By: Meredith Lippard
The Beal House buzzed with voices and awaited anticipation to taste and enjoy local bites from various culinary businesses along the South Shore. Thursday March 21, the Kingston Public Library and edible South Shore hosted their monthly Locavore event and the topic: Bread, Oil and Cheese. Various participants gathered around the connected table shaping the room as they eagerly listened to speakers from Omega Olive Oil, Hearth Artisan Bread, and Foxboro Cheese of Lawton Family Farm.
Simpson Spring provided beverages and participants brought everything from soup to sweet treats worthy of seconds.
Before the event started, owners of Riverland Farm of Sunderland, MA had the opportunity to share information about the CSA opportunity with their farm for the 2013 season. They have a twenty-three week share from June to November designed to feed a family of 2-4 people. The products are super fresh, harvested within twenty-four hours of delivery, accompanied by a weekly newsletter including recipes and information about the farm and their products.
The family owned company of Kingston, MA brings a California product to the shores of New England. The tasting provided four types of the California cold first press, unfiltered and unrefined olive oil, including Mission (only organic product with a light and fruity flavor), Cortina (light and mild with a subtle peppery flavor), Olio Nuevo (the first oil of the harvest), and Luca (similar to a Tuscan olive oil variety with a more robust flavor with fruity, toasty and grassy notes). The speaker described olive oil tasting to wine tasting and describes each variety in such a way as well. All oils work for both cooking and for salads, but she suggested that the lighter varieties worked best for salad, whereas the Luca was a great dipping oil and it combines well with bold flavors. The local company also makes fusions like their garlic infused olive oil (they use roasted garlic that is actually pressed with the olives).
Olive Oil Tips: The shelf life for the oil once opened is up to one year, the bottles are dark so that light does not affect the oil. Don’t refrigerate, condensation affects the oil. Controversial topic: olive quality.
Foxboro Cheese served their fromage blanc at the event with flavors ranging from the plain, pure and simple to chive. In addition, they also produce raw milk asiago cheese in fresco and aged varieties as well as bottled raw milk. During the summer their products can be purchased at farmers markets and at the farm. They are open daily from 10-6pm if you are interested in meat, veal, and cheese. Raw milk is by appointment only (many loyal customers pre-order their milk as many drive from a distance).
The raw milk can only be sold on the farm in Massachusetts. A controversial arising out of the dairy industry is the raw milk legislation, which has yet to be passed not because of the FDA, but for monetary and political reasons.
They are not certified organic, which frightens some. But in fact, their cows are grass-fed and do not consume additives or hormones; which ensures a quality product that is so excellent that the milk does not need pasteurization. For more information visit their website for details.
The two year business started with an idea to create a wood-fired oven designed to replicate a similar bread cooking vessel of 18th century France. The owner contacted an engineer at MIT inquiring for assistance to design the oven. It happened. They started with one loaf of bread and expanded to multiple types and now provide for restaurants and businesses along the South Shore and in Boston.
The bread is also sold at farmers markets and at their retail location in Plymouth. They aspire to offer an extension to the greater local community in the future, with an aim to start baking classes. The speaker brought a loaf of ciabatta for everyone who attended. In addition French country and the Baker’s Harvest were provided to taste along with the cheese and oil from the other local businesses.
The event was well attended, despite the snowy evening. Come to our next event April 18th: Edible Landscaping and discover your inner locavore.