Made in America: Mario Batali's Guide to Locally Grown Foods

Made in America: Mario Batali's Guide to Locally Grown Foods
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Made in America: Mario Batali's Guide to Locally Grown Foods

Read on to learn Mario's tips on buying locally grown foods throughout the country!

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The benefits of buying local

Mario explains that where food is grown really does affect its flavor. "It tastes better and you know who grew it," Mario says. "There's something comforting about talking to the farmer that grows your produce. Sometimes, when you buy from a supermarket, where it came from is a big mystery."

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His favorite local producers

All of Mario's favorite local food producers are featured in his new book, America Farm to Table. Mario showcases the ingredients from the farmers in accompanying recipes!

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Why local ingredients taste better

When ingredients are grown closer to your home, it changes the flavor of the food you're cooking. "Fresh and local food taste better because it had to travel less to get to your plate," Mario shares. "Ingredients that taste better make the whole dish taste better."

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The foods you should buy locally

Since "local" can mean different things to different people depending on geography, it's important to know what's grown near where you live. "Obviously you’re not going to get citrus if you live in the middle of Minnesota," Mario says. "But anything you can buy locally, you should."

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The best items to purchase

According to Mario, some of the best things to buy locally are a few refrigerator staples. "I think the thing that makes the biggest difference in your world are some of the basic pantry items, like milk and eggs," says Mario. "Those are the ones that have such a different flavor and are so much better than ones that have not been bought locally."

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So, how do you start?

If you want to buy local ingredients but aren't sure where to start, Mario recommends visiting the USDA website, where you can enter in your zip code to see where the closest farmer's market is to your home!

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Mario Batali knows good ingredients. The chef and restaurateur's passion for them is evident in his new cookbook, America Farm to Table, which emphasizes the importance of buying foods locally, and celebrates American farmers and their high-quality products. These ingredients are showcased in recipes throughout the book, and as Mario told Kitchen Daily, the origins of the food you're cooking matters more than you may think.

Check out the slideshow above to learn the benefits of buying locally according to Mario. Then, discover 11 things you didn't know about the chef and restaurateur, his essential grocery list and his favorite tailgating tips!

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