go60.us - August 2012 - SOUTHERN CULINARY TRADITIONS
Georgia Fresh: Peaches, Vidalia Onions, Honey, Wine and Spirits By Ann Hattes
Unlike pasteurized honeys found in supermarkets, 100% pure, raw and unfiltered honey preserves natural vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and pollens, providing health benefits beyond basic nutrition, providing a quick energy boost, decreasing muscle fatigue, and soothing sunburn.
Savor the flavors of Southern culinary traditions using fresh Georgia peaches, Vidalia onions, honey, wine and spirits.
Lane Southern Orchards (www.lanesouthern orchards.com), with 2,500 acres of peach orchards and 1,800 acres of pecan groves, has been growing peaches and pecans for more than 100 years. Traveling through Middle Georgia? Plan your rest stop just five minutes off I-75 and visit the Lane roadside market, gift shop, café and orchards, open daily year round. If you can’t get there in person, the website offers a shop plus a variety of recipes including peach popsicles, microwave peachy saucy chicken, peach salsa, peach cobbler and peach cream pie to name a few.
Dozens of recipes capturing the flavors of peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines in everything from pies and ice cream to savory dishes can also be found in Peaches and Other Juicy Fruits (Storey Publishing). The book also has an exhaustive fruit-variety guide (have you heard of donut peaches?) plus practical advice on everything from picking to peeling.
When Raymond Bland planted his first sweet onion crop in 1982, never would he have dreamed that Bland Vidalia Onion Farm (www.BlandFarms.com) would blossom into the world’s largest grower, packer and shipper of sweet onions like it is today. Satisfy your Vidalia cravings year-round with the farm’s Vidalia Brands (www.vidaliabrands.com) line of sauces, salad dressings, seasonings, and a microwave cooker that cooks a whole onion in 5 minutes.
Ted Dennard was introduced to the magical world of bees at age 12 when an elderly beekeeper came looking for a site to gather “swamp honey” from the white tupelo tree in coastal Georgia. Since then, it has become a way of life for him, through high school, college, the Peace Corps, and now the Savannah Bee Company (www.SavannahBee.com). In addition to specialty honeys like tupelo, sourwood, and black sage, and everyday honey for grilling, pairing with cheese or tea, Dennard has expanded into a line of natural and organic beauty products made from beeswax and honey. His inspiration came after washing his hands with honey and noticing how clean and soft they were.
Unlike pasteurized honeys found in supermarkets, 100% pure, raw and unfiltered honey preserves natural vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and pollens, providing health benefits beyond basic nutrition, providing a quick energy boost, decreasing muscle fatigue, and soothing sunburn. Find recipes and remedies at both the Savannah Bee website and at www.NatureNates.com where you can learn about Nathan in Texas, who like Ted in Georgia, started beekeeping as a hobby that eventually turned into a full time job.
Still Pond Winery (www.StillPond.com) produces 11 different wines from Muscadine grapes, also known as scuppernongs or swamp grapes which grow well in hot, humid climates. While not one of the most widely marketed varietals produced, Muscadine wine appears to provide greater amounts of antioxidents than many better known red wines, with both red and white Muscadine wines containing over 5 times more resveratrol than ordinary red wines.
Southern Corn Whiskey, Plantation Vodka, and 13th. Colony Southern Gin are products of Georgia’s only craft distillery (www.13Colony.net), made from Georgia-grown corn, barley and rye. The 95 proof corn whiskey is from a traditional southern recipe. At the King and Prince Beach Resort, Food and Beverage Director Vinny D’Agostino mixes up a White Manhattan with 2 ounces 13th Colony Distillery Corn Whiskey, ½ ounce B&B Liqueur, ½ ounce Dolin Extra Dry Vermouth, and 3 – 4 dashes of Fees Brothers Cherry Bitters. He also produces a Prohibition-era cocktail, the Bees Knees, with Georgia gin and Savannah honey plus lemon juice.
In Georgia’s Golden Isles, guests dining at the King and Prince Beach Resort delight in peach cobbler for breakfast; candied peach crème brule or Georgia pecan bread pudding for dessert; local artisanal cheeses paired with honey; cocktails mixed with spirits from the 13th. Colony Distillery; shrimp and crab direct from Georgia’s coastal waters. Here “fresh” and “seasonal” locally sourced products interpret southern culinary traditions.
Bring the flavors of Georgia into your kitchen with these recipes.
Caramelized Onion and Crab Scampi Sauce
Chilled Peach Soup
Peaches in Caramel Sauce
Ann Hattes has over 25 years experience writing about both travel and food for publications both in the US and internationally. A senior living in Wisconsin, she’s a member of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association and the Midwest Travel Writers Association.