Nominee for Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste: The Sugar Hubbard Squash

Slow Food’s Ark of Taste aims to rediscover, describe and publicize forgotten flavors around the world. Through the Ark of Taste program, Slow Food USA has a catalog of over 200 delicious foods in danger of extinction. Since 1996, more than 800 products from over 50 countries have been added to the international Ark of Taste. By promoting and eating Ark products we help ensure that they remain in production and on our plates.

The mission of the Slow Food Ark of Taste is to preserve traditional tastes and to celebrate them, by introducing them to the Slow Food membership and then to the world. All of the foods on the Ark of Taste are heritage products that have real economic viability and commercial potential for the communities that grow, produce or harvest them.

Since it’s inception, Slow Food Seattle has successfully boarded four regional food products onto the Slow Food Ark of Taste including Olympia Oyster, Marbled Chinook Salmon, Geoduck, and Makah Ozette Potato (our only Presidium product). Slow Food Seattle’s latest Ark of Taste nomination is the Sugar Hubbard, a sweet heirloom winter squash with a unique Puget Sound heritage. Former Slow Food Seattle Co-Chair, and Puget Sound Food Network Project Manager, Lucy Norris, recently wrote about this important heirloom in the winter 2010 issue of Edible Seattle.

Read the full story in Edible Seattle, or download a PDF version.

Sugar Hubbard Squash

The Sugar Hubbard Squash, grown at Sherman's Pioneer Farm Produce in central Whidbey Island, is Slow Food Seattle's latest nomination for the Ark of Taste.

Sherman’s Pioneer Farm Produce in central Whidbey Island grows the only commercial crop of Sugar Hubbard in the country. It is the result of combining traditional blue Hubbard and Sweetmeat squash, inheriting the best flavor and texture characteristics of both. The Sugar Hubbard is a nutrient dense, starchy squash (with a high glycemic index), but also very high in vitamin A, exceeding USDA requirements for Beta Carotene. Most winter squash varieties are interchangeable in recipes, and the Sugar Hubbard is nutty-sweet and the colored deep orange like a marigold. Try it in a favorite recipe that calls for winter squash, and you’ll be impressed.

The Sugar Hubbard has an excellent flavor, and it’s uniquely local to Puget Sound, with a strong family heritage. It has every asset required for boarding onto Slow Food’s Ark of Taste. Slow Food Seattle’s interest in boarding this product on the Ark of Taste will send a signal to conscientious consumers and help boost market demand in our area. Voting with your fork helps food producers like the Sherman’s remain profitable in the business of farming in our region. Only the best tasting endangered foods make it onto the Ark, and we think the Sugar Hubbard is a great fit.

Find the Squash
Peeled squash cubes are available at all Whole Foods locations in Oregon and Washington as long as the supply holds out. Liz and Dale continue to look for additional retailers for their squash. Sherman’s Pioneer Farm Produce is located at 46 South Ebey Road, Coupeville, WA. Contact Liz or Dale Sherman at 360.678.4675.

Looking for recipes?
Spice Loaf – by Editor, Edible Seattle
Chili Stew – by Lucy Norris, adapted from an original recipe by Liz Sherman

Excerpts with permission from Edible Seattle.

Dale Sherman in his field of Sugar Hubbard Squash

Dale Sherman in his field of Sugar Hubbard squash. Photo: Lara Ferroni

Lucy Norris is Project Manager for Puget Sound Food Network, a project of the Northwest Agriculture Business Center, former co-chair of Slow Food Seattle, and author of Pickled: Preserving a World of Tastes and Traditions.

Slow Food Seattle Albacore Canning Day with Jeremy Brown

Tuna canning guru and Washington fisherman, Jeremy Brown

Tuna canning guru and Washington fisherman, Jeremy Brown.

In the spirit of Terra Madre Day, over fifty Slow Food Seattle members and community supporters came together on November 28th for a day-long fish canning workshop called – “Time to Tin a Tuna!” – taught by Jeremy Brown, a Bellingham-based commercial fisherman and longtime proponent of Slow Food.

Wild Pacific Albacore has been in the news for all the right reasons – topping the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Super Green List and on National Public Radio in a feature on the growth of micro-canneries in the Pacific Northwest.

Though you can find canned albacore tuna at your local food co-ops or fish markets in many communities, this was an opportunity to learn firsthand with someone well-versed in the process and safety considerations of using pressure cookers. At the end of the day, attendees left with both with the pride of supporting a local fisherman and a good stock of Wild Pacific Albacore to last through the long northwest winter. In past years, Jeremy had done these canning days in the coastal town of Port Townsend, Washington with Amy Grondin, a Slow Food Seattle board member and Port Townsend resident. This was the first time collaborating directly with Slow Food Seattle.

Volunteers washed, trimmed, and cut the tuna into chunks for canning.

Volunteers washed, trimmed, and cut the tuna into chunks for canning.

We were at maximum capacity a matter of days after announcing the event. We were able to use a commercial kitchen space donated by Gourmondo, a local catering company and Jeremy arrived with everything we needed to preserve our own delicious and nutritious, locally caught albacore tuna to see us through until the 2011 albacore fishing season.

The fish was pre-cut into steaks and with the help of a rotating assembly line of volunteers – we cleaned, trimmed, chopped, packed and processed a thousand pounds of albacore in eight hours!

The recipe was an old Breton family recipe Jeremy picked up while in France many years back – simple and delicious for anyone with a pressure canner and access to some great local fish:

  • Pack tuna cut into about 2-inch chunks into jars along with a pinch of salt (we used kosher salt and 12-ounce jars).
  • The secret ingredient that adds just the right level of sweetness is a slice of carrot.
  • Add extra-virgin olive oil about half-way filling the jars, wipe the rims, cover with the lids and process.

Slow Food Seattle made the round-up on Terra Madre Day on the Slow Food USA blog!

Wild Pacific Albacore Tuna

Wild Pacific Albacore Tuna

 

June Lee (bottom left), Philip Lee (top right), Amy Grondin (top center) skinning and cleaning albacore.

June Lee (bottom left), Philip Lee (top right), Amy Grondin (top center) skinning and cleaning albacore.

Tuna in jars, ready to be processed. The "secret" ingredient is a slice of carrot for sweetness.

Tuna in jars, ready to be processed. The "secret" ingredient is a slice of carrot for sweetness.

SFS board member, Patricia Eddy and her husband, John Eddy breaking down tuna steaks.

SFS board member, Patricia Eddy and her husband, John Eddy - both of cooklocal.com - breaking down tuna steaks.

Jars of tuna, waiting their turn for the pressure cooker.

Jars of tuna, waiting their turn for the pressure cooker.

Pressure cooker, letting off some steam. Tuna jars cooling in the background.

Pressure cooker, letting off some steam. Tuna jars cooling in the background.

Photos: Jennifer Johnson

Edible Holiday Gifts with Amy Pennington, Dec. 2nd

Amy Pennington

Urban Pantry author, Amy Pennington. Photo: Della Chen

Local foodie celeb and author of this year’s must-have cookbook, Urban Pantry, Amy Pennington is teaming up with Slow Food Seattle on Thursday, December 2nd from 6-8pm for a fun and festive evening of edible gift-making at Seattle’s Vineyard Table!

Amy will demonstrate a variety of the thrifty, sustainable, and seasonal recipes that have prompted praise for Urban Pantry from everyone from the Seattle Times to Sunset to Gwyneth Paltrow, focusing on edible gifts that can be prepared in any home kitchen.

Participants will each receive a signed copy of Urban Pantry and get to take home a sample treat from those created during the evening. Organically produced wine from Snoqualmie Vineyards and light snacks will also be provided.

Tickets are $25/person and include a signed copy of Urban Pantry & your edible gifts!

Gift items such as…

  • Herbal Salt Rubs
  • Scented Sugars
  • Herbal Digestifs & Cordials
  • Pickled Fennel
  • PLUS: Creative DIY Labeling for your gifts!
Brown Paper Tickets

Limited tickets available now!

 

 

 

The details:

Edible Holiday Gifts with Amy Pennington
6-8pm, Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Vineyard Table
85 South Atlantic St.
Seattle, WA 98134

Urban Pantry by Amy Pennington

Fall updates: call for recipes, news on the Makah Ozette potato, and a wild salmon habitat volunteer opportunity

Do you have a recipe for fall?

apple basketAs the days get chillier, many of us naturally find ourselves warmed by the kitchen as a stew or sauce bubbles away on the stove top or a roast cooks in the oven. And if we are lucky, a friend, family member or neighbor will have shared their recipe for the perfect fall dish. We’re hoping to offer some inspirational dishes to our Slow Food Seattle community. For our upcoming newsletter, we would like to feature your recipe! We’re looking for savory and sweet harvest recipes to share with your fellow Slow Food Seattle members.

From the recipes submitted, we will choose two of them to feature on the next Slow Food Seattle newsletter. If you have a seasonal recipe or perhaps a Thanksgiving favorite you would like to share in our upcoming newsletter, please email it with your name, the neighborhood you live in, and how long you have been a member to us at info@slowfoodseattle.org.

Help the Mid Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group:
A volunteer opportunity to restore wild salmon habitat

Mid Sound Fisheries - Planting Project

Photo courtesy of Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group

Most of us have enjoyed a piece of grilled wild salmon a time or two. Some of us have even had the excitement of hooking one while fishing in the waters of Puget Sound. Maybe you have stood on the side of a stream and marveled at the sight of wild salmon making their way upstream to spawn in the very place they began their lives years before.

Have you ever wondered what you could do to help these amazing animals in their efforts to complete their life cycle? Wonder no more, pull on some rubber boots and meet the Mid Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group on the river banks of one of the tributaries to Mill Creek in Auburn as we volunteer a few hour to restore its this vital salmon habitat.

It doesn’t look like much but this tributary supports juvenile salmon, providing important off-channel refuge during high stream flows. The Mid Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group will be planting nearly 2,000 trees and shrubs over the course of a few days and need help to do so. A few hours from Slow Food Seattle members will greatly speed this effort and assure that wild salmon are welcomed home to clean, cool water in a free flowing stream.

Mid Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group’s mission is to increase salmon populations to healthy and sustainable levels while working cooperatively with private landowners and others in the community to improve salmon habitat. They rely on volunteers and members to make habitat restoration a reality. Let’s help them make the project a success while being good stewards to our wild salmon populations!

Here are the details:

  • When: Saturday November 6th from 10am to 2pm
  • Where: Please meet at the corner of West Valley Highway and 15th Street NW. Parking is limited so car pool if possible. You will receive detailed directions once you sign up.
  • What to wear: Dress appropriately to plant young trees and be prepared for the day’s weather be it rain gear or sunglasses. Work gloves and sturdy shoes a must.
  • What to Bring: Mid Sound team will have warm drinks, some shovels and lots of small trees. Please bring your own shovel or basic garden tools (all clearly labeled) if they are handy. Remember to bring your our own drinking water, lunch and anything else that you need to make your day comfortable while digging in the dirt!

Sign up: Please put “Volunteer on November 6th” in the subject line when you email the Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group with your name and a phone number: info@midsoundfisheries.org. All volunteers must be 18 years or older.

If you’re on Facebook, you can also find the Mid Sound Fisheries page here. A great opportunity to feel good and do your part to preserve wild salmon and essential fish habitat. Thank you!

Update on the Makah Ozette Potato Presidium

Our Presidium has been in operation for almost four years (for background, see here as well as on the Makah Ozette Potato Presidium page). The objective of having  an abundant regional seed source was realized last year by our partner, Pure Potato.

We had finally reached the long awaited three years it takes to develop the available genetic material into a field of virus free seed potato. There was an abundance of seed available for the 2010 planting throughout the region and seed was even sold to a large potato grower in California.  Pure Potato sold all of its seed this spring and most of the 7 regional nurseries who stocked the seed sold out to home gardeners by mid spring.

A highlight of 2009 was Essential Baking Company‘s (EBC) adopting the potato, contracting with Full Circle Farm and making their seasonal potato bread using the Makah Ozette Potato (MOP). The management of EBC declared this to be the most flavorful potato bread they had ever produced. They are committed to continuing to use the MOP when it is available in the future.

2010 has been a disaster year for the MOP. Flooding destroyed the entire crop of seed at Pure Potato. This is a severe setback for the Presidium as it will take another three years to regenerate the seed stock to the 2009 levels. Pure Potato having experience the success with this potato is committed to carrying on with its development. Full Circle Farm has also experienced a significant loss of crop due to flooding and will not be able to supply EBC this fall for its potato bread. Unless MOP can be sourced from California this year, we may be eating plain potato bread this fall.

If you have grown MOP this year, you can try to save some seed from your harvest. Keep them in a mesh bag in your refrigerator till spring.

Join the Slow Food movement for $25!

Join Slow Food USA

Slow Food USA wants to add 10,000 more voices to our powerful network of changemakers demanding a just and healthy food system. From now through October 22, 2010, your donation of $25 or more makes you a member of Slow Food USA. This opportunity will be offered for a limited time only.

CONNECT

  • Join Slow Food hereBecome a part of our active online community. 
Connect with people who care about slow food locally.
  • Join your local Slow Food USA chapter (that’s us, Slow Food Seattle!).
  • Get a Slow Food USA membership card.

GET INFORMED

  • Access information about important national and international food issues and quick updates with the latest food news.
  • Access exclusive online and offline content, including opportunities to communicate with leaders in the food movement.

ENGAGE

  • Help shape the direction of the slow food movement.
  • Receive invitations to attend local, national and international events and enjoy discounts where available.
  • Learn about opportunities to volunteer on local and national projects.
  • Receive email alerts that let you know when to take action.
  • Your contribution of $25 or more makes you a member of Slow Food USA.
  • Your contribution of $60 or more also gives you access to special offers just for Slow Food USA members.

SFS at the Pike Place Market Artisan Food Festival

Eric Boutin & Hsiao-Ching Chou

Eric Boutin, Nutrition Director of Seattle Public Schools & Hsiao-Ching Chou of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Seattle talking good food in schools.

Philip & June Lee of Readers to Eaters, joined the Slow Food Seattle booth at the Pike Place Market Artisan Food Festival.

Philip (& June, not pictured) Lee of Readers to Eaters, joined the Slow Food Seattle booth at the Pike Place Market Artisan Food Festival.

Amy Pennington signing copies of her book, "Urban Pantry"

Amy Pennington signing copies of her book, "Urban Pantry"

Amy Pennington chatting with fans & signing copies of her book, "Urban Pantry"

Amy Pennington chatting with fans & signing copies of her book, "Urban Pantry"

Jon Rowley demonstrating how to use a refractometer to gauge the level of sugars in tomatoes.

Jon Rowley demonstrating how to use a refractometer to gauge the level of sugars in tomatoes.

Checking the refractometer at Jon Rowley's Brix demo

Checking the refractometer level of tomatoes at Jon Rowley's Brix demo.

Some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes fresh from the U-Distric Farmers Market - testing their Brix levels as part of Jon Rowley's quest for the 10-Brix tomato.

Some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes fresh from the U-Distric Farmers Market - testing their Brix levels as part of Jon Rowley's quest for the 10-Brix tomato.

Kathleen Flinn, author of "the Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry," talking about how to choose a knife that's right for you.

Kathleen Flinn, author of "the Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry," talking about how to choose a knife that's right for you.

Kathleen Flinn, author of "the Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry," showing the group basic knife skills.

Kathleen Flinn, author of "the Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry," showing the group basic knife skills.

June Lee (left) tries her hand at cutting an onion like a chef after Kathleen Flinn's (right) demonstration.

June Lee (left) tries her hand at cutting an onion like a chef after Kathleen Flinn's (right) demonstration.

Anthony Warner and Tiana Colovos came out to talk about the Orca K-8 School Garden

Anthony Warner and Tiana Colovos came out to talk about the Orca K-8 School Garden

Thanks to all of you who came out this weekend to listen to our speakers, watch the demos, pick up some books from our partners Readers to Eaters, who volunteered as part of the national Slow Food Dig In! day, and chatted with us about Slow Food. All of this was in support for the Pike Place Market Foundation’s Human Service Programs.

All images : Jennifer Johnson