On one of my trips home to Reno, I picked up a copy of the magazine, Edible Reno-Tahoe. In it I found articles on local restaurants, local farmers, local artisans and ads for local businesses that use organic, local ingredients. I was beginning to think maybe there was a food scene in Reno, Nevada!
Flash forward to March 2011, April is back in Reno after completing a three month plus culinary internship on St Thomas, USVI and checking out the availability of local produce and products. Edible Reno-Tahoe magazine popped up again. In checking out websites for the magazine and for Great Basin Food Co-op , a post recommended buying the cookbook Edible, A Celebration of Local Foods by Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian. So I took the suggestion and purchased the cookbook.
Besides having recipes for every season from local sources across the country, the introduction is the beautifully written story of Edible Communities of which Edible Reno-Tahoe is a part. The book also chronicles the life and struggles of local farmers, fishers, chefs and artisans across the country.
Even before the death of her father, Tracey Ryder had begun to question her live and to wonder what was really important. During this period, Tracey says she read Coming Home to Eat: The Pleasures and Politics of Local Foods by Gary Paul Nabhan. Tracey states that this book became “a personal manifesto for what eventually distilled in my mind and came to life as Edible Ojai and, subsequently, Edible Communities”. In the introduction, Tracey states, “Edible Communities started small and, at its heart, remains so today. Our very first publication came to life in the spring of 2002 and was a sixteen-page, sepia-toned newsletter called Edible Ojai that was published quarterly, with the seasons. For two years, we published the small but sturdy journal with the help of some amazingly talented and generous friends, and with the enthusiastic support of our entire community.” And so began a magazine that was all about “eating at home.”
Tracey also states, “Sometime during the first two years, and after some early success with Edible Ojai, Carole and I started harboring the hope that we might expand our little “edible idea” into having a few more publications and imagined ourselves traveling up and down the California coast, writing stories and taking photographs for the other community-based newsletters we wanted to publish”.
In January of 2004, Saveur magazine included Edible Ojai in its “Top 100” list. The magazine included a small statement that called Edible Ojai “a concept we wish would crop up everywhere”. Within a day of publication of the Saveur article, the two women began receiving phone calls and emails from people across the country, wishing to create the same Edible Ojai concept in their communities.
After much deliberation, Tracey and Carole decided to start expanding by traveling to Cape Cod, where Tracey had spent many a summer with her grandparents. Working with Doug and Dianne Langeland, Tracey and Carole began their first publication expansion to another community. To date, they have added ten new publications every year to their rosters.
The stories in the book, Tracey states in her introduction, “are a tribute to some of the local heroes we’ve met and spoken with along the way. It is their stories that keep our forward momentum strong and our hearts and minds energized”. They also dedicate the book to “those who put their hearts and souls into creating Edible magazines for their communities”.
I was very proud to hear that Reno-Tahoe had it’s own Edible publication and I hope that each of you will take the some to check it out and support them by subscribing to this publication.