Fresh Allspice Berries Add Kick

Allspice berries at Bee Heaven Farm

While its ground form may recall warm flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, allspice (Pimenta dioica) berries, used fresh, add an intriguing spice with an ever-so-gently hint of heat. Typically, the berries are picked when green, dried and used in many cuisines, including Caribbean jerk, pickling seasonings, sausages, Mexican moles and Palestinian dishes. Fresh leaves are often used like bay leaves.

But what about the purple berries that ripen in August and September in South Florida?
They’re so sweet, spicy and tasty – “Nature’s Altoids,” says Margie Pikarsky of Bee Heaven Farms – that chef Adri Garcia of Verde Community Farm and Market in Homestead decided to try cooking with them.

Banana allspice muffins

“I’ve never worked with them before, but I had tasted them at Margie’s,” she says. “I thought of using them like blueberries, but since they pack such a big flavor,  I figured we’d tone them down a bit.” She took the entire pint, whirred them in the food processor, added some sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper to make a paste. “If it’s too thick, add a teaspoon or two of water,” she says. “I then

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Dania Beach PATCH: #FarmMktWk

Happy #FarmMktWk! Every day this week in honor of National Farmers Market Week, we’ll feature some of these markets that brave the heat to bring you local produce and artisan foods.

Dania Beach PATCH
Saturdays 9am-1pm, 1201 W Dania Beach Blvd.

More than just a farmers market, PATCH – Dania Beach People’s Access to Community Horticulture – is also a community gardens program that provides the neighborhood with access to healthy, local food, and teaches residents about sustainable living. Created by the Dania Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, this formerly vacant 1.6-acre plot is now filled with growbags and thriving plants, while a pavilion provides shade and cover for food vendors. They’ve also teamed up with FLIPANY for healthy cooking demos and nutritional education. During the summers, they’re open on Saturdays; in season, they also open Sundays.

Garren cuts herbs

Dania Beach PATCH

Tomatoes on stakes

FLIPANY healthy demo

Lettuce in grow bags

Broccoli in growbags

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Alex Chang / Vagabond Restaurant

Vagabond Restaurant’s Alex Chang has quickly built a reputation for his outspoken personality and eclectic cuisine. Chat Chow TV sat down with the 25-year-old executive chef to find out more about his background, what he thinks of the Miami food scene and what’s in store for the restaurant.

Chang first came into the spotlight a few years ago after filming a documentary with about his college supper club that caught the attention of restaurateur Alvaro Perez Miranda who invited him out to New York City to do a pop-up dinner. The dinner went well and the two stayed in touch, eventually reconnecting for the Vagabond Restaurant concept.

He admits that he has been a bit outspoken about Miami’s food scene since arriving but that he didn’t necessarily mean it in a negative light, “I thought I was just saying what everyone was saying to me but I guess no one wants to say it publicly,” but adds he thinks that there is prime opportunity for the city’s food scene to grow because it isn’t overly saturated like other markets.

As for the inspiration of his menu it’s a reflection of items that he enjoys eating — with heavy emphasis … Read More

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Whole Foods Market Pompano Beach: #Farmmktwk

Happy #FarmMktWk! Every day this week in honor of National Farmers Market Week, we’ll feature some of these markets that brave the heat to bring you local produce and artisan foods.

Whole Foods Market Pompano Beach
Wednesdays 4-9pm,  2411 N. Federal Highway

A farmers market in front of a supermarket? Sure – Whole Foods Markets host weeknight markets at some of their Broward locations, including Fort Lauderdale (Tuesdays), Pembroke Pines (Thursdays) and Pompano Beach (Wednesdays). It’s a great place to showcase local vendors, including artisan bakers, smoked fish dip makers and local farmers, too. We admire Whole Foods Markets’ community spirit in dedicating space to South Florida market vendors and supporting local fare.

Whole Foods Market Pompano Beach

Lots of prepared foods


Crafted House

Cafes do Brasil

Summer melons

Flounder and the fisherman who caught it

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Pinecrest Gardens: #FarmMktWk

Happy #FarmMktWk! Every day this week in honor of National Farmers Market Week, we’ll feature some of these markets that brave the heat to bring you local produce and artisan foods.

Pinecrest Gardens Farmers Market
Sundays 9am-2pm, 11000 Red Rd., Pinecrest

Every Sunday morning, under the shady trees in the parking lot of Pinecrest Gardens, the tents are up, the smoothie blenders are whirring, sausages are sizzling and the dogs (and their owners) are greeting each other. You can get a lot done here – stock up on jackfruit and bananas from Walt and Adena of LNB Grovestand; find a loaf of rustic bread from Zak the Baker (come early before they sell out); order artisan sausage from Babe Froman; and pick up a Community Art Cool Tie from Suzanne and Marcela, providing relief from the heat for you and farmworkers. Parking is plentiful in the summertime and nearly all of it is in the shade.

Adena of LNB Grovestand

Babe Froman

Suzanne Moe of Cool Ties

Farm-fresh produce

Zak the Baker


Local bananas

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Tour Homestead & The Redland

During National Farmers Market Week, we pay tribute to markets and the farmers who bring us our fresh, local produce. You can tour our South Florida agricultural district on Aug. 13 with the Dade Farm Bureau. This all-day farm tour begins and ends at the Farm Bureau’s office at 1850 Old Dixie Highway and includes stops at Robert Is Here, Schnebly Redlands Winery & Brewery, Capri Restaurant (for lunch), Everglades Alligator Farm and RF Orchids. Explore the countryside with the experts at the Dade Farm Bureau! For tickets, call Sonia at 305-246-5514 or email her.



Jackfruit at Robert is Here

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Verde Community Farm & Market: #FarmMktWk

Happy #FarmMktWk! Every day this week in honor of National Farmers Market Week, we’ll feature some of these markets that brave the heat to bring you local produce and artisan foods.

Verde Community Farm & Market
Tues-Sat 11am-3pm, SW 127 Ave. and SW 280 St., Homestead

While Verde is a farmstand rather than a weekly market, we’re including it here for many reasons. First, as a year-round organic farm, Verde supplies produce for Urban Oasis Project markets in South Florida; provides edible plants and starts; and grows cut flowers (restaurant owners, take note!). Second, they’ve just opened their cafe where, under the guidance of chef Adri Garcia, they’re making tasty, healthy dishes using what they grow. Third, they’ve also opened their commercial kitchen, so community artisans can now make their products (and Verde is also producing their own line of foods). And fourth, we admire the model: the dollars you spend at Verde goes toward hiring and training at-risk community members who work at the farm and market. Everyone wins!

New market, cafe and kitchen

Chuck is growing three kinds of basil

Get local cut flowers here

Chef Adri, right, and her team with a tray of Sunshine Rolls


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SW Community Market: #FarmMktWk

Happy #FarmMktWk! Every day this week in honor of National Farmers Market Week, we’ll feature some of these markets that brave the heat to bring you local produce and artisan foods.

Southwest Community Farmers Market
Saturdays 9am-3pm, Tropical Park

“Community” isn’t part of this year-round market’s name by accident – this kid- and pet-friendly farmers market aims to be that gathering place where visitors can chat with neighbors every week while stocking up on fresh, local produce and baked goods. Organizer Annick Sternberg makes it a point to offer fun learning activities, like rock painting and peanut planting, plus ongoing community service, such as the monthly collection drive for the Center for Women and Children. Carl from Urban Oasis Project is here every week with local produce, and popular food blogger Renee Joslyn of Freakin’ Flamingo serves up sass with her preserves and home-baked breads. Here, too, are intriguing artisans – Manel’s, the Sri Lankan family that serves (not too) spicy pastries; Cafe Luigi, with made-to-order Italian specialties; Farmer Fred and his fresh guarapo; plus ceviche, plants, honey and empanadas and more. Access is easy from Bird Road and the Palmetto, and there’s always plenty of free parking.

Annick Sternberg

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Arsht Center Market: #FarmMktWk

Happy #FarmMktWk! Every day this week in honor of National Farmers Market Week, we’ll feature some of these markets that brave the heat to bring you local produce and artisan foods.

Arsht Center Farmers Market
Mondays 4-8, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

Monday night markets make sense. You may have missed the Saturday and Sunday markets because, well, the weekend; and it’s a good way to start the week with fresh, local produce. Here, Urban Oasis Project brings the goods from Verde Community Farm and other South Florida farms. You’ll also find LNB Grovestand sampling and selling tropical fruits and guacamole. Artisans are on hand with rustic breads from Zak the Baker, baked goods and sweets. Best of all, Chef Allen hosts a farm-to-table dinner at Cafe at Books and Books.

Sara of LNB with jackfruit seeds

Sweet, local pineapple

LNB bananas (their red ones are on our summer cover)


Lisa Palley and Carl Templer

Arsht Market

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Tablet Pistach

This is the Haitian version of peanut brittle, one of the treats on HistoryMiami’s tour of Little Haiti. Other foods on the tour include Haitian bread (dense, doughy and faintly sweet) and Kremas Mapou, a mixture of condensed, evaporated and coconut milks, spices and rums, from
Mapou Bookstore.


¼ cup roasted peanuts

¾ cup light brown sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon grated ginger

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

½ teaspoon star anise extract

¼ cup water

½ teaspoon salt

Large nonstick saucepan

Parchment paper

Add the water, sugar, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon,nutmeg, salt and star anise to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the peanuts and boil for 10-15 minutes or until mixture has thickened. Remove the pan from heat and continue to stir until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is sticky. Using a spoon place 6 large cookie sized amounts on parchment paper. Place the pieces in a cookie jar when cool.… Read More

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