SMORGASBORD: ‘Tomatoland’ . . . Oh, honey . . . French fry feedIf you plan to read Barry Estabrook’s “Tomatoland,” a good time is now, while juicy, fragrant, local, vine-ripened tomatoes are in abundance.
If you plan to read Barry Estabrook’s “Tomatoland,” a good time is now, while juicy, fragrant, local, vine-ripened tomatoes are in abundance.
Reading this stinging indictment of industrial tomato production any other time may leave you unable to enjoy a BLT for several months. And it’s not just because winter tomatoes taste so bad; the book’s unappetizing revelations about mass commercial tomato production also could turn your stomach.
Fully named “Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit,” the book of the Vermont-based writer and creator of the Politics of the Plate blog manages to expose the shocking costs of Florida’s mass-produced tomatoes to the environment, health, human rights, workers, babies and our culinary standards, while celebrating the great, locally grown tomatoes left to be eaten, mostly right now.
He guides you through a world where tomato yield and transportability are everything, but tomato flavor never enters the picture.
You love those little squeeze-top plastic bears, golden with honey, lined up stoically on supermarket shelves and at farmers markets across America.
Many may look as if they hold nothing more than a one-note sweetener. But take a closer look at labels and you’ll find honey flavors as different as the nectars savored by particular bees, from buttery avocado notes to mild tupelos and dark buckwheat.
Instead of a condiment, honey is now as important an ingredient as the protein on the plate. One chef often finishes slow-roasted pork shanks with blackberry or chestnut honey before setting it on polenta, while others have used honey in vinaigrettes, with roasted vegetables and in semifreddos, among other dishes. Or if you like a little kick, heat peppercorns with the honey.
French fry feed
The World’s Largest French Fry Feed once again will be part of Potato Bowl USA, a weeklong festival running Monday through Sept. 24 in which UND teams with the Red River Valley potato growing industry. Festivities culminate with the Potato Bowl football game between UND and Black Hills State of Spearfish, S.D., in the Alerus Center.
The feed, sponsored by Simplot, runs from 5 p.m. to dusk Sept. 22 in University Park. Free fries will be served to all.
Each year, organizers try to set a new record for the amount of fries served. The record was set in 2006, according to the Potato Bowl website, when 4,680 pounds of fries were served (with about 113 gallons of ketchup) to about 10,000 people.