Hello my dear readers,
How is your week so far? Are you in the mood of discovering another piece of our world?
Stunning landscapes, spectacular coastline, snow-capped mountains, expansive deserts, sunshine, amazing agritourism and urban sophistication, this is California or the Golden State.
San Francisco enchant its visitors with shopping, sightseeing, museums and gourmet dining. Los Angeles impress its tourists with Hollywood glamour and typical Southern California scenery, while Santa Barbara and San Diego have the perfect weather and golden-sand beaches.
If you are a nature lover, California has a lot of great outdoors to explore such as Yosemite National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, Mojave Desert, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, the stunning alpine environment of the Sierra Nevada Mountains at Lake Tahoe, extraordinary wonders.
But this is not all California has to offer, this alluring Golden State is a place of dreams and amazing culinary experiences too.
From oranges, avocados, cauliflowers, dates and olives, California has a lot of farms that produce over a third of the United States’ vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts, and of course a lot of wines.
No matter where and when precisely you plan to visit California, as there is always a culinary experience to enjoy. From hands-on experiences like picking your own fruits and vegetables or milk cows and gather eggs to learn about artisanal bread-making and beekeeping, you definitely will not have time to get bored. Every single month of the year there is a food & farm festival to celebrate California’s agriculture.
If you enjoy California by car, there are numerous classic farm stands in small towns, while in the big cities there are farmers’ markets, lined with producers, food trucks, gourmet coffee, and live music.
Farm stands are everywhere in the region, especially in summer time. Look for these hand-painted signs revealing what’s fresh and in season, then you may pull over to buy just-picked strawberries, or perfect cherries and peaches for your picnic, or maybe a pot of local wildflower honey for a sweet souvenir. Some of these farm stands which are bigger, have become year-round destinations in themselves, with petting zoos, on-site bakeries with muffins, breads, and pies, and irresistible gift shops and even wine-tasting rooms.
To get a real sense of what makes farm life tick, you can experience a farm stay.
Families cottages nestled in dramatic coastal hills along the North Coast, pretty ranches in rolling Gold Country foothills, organic farms, family-run stone fruits orchards, you have quite a lot of choices for your farming adventure.
Full days of feeding chickens, goat milking, collecting eggs and tending fruits and vegetables, learn how to master farm-to-table dining, cooking classes, or just sit back and enjoy the picturesque landscape.
Something to not miss in California are the city farmers market. On any day of the week, go where the top chefs and locals go to pick their products and see the amazing bounty that is California agriculture in a single swoop.
California has been a land of diverse agriculture, due to its numerous micro-climates. Farmers in Southern California embrace sun-loving crops, such as oranges, avocados, and dates. In north, in the cooler areas, artichokes, broccoli and cauliflowers are in abundance. While in the central valley, tomatoes, grapes, stone fruits and walnuts are widely cultivated. And of course, along the coastline, the fishing industry is busy the entire year. Accordingly, California cuisine relies greatly on the wealth of its local produce and seafood.
California population is as diverse as its produce, from Spanish missionaries, Mexicans, Italians, Asians, and we can see all these ethnic diversity in their food too: Mexican tortillas, olive oil and sun-dried tomatoes, pizzas and pastas, they all have their roots in Italian immigrants’ home kitchens, lemongrass and rice noodles, Asian sauces, such as Sriracha and Hoisin, have become regular condiments in many restaurants.
Californians have immense appreciation for food artisans, farmers’ markets and organic farming.
When it comes to culinary experiences, farm tours, farmers’ markets, farm-to-table dinning experiences that bring the freshness of fields, orchards, and artisanal foods directly to your table, food and wine festivals and wine tasting tours, puts the spotlight on California’s true values.
Chefs harvest plentiful ingredients on property and prepare simple but beautiful dishes for guests to savor onsite, most of the time right on the beautiful farms, vineyards, and ranches where some of the ingredients were harvested. These special experiences not only deliver amazing meals in unforgettable settings, but also a chance to see and learn firsthand how California’s farmers, ranchers, and artisanal food suppliers make the most of the state’s fertile land.
Some of California’s classic foods are that you mus try are: avocado toast, California roll, Chinese chicken salad that doesn’t exist in China, but it was invented in California, Cioppino fish stew, cobb salad, French dip sandwich, oyster cocktail, fish tacos, garlic ice cream, cruffin.
Thank you all for reading.
Join me next time and I’ll share with you my favourite way of eating the cauliflower 😉
Until then, start making your every day meal a wonderful experience with stunning tableware
And if you are a hopeless traveler like me, you may enjoy my previous posts and discover little by little our magnificent world.
- Discovering our world: Toscana, Italy
- Discovering our world: Kolkata, India
- Discovering our world: Venice, Italy
- Discovering our world: Padua, Veneto, Italy
- Discovering our world: Gansu, China
- Discovering our world: Sicily, Italy
- Discovering our world: Genoa, Italy