Archive for Travel
Whenever I'm in Costa Rica, I make it a point to visit my dear friend, Amy Schrift, who leads an ascetic life. This video shot by Jody and Brian Calvi was recently posted by them on YouTube. Enjoy!
There's nothing like eating newly harvested fruits and vegetables. Whether from your own backyard, farmer's market, CSA, food co-op or any other local progressive food source, nothing beats consuming local ingredients at their peak.
Today, I attended Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture's 7th annual Harvest Fest at Blue Hill Farm in Tarrytown, New York. Festivities at this well-attended event included a farmers market with delicious food from local purveyors, hayrides around the property, live music, theatrical performances, workshops on food and farming, a chefs vs. farmers tug-of-war contest (the farmers won), and their seasonal pie contest with The New York Times food columnist, Amanda Hesser as one of their judges.
What's happening in your community? Do you have access to farm fresh produce? If not, join a food co-op or CSA, and if there's none in your neighborhood, start one!
Back in Costa Rica on business, I had the pleasure of eating fresh mangosteen, a tropical delicacy. In New York City, this exotic fruit can be sourced at $45 a pound; here in its natural habitat, it sells for less than $5 a pound. So, today I compensated for the loss of time and ate over a dozen.
On average, there are four to eight segments in each fruit, the fragrant edible flesh can be described as sweet and tangy, citrusy with peach flavor and creamy texture. Rich in antioxidants, health claims are attributed to its potency.
Later during my trip, my long-time raw foodist friend Amy Schrift invited me to her finca, where over stimulating conversation we feasted on a simply prepared, delicious tropical menu.
Young Coconut from Costa Rica
Velvet Apple, Langsat
Sapote, Freshly Shelled Macadamia Nuts
On a recent trip to Costa Rica, I had the opportunity to go to La Feria del Agricultor, a farmers’ market right in the heart of Perez-Zeledon, a town located about a 4-hour drive from the capital of San Jose. Every Thursday and Friday, rural workers get together to offer their freshest produce at excellent prices. With a rapidly expanding food section offering an abundant variety of locally grown organic vegetables and fruit, this feria was well worth the visit.
Vendor booths displayed a bounty of mangosteen, rambutan, cashew fruit, cherimoya, starfruit, jackfruit, passion fruit, pejibaye, guava, guanabana, pineapple, banana, plantain, orange, grapefruit, lemons, limes, papaya, grapes, watermelon, coconuts, root vegetables, squash, cauliflower, peppers, chayote, salad greens, tomatoes, onions, garlic, scallion, corn, frijoles, eggplant, herbs, spices…need I continue? You get the idea–a chef’s dream all under one roof. (Just click on any photo to highlight.)
Being around so much exotic fruit inspired me to make one of my favorite desserts. Try this cool, sweet one with just three ingredients.
3 cups fresh ripe mango, peeled, pitted
1 cup dehydrated ripe mango slices (unsulphured), reconstituted
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- In a high-speed blender, combine fresh mango with reconstituted mango slices and lemon juice, then blend until smooth and creamy.
- Pour mixture into a bowl and freeze until ready to serve, or churn in an ice cream maker following manufacturer’s instructions.
To Serve Scoop into serving glasses. Serve immediately.
On this same trip, one sunny afternoon I stopped by my friend, Manuel’s family-run “soda” (a roadside diner), and this Fiery-Billed Aracari (toucan) flew in a couple of feet close to me to feast on ripe plantains.