As students head back to school in the coming weeks, Bon Appetit Management Company has found a new way for its chefs to include tasty summer produce in their menus throughout the fall and winter, and a means to further support local Ohio agriculture. For the first time ever, Bon Appetit chefs at Ohio’s Case Western Reserve University and Oberlin College will serve ripe summer strawberries and green beans to students in the fall and winter. This is made possible because fresh produce has been harvested all summer long and then flash-frozen in batches specifically for use later in the school year.
The program, a partnership between Bon Appetit and the Center for Innovative Food Technology (www.eisc.org), is known as micro-processing: the small-scale preservation of locally grown foods through freezing. The just-picked berries and green beans are flash-frozen for use in the colder months to come, helping to extend the longevity of the produce in Ohio, and also contribute to a more robust, year-round foodshed.