with Northeastern campus executive chef Tom Barton
I would like to welcome everyone back to campus. Hope everyone had a great summer and hope everyone is settling in. We have received a few questions about some of our local products that we serve so I thought I would take this opportunity to talk a little more about the products that we do purchase locally.
Right now is a GREAT time to buying local. What we buy changes from week to week based on our menus and what items the farmers feel is in peak condition to send to us. The past few weeks have been filled with potatoes, carrots, onions, beets, kale, chard, lettuces, squashes of all sorts, tomatoes, corn, and, of course, apples. Keep an eye out at Stetson for Chef Sam's fresh corn station – if you like Mexican street corn you'll love this!
Many of the items listed above fit perfectly into our "root to tip" vegetable program. In short, we use as much of the vegetable as possible – including the peel and the tops. Many of the vegetables we leave the peel on for added flavor and nutrition. Carrot and beet tops could be braised with other vegetables or made into a "pesto" and be incorporated back into the preparation.
We are also using some IDP – Imperfectly Delicious Produce. These are items that would have been left in the field because they don't look 100% perfect but they still taste great! IDP items that we have been using include small cut broccoli, baby kale, romaine lettuce, and cauliflower.
We will be buying and using many local products well into November and December. Our choices are certainly limited at that time but we are still able to get many local hard squashes and potatoes.