Aussie Truffles Knock the French Varieties Off the Top Spot

Where do the world’s best truffles come from? For the past century or more, the stock response has been Périgord (France) for black ones and Piedmont (Italy) for the rarer white variety. It wasn’t always so. In the Ancient World, these sources were unknown and the Roman poet Juvenal declared “Libyans – unyolk your cattle, keep your harvests but send us your truffles”.

 Libyan truffles don’t feature any longer on our menus, but those from the New World increasingly do. For the past three years, a remote farm in Western Australia has produced black truffles that renowned chefs consider equal or even superior to the best Europe can offer. They are exactly the same species – the tuber melanosporum – and originated from tree roots inoculated with the Périgord variety.

read the entire article here

Agretti, The Italian green chefs are fighting for.

Otherwise known as saltwort or friar’s beard – or “land seaweed”, in Japan – agretti can cause mini stampedes in the markets of Umbria and Lazio as Italians dash to get hold of bundles of fleshy, needle-shaped leaves – traditionally served with oil and lemon – in its short early-summer seasonal window. Now it is migrating north, and growing awareness of the plant is provoking a similar battle to obtain seed to cultivate on British soil.

To read more about Agretti

Moral Morels

n 2017, the United States Forest Service spent close to $2.5 billion fighting and containing wildfires. It was the most expensive year on record. Governors in Montana, Oregon, and California declared states of emergency. Blazes cost the state of California alone nearly $700 million. By the end of the year, more than 71,000 fires had been recorded and 10 million acres leveled nationwide.

It was a historic, destructive season. Some say the worst ever.

But after all the tallying, the requests for federal aid, the agricultural losses, the hundreds and hundreds of homes and businesses left in need of rebuilding, comes something else—something sort of miraculous. Mother Nature is as swift in replenishment as she is in annihilation: When a wildfire departs, a treasure rises, literally, from its ashes. Morel mushrooms.

to read the rest of the article

Pacific Northwest Bouillabaisse

The ritual of eating a traditional bouillabaisse today is always the same. First we place two to three slices of oven-toasted French bread which have been rubbed with garlic in the bottom of our soup plates; then we top each slice with freshly grated Gruyere or Cantal cheese and top it with a dab of rouille. Then and only then do we ladle in the steaming hot aromatic fish bouillon. One or two more plates of this and – with the necessary refurbishments of garlic bread, cheese and rouille – we can can turn our attention to the fish… – Robert Carrier

for the recipe and more!

The delicious and versatile fava bean

Spring has slowly been coming to the Pacific Northwest. Sure, we’ve gotten our miner’s lettuce, fiddleheads and wood sorrel. Yes, the halibuts have come and spring king salmon are making their legendary runs up the Columbia River. Even morels have started poking their curious honey combed heads through the forest floors. But what has been noticeably missing has been one of the oldest and most loved harbingers of spring; the fava bean. Since time immortal, favas have been appreciated for their buttery texture and nutty flavor. They have appeared on tables across the globe from Egypt to Mexico and all point between. The tendency may be to complicate with elaborate recipes but true lovers know they are best appreciated eaten simply.

Our three recipes and photos!

Are Columbia River salmon the Best King Salmon in the World?

No other river captures the heart and soul of the Pacific Northwest quite like the mighty Columbia River, known to native tribes as Wimahl, Nch’i-Wàna or Swah’netk’qhu. Its story encapsulates thousands of years of human history, interweaving tales of native Americans, discovery, exploration, hydroelectric energy, logging and unparalleled fishing within its waterways.  The Columbia River is the fourth longest in America, stretching an unprecedented 1,243 miles from its headwaters in the Canadian Rockies to the end where it flows turbulently into the Pacific Ocean, near Astoria, Oregon.