Last night I had the pleasure of eating, drinking and tasting some of the best locally produced food in Bucks County. For those of you who saw my Instagram posts you may have been thinking, “She’s where? Superior Woodcraft in Doylestown? What does that have to do with local food?”
Once a year, for the past six years, Superior Woodcraft has opened its doors—and its cavernous workshop where they make fine cabinetry—and hosted the Locavore event. They partner with the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce to create a unique networking event that shines the spotlight on local food producers and retailers. Much thanks is due to Patrick Kennedy, Vice President at Superior, and Lauren Dartt, Dartt Communications, for organizing the event.
I saw lots of old friends, like Jerry Krone of Bucks County Preserves, Mark and Fran Fischer of Castle Valley Mill, a whole bunch of folks at the Doylestown Food Co-op, Gina Davio from Fulper Family Farm, the Lyons at Blue Moon Acres, Rebecca Case from Flint Hill Farm, and many more. But what I’d like to highlight are some of the new products and businesses I saw last night.
Beer anyone? Three new breweries were represented at the event, which made everyone happy. Bucks County Brewery was there, having just celebrated their one year anniversary. Andrew Knechtel, owner and Master Brewer, handed me a very good Jalapeno Saison, not at all hot like you might think, just a really good taste. Definitely a nice touch to a Saison, which I usually find a little bland for my taste. Doylestown Brewing Company was also there pumping their R5 Lager and Cinnaster Stoudt. Watch for their brew opening in the Main Street Marketplace in Doylestown. Finally, another one-year old, Crooked Eye Brewery from Hatboro, was there to greet the first attendees with a nice cold one.
And chocolate. Laurie’s Chocolates was right next to the Doylestown Brewing Co. which seems appropriate since, in addition to all her other wonderful confections, she is now making a Tavern Toffee with Doylestown Brewery Lager. She’s was also offering Chocolate Orange Port Truffles made with Rose Bank Winery port, and Coffee Bark with Homestead Coffee roasters coffee. Double local!
Soulful bread. Things were hopping at the Doylestown Food Co-op table as usual. New right now at the Co-op is SoulBerry Sourdough Breads made in Solebury Township. They freshly grind whole grain berries, and make their bread the “Old World Way” by using a 3-day process that uses a natural proprietary lineage leaven instead of quick rise leaven. They make almost 2 dozen different kinds of bread, many of which are free of sugar, eggs, and dairy. The breads arrive fresh at the Co-op on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Rice from New Jersey. You read right. Blue Moon Acres has been hard at work for the last 3+ years growing rice at their Pennington, NJ farm. They introduced it at the Locavore event last year with their Arborio rice. This year they had several kinds of Italian rice, a brown medium grain, a white short grain, and even black rice, sold in rice blends. They were offering lucky attendees rice pudding samples. You can purchase their rice, produce and other products at their market in Pennington and at the farm in Buckingham, PA.
Red corn meal? Castle Valley Mill, the only working grain mill in Bucks County, is now offering ground cornmeal from a heirloom variety of corn from the 1800’s called Bloody Butcher. Here is the description from their website: “It is a dent corn with deep red and purple kernels dotted with some slate blue and yellow. The cornmeal is distinctly magenta and the grits are cream colored with dark red speckles throughout. The flavor is outstanding with a noticeable fruitiness and buttery texture. Polenta turns out a beautiful creamy white with red speckles.” And I can attest to that last part about the taste of the polenta. It was delicious plain. Imagine what it could be with a little butter and salt?
Pastured pork. Welcome to Rabbit Run Farm, a pig farm in Telford, raising their animals on 10 acres of mostly wooded land (the kind pigs love). I got a chance to chat with owner and farmer Maria South who has been raising the pigs for the past 3 years and selling the pork to area stores, like the Doylestown Food Co-op, and chefs. So great to have yet another local farm raising animals on pasture. Amy Manoff dropped by (Manoff Market Gardens) and got a hug from Maria. Maria and Amy worked out a deal whereby the pigs get leftover fruit, and the Manoffs get great pork. Everyone is happy.
This is the last week of February, or for winter-haters like me, the worst month. The last full month of winter will end with a ton to do, so pull out your calendars and get ready to carve out your schedule. On the menu? Bake sales, networking events, dinners, documentaries, fundraisers, parties, and Lahaska’s Restaurant Week. Enjoy!
Cinnamon Buns. This week is host to the monthly Cinnamon Bun Bake Sale offered up by the Central Bucks Senior Center. Head over Thursday, February 26 or Friday, February 27 between 9 am and 4 pm to pick up some freshly made buns, which come in four flavors: plain, raisin, nuts, or raisin and nuts. You help the seniors by buying the cinnamon buns, they help you by putting delicious, gooey breakfast treats into your stomach. It’s a symbiotic relationship in the best way. Read more about the famed bake sale in our post here: Cinnamon Bun Central.
Networking. This Thursday evening, February 26 from 5 pm to 8 pm, the unofficial “networking event of the year,” the 5th annual Locavore, will take place at Superior Woodcraft in Doylestown. The event is a special addition to the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce Business Card Exchange, adding tables from local restaurants serving samples of the best that Bucks County has to offer. RSVP at the event’s facebook page.
A documentary. This Thursday, February 26, the Stockton Market in Stockton, NJ will be hosting a special Screening of the Documentary Resistance which covers the history of antibiotic resistance, starting with the mass production of antibiotics 70 years ago and tracking the rise of superbugs into the 21st century. There’s a reception with local food and drinks at 6 pm, followed by a 6:30 pm screening and a panel discussion featuring the filmmaker, Michael Graziano, Chris Ely (cofounder of Applegate), Aude Teillant (Princeton University, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology), and Dr. Soumen Samaddar (Medical Director, Hopewell Family Practice and Sports Medicine). RSVP for the film here.
Dinner. Chef Max Hansen of Max Hansen Catering is now hosting a monthly dinner, which he calls the Max’s Table Dinner Series, at his Carversville General Store. The dinner is meant to provide an intimate atmosphere enhanced by Max’s impeccable taste and creative use of the highest quality local ingredients. This month’s dinner is Friday, February 27, and its menu includes a main course of chianti marinated and braised beef cheek with with a Shibumi mushroom ragout, Blue Moon Acres maratelli risotto, hombre organic reggiano parmesan and a poached organic egg. Reserve your spot straight away by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bees. That’s right, folks. I said, “bees.” Snipes Farm will give you the run-down on keeping your own bee hives at their Bee Keeping 101 class this Saturday, February 28, from 9 am to 12 pm. The first session will cover the basic principles of bees: their physiology, the sociology of a hive, hive construction and inspection and harvesting honey. Weather permitting there will be a visit to the hives on the farm. Email email@example.com to learn more.
Fundraisers. From 4 to 9 pm this Saturday, February 28, Aark Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center will be holding their fundraiser, An Enchanted Evening with Wildlife, at Rose Bank Winery. See native wildlife, browse and purchase artwork from local artists, bid on some lovely items in their auction, meet the staff and mingle with other animal lovers while enjoying Rose Bank wine and hors d’oeuvres from Dish Catering. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Bucks County Designer House to benefit the Doylestown Hospital is back again, setting up shop this year at the Villa d’Braccia in Chalfont. They’ll be kicking things off from 2 pm to 5 pm this Sunday, March 1 with the annual Empty House Party, where guests will have a chance to meet the 2015 design team, view their design plans and explore Villa d’ Braccia before designers transform the property. The party will include gourmet lite fare, olive oil, wine and craft beer tastings, music, silent action and raffles. Purchase tickets online at BucksCountyDesignerHouse.org.
Lahaska Restaurant Week. From Sunday, March 1 through Friday, March 6, Porterhouse Restaurant & Pub, Villaggio Italian Restaurant, Caleb’s American Kitchen, Cock ‘n Bull, Buttonwood Grill and The Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm will offer prix fixe dinners. Click here to see menus.
Here’s what you’ll find at area farmers’ markets: Apples, beets, butternut squash, carrots, celeriac (celery root), cheese pumpkins, collard greens, herbs, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, micro-greens, mushrooms, napa cabbage, onions, potatoes, rutabaga, salad greens, strawberries (frozen), sweet potatoes, swiss chard, tatsoi, turnips, watermelon radishes, and wheatgrass.
Most markets will also have eggs from free-range chickens, grass-fed and pastured meats, preserves, specialty foods, baked goods like breads, cakes, cookies and pastries, cheese and yogurt, cider and juice, sauces locally roasted coffee, and interesting crafts from local artisans. For a list of all farmers’ markets in Bucks and nearby, go to our food guide here.
On the radar…
- Beer Tasting Dinner: Celtic Brews - The Washington House Restaurant, 136 North Main Street, Sellersville, PA [Fri, Mar 6]
- Winemaker’s Dinner – Sand Castle Winery, 755 River Road, Erwinna, PA [Sun, Mar 8]
- Lamb Tasting Dinner – Matt’s Red Rooster Grill, Bloomfield Avenue, Flemington, NJ [Tues, Mar 10]
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For more details on any of these events, please go to our full calendar, Food Events in Bucks County, or click the “continue reading” link below.
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