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Monday, 06 May 2019 11:57

Fast Facts About Farm-to-Fork Capital

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A bit of the bounty of California's Farm-To-Fork Capital on offer at one of Sarmento's many farmers markets A bit of the bounty of California's Farm-To-Fork Capital on offer at one of Sarmento's many farmers markets Photo by TravMedia

TASTE News Service, May 7, 2019 - Farm-to-Fork isn't a passing fad in the Sacramento region.

This part of California’s Central Valley has been an agricultural powerhouse since the 19th Century, boasting a year-round growing season, ideal climate and diverse bounty of crops.

In 2012, Josh Nelson of the Selland Family Restaurants approached Visit Sacramento with the idea that the region should shine a light on its amazing food and agriculture and share it with the rest of the country. Soon after, former Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson declared the region America's Farm-to-Fork Capital, and the rest is history.

Today, the Sacramento region's Farm-to-Fork Program serves as a year-round platform to highlight the farms, restaurants, organizations and individuals that contribute to the local culinary and agricultural landscapes. The program is housed within Visit Sacramento, the city’s promotional arm, and works to increase awareness of the region's unmatched prowess when it comes to fresh food.

FullBellyFarm Sac CVB Photo PicmonkeyPreparing to plant at Full Belly Farm in the lush Capay Valley west of City of Sacramento.     Photo: Sacramento CVB 


A few reasons why Sacramento is America's Farm-to-Fork Capital:

Agricultural Powerhouse

•             Sacramento is the capital of California, the largest agricultural producer in the nation

•             No major city in America is more centrally located amid such a vast range of high-quality farms, ranches and vineyards

•             Sacramento is home to what is reported to be one of the largest California Certified Farmers' Market in the state and offers the most ethnically diversified market in both produce offerings and customer demographics. The Sacramento region also has more than 40 farmers markets, many of them year-round fixtures

•             The Sacramento region contains 1.5 million acres of regional farmland and 70 percent of the region's land is agricultural, forest or other open space

•             Sacramento's Mediterranean climate produces some of the nation's most diverse and high-quality crops year-round

•             The food and agriculture sector provides over 30,000 jobs in the region*

•             Recent estimates of the Sacramento region's growing food and ag economy value it at over $7.2 billion*

Feeding the World

•             If you're eating sushi anywhere in the nation, chances are, you're getting a taste of Sacramento's massive rice crop. And, 99 percent of California's rice crop is grown in the Sacramento Valley

•             The Sacramento region is leading the globe in domestic caviar production, with 80 percent of domestic caviar being farmed in the greater Sacramento region and supplied to some of the nation's finest restaurants and providers.

•             California supplies 80 percent of the globe's almonds, and Sacramento-based Blue Diamond is the largest almond processor in the world

•             The city's old nickname of “Sacra-tomato” is not far off. In fact, 96 percent of the country and 33 percent of the world's processed tomatoes come from within 250 miles of the Sacramento region

•             Wine grapes have been the number one crop in Sacramento County for more than a decade, with a value of more than $170 million in 2017. It's also a little-known fact that a significant portion of the grapes used in Napa Valley wines are grown in the Sacramento and Lodi regions.

Sac BrewBike Sacramento CVB photo PicmonkeyDoes this look like fun or what? SacBrewBike offers novel way to experience Sacrmento's beer culture.    Photo: Sacramento CVB


Eat, Drink and Be Merry

•             The Sacramento region's craft beer scene is exploding, boasting more than 60 breweries to explore

•             Java lovers will find their paradise in California's Capital City, with countless coffee houses that are roasting their own award-winning blends

•             At the new Golden 1 Center sports and entertainment arena in downtown Sacramento, the culinary team sources about 90 percent of the arena's ingredients within 150 miles, meaning you can enjoy Farm-to-Fork courtside, any time

•             In 2014, renowned Sacramento chef Patrick Mulvaney brought a taste of Sacramento to the James Beard House, joining the ranks of other Sacramento region eateries like Taste and Frank Fat's. Restaurants like The Kitchen continue to take home the AAA Five-Diamond Award and the Sacramento Hyatt Regency's Dawson's scored Four-Diamond recognition

•             The Sacramento region boasts several options that allow visitors to savor local tastes and sights on foot or even by bike. Local Roots Food Tours offers detailed culinary walking trips for serious foodies, or beer-fanatics can pedal for their pints onboard the SacBrewBike or new Sac BrewBoat

•             You can enjoy a taste of Sacramento's cuisine without ever leaving your hotel room. Many of the region's hotels are embracing farm-to-fork by creating room service menus featuring locally-sourced options

•             There's no place for foodies like Sacramento in September. The region's Farm-to-Fork Celebration takes place throughout the month and highlights the region's culinary scene with daily restaurant specials, farm dinners, street fairs and other exciting events. One standout event is the Farm-to-Fork Festival, featuring food, wine and beer vendors, along with farm displays, kids' activities, cooking demonstrations, live music and more. The 2018 festival attracted more than 100,000 people. Find out more at farmtofork.com

Editor’s note:  For historical perspective of Sacramento’s development as “America’s Farm to Fork Capital,” see Dan Clarke’s reminiscences in From Chains to Farm to Fork. If you’ll be visiting California’s capitol area, first check out Taste California Travel’s Resource Directory. There you will find links to hundreds of area Lodging and Dining options, as well as links to wineries and specialty beer purveyors.

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