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, all the folks at the Central Bucks Chamber (who began this all five years ago) and Lauren Dartt, Dartt Communications, for doing the social media for 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.