Now there is one more reason my husband and I need to venture beyond Manhattan on one of NYC weekends and spend it in Brooklyn. The New York Times reports that there is a new culinary movement – an artisan movement that is getting back to the roots of creating food.
The 20- and 30-somethings leading this movement are hand-making pickles, cheeses and chocolates the way others form bands and artists’ collectives. They have a sense of community and an appreciation for traditional methods and flavors. They also share an aesthetic that’s equal parts 19th and 21st century, with a taste for bold graphics, salvaged wood and, for the men, scruffy beards.
These artisans are also entrepreneurs. Not only are they having fun learning how to make good food, they are finding ways to sell what they are making.
Bartering chocolates for beers, selling ricotta cheese out of the back a truck, and selling at the Brooklyn Flea, the Fort Greene flea market, are all ways that these artisans are getting their products out to consumers. Many don’t have to do it that way for long. Their specially made foods find more conventional markets quickly.
Rick and Michael Mast, the brother team behind Mast Brothers Chocolate who traded chocolate truffles for beer, now have a national following. Betsy Devine and Rachel Mark, partners who sold their Salvatore Bklyn ricotta out of the back of a truck, now have eight stores that distribute the cheese that they learned to make themselves after a trip to Tuscany.
It’s really exciting to see all the ways that people are getting back to the roots of food. Food is such a community builder when the making and the enjoying of it is shared, and it looks like this new generation of Brooklynites have that figured out.
What are you seeing in your own communities? Are there any food related activities that are bringing people together?
Image: Paul S