Roots. A word that conjures up various images: origins, sources, tubers perhaps. Sometimes, we’re rooted to an idea; other times, we need to eat our root vegetables, and for some of us, we need to get our “roots done” (organically, of course). The dictionary definition of roots illustrates two main usages of the word, and we will be exploring both.

1: the part of a plant that attaches it to the ground or to a support, typically underground, conveying water and nourishment to the rest of the plant via numerous branches and fibers.
synonyms: rootstock, tuber, rootlet; more

2: the basic cause, source, or origin of something.
synonyms: source, origin, germ, beginning(s), genesis

In this issue, we celebrate, (bet you guessed it by now), Roots. Whether they grow from the earth or represent the origins of our family and neighbors, roots nourish and ground us in this very busy and hectic world. Rooted in tradition, we learn the real benefits of family dinners, plus simple tips and ways to make them happen. Throw fresh fish into the mix and experience tastes from around the globe with recipes originating from a specific culture’s heritage. Rui Santos shares the history of his roots and Santos Family Farm, an egg farm that has been in operation since the mid-20th century. We discover why a young entrepreneur put down her roots in Bridgewater with The Juice Mill to offer a healthy product in the heart of a community-minded town center. Beets, ginger, and parsnips star as our root vegetables in this issue fighting for centerfold status; after reading about each of these stunning vegetables and accompanying recipes, you’ll be fighting the hordes of new enthusiasts entering your kitchen to eat them.

Wanting to keep those root vegetables going through the winter? Then “Cellaring” is the article for you! You’ll find ways to keep your produce going and growing through the colder months while learning to use the whole vegetable, roots and all.

In our Couch Potato column, we review Pascale Beale’s latest book, Les Légumes: Vegetable Recipes from the Market Table. Rounding out the pack is a Notable on the “Buck-a-shuck oyster night” trend and a shout out to Kingston’s Charlie Horse restaurant and their version of March Madness featuring 16 types of the mollusks in the competition.

So instead of hibernating this winter, discover your roots, or the roots of something that makes you passionate, or create a root garden to grow your beets, parsnips, and more. Be sure to try out the recipes as well for new taste sensations from around the world that will have you rooting for more.

Terry Vandewater, Assistant Editor

Eat thoughtfully, Laurie Hepworth & Michael Hart