Tour de Force: Eat Local with Philly Homegrown

In November, We sent Grid's own Char Vandermeer to check out a local food tour sponsored by Philly Homegrown. There are still two more chances to experience this sampling of regional eats: December 11 and 18 (details below). Here's her report.

You don’t have to be a tourist to enjoy the fruits of the seasonal Philly Homegrown Tour. The two-hour culinary journey includes tasty treats from Reading Terminal Market’s Fair Food Farmstand and Salumeria, Tweed Restaurant and Capogiro.

A recent test run started at Reading Terminal with thick slabs of Four Worlds’ egg challah, crisp apple slices and Sylvia’s granola topped with Pequea Valley’s creamy maple yogurt (courtesy of grass-fed Jersey cows). There was also a selection of cheeses—raw milk Herdsman from Cherry Grove Farm (Lawrenceville, NJ) awaits a date with gooey homemade mac and cheese.

Leaving the Terminal, tasters ambled to Tweed where even chef David Cunningham is locally sourced—the French-trained chef is a native of Centre County, PA. He extolled the virtues of local blue butt pork, brook trout, braised leeks and apples, all prepared with excellent results.

“Food is my inspiration,” says Cunningham, who visits his sourcing farms two to three times per week. He’s just as passionate about his farmers as he is about his food: “We’re supporting a way of life, a heritage.”

The leisurely stroll was capped off with a blind tasting of six Capogiro gelatos and sorbettos. The verdict at our table of six was pretty unanimous: pumpkin gelato wins.

A collaboration between City Food tours and the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, the tour will run December 11 and 18. The cost is $35 per person; advanced registration is required. Reservations can be made online at cityfoodtours.com