Earth Day is Sunday: Area 31 Dedicates A Menu to Locally-Sourced Ingredients
The menu was designed by chef Michael Reidt and and the idea behind it is to reduce overall energy consumption in the food supply.
For an appetizer, there will be a salad of salt roasted beets and heirloom tomatoes with green goddess Paradise Farms flower vinaigrette dressing ($12), and an appetizer of cobia crudo (raw kingfish) with lime gelee, mango, radish with pickled ramp vinaigrette ($13).
Entrees consist of hog snapper with red cabbage sauerkraut, honey-glazed turnips and charred cippolini onions ($27); and slow-roasted pork shoulder with romesco, pickled mustard seed, shaved celery and piave ($26).
Dessert will be a sage funnel cake with mulberry jam and jalapeno sherbet.
The ingredients were harvested from two local farms. The honey was harvested from Bee Heaven Farms - Pikarco in Homestead and the vegetables and spices here harvested from Paradise Farms organic farm, also in Homestead.
Local fruits, vegetables and animal products are a nice touch, but what about flowers as an ingredient? Those used to flavor the vinaigrette dressing were harvested from Paradise Farms. There are several varieties of flowers grown by Gabriele Marewski on her Paradise Farm acres.
There are too many to list but they can be eaten by themselves or be used to flavor food.
For example there is the abundantly grown nasturtium flower. When you put this bright orange flower in the mouth, you experience a pleasant and mild peppery flavor. The leaves and flowers are edible. Mix them with salt and you get salt and pepper, or make a pesto or hors d'oeuvres.
Another flower that is grown on the farm is the double clitoria. The deep purple-colored flower is edible, but has many other known uses., such as using the root extract to cure whooping cough, and extracts from some varieties to cure goiter.
In fact most, if not all, edibles grown on Paradise Farms have dual functions: to feed us and to heal us. This is the essence of food.
The menu from Area 31 is for one week only. You have a whole week to decide to check it out. But as you sit down to eat your Earth Day meal, think to yourself this question: "Does what I eat heal me?"
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