The Buzz Around Farm To Table Dining
Farm to table is a relatively new buzzword for an old idea. It means to take the fresh produce and meats straight from the farm or garden right into the kitchen for immediate cooking. It’s the way food was meant to be eaten, not sitting on a grocery store shelf for weeks at a time. It’s the way, people have raised and eaten food for centuries.
Restaurants around the world are embracing the farm to table freshness, as “foodies” are demanding better. To succeed in the restaurant business, a restaurant must produce food that keeps people coming back for more. The goal is to create a dish that makes the person who ordered it think of the wonderful medley of flavors that made their taste buds explode with excitement and want more.
Farm to the table is the best way to shake up people’s palettes because the harvested ingredients are at the peak of ripeness and perfection in flavors. No longer is green picked and packed veggies and fruits acceptable to those with discerning palettes. Instead, only the freshest, ripest and bursting with flavor will do.
This concept applies to meats as well. Freezing changes the flavor of the meats whether its lamb, beef, chicken or fish. The farm to table idea delivers fresh meat right to the kitchen from the butcher for immediate preparation without ever seeing the freezer.
Another advantage of the farm to table concept is it creates strength in the community because people are supporting local farmers. The rewards are seasonal dishes, dictated by the seasonal choices. Restaurants and kitchens who use the farm to table idea, constantly are updating and changing their menus as the food choices change, ensuring dynamic menu choices that do not become stale.
Chefs and cooks can also visit the farm to choose their own food ingredients or just see how food is raised. There really is nothing like the satisfaction of knowing where your ingredients come from and being able to talk to the people who raised it. People eating the food can also visit the farm, to support the local businesses and to see where their food growing. The feeling of seeing the chickens that lay the eggs you use or the cows, sheep or goats that produce milk for drinking or making cheese and butter. These visits encourage people to think more sustainably and to demand better growing environments for meat and veggies.
The numbers of CSA’s (community supported agriculture farms) are also growing for those who don’t have time to visit the farm or farmer’s market to pick up their fresh food ingredients. With a CSA, people purchase a share of the food produced by the farm, which is delivered weekly, straight to the door. Restaurants in some areas are also participating in the CSA deliveries. What is interesting about getting a basket or box from the CSA each week, is you never know what you will receive which in turn gives people the opportunity to sample and cook items they might not normally have picked out for themselves or gives a restaurant chef the chance to create a special dish out of the delivered ingredients.
Food straight from the farm to the table also tends to be healthier for you because much of it was grown organically and it’s picked fresh and used, not giving it much time to lose the valuable vitamins and minerals it contains. And can we mention the flavor again? Fresh food is loaded with wonderful flavors that come out in the food. Try biting into a just picked peach; your taste buds will come alive they taste the warm flavors of a tree ripened peach or tomato or apple.
Whether it’s fresh from the garden outback, a few pots on a balcony, the CSA or straight from the local farm or farmer’s market, farm to table fresh delivers the best in quality meats, eggs, fruits and veggies to the kitchens of restaurants and homes alike.