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In an effort to foster community pride, celebrate regional farming, and to create further demand for the region as a culinary tourism destination, the Sacramento Region is laying claim to being "America's Farm-to-Fork Capital" and made the announcement at a press conference on October 31, 2012.

Sacramento is positioned to claim this identity because no major city in America is more centrally located amid such a diverse range of high-quality farms, ranches and vineyards.Sacto Farm to Fork Announcement PicmonkeyMayor Kevin Johnson and Sacramento area chefs announce Farm-to-Fork program.

"This recognition as America's Farm-to-Fork Capital isn't something that this region needs to grow into because we've been walking this walk for decades," said Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. "It is part of who we are and this is our opportunity to embrace that identity, celebrate it locally, and champion it to the rest of the world."

Sacramento is the capital city of the largest producing state of agriculture in the nation and, locally, 70 percent of the region's land is agricultural, forest or other open space. Additionally, the region contains 7,000 to 8,000 acres of boutique farms and provides numerous public sales platforms at more than 50 regional farmers markets, many of which are year-round fixtures.

In fact, Sacramento is home to the largest "Certified Farmers' Market" in California and offers the most ethnically diversified market in both produce offerings and customer demographics.

Local restaurants utilize the abundance of regionally-grown products to create a Farm-to-Fork freshness that's unparalleled in this country. While many local farms ship their products across the country — a process that can take days — regional restaurants can pick up fresh product in the morning and serve it to patrons for lunch and dinner.

"We buy blueberries from Stockton, lamb from Dixon, lavender from Placerville, fresh fish from Sloughhouse and broccoli and cauliflower from Sacramento," said Randall Selland, owner of The Kitchen, Ella and Selland's Market. "There is no other place in the United States that grows and distributes more food for consumers than the Sacramento region does."

Aside from local restaurants, regional farmers provide products to establishments across the United States. Superior Farms in Dixon provides product to restaurants in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Snake River Farms beef, which is raised at VanVleck Ranch in eastern Sacramento County, is distributed locally at Corti Bros. Market and nationally in San Francisco, New York, Denver, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Silva Family Farms, located in Yuba City, ships walnuts to New Jersey, Tennessee, Washington, Philadelphia, Dubai, Turkey, China, Korea and Spain.

On the heels of this proclamation is an announcement from Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau (SCVB) President & CEO Steve Hammond that Sacramento will host a culinary week in the fall of 2013.The week-long celebration will include events at local farms, at restaurants across the region, and will be anchored by a major festival on Capitol Mall. High-end dinners, wine tastings, other culinary-focused events—and even a cattle drive in downtown Sacramento—will be scheduled throughout the week.

"In 1992, Austin, Texas, became known as the Live Music Capital of the world because the city had more live music venues per capita than any other city. Since then, Austin has embraced this identity and used it to positively brand the city and draw in visitors," said Hammond. "Similarly, Sacramento is being named the America's Farm-to-Fork Capital because we have thousands of acres of boutique farms and year-round local sustainability. This region literally provides tons of food to the rest of the country and it will be the job of the SCVB to market that identity to the rest of the world."

The SCVB is currently in the planning stages for the 2013 event and is collaborating with the regional restaurant and farming community, The California Farm Bureau, The Certified Farmers' Markets, and the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, among others. The branding campaign will be on-going, and the culinary promotions will be an annual celebration.

 

TravMedia.com sources contributed to this article.

 

Planning a visit to the Sacramento area? In Taste California Travel's Resource Directory you'll find links to the websites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options. Also in the directory arelinks to many "beer-centric" pubs and restaurants, as well as links to nearby wineries.

Did you know that 47 million turkeys, amounting to 736 million pounds of turkey, will be eaten this Thanksgiving Day? Food is a big part of every American holiday celebration. And, with consumers as busy as ever, there can also be big stress around planning and preparing a safe, happy holiday celebration.

To help take the tress out of the holiday, the non-profit Partnership for Food Safety Education is re-booting its Holiday Food Safety Success Kit to give families the resources they need to have a safe, fun, easy, and tasty holiday celebration. Now is the perfect time for holiday food preparers to be reminded of the important basics of home food safety:man with turkey Picmonkey

CLEAN: Wash hands and surfaces often

SEPARATE: Don't cross-contaminate

COOK: Cook to proper temperatures

CHILL: Refrigerate promptly

The Holiday Food Safety Success Kit at www.holidayfoodsafety.org provides food safety advice and meal planning in one convenient location. The kit includes information on purchasing, thawing and cooking a turkey; a holiday planner with menus, timelines, and shopping lists; and dozens of delicious (and food safe) recipes. The kit also includes arts and crafts activities and downloads for kids so they can join in on the holiday fun. All downloads at www.holidayfoodsafety.org are free.

“Bacteria never take a holiday, so it’s important to be mindful this Thanksgiving of the four core messages of food safety in preparing your holiday meal – clean, separate, cook, and chill” said Shelley Feist, Executive Director of the non-profit Partnership for Food Safety Education. “Holiday Food Safety is a valuable resource for all home chefs this Thanksgiving.”

Home chefs have even more resources at their fingertips for specific or hard-to-answer food preparation and safety questions. Advice from the USDA meat and poultry hotline is just a phone call away at 1-888-MPHOTLINE (1-888-674-6854). The hotline operates Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET, and will operate on Thanksgiving Day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET. Consumers can also “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day, at AskKaren.gov.

The Partnership’s website at www.fightbac.org includes dozens of downloads on safe food handling.

Sonoma County was named the top wine destination in the U.S. by TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice Awards in October, 2012

According to TripAdvisor, award winners were determined based on their popularity as wine destinations, taking into account travelers' reviews and opinions for local wineries, restaurants, attractions and accommodations.

Rounding out the top 10 were Napa Valley, Calif., Willamette Valley, Ore., Finger Lakes, NY, Long Island, NY, Paso Robles, Calif., Temecula Valley, Calif., Walla Walla, Wash., Palisade, Colo., and Plymouth, Calif.mixed group wine tasters in Sonoma Picmonkey

Sonoma County, located 30 miles from San Francisco, provides an adventurous wine country experience, featuring more than 370 wineries, 100-plus organic farms, and 55 miles of Pacific coast.

"Sonoma County may not produce as much wine as nearby Napa, but what it lacks in volume, it more than makes up for in variety," stated TripAdvisor. "You'll find everything from Chardonnay to Zinfandel here, and TripAdvisor travelers love the laid-back, unpretentious vibe of the wineries. After a strenuous day of wine-tasting, spoil yourself at one of the many local spas."

Ken Fischang, president/CEO of Sonoma County Tourism, said, "This honor shows that Sonoma County is a world-class wine region. Millions of users of TripAdvisors have recognized us for the authentic experiences we provide to independent and adventurous travelers. We are very thankful to all those TripAdvisor users who selected Sonoma County as the top wine country in the United States."

Sonoma County provides a genuine, independent, and adventurous wine country experience. Travelers find millions of reasons to visit Sonoma County, including 1 million acres of pristine, rugged land, more than 370 wineries, 55 miles of stunning Pacific coast, over 40 spas, dozens of regional and state parks, and 500-plus eateries.

"Sonoma County is inviting, open and welcoming," said Tim Zahner, director of public relations and marketing for Sonoma County Tourism. "I think the savvy travelers of TripAdvisor recognized that and it is reflected in what they say about us. From the slopes of the Mayacamas to the redwood forests to the beaches along the Pacific coastline, we offer new experiences around every corner and small towns worth discovering."

 

TravMedia sources contributed to this article.

 

Editor's note: Visitors to Sonoma County can access links to the websites of all the wineries there, as well as sites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options in Taste California Travel's Resource Directory. Also in that section is a new directory of hundreds of California brewpubs and other craft beer-oriented businesses.

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