Author Archives: Richard Naples

Slow Food DC Snail of Approval Award Spotlight: P&C Market

Across the street from the west side of Lincoln Park in Capitol Hill, you’ll find one of the winners of our Snail of Approval Awards: P&C Market.

P&C is the perfect place to nip in and grab a coffee and a sandwich, a bit of cheese, a bottle of wine and maybe even something new to brighten your culinary world: Iberico ham, artisanal chocolate or something called jowciale.  Jowciale is similar to guanciale, an Italian bacon made from hog jowl.  These pork cheeks hail from a family farm in Virginia, Edwards Farms.  They’ve been dry-cured and smoked for almost 24 hours.  Slice it very thin, advises Chase Alan Moore, the “C” in P&C Market, and the smoked pork will just melt into your dish.

Pablo Espitia and Chase Alan Moore opened P&C in December of 2008.  After years of traveling, they wanted to open a market similar to the ones you’ll find in most European cities – a market that sells the best of the best that the grocer has found to bring to his customers.  Espitia and Moore took their time finding the products they wanted to sell.  It took almost two years to cultivate the relationships with the regional food producers that now stock the shelves of P&C.

Take the now famous Polyface Farms in Swoope, Virginia.  Espitia and Moore toured Polyface, and spoke at length to the farm’s owner, Joel Salatin, about their vision for the Capitol Hill market.  Since then, P&C has become the only retailer in the district for Polyface meats.  Another favorite producer is Trickling Springs Creamery.  Moore says he felt strongly about stocking their products, and lobbied hard to sell their milk, butter and ice cream.  They also met with Central Coffee Roasters and developed P&C’s own blend of coffee beans.  And the list goes on – a family run honey business, peanuts from Virginia, a chocolatier out of Brooklyn and a gluten free cookie maker.  Ask Moore about any of the goods on his shelves, and he will happily speak at length about the people behind the product.

There are also a number of unique imported products, like Albert Menes spices, Mariage Frères teas and Pastificio dei Campi pasta, a line of dried pasta Moore says rivals any fresh pasta on the market.

In the next year, Moore says he would like to increase the presence of the store’s website to bring the products they love to a national audience.  But that doesn’t mean that P&C isn’t grounded in the local community.  They’ve also put down strong roots in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.  The store has sponsored a little league team and a bluegrass concert at Eastern Market.  Moore says he wants to be like the community businesses he grew up with – a real presence in the lives of the neighborhood residents.

Find P&C on Facebook

Visit their website

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Soups On! Soup Making Class on Dec. 4

Treat yourself—and your holiday guests—to some lush winter soups!

What: Soup Class
When: Sunday, December 4, 2011 5pm to 9pm
Where: Maple Avenue Market, at 128 Maple Avenue, E, Vienna, VA 22180

Katharine Mardirosian, the clever owner of 100 Bowls of Soup is offering a hands-on and let’s-eat class to teach about the wintery comforts of homemade soup and stock. Plan to learn the how-tos of basic soup making, and take home recipes for soups to enhance your holiday meals.

On the menu for the evening:

•     Butternut Squash
•     Mushroom Onion
•     Arugula, Leek & Yam

At the end of the class you’ll have soups for dinner with beverages.

Class limited to 10 people. Tickets are $27.37 and can be purchased through Eventbrite

Note that the Maple Avenue Market is owned by Chris Guerre, an organic farmer from Great Falls, and he stocks his market with wholesome, locally sourced food items.

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Committee Fair: November 6th

As always, there are many ways for you to become involved with Slow Food DC!

We will be holding a very important committee fair on Sunday, November 6, from 1:30 to 3:00 pm at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Conveniently located near Metro Center and Chinatown Metro stations, the MLK Library is DC Public Library’s main branch.

What: Slow Food DC Committee Fair
When: 1:30-3:00 pm
Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G St. NW, Washington, DC 20001

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Food Day Activities: Organize Lunch

Food Day is generating a lot of talk out there. Just search the event lists on the Food Day website and you can see there’s plenty of ways to become involved. The official day is Monday October 24th, but no one will chastise you for doing this on any day.

Here at Slow Food DC, we encourage you to take a more personal route. Instead of doing something out of the ordinary, we want you to do something very ordinary: eat lunch. If you’re like me, you have to be at work on Monday the 24th. But who better than the people you work with to share the idea of good, clean fair food? The best part is, you can demonstrate by bringing something to share.

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Gleaning

Ever wonder what happens to the produce not sold at your Farmers’ Market? Many markets have a tradition of providing much of the produce that doesn’t sell and can’t be stored to organizations that work on food access. But how does it get to them? Volunteers, of course.

Bread for the City has a few open slots for gleaning at Farmers’ Markets. Gleaning at Farmers’ Markets helps provide fresh fruit and vegetables to their clients and reduces food waste. The available dates and times are:

October 23: 11:30am-3:30pm or 4-6pm
October 30: 11:30am-3:30pm

If you are interested contact Megan at mcairns_(at)_breadforthecity.org. More information is on the Glean for the City website. And if you can’t make it this time, there’s always next year, or the wonderful film The Gleaners and I you can catch on Netflix.

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University of Gastronomic Sciences Italian Happy Hour at Coppi’s

Have you ever dreamed about attending the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy’s northern Piedmont region? Founded by Slow Food International in 2004, this unique school offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs in food culture and communication (including sustainability, place and identity, and media representations), and gastronomy.

Join alumni, prospective students, and Italophiles for a happy hour at the atmospheric U Street Italian mainstay Coppi’s Organic Restaurant on Wednesday, October 26 between 6:30-8:30 pm. Share half-price bottles of wine and enjoy authentic Ligurian pizza and snacks (for purchase) while you get an insider’s perspective on the school, the programs, and life and food in Italy. Hope to see you there!

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Beer Drinking for a Cause

The Neighborhood Farm Initiative is having their Second Annual Homebrew Harvest! This fundraiser has a suggested donation of $10 at the door and helps support the great work the NFI does.

photo credit: Flickr user Mountain-top


Date: Sunday, October 23
Time: 3 to 6 PM

Location: American Ice Co
Street: 917 V. St NW
City: Washington, DC

Some of you may have joined Slow Food DC on one of our volunteer days working at the NFI’s urban farm near the Fort Totten Metro. To support the great work NFI does, why not stop by for a homebrew 101 workshop at 3pm, followed by a tasting at 4pm. To add to the fun of this event, they’ve structured it as a competition, with a number of categories up for local brewers to compete in. Generously hosted by the American Ice Co, you get to support a great cause, all while enjoying locally produced beer. They even list it as a Food Day activity!

All proceeds from this event will benefit the Neighborhood Farm Initiative, a DC-based non-profit serving as an educational resource for adults and teenagers, working to engage in small-scale food production in Washington, DC. See www.neighborhoodfarminitiative.org for more info.

Mmm. Beer.

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Blog Action Day: Apples

On this Blog Action Day, I hope you will remember one thing, and that is to enjoy food. No meaningful change will ever come to our food system until we reframe our approach to food, and get back to the simple enjoyments of eating quality food.

Clockwise from the top: Rhode Island Green, Splendor, Liberty, Golden Russet, Red Gravenstein, and Bramley's Seedling. Goldrush is in the middle

Yesterday I went to the Distillery Lane Ciderworks and enjoyed a beautiful if windy day in historic fields a few miles north of the Potomac river. Where Union and Confederate soldiers marched 150 years ago, this farm is growing dozens of varieties of apples, many of them heirloom breeds. From British cider apples to Heritage Americans and a few modern cultivars, the tour group sampled the different hard cider produced on the farm and chose apples to take home. Continue reading

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