Food & Drink

Food Notes

Ritz-Carlton puts down more roots

Charlotte’s Ritz-Carlton is getting something no other location has: a community garden.

The luxury hotel at Trade and Tryon streets uptown already had some farm-ish aspects, including beehives and vegetable plantings on the roof. Now it’s expanding the rooftop garden, adding a sort of farmers market in the lobby with free samples of fruits, vegetables and herbs (that’s for guests only), and a community garden area on the Trade Street side that’s open to the public.

“People have been coming by to snip herbs to take home for their spaghetti,” says Bonnie Crail, who handles communication for the hotel.

While some of the other Ritz-Carlton properties in resort areas do grow some of their own ingredients, she says the Charlotte location has more – and it’s the only one with a community garden. Produce from the gardens is used all around the hotel.

Kathleen Purvis

Taste salsas in Davidson

Saturday is the annual Salsa Showdown at the Davidson Farmers Market. The salsas are made from ingredients bought at the market; you have to check in at 8 a.m. Then the sampling and voting on the best is 10-10:30 a.m. It’s free. Details: Kathleen Purvis

Learn gluten-free baking

City Kitch, the culinary classroom and cooking facility, is focusing its final Kids Camp session of the summer on the whole family, so kids and parents can learn gluten-free baking. It’s 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 10-14 at 9545 Pinnacle Drive. The camp costs $349 for the week per person, or $549 for kids and one parent. Details: Kathleen Purvis

Your microwave needs an Angry Mama

Yes, you can clean a microwave easily. Just throw a half a lemon in a cup of water, heat it for three minutes and wipe it out. But your kids might do it themselves if they had an Angry Mama. NewMetro Design, the makers of the BeaterBlade mixer attachment, now have Angry Mama. Fill it with water and vinegar, put it in the microwave for five minutes and it steams loose grime. It’s $8.95 and will be available in stores and Amazon by mid-August. Kathleen Purvis

Greater grating

Grating cheese yourself instead of buying it pre-grated is worth it for freshness and flavor. But it can be messy. Solution: Place the grater halfway in a gallon-size zip-top bag and grate right into the bag. Michelle Stark, Tampa Bay Times