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Superabundant dispatch: Our favorite food stories of 2022

Editor’s Note: OPB’s video series “excessive‘ explores the stories behind the food of the Pacific Northwest. Now, we are applying the same tenets to our new platform, email. Portland-based culinary historian and ecologist Food invites his writer Heather Arndt He Anderson to spotlight different aspects of the region’s food ecosystem each week. This week, she’s rounded up her 2022 most fascinating food stories from around the Northwest.

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Here again, between the solstice and the perihelion, or what we like to call hunkering. This time of year, while I take a sip of my Glock and a bite of a cookie, I like to take the time to reflect on all the things that weren’t terrible in the previous year. Even if it seems like all the news is grim, there is always something to inspire, intrigue, or make us appreciate. This week, we’re bringing you more Northwest food stories for 2022 (and fun party recipes to help you ring in the new year).

Bit Bites: 5 Food Arcs Reported in the Northwest of 2022

Freshly picked morsels from the Pacific Northwest food universe:

Expression was important.

Last year, OPB’s Crystal Ligori reported on the changing faces of Portland’s food. New restaurant group Win Win will specifically aim to prioritize BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ food makers, as well as new Latinx, gay and deaf-owned restaurants Pah! Vogue Magazine highlighted Queer and her BIPOC-owned new bar Sports Bra. Here, the only sports on TV are played by female athletes.

Food equity was also important.

Susannah Morgan, CEO of a food bank in Oregon, spoke to the press about the need for political help to end hunger.Federal aid reported by The New York Times and Willamette In both forms of the vote that Week referred to. But for food-insecure Indigenous communities, the problem is more pressing. Pollution has affected salmon, a staple food for Pacific Northwest Indians in the Columbia Basin, and has forced Washington tribes to start their own aid programs, she reported OPB.

No one was surprised that the indigenous people were fish and wildlife heroes.

B. “Toastie” Oaster recently told High Country News that Chuck Sams, a Cayuse and Walla Walla man registered with the Confederated Tribes on the Umatilla Indian Reservation, has been appointed to his new job as director of the National Park Service. We reported that we were planning to take a different approach. , he was appointed last year. Coincidentally, Dori Luzzo Gilmour of Northwest Public Broadcasting reported on the amazing efforts and progress made by her Umatilla people to protect habitats that support traditional foods other than salmon. OPB’s Sage Van Wing reported that the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has formally agreed to give the Coquilles authority to manage fish and wildlife over a large area of ​​southwestern Oregon.

Oregon food growers have learned to adapt to the changing climate.

Researchers at Washington State University have begun working with wineries to develop a technique to remove the wildfire smoke flavor from wine grapes, but last April’s unusual snowstorm followed by a long, cold spring made the wines unusable. Fruit growers were struggling. Our local hazelnut harvest was pretty good (especially given the brown stink bugs that plague our orchards), but that didn’t help market prices.

Restaurants have adopted new approaches to survive the pandemic.

From pivoting to full-time packaged food production, hiring robots as wait staff, and adding permanent outdoor dining, restaurant owners are finding increasingly creative ways to navigate the economic downturn caused by COVID. I found. The Dalles is undergoing an entire downtown renovation. Persistence paid off. Even sweeping the Rogue Valley wildfires didn’t stop her MÄS in Ashland from the New York Times list of her 50 favorite restaurants (MÄS will be joining her sister restaurant Raw Bar in 2022). We even managed to open Nama).

Recipe: Party Meatballs in Oregon Blackberry BBQ Sauce

A pot of meatballs with blackberry barbecue sauce.

An even more Oregonian take on everyone’s favorite crockpot meatballs.

Heather Arndt Anderson / OPB

This tangy, zesty sauce is far better than the grape jelly and BBQ sauce on your 1980s party table, and it doesn’t get any better. Feel free to use your favorite store-bought meatballs (or meatless balls) for this. The compatibility with mini smoked sausage is also excellent. Makes 64 small meatballs.

(This recipe for Blackberry BBQ Sauce is by Heather Arndt Anderson and was originally posted on the Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission website.)


barbecue sauce

2 cups fresh or frozen Oregon blackberries (if using frozen preserved juice, thaw first)

¼ cup honey

¼ cup ketchup

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 clove of grated garlic

2 tbsp minced ginger

½ teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon chopped chipotle pepper in adobo (or smoked paprika)

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon fine sea salt


½ pound ground pork

1 pound ground beef or bison

1 egg

½ cup bread crumbs

1 teaspoon soy sauce

¼ cup chopped onion

1 clove of minced garlic

1 teaspoon finely grated ginger

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ tsp ground black pepper


  1. To make the barbecue sauce: Puree the blackberries, strain through a sieve, and squeeze out the pulp and juice with a wooden spoon or spatula. [Protip: scrape the pulp and seeds into a pint jar and fill the jar with apple cider vinegar. Affix a lid and set on a sunny shelf for two weeks. Strain the blackberry vinegar into a bottle with a stopper.]
  2. Place the pureed puree in a small saucepan with the other ingredients and whisk until completely combined.
  3. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced by about a third (or until thickened to your liking). Please adjust the seasoning to your liking.
  4. To make meatballs: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil.
  5. Mix meatball ingredients together to form 3/4-inch meatballs. (It’s easier with a 1-tbsp portion.) Place the meatballs on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.
  6. Add sauce to slow cooker and add meatballs, being careful to coat evenly. Cook over low heat for 5 hours and serve with a cocktail pick or toothpick.