Amuse My Bouche

In culinary terms, the amuse bouche refers to the tiny bite-sized morsel that precedes the first course, an introduction of the chef and preview of the meal to come. Amuse My Bouche refers to the food column that you find here on Providence Daily Dose, promising local restaurant reviews, Providence food&bev industry gossip, and general sass on the subject of eating & drinking.

Providence Wintertime Farmers Market Forget Italy, Providence is Now the Center of the Slow Food Universe!

I’ve already pointed out how much I dislike the holidays, but there’s always some silver lining to the grey clouds of December. For me, it’s that last jolt of social activities before my hibernation period from January to March. There are holiday parties and fundraisers with free booze and hors d’oeurves which double as my meal for the night.

Tomorrow is December 1st, and already it’s shaping up to be a busy holiday celebration season. This weekend is especially exciting, as there are three different events that will let you celebrate and sample, or perhaps purchase, some of the finest locally grown and produced foods in our little state. If there was any doubt in your mind that Rhode Island is home to some of the highest quality food in the whole wide world, the next few days will give you the opportunity school yourself.

On the agenda: It’s Local Veggies in Abundance and Why You Should Buy Them, Fox Point Gardeners Do Contra Dancing, and The Honorable David Cicilline Cuts the Cheese.

Wintertime Farmer’s Market
Saturday, December 1st from 12 pm to 3pm @ AS220

Up until about 3 years ago, I didn’t like eggs. Something about the unappetizing smell, the pale yellow yolk, and the slimy texture turned me off completely. On a futile quest to lose weight with the South Beach diet, I began experimenting with different recipes. Loaded with butter and mushrooms and cheese, I suffered through omelettes made with weeks old grocery store eggs. It wasn’t until an insightful friend of mine introduced me to eggs from the local farm that I actually began to enjoy those little unhatched chicks.

As it turns out, where your food comes from actually does make a difference. Foods grown locally are picked at their prime, which means you get the most flavors and nutrients. Be warned, once you taste the difference between something fresh, local, and in season and the shipped-from-afar supermarket variety, there’s no going back. My best buddy in college went four years without eating a tomato in the cafeteria because they just couldn’t stand up to the ones her mother grew.

Choosing local also means choosing seasonal, which is more difficult when the weather turns cold and farmer’s markets shut down. But this winter, Farm Fresh Rhode Island is making it easier for you to get the foods you love. You’ll be surprised to know that greens like kale, collards, and chard, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, squash, apples, leeks, beets, potatoes, and more are available from local farmers. There will also be meats, eggs, cheese, oysters, coffee by the pound, and chocolate, all raised or produced here in Rhode Island.

This fantastic market will run all winter and into the spring. Foodies in the know will make it a priority to be there every Saturday!

Narragansett Creamery’s Cheese Cutting Ceremony
Monday, December 3 from 4:30pm to 6pm, Eno Wine Shop, 225 Westminster St.

Local Food Goddess and All-Around-Go-Getter Louella Hill wanted to start the first Rhode Island artisan cheese company, and wouldn’t you know it, she made it happen!

After spending a year with New England cheesemakers, she’s started Narragansett Creamery. All the cheese will be made with milk from Rhode Island Dairy Farms, and produced on the West Side of Providence.

On Monday, you can get an exclusive sample of her varieties at Eno Wine Shop. I hear that the Mayor will be there, the first to cut the cheese.

Bravo to Louella and everyone at Narragansett Creamery. As a devoted cheese enthusiast, I look forward to sampling the fruits of their labor.

Fox Point Community Garden Social
Monday, December 3rd, from 7pm to 10pm at the Portuguese Sporting Club, 92 Gano St.

One of these days, I’m gonna get down and dirty and start growing my own food. In the meantime, I’ll just keep celebrating the fact that other people do it. The Fox Point Community Garden is now in its second season, and has quickly become a vibrant community space, with 100+ plots gardened by neighborhood families and folk. (David probably has more to say about this, given that he started this garden back in his city council days.)

There will lots of food, music, and contra dancing, which is apparently similar to square dancing and involves a lot of spinning around.

This will be good family-friendly fun, so chip in $5 at the door if you can.

So this weekend buy some greens, eat some cheese, talk to gardeners, and just be glad you live in such a delicious state.

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