In Seattle, food has always meant more than a meal. The city’s journey from the earliest oyster middens to the modern four-star restaurants is a reflection of Seattle’s geography, history, and people. Edible City: A Delicious Journey serves up the story of how people eat in Seattle, and how urban palates have developed over the years.
For nearly two centuries, Seattle has been a region whose culinary traditions, like its people, are distinguished by the confluence of cultures, the wise use of natural resources, and the willingness (and oftentimes necessity) to try something new.
Discover the secret history of the Pacific Northwest’s favorite foods: learn the origins of the Rainier cherry, see treasures from the long history of Pike Place Market, get acquainted with the man behind the city’s first sushi bar, and debate Seattle’s signature dishes.
Curated by two-time James Beard Award winner Rebekah Denn, Edible City will be a main course on the city’s cultural buffet.
Puget Sound residents are invested in homegrown food, sustainability, and food equity. One of the few historically preserved farms in Seattle, Marra Farm is a four-acre oasis in the South Park neighborhood whose programs include community gardens, harvesting produce for local food banks, and educational projects.
Seattle high-tech jobs have made its residents look at cooking in a whole new way, leading to some groundbreaking food-tech endeavors. HomeGrocer.com trailblazed the way for online food shopping, and promised to do away with the drudgery of supermarket shopping as a luxurious option in the 1990s.
How do Seattle foods compare from earlier years to today? Delve into some of the surprising and delicious answers with Rebekah Denn, curator of Edible City: A Delicious Journey, and a panel of the city’s prominent chefs, restaurateurs, and producers.
To show its appreciation for the hardworking employees who make this remarkable culinary scene possible, MOHAI is offering food and restaurant industry employees complimentary admission to experience Edible City: A Delicious Journey. This special exhibit, which celebrates and explores Seattle’s culinary heritage, is available...
From the Skagit Valley to the Columbia Gorge, Washington boasts some of the most productive growing regions in the world. How does this fertile land influence artisanal products? This panel discussion brings together experts in geology, food, wine, and cannabis to explore...
MOHAI’s annual Denny Lecture presents the best in regional historical scholarship. This year, Dr. Frederick L. Brown discusses the role of animals in struggles over power, place, and identity throughout Seattle history. Brown is the author of The City Is More Than...
What is a Seattle food? Is it seafood, wild mushrooms, berries, or foraged foods? Try out some of Seattle’s signature recipes as tasted by Edible City curator, Rebekah Denn.
While the original Dutch Baby recipe invented by Manca’s Cafe is a secret, a version printed by Sunset magazine became one of its most popular recipes ever.
This version is by Sharon Kramis, a founding member of Seattle’s chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, and her daughter, food consultant and stylist Julie Kramis Hearne.
Makes 2 servings
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
To prepare the Dutch Baby, melt the butter in a 12-inch castiron skillet over low heat. Mix the eggs, flour, and milk in a blender on medium speed until just blended, 5 to 10 seconds. Pour the batter into the skillet with the melted butter.
Place the skillet in the oven and bake until the top puffs up and is lightly golden, about 25 minutes.
When the Dutch Baby is done, drizzle the melted butter over the top, and then sprinkle with the lemon juice and dust with the powdered sugar.
Cut into six wedges and serve immediately.
The creative chefs in the Modernist Cuisine cooking laboratory use scientific tools to figure out the hows and whys of great food.
At lab dinners, a centrifuge is used to make this carrot soup, but a pressure cooker alone will work for this home version. The baking soda in the recipe helps caramelize the carrots.
Core the carrots by quartering them lengthwise and slicing away any tough or fibrous cores. Cut the cored carrots into pieces 2 inches / 5 cm long.
Melt unsalted butter in the base of a pressure cooker over medium heat.
Stir water, salt and baking soda to combine, and then add with the carrots to the melted butter.
Pressure-cook at a gauge pressure of 1 bar / 15 psi for 20 minutes. Start timing when full pressure is reached. Depressurize the cooker quickly by running tepid water over the rim. Make sure you are familiar with safe operations for your pressure cooker before use.
Blend the mixture to a smooth puree. Pass the puree through a fine sieve into a pot.
Bring carrot juice to a boil in a separate pot, and then strain through a fine sieve. Stir into the carrot puree. Add water, if necessary, to thin the soup to the desired consistency.
Blend Stove-Top Carotene Butter (or additional unsalted butter) into the soup by using an immersion blender until the butter has just melted.
Season, and serve warm.
Healthful and colorful, this is one of the most popular salads in the PCC Natural Markets deli case—and one of the longest lived.
“I’ve been with PCC since the days of pencil and paper recipes and nobody seems to recall the first batch,” said deli merchandiser Leon Bloom. He thinks the mix of flavor and nutritional value is what made it such a hit: “You feel great after you eat it.”
Serves 8 to 10, as a side dish
Bring 3 cups salted water to a boil; add rice. Bring back to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook until the water is absorbed, 60 to 65 minutes; remove from the heat and let cool.
Whisk together oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. When rice is cool, toss with dressing.
Remove tough stems and ribs from greens, and chiffonade (cut into ribbons). Combine with peppers, fennel, green onions, and parsley.
Just before serving, toss veggies with dressed rice.
Kurt Beecher Dammeier has led a charge to make Washington cheeses as successful as Washington wines.
Dammeier’s own Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Pike Place Market has won top national awards and wows Market visitors with a close-up view of cheesemakers at work.
Serves 4 as a side dish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Oil or butter an 8-inch baking dish.
Cook the penne 2 minutes less than package directions. (It will finish cooking in the oven.) Rinse pasta in cold water and set aside.
Combine cooked pasta and Flagship Sauce in a medium bowl and mix carefully but thoroughly. Scrape the pasta into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the cheeses and then the chile powder. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Note: If you double the recipe to make a main dish, bake in a 9-by-13-inch pan for 30 minutes.
Makes about 4 cups, enough for a double batch
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat, and whisk in the flour. Continue whisking and cooking for 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat. Add the cheese, salt, chile powder, and garlic powder. Stir until the cheese is melted and all ingredients are incorporated, about 3 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Note: A single batch of sauce makes enough for a double recipe of macaroni and cheese.
Sunset magazine’s first-ever pesto recipe came from Angelo Pellegrini in 1946.
Less a recipe than a loosely written narrative, it was the first time many readers had heard of the now-ubiquitous preparation. The version below is from his classic book, The Unprejudiced Palate.
The recipe for pasta al burro is exceedingly simple. While the pasta is draining, melt a third of a pound of butter (for six portions) in a large kettle. Keep it over a slow fire, and toss the pasta in it briskly until the butter is evenly distributed. During the tossing, throw in three or four spoonfuls of cheese. Add, if you like, some minced parsley. Serve very hot with plenty of cheese over each serving.
For pasta al pesto, proceed as above, adding to the melted butter the following herb sauce: For a pound and a half of pasta, mince four cloves of garlic and enough fresh basil to fill a cup. The traditional method is to reduce them to a paste in a mortar and pestle, with the addition of small quantities of olive oil as needed. I have never used these implements, but I have achieved, I am sure, the same results with a sharp, heavy, straight-edged knife. A bit of patience and a little time are required, for the mincing must be thorough.
Jon Rowley originally developed a version of this recipe for Anthony’s restaurants, finessing it with a team that included then-executive chef Sally McArthur.
When Sheila Lukins (co-founder of the famous Silver Palate cookbooks) visited Seattle, she ate Rowley’s shortcake on a strawberry-picking trip. She was so taken with it, she included a version of the recipe in her U.S.A. Cookbook as the best ever. Rowley recommends using Shuksan or Hood strawberries that have been picked the same day.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet.
Stir all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Cut the stick of butter into small cubes, and work the cubes into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until the mixture resembles rough meal. Stir in the milk until the soft dough starts to pull away from the bowl.
Spoon the dough in six equal portions onto the baking sheet. Brush the tops lightly with cream. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
*The aluminum phosphate used in most baking powders leaves a bitter, metallic aftertaste.
Rinse and hull the berries. Set aside six small, whole berries for garnishing. Slice the berries into a bowl. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of sugar, and let berries macerate for at least one hour.
Using an electric mixer or wire whisk, whip the cream with sugar until it forms soft but slightly firm peaks.
Slice a biscuit in half. Place the bottom half on a plate. Top with a layer of berries and their juice. Add a big spoonful of whipping cream. Cover with the top half of the biscuit. Then add another layer of berries and cream, in slightly smaller quantities than the first layer. Drizzle a tablespoon of juice over the whipped cream, and top with a small whole strawberry.
Many thanks to all the individuals who advised and participated in the development of the Edible City: A Delicious Journey exhibit.