Saturday, March 21, 2009
Local And Sustainable Food In The North Loop Neighborhood
Local D'lish sells local food from local farmers, plus some stuff that is not local but raised with "fair trade" and "sustainable" practices. ("Local" is defined to include, for example, farmers in Wisconsin)
Today was Winter Farmers Market, which featured many of the producers whose items are sold in the store. I could have stayed there all day and delighted in free samples...
The store is located at 208 North 1st Street, which is in North Loop. I hear North Loop is part of North Minneapolis but "doesn't like to admit it." That's what I hear.
The founder of Local D'lish is a resident of the Jordan Neighborhood, Ann Yin, who credits her daughter, CC, and husband, Yulin, with giving her lots of support. Here's some details, told through pictures, top to bottom.
First, the woman in the first picture is cooking a Danish pastry called "aebleskiver," shown in the next photo. Aebleskiver is kind of like a doughnut with pieces of apple inside, served with maple syrup, pepper jam, or whatever you like with your aebleskiver. (Local D'lish recently sponsored a "aebleskiver show down." I guess the woman pictured above was the sole survivor?) The pastry was very good and, surprisingly, not at all greasy.
Aebleskiver is shaped like a ball, and skill is required to make the batter form the correct shape while cooking. I asked if it's traditional to use a knitting needle for that purpose--like I saw the aebleskiver-maker doing--and she informed me this was, in fact, the preferred method. Either a knitting needle or a crochet hook, she said.
Next, the owner of "Chin Dian" Cafe was at the market, selling "ginger syrup," which she invented. She gave me a sample on a small pancake. It was great, and (I thought) more invigorating than maple syrup. Wouldn't you rather put something on your morning pancakes that says "WAKEY WAKEY!!!!!!"
"Chin Dian" refers to the fact the cafe serves food that is a fusion of Indian and Chinese.
In looking up information about the cafe, I ended up discovering "Chindia" is a label used to refer to the combined economic power of China and India. Fascinating.
The next photo shows the owner of Local D'Lish (Check out their website at www.localdlish.com, be sure you spell it D-L-I-S-H.) The last photo shows olive oil, labeled by year, just like wine vintages. There were many other great products at the store, like homemade soap, and a farmer who would fill up a crate for you with a variety of products, all from his farm--but I couldn't stay to photograph all of it.
Besides...anybody who has read to this point will want to discover all the delights of Local D'Lish for themselves.