Sacramento Hails The Big Cheese by Lisa Frank
Move over Cheese Whiz and Velveeta, for the first time in over 10 years the American Cheese Society (ACS) is coming to Sacramento with over 1700 craft cheeses. Whey to go Sacramento! It’s quite a Feta in our cap. (By Lisa Frank)
Celebrating the American Cheese Plate! will highlight the growth of the artisan and specialty cheese community throughout North America. Nearly 1,000 industry leaders are expected to participate in the four-day event. Tuesday, July 29 – Friday, August 1. The conference also includes:
a cheese competition to be “Best In Show” from over 1700 cheeses entered in 20 categories like Cheese Curds, Rindless Blue-Veined Cheese, Cheese Spreads or Butters along with the usuals like Cheddar, Fetas, and Soft-Ripened Cheese;
the Certified Cheese Professional Exam – if you think you know enough to be a cheese sommelier;
Educational seminars from how to build a cheese cave to improving industry standards, to cheese spider grafts explained.
While most of the conference is for those in the cheese industry, the public is invited to several events:
Festival of Cheese, will feature the cheeses entered in the cheese competition, highlighting the winners. In addition to a staggering number of cheeses, the Festival will have artisan producers and local purveyors of cheese accessories, such as crackers, charcuterie, preserves, honeys, and craft beer. It’s a Muenster cheese tasting. Friday August 1, 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm at the Sacramento Convention Center. Tickets for the general public are $60 via Brown Paper Tickets.
Cheese Sale, this is your opportunity to buy the best cheeses made in North America at a great price. Feeling adventurous, buy a $25 cheese grab bag and see what you snagged. Proceeds from the Cheese Sale benefit the American Cheese Education Foundation. Cash is king, but credit cards are accepted. Edam while you can, it’s a ewe-nique opportunity. Saturday, August 2nd, 11:00 – 2:00 at the Sacramento Convention Center, admission is free. Brie there or brie square. Okay I’ll stop.
And if you think Sacramento is curd-less, think again. While specialty grocery stores usually carry a nice variety of cheeses, we have several cheese-centric locations that bring you craft cheese every day!
The Rind, 1801 L Street, opened 11 am until at least 10 everyday. 916.441.RIND (7463)
The Rind is a cheese bar where you can taste unique artisanal cheeses paired with interesting wines and beers. Cheese-heads can sample everything, from buttery to blue, nutty to stinky. And if you need more than a taste, try their grown-up grilled cheese sandwiches or mac & cheese. Definitely not a blue and yellow box with electric-orange powdered cheese.
The Cultured & The Cured, 3644 J Street opened Tuesday – Sunday, 11am until 9 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday; 10pm on Friday and Saturday; 5pm on Sunday; Closed Monday. (916) 732-3600 This East Sac shop focuses on local and west coast cheeses and charcuterie, bringing to Sacramento the tradition of a cheese monger who will help guide you to find exactly what you’re looking for even when you don’t know what you’re looking for! Soups, salads, charcuterie plates, grilled cheese, mac & cheese, sandwiches, and pantry items, this shop takes their cheese seriously and so will you.
The Block Butcher, 1050 20th Street, 916.476.6306 11AM to 12AM every day.
Block Butcher Bar is a boutique salumi, spirits and wine bar. The menu features charcuterie, fine artisanal cheeses and seasonal bites. Choose from the “pickled, cured, fermented and marinated” selections; make your own charcuterie boards or cheese slabs; or salads and sandwiches. With over 30 cheeses (cow, sheep, goat and blues) to choose from it’s hard to limit it to 3/5/7 choices. But they are there to help. And over 100 different whiskeys – it’s kind of hard to leave. Click for more cheesy details!
Summer Is In Full Swing! (by Lisa Frank)
Go out and EXPLORE your own backyard w/ these fun & tasty July events in & around Sacramento:
Bonjour Bastille Day. If your vacation is now a “staycation” July is the time to get your French on and storm Midtown! The Sacramento Chapter of the Alliance Francaise will be celebrating Bastille Day, when the peasants stormed the Bastille Prison and started the French Revolution, with their Annual Waiters’ Race & Bastille Day Street Festival. July 13th 12 – 3pm at 18th & L Streets, Sacramento
Don’t lose your head at the 12th Annual “Let Them Eat Cake!” Fundraising Event.
Sample Sacramento’s finest French foods and outstanding local wines and coffees, enjoy live music, and feast your eyes on magnificent and mouth-watering cakes created by talented local bakeries and chefs. There will be a cake raffle and a silent auction as well. July 14th 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm at The Grand Ballroom 1215 J Street $40 in advance; $50 at door
Are the Islands calling? Grab a lei or make a grass skirt and head to the Summer Luau Beer & Wine Tasting at New Glory Brewing. Celebrate summer in Hawaiian style at this fun wine and beer sampling event! The evening will offer tours of the brewery, and playing beer and wine trivia for prizes. Food trucks will be on site selling delicious food. July 13th, 1 pm at New Glory Craft Brewing, 8251 Alpine Ave $20
Feeling more local? GATHER is a unique event that takes place in the Oak Park neighborhood. It is a social experiment based around the idea that a neighborhood that eats together, stays together and strengthens the community.
Outdoor communal tables encourage a sense of community while you enjoy the warm (hot?) summer nights. The event offers a craft beer area, artisanal food vendors, designers, food demos interactive are, live music and a modular kids park. July 10th 5 – 9pm or August 14th 5 – 9pm in Oak Park at Broadway & 3rd Avenue
Something edgier? SactoMoFo’s Food Truck Mania will be at McKinley Park. It’s great music, lots of kid fun, a beer garden, and all your favorite food trucks! July 11th or August 8th from 5 pm - 9 pm at McKinley Park on Alhambra Blvd.
This camp has more than s’mores! Mad Food Science Fun Camp makes food and science in fun and educational. Campers learn nutritional concepts and explore the scientific properties of food through a series of fun hands-on experiments, including magical floating eggs, color changing milk, ice cream making and more. The week of July 21 through July 25 1pm – 4pm at Fairytale Town, 3901 Land Park Drive $130 Click Here For More Events!
Dreaming of Donuts in Sacramento? (by Lisa Frank)
Raised, glazed or crazed, donuts in their many forms are once again glamorous. The lowly fried hunk of dough has recently been elevated to the ranks of the highfalutin croissant with a bastardization called the cronut (trademarked name FYI) or the dosant or doughssant. The buttery goodness of a flakey croissant with the deep fried crunch of a donut, it might be what has been missing in your life. It could be another fad like the donut hole craze (there are cronut holes too) or the ill-fated expansion of the South’s beloved Krispy Kreme franchise (there are still a few around), but then again, donuts have been around in one form or another since at least the 1800’s so they clearly have staying power.
Sacramento’s donut scene is clearly keeping up with players in the big cities. So here is where to fill the need for all that yummy, fried goodness, whatever country it originated in.
Donut meet Happy Hour: Ella’s has a Fried Brioche, with Bourbon Butterscotch Glaze and Candied Almond Dust. How can that not be good? And for only $5 during their award-winning happy hour menu - order me up 2 batches, please! Okay while not technically a donut, it is fried dough so counts in my book. Ella Dining Room, 1131 K Street (Corner of 12th & K Street, Valet parking available), Sacramento. Happy Hour Monday thru Friday 3pm to 6pm.
Estelle’s Patisserie supports TGIF. Check out their Doughnut Fridays with a filled brioche donut, or Croixnut Tuesdays AND Sundays. With flavors like Vanilla Earl Grey, Salted Caramel or Cinnamon Sugar, your taste buds will thank you. If you want to dream donuts all day, visit their mouth-watering Facebook page where they post their amazing croixnut and donut "fresh out of the oven" photos. This is where you can keep up to date what their flavors of the week are! Estelle’s Patisserie, 901 K Street (9th and K Streets), Sacramento. Click For More Donut Options!
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Trending Foods To Keep an Eye On This Autumn/Winter 2013
2013 started out with a bang in food revolution and consumers thinking outside of the box in the way they normally eat. A few of the biggest trends to hit the restaurant scene in the beginning of the year were tasting menus, fermenting, food trucks, sustainable seafood, restaurant gardens, molecular gastronomy and charcuterie everything just to name a few. With only a few months remaining in the year Local Roots Food Tours has been asked what else is there to look forward to in the upcoming months in the food arena? We have picked out the top trends we are seeing right now or are on the forefront of trending in the beginning of 2014.
What's Ahead......Top 10 Trends:
1. Move over Kale....the new green on menus is Collard Greens. Collard greens are loaded with vitamins A and K, cancer-fighting antioxidants, and fiber. This is a staple in the south with most any meat dish but the trend is moving nationwide and soon to hit menus in restaurants jumping on board the collard green movement.
2. Prep for a crudite’ awakening as raw vegetables get posh. In their most natural state is where the greatest flavors and health benefits come in to play - watch farmers getting creative with varietal colors in carrots, cauliflowers and potatoes but keeping it raw when they find themselves on the plated salads and sides.
3. Customers want in on exclusive ticketed dining events (hence the reason Sacramento’s Farm to Fork Tower Bridge Dinner sold out within 48 hours once tickets were available!) so get ready for more local chefs continuing to collaborate with local farmers in some creative barn dinners, food and wine pairing symposiums and delicious themed dinners....but be ready to pay a hefty price. The more exclusive the event, the higher the price tag......which results in bragging rights with your friends on which exclusive dinners you attended this fall.
4. Smacarons - with cheese! Forget the sweet, saccharine macarons you thought you knew, this savory sensation is on our list for snacking and will be replacing all desserts and cheeseboards this autumn so keep your eyes peeled at local bakeries such as Estelle’s Patisserie and Ettore's Bakery and get ready for a tasting of Smacarons!
5. Can I get a Drum(roll) with that Rum! Rum is back — and it's not just for pirates anymore. People are even distilling it in New England, as they did almost two centuries ago. Supposedly, rum is enjoying a "big resurgence" across this land of ours. The best part? This means it is finally cool to order daiquiris. "It’s such a simple drink and it’s delicious and there are just three ingredients: white rum, lime juice and simple syrup," a San Francisco bartender told Food and Wine. And who are we to argue?
6. Ramen Burger Revenge! Move over Cronuts.......there is a new food craze starting to sweep the nation whether it be thru a food truck window or a casual restaurant who “gets it” that ramen noodles are not just for poor college students anymore! The Ramen Burger is an all-beef patty, sandwiched between two ramen noodle “buns.” It’s garnished with a secret Shoyu sauce, arugula and green onions. The flavor is a salty-sweet combination, but the texture of the buns is what makes this burger so enticing. Who will be the first on the food scene to announce their Ramen Burger Creation? Click to Continue on with more Trends!
August Food Festivals in Northern California
I don’t know about you, but summer is my favorite time of year for many reasons: warm weather, late nights, cold swimming holes and (the best!) the FOOD! The following are our Top Ten Local Food Festivals and Events happening around Northern California during August we recommend you planning to explore and have fun!
Ribs on the River Event
Saturday, August 3, 2013
Location: Rio Ramaza Marina, Garden Highway, Sacramento
Pull your cowboy boots up and throw on your 10-gallon hat! It’s time for some good ol’ fashion country music and some delicious RIBS! Help decide who boasts the “best ribs on the river” at this fun, funky event! Event presenters ask you bring a lawn chair and an appetite! Tickets are $10 and worth EVERY PENNY (if you ask me!) Drinks, music and BBQ’ing are the highlights of this awesome event!
Woodland Tomato Festival
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Location: Heritage Plaza on Main Street, Woodland
The 6th Annual Woodland Tomato Festival is back! Celebrating the Yolo County tomato this fun and free event is open to the public! A salsa competition, tomato tosses, variety tasting and tomato clothing (yes, you read that right!) will be just some of the events at this years festival. What fun! This event is being put on by the Woodland’s Farmers Market and encourages both young and old to participate!
My favorite event is the “Iron Chef -like” competition at this year’s event! Top celebrity judges from all over Sacramento will be sharing their skills and opinions on ways to prepare all things tomato! What fun! For being known as “Sacra-tomato”, this event is the one to be at!
Sacramento Banana Festival
Saturday, August 10, 2013- 10am-7pm
Sunday, August 11, 2013- 10am-5pm
Location: William Land Park, Sacramento
A 5K Walk/Run, Miss Sacramento Banana Queen Beauty Pageant, a Carmen Miranda Hat contest and a banana bake off are just a FEW of the events scheduled for this August’s Banana Festival. Just based solely on the events, this looks like an event I cannot miss! The festival celebrates food, art, culture, music, diversity, health and wellness and going green by educating the public on composting!
Tickets are only $5 and proceeds are going to some wonderful local causes. I cannot think of a better way to enjoy a nice, warm summer weekend!
Hayward Zucchini Festival
Saturday, August 17, 2013- 10am-8pm
Sunday, August 18, 2013- 10am-8pm
Location: Kennedy Park, Hayward
Clear your calendar- it’s time to celebrate the zucchini! Sponsored by the South Hayward Lions Club, this 31st Annual event is ready to rock! Music, dancing, kids activities and a ‘zucchini-growing contest’ are just a few things this festival promises. Did you know the world’s largest zucchini on record was 69.5 inches long and weighed 65 pounds?! Insane!!! And a zucchini has more potassium than a banana! Delicious and healthy! We can’t wait for this festival! Continue for more event listings!
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Summer Foodie Stay-cations!
With the soaring prices of gas, inflation and the housing crunch, many vacationers are holding back their grand vacation plans for the time being. Many would-be holiday makers are simply choosing a "stay-cation" instead. What's a "stay-cation" you ask? Simply put, a "stay-cation" is a vacation that is close to home. Many people are choosing locations that are with an hour or so from their homes, it's close enough to save on gas and just far enough to feel like a getaway. A stay-cation allows a family to save money while spending more quality time together and helping a local economy.
Everyone loves to eat on vacations so why not focus your family stay-cation around food? Here are 10 tips and ideas to get your stay-cation planner filled up and your bellies full!
First off: In order to enjoy your stay-cation we recommend you:
1. Put the World On Hold - Take time out—literally. Eliminating reminders of time helps wipe away the stress of the daily grind. Gather up all the clocks in your house and stash them in a dresser drawer. Throw your watch in next to them. Leave them there for the whole day (or two, or five).
2. Turn off the ringers on your phones and mute the answering machine. Check messages only when you want to, keeping in mind that "not at all" is always an option.
Do an “out of the office” message for your e-mail (even if your office is a corner of the playroom). Say you won't be checking your e-mail till you're back from vacation. Then power down the computer and throw a towel over it.
3. Skip the news—and maybe even stop the mail—for a week. When you banish the source of stress, the stress itself may follow. The earth will continue to turn even if you're not reading all about it every morning at 7:30 sharp, and sadly, the bills will still be there when your vacation is over.
So now let's get to the food portion of your stay-cation, shall we? Here's our top 7 ideas on how to create a foodie stay-cation.
1. Book a week long series of cooking classes in your local area. Sacramento offers several options for classes and cooking camps this summer. Check out these companies and see what might peak your palate: Lulu's Kitchen in Sacramento has a variety of day and evening cooking classes. The Learning Exchange in Sacramento offers food & wine classes. Whole Foods Market and Sacramento Co-op are both offering fun summer cooking demos and classes you surely can fit into your stay-cation. They even have summer kids cooking camps.....just in case you have more space to fill in your calendar.
2. The California State Fair - take a few days with your entire family and do the State Fair Fried Food Challenge - you haven't vacationed until you've experienced the deep fried mac -n -cheese on a stick, deep fried cheese curds and deep fried twinkies at the fair. State Fair Summer 2013 dates: July 12th-28th. Many local businesses offer discount fair tickets - check out Big O Tires - buy one get one free ticket offer before they run out!
3. Grab your bags and baskets and plan a Farmer's Market Week with your family. Lucky for you there is a market within a 20 mile radius of Sacramento each day of the week. Have fun and meet your local farmers and artisans.....there might even be some education involved! Searching for markets in the vicinity? Google: California Grown, Placer Grown, Davis Farmers Market, Ferry Building Market, Oxbow Market in Napa. Go to the market w/ a shopping list for the ingredients you will be needing for your brand new farm to fork recipes. We recommend coming on an empty stomach for the fun food truck vendors and samples you will run into. Try a different ethnic type of food at each market each day...making it an epicurean adventure.
4. Strap on your tennis shoes and sun had and participate in a culinary walking adventure in and around Sacramento. Eat your way thru your own city or explore the town next to you by going on a food or farm tour. These food tours are a half day event and give participants the opportunity to get up close and personal with local chefs, artisans, farmers and passionate mom and pop eatery owners. Kids will think you are the coolest parents when they have the chance for a local chef to sign their dirty napkin....Souvenir award for sure! 5 to 6 food stops along with history, culture and architecture just right out your back door. Check out Local Roots Food & Farm Tours for their different tour menu options and make it a foodie stay-cation must. Click to continue with our tips!
This could be my favorite time of year. The weather warming up, the trees starting to bloom and best of all... my mouth watering at the new, fresh produce. With that being said, I have compiled a list of some ‘foodie’ events happening in California in April. Get your calendars ready and put a bib on. If you love food, wine and fun- this list of events is for you. Enjoy! (Blogger- Bethany Woy)
Sacramento Turn Verein Bockbier Festival- April 5: 6pm-12am, April 6: 3pm-12am
Tickets: Adult $20, Children under 12 $5
Turn Verein Hall- 3349 J Street, Sacramento
A traditional bockbier is a strong dark beer usually brewed around Christmas or the Spring. Well, it’s that time of year ladies and gentlemen! The celebration kicks off the first week in April and will take place at the historic (and beautiful) Turn Verein hall here in Sacramento. The festival will showcase the authentic Bockbier from Germany, traditional German music from local bands and delicious, mouth-watering food. Special performances of traditional German dances will be performed during both days. An amazing, educational and best of all delicious way to spend the weekend!
Festa di Vino- April 6: 6:30pm-10pm
Tickets: Adult $45
Scottish Rite Masonic Center-6151 H Street Sacramento
Music. Dancing. Live auction. And best of all... FOOD. A lot of food.
This tasty event and will be showcasing over 20 local restaurants and 20 local wineries. Some of our local favorites (Ambrosia Cafe, Blackbird Kitchen & Bar, Firestone Bar- truly the list goes on and on) will be contributing at the event. A true celebration of food and wine. Right up my alley.
Sacramento Beer and Chili Festival - April 6: 1pm-4pm
Tickets: Adult $35 pre-order, $40 day off
Fremont Park- 1515 Q Street, Sacramento
Sacramento Artists Council in partnership with the Grid Agency and Dad’s Kitchen is proud to announce the 2nd Annual Beer and Chili Festival. I don’t know about you but when I hear chili and beer as a combination my mouth instantly starts to water. The pair just seem to go so well: like peanut butter and jelly. The Festival is a fundraiser for The Sacramento Artists Council and raises money for art programs that help at-risk children, children of homeless families and fund adopt a school art programs for Sacramento schools. Not only will you have your fill of delicious beer and chili, the money for the event goes to an amazing cause. You can feel like you’ve helped the community while gorging yourself! My kind of event! The festival will begin with a chili cook off competition (industry and individual) and unlimited beer tastings provide by local breweries. (Mad River Brewing, Lost Coast and Speakeasy Ales--- just to name a few!)
Sierra Foothills Food and Wine Bus Tour- April 14: 10:30am- 2:30pm
Tickets: Adult $69,
Wouldn’t you love to take the back roads through the beautiful California olives trees, vineyards and fruit farms? Want to know how vineyards can tell when it’s time to pick their grapes or how to grow the best tomatoes? We are so fortunate to live in the “Farm to Fork Capital of America”. Now is time to jump on board the Local Roots Food Tours Culinary Passport bus and explore the cornucopia of agriculture. Tickets include: transportation in a 14 passenger executive bus, a 4 hour bus ride with stops at independent farms, local vineyards and a local produce market. A trained local guide ready to showcase their knowledge of the area. Hands-on, one on one access, from owners of the farms, orchards and vineyards. A catered 4 COURSE GOURMET LUNCH (what a deal!) and a reusable Local Roots Food Tours shopping bag. Can you say amazing weekend?! Don’t you want to be able to get to know this area of California a little better? This is the way to do it! Click for more events!