Tracey Paska

The Path to Eating Good/Feeling Good Ends in St. Boni

On the day his restaurant St. Boni Bistro opened in a converted auto body shop, Bob Dobihal knew right away that something was up across the street – or, more precisely, being torn up. “They started the rock crusher, removing the rails and ties,” he said, recalling the activity along the old railbed nearby. “We figured something was going to happen.” That something was the start of construction transforming a portion of the former Great Northern Railway line into the Dakota Rail Regional Trail, a 13-mile paved pedestrian and bike path between Wayzata and St. Bonifacius, Minnesota, the bistro’s namesake locale.

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Prairiepeeps: A Sweet Easter Treat to Tweet About

To say that Susan Dietrich’s handmade Prairiepeeps are akin to the mass-produced flocks of Peeps found in stores before Easter is like comparing a beautifully roasted, free-range bird to a Chicken McNugget. These are birds of an entirely different feather.

These locally made marshmallow chicks hatched from their creator’s serendipitous craving for s’mores. Dietrich, a chef and co-founder of the Minneapolis artisanal food company Very Prairie, had successfully adapted her grandmother’s oatcake recipe to make graham crackers, which led to thoughts of that classic campfire combination. “It had been years since I had a s’more and I tried them again,” she said. “But once you stand there as a chef with a trained palate, and you taste something that doesn’t live up to it to your memory of it, it’s disappointing.”

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Gale Woods Farm Encourages Visitors to Play with Their Food

The sheep were looking quite sheepish.

Last Saturday was Shearing Day Gale Woods Farm and though the animals in question were none too pleased, the children watching intently were delighted as the shearer wielded his clippers with gentle efficiency while piles of wool gathered at his feet. Later, the young visitors moved from the barn to the activity room, where staff and volunteers demonstrated how wool that just a short time before adorned the sheep was spun into yarn and woven into fabric. As parents and kids practiced "carding" (brushing the wool fibers) and made felted crafts to take home, others enjoyed a delicious sampling of farm-grown lamb, served on warm pita and topped with tomatoes and a refreshing yogurt sauce.

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Locavore's Dilemma: Can We Eat Local and Still Enjoy Global Food Traditions?

The benefits of eating local cannot be understated: fresher and more flavorful products, economic support for local small-scale farmers and producers, less harmful environmental impacts and better appreciation for the delicious bounty to be found closer to home. But for many food lovers, embracing this philosophy comes with a trade-off.

Call it the Locavore’s Dilemma – how can one reconcile an earnest desire to eat local with the enjoyment of certain foods whose best examples are imported from great distances? Must we resign ourselves to giving up authentic Italian prosciutto or France’s renowned fromages, in effect abstaining from some of Europe’s finest culinary traditions, in the name of conscientious consumption?

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Food for Thought: Consider the Coconut

Food: we cook it, we eat it, and then we’re done.

Well, not quite. Like the good folk milling around the Tower of Babel, we also spend a great deal of time talking about it, except that we’re not always speaking the same language.

Food is, both figuratively and literally, on everyone’s lips and the discussion has never been so deep or widespread, providing fodder for everyone from filmmakers and politicians to home cooks and bloggers, who all have something different to say about what we eat. The array of issues is so dizzying, it’s enough to make you toss your salad.

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