Thursday, January 19, 2012

I Never Know What to Buy at Hippy Markets

After sharing our meal plan, I felt like talking more about food. One of the most funny moments during our travels when we unthinkingly bought some supermarket Gouda, even though our host's fridge was full of incredible artisan Milan cheeses. It was embarrassing, and we insulted our hosts. The gouda was just…easy?

I'm told we're predisposed to crave salt, sugar and oil. I sometimes think for a few minutes about the Buffalo Blasts at Cheesecake Factory. I miss them even though I only had them a few times. In my defense, I also very much miss the giant pieces of bacon that we used to buy at Whole Foods in Cambridge before heading over to church. I know my bacon.

When I'm at the Old Biscuit Mill here in Woodstock- the local gourmand meeting place- everything looks theoretically amazing, but I end up just getting a strawberry smoothie, at most. Which tastes very similar to the smoothie I make at home. I'd be equally happy with a coke float. I avoid produce at Woolworths because of their over-pricing and over-packaging (even though there are similar issues of over-packaging at Checkers, Pick 'N Pay, and Spar- But Woolworths says it's better). Actually, I'd take conventional locally grown produce without packaging over tastier, organic produce in bags and polystyrene.

As an aspiring hippy this is a strange place to be. I guess my point is that my palate is just not that refined or reformed. I like fresh local food because I believe in it, but only to a point- I want to eat really, really well without much space and without spending more. There are a few things that I can honestly identify as much better (strawberries, peaches, raspberries, and I know my coffee and ice-cream), but I grow food because I believe in it, not because I feel certain my food tastes better. I'd probably eat it even if it tasted worse- I simply don't trust my tastebuds to always know the difference. I don't care whether quail eggs taste better, I just want some little quail to nurture and steal eggs from.

And gradually, over several years, I'm begining to notice the difference. This is not to say I turn my nose up at dodgy processed food: McDonalds hash browns are amazing, even if I choose not to partake for reasons unrelated to taste. But the list of foods I can appreciate is gradually growing. Good home-made sourdough, good milk, maybe some South African parmesan and fresh pasta. I'll choose a small bit of good, well-raised steak over a larger ready-made or fast-food meal. But I'm no foodie, and that's ok.

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