Fall is finally here and Boston is pumped. This year people seem to be more excited about fall than ever before, myself included. Maybe because the weather yesterday was perfect, one can only dream about a 65 and sunny Saturday at the beginning of October. The excitement was in the air, everyone was out of the house, there were a ton of events taking place, and it was fabulous.
On this wonderful fall Saturday, 6 of us went to the Boston Local Food Festival in search of ingredients to make for dinner that night. My friends and I love supporting local farmers, sustainability initiatives, and companies in Boston that come together for events like this. The food festival was great, there was an overwhelming about of community involvement. We saw everything from hot food stands to produce stands to CHEESE to sauces to pickles and more! Here are some of the highlights:
The produce bus from Enterprise Farm was such a great concept. This bus is a produce stand on wheels with a mission to serve the greater Boston area with more affordable produce from local farms. The people were nice and the produce was the best I saw at the festival. Their heirloom tomatoes were HUGE!
Now for the queso. My favorite cheese stand was City Feed and Supply. Their Jamaica Plain location is very close to where I live, and if the store is anything like the cheese stand, I NEED to be going there on a regular basis. These guys were so nice and were very patient with the swarm of people trying to get free cheese. Cabot’s Clothbound Cheddar from Jasper Hill, Vermont was SO GREAT. It’s aged for ten months and, “the result is an English-style, ‘Best of Show’ Cheddar with rich buttery, caramel notes that will astound you.” It’s the best cheddar I have ever had, try it.. just WOW.
Another great cheese was the Cloumage from Shy Brothers Farm. Cloumage is lactic curd handmade from cow’s milk. It was a little firmer than ricotta, and tasted slightly more tangy almost. It was creamy, rich and smooth. NOM.
We also got some mozzarella from Fiore de Nonno. This mozzarella was great. It was a stringier mozzarella that was really tasty. It was on the expensive side, at $5 per ball, but we got some anyway and everyone enjoyed it.
I have been wanting to check out Barbara Lynch’s Sportello forever, and they had a stand at the food fest, YES! Sportello was serving up grilled pork and tomato sandwiches on homemade Italian bread. I got one even though I wasn’t hungry at all, and it was excellent. I especially loved the bread because it was exactly how I remember Italian bread at my grandma’s house growing up, and that means it was definitely authentic. A Sportello visit will definitely be happening soon.
Grillo’s pickles were there! I buy Grillo’s at Whole Foods every once in awhile and they are THE BEST pickles. They are Italian style dill pickles that have a unique flavor with a spicy finish. If only one jar wasn’t $6.99…
Downside of the food fest: it was PACKED. I’m talking shoulder to shoulder, pushing, shoving, impossible to get to any stand without at least a 5 minute wait. If a stand was accessible, that meant it was out of food. We did not realize how crowded it was going to be, or we would have gotten there way earlier. The food festival was from 11am – 5pm, we got there at 1:30 and that was way too late. Hey, at least Bostonians are supporting local farmers! The next Boston Local Food Festival, I plan on getting there right when it opens so I can actually talk to people and see everything.
Next post will be about the dinner that came out of our Food Festival purchases, stay tuned!