The Local Food Report

Photo by Ali Berlow

Summer's sweet corn evokes memories and simple deliciousness beyond the familiar grilled or boiled slathered with butter. There's old-fashioned kitchen wisdom in using up the silk and the cobs.

JENNIFER BENDER

A butter clam is just a juvenile surf clam.

Surf clams are the big, wide clams Cape Cod cooks chop up and use for chowder or clam strips. In Asia people use the tongues for sushi, and lots of beachcombers collect the shells to use as soap dishes or ashtrays. But those are full-grown surf clams and they all come from a wild fishery. 

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You’ve probably heard of a huckleberry. But have you ever eaten one? The small, black relatives of the blueberry grow all over the Cape and Islands, and Neil Gadway has been picking them his whole life.

Russian Blues on the cutting board. Their color is truly astonishing.
Ali Berlow

Blue is the color of my summer. It is expansive like the sea and the sky. Royal like a queen. It is round like a blueberry, ocean-salty like blue fish. Blue is also the color of the free lollipop I take from the bank. Blue is Blue Moon ice cream and popsicles from my childhood. Their flavor was (I don’t know)… it was just blue.

David Haddad

David Haddad started a series of pop-up dinners a couple years ago called The Gathered Table. I went to one recently and was totally smitten by the variety of local wild foods used as accents or vehicles for infusing flavor. Bayberry for smoking, or using the buds brined for capers, Beach Rose, Beach peas, spruce tips... 

Salt of the Earth Are the Local Saltmakers

Jul 13, 2017
Photo by Ali Berlow

Using solar power and good old fashioned ingenuity, the founders of Martha's Vineyard Sea Salt make their salt and then create blends like Lemon Dill, Local Smoked Oak and Naughty. Ali Berlow caught up with them at the West Tisbury Farmers' Market.

Photo by Ali Berlow

It was a surprise to discover that shiitake mushrooms are a good source of protein, good enough to replace beef even. And who ever thought of a mushroom as an animal?

Photo by Elspeth Hay

  

Strawberry season, in my family, is a religious thing. We pick strawberries in late June every year, all together, no matter what. 

 

What's So Great About Local Food ? Let's Start with Food Security.

Jun 22, 2017
Photo by Elspeth Hay

Ali Berlow and Elspeth Hay have been taking stock about why local food is important to them. They've talked about local food through a lens of economics, seasonality and now,  security .  

Elspeth Hay

Rachel Hutchinson of Brewster has a deep respect for local clams.

“The Northern Quahog, or our hardshell clam, is a very important species all over Cape Cod," Hutchinson says. "It’s been here since Indian times, so it’s kind of one of our level species, something shell fishermen have always had to harvest. Where there have been booms and busts in other species, the quahog has always been a dominant species for our wild harvesters, as well as for our aquaculture industry.”

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