Day two of Food Blog Forum showcased the Asheville food scene from farm to fork. We arrived at Highland Brewing Company to what essentially amounted to a sea of food and beer.
At 11 a.m.
On a Tuesday.
To say I was happy is an understatement.
Creative. Delicious. All-around amazing. I am not sure how to best describe the food at the tasting event, but any of those will do. I hope I have struck the right balance between enjoying it in the moment and sharing it with you here.
Montadito en Escabeche by Cúrate – Toast with mussels, a roasted tomato and garlic vinaigrette, and pickled seaweed.
Appalachian Okra by Green River Pickles – Slightly spiced with cayenne peppers and garlic. Enjoy straight up or stuffed with pimento cheese.
Sunburst Mountain Trout by Red Stag Grill – Trout paired with seasonal vegetables and topped with heirloom tomato jam and lemon balm creme fraiche.
Mimosa Fried Chicken Biscuit by Biscuit Head – More than fried chicken on a biscuit, their signature dish includes sriracha slaw, sweet potato chai butter, and cheerwine bacon.A personal favorite.
Citrus Kale Salad by Green Sage Cafe – Kale with beets, carrots, avocado, and raisins.
Duck Liver Pate by King James Public House – Served with pickles on lavash (a crisp flatbread). Quite possibly the prettiest dish of the day.
Foraged Mushroom Gratin by The Market Place – Mushroms, roasted shallots, and a parmesan herb crust served atop crostini. Another personal favorite.
Duck Terrine Biscuit by The Junction – Duck leg and liver terrine on a buttermilk biscuit, peach-pepper jelly, shaved jalapeño. This was a crowd favorite.
Dessert Empanada by The Cantina – Stuffed with strawberry cheesecake and topped with a Nutella molé sauce.
Not pictured but another personal favorite was the sweet corn pudding with spicy peppers from 12 Bones Smokehouse. An Asheville local told me 12 Bones maked the best barbecue in the city.
Want to make some of these dishes at home? Download a sampling of Asheville Recipe Cards. (They may take a while to load, but they will eventually.)
There were other food artisans present as well. Remember French Broad Chocolates from Day 1? They were there with trays of caramels and tiers of Mocha Stout cupcakes made with Highland’s Black Mocha Stout. It got me thinking about my Oktoberfest menu…
One of the more interesting experiences I had was provided courtesy of the Asheville Bee Charmer. They brought their honey tasting bar of local and artisan honey with them, providing me the chance to try honey varieties like nothing I had every tasted. I started with a honey from Idaho that was derived from Fireweed, which is an herb common to the Pacific Northwest. I then tried a honey form Oregon that tasted like vanilla marshmallows.
Tastes do not typically move me to much emotion beyond the spectrum of “that was really good” or “I didn’t much care for that.” This honey, however, moved me. I wanted to try them all but moved along out of fear of a sugar coma.
Likes good beer, great books, & any swimming pool. Tweets recipes and general nonsense.