Mmmmm…I love chocolate — I mean really good chocolate. Sure, in a pinch, I will make a S’more with Hershey’s, and yes, I have toured the plant in Hershey PA (every summer that I stayed with grandparents nearby — they actually gave out samples…back in the day…). Lately I have developed a love of the darker chocolate, you know the ones…72%…but really, I’d never experienced “bean to bar” until I had a Dick Taylor Madagascar Sambirano. This dark chocolate isn’t for the faint of heart, it is a chocolate that only takes a single square to be super satisfying. Alas, I wax on about my experience…and really what you need to do is break down and buy your own. The cost will be more than a bar of Hershey’s…but a single square melting on the tongue is all you will need to satisfy…and that’s more than I can say for the “other bar.”
College of the Redwoods Bianchi Educational Farm — whew, it’s a mouthful! But WHAT a farm! An idyllic haven from the city, Shively California can only be reached by a windy, somewhat scary country road. Around each turn you might come face to face with a logging truck or a herd of seemingly wild goats, so take it slow — but definitely head out for a visit. Once a year the farm hosts an open house, complete with a taste of farm grown produce.
Do I sound biased? if not, I should. I have taken several classes out at the farm — it’s where I injected my first goat, eviscerated my first turkey, built my first electric fence, pressed my first apples — ok, you get it, I had a lot of firsts out there. It is a shining gem of an organic educational farm, donated to CR for the purpose of teaching people how to raise animals and raise crops. So much to talk about there are two interviews to listen to. Hope to see you out at the farm sometime, and if not there — check out the Farmers Market at the College of the Redwoods campus twice weekly (TBD at time of posting)
Part 1 Listen Here
Part 2 Listen Here
A small winery…how small? Lina and her husband, Don Wattenbarger are the only employees turning out some very fine wines. Why the name? They are very fond of the birds that come and go at their home and winery, especially the lovely violet green swallows. Want to know more? pour yourself a glass of certified organic Syrah and listen to their story.
Gluten Free — it’s a term you hear often, many of your friends are giving the gluten free diet a go to see if it will help with any number of health problems, and why not when you have the luscious treats that Rosa and Milia are cooking up for you at Natural Decadence. They brought Jess and I some “buttery tasting” (but no butter, they are vegan AND gluten free) shortbread cookies with lavender, yum! They also brought their story of how they got started baking up gluten free treats and how they got picked up by Whole Foods. Local ladies are making it big, and it all started here in Humboldt.
Oyster Tour anyone? If you really want to know where your food comes from, the best thing to do is visit it in person. That is what Sebastian Elrite’s latest venture offers, a tour by either boat or kayak of oyster beds in Humboldt Bay. You can go out, harvest your very own oysters and bring them back to the Humboldt Bay Tourism Center, where they will prepare your freshly caught prey. Learn about how oysters are raised and where all of these little critters end up on dinner plates throughout the U.S.
Our interview with Dave Franklin was scheduled for 10 a.m. –the problem? I knew he was bringing beer for us to taste. I stopped by Ramones and bought a couple of scones, one I wolfed down on the way to the station — the other I threw at Jessica Eden the moment I got through the door. “Quick, eat this” I said –“we are going to be drinking beer in exactly 15 minutes” — and I’m really not much of a drinker, so I knew that breakfast really shouldn’t start with an alcoholic beverage. Luckily Dave brought a thoughtful taste of beer for us, enough to really sample the product — but not enough to compromise the other interviews scheduled for that morning (at least I think it didn’t…but perhaps my perceptions were distorted…by beer…).
Check out the Redwood Curtain Brewing site here