Let's review...right around the same time the Slow Food movement began to coalesce, the popularity of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) began to rise. CSAs are a popular way for us, as consumers, to buy locally-grown, organic, seasonal food directly from a farmer.
Here are the basics and benefits...the farmers receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm's cash flow and have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow. We get weekly deliveries of fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits; we get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking; and we usually get to visit the farm at least once a season so the kids see that food is grown in the ground and doesn't just magically appear - in cellophane - in the grocery store!
I had initially joined years ago to get organic, freshly plucked fruits and veggies every week during their season and to support a local farm. And while I am happy to support local farmers, I realized that one of my strongest reason for continuing my subscription: the mystery! I love a challenge.
I relish getting something unknown in my box. As an example, I had never seen, much less cooked with, agretti. But I loved the burst of juiciness that it brought to a quick pasta tossed with pancetta, caramelized onions, and mascarpone cheese. The albino looking carrots - parsnips - were transformed into a flavorful soup with a sweetness brought on by white chocolate. And roasted romanesco added a nuttiness to a frittata topped with asiago cheese.
I love the adventure of finding delectable ways to cook something I've never seen before. What might stress out some home-chefs, piques my curiosity and gives me a reason to look for new recipes. So, every time I pick up my CSA box, I do a happy dance. Woohoo. Oh, yeah. Woohoo. Oh, yeah!
I hope the other #WinePW are as excited as I am to shine the spotlight on some CSA veggies and pair them with a wine. Hopefully, we'll get some answers to questions: What wine pairs well with asparagus? What about vinegar-based slaws made with freshly shaved Napa cabbage? I can't wait to read the pairings! And, if you aren't a member of a CSA, don't worry, just get creative with some seasonal produce. This topic is wide open. Join me.