rice industry in the state. And a good job he did — because today, Arkansas is the leading producer of rice in the United States.
With so many ways to prepare rice, we opted to bring you a recipe that utilizes brown rice, which is a less processed whole grain without the husk. It retains the bran and germ layers, making it a Continue reading Arkansas Rice Reigns