Local Eats

One of the things I like most about living in New England is the proliferation of local, can’t get it anywhere else foods. Case in point this past weekend.

Friday, I headed down to Westport, Mass. to meet a friend for a bike ride. While there, I picked up two quarts of locally grown strawberries (way tastier than anything from the grocery!) and a wedge of Divine Providence from Narragansett Creamery. A gouda-style cheese with buttery, sharp flavors and a smooth creamy texture, this was great on wheat thins and better melted over scrambled eggs.

I also managed to get my hands on a blueberry coffee cake from My Grandma’s of New England over in Hyde Park. A friend introduced me to these lovelies last fall and I’ve been a devotee ever since. Moist and tasty they’re great for breakfast or dessert, and make a near-perfect hostess gift. I brought one up to New Hampshire on Saturday and I would have thought this cake was laced with heroin the way the family went after it. While my uncle inhaled slice after slice like a junkie on a bender, my 6-year-old cousin ran around the kitchen shouting “I like this cake!” Can’t do that with a bottle of wine, can you? (I’m headed to New Hampshire again this weekend and said uncle has requested two more coffee cakes: a blueberry and a walnut. Told you they’re addictive… and yes, they do ship.)

While up in New Hampshire, I had occasion to visit Polly’s Pancake Parlor, an old childhood favorite. The wait was almost an hour at 9 a.m., so we decided to make our own breakfast and instead left with a pound of their thick-cut maple cured bacon. Wow. This is bacon the way that bacon should be: a bacon whose smoky scent wafted through the air the moment I opened the package; a bacon that browned on the edges while not burning through; a bacon so tempting, I actually took a bite of it raw. And I liked it.

Really enjoyed this collection in the Boston Globe yesterday. You can bet I’ll be turning to it as a resource when looking for new food adventures in the coming months. A rose petal float? Sounds great. Adobo taco? Can’t wait. Lamb bacon? Heck yeah.

Probably my favorite on the list of “50 Food Finds” is this smidge on where to find dollar oysters…

“Presumably to entice recession-thinned crowds, numerous local restaurants, usually at the bar only, are discounting oysters on the half shell to $1 from the usual $2 to $3 per. Do your part to help the economy recover by downing a dozen. Rialto, 1 Bennett Street, Cambridge, 617-661-5050; Mondays, 5:30 p.m. until they run out. Sel de la Terre (Back Bay), 774 Boylston Street, Boston, 617-266-8800; Mondays, 5 p.m.-7 p.m. McCormick and Schmick’s, 34 Columbus Avenue, Boston, 617-482-3999; Tuesdays, 3:30 p.m.-midnight. Dante, 40 Edwin H.Land Boulevard, Cambridge, 617- 497-4200; Friday-Saturday, 4 p.m. till they run out. 28 Degrees, 1 Appleton Street, Boston, 617-728-0728,; Tuesday-Thursday, 5 p.m.-10 p.m. and Friday-Sunday, 5 p.m.-7 p.m.”

Anyone want to go slurp a dozen?

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