Bijouxs’ mission is to celebrate the little kitchen jewels, the everyday beauty all around us right here in our kitchens. This past weekend I was surrounded by miles of beautiful produce along with the opportunity to meet many of the people who provide the fruits and vegetables that we enjoy every day at our kitchen table. In true Bijouxs style, I curated a simple collection, Five Little Jewels to share from the PMA Fresh Summit.
The Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) 2012 Fresh Summit Conference was a two-day event held this past weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center that attracted more than 21,000 attendees. More than 1,000 vendors displayed a remarkable and fascinating range of fresh produce from the U.S. and 61 other countries. Imagine canvasing 247,000 square feet with miles of vendor booths spilling over with fresh produce. Of course there were product samples, elaborate booths with chefs cooking treats for the attendees, and others with music and dancers. It felt like a joyous party celebrating produce. But this event was not just about the produce itself. There were also booths displaying everything from processing and refrigeration equipment to packaging and shipping options, a cornucopia of everything you need to get produce to market.
As publisher of a food website, a personal chef, and a cooking instructor I am a lover of beautiful produce. This opportunity to discuss and sample fresh produce from hundreds of vendors was highly informative and great fun. As difficult as it was to choose among the thousands of beautiful and unique produce items, I have selected five of particular interest to bring you. These represent Bijouxs’ everyday kitchen beauty mantra, little produce jewels I enjoy in my own kitchen.
The Five Little Jewels from the PMA Fresh Summit are:
1. Little Gem Lettuce – Coastline Produce. I was hooked on this lettuce the moment I first sampled it while dining at the lovely Langham Hotel in Pasadena, CA. It’s the perfect combination of crisp and sweet.
2. Wild & Exotic Mushrooms – Ponderosa Mushrooms. The woodsy, earthy flavors of beautiful wild mushrooms complement the richness of fall and holiday coooking.
3. Pears – USA Pears. If you think apples, think pears – beautiful to snack on and cook with, also a perfect partner for fall flavors.
4. Indian Cucumbers – Frieda’s Produce. These little cucumber jewels are crisp, with a light, lemon finish.
5. Georgia Pecans – Georgia Pecan Growers Association. These gems make great pies, but there is a lot more to this sweet little nut.
In the coming weeks I will be posting recipes celebrating the Bijouxs Five Little Jewels, along with some details from my interviews with those who know their produce best.
Thank you to Meg Miller, PMA Director of Public Relations, Don Odiorne, Vice President-Foodservice of the Idaho Potato Commission and Patti Londre for providing press credentials for this event. “Food bloggers are an incredibly important link to spread information about the wholesome, quality fresh produce the industry has to offer to consumers,” said Miller. “We’ll continue to invite them to industry events like this one, so they can share their insights and unique perspectives.”
Bijouxs, bringing you little jewels for your kitchen.