Grist for the mill

In This Issue: Winter, 2017

By Scott Ki / Photography By Guy Hand | Last Updated December 08, 2017
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From Global Gardens

The stories of the food culture of Idaho.

About five years ago, EI’s Publisher Claudia Sánchez Mahedy and Managing Editor Guy Hand met for the first time at an Edible Communities event in Santa Barbara, California. They hit it off and decided to join forces to create what you now hold in your hands: a publication and online resource “devoted to telling the stories and sustaining the efforts of the local farmers, chefs, food artisans, fishers, vintners and home cooks who feed us.” To mark the occasion, in this issue Guy chronicles the past five years in a photo essay displaying Idaho’s great bounty.

Five years doesn’t seem that long, but consider the remarkable changes in that time. For instance, in 2012 Kibrom’s and The Goodness Land hadn’t been launched yet. Both restaurants were originally part of the Boise International Market that opened in 2014 and, tragically, burned down the next year.

But the restaurant owners—former refugees from Ethiopia and Iraq, respectively—worked diligently to rebuild in other locations only to be dealt another setback: racist and hateful graffiti. Carissa Wolf visited both restaurants to report on how their resilient owners are bouncing back again with the support of their neighbors and customers.

We also visit with other new arrivals to Boise who grow healthy produce to feed their families and other Idahoans. I report on how the Global Gardens program helps refugees get outdoors, interact with locals and supplement their incomes after fleeing, literally for their lives, with nothing.

To make sense of the latest in Boise’s food and drink culture, consider signing up for a culinary tour led by Idaho native Angela Taylor. Linda Whittig captures the spirit of Angela’s Indulge Boise tours, which offer more than stops and samples at new and longtime favorites in the local food scene. She also provides historical and cultural perspectives on her hours-long explorations around the city.

Farther afield in Central Idaho, Terry Myers and her husband, Jerry, guide Cindy Salo on a more traditional Idaho outdoor experience: hunting for game birds. The hunt, says Terry, is like foraging. “You walk for a while, maybe pick some berries, if you see grouse you take a shot.” From the canyon where they live, the Myerses harvest nearly everything they eat for supper later that day.

Combining the traditional and the contemporary, Casey O’Leary explores how a staple of the American diet, corn tortillas, has devolved “like many things to be a shadow of its original flavor and texture.” To remedy this, Casey shows how a soon-to-open Boise restaurant can foster collaboration among farmers, breeders and chefs to offer a variety of corn that provides “a diversity of colors, textures and tastes” to make the masa for Idaho-grown tortillas.

Speaking of staples, grains such as barley, wheat and rye are used throughout Idaho to brew craft beer. We explore how some brewers are collaborating with livestock owners, mushroom growers, bakers and others to reduce waste and reuse spent grains.

We also drank blended craft beer at a new taproom in Kamiah. And in Boise’s Hyde Park, we dropped by Camel’s Crossing, a new lounge and restaurant inspired by music and a son’s memories of his father. Finally, a gigantic thank you to all the writers, photographers, artists, editors, food and drink producers and purveyors and others who have contributed to EI through the years.

Thanks also to our advertisers and subscribers, who make it possible for us to celebrate and champion the local food scene in this way. And a huge appreciation to you, the reader, for joining us to discover the people and locations that make Idaho such a special place to eat, drink and live.

- Scott Ki

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