What’s new in food: Asheville launches revamped Edibles Map

EDIBLE ARRANGEMENT: Kelly Applegate of Bountiful Cities volunteers at Dr. George Washington Carver Edible Park, one of many edible plant locations featured in the updated Asheville Edibles Map. Photo courtesy Helen Lindberg

The Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council and local nonprofit Bountiful Cities, in conjunction with the City of Asheville, have launched the Asheville Edibles Map as an interactive, free public resource.

“We want everyone in Asheville to know that we have edible forests, community gardens, fruit and nut trees, and other edible plants growing on public land,” says Kate Justen, Bountiful Cities program director. “And that it is OK for them to eat some and leave some to share.”

Originally launched in 2018 by the ABFPC and Asheville’s Sustainability Department, the Asheville Edibles Map began as an inventory project in collaboration with UNC Asheville students and various community groups familiar with Asheville’s natural bounty. That database of edible plant locations has now been upgraded and optimized through the urban agriculture expertise of Bountiful Cities.

The relaunched map is easy to navigate online, with locations of edible perennials such as apples, black cherries and walnuts overlaying a map of the city. “This map could be a great resource for residents who are experiencing food insecurity,” says Justen. “There is also a potential health benefit for all of us, as many people do not get their recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables.”

The relaunch highlights community contributions. For example, if someone with an apple tree in the front yard can’t keep up with the number of apples produced, they can add that tree to the map via an information form and offer apples to those in need. By encouraging local engagement, the project is poised to become more dynamic and expansive over time as neighbors share information and build a more sustainable, communal food ecosystem.

“It is really important for all of us to have access to fresh food, and we do not all have the option to grow it ourselves,” says Justen. “Working with community partners like the Office of Sustainability and supporting community-led food security projects in and around Asheville is at the heart of what Bountiful Cities does: growing food and building community.”

To explore the Asheville Edibles Map, visit avl.mx/cxh. To contribute new sites or information to the map, fill out the form at avl.mx/cxi.

Think outside the tin

Botanist & Barrel will collaborate with Fonta Flora Brewery to host an event celebrating tinned seafood on Thursday, Aug. 24, 6-8 p.m.

“Tinned seafood is having a renaissance and deserves to be in the spotlight,” says Lyndon Smith, Botanist & Barrel partner and cellarman. “It’s healthy, convenient and sustainable, not to mention it pairs beautifully with dry ciders and wine.”

Guests can expect a three-course small-bites tasting menu that illustrates the wide spectrum of flavors achieved through quality tinned seafood. While details on the menu are being kept secret, Smith hints at one dish designed as a play on a classic seafood roll topped with potato chips and fresh herbs.

Two ciders/wines and two beers will accompany the meal, including Pocket Lunch, a Belgium-style Kolsch with coriander, elderflower and citrus brewed in collaboration between Fonta Flora and Botanist & Barrel specifically for this event. One for the Fishes, a wine/cider hybrid made from oxidized 2019 Traminette and barrel-aged cider, will also make its debut. Bottles and cans of the new beverages and tins of seafood will be available for purchase.

“I hope guests are blown away by what tinned seafood can be, have fun with the pairings, try something new and feel confident to try out some of these dishes at home for themselves,” says Amie Fields, Botanist & Barrel partner and sales director. “Who isn’t looking for a quick, delicious meal that feels luxurious and fancy but took you no time to prepare?”

Botanist & Barrel is at 32 Broadway, Suite 110. Visit avl.mx/cxc for tickets ($65 per person) and additional information.

Feel the breeze

If the silky smooth grooves of Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers and Michael McDonald are your jam, then you are in luck: Asheville Sport & Social Club and Devil’s Foot Beverage will host the Summer Breeze Games, a yacht rock-inspired event setting sail Saturday, Aug. 26, 1-5 p.m., at The Mule.

Sixteen teams of four to five players each will compete in water balloon tosses, sea legs relays, limbo and more classic summer yard games to win various prize packages, including a Navitat zipline experience and Oskar Blues Brewery tour. Competitors are encouraged to blow through the jasmine in their minds and dress as yacht rock-ridiculous as possible. Think flowy Hawaiian shirts, aviator sunglasses and topsiders. Prizes will be awarded for Best Team Name and Best Dressed to Impress.

Oskar Blues will be featured with a full tap takeover at the event, and representatives will  offer beverage samples and running giveaways. Other drink options include boilermaker specials made with George Dickel Whisky and a cucumber mint vodka cocktail made with Devil’s Foot Sparkling Lemonade. Smokeshow BBQ will be serving up smoked meats and veggies all day.

The Mule is at 131 Sweeten Creek Road, Suite 10. Admission and team registration are free. Visit avl.mx/cxd for information and registration.

The Whale makes big splash

The Whale has been recognized by USA Today as one of the top beer bars in the country.

This prestigious nomination was made possible by a panel of industry experts, including award-winning journalist Dennis Malcolm “Ale” Sharpton, American Homebrewers Association Executive Director Julia Herz and CEO of Beer Kulture Latiesha Cook, as part of the 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards.

Editors from 10Best then narrowed nominees down to a list of 20 before opening a four-week voting period to readers and fans to determine a top 10. Once the dust had settled, The Whale finished sixth on the list of top 10 beer bars in the U.S.

“It’s a huge honor to even make this list, let alone join so many world-class establishments,” says Jesse Van Note, co-owner of The Whale, in a news release announcing the recognition. “Thank you to our amazing customers for their votes. It means the world to us. Prost!”

The Whale is at 507 Haywood Road No. 10, West Asheville, and 2 Beverly Road, East Asheville. Visit avl.mx/bp0 to learn more.

New Table dressing

Chef Jacob Sessoms, a two-time James Beard Award nominee, has launched a new menu at Table with flavors to evoke the feelings of summer.

Each season dictates the makeup of Table’s ever-changing menu, with respect for the flavors of the Southeast and relationships with local farmers and purveyors. The latest offering pays homage to summer with several small plate dishes like summer squash carpaccio with hazelnuts, pecorino with premium olive oil and foraged chanterelle mushrooms with chilled corn soup, as well as larger dishes showcasing North Carolina triggerfish, whole roasted shrimp and pork schnitzel.

Table Asheville is at 18 N. Lexington Ave. Visit avl.mx/9kh for a full menu and additional information.

Posana welcomes new chef

Posana has announced David Van Tassel as the restaurant’s new chef de cuisine. A news release introducing the new Posana chef notes that his innovative approach and passion for local, seasonal ingredients “promise to elevate Posana’s dining experience to new heights.” Van Tassel joins a team of culinary professionals at Posana, known for using unprocessed, sustainable ingredients from over 64 different local purveyors and farmers.

In addition to the new chef, Posana has introduced a Tuesday Patio Hour from 3-6 p.m. on the restaurant’s outdoor patio. This new weekly occurrence is a tribute to summer and will feature drink specials and a menu of appetizers from Van Tassel designed specifically to pair with cocktails and wine on a bright, sunny day.

Posana is at 1 Biltmore Ave. Visit avl.mx/cxj for additional information.

Food Waste Solutions Summit registration opens

Food Waste Solutions WNC has announced the registration opening for the third WNC Food Waste Solutions Summit, to be held Thursday, Nov. 9, at the Mission Health/A-B Tech Conference Center.

This summit, priced on a sliding scale, serves as a regional meeting to address mounting food waste issues in our communities, expand networks and inspire inventive solutions. The program will highlight four tracks: public policy solutions, food justice and equity, food waste and climate change, and business and funding opportunities.

Visit avl.mx/cxk for registration.

NC Apple Festival applications open

The 77th North Carolina Apple Festival is gearing up for its annual Labor Day weekend celebration in Hendersonville with the announcement of Evelyn Uhrlasse as the 2023 King Apple Parade Grand Marshal.

Uhrlasse has served on the N.C. Apple Festival’s board as recording secretary since 1999. “The Apple Festival is such a positive part of my life in Hendersonville, and I continue to be impressed and inspired by others on the board and committees that work quietly and diligently all year,” says Uhrlasse in a news release.

Parade applications are available now through Monday, Aug. 28, across several categories, including commercial and nonprofit entries. Professional floats are also available to lease.

Visit avl.mx/cxl for applications and information.


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