One thing we start nudging you toward in the second half of the Kitchen Cure
when we actually start cooking is eating seasonally and locally. It should be a no-brainer and you shouldn't feel like you're trying to be trendy. It just should be.
Last year I came across a handy tool for those lucky people who live in the Bay Area to know what's in season locally, at any given time: the Local Foods Wheel. I bought one and it sat in a pile on my desk, reminding me that Dungeness crab and mandarins are not in season here in New York, where I live.
But now I'm in luck: the Local Foods Wheel folks have come out with a New York Metro Area wheel.
I asked Jessica Prentice, one of the masterminds of the wheel, how readers who live in neither SF or NYC could benefit from the Wheel. She said that most of the NY wheel can apply to many parts of the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, and Midwest, though certainly the seafood and some of the other specialties will be different. The Bay Area wheel works for most of Central and Northern California, and parts of it would apply to even the Pacific Northwest and to Southern California.
Jessica said that they are working on wheels for New England, the Twin Cities, the Pacific Northwest, and Southern California, and hope to eventually make wheels for as many major geographic regions as possible.
Want to suggest a region that needs a Wheel? Want to help create the next wheel? Send them an email and tell them you heard about the project from The Kitchn.
Here are some more tools for understanding local and seasonal eating in areas beyond SF and NYC:
• Food Miles from the Natural Resources Defense Council
• Seasonal Ingredient Map from Epicurious.com
• Locavore, the iPhone app
• Buy the Local Foods Wheels ($12.95)