This past Saturday, Miami Dish participated in a global blogging event, as part of the official launch of Twenty four bloggers from around the world held dinners on Saturday night and then posted about the events on their blogs. There was a BBQ road trip, a recreation of a Serbian medieval dinner, and a Hawaiian luau.

Longans, passionfruit, mamey.  These exotic fruits just roll off the tongue, but what to do with them?  I’ve always thought of summer in South Florida as the lag time before our growing and harvest season– a sweltering, humid time of mangos and avocados…and that’s about it. I realize that there is more to eat in the summer than I previously thought. However, this produce may take some effort to find.

Local farmers meatFinding meat from local farmers

It was much harder to find local animal products.   I was hard-pressed to find beef from a farm that was closer than 150 miles. It was even more challenging to find a farm that didn’t require me to buy enough beef to fill an entire freezer with meat.  Ultimately, I had to go to the supermarket for the beef and chicken. Margie from Bee Heaven Farm says that she will soon be culling her older hens and selling them for stew chickens. Buyers will have to go to the farm, but it will be a worthwhile trip because she will offer lessons on how to prepare a whole chicken “from scratch.”  I’m hopeful that I’ve just scratched the surface. I look forward to discovering more delicious knowledge with future farm to table dinners.

We wouldn’t achieve anything without help

My favorite parts of the experiment were trying out recipes and meeting farmers. Local farmers were enthusiastic and obliging.  Thanks to Margie Pikarsky of Bee Heaven Farms, Roger Washington of Red Dragon Fruit Company, Holly of Sawmill Farm, and Peter Schnebly of Schnebly Redland’s Winery for their help with the dinner.

Miami dishesConclusion – Food diversity is the key to an excellent dish

Being afraid to try new ingredients will turn you into someone who uses only a set number of ingredients in their kitchen. Or quest to new and exciting ingredients is aimed at people who don’t realize how many beautiful elements lie unused in their vicinity.

We hope that our little search will help people in pushing the boundaries of their cooking toward new unexplored areas. Our experiments with those exotic ingredients will help people to discover ways to use unfamiliar food as well as learn new ways to prepare some typical ingredients.