A plate of sopes and a dish of three salsas

What’s Tucson’s taste?

My nana was a prolific gardener and canner. The New Jersey growing season yielded abundant vegetables and even two varieties of grapes in her Paterson yard. Once canned, the summer bounty lived in the cool cellar to be enjoyed throughout the winter.

The string beans, tomatoes, pickles, grape jelly and peaches the family picked from Blasberg’s farm remain particularly memorable – definitely a taste of New Jersey. I was too young to enjoy the homemade wine!

It got me thinking, what’s Tucson’s taste?

The Sonoran Desert’s bounty, combined with our 4,000-year food heritage, made vibrant and contemporary by incredible chefs, is showcased every day from fine dining to food trucks to you in your kitchen.

On Nov. 17, ingredients showcasing why Tucson was the first American city named a UNESCO City of Gastronomy will be celebrated when you cook along with Gallery of Food Chefs Kristine Jensen and Christopher Baldwin with foods growing for centuries in the Santa Cruz River Valley.

On the menu: Native American corn sopes with Father Eusebio Francisco Kino’s black-eyed peas, pork belly and nopalito salsa. The sopes will be fluffy, moist and a great cushion to fill with black-eyed peas and pork belly. Delicious and brightly flavored, the nopalito salsa is a perfect accent topping. Like their taco cousin, sopes can be filled with almost anything so jump on the beginning of a new trend. Click here to register. We’re also offering two food kits available for purchase, click here for the details.

Wishing you joy in the kitchen,

Bread & Butter Pickles
Yield: 4-6 pints

12 medium cucumbers
4 medium onions
¾ cup Kosher salt dissolved in 3 quarts of water

Cut cucumbers and onions into ¼-inch thick slices.
Soak 12 hours in salted water.
Drain and drop in pickling solution.

Pickling Solution

1 quart cider vinegar
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon mustard seed

Bring ingredients to a boil, then add drained cucumbers and onions.
Bring to a boil then pack in sterilized pint jars and seal.


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