I was fortunate to participate in TEDxBoston Food Sleuth Adventures yesterday. The series of adventures are a great way to interact not only with revolutionary hosts but also with members of the TEDxBoston community.
Our host for this adventure was Clover and if you know the name, it had everything to do with food, glorious, food in the company of like-minded people.
A few days before the actual event, we were given a list of ingredients to choose to buy. The ingredients should be obtained as close to their places of origin as possible. No supermarket, no grocery stores. The aim of the activity was to get the participants to investigate and learn about the ingredients by asking questions, sample fare just after picking to see if it tastes different (arugula and mesclun do!), and document the experience with photos , videos, notes, sketches, poetry, anything that inspires us.
For fresh produce, we have to go to the farms, orchards and urban garden or even at your own backyard (for herbs)! Other places include artisan creamery and for spices, the closest we can get to the original source would be the merchants themselves.
I chose to buy Allspice at Christina’s Spice at Inman Square since I wouldn’t be able to drive all the way to a farm, orchard or creamery. But what a discovery I made at Christina’s! There are so many different types of spices in the shop, many of which I do not know! Apart from spices, they also sell different kinds of tea leaves and sauces and extracts. If you can’t find a particular spice in the supermarket, the odds are they will have it here. Fascinating place and what’s worth sharing is that the prices are cheaper!
So, even though I was there to buy one type of spice, I stayed there for a while, marveling at the goods and came out with more than Allspice. Thankfully, the hubs was equally fascinated and enjoyed the experience.
The adventure continued yesterday at Cloverflagship restaurant at Harvard Square. It was a time of mingling with the participants and food sourcing superstars like Jessie Banhazi of Green City Growers fame and Amy Traverso, Senior Lifestyle editor, Yankee magazine and Author of The Apple Lover’s Cookbook and to hear Bettina’s passion around food. We also got a chance to work in the kitchen and learned from the chef himself! What a wonderful evening of learning about food from one another!