Author Archive | Elizabeth Hodges

Slow Food Salone del Gusto Inspires EMB Writer

img_0015October 18, 2016 – Imagine tents stretched out in every direction as far as the eye can see—tents bursting with every delectable delight imaginable, from every region of Italy: honey, pesto, olive oil, balsamic, cured meats, cheeses, truffles, arancini, gianduia, cannoli, gelato… is your mouth watering yet? We haven’t even gotten to the international sections: Africa, Asia and Oceania, the Americas, and Europe. But I could have spent an entire day just exploring the Piedmont region’s stands. In fact, I probably would have if there weren’t also mind-blowing conferences and forums taking place at the same time.

I just returned from the gastronomic experience of a lifetime, an event called Terra Madre Salone del Gusto that takes place every two years in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, in the … Read More

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Popular cheesemaker gets helping hand

8ba18c28-df60-49e7-8758-fb3d4e6d6685August 16, 2016 – Cheesemaker Charlie Cascio, owner of Sweetwater Farm, spent the second night of the Soberanes fire in his cheese cave, taking refuge while his home and land burned around him in the Palo Colorado canyon. But not before evacuating his goats and doing everything he could to save his farm. Two structures survived: his daughter Gaia’s home and a caretaker cabin.

His original plan had been to weather the fire overnight in his cheese cave along with his seven full-size Saanen goats, but Blaire and Lukie of Lucky Goat Family Farm called and offered to take his (lucky) goats in. The rescue mission was completed at around 10 pm, the goats arriving to their temporary digs nervously with their Swiss bells ringing.

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 3.30.28 PMCascio himself still hadn’t left … Read More

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Move over Oscar Mayer, there are new dogs in town

12031433_1004902406253401_6772799352407503977_oJune 21, 2016 – Hot dogs have come to be synonymous with America and baseball, although the sausage without the bun (also known as a frankfurter or wiener) is culturally German. There is some discrepancy as to just who the first person to sell a hot dog a roll was, but the most widely accepted claim is that it was a German immigrant named Charles Feltman, who began selling them on Coney Island around 1870. Nearly 150 years later on the other side of the continent, hot dogs are making a comeback and they’re getting an upgrade.

Brittany Crass opened her gourmet mobile hot dog cart, Sun’s Out Buns Out, in Santa Cruz this April. She came up with the idea while talking to her boyfriend, Brandon Padilla of … Read More

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THE MCGRATH HOP

A local heirloom revival story

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BY ELIZABETH HODGES
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHELLE MAGDALENA AND MICHAEL SANTAELLA

When I think of South Santa Cruz County and the Pajaro Valley, images of quaint apple orchards dotted with yellow mustard, picturesque vineyards terraced up south-facing hillsides and sprawling fields bursting with perfect rows of strawberries come to mind. But on a recent visit to Corralitos Brewing Co., smack-dab in the middle of said fields, I was surprised to learn that in the late 1800s, hops were actually one of the most prolific crops in the area. Peaking at a time when wheat was on the decline and apples and strawberries were on the rise, Pajaro Valley hops were transported via Freedom Boulevard to San Francisco for shipping around the world.

A man named George … Read More

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LionFish takes over Motiv Kitchen

ee62c65b-43a8-4d85-b17b-b05481cd0c32February 2, 2016 – The name LionFish SupperClub has a nice ring to it. But until last year I had no idea what a lionfish was. Turns out, it’s an invasive species that is known for its ability to devour other fish and successfully populate open marine systems. So it only seems fitting that LionFish is the name of a pop up restaurant and dinner club that bravely takes on all types of cuisine, near and far, while adding its own signature and taking root in the community. Small difference—they’re actually bolstering their ecosystem by sourcing organic, locally grown and foraged ingredients.

Now that LionFish SupperClub has traveled the culinary world through pop-ups and events, they’re prepared to make themselves at home in a place where others have gone before. … Read More

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