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Ecco Caffè: More Fancy Coffee Coming to You Soon

In the name of research for an upcoming story, I was “experiencing” a mid-work-day lunch last week at Bar Bambino and in order to make it back to my desk without falling asleep, I had to finish off with an upper in order to ward off the carb + red wine–induced coma that was coming on strong.


Ecco coffee at Bar Bambino: A thing of beauty.

CSA Boxes: Eatwell Farm

OK—I’m about to get a little bit preachy. We just wrapped our annual green issue, which will be on newsstands at the end of March, and it prompted a lot of conversations around the office about what we could do…me, and you, and even you, and what habits we might change to make a positive impact on our city and world at large. Since I’m the assistant eat + drink editor, my thoughts always turn to food—how we communicate with food, how with celebrate with food, and how we get political with our food.


Green garlic
Photo by Joan Vicent Canto

Mushrooms: The Black Market

What’s exported to Europe from here, but underappreciated at home? The Bay Area’s black trumpet mushrooms, according to Connie Green, the owner of Wine Forest Mushrooms and long-time forager of wild fungi for some of the Bay Area’s top chefs—from Todd Humphries of Martini House to Thomas Keller of the French Laundry to Hiro Sone of Ame. Green ships out her prized trumpets, which she says grow better here than anywhere else, to cities like Barcelona and Paris. “But only a few chefs [here] really know what to do with them,” she says of what she calls the “blue cheese of mushrooms” because of their full flavor. According to Green, these select chefs include Traci Des Jardins, Mark Franz and Charles Phan.

7 Things in Food

Check out these 7 things—all happening this week.

1. Green delivery: This is the first full week that Grub Hub—online delivery guide and ordering service—is purchasing carbon offsets for every delivery.

2. Dine like it’s 1998: In celebration of 10 years in business, Absinthe is rolling back prices on signature dishes and cocktails from January 20 to February 1.

3. Go ‘shroomin’: Black Truffle dinner at Palmetto is tonight (January 22 at 7 p.m.). Start with beef carpaccio and shaved celery salad, move to pasta, then roasted guinea hen and finally a duet of desserts.

Mini-Mandarin Mania



Photo by Stefanie Michejda.

By Land and by Sea

Food From Cloned Animals Seems Safe, a Panel Finds—there’s an unsettling headline if I've ever seen one. What's reassuring about a panel saying something as off the wall as eating food sourced from clones "seems safe"? I think I’ll pass.


Wood-oven roasted rib eye

Fighting Palate Fatigue


It’s that time of year, when a high level of fatigue seems par for the course. With the holidays behind us and very few big events to look forward to, mid January usually marks the beginning of a personal hibernation of sorts, one that usually lasts until the start of March, when green things return to the market in earnest and the sun shines at least a few days of the week.

 

Kona Blue


Me and the Kona Blue folks

Aquaculture gets a bad rap, and sometimes for good reason—there’s a lot of sloppy practices out there—but when many fish are becoming commercially depleted to the point of extinction, aquaculture needs to get more consideration. That’s why I was especially intrigued about Kona Blue’s Kona Kampachi®, who’s well-deserved slogans include: “Good for the Ocean. Good for You.” and “Sustainably Delicious.” I’d add: “Kobe beef of the ocean,” based on the care and effort that Kona Blue puts into the kampachi.

Being a Locavore

I’m loving the organic-seasonal-local trend that’s swept the Bay Area, but I must admit that it perplexes me. Why is this a trend at all? When did we get so far removed from our food and food sources that we now only get a gold star if most of what we eat comes within 100 miles of where we live?

Fruit or Veggie?


Garden tomato salad

The tomato is a complicated item. Its pronunciation isn’t the only conundrum—toe-may-toe or toe-mah-to? Many also wonder: Is it a fruit or a veggie?
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