Posts Tagged ‘Eva Sommaripa’

Among the Wild Flowers

Creeping into the essence of our culture is a not-so-new food movement where salad is picked from the backyard, honeys and jellies are collected in kitchen jars, and whisky’s distilled in big stainless pots; “The small farmer is the new gastronomic superhero,” says NPR’s Bonny Wolf. Another popular food expert is no stranger to the heroism of local farmers. Didi Emmons, the Boston-based “roving Eco-chef” found one farming superhero worth shadowing for over 10 years. The result: her new cookbook, Wild Flavors, featuring all the nitty-gritty details about one glorious garden, and the flavors that bring bushels of popular, smitten chefs to Eva Sommaripa’s bounty.

Eva is not your average 70-year-old, and not your typical farmer either. Perhaps that’s what drew Didi like a magnet to the unconventional farm in South Dartmouth back in 2001. Known as Eva’s Garden, the farm was then building a solid customer base of renowned New England chefs excited by the innovative flavors grown by Eva and her team. Like many local farmers and FarmCoast residents, Eva found a sanctuary in the fertility of the coastal land. After traveling back and forth to Cambridge restaurants in the early stages of her farming operation, top chefs quickly propelled Eva to a celebrity status.

In her garden, weeds are a delicacy, and plants you’ve never heard of make dishes to die for. While Eva’s Garden has over 200 varieties of wild flowers, herbs, and greens, Wild Flavors features over 40 of the common and uncommon varieties, and 150 recipes to enjoy them. If you’ve resolved to eat more vegetables this year, this book will certainly give you a jolt of enthusiasm.  The book is divided into seasons with recipes to suit the theme of whats growing at any given time. Didi’s picks for winter (themed, “Salvaging”) include dishes like Parsnip Tea Cake, Root Vegetable Latkes, and Sprouted Hummus. Between the recipes, Didi details the life cycle and botany of the ingredients, and the story of the inspiring woman who grows the plants. Eva’s gained significant press over the years for the same superhero qualities Didi found in her ten years ago. A complete blend of cooking instruction, narrative, botany, and foodie life coaching, Wild Flavors is a robust addition to your cookbook collection.

Pick up a copy of the book and see for yourself why everyone’s talking about Eva, and better yet what Eva’s talking about. “There are so many forms of life…that’s the most exciting part of the whole thing,” she says. Wild Flavors reveals the succulent truths about a life digging for treasures in the dirt. The book itself is a worthy FarmCoast treasure.

Wild Flavors is available at The Cottage in Tiverton Four Corners and Partners Village Store in Westport, MA and at your local book seller. For more information on Didi Emmon’s life in the world of good food visit www.didiemmons.com.