Foodies and other connoisseurs have a passion for local ingredients. But for someone just getting starting to explore cuisine, the focus on local can be confusing. At Bricco, we have focused on locally-sourced ingredients for years, and one question we hear from diners is “why we do choose local when modern technology lets us fly food in from all over the world?”
Farm-to-plate freshness has several big advantages:
• You eat higher-nutrition foods which are picked at their prime and unprocessed
• You support local businesses and farmers, helping your community
• You reduce your carbon footprint by relying less on foods which have to be transported over long distances using fossil fuels
• You get to more actively consider your meals by trying new local foods, which can help you diversify your diet
• You get to enjoy your food more, because local food picked at its peak tastes better
• You encourage local sustainable agriculture rather than global processes which emphasize mass production to offset transport costs
In Pennsylvania, we’re lucky. We have tons of great farmers and food producers, so when you shop local you can try a range of new products. Pennsylvania local foods include:
• Produce. Pennsylvania has many fruits and vegetables, from basics — such as apples and lettuce — to ones you might not have tried yet. For instance, dandelion is traditionally served with bacon, and this green is packed with antioxidants. Teaberries are another great local fruit that might be new to you. These berries have a slight wintergreen flavor, which makes them a great treat.
• Mushrooms. The chefs at Bricco have hosted pop-up dining events involving local mushrooms, which are a staple of this region. Pennsylvania has many wooded areas, which provide ripe conditions for mushrooms and other fungi to grow. Wild mushrooms and farm-raised mushrooms are a wonderful way to experience this local favorite.
• Cheese. Pennsylvania is making a name for itself with cheese. The Pennsylvania Cheese Guild and other groups have been promoting the wonderful work artisanal cheesemakers have been doing in the state. Raw milk cheeses, goat milk cheeses and other delicacies are among those made by local producers.
• Birch syrup and birch beer. Pennsylvania has many birch trees and they can be tapped to make delicious birch-flavored products. More subtle than the flavor of maple, birch products are a local sweet treat!
Have you tried any of these local foods, or others? Have you considered shaking things up in the kitchen and trying new ways of combining locally-sourced and traditional ingredients? If you haven’t had a chance, why not let professional chefs create local foods for you?
If you’re looking for a beautiful atmosphere in which to discover local flavors, let Bricco staff treat you to an incredible dining experience. Reserve your spot at Bricco today and start exploring the local food scene.