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Amuse Bouche

by Brian Clarey

The seasonal wheel turned another notch this past week as temperatures hunkered down on the high end of the thermometer. That extra burst of heat and humidity in North Carolina means that the green beans, cucumbers, peaches and watermelon are ready to start coming in at area farmers markets and produce aisles.

You’ve got to love the North Carolina Triad if you love fresh, local produce. But recently I was reminded of another seasonal agricultural product that I’ve been neglecting for years.

We don’t grow artichokes in North Carolina – Jerusalem artichokes don’t count – but they do flourish in Italy, where it still grows in the wild, and on farms in California. It is a composite flower, and we eat the immature buds. I like them stuffed with garlic and breadcrumbs and then roasted, but steaming works, too. I think I can get one more batch in before spring officially ends.

Still hung up on eating local? Get down to Deep Roots Market next Tuesday to kick off the Eat Local America Challenge, which charges participants with restricting 80 percent of their diet – four out of five meals – solely to locally grown and produced food. Recipes and some basic instruction start at 8 p.m. See slowfoodpiedmont.org for more details, or call the store at 336.292.9216.

In other local food news, Skip “The Prize Guy” Sher, of “The Wicker Show” on 98.7 Simon FM, has teamed with his wife Melissa to open a Hungry Howie’s Pizza in Greensboro on Friendly Avenue. I’ve yet to eat Hungry Howie’s pies, but Sher assures me they’re solid. The guy knows his eats, but I’ll have to go check it out for myself, coming soon. Until then, you can get the deal at hungryhowies.com.

The Press Wine Café, interjecting a bit of international flair in this locals-only version of Amuse Bouche, hosts a Greek wine dinner on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Seven courses, featuring horta me skortha, arni fornou and moussaka, will be paired with seven Greek wines, which should give you some idea as top why Greeks always smash their plates after a meal. At least they did that one time on “Three’s Company.” See thepresswinecafe.com or call 336.333.3190 for more information.

One of our local winemakers, Grove Winery & Vineyards, will hook up with the Haw Rover Canoe Company to put together a paddle trip and dinner at the Grove. The evening includes a couple hours of paddling and splashing on the river before a multi-course wine dinner. For details go to grivewinery.com or hawrivercanoe.com.

Something tell me my friend Pam had something to do with this one.

Lastly: How’s your pie? Lucky 32 restaurant is looking for some great ones… pies, that is… to add to their dessert menu. So if you think you’ve got a really good pie, fix it up and go to lucky32.com to let them know. About your pie.

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