Posts tagged Edible Baja Arizona
A Conversation with Gary Paul Nabhan about the State of Tucson’s Food System

It’s the diversity of life–of species, genes, textures, flavors and nutrients–embedded in the meals we eat, and in every garden, farm, food forest and ranch from which we gain our “daily bread.” It includes the cornucopia of crop seeds, fruit trees, bulbs, cuttings of herbs, mushrooms, wild edibles, livestock, poultry, fish and game in our food system. And it’s part of the larger realm of biocultural diversity–the know-how for wisely and sustainably harvesting, processing and eating diverse foods.

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Tucson City of Gastronomy Employee Brings New Focus to the Table

t’s been two years since Tucson was designated a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, a title reflective of Tucson’s rich food history and culture. In November, the Tucson City of Gastronomy board hired Erik Stanford, who worked as a chef at the Cup Café, The Carriage House, Exo Roast Co., and 5 Points Market and Restaurant before launching his own food hub, Pivot Produce.

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Food from Somewhere: The power of place-based labeling to support a local food economy

Imagine walking into a market with shelves stocked full of food products labeled as made in Baja Arizona. There’d be packages of velvet mesquite pod flour, beer made with White Sonora wheat, whiskey made with barley malted over mesquite wood smoke, sourdough bread made with heritage grains, olive oil smoked with pecan wood, and soup mixes with dried cholla cactus flower buds and tepary beans.

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A World of Gastronomy

When Tucson became the first city in the United States to be designated as a City of Gastronomy last December, one of the few obligations it consented to was to participate in international exchanges through the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

But just what would we find of tangible use to our community from the different food systems, educational strategies, and native cuisines of cities in Iran, South Korea, Brazil, Norway, Turkey, Spain, Japan, Sweden, Thailand, and Italy?

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Intangible Heritage

You probably heard the news. After a two-year application process, on Dec. 11, 2015, Tucson joined the international Creative Cities Network of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World City of Gastronomy, the first such designation in the United States.

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Tucson Designated UNESCO World City of Gastronomy

We’ve known it—those of us who eat here have tasted it. We’ve felt it in the soil under our fingernails. We’ve seen it in the magenta stain of prickly pear. We’ve heard it in the hammer mill grinding sweet speckled mesquite; smelled it in the exhale of steam from a crowded pot of tamales.

Tucson has always been a city of gastronomy. Today, it was designated a World City of Gastronomy by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), becoming the first city in the United States to receive such a designation.

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