I hope your week is going well. Birthday celebrations were wonderful last week. Thank you for all of your birthday wishes! You can catch some of the action looking up #tlgbirthday on Twitter and Instagram. The last activity in “celebration” was Hops ‘N Chicory, an event hosted by the folks at California Endive.
Local bloggers and restauranteurs were invited to enjoy the festivities. For my day job, I work (and eat) a lot with restaurants in Downtown Sac so I was able to enjoy this perk. Hops and Chicory are two key elements that are used to produce beer and endive, which are two local gems.
First order of business. You are probably saying endive wrong. It’s ON-DEEV.
We started with a tour of the Ruhstaller Beer farm and later enjoyed an endive centric dinner at the Collins Farm with beer pairings! JE Paino, the mastermind behind Ruhstaller took us into the hop fields and gave us the 411 on how Ruhstaller came to be. If you’re a Sacramentan and you’re into craft beer, Ruhstaller is a name you know. The history dates back all the way to 1881 (which you can read about here), but Ruhstaller Beer has made a resurgence in the past few years. In Sacramento there is an underground taproom (and I’m a member of their club – yaya), but having the farm experience just brought my appreciation for the brew full circle.
Following a cool-down session with a fresh beer in the event area, we went down about a half mile to the Collins Farm for dinner.
Before dining, we learned more about endive and got a chance to hear it from the man who made California Endive to what it is today: Rich Collins. Endive production begins with a chicory root that’s harvested from the field. It’s then taken to a cellar-like space where the bud on the chicory root grows again, producing a single endive in about a month’s time. One calorie per leaf, high in fiber, good source of potassium – the health benefits are too great. I can’t make that stuff up!
After we got a peek of what endives look like before and after, we hit the deck area for some food. Oh my lord. Endive appetizers, grilled endive salad, potato salad with endives and some poached King Salmon (courtesy of the Salmon Council) with fresh pesto, and a delicious blackberry crisp for dessert. And, we were sent home with packs of endives to enjoy!
I was absolutely blown away by their hospitality and passion for what they grow. I have a new found respect for those who grow my food and the extra care they put into it to make sure it’s the best.
I’m an amateur, but please enjoy some of the pictures I took. I was too engrossed with my plate to take any pictures of that!
The current lineup.
A little Cudera and Cornhole with Stephanie of 52 Kitchen Adventures and her hubby.
Tour of the farm.
Sticky and fragrant hops!
Check out the transformation!
I had to contain myself… these were too good. Endive with chevre and peach..or maybe it was nectarine!
Some of the spread.
More Ruhstaller Beer