Chefs, they’re just like us.
Some of New Yorks best culinary minds—including those behind Clean Plates-favorites Pizza Beach, Il Buco and The Fat Radish—are reaching for bags of frozen produce.
The crucial difference: These top-flight chefs aren’t reaching for a brick of frozen peas that looks like it has traveled to the Antarctic and back. Instead, they rely on Hudson Valley Harvest for locally grown, locally frozen goods.
Now you don’t need to be racked with guilt that you didn’t spend your summer freezing and canning local produce: You can just pick up a bag of Hudson Valley Harvest’s frozen sweet corn or plum tomato puree (all packages $5 for 10 ounces) at any Whole Foods or Gourmet Garage (click here to find a store near you).
Paul Alward, Hudson Valley Harvest’s co-owner and farmer, is immensely proud of his company’s transparency. There’s nothing to hide here—literally, the bags are transparent, and each is marked with the name of the farm (many certified organic) and how far the vegetables traveled to be processed. Produce harvested at its peak goes from field to frozen in fewer than 24 hours. The flash freezing preserves nutrients and flavor and it shows in the quality and color of the final product, like the gorgeously orange butternut puree. This is convenience food at its very best.
For a fun dinner party trick, cook up a pan of the Lacinato kale with garlic, red pepper flakes and coconut oil, or a steaming bowl of heirloom tomato soup, and see if your guests can spot the difference between fresh and frozen.
Our tests at home made for some very shocked eaters.
Hudson Valley Harvest