Heritage Foods is celebrating the seventh year of its annual October goat project, NO GOAT LEFT BEHIND, and the second in the United Kingdom. No Goat Left Behind addresses the growing problem facing New England goat dairies — namely, what to do with male goats….
Category: Heritage Radio Network
Under the call to action Come to the Table. All are Welcome Here, 1000 guests came together this past weekend in San Francisco to award 200 American artisans in 14 categories at the Good Food Awards.
Over the years we have been lucky enough to partner with the hard working fishermen of Bristol Bay, Alaska. They spend every summer working their nets to bring us delicious, sustainably harvested salmon….
We are in full swing for barbecue season and are hoping you can spend some time grilling up your favorite summer foods! While you are waiting for your meat to reach the perfect temperature, tune into these Heritage Radio Network programs to keep up with all things food, culture, policy and trends. All of this and more, just time to impress your friends over dinner conversation!
Hey all you summer cats and beach kittens! The warm weather has arrived and it’s time to head out and enjoy those few extra hours of sunlight! So whether you’re planning a day at the park, or laying out pool side, we thought we’d leave you with this weeks not to miss stories from Heritage Radio Network. Grab your towels, pack a picnic basket, and tune in for the most up to date conversations about food, culture, policy, and trends.
Lamb Breed Histories and Heritage Lamb Taste Chart
It’s hard not to respect a breed that was referenced numerous times in the Bible (see fat-tailed sheep) and is reputed to be 3000 years old. It’s even harder to imagine the Tunis not being completely delicious since the first three U.S. presidents raised and consumed them.
John Adams mentioned the breed in his diary in 1782 when the Tunis had an excellent reputation for delicious mutton — and tail (not sold today!). Thomas Jefferson ordered the importation of a second herd from Tunisia because he loved them so much he thought they should be more readily available. George Washington bred them —one of his early legacies was the proliferation of his particular Tunis crossbreed on farms and dinner tables along the East Coast.
The tail is now smaller and the color ranges from tan-to-red with the occasional white spot on the head and tail. Ewes usually birth twins although the Tunis still remains on the ALBC-USA.org Conservation Priority List. The Tunis is an excellent ambassador breed for the grass-fed movement – they don’t like to eat a lot of grain.
The Dorset Horn is a breed of sheep that spread over Dorset, Somerset, Devon, and most of Wales. In 1750 this is the breed the English with a fine palate would eat for Christmas! Today we eat it more frequently because the Dorset Horn is able to give birth three times a year. Dorsets tolerate heat well, and heat tolerance contributes to the rams’ ability to breed earlier in the season than rams of other breeds. This contributes to the Dorset Horn being a very profitable sheep to grow although it remains on the Threatened List of the ALBC-USA.org website.
The Hudson Bay Company first shipped the Dorset Horn to America in the 1860s. But it was a livestock show in Chicago a few years later that made it famous. The Dorset Horn is known for its healthy appetite and thrives on the lush pastures of Vermont where Ben Machin and Grace Bowmer raise a herd.
The Katahdin is inextricably linked to Michael Piel of Abbott, Maine who had the brilliant idea of separating out the wool producing side of the lamb business from the meat side. Wool production took time and energy from both the animals and the farmers while only providing about 10 percent of the farmer’s income. In addition wool creates a more pungent and muttony taste in the meat.
Piel imported three hair sheep from the Virgin Islands and bred them with various breeds like Tunis and Suffolk in an effort to produce a sheep that excels in taste. The result of the crossbreeding efforts finally produced a flock so perfect that it became the foundation for a herd and eventually the Katahdin breed that is raised around the country. Piel named it after a mountain in Maine even though the breed excels in hotter climates. The Katahdin is known to live a long time while remaining productive. There are now a couple of hundred U.S. breeders of the Katahdin including our very own Chris Wilson of Clover Creek who has worked with us for almost a decade.
The Katahdin serves land conservation projects very well and are perfect for grass-fed systems like that found in Northeastern Tennessee where Chris has won awards for land conservation.
The Churro was perhaps the first domesticated animal in the Americas when the Spanish brought it here in the 1500s. The animal quickly became a big part of Hispanic and Native American ways of life. One of the few positive legacies of Spanish conquerors was the lamb breeds they left here, especially at missions, as they searched for gold. It was these very sheep that the Navajo and other Native Americans stole and purchased making them a part of their way of life and diet.
The Navajo-Churro produces excellent wool and meat. It was Navajo women who owned the sheep, the grazing rights and the wool, which became an important source of income. The Navajo-Churro existed in great numbers here until the government killed off most of the population in their war with Native Americans. The breed currently sits on the Threatened List of the ALBC-USA.org website.
Today many of the residents of the Navajo reservation continue to raise sheep for wool and food. Dr. Lyle McNeal played a crucial role in increasing their population in the 1970s despite the fact that conditions in that part of the country are harsh.
The Katahdin/White Dorper is a crossbreed bred by Joseph Hubbard at Shannon Creek Ranch in the Flint Hills of Kansas. The Dorper has a lot more muscle than the Katahdin. Combined you get a meaty carcass with the mild taste of the Katahdin.
Heritage Foods USA consideres the Flint Hills to be the best terroir for grass-fed animal farming in the U.S. The Flint Hills are band of hills that stretches from eastern Kansas into north-central Oklahoma, extending from Marshall and Washington Counties in Kansas in the north, to Cowley County in Kansas and Kay and Osage Counties in Oklahoma in the south.
Anywhere tallgrass grows makes for a great and sus-tainable terroir for grass-fed sheep, but what makes the Flint Hills our number-one choice is that it boasts the most dense cover-age of intact tallgrass prairie in North America and has blossomed into a mosaic of independent family farms— many of which are at the heart of the heritage breed movement.
Tallgrass is the food the prairie produces naturally in the absence of intensive row-crop agriculture. Unlike corn, tallgrass is not dependent on petrochemical fertilizer or herbicide, and its roots run deep below the thin layer of topsoil. It is potent, incredibly resilient, the all-you-can-eat salad bar for healthy sheep. And they love it, gladly eating pounds of the stuff every day.
The result of this robust food supply is a meat with a nice even ratio of intra- and extramuscular fat, a clean taste, a natural delight. It is the taste of the Americas.
Varietals like Bluestem, Little Bluestem, Indiangrass, Switchgrass, Prairie Dropseed, and Sideoats Grama have stalks whose profound roots are able to pull moisture and nutrients from deep within the ground, making them the best candidates to withstand the drought and deluge likely to accompany climate change. They are resistant to all types of extreme weather, and they bounce back quickly, even from fires. And they do not rely on the dwindling power of the thin layer of topsoil to grow.
This week on No Chefs Allowed, Heritage turkey hero Frank Reese talks with hosts, Megan and Tricia as they begin planning for Thanksgiving. Frank, a fourth-generation turkey farmer, is the ambassador for the turkeys that used to feed America. Frank talks to No Chefs Allowed about today’s industrialized poulty practices, and encourages everyone to support the last remnants of the turkeys that used to don our tables at Thanksgiving. Megan and Tricia set off to get their own Heritage turkeys before they sell out!
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
When our friends at Heritage Radio Network attended the Big Apple BBQ Block Party the weekend of June 8th, 2013 in New York City, it started a conversation about sustainable sourcing and barbeque. In the past, barbeque was a reflection of what was around in your area. The geography was reflected in the cuisine – you bought what was nearby and cooked it. However, as time went on, the barbeque world moved more towards industrial agriculture. Restaurants across the nation served what customers wanted, not what was necessarily available to them. Go to any BBQ joint and you can get ribs or brisket, so where can everybody in the country get your supply of ribs from? Not your small farmer, but big giants like Smithfield, who also seemed to be a sponsor at the Big Apple Barbeque. Tune-in to learn more about sustainability in BBQ from Heritage Radio Network!
Congrats to our friends at Heritage Radio Network for throwing an incredible Hawaiian BBQ party last night. We, along with several hundred other guests, enjoyed delicious food and drink accompanied by Island tunes. If you missed the annual garden party, enjoy some of our favorite photos.
© 2013 Brian Eden | brianedenphotography.com
Our friends at Heritage Radio Network know a thing or two about parties and pigs. They are currently gearing up for their Hawaiian BBQ Hog Roast which will take place on August 11 in the garden at Roberta’s.
Find out more and get your tickets here http://hrnhawaiianbbq.eventbrite.com/
More from HRN
Hang out in the ultimate urban garden at Roberta’s Pizza and enjoy a family-style feast that will take you from the mean streets of NYC to the breezy beaches of the Big Island. We’ll start the night with Hors d’oeuvers from Roberta’s Catering and then we’ll say, “Aloha” to Daniel Delaney of Delaney BBQ. Daniel will be the honorary Pitmaster, slow cooking a delicious Heritage Foods USA hog.
Joining Delaney is an all-star line up of chefs. Chris Bradley of Untitled, Kyle Knall of Maysville, and the Court St. Grocers crew will be making some killer sides to compliment the unctuous pork. La New Yorkina will cap the night with their signature frozen treats. The Anfora restaurant team will be on hand to mix up cocktails, and Empire Brewing Company will be our exclusive beer sponsor.
Don’t forget to check out the Food + Art Silent Auction during the event. Enjoy a cocktail while bidding on unique food art created by artists Margarita Korol, Erin Jang, Brooke David, Mike Geno and more.
Let Tom Douglas Plan your Seattle Foodie Fantasy! Chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Tom Douglas boasts over a dozen restaurants within 10 blocks in downtown Seattle. His menus range from seafood to Northern Italian to a Tibetan dumpling food truck. And he wants you to spend the weekend in his town, his way! This is a man who knows food so you can trust him to treat you right in his adopted city. This fabulous weekend will be raffled away so get a head start and buy your raffle tickets early for your chance to win. $10 per raffle ticket.