Cooking with Local Grains

By Hans Butler

Triticum spelta_4Just imagine that eating local in upstate New York could mean adding exotic heirloom whole grains to your diet! For many people, "eating local" involves a daunting change in lifestyle. Being accustomed to an out-of-season global selection 365 days a year, we have to retrain ourselves and even educate ourselves as to local fare. Cayuga Pure Organics (CPO), out of Brooktondale, New York, produces grains with intimidating names like freekeh and farro that are actually quite simple to prepare and offer nutritious and tasty alternatives to rice.

Prepare grains in a large enough container that they take up a quarter or less of the space. Always begin with a quick examination of the grain for stones and other foreign materials. Cover with a generous amount of water, stir, and drain. Repeat this process twice and then cover with fresh water, removing floating hulls from the surface.

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New in Bulk

Co-operative Cashews

Joe Damiano,
Bulk Department Manager

Aprainores Co-opOrganic raw cashew splits come to you via the Aprainores 
co-op in El Salvador, grown and processed by true survivors.

I want to shine the light on a product in our department that comes to us from people who have had to endure more hard times than most in this world. Our organic raw cashew splits are brought to us by the Aprainores cashew co-op in El Salvador. The 55 members of this co-op were given small parcels of land along the southern coast of El Salvador through a land-transfer program established in the 1992 Peace Accords. Prior to the war, the 175-acre cashew farm was the property of one foreign landowner. Grown on a protected mangrove estuary and processed by local women who literally hand-craft each individual nut, these cashews are the best I've ever tasted. In the words of Oscar Valladares, former President of the Aprainores cooperative, "During the war, my comandante told me that we were fighting for a house, a piece of land, and a business. Today, I have a house; some land; we co-own our business; and, my comandante ... is President!"

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