The Melbourne Food and Wine festival is in full swing in my home town. Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food has announced a partnership with our state government to get people back in the kitchen (with a good deal of controversy no doubt). And from celebrity chefs like Anthony Bourdain and Rene Redzepi, to artisan producers, the focus is on local, seasonal food and culinary skills. So what better time than to tell you about another great foodie guide, if you live, or are planning that holiday, in the USA?
Casey Lewis, MS, RD, (on Twitter: @WelchsRD) is the Health & Nutrition Lead at U.S based Welch’s, where she serves as a strategist and advocate for health and nutrition. Her primary area of focus is on educating consumers, health professionals, customers, and colleagues on the nutrition profile of Welch’s products and Concord grapes. Before joining Welch’s, Casey spent time working and living in Melbourne, Australia as a Nutrition Development Manager for Cadbury Schweppes.
One of the exciting aspects of my job is being involved in foodie and culinary projects. To celebrate last year’s Concord grape harvest, Welch’s partnered with Zagat – the world’s original provider of user-generated restaurant content – to create the first-ever guide on how and where to eat local and seasonal in America. We also got involved in sponsoring the New York City Food and Wine Festival.
The guide includes:
– Zagat’s signature ratings and reviews of 196 of America’s most notable farm-to-table restaurants;
– A selection of American farmers markets;
– A “What Produce is in Season When” list;
– Tips for incorporating heart-healthy, seasonal fruits and vegetables into balanced diets;
– Exclusive seasonal recipes authored by registered dietitians
The guide is available for free to download at welchs.com/zagat. If you live here or are planning to visit America, I hope you can use this guide to find a local restaurant or farmers market so you can enjoy seasonal produce and squeeze more colourful fruits and vegetables into your day. Take a look at this example:
Power of Colourful Produce – background on Concord grapes
According to a recent U.S. survey, there is a significant gap between consumers’ awareness of the heart-health benefits of common foods and their purchase habits. For example, two-thirds of Americans recognise that red wine, salmon, oatmeal, or olive oil are heart-healthy; however, a fraction of these same consumers buy these foods on a monthly basis.
And, while 66% of consumers know that a glass of red wine can be good for your heart, they don’t realize that many of the polyphenols (plant nutrients) in red wine are also in 100% grape juice made with Concord grapes. Not only do these polyphenols give Concord grapes their vibrant colour and bold taste, growing research suggests that certain polyphenols can act as antioxidants and deliver benefits to help promote heart health.
Concord grapes are harvested for a few short weeks in North America during the Fall. These dark-purple grapes are picked at their peak and pressed into juice within 8 hours of harvesting. For more on the science behind the Concord grape’s benefits, including heart health, visit The Grape Science Center, or welchs.com for educational resources, recipes and more.
Thanks Casey, Chez Panisse is on my bucket list and Chef Alice Waters has visited our food festival. It was so lovely to meet you at Johnson and Wales, Rhode Island – check out our Scoop archived post lovely readers on the first university in America to offer a combined chef-dietitian degree. I bet you have your favourite locavore restaurants and cafes too? How about dropping us a comment with your top tips from your neck of the hood? We have a growing number over here too on our pinterest board, The #UrbanForage Files. Don’t forget to email me if you’d like to contribute to our shared board.