Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Tacoshed Revolution is Now.

1 taco. 18 ingredients. 2.6 trips around the globe. This is where your Taco comes from San Francisco. This is your Tacoshed.
(image by the Tacoshed project)

The unveiling of the Tacoshed project took place to a standing room only crowd tucked into the Studio for Urban Projects last Thursday - complete with the exquisite earthy smells of stewing black beans wafting over us as we heard architecture students from CCA present their work. The assignment? Well, it started with a shared meal at a taco truck. As the students were eating tacos and burritos truckside, their teachers (David Fletcher and John Bela among them) tasked each one with tracking down the life story of a taco ingredient from it's origin to it's destiny from foodshed to wasteshed. From the salt that was harvested in the South Bay to the aluminum foil wrapper that began its life as a mineral tens of thousands of miles away.

I love nothing more than this kind of exploration. The looking beyond the surface of what is a very tangible, very simple part of our every day, a door into the complexity of the world we live in. An exploration of the ecology of the everyday as John Bela put it. Through this deconstruction of a taco--you can learn about about everything from the politics of food to international trade, from the seasonality of foods, to hi-tech agriculture (avocados are tested for ripeness with sonic waves. (Wait, can I get that again? Yes. Sonic waves.)), and finally, that corporations will sell the same exact pinto bean or rice in several different packages, each with a culturally appropriate image on it -- from the gringo brand to the one emblazoned with a sombrero.

And that's just scratching the surface of the many layers of this project. The compelling maps, graphics, and stories that these students collected will keep you thinking and questioning and talking about your Tacoshed.

That was just one taco, the economically efficient taco. But there are others to learn from. Like the taco from Gracias Madre, that we also heard about at the event. Gracias Madre is the new vegan taqueria where the tacos are made with love out of locally farmed ingredients. (Check it out--and take me with you--and get something with the cashew nacho cheese please.)

The evening wrapped up with the smells of frying homemade tortillas. We were served black bean tacos from the Spotted Rooster. They were, quite simply, the best tacos I've ever eaten. And you know how much I love me a good taco. I loved them so much I may actually start following something on Twitter. That's bold.

Follow the Tacoshed--it's going somewhere (maybe even into the old Oxford?) & explore your own world from the root to the fruit.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

For my New Yorkers...

Check out this panel talk by FoodPrint NYC this Saturday--it's where it's happening!

From the Civil Eats article I linked to above "The program features four panels, ranging in topic from policy and zoning to culinary history to food futurism....Foodprint Project’s trans-discipline approach melds both appreciation for and arguments against New York’s edible life." Wish I could be there...

Orach--a tasty beautiful cousin of the spinach..

I grew orach last year (a bit unsuccessfully I must admit, I was still learning how to transplant!) but it really is as easy and tasty as spinach and it adds some serious color to your garden! I'm excited to share that my photo made it into a seed catalog -- check it here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Well crafted beer coming soon to the Inner Sunset

Rich was featured in SF Foodie about his new brewery project: Social Kitchen in the Inner Sunset. Can't wait!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturdays start with the market

Alemany Farmers' Market, San Francisco's oldest, is just a 10 minute walk down the hill from my new apartment. It is the best way to wake up on a Saturday...many more photos and musings of that beautiful spot to come. But here's my loot for the day: crinkly kale, the sweetest mandarin and navel oranges on the planet, cilantro, cold-smoked wild alaskan salmon (yes, I'm back on the fish...I just couldn't do only vegetarian. I was waking up in the night dreaming of fish and craving a carton of eggs...I need it.) out-of-this-world colorful chard, rosemary ciabatta, butternut squash, and napa cabbage. & the pinnacle of it all, black bean and chipotle harissa hummus from the Hummus Guy--I'm completely addicted to this stuff.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A new one for the blog roll: Edible Geography

Does a blog name get any better than that? Check out this exploration of the intersection all things food/art/print/place. What captured my affections was the links to a photo project in GOOD Magazine -- of photos from people's fridges.

Bar Tender | San Antonio, TX | 1-Person Household | Goes to sleep at 8AM and wakes up at 4PM daily. | 2008 From You Are What You Eat by Mark Menjivar, “a series of portraits made by examining the interiors of refrigerators in homes across the United States.” Go here to see the full series--and the captions are almost better than the photos.

This could quite possibly be my favorite thing on the planet. It marries my voyeuristic tendencies with my obsession with talking to people about food (you'll frequently find me in the kitchen at work - at all hours of the day - stalking people at the fridge and peppering them with questions--ooh what is that you're eating? how did you make it? what else did you make for dinner this week? what food is your weakness? what's your favorite breakfast? It's never ending)

And for my New York dwelling friends check out this great project Foodprint NYC
that focuses on bringing events around food and the city.

a dinner emerges out of nothing

Or really out of the desperation of plummeting blood sugar....

I don't know if you're ready for this--I sure wasn't.

Moroccan ginger carrot salad with cilantro and lime from Alice Waters' The Art of Simple Cooking. Then a sweet potato creation of my own: steam sweet potatoes, throw em in a pan with some olive oil, cashews (of the curried variety if you've got them, or just throw in a good dose of curry powder), add some chopped chard, salt, pepper -- then serve with lime and feta. Out. Of. This. World. Oh how you inspire me little sweet potato!

I ate it so fast I couldn't take a photo. Time for an IPA and some chocolate to make the night complete!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rosamunde on 24th & Mission doesn't disappoint.

I tend to over-hype when it comes to food -- I get so excited about going out to eat at a new place it is impossible for it really live up to my expectations. But Rosamunde on 24th didn't disappoint. 3 daily vegan sausages on the menu! (this is in addition to their many, many other meaty versions) 22 beers on tap? WINE on tap?! Baked beans, split pea soup, and fries as one of the many side options! Breakfast sandwiches and four barrel coffee? Beautiful wood communal tables. Just get rid of the tv's and I would move right on in. Go. Now. And if you don't live in SF, recreate this in your own hood. Please.

Oh, and did I mention I got a vegan sausage with grilled onions, sweet peppers & a tasty beer for $10? I can swing that.

PS without a doubt I will continue to frequent the original rosamunde. but it's a totally different experience.