Saturday, December 14, 2013

Have You Eaten?

Fare City Feed (Note - No longer open for business)

As with all good rumors, the truth that lies beneath the gossip can be disappointingly minimal. After moving to Columbus I began hearing that the place I now call home is known as the test market for new products, restaurants, menu items, and all things trendy. What’s so special about the local demographic? The answer lies in the diversity of the people that reside in this city; a melting pot of ethnicities, ages, races, and incomes. It’s this mix of backgrounds that makes the food scene here a force to be reckoned with. I have been delighted to discover, through my destination visits, that there is more than just a glimmer of truth behind all the chatter and the people that are growing and producing food in and around Columbus are in fact, anything but stereotypical for Ohio - case in point, my friend, Diana (Xuedan) Wang, who is cooking up small batches of Fare City Feed granola packed full of delicious locally-sourced ingredients.

Born in Chengdu, China, Diana moved to Ohio when she was seven years old. As we sat in the dining space of her cozy German Village apartment, she explained to me the importance of food within the Chinese culture. Instead of the simple American greeting of “hello”, the expression commonly used there is "ni chi fàn le ma”? or “have you eaten”? Even though food has been an underlying infatuation for Diana, long before her granola baking days her passion lied within the fashion industry. She attended Miami University for a few years and transferred to The Ohio State University for the remainder of her collegiate tenure. In 2010, Diana made the decision to move to New York City and pursue her fashion dream. She landed a position at Harper’s BAZAAR, and after a relatively short period of time in the city that never sleeps she reluctantly chose to follow her heart (and her boyfriend)back to the Buckeye State. Upon returning, she obtained a temporary position working for Local Matters during their annual Local Foods Week. Diana’s work there came to a close in the fall of 2012 and she began to search for something to keep her busy while looking for a permanent position. Having witnessed the boom of the local and artisanal food movement first hand in New York, she was impressed with what was happening in Central Ohio and began thinking of ways she could get in on the action.

Today, Diana makes Fare City Feed granola to order as a part-time gig, one batch at a time. She carted along four flavors for her first appearance at market and has grown to a standard line as well as revolving seasonal flavors (this fall was Apple Cider Praline). I’m particularly fond of Gold Rush, a flavor that was influenced by her childhood and contains Chinese five-spice, cashews, and vanilla. What sets her granola apart from the sea of brands on the store shelves is the unique flavor combinations and use of local ingredients – including oats. You can find Fare City Feed granola for sale at the Greener Grocer in the North Market, Celebrate Local at Easton Town Center and various coffee shops around town. Diana vows she does not have plans to take over the world with granola, and aims to keep her operation small and local. Fare City Feed granola is just one more example of what makes Columbus’s food scene diverse and great and I am happy to report that the rumors, for once, are true.


The Fare City Feed granola (pictured left) traveled 0 miles to Columbus, while the granola (pictured right) traveled roughly 2,230 miles to Columbus.


Columbus, Ohio Test Market of the USA

Gingerbread & Granola Parfaits

I chose Fare City Feed’s Constanti-nola granola for this recipe because of the pomegranate molasses, candied ginger, dried apricots and other flavors that are prevalent during the holiday season.

Click on the recipe cards to print your copy:


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