The Eat Local Challenge started back in 2005, when the Portland Farmer’s Market introduced the savvy marketing campaign, and then it spread across the country. Eating local is trending now. More people are choosing to buy produce and meats that have been farmed nearby. There are several reasons why this is an outstanding idea. It supports the local farmers, who can hire local workers; it cuts down on shipping which is better for the environment; local produce can ripen on the vine and sell immediately at farmer’s markets resulting in more flavorful fruits and vegetables, the chances are higher that local family owned farms are organic, which eliminates toxic pesticides from produce, and free range poultry and grass feed beef are more common with smaller, family owned farms, and are more likely raised without growth hormones or antibiotics.
The Terra Momo Restaurant Group is owned by two brothers, Carlo and Raoul Momo. They have the vision of quality, creativity and service, and their restaurants share the common theme of earth, food, wine and life. The restaurants in the group are Teresa Caffe, Mediterra Restaurant and Taverna, and the Witherspoon Bread Company in Princeton, NJ and Eno Terra in Kingston. The Momo brothers are so passionate about serving local, flavorful produce, they partnered up with the State of New Jersey for the use of a parcel of land, and the Eno Terra One Acre Canal Farm was born. As a matter of fact, the farm will be expanded to two acres. They use produce from their farm in their restaurant.
To take things one step further, the Terra Momo Restaurant Group is one of four sponsors of the Princeton Farmer’s Market at Hinds Plaza (along with the Princeton Public Library, the Borough of Princeton, and Nassau Street Seafood and Produce Co.). The market is centrally located, adjacent to the Princeton Public Library. This gives the Princeton community the opportunity to talk to the farmers about their goods, and purchase fresh, locally grown products right in the heart of town.
In addition to all of this good stuff, Carlo and Raoul partnered up with the Princeton Public Library, and made it possible to have cooking classes with the theme ‘Cooking with Local Ingredients’. Executive Chef Chris Albrecht was on board weekly to share what inspired him at the Princeton Farmer’s Market. He cooked just about every other week, and joined Master Baker Denis Granarolo the other weeks, as recipes and techniques for baked items were divulged. This dynamic duo passed out samples of their food, much to the delight of the attendees. Albrecht’s cuisine was clean and uncomplicated, allowing for freshness and full flavor of the ingredients to shine through. I couldn’t get enough of his food. Granarolo’s baked goods were sinfully delicious. He allows his yeast doughs to rise slowly, and he bakes with passion, as a true artisan should.
Raoul and Carlo Momo support local farmers, help educate us about the importance of eating local, promote sense of community, and support local non-profit organizations. The Momo brothers, along with some other local merchants, are making us aware of what we eat, and the importance of supporting each other. The Terra Momo Restaurant Group is a true pillar of the Princeton community.