Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Eat Local Now - Chicago's Localvore Challenge

Local Booze/Local Cold Cuts

Today begins the Green City Market Localvore Challenge, with rules or at least guidelines and all. As I wrote on the Local Beet, I am not exactly participating, but I also noted that I am not wholly against the Challenge. In that spirit, here's some ideas and insight to help you eat local now. If you have specific questions, raise them on the Local Beet discussion board.

The Green City Bloggers are realizing the first lesson of eating local, what I call the Smokey Robinson Rule. You Got to Shop Around. The Green City Market is bringing in more farmers this week to reduce that shopping around, but even if you could meet all of your cooking needs for the next few weeks at the Green City Market, it stands that you might not be able to be at Green City all of the time. Parking aside, there are locavores who cannot shop at Green City. More, does Green City meet all of your diet needs. What else do you want to consume these two weeks?

The Green City Bloggers all seem in a quandary over local booze. After all, the Green City Market is dry. Drinking local is one of the easier parts of the local challenge as was easily seen at this year's Green City BBQ. You can stock your bar with local gin, vodka, and rye whiskey; rum's a bit harder. You have wines produced in all of the states around Illinois, with some I really like from Michigan. If you cannot find enough local beer to take you through the two weeks, you are not trying very hard. You can relax over an after dinner drink made from local grappa. Your whole localvore challenge can be one drunken blur from local alcohol.

When you sober up, what else do you need. I'll fill in some of my favorite local products during the next two weeks, most of these things I have mentioned before on this site. For today, I'll mention local cold cuts. If your goal is to simply find sausages made in Chicago (or the suburbs), your choices are huge. Why not Bende Hungarian salami or the copas made by Riveria on Chicago's Harlem fringe. If you want more specifically local, how 'bout the Gunthrop Farms ham sold at Fox and Obel or the Nueske ham sold at Marion Street Cheese. If you want to lunch on more than salads this week, take advantage of our local cold cuts.

Take advantage of the richness and the diversity of the Green City Market, including the added vendors, but do not expect to get all of your food there. Or what I am really trying to say is, do not rely solely on what the Green City Market's vendors sell. Instead, continue to eat all of your favorite foods, just make them local foods.

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