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Natural Awakenings Milwaukee

Letter from Publisher

It wasn’t long ago that dining out in Milwaukee meant bratwurst, pizza, or a Friday night fish fry accompanied by a glass of sudsy, domestic pilsner. Today Milwaukee has a diverse, sophisticated palate that includes vegetarian and vegan restaurants and a range of international cuisines that were difficult to find in the area a decade ago.

This issue’s theme, healthy eating, focuses on ethnic cuisines. Milwaukee became known for the food and drink brought by its early immigrants from Germany, Poland and Italy. More recent waves of immigration have gifted the city with healthy, hearty cuisines from Asian, African, Latin American and Mediterranean countries. For instance, consider Amilinda Restaurant, which pairs specialty items from the Iberian Peninsula with locally sourced, fresh ingredients to craft dishes inspired by the flavors of Spain and Portugal. Or perhaps you’ve tried Café India’s savory, fiber-rich dal stews, spiced with turmeric and ginger, two powerful anti-inflammatory immune boosters. And how about the fresh flavors of Irie Zulu’s sustainably sourced meats, prepared according to the food traditions of Cameroon and Jamaica?

These culturally diverse influences have made their way into vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes at many restaurants, such as Centro Café, Bowls, On the Way Café, and Café Manna. Braise and Odd Duck are among the farm-to-table restaurants that feature fresh, locally sourced foods on seasonal menus. Grocers such as Good Harvest Market and Outpost Natural Foods, featured in our March Community Spotlight, carry myriad healthy, organic, and local foods and interesting spices to help us recreate such delightful concepts at home.

The craft brewery boom has brought us organic and gluten-free beer, and breweries such as Milwaukee Brewing Co. are utilizing sustainable brewing methods, including fresh water conservation and local sourcing of hops and supplies. And although Milwaukee is known primarily for its beer, wine lovers are no longer left out, as high quality and organic vino from around the world is now readily available at many bars and restaurants.

Milwaukee is fortunate to have such a rich food heritage and a bounty of restaurants that respect past food traditions while embracing our global interconnectedness and honoring our desire for healthier, diverse and environmentally conscious menus.

Bon appétit!

Gabriella Buchnik, Publisher