All Posts by Anna Lombardo

Celebrate our area’s tasteful bounty during Local Foods Week Aug. 2-8

Celebrate our area’s tasteful bounty during Local Foods Week Aug. 2-8

The 10th annual Local Foods Week, organized by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), will be held during the upcoming week. Beginning on Sunday August 2, and running through Saturday, August 8, a host of events—all focusing on local food—will take place in the State College area.

Participating restaurants will offer deals and specials throughout the week. According to PASA’s website, Harrison’s Wine Grill & Catering, located at 1221 E. College Avenue, will donate 20 percent of a customer’s check when they mention PASA. Harrison’s is a Buy Fresh Buy LocalⓇ partner, which means that they have “made a commitment to feature local foods and to support local producers,” according to the organization’s website. PASA coordinates the efforts of Buy Fresh Buy LocalⓇ in Pennsylvania. 

Continue Reading: Celebrate our area’s tasteful bounty during Local Foods Week Aug. 2-8

{name} Posted by Anna Lombardo on 07/30, 2015 at 08:45 PM

Tags: LocalFoodsWeek | FarmTour |

Rainy summer leads to challenges for growers at Tait Farms

Rainy summer leads to challenges for growers at Tait Farms

30 days of rain: when my sister, a rising freshman at Penn State, arrived for her orientation during the first weekend of July, this is what they told her. While since that weekend State College has had some relief from the wetness—notably, Arts Fest weekend saw sunny skies and high temperatures—since then, some inevitable showers and storms have passed through the area. The continual precipitation not only poses problems for those people worried about a potentially frizzy hair day (me), but also for another, unexpected group: farmers.

It seems strange that too much water could be an issue for food growers, but in fact it is a serious threat. Certain crops are susceptible to unusually wet weather, and depending on what a farmer grows, excess rain can destroy an entire yield. Kim Tait, from Tait Farm Foods in Centre Hall, tells me that when there is a lot of rain, tomatoes in particular are a cause for concern. 

Continue Reading: Rainy summer leads to challenges for growers at Tait Farms

{name} Posted by Anna Lombardo on 07/23, 2015 at 08:35 AM

Tags: TaitFarms | summer | farming |

Attention to detail in local food and drinks sets Liberty Craft House apart

Attention to detail in local food and drinks sets Liberty Craft House apart

If you’ve visited any one of a number of popular restaurants in State College—including, but certainly not limited to, The Deli, The Saloon, and Bar Bleu—then you’ve had a taste of the Dante’s Restaurants and Nightlife experience. Since the founding of Hi Way Pizza, which opened over 50 years ago under the precocious expertise of Andrew Zangrilli, Dante’s has seen significant growth in town, most recently with the establishment of Liberty Craft House at 346 E. College Avenue. Since its opening in February of this year, managers J.P. Mills and Jennifer Zangrilli report that business has been “nonstop,” news they shared with much satisfaction and maybe a hint of exhaustion.

I soon understood the fatigue, as Mills and Zangrilli related to me what they called the sometimes “painstaking” efforts that go into putting together and running a place like Liberty. From the brickwork that lines the front of the restaurant (the bricks come from Chicago); to the iron railings surrounding the outdoor seating area (they were re-purposed after originally being used in the former location of another Dante’s establishment); to meats and cheeses that the Liberty staff cuts to order (neither is ever pre-cut, and the restaurant does not use auto-cutters); Liberty explicitly takes pride in their “passion for knowledge, skill, and small-batch artisan goods,” no matter what it might cost them in weariness.

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{name} Posted by Anna Lombardo on 07/09, 2015 at 10:14 AM

Tags: LibertyCraftHouse | beer | wine | HogsGalore |

Lots of smells, tastes, and sights to behold at the State College Indoor Farmers Market

Lots of smells, tastes, and sights to behold at the State College Indoor Farmers Market

When I opened the doors to the State College Municipal Building last Friday, it was a cold, clammy day. I hadn’t seen the sun in what felt like weeks. And yet, as I entered the building and made my first trip to the State College Winter Farmers’ Market, I felt that familiar coziness (perhaps a mixture of good food, electric heat, and pre-holiday cheer?) come over me. It was the indoor market’s first gathering of the season.

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{name} Posted by Anna Lombardo on 12/16, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Tags: farmersmarket | winter |

Shrubs are an “old-fashioned drink for modern times”

Shrubs are an “old-fashioned drink for modern times”

Though summer seems like a long way off (and it is, as my newly frozen hair indicates), it’s never a bad thing to plan ahead a few months. For those seeking out a refreshing drink to try at their summer dinner parties—or really anyone just looking to add another item to their drink mix—I introduce you to shrubs. And for most (read: all) of my information on shrubs, I turn to author Michael Dietsch, whose book, Shrubs, was published on October 6 by The Countryman Press.

A shrub, Dietsch tells me (and states in his book), is an acidulated beverage, or a drink made with some type of acid—historically vinegar, lemon juice, or other citruses.  This acid is mixed with sugar, water, and sometimes alcohol; then, to give the drink a unique flavor, a fruit or a type of fruit juice is steeped in the mixture. Though the acidic components might seem unpalatable in what would be an otherwise sweet beverage, they were orginially a practical component. “Vinegar used to preserve fruit after the harvest,” Diestch says.  “This was in a time before refrigeration.”

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{name} Posted by Anna Lombardo on 11/20, 2014 at 09:18 AM

Tags: shrub | MichaelDietsch |

Herwig’s: Incredible Austrian food served in an even-more incredible atmosphere

Herwig’s: Incredible Austrian food served in an even-more incredible atmosphere

“Are you sure you want to tip before you eat?”

I had just sat down to talk with Bernd Brandstatter, one of the owners of Herwig’s Austrian Bistro, when he called over to a group of patrons who had ordered their food at the counter and dropped some money into the tip jar. It was then that I had my first inkling that this wasn’t going to be your typical dining establishment.

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{name} Posted by Anna Lombardo on 11/12, 2014 at 08:58 AM

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A look at Friends & Farmers Coop’s upcoming online market

A look at Friends & Farmers Coop’s upcoming online market

Local food lovers in the Central Pennsylvania area have many options when purchasing their groceries. In addition to various local food vendors that occupy downtown locales, farmers markets like the Downtown Farmers’ Market and the North Atherton Farmers Market and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms take advantage of the (relatively) nice fall, spring, and summer weather to grow and sell an even wider selection of local foods.

Friends & Farmers Cooperative will soon add another option to the mix: an online farmers’ market offering locally produced vegetables, fruits, dairy products, eggs, meats, fish and baked goods for online pre-ordering and one-stop customer pickup. Organizers are aiming to open the market for the first group of participating vendors to update their available inventory on November 19, for customer ordering to begin November 21, with first pickup on Tuesday, November 25– just before Thanksgiving.

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{name} Posted by Anna Lombardo on 10/31, 2014 at 03:00 AM

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Way Fruit Farm’s apple cider a real cold-weather treat

Way Fruit Farm’s apple cider a real cold-weather treat

Apple cider is one of those cold-weather favorites: steaming cups of the hot, fruity stuff bring back pleasant memories of many a childhood. I always associate it with my family’s annual Christmas tree outing to a local farm in my hometown, where the drink was made on the spot and given out to patrons free of charge (each subsequent refill costs you a quarter). You can find cider in almost any grocery store throughout the year, but there is absolutely nothing like a freshly poured mug of it to warm your hands (and soul).

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{name} Posted by Anna Lombardo on 10/23, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Tags: WayFruitFarm | apples | cider |

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