Nosh News: Everybody Loves a Cheeseball Edition

April is National Florida Tomato Month.

Happy National Cheeseball Day! Don’t have the time (or the stomach) to ball up a wad of brie so you can celebrate? Well, Sunday, April 22, is National Jelly Bean Day. And you’ve got all of April to commemorate National Florida Tomato Month, along with National Soft Pretzel Month and the oh-so-unspecific National Food Month. Where did all these food holidays — seems like there’s at least one for just about every day on the calendar — come from, anyway?  Bon Appétit explains it all: How National Food Holidays Became a Thing.

When most people look at a hunk of cheese, they envision a snack or a meal. Painter Mike Geno, however, sees artistic inspiration. The Philadelphia artist has made a career out of painting portraits of beautiful blues, richly textured cheddars and other visions de fromage. Jeff Gordinier’s profile of Geno for the New York Times, Like the Mona Lisa, but on a Cracker, includes some delicious tidbits about the artist’s process (yes, he does devour his subjects after he’s polished off a canvas) and a slideshow of some of his works.

Know what goes great with cheese? Beer. If you’re looking for a new microbrew to savor, the Trot Line’s got you covered. The Atlanta-based website’s coverage of Southern culture includes detailed, thoughtful reviews of beers from all over the region. Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale from Mississippi brewery Lazy Magnolia, for example, sounds like a must-try to me. If you prefer the hard stuff, The Trot Line’s writers have a lot to say about bourbon, as well.

Farm Fresh: Tomato Land

We’re sharing our favorite veggie-centric recipes featuring produce that’s in season right now in north Florida, and available at local farmers markets, produce stands and Community Supported Agriculture programs.

This past Saturday, I visited Tomato Land. I’ve taken food to go from Tomato Land (I’ll save that deliciousness for another post), but never shopped for produce. A few weeks ago when a Tallahassee Groupon was offered for Tomato Land produce, I figured it’d be the perfect opportunity to give their produce a try. So this Saturday, I had $10 to spend, and believe me, it went far! I purchased: 2 local grapefruits, 5 tangerines, 1 bell pepper, 4 ears of corn, 1 yellow onion, 1 mango, 2 tomatoes and 2 green apples!

Tomato Land’s selection of tomatoes.

With the fresh corn, I tried a new slow cooker recipe, Corn on the Cob with Garlic Herb Butter, and it was amazing!

Corn on the Cob with Garlic Herb Butter
A recipe from “Crock-Pot The Original Slow Cooker: Recipe Collection”

Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely minced
4 ears of corn, husked
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. Thoroughly mix butter, garlic and parsley in small bowl.
2. Place each ear of corn on a piece of aluminum foil and generously spread butter mixture on each ear. Season corn with salt and pepper and tightly seal foil.
3. Place corn in 4 1/2 quart slow cooker; overlap ears if necessary. Add enough water to come 1/4 of the way up each ear. Cover; cook on low 4 to 5 hours or on high 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Tomato Land on Thomasville Road.

I found the selection, customer service and prices at Tomato Land to be great. I’ll definitely go again for produce. Also, if you are looking for fresh wreaths and Christmas trees, they have quite a selection!

If you want to send Florida citrus to friends and relatives up North, Tomato Land has gift baskets ready to go.

Just the facts
Tomato Land

1847 Thomasville Rd., Tallahassee
(850) 425-8416