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Close to home: Fresh and local AZ foods from the farm to your fall table

“Farm to table” isn’t solely a fad or passing catch phrase. There’s been an ongoing shift in the agriculture, restaurant and cooking worlds to use as many local and seasonal foods as possible. For many, eating local Arizona foods is simply a way of life.
While our hot summers don’t seem like the ideal conditions for many crops, Arizona actually has a lot to offer in terms of local goods. In fact, fall is the perfect time to shop, cook and eat local Arizona foods. Check out some of the most popular in our state below along with some delicious recipe suggestions:
Pumpkins: Of course, we can’t talk about fall flavors without mentioning pumpkin. Pumpkins and squash are grown throughout the state at places like Schnepf Farms and Tolmachoff Farms, and harvested from August through November. While pumpkins make for prime pie and muffin stars, they are also great in a savory dish. Try this warm and creamy curried pumpkin soup as our nights grow cooler.
Tomatoes: A lot of people think of tomatoes as a summer fruit, but the tomato harvest in Arizona extends through November. Farm-fresh tomatoes are great on sandwiches and salads, as well as in marinara sauces and soups. If you grow them yourself, canning the tomatoes at harvest is a great way to keep them ready and on hand longer during the winter months.
Figs & Dates: Figs and dates grow well in Arizona. Figs are known as a fall fruit and can be used in savory or sweet dishes. On the savory side, they pair well with creamy cheeses like goat and ricotta and salty proteins like prosciutto. Try them on a pizza or flatbread to add depth and texture. On the sweet side, a bit of honey can bring out their sugary flavors and they complement other sweet fruits like strawberries well.
Residents of Scottsdale golf homes may recognize Sphinx Date Ranch as a historic fixture in Scottsdale, operating since 1951. The recently evolved Sphinx Date Ranch has added a Southwest Market to its brick and mortar location on Scottsdale Road, selling their dates along with other local AZ foods and beverages like olive oil, craft beer and wine.
Basil: This is one of those foods that can add so much to a recipe, from aromatics to flavors, and there’s no substitute for real, fresh basil. Arizona harvests basil from August through November. Blue Sky Organic Farms in Litchfield Park recommends adding bits of basil to salads, meat dishes and roasted vegetables. Basil is also a great addition to muddled cocktails like mojitos or with berries in a lemonade (with or without vodka- your choice).
Buying and eating local AZ foods has tremendous benefits to the local economy, as well as your health and taste buds. The many great local farms and shops are just one more reason to make Arizona golf course communities your home!
Don Matheson
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
[email protected]
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