The Food Life: Summer 2016 Checklist
We’ve got all your basic food groups represented here, in perhaps more delicious and innovative forms. Stay fueled and cool with a few of our summer-season highlights.
King Tut Restaurant’s avocado spread is owner Amen Soudi’s own recipe. The smooth avocado-sesame puree has a garlicky, citrusy bite. Soudi’s wife, Fatima, makes each order right before it’s served. It comes topped with chopped parsley, alongside warm housemade pita. Available at King Tut Restaurant and Hookah Bar, 401 S. 13th St., 215.735.8111, kingtutrestaurantphilly.com.
CHIP ’N MINT ICE CREAM
Trickling Springs Creamery, locally famous for its glass-bottled milk, has a new line of organic ice cream. The milk is sourced from the Trickling Springs family of organic dairies and crafted into six classic flavors. Our favorite? Chip ’N Mint. It’s studded with generous chunks of dark chocolate and gets its pale hue from actual mint, not green dye. Pick it up at your area Whole Foods or at Trickling Springs Creamery, 2330 Molly Pitcher Hwy, Chambersburg, PA, 717.385.4610, tsfarmer.com.
Juice bars come and go, but the street-cart smoothie is forever. Fresh fruit, ice and a touch of sugar whirred up into a cool drink—what could be more reviving on a sweltering day in the city? Build your own smoothie from a staggering list of fresh fruit and vegetables— blueberry-banana-mango is a winning combination—at carts all over University City. We recommend the one on the north side of Market St., just east of 36th St., open from 7am to 6pm.
NOBLE ROAD CHEESE
Calkins Creamery’s young Brie has an earthy, mushroom-y flavor that’s softer than the traditional French funk. Pair it with slices of fresh apple or peppery radish. Available at the Fair Food Farmstand, Weaver’s Way Coop, and some Whole Foods Market locations. Stop by the farm—Calkins Creamery, 288 Calkins Rd., Honesdale, PA, 570.729.8103—or order online at calkinscreamery.com.
Also called Hakurei turnips, this Japanese member of the Brassica genus is light on the peppery heat and has a juicy crunch. We think it’s best raw, sliced up in a salad or quartered and served with dip. Make use of the bittersweet greens for a simple side: sauté in butter and maple syrup and sprinkle with coarse salt. Pick up a bunch at your favorite farmers’ market.
OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIE
Jessica Nolen, owner of the Little Bird Bakery & Cafe, and Tori Ellington, pastry sous chef, have mastered a classic with this chewy, golden cookie. It achieves all the comfort of Grandma’s recipe, elevated by rum-soaked golden raisins. Enjoy one with coffee in the sunny window at the bakery or call ahead and pick up a dozen to take home for the family. Available at Little Bird Bakery, 517 S. 5th St., 267.519.2312, littlebirdbakes.com.
There’s a new book out just in time for the annual migration to the beach: The Jersey Shore Cookbook: Fresh Summer Flavors from the Boardwalk and Beyond (Quirk Books). It features many of the best places to eat up and down the Jersey coast, from hole-in-the-wall roadside stops to lavish, grand hotel restaurants.
“The book is half cookbook, half celebration of the Jersey Shore,” says author Deborah Smith, owner and blogger at jerseybites.com. “I tried to get as many local ‘in the know’ details as I could.” The book covers 50 restaurants, bakeries and markets and includes a recipe for each business’s most iconic dish. Many recipes showcase the season’s best produce, including blueberries, tomatoes, freshly laid eggs, seafood and more. This means that after a quick jaunt to the farmers’ market, you can recreate the dishes at home this summer— whether you’re stuck inland or off at a beach house. —Marisa Procopio
What does a near-fatal car accident have to do with green smoothies? The micro-farmer who might have grown your last wheatgrass shot was inspired by his own tragedy to cultivate what he considers some of the most healing food on the planet. Marco Degli-Espoti, owner of Campi Verdi farm, has been growing wheatgrass and other sprouts in his Malvern, Pennsylvania, barn since 2013.
These greens get some serious TLC from their farmer. Mac DeMarco’s new album spins on the turntable in the greenhouse. “I play records for my sprouts,” says Degli-Espoti. It’s one part of the ideal environment he maintains for his crop, along with keeping the temperature at 73 degrees and rooting the plants in a precisely calculated blend of ProMix, topsoil, peat and sand for proper drainage. He also swears by Ocean Solution, an organic fertilizer he adds to carefully filtered well water for a boost of marine minerals.
Degli-Espoti hopes that the people who eat his greens will feel as revitalized by them as he does. Even six years after his accident, he still enjoys a daily shake of baby kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, sweet pea sprouts and a pinch of sunflower sprouts.
You can purchase Campi Verdi sprouts at Kimberton Whole Foods stores in four-ounce containers (order a fresh-pressed wheatgrass shot from the café while you’re there). Larger quantities can be ordered directly through Campi Verdi at email@example.com. —Katherine Rapin
KIMBERTON WHOLE FOODS
2140 Kimberton Rd., Phoenixville, PA
A LIVING COLLECTION
Food historian and author William Woys Weaver runs his thumb over a variegated celery leaf. Camouflage-like streaks set off the pink stems shooting from the base of the plant. “This is my Elton John of the celery world,” he says.
Weaver and his garden manager, Owen Taylor, cultivate 4,000 heirloom plant varieties in a small garden outside a 210-yearold farmhouse in Devon, Pennsylvania. Weaver maintains the seed collection his grandfather started in 1932, known as the Roughwood Seed Collection.
Weaver and Taylor preserve seeds that might otherwise be extinct in their trial garden, made up of rectangular woodframed beds that they till by hand each season. “The whole seed collection is really maintained in an artisanal way,” Weaver says, gesturing to a volunteer on her knees planting Syrian peas along a wire trellis. They joke about calculating just how many hands have been on each seed; they’re continually sorting, categorizing, recording, photographing and planting them.
Seeds must be planted and grown, with new batches of seeds collected regularly to preserve each variety. “I think of seeds as food,” Weaver says, “It’s not separate. It’s food waiting to happen.” He’s excited about the Roughwood Green Oxhart Tomato, Fu Zhou Round Eggplant, and White Velvet Okra—which he says is great when pickled— that will be grown out this year.
To support their education and preservation work and expand the Roughwood Collection into your own garden, purchase their seeds at roughwoodseeds.org. —Katherine Rapin
WHERE QUALITY MEETS QUICK
Start with a scoop of Himalayan red rice, top with jerk chicken from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and add a side of rosemary-garlic broccoli. Scoot your tray down to the sauce station and consider: herbed tomato, walnut-coriander, or Scotch-bonnet hot sauce? Introducing Herban Quality Eats: a fast-casual mashup of flavors from around the globe. Kalefe Wright, Amir Fardshisheh and chef Chris Paul say they set out to provide Philly with the kind of food they like to eat. “We want it to taste good, be reasonably priced and be good for you,” Kalefe says. They started the business in West Philly’s Enterprise Center and were soon delivering meals all over the city via bicycle. The brick-and-mortar restaurant opened at 36th and Market Streets late last year.
The menu features local meats and vegetables, fiber-rich grains and innovations like the Vegan Jawn—a hodgepodge of lentils, beans and potatoes rolled in quinoa. “We wanted healthy food to be appealing to as many people as possible, not just the yoga hero,” Wright says. And customization is key. Diners get to choose a base, protein, two sides and any sauce from roughly 15 options. —Katherine Rapin
Herban Quality Eats
3601 Market St.
open Monday–Friday, 11am–9pm