The food writer for the Vail (Colorado) Daily, Ari LeVaux, displays an almost spiritual reverence for food in a column that included a tidbit from UC Cooperative Extension small farm advisor Richard Molinar. The story recounts LeVaux' 36-hour food tour of Italy at the conclusion of the biennial Slow Food movement gathering in Turin.
LeVaux writes rapturously about the Italian food he sampled on the trip:
Crescent-shaped ravioli stuffed with scallops served over split lobsters
Baby octopus with peas
Lobster in cauliflower sauce
Clams in a garbanzo bean sauce
Sicilian-style sauce, containing fresh dill and crushed hot peppers
Ligurian-style sauce, with tomatoes, capers, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic, shallots and fresh parsley
It was the capers that gave Molinar entrée in the story. LeVaux spoke to the Fresno farm advisor about the availability of the cured flower buds grown in California.
"Domestic, organic capers are already available at Whole Foods, and more caper operations are coming soon, according to Richard Molinar, a University of California Cooperative Extension small farm specialist," LeVaux wrote in the column. "Molinar believes capers could become a valuable specialty crop for California’s small farmers."
The last four paragraphs of LeVaux' column is a recipe for Ligurian sauce written lovingly in narrative style. Even if you don't cook, it is a delicious read.