Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Iron Range Fettuccini

A Local Food Find of 2008

We're still taking entries for the Trout Caviar Sweepstakes ; tell us about your local food finds and favorites of 2008 to enter.

So, Hibbing, Minnesota is an interesting place: This city of about 17,000 in the heart of the Iron Range (city slogan: "We're More Than Ore") boasts the world's largest open pit iron mine and was the boyhood home of Bob Dylan (Bobby Zimmerman, then). One-time home run king Roger Maris lived there, as did Jeno Paulucci (they're not quite to my taste, these days, but I can remember when I couldn't get enough of Jeno's Pizza Rolls). There you will also find the Greyhound Bus Museum. Quite a varied roster of claims to fame for the Iron Capital of the World.

Minnesota locavores can add one more: the fettuccini from Sunrise Creative Gourmet is one of my local food finds of 2008. I have to admit, it took me a while to find it--the label says the company was established in 1913. Sunrise products are widely available in the Twin Cities area; Byerly's stores carry them, as do several co-ops.

I came across the Sunrise Traditional Fettuccini at a new shop that also deserves mention in a local-foods run-down of 2008: Local D'Lish, in the warehouse district of Minneapolis, debuted last year, featuring wonderful foods from Minnesota and elsewhere in the Midwest. We applaud their efforts and wish them well.

About that pasta: It's just really, really good. It has a rustic, homemade quality. It's made from semolina flour, water, eggs, and salt. It's pretty. It takes up sauce beautifully. What more do you want from a noodle? (Note: In our experience the fettuccini takes much longer to cook than the seven minutes advised on the package, nearly twice that long to a lovely al dente bite.)

Text and photos copyright 2009 by Brett Laidlaw

No comments: