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Touring Wisconsin Food

Tag: buffalo

Food Trends of 2013

food-trends-2013We dodged the apocalypse! What a relief! Now I can stop stock piling supplies and go back to doing what I normally do around this time every year; thinking about what food trends might be in store for the year ahead. Last year I predicted that pie and hot dogs would be the popular foods of 2012. I nailed it on the hot dog guess (Christmas hot dogs anyone?) and the fact that I attended a pie party proves that I was on the right track with that one too. With the success of last year’s predictions under my belt, I shall gaze into the foodie crystal ball and share with you my predictions for 2013.

Alternative Meats – Raise your hand if you’re bored of chicken, beef and pork! No one? Well ok, I’ll never be bored of those meats either but I do like to try something different occasionally. I’m a frequent diner at the Great Dane Brewpub in Madison and lately I’ve been ordering the buffalo burger. It’s leaner than beef and more flavorful. I also happen to know a buffalo farmer, and he says that people are becoming more and more curious about the buffalo and elk meats that he sells. Find out more about Terri’s Elk and Bison Ranch in this blog post from a couple of weeks ago.

Food That Tastes Like Cocktails- I love cocktails, I love food, so why don’t we put them together more often? I’ve been seeing more and more of this, and I think it will blow up in 2013. A local business in Madison called Spirit of Wisconsin makes candies, salsas, jams and more using spirits from Yahara Bay Distillery. These make fabulous gifts for your foodie or drinkie friends! I also recently found a recipe for Old Fashioned bread pudding. No, not old fashioned like your grandma, Old Fashioned like Wisconsin’s favorite drink!

Oreo Truffles and Variations- How long have Oreo Truffles been around? They first came into my life when I got some in the office cookie exchange last year and I think I’ve eaten about 1,000 of them since then. I’ve also created a Pinterest board where I collect all the truffle recipes I can find since I am that obsessed. My enthusiam for truffles alone will ensure truffles become a popular food trend in 2013.

Pickled Foods-  The New York Times recently reported about the trend of pickled foods in Brooklyn. That’s been going on here in Wisconsin for awhile now. In fact, as you know I work for a gourmet food store and pickled foods are insanely popular! Pickled eggs, pickled herring, and pickled sausages fly off the shelf year round. Find out more about the artisan pickled food trend in my blog post from last year. I think this trend will spread to the rest of the USA in 2013.

What foods do you think will be popular in 2013?

Wisconsin Artisan Spotlight: Navarino Elk and Buffalo Ranch

wisc-artisan-navarino-1The artisans of Wisconsin make products with pride and passion, and Terry Diedrich of Navarino Valley Elk and Buffalo Ranch is the perfect example. Today I got the chance to talk to him about his business. Terry raises elk and buffalo and sells the meat to local restaurants and farmers market patrons. He also sells jerky and summer sausage on Wisconsinmade.com.

Terry was born and raised in Wisconsin in a family of dairy farmers. He knew he wanted to work in agriculture, but he decided to work smarter. He learned that raising elk and buffalo would be less labor intensive than milking cows, and since elk and buffalo don’t mind a few hills, he could raise his animals on rough terrain. Today Terry has over 100 elk and 200 bison on his ranch.

After a few minutes of talking to Terry you can tell there’s a deeper purpose to his business than making elk jerky and buffalo burgers. Terry is committed to raising animals without the use of antibiotics and hormones. I asked him how people feel about less common meat varieties.

“Initially people didn’t get it,” Terry said, “But more and more people have learned about the health benefits of elk and bison.”

The health benefits he’s talking about are apparent when you compare elk and bison to more common meats like beef and pork.  Elk and buffalo have less fat, less cholesterol, and  more omega-3s. Terry also raises his animals free from hormones and antibiotics. Since the details of modern agriculture are too dull for a food fun blog, I won’t get into that, but let’s just say that Terry is committed to raising animals to make the best quality meat available.

Just for fun, I asked Terry about his favorite elk or buffalo dish. He loves a good gourmet burger, especially if there’s a homemade bun and gourmet toppings involved. You can find more yummy food photos on the Navarino Elk and Buffalo Ranch Facebook page, or shop for gift baskets of elk and bison sausage and jerky on Wisconsinmade.com.

Have you ever tried elk or buffalo meat? What do you think?

As a special gift to Edible Antics readers, you can enter promotion code FUNBLOG at checkout to get 10% off food gifts at Wisconsinmade.com.

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Pizza Crust

Pizza lovers have many options for pizza crusts- precooked pizza crust, add water mixes, the pizza dough that comes in the tube… I sometimes even make my own pizza crust with my stand mixer, but the easiest and tastiest option is buying a crust from a pizza shop.  Most pizzerias will sell you a pizza crust for $2 or less, and some will even roll it out for you.  But don’t be afraid to roll it out yourself, it’s not that hard to do.  You don’t even have to throw it up in the air, just pull and pat the dough until it is the size you want.

Keep reading for a tasty pizza recipe: buffalo chicken pizza! It makes a perfect sports watching meal since it combines two game day favorites- buffalo chicken wings and pizza.

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Sings of Spring – Wisconsin Farmers Prepare for Farmers Markets

Wisconsin farmers are truly optimistic visionaries! Unlike the rest of us cowering inside complaining about single-digit temps and 5′ snow drifts, Wisconsin farmers are readying for the summer growing season. They’re busily fixing machinery and ordering supplies. They’re convinced that winter will end.

Yesterday I caught their spring fever when I opened the letter from farmers Dan and Catherine Kleiber of Anisoptera Acres. (Even the name, Anisoptera, is hopeful. Anisoptera is the sub-order of insects that includes dragonflies – some of the first insects to take to the skies millions of years ago!) Catherine and Dan are putting out the word that they’re ordering the chickens, ducks, hogs, and steers which they’ll be raising this spring and summer for the Hilldale Farmers’ Market. They’re giving their regular customers a chance to put in orders for their free-range, natural meats. I appreciate this heads-up because last year their meats were so popular that they sold out.

Dan and Catherine Kleiber typify the Wisconsin farmers who sell high-quality meats at the farmers markets. The young animals they raise are hatched or born down the road on neighboring farms. The chicks come to the Kleiber farm when they’re a day old; the hogs and steers arrive after they’re weaned. Then the animals live out their lives in 5 acres of open pasture. The combination of fresh-air, exercise, and eating field vegetation supplemented with an all-natural livestock feed produces healthy animals, (which are probably pretty happy too!) Wisconsin farmers and their customers swear by the superior flavor of these home-raised meats. And these meats are typically leaner and contain the essential omega-3 fatty acids which are not naturally found in purely grain-fed animals. (Click here to read about the health benefits of grass-fed livestock.)

Locally-raised meats are becoming ever-more available at Wisconsin’s farmers markets, – so move over fruits and veggies! In addition to chicken, beef, and pork, some farmers are selling duck, goose, turkey, trout, buffalo, venison, lamb, and even goat meat. (My daughter won’t touch fillet mignon, but she LOVES Dan’s ground goat meat! It sounds funny to hear her plead, “Please Mom can’t we have goat tonight?” My friends ask “How do you cook ‘goat?” I tell them to treat it like ground beef.)

Every summer day, somewhere in Wisconsin a farmers market is happening. Many of them begin in late-April and continue through October. Madison residents love their Capitol Square Farmers Market so much that the market keeps going through the winter (inside of course, – we’re not crazy).

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