Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Northern Connecticut Vegetarian Society Potluck

For anyone who is new to vegetarianism or for those who just want to know there are others like them out there, the Northern Connecticut Vegetarian Society is a group which offers a monthly potluck gathering in Windsor, CT, usually with a featured presenter.  This month's guest speaker was Steve LaPenta, owner of The Bridge, makers of the best tofu around.  I tell people all the time that if they are hesitant about trying tofu, this is the brand to seek out.  It's made fresh daily in Middletown, CT in small batches, so it has an artisinal quality akin to farmer's cheese, though without any harm being done to animals in the process.

This is The Bridge's 30th anniversary, and Steve spoke about the earliest days where the company got its start, learning to make tofu the traditional way with Michio Kushi, to its present incarnation as a small shop located inside a converted house on Washington Street, serving wholesale customers in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey with the same attention to quality.  (Read about my tour of The Bridge here.)

After the presentation, we grazed.  I've always believed that attending potlucks is the best way to discover the variety of foods available in the plant kingdom, and it's always a pleasure to exchange recipes.

No two plates are the same, and it's amazing how much food you can pile on a plate with just a forkful here, a spoonful there.  The standout for me on this visit was a Raw Cashew Dip served with celery.  It had a flavor reminiscent of French Onion Dip which worked perfectly with the celery, but I could've slathered it on everything.  Somebody suggested serving it with vegan Buffalo Wings and I have to admit that concept was rather enticing.

It was so nice to see old friends and make new ones, and I highly recommend taking a trip to Windsor next month for anyone curious to learn more.

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