August 27, 2012

Eat Local Resource Fair {Milwaukee}

I was really impressed with the Eat Local Resource Fair at the Urban Ecology Center this past weekend. It was well organized, very informative, had interesting things to buy and really delicious food! I visited the fair with Chris' sisters, and they both agreed it was worth attending.

Wisconsin cheese was, of course, available to sample. We tried three types - Clock Shadow Creamery (love their quark!), Juusto baked cheese and Castle Rock, all of which were fabulous.

We also sampled Potter's Crackers made in Madison, spread with preserves from Quince & Apple. I've been trying to pay closer attention to where local items can be purchased, and I noticed yesterday that Potter's Crackers are sold at the Milwaukee Public Market (from West Allis Cheese Shoppe).

Chris' sisters and I tried kombucha for the first time, and it wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be. In fact, I thought it tasted quite good. I've heard many bloggers talk about how they love Nessalla Kombucha, but didn't realize it was made locally in Madison.

Roots Restaurant had a great bruschetta sample. However, my absolute favorite sample was from Fresh, which is located both in Mequon and Grand Avenue Mall.

Their banana, mango, spinach smoothie was fantastic, as was their Greek quinoa salad. I was grateful they brought their smoothie making machines with them because I was able to purchase a full-size smoothie to enjoy after the fair.

I bought a few other things from the fair, including three recipe booklets published by Eat Local Milwaukee. This is the first year that I will be taking the Eat Local Challenge and these booklets looked like a great resource.

The Orchard Street Press booth was also one of my favorites. I purchased a Represent onesie for my soon-to-be niece or nephew in Seattle, and my sister-in-law purchased the shirt shown on the left in the photo below.

I also bought a cookbook from Milwaukee Empty Bowls, which is such a great organization. There are a few locations around Milwaukee that you can purchase a cookbook as listed on their website, if you're interested.

My favorite aspect of the cookbook is that it lists many favorite soup recipes from popular Milwaukee restaurants and markets, such as Roots and Glorioso's. A cookbook like this makes me dread the upcoming cold weather a little less.

In addition to all of the booths setup inside the three levels of the Urban Ecology Center, there were also two food carts outside. Jeppa Joes was selling tasty lunch items and Soup in a Jar had small food samples available.

As we stood near the Soup in a Jar truck, we heard numerous people comment that they were hoping to get soup, but they did seem quite happy with their curry egg salad sandwich sample instead. If you're looking for more information on Milwaukee's food truck scene, this OnMilwaukee article is a good resource.

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