Monday, November 1, 2010


Kale with garlic, shallot, lemon juice
Sockeye salmon with salt, pepper, lemon juice
Sweet potato fries with salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg
Pan sauce with white wine, lemon juice, shallot, butter

Yesterday, I went out to stock up on pantry items at my local "natural foods supermarket".  It felt as sanitized as a Stop-N-Shop inside.  No blemished (read: real) fruits and vegetables.  No messy bulk aisle with a not-showered-as-political-statement dude implicating the flax seed industry as advancing the business of Big Food.  No health food store smell, you know the one.  It reminded me of the Carrefour I shopped at during our time in the Middle East (here).  Intoxicating in its consistency and size.  Not even well-intentioned anymore.

There was a sparrow inside, dashing from one end of the ceiling to another, frantic in its efforts to get outside.  That made two of us.

Part of the fun of being interested in food is seeing where it leads me and who it leads me to. It stretches the lengths of my curiosity to explore various foodways, like say attempting to infiltrate the world of beekeepers to try to score some southern United States sourwood honey. (I'll get back to you on the success of that). With my desire to connect more closely to the paths food and its providers travel in tow, this trip to the store felt like standing in line at a pharmacy, or walking by rows of new unsold condos, or watching people in Los Angeles line up for $39.95 car washes with detailing. I wished all those scenarios were cartoons that were funny because of the absurdity of the concepts alone.  Who lines up to buy crappy condos like that? Roadrunners and coyotes running with lit dynamite, that's who! CatDog is dramatic and angry that s/he has to shop at a Whole Foods and worry about being run over by a giant recycled plastic cart while stupid Dog butt runs sideways down the aisle towards his favorite thing in the world, organic Marmite!  Sadly, no.  Real people line up, I line up, without the levity of an anvil to drop on the annoying hipster whose Most Important Conversation Of His Life is blocking my way to the bread aisle.  All I could come up with yesterday to take the sting out of the grocery bill was joking with the cheesemonger about the lack of raw goat's milk cheese in the case forcing me to buy the available Humboldt Fog *alas* *smirk* *laugh*. True story. I'll keep my day job.

Food isn't always pretty.  In fact, some of the most styled and propagandized food comes from some of the most ugly food chains imaginable.  Pork. Chicken and their eggs. Beef. Shrimp.  I can't think of the last time I saw a picture of a half-eaten, unstyled plate of food much less one where I knew all the ingredients were responsibly put there.  An empty plate looks messy, ugly, even though it represents the beauty of nourishment, bounty, gathering and gratitude. 

My meal last night was delicious.  But there is a better way to get that food on the plate, and with my remaining time in Denver, I'm going to find it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Stay positive!