Tag Archives: Shizuoka agricultural products

Vegan Japanese Gastronomy: Sweet and Sour Fried Tofu and Mushrooms

For the pleasure of vegetarians and vegans tofu can be prepared as a hot and very satisfying dish all year round!
A typical example is Agedashidofu/揚げだし豆腐, tofu first deep-fried and then served in dashi.
As for the dashi use seaweed/konbu dashi!

INGREDIENTS: For 3 people

-Tofu: 2 standard blocks
-Cornstarch: as appropriate
-Shimeji mushrooms: 1 standard pack
-Enoki mushrooms: 1 standard pack
-Nameko: 1 bunch

Note: you can adapt with any ind of mushrooms.

-Seaweed/Konbu dashi: 600 cc/ml/3 cups
-Salt: a little
-Soy sauce: 3 tabelspoons
-Mirin/sweet sake: 1 tablespoon
-Japanese sake: 1 tablespoon
-Grated ginger: 1 tablespoon
-Yuzu koshio: a little
-Cornstach dissolved in water: as appropriate
-Grated daikon: as appropriate
-Chopped leeks: as appropriate

RECIPE:

-Wrap tofu in kitchen paper and leave it for an hour for excess water to be absorbed (about an hour).
-Place tofu on a dry wooden cutting board. Place a plate and weight on top and enough water will come out. Dry in kitchen paper.

-In a large pan pour the dashi, salt, soy sauce, mirin, sake, ginger, and yuzu kshio.
Bring to light boil.
Drop the mushrooms in.

-When the mushrooms are cooked to satisfaction pour the cornsatrch dissolved in water. Stir until you have obtained a smooth texture. Keep hot.

-Cut the tofu in adequate large bit sized cubes (you could have done it beforehand and take out excess water)>
Roll them in cornstarch. Shake away excess cornstarch powder.

-Fry tofu cubes in shallow oil until they have attained a very light bron color.
Take ou and pace in a dish.
Pour the sweet and sour mushrooms all over.
Decorate/season with grated daikon and chopped leeks.
Serve immediately!

You may also place the lot over freshly steamed rice!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Fuji No Kuni Gastronomic Fair in Fuji City (September 2011)

On September 22nd another “Fuji no Kuni” Gastronomic Fair was held under the auspices of the Shizuoka Prefecture Economy & Industry Bureau at Maison De Anniversaire in Fuji City to support the local food and producers.

As the event started at 7 p.m. I arrived a bit early at Shin Fuji Station where I was greeted by a beautiful sunset!
As the site of the event took place high at the foot of Mount Fuji I did well to reach the Station at 6 p.m.!

Arriving early gave me ample time to greet some friends and acquaintances like Mr. Sano, owner of Sanoman Co. in Fujinomiya City!

It also allowed me to survey the dining room and have a look at the menu and appetizers on my plate before exchanging business cards with many another guest. Actually most guests, representing companies or coming as individuals, had some kind of direct relation with the economy and agriculture of Shizuoka Prefecture.
Incidentally, the appetizers were Mangenton ball in escabeche from Sanoman Co. and the chicken roulade was made with Koshamo chicken from Aoki Farm in Fuji City!

The beer that day was brewed by Stephan Rager at Bayern Meister Beer Co. in Fujinomiya City!

And the Japanese sake was provided by Fuji-Takasago Brewery in Fujinomya City!

A honjyozo called “Raku/楽/Enjoy Yourself!”

Guests including some celebrities taking their seats in all informality.

The MC of the day: Mrs. Kyouko Ishigami, a Shizuoka sake expert!

The dinner started with a vegetable and salmon trout jelly terrine and organic salad!

The salmon trout was bred by Kunugi Fish Farm and all the organic vegetables were grown by Mtsuki Bio Farm, both in Fujinomiya City!

Each producer involved in the preparation of the repast introduced their venture on the mike: Mr. Sano of Sanoman Co.

Beautiful mushroom soup with imo/taro. The mushrooms were cultivated by Mr. Hasegawa in Fuji City!

Madai/Seabream (brought from Yui, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City) poelee with a galette of sakura shrimps from the same harbour. The vegetables are of course from Matsuki Bio Farm and the bacon from Sanoman Co.

For a closer view!

Charcoal-grilled Izu Venison Roast from deer meat processed by the Izu City Food Processing Center!

Very French in concept! And delicious!

The representative of Fuji-Takasago Brewery in Fujinomiya City!

The dessert!

Shizuoka Fig Millefeuille with blueberry sauce!

Financier!

A very interesting dinner indeed introducing all the good ingredients from Shizuoka Prefecture!

I wonder where they are going to hold this monthly event next time!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass,
Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

Zucchini Flower Fritters (updated)

Zucchini flowers have been a long-time favorite of people living around the Mediterranean Sea, especially in Italy and French Provence.
The Japanese have recently grown fond of not only zucchini, but also their flowers and are growing them with a vengeance!
It is little wonder they come up with their own, if much simpler, version of zucchini flower fritters!
Since we are again in season (at long last) I tohought it might help some friends!

INGREDIENTS: For 4 people

-Zucchini Flowers: 4
-Prawns/shrimps: 6 (medium-sized)
-Mozzarella Cheese (they make it in Japan, now, even in Shizuoka Prefecture! And that from real water buffaloes!): 1
-Onion: 3 tablespoons (very finely chopped)
-Flour: as appropriate (or if you are Japanese food cognizant, use tempura batter. Rice flour is OK, too)
-Lemon juice: 1/2
-Baby leaves mix for accompaniment: as much as you like!
-Salt: as appropriate
-Pepper: as appropriate
-White wine: a little

RECIPE:

-Take the pistils out the zucchini flowers.

-“Peel” the shrimps if necessary and clean them. Cut them into 2 cm long pieces. Cut off half of the zucchini green part (not the flower) and cut again into 1 cm long pieces.

-Lightly fry the zucchini and shrimps with olive oil. Season with a litle salt, pepper and white wine. Transfer into a bowl and let cool for a while.

-Cut the mozzarella into small pieces and add into the bowl. Mix the lot.

-Delicately open the zucchini flowers and fill them with the above mixture. Do not fill completely as you need to close the flower by twisting their extremities.

-Either wrap the flowers in a little flour or tempura batter and delicately them fry them in shallow olive oil.

-Serve with baby leaves seasoned with a very little salt, some pepper and wine vinegar, and a wedge of lemon/lime.

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass,
Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

Vegetarian Italian Cuisine at Piatto!

Service: Very friendly and relaxed. Slow food!
Equipment: Great cleanliness and splendid washroom
Prices: Appropriate
Strong Points: Vegetables, especially local and organic whenever possible. Local products. Good French and Italian wine-list

I’m not a vegetarian, but if one can come up with a superlative vegetarian dish I will not hesitate!
And if the vegetables are organic and local to boot I will ignore meat and fish for the whole meal (and postpone the latter to my next visit! LOL)

Kazuo Igarashi originally comes from Tokyo, but with a wife from Shizuoka and a constant access to extravagant ingredients convinced him to open Piatto in downtown Shizuoka City on June 12th 2006.
Since then he has acquired such a fame that his own peers advised me to pay him a visit as soon as possible!

Kazuo’s cuisine is definitely Italian in inspiration but his small establishment is a happy fusion of European and Japanese influences with plates and dishes being chosen among the artworks of three different potters. Food is served on wooden (wood and fabric material and colors are everywhere!) trays with wooden chopsticks and spoons (although you can ask for forks and knives!) and in art glassware. Frankly speaking I would need to write a separate article to describe the place (which I will do next time!)!

I almost cried when I found a Mercurey white wine on his menu! Mercurey is my home-place back in Bourgogne, France!
A very tasty appetizer was served in a beautiful glass: yuuba (skimmed tofu sheet) with parmegiano, pepper and olive oil!

A first for me!

“Bagna Couda”: Italian-style hot dip vegetable tray!

The small deep dish was placed on larger pot containing a combustible to heat the dip.
Both the dish and “burner” were made of sophisticated Japanese pottery!

The dip recipe is a secret of course but it does contain parmegiano and anchovy paste!
I did not leave a drop!

The vegetables, all local and most organic, were more of a Japanese concept, proving that superlative Italian gastronomy can be successfully achieved anywhere if you have quality ingredients!

A little explanation here:
The eggplant is mizu nasu/水茄子, a variety which is eaten raw. The renkon/蓮根/lotus root and takenoko/筍/bamboo shoot are definitely Japanese in concept.
And even more so the mini melons eaten as vegetables in our Prefecture!

Kazuo’s focaccia seems to be known all over town.
Carrot focaccia to finish my dip sauce!

What did I tell you about pottery?
I know some people who would visit the place just to have the pleasure in eating with them!

A risotto was of course on the cards!
I just asked Kazuo to concoct me one with vegetables!

It just shows that green can be become such an appetizing color in the hands of a great chef!

Even the dessert was local!
Can you guess?

I almost took the same picture: Cherry tree flower Ice cream! Yes you read well: flowers!

I’m afraid this is still a bit short of an article as Kazuo Ishigarashi’s cuisine will take time to explore, but don’t woory, I’ll be back soon!

PIATTO
Shisuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Kooyamachi, 5-12, 2F
TEl.: 054-253-8844
Business hours: Lunch, 11:30~14:30 on Monday, Saturday, Sunday & National Holidays. Dinner: 17:30~23:00
Closed on Thursdays
Credit Cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese and a little English)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass,
Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

Vegan Feast with Shizuoka Products at Yasaitei!

Service: Very friendly and attentive
Facilities: Very clean overall. Superb toilets.
Prices: Appropriate
Strong points: Great choice of local & Japanese vegetables. Kansai-style oden. All traditionally-clad ladies staff in a traditional izakaya. Good wines, shochu and sake List.

Chef Aki Suzuki/鈴木朋 never rests on her laurels in a constant search for new local vegetables of the best quality and freshness to please and titillate her customers.
Luckily enough, Shizuoka Prefecture is fast developing into THE reference when it comes to variety and quality of vegetables in Japan.
Moreover, whenever a producer cannot achieve a full organic culture the predominant trend is to reduce any artificial fertilizer or pesticide to a strict minimum.

The result is that the general level has reached such an elevated status that vegetables imported from other Prefectures are of an unheard quality.
It is thus easy to understand why restaurants and izakayas in Shizuoka Prefecture are increasingly using only the safest vegetables as a matter of course!

A very Japanese setting!
With my first glass of my favorite local rice-shochu, “Doman” by Hamamatsu-Tenjingura Brewery, the o-toshi/first snack was a morsel that vegans would run for!

Tokoroten/心太/seaweed jelly!
Served with some finely chopped dry nori/seaweed and Japanese hot mustard, it makes for a delicious healthy snack, even for an omnivore like me!

The sashimi plate of the day!
All the vegetables came from Shizuoka Prefecture and almost half of them were organic!

I know this corn as I have already written about it. Kankan Musume Corn by Takeshi Ichikawa in Iwata City. Served raw, it is so juicy and sweet!

This ko aka daikon/radish/小赤大根 come from Shizen no Chikara Organic Farm in Shizuoka City. Their raw leaves are great with grain mustard!

Juicy daikon and crisp perilla leaf/shiso/紫蘇. The sweet onion/tamanegi/玉葱 behind the shiso leaf is also from Shizen no Chikara Organic Farm.

Juicy tomatoes (from the same farm!), crispy cucumber and quaint ice-plants!

Organic carrot backing up the chopped sweet onion!

As usual the “dressing” consisted of top-class kome miso (the miso paste contains whole rice grains), sesame oil and salt!

Aki san had just received organic broad beans (you can eat them raw!). I asked her to prepare some as tempura!

Little jewels!

And I was off to my second report of the night… LOL

YASAITEI/野菜亭
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Business hours: 17:30~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Reservations highly recommended
Seating: 6 at counter + 12 at tables
Set Courses: 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 yen
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass,
Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

Vegan’s Paradise in Shizuoka: Yasaitei!

Service: Very friendly and attentive
Facilities: Very clean overall. Superb toilets.
Prices: Appropriate
Strong points: Great choice of local & Japanese vegetables. Kansai-style oden. All traditional ladies staff in tradtional izakaya. Good wines, shochu and sake List.

Spring is a boon for an izakaya like Yasaitei which specializes in vegetable cuisine (although you can get anything from fish to meat). Although I’m not, it is always great fun to ask for vegan or vegetarian dishes to Ms. Aki Suzuki/鈴木朋, chef at Yasaitei.

As vegetables are only seasonal, it is a good idea to sit at the counter and have a good look at them:

I will let you guess them out (mind you, it is not too difficult!)!

Enormous, aren’t they?

Local, fresh and big!

While I was teasing Aki San I was brought my snack with my first drink.

This seaweed is called “mekabu/和布蕪”. It is found in the shape of balls in the nearby sea and has to be chopped first before serving it with some ponzu and sesame seeds. It is said to be extremely healthy, full of nutrients and especially beneficial to humans! After all, seaweed is the vegetable of the ocean!

As for my drink I chose a rice shochu, brewed by Hana no Mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City, called Acho no Tsubome.
Incidentally, this shochu is vegan! And the art so cute!

I was not here for a full dinner but for a quick snack before going back to work.
So Aki san fried shiitake mushrooms, tomatoes and plenty of Spring cabbage in peperocino style and served them decorated with local fresh cress.

For such cuisine Aki San will use only absolutely top-class Italian virgin olive oil and a minimum of seasoning, mainly salt, pepper and chili so as to preserve the true taste of the vegetables.
Let me show you some closer shots for a better look!

From the top.

From the top, a little bit closer.

A side view.

And another.

Although she cooks all kinds of dishes, including omnivore, Aki San will be glad to oblige and devise strictly vegan or vegetarian dishes for you and even a full meal if requested at least a day in advance!

YASAITEI/野菜亭
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Business hours: 17:30~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Reservations highly recommended
Seating: 6 at counter + 12 at tables
Set Courses: 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 yen
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

Local Food: green, healthy and social.

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi
Shizuoka Pics

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日本語のブログ
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lojol1
By Patrick Harrington

local-food.jpg

As this article appears more current by the day I decided to post it again for the attention of all my new friends at Foodbuzz!

From all the excellent articles in the Shizuoka Gourmet blog the one which had most impact on me was the shortest one, with a quirky title that hid a very serious issue: ‘Shimizu goes bananas’, in March 2007.

As we all know our use of the earth’s resources is exceeding the earth’s ability to sustain itself. It is calculated that we would need an earth almost twice the size to sustain our thirst for resources.

It may seem obvious but one way of significantly reducing our over-use of resources is by consuming local food.

We can massively reduce the amount of transportation. Can you imagine how far strawberries must travel to keep the supermarkets of Northern Europe stocked year-round?.
And we can also reduce or eliminate the the processing and packaging, not to mention the advertising. Plus there is reduction in the need for chemical preservatives and irradiation.
Growing local food also results in a tendency toward multiple cropping and better crop rotation. This can lead to reduced pesticide use, minimization of crop failure and better preservation of indigenous biodiversity.
In addition the by-products, eg manure and silage, may be used productively rather than be viewed as nuisance waste.
However multiple cropping requires multiple skills and a wide range of tools and machinery, but it utilizes human labour more efficiently as each crop will have a different cycle.
The green dimension of local food is something we can all probably agree upon.

Secondly there is also the health dimension. As mentioned above the amount of processing and the need for pesticides and chemicals can be reduced by using local food, but it is also thought that better nutrition also results.
Regional and seasonal conditions affect the compostion of plants and animals and consuming local food provides an optimal nutritional fit.
Having said this, science has been unable to prove nor disprove this idea, but anecdotal evidence abounds. A simple example is the consumption of oranges in Shizuoka in the winter months. The vitamin C from the oranges helps combat the increased risk of catching colds at this time of year. A more radical example would be the traditional Japanese diet of rice, fish and green tea, which surely provides a better nutritional fit for the people of Japan than a diet of burgers, french fries and cola.

Thirdly is the social dimension. Local food can help protect local jobs and shops, and increase food security. Support for local food may also result in the continuation (or re-discovery) of community structures and values. And local food often carries inherent traditional and cultural symbols for a community, something which is perhaps undervalued in today’s global society.
Though it may be counter-argued that international trade is a method of wealth redistribution, this is a highly complex issue, and evidence suggests that the wealth divide is actually widening rather than narrowing.

So the argument for local food appears to be a compelling one. But don’t get me wrong! I’m not advocating that we forsake all food from outside our local community. In fact it is ludicrous to imagine every region being self-sufficient in food. What would happen to Tokyo, or Finland, or Singapore?
And why shouldn’t Robert eat cheese, and why shouldn’t I eat bananas?

But cheese is now made in Fujinomiya, and bananas are now grown in Shimizu, which make them local (to Robert and me).

Admittedly there aren’t many places which can boast Shizuoka’s capability to produce such diverse foods, but I would urge a greater balance toward local food in the diet. There are significant green, healthy and social benefits to be gained. And local food tastes better too!