In Our Spring 2016 Edition

Last Updated March 20, 2016
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Edible Rhody Spring 2016

Grist for the Mill

Dear Reader,

When I was a little kid, on rare and—to me—very special occasions, my family and I would stop at an old-fashioned general store near my great-aunt’s house that sold penny candy. I still remember the wide-board floors and the old-fashioned glass case filled with confections. For some reason I would go right for the lollipops every time. They were homemade and I can still remember their translucent, gem-like colors, their molded shapes and clean pure flavors. So it’s with a touch of nostalgia that hand-crafted lollipops ended up on the cover of our spring issue.

It wasn’t just the swirly designs, the pop of color, the natural and locally sourced ingredients of these modern-day lollipops that won me over, it was also the entrepreneurial spirit with which they have been created. (Read about them on page 4.) Entrepreneurship is not unique to Rhode Island, though I would argue it’s a tie that binds our state together. With so many small businesses making up our state’s economy, food-driven enterprises are a central part of the bigger economic picture.

Threaded throughout this issue are stories of local entrepreneurship that I know you will find compelling. Maybe it’s the history of food trucks in Rhodeside Diaries that details how one simple idea sparked a movement and even some lawlessness in old-time downcity Providence. Perhaps it’s quahogger Dave Andrade, who started his own business with his wife and raised a family around it. Or maybe it’s the high-tech agricultural entrepreneurs who are forging a new model for year-round access to affordable, sustainably raised produce.

Whether you’re into bread or have an allergy or aversion to wheat, the story profiling baker Jim Williams and the movement among artisan bakers will whet your appetite for ancient grains. And since this is Rhode Island after all, it happened to be Jim’s wife, Lynn, who first introduced me to the food rescue organization suitably named We Share Hope, also profiled in this issue. Entrepreneurs in their own right, the food heroes at We Share Hope are self-styled missionaries turning our state’s food waste into meals for the food insecure.

We have other heroes to celebrate in this issue too—our Local Hero Award winners. We offer up our heartiest congratulations to each one of them! You can read about this year’s winners beginning on page 9. We extend our thanks to you too, our readers, for taking the time to vote. We’ll begin voting for next year’s Local Heroes this coming autumn—and, who knows, it might be the most fun you have voting this year!

From the first stalk of bright green asparagus to the last juicy red strawberry, I hope you have a delicious and inspiring spring season.

Dig in!

Genie McPherson Trevor, Editor

The Pendulum Swings to Lollipops

When Brenda Swift set out to create a sweet treat, she wanted to do it according to her food conscience, with the motto that “pure is possible.”

Boats and Boards

As a seasoned woodworker and acclaimed furniture designer, Steve Sabella of Sabella Studio has had three primary inspirations: classic American craftsmanship, nautical motifs and re-purposing/...

Maple Sugaring Time

Sure, it’s good on pancakes and oatmeal, but the folks at the Chepachet Farms & Sugar House have invented so many other great ways to incorporate maple syrup into your meals.

Congratulations to the 2016 Local Hero Winners

Every autumn, readers of Edible Rhody are invited to vote for their local food heroes, as a way to honor the people who bring us our food and drink.

Providence’s Urban Greens Has Found a Home

Finding a home for Urban Greens Food Co-op required many long seasons, so it’s fortunate that the folks at the Co-op are patient ... and stubborn.

Carrot Parsnip Soup with Creme Fraiche, Chives and Garlic Toast

I’ve chosen two recipes to share because they are absolutely delicious, fresh, vibrant, healthy and easy to prepare at home. They’re also representative of some of our most beautiful native...

Roasted Point Judith Scup with Spring Vegetables, Grains and Lemon Vinaigrette

Fish is a food near and dear to my heart—and also one many folks think is difficult to cook at home. I hope I can help you conquer that fear. I preach method over blind adherence to recipes: My...

Toasted Coconut Cake

I love this recipe because it is so versatile. It can be baked in a Bundt pan or as individual cupcakes. It can be enjoyed with seasonal jam and be the highlight of a brunch table, or as a delicious...

Olive and Thyme Cheesecake

There are many variations on savory cheesecake. My recipe builds on the citrus-plus-herbs theme, adding in piquant olives and simple fresh ingredients, with a touch of citrus. It’s perfect for a...

Andrade’s Catch

Dave Andrade’s life as a quahogger began when, as a young man, he learned the trade from his uncles, gradually developing an intimate relationship with the saltwater ecosystems of Narragansett Bay.

Observing the Scene at Oberlin

Ben and Heidi Sukle of the much loved birch restaurant in Providence recently opened a new spot, a more casual eatery called Oberlin—”casual” meaning à la carte with an emphasis on pasta, small...

The Backdoor Bread Project

Back to basics could be the motto for Williams and other New England bakers who have turned to milling their own flour, trying out unusual varieties of wheat and rye, or grinding common grains and...

We Share Hope

According to Rhode Island-based “food rescue” organization We Share Hope (WSH), the need for food is as great as the supply [of wasted food] is limitless.

Spring Sour Cool as a Cucumber

Nestled along the Pawtuxet River in Warwick stands The Loft Restaurant & Lounge at NYLO Hotel, a reclaimed industrial mill complex...

Whence Came the Rhode Island Food Truck?

The explosion of food truck culture over the past decade or so has been truly phenomenal. But today’s food trucks are part of a tradition of mobile food preparation that goes back centuries, if not...

Spring in to Good Cooking

They don’t call us the Ocean State for just any old reason. Rhode Island’s bounty of seafood has contributed to scores of exciting culinary...
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