We live in a global economy which has many benefits for supply chains. However, the last several months those supply chains may have been interrupted and people started looking at their own communities for the goods and services usually allocated to bigger corporations.
I personally love to order things from popular online sites regularly but taking the time to meet local business owners has broadened my network and strengthened my connections to my adopted community. in a time when everyone felt isolated by physical necessity and mentally by default, getting to know the people running the shops in Williamsport PA has given me a loose connections network that helps ground me to the area.
We have found a wonderful Asian market, @rt.asianmarket, in town that has a huge selection. As we got to know them we discovered the ownership had heritage from the Philippines, so I was introduced to some of their shortbread cookies which are a regular in my lunches. they are called "Polvorones " and they make me happy; don't be scared to try these flaky shortbreads with a touch of coconut flavor, perfect with a cup of tea. This business has been wonderful about helping us source ingredients for our continued testing with Japanese and Korean test kitchen projects and they also have ideas on different sauces and beverages that are nice accompaniments.
In addition to the brick and mortar shop we have become increasingly regular at the local farmers markets in #centalpa. There is a great huge one in Lewisburg PA that operates every Wednesday. This market has a permanent center building bursting with vendors of produce, meats, sausages, used books, handmade jewelry, flower arrangements, CBD products, handmade soap and honey. The list goes on so much that this market overflows to the surrounding grounds where the produce vendors are even more abundant next to a handful of hot food vendors This is where Di Rosco Arrosticini started and the regulars are a steady honest group of people. They don't go to the market as a leisurely past time, this is their market day and is traditional and necessary.
While the locavore movement has had a revival, there are some places that are just better locally. One of these places is your meat supplier. Not just the butcher, but the farmer that is raising the livestock. Our favorite is Misty Mountain Farms out of Trout Run PA. @mistymountainfarmalbert . For us this is a few miles away and they can get the meat processed in any way you need. This family run farm is always at the Williamsport farmers Market on Saturdays and while they have packaged meats and eggs for you they also can provide a hot hamburger for you while you shop the other stands. The sizzling meat entices people to their stand all Saturday long and is a real hub of activity and community.
Locavores like us are the foodies of the near and dear options. We revel in the tomatoes that terrior has given us and the honey that can cure our allergies because pollen matches our ailments. Eating in season has become a new continual challenge for me. I purchase more cookbooks devoted to vegetable preparations from all cultures so that I can utilize the seasonal harvest throughout the year.
There is always more to learn and getting to know the producers is a guaranteed way to get a full insight and have a conversation that can connect different people on common ground. We all can use a deeper connection to each other since we are all in this together.
This Saturday, September 26 Di Rosco Arrosticini will be hosted at the farmers market in Williamsport by another local vendor, Susquehanna Mills. While we are there we will be serving up local pork arrosticini from Misty Mountain Farms, a shishito pepper dish with peppers from Walnut Run Farms and some hard cheese from the market. In addition, (I can't resist something sweet) we will have a shortcake with Blonde apple compote. Isn't apple season the real beginning of fall and not pumpkin spice? (Controversial, I know...)
Drop a comment if you have a favorite local vendor or a stellar cookbook that I should look into!