This year, restaurateurs nationwide surprised us by naming gardens, not food trucks, the number one trend in a poll by the National Restaurant Association. That call is testament to how firmly the locavore movement has taken hold, which is further evidenced by the national recognition several Denver restaurants received for their attention to home-grown ingredients.
But while a lot of us are walking around spouting all of the reasons why eating local food is superior to eating organic food from elsewhere, like reducing the carbon footprint and bolstering the local economy, we may, theoretically, have to cross "because it tastes better" off our list.
Nation's Restaurant News just commissioned a panel of New York and New Jersey-based chefs to blind taste local vs. not local foods. After discussing what flavor characteristics would give the locally sourced foods away, the chefs decided that the stuff from close to home would be tastier because it would likely be fresher. Therefore, they identified the tastier item as the local item.
Unfortunately, that turned out not to be the case. The chefs liked the shipped-in supermarket plum better than the farmers' market fruit and the non-local chicken and lamb better than the New Jersey-raised counterparts.
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The funny part though? The better-tasting lamb and chicken both came from Colorado, which means that even if you're a proponent of good food from wherever it may come, "because it tastes better" is still a reason that residents of the Rocky Mountain State can use to buy local.