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The Localist: Lucky Layla Farms Drinkable Yogurt

I don’t know of two words that are thrown around more often than “healthy food.” Food is complicated, and our relationship with it is even more so. My definition goes beyond the mathematical ranking of calories, fat, and carbohydrates and dives into the territory of Q&A sessions about environmental health, diet, and overall care of the land and animals. I like to think I genuinely understand this kind of stuff, (after all, I studied it extensively in both college and culinary school), but reading ingredient lists and nutrition labels often leaves me scratching my head in the grocery aisle. One thought I’m often pondering is if my perceived view of quality does in fact translate to it. In an effort to keep things simple for myself, I now reach for products with labels listing traditional ingredients my grandmother would feel comfortable consuming. Grass-fed milk and fruit are two that come to mind. Enter Lucky Layla Farms and their drinkable yogurt line.

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The Localist: Lakewood Brewing Company’s Bokkenrijders Altbier

It’s really fun to live in a city that feels familiar yet continually changes all the time. I’m discovering great restaurants, bars, and products all the time, while trying to keep up with all of the new ones that appear to pop up overnight. The one industry that seems to be changing faster than I can fathom is Texas craft beer. Every time I visit a local bar or supermarket, there are beers on the shelves from local and regional breweries that I don’t recognize, and most of them are made in my backyard.

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The Localist: Steak 101 at Local Yocal

Hamilton spent his early years on a farm in rural Oklahoma growing peanuts and cotton. Similar to most local food producers, he got his start selling grass fed and finished beef at McKinney’s downtown farmers market, however he quickly learned that selling products to the public a mere four hours a week, six months a year in ideal weather was not a sustainable business model. When the opportunity to purchase a nearby storefront arose, he and his wife jumped at the opportunity. Beyond the beef selection, you can find Village Baking Company brioche buns, pasture raised chicken and eggs, locally made chocolate, and Texas olive oil.

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The Localist: Texas Raclette

That February flash of Alpine weather in Dallas brought upon a desire to consume the regional fare. The first dish that came to mind was raclette with all the traditional fixings. Raclette, when capitalized, is the name of a semi-firm, slightly pungent cow’s milk cheese from Switzerland. Otherwise, raclette is a traditional dish of its melted former self piled on a plate and enjoyed with various accoutrements.

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The Localist: Dr. Sue’s Cherry Pecan Bark

Dark chocolate consumption is a bona fide guilty pleasure of mine that I partake in regularly. In preparation for the upcoming Easter holiday, I have spent a great deal of time visiting some of the city’s most popular chocolatiers to stock up on gifts. Last weekend while visiting downtown McKinney, I made one of my favorite discoveries to date: the dark chocolate bark line from Dr. Sue’s Chocolate.

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The Localist: On Pure Ground’s Divine Texas Chèvre

Last week, while tasting my way through the display case at Scardello, I told the cheesemonger I wanted to focus on sampling Texas-made cheeses. Without missing a beat, he immediately reached for a wrapped disk of fresh chèvre. Within a matter of seconds, he handed me a small tasting spoon with a sample. It was love at first bite. I adored the creamy consistency and vibrant fresh flavor. The chalky texture that plagues so many goat cheeses was nowhere to be found here. It was mild and pleasingly rich. The flavor was gentle enough to appease the most discerning palate, while thoroughly impressing my cheese nerd friends who arbitrarily rate the quality of a cheese by the volume of its sweat sock aroma.

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The Localist: Morrison Organic Peas and Texas Caviar

Black-eyed peas are a humble yet well-loved legume famous for dotting New Years celebration tables. Known primarily for the good luck and fortune they bring to those who consume them, a satisfying bowl is all some can think about during the winter season. Their presence doesn’t stop there; I see them continually popping up as a hearty salad option and favorite dip on party tables throughout the year.

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