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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sweet Tango!

Perhaps you're one of the few who haven't made the journey up to Door County.  Yes, it's touristy, but it's so beautiful and there's an abundance of delicious spots that it's definitely worth the trip.  I was lucky enough to make a trip up there with my mother this past weekend.  It had been ages since I spent some time alone with my mom, so I was really looking forward to this.  We were originally supposed to go to Chicago (oh Chicago Diner, how I miss  you!), but Door County was a nice substitute.  We went to Egg Harbor, Fish Creek and Bailey's Harbor.  There was a really cute natural foods store called Greens and Grains in Egg Harbor.  I had actually been to this store last year to buy my food for camping at Peninsula State Park.  They have a good variety of vegan grocery items, and they also have a little juice bar and various to-go items like hummus, wraps and sandwiches.  I was disappointed that their tortillas actually have honey in them and the woman didn't know if their ciabatta bread was vegan.  She didn't have any package for them either.  After I explained what vegan was she assured me, "I'm sure there's nothing like that in this bread.  We special order it."  Well, I didn't really like the sound of it, but since most ciabatta bread that I've come across has been vegan, I just went ahead and ordered it.  Okay, okay.  I know a lot of vegans would chastise me for this, but I think we need to look at what is most important here.  Their sandwich, (w/o cheese) has a vegan burger patty, organic greens and Vegenaise.  They are supporting veganism with their various grocery items and their raw juices and smoothies.  Personally, I think it's more important to support a business like this that is making veganism more accessible than to stress over a microscopic animal ingredient in the bread that may or may not be there.  The important thing is that we do the best we can to minimize the suffering in the world.  This is something that I've just come to terms with recently, actually.  I don't typically do this, nor am I making it a habit, but in this one instance I did.  In all of Door County, this was the only store that used local, organic, and natural ingredients with vegan options.  At least, this was the only place that came up on the Happy Cow website.  I let the woman know I was vegan and what it meant, so perhaps they'll be more mindful of that in the future.  I do still feel guilty about it, but I know that it was a good decision to support this business.

Okay, done with the rant.  Attached to Greens and Grain is an eco-friendly clothing store and salon.  There's some really cool handmade jewelry in there as well as organic cotton shirts, tops, pants, and accessories.  I ended up walking away with a handmade necklace made up of two flowers pressed in glass.

Just down the road from the main row of shops in downtown Egg Harbor, you'll come across Wood Orchard Market.  This is a family owned fruit farm.  It might not be organic, but at least it's small and local.  This farm is known for their Honeycrisp apples, but I was ecstatic to find that they had Sweet Tangos!!  If you haven't had a Sweet Tango yet, then go out and find one immediately!  I only have 5 left, and I'll take you out if you try to take one!  :-P  The Sweet Tango is a new variety that was developed last year at the University of Minnesota.  It's a cross between Honeycrisp (mom) and a Zestar (dad), and it's absolute heaven!  Sweet Tangos are a little earlier to mature than the Honeycrisp, so they are in this September!  Look out, though, because they are in limited supply, with very few locations!  I have NOT been able to find any in the Madison area.  Door County and Minneapolis have been the only locations I've found them so far.  We bought a huge bag when we were up there, but I'm getting my mother to pick me up another bag when she returns this weekend!  But wait!  There's more!!  Wood Orchard also has delicious jams, fruit butters, and salsas!  My favorites are the Cherry Butter, Pumpkin Butter, and the Raspberry Salsa and Cherry Salsa.  I was skeptical when I first heard of a fruit salsa, but it is scrumptious!

Head further down the road and you'll come across Peninsula State Park.  This area is so beautiful!  There's lots of biking and hiking trails, and in the winter: cross country trails.  I had a nice 2 hour hike with my mom by the water and through the woods.  I definitely want to go back when the leaves change!  Nothing like spending quality time with a loved one while enjoying delicious vegan finds!

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