If you’re new to Central Oregon, you might not have noticed its commitment to supporting local companies. There’s so many reasons to buy local; among them, supporting your local economy, helping small business owners thrive and supporting local and sustainable agriculture thereby reducing your carbon footprint.
There is no shortage of local flavor here in Central Oregon. Here are a few tips for getting the best local cuisine at your wedding.
1) Find a Caterer Who Loves Local.
This is perhaps the most important, and possibly the easiest task of all. Finding a caterer who values local and sustainable agriculture isn’t tough in these parts, but its VERY important to ask anyone you interview: Where does your produce and meat come from? Do you work with local farms and ranches? Which ones?
2) Pick In-Season Dishes
Local meats are always in season here in Central Oregon, but you should also pay attention to your side dishes. In spring, Asparagus can be found locally, as well as fresh salad veggies, while in the fall potatoes, green beans and kale are widely available from local farms.
Once you know when your wedding date is, you can contact Agricultural Connections to find out what will be in season. Most caterers are happy to create side dishes based on the ingredients you would like to have. Again, ask your caterer to work with local farms if you want local produce at your wedding!
3) Local Meats
There is no doubt that local, free range pork, chicken, turkey and beef reign supreme in the world of meat. Asking your caterer to supply grass fed beef or free range chicken or pork is a great way to support your local farmer while also securing the best tasting entrees and appetizers for your wedding feast. If you’re interested in sampling some of Central Oregon’s local meats, you can head over to Primal Cuts to give some a try ahead of time. Pono Farm also has a wide selection of local meats including an amazing Waygu Beef.
4) Local Libations
This goes without saying: if you’re getting married in Central Oregon, local beer is expected. Another great way to infuse your bar with local flavor is to offer apple cider from Atlas or gin and tonic using Bend Distillery‘s Estate Gin which uses ingredients grown on site. If you want to take a walk on the wild-side, create a signature cocktail with Oregon Spirit Distillery‘s “Wild Card Absinthe” or with Cascade Alchemy‘s Chai Tea Vodka.
5) Desserts for the Locavore
There are some absolutely sensational local bakers here in Central Oregon. To give your baked goodies an extra boost of local flavor, ask your baker what fruits are in season on your wedding day and see if they are willing to work with a local farm. You can also ask your baker to use local, free range eggs!
This is just a small taste of what Central Oregon has to offer. Stay tuned for our next installment of our Keepin’ it Local series: “Local Floral for Every Bride” where we’ll talk floral arrangements! Thanks for reading!