Each year, Saveur Magazine puts out the top 100 list of food items around the world. It’s hard for me to understand how not all 100 items are from the Bay Area, but here are the one’s that caught their attention this year. Congrats to our local celebrities.
1. Rancho Gordo, of the Napa Valley, has wowed many local restaurants with 30 varieties of heirloom beans, all indigenous to the Americas. Just like heirloom tomatoes, potatoes and meats, heirloom beans pack exceptional freshness and flavor. But Rancho Gordo is not just beans. They also offer corn tortillas, masa, pozole, wild rice, herbs, greens, and (drum-roll please) Chile peppers!! Their quote, “Never trust a man who doesn’t eat Chiles.” should give you an idea about their enthusiasm for chiles. Find them at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on Saturdays.
2. Avendanos market was written up as a butcher shop in Bernal Heights, but I see they are quite a bit more. Three visionary ladies (go ladies!) took over the closed space that was once Cicero’s family butcher shop. With Cicero as a consultant, they preserved the family butcher shop charm, and added prepared foods made from the finest ingredients. Brava!
3. My resolution for February 2008: Eat charcuterie at home, when it’s not a special occasion. Saveur has convinced me to scare-up Napa’s Fatted Calf, artisinal charcuterie. Fortunately, I don’t have to wait until my next trek to Napa. They are at the Berkeley Farmers Market and Ferry Plaza on Saturdays.
sidenote: Savuer was honoring the dying breed of traditional butcher shops. My favorite is at Piedmont Grocery in Oakland.
4. Peter Reinhart, the founder of Brother Juniper’s Bakery in Sonoma, got accolades for his life’s work as a baker, author and teacher of artisinal bread making. So what if he now lives in North Carolina. Surly it’s only temporary.