First up... Acala Farms in Barneveld. Our friends Sarah and Peter Botham recently launched a new venture, Acala Farms, to introduce beautiful, flavor-infused cooking oils made from cottonseed. Stop at Botham Vineyards and Winery in Barneveld, WI for a tasting.
Quoting a story this weekend in the Wisconsin State Journal:
Botham Vineyards banks on cottonseed cooking oil (linked below)
"The oils can be drizzled on pasta, vegetables, popcorn and salads. They also can be used as dipping oils in the same fashion as olive oil. 'It adds flavor to everything you can think of. It's a great dipping oil. All of the flavors are wonderful for dipping with bread,' Sarah Botham said."
"It has superior cooking qualities, (UW-Madison animal science professor) Cook said."
Sarah Botham certainly won't disagree.
"These oils," she said with a smile, "are something special."
Next up....Kusaka Restaurant in Mineral Point.Hiroko and Chris wonderful food entrepreneurs and really delightful people.
From Japan to Mineral Point: Kusaka is an unexpected rural find. (linked below)
"Chris' mother lives in Dodgeville, and the two decamped to Wisconsin and moved in with her. Shortly after, they got an offer to take over a vacant space in Mineral Point, and Kusaka was born in July of this year."
"To put things into perspective, you should know that all the ramen noodles in New York City come from just three factories."
"Hiroko and Chris Messer are making their own handmade ramen noodles at their restaurant, Kusaka, in Mineral Point. And they're not using a pasta machine, as is conventional for the DIY crowd. This is hand-kneaded, hand-rolled and hand-cut."
"For now, the very gregarious and efficient Chris is host, waiter and kitchen helper, while Hiroko is chef. The couple have begun to hire some help, and as word spreads, they're going to need it."
Congratulations to our Iowa County food entrepreneurs!