Foodbloggers worldwide band together year after year to nudge their readers to think about difficult food issues, allow us to collectively do our bit to make the world a better place, and spread some yummies around. Menu for Hope, a fundraising campaign founded by Chez Pim and supported by foodies around the world, is our vehicle. Seeing as Hungry Burro was only born this summer, this is our first year participating, but the campaign is now in its sixth edition.
The funds raised this year will benefit the United Nations World Food Programme's (WFP) Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative. The WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Specifically the P4P initiative enables smallholder and low-income farmers to link into the WFP's global sourcing operations thus getting access to more reliable markets and ultimately, the hope is, more steady cash flow to support their farms and families.
Those of you who know me personally know how excited I get when I can indulge in two passions of mine: food and policy. This is a drop in the bucket, but it's a beautiful way for those of us with the luxury of eating delicious and decadent meals on a regular basis to step back and think about those not so fortunate.
One aspect of the P4P initiative I especially appreciate is the promotion of local agriculture. All of us that like to eat well know that sourcing from your local market is the way to go both in terms of taste, good agricultural practices, and environmental protection. The WFP abides by this credo of "local procurement" as well, sourcing their food locally wherever they have operations. P4P will give farmers the know-how and the tools to be competitive players in the agricultural marketplace and provide small farmers the secure markets they require to survive.
So how does this work?
A virtual raffle! Food bloggers around the world have offered up an astonishing array of goodies for your pleasure. For every $10 you donate, you'll receive an entry to bid on one of the items by participating bloggers. From today until December 25 you can buy as many entries as your wallet and sanity allows. The numbers will then be drawn and the results announced on January 18, and you'll receive the foodie item of your dreams as quickly as shipping permits.
What's Hungry Burro offering?
Burro Foods Artisan Oils!
Raw Extra-Virgin Olive Oil!
Toasted Pumpkin Seed Oil!
Yes! I am very excited about it!
I haven't told you about any of this yet, but I will in the coming days, and you'll be the first to try them if I can entice you to join me in this Menu for Hope adventure! What are these special artisan oils? Only the very best of nature that Slovenia has to offer. I'll ship them to you anywhere in the world.
Unfiltered Extra-Virgin Istrian Olive Oil (Olio Nuovo)
The olive oil is made from 100% White Istrian Olives from Istranova, an all-natural plantation in Padna, Istria, Slovenia. The olives are picked by hand and cold-pressed within hours, resulting in a raw extra virgin and unfiltered beauty. This isn't your average olive oil! It has an assertive peppery flavor best suited for palates that seek bold flavors. Often referred to as "Olio Nuovo," unfiltered olive oil contains olive sediments; the resultant oil is foggy and thick, a sign of its youth and pure nature. This oil is particularly rich in antioxidants due to the species of olive and its cultivation in the northernmost part of the world where olives are grown. Slovenian Istrian White Extra Virgin Olive Oil is protected by EU denomination of origin, and olive oil from the Istrian peninsula has been coveted since the Roman era-- it was even referred to in De re coquinaria by Apicius, the oldest cookbook in the world. I recommend serving alone with a good crusty bread to experience the truly unique flavor; it also pairs extraordinarily well with meats.
Lightly Toasted Styria-Prekmurje Pumpkin Seed Oil
The pumpkin seed oil comes from the Styria-Prekmurke region of Slovenia and is made from 100% cucurbita pepo styriaca seeds, a pumpkin variety indigenous to the region. The oil has a deep nutty, smoky, almost sweet, flavor with an intoxicating scent. It is beautifully dichromatic in color-- reddish brown on the surface and dark green underneath. It plates extraordinarily! Aside from being delicious, it is also healthy--- it has a great ratio of Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The pumpkins are grown and the oil pressed at a solar-powered biodynamic farm in northeastern Slovenia, just a few kilometers from both Austria and Hungary. Just prior to pressing, the seeds are softly toasted to develop the iconic flavor profile but with care not to damage its plentiful health properties. Pumpkin seed oil is delicious in hearty soups and drizzled over grilled vegetables.