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Fat Guy

In praise of out-of-season fruit

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That's a great essay, FG.

Oh, look:

gallery_500_603_1106098890.jpg

Mmmm, delicious local produce.

It doesn't look very ripe to me but maybe it's heirloom and supposed to be like that.

Pictured Above: Wild bunch of Canadian ice carrots. In lieu of celery, they make for a delicious garnish in Bloody Caesars. Hard hat recommended at harvest. Season with Canadian Tire driveway salt and superior horseradish.


from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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So, I'm reading a cookbook review in the LA Times, and I come upon . . . .

Do you see the piece online? I'd love a link so as to be able to check it out.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Fascinating, and worthy of its own thread.

FG- I have a tuppence to contribute. Please start a thread on it. I would myself but you are much better at these things than I am. Drop the bomb! :wink:


I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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. . . and are you aware that berries especially retain residues of pesticides, and are therefore  recommended to eat when only grown organically?

Recommended by whom? Could you produce a reference? I know that no regulatory group (e.g. FDA, USDA) has issued such an advisory.

(I'm not such a purist, believe me, but I will no longer eat any berries grown with pesticides, period.)

I assume you realize that organic does not mean pesticide-free? USDA organic labeling implies only that synthetic pesticides have not been applied, while toxic natural pesticides may still be used. And even if you ate berries to which no pesticides, natural or synthetic, have been applied, you will still be eating pesticides since essentially every plant on the face of the earth produces endogenous pesticides to protect against predation. In fact, in a typical americna diet, more than 99.9% of your pesticide intake will come from endogenous pesticides.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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I think locavore is a good concept.  But I also think sometimes people proselytize about eating local as if it's the only way to go. I think there's a multi-page argument on eG about Alice Waters, who some claim was one of the first proselytizers.

 

In any event, like I said - it's a good concept, sure.  And then sometimes...well, let's just say...

 

Locavore, Schmocavore


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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My restaurant exists because the first spring of my existence I was in the locavore concept, but by late winter I was still serving hot house tomatoes.  One day I bit into one and realized the tomato was mealy and flavorless.  I was quickly disillusioned and spun into an existential exploration of foraged foods. Foraged foods, for many restaurants, is just a fad.  But, whether locavore or foraged or farm to table, if its done with the intent of making great food, and not serving as a barrier, then its a great thing.  The moment that you serve that mealy tomato just because its local, then its schmocavore.

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Just a tad limiting a concept for those of us who live in the great frozen north...  Nope.  We don't do it.  Not inclined to eat stored turnips all winter long.

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I agree that it all depends on one's local offerings.  

 

When we lived in Central Mexico, we were surrounded by farms that grew produce for export; while some of it (including tomatoes) were shipped 'green' to the US and CDN, the ripe stuff was sold dirt cheap to us locals.  When we lived in a small isolated mountain town in Arizona, pickin's were slim for local produce most of the time.  Currently we are in Central Coastal Florida where the local food producers are constantly selling new items all year round; we have two very large weekly food markets in downtown St. Petersburg and in Gulfport that allow us to eat local without much effort on our part.  In northern climates, this would simply not be as feasible.  


Edited by gulfporter (log)
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Just a tad limiting a concept for those of us who live in the great frozen north...  Nope.  We don't do it.  Not inclined to eat stored turnips all winter long.

Amen. Readers may be interested in/amused by this blast-from-the-past conversation: In praise of out-of-season fruit. I was particularly amused by Jinmyo's icicle.
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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Several years ago, Barbara Kingsolver wrote a book titled, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle-A year of food life.  It describes her family's year of living as locavores.  The two daughters chime in with their thoughts about the experiment as well.  Thought provoking and encouraging to those in a position where it might be possible  to give it a try.  I''m not cut out for it.  All I have to do is be around the local Amish, and I know I lack the grit.  Plus, I worked too hard and for too long to be able to enjoy a few luxuries on my table.

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There are certainly a lot of great reasons to eat local but there's also a lot of bad reasons that don't hold up to scientific scrutiny. For me, personally, it's more important to support high quality food than it is to support local food. For a lot of foods, the two happen to co-incide but I think it's misguided to be ideological about localism.

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PS: I am a guy.

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There are certainly a lot of great reasons to eat local but there's also a lot of bad reasons that don't hold up to scientific scrutiny.

 

I didn't read a whole lot of "scientific scrutiny" in that discussion.  Lots of opinions, assumptions (including your original post that started the discussion, "Now assume that the typical surburban [sic] family drives a 25 Miles Per Gallon vehicle ..." and so on.  Emphasis mine, spelling error yours <smile>.

 

I quite reading that scientific discussion about half way through ... maybe the science part came later.


Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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I quite reading that scientific discussion about half way through ... maybe the science part came later.

 

 

Emphasis mine, spelling error yours <smile>.

 

I miss the days of 'eating seasonally' probably much more than I care about local or not local. In general, however, if quality food is produced locally, I want to eat it, in season. When I was young, I truly knew the seasons by what was on the table. One never had asparagus for Christmas dinner. One never saw a 'fresh' strawberry in February. Pumpkin pie was only produced in the fall. And we appreciated our 'special' seasonal foods all the more for only seeing them briefly.

 

Even today with strawberries available year round, I rarely buy them out of season, and I do prefer they are 'locally' grown. I think they have more flavour than those picked weeks in advance and shipped long distances - but, I do like the 'option' of buying out of season on occasion. On the other hand, I have never lived where olive oil was made locally and yet I use olive oil year round, and am thankful for it. I don't remember olive oil in anything my mother made when I was a child. But, butter came from a nearby farm. Nowadays, that is not necessarily the case (butter may come from some distance and I would not know the difference on that basis alone). When it comes to cheese, I am grateful that not all cheese is local for I would have missed out on a lot of wonderful and new tastes were that the case. And, I too really don't want to live only on turnips (really rutabagas - turnips won't keep that long but we always called them turnips) stored in the basement all winter if I can help it. And even though I can and dehydrate (and soon hope to freeze dry too), there will be days I want a fresh lemon or a fresh sprig of parsley in mid-winter - and believe me, unless I grow them myself indoors, 'out of season' can be long 'season' where I live. Stuff that arrives in my grocery store from foreign lands usually costs me more than locally grown fare - that is the price I pay for shipping - that, and the fact, that the freshness sometimes is not optimal.

 

So, the local thing is a mixed bag in today's world. I would prefer all things be made/grown locally but since they are not, and since I am now spoiled when it comes to food diversity and availability, I am going to take advantage, when it suits me, of what foods I can 'purchase' locally, no matter where they come from, as long as the quality is good and I have a hankering (and the $) to buy and consume them. Perhaps that is selfish but I long ago came to the conclusion that I cannot save the world all by myself so I may as well enjoy the world I make for myself.


Edited by Deryn (log)
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Shalmanese hit the nail on the head ..  Quality is my benchmark, local  and in season  is often the highest quality, but I will buy non local happily if it is better. The same goes for most other food memes, eg organic, free range etc.


"Why is the rum always gone?"

Captain Jack Sparrow

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I will continue to buy locally grown food because I prefer farms in my area to housing developments and warehouses.  If I can provide some incentive to a grower to keep on growing rather than selling the farm to a developer, I am happy to do so. 

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I like to eat local food, and in South Florida it's easy. Right now I have a big bowl full of avocados I picked off the tree in my back yard. But I agree that quality is more important than local, and I have no problem with buying imported food and wine - some things just don't grow here. What I've found particularly with fruits and vegetables is that local, in-season, and quality go hand in hand. I used to think I didn't like strawberries - what I didn't like were strawberries shipped in from across the country that might as well have been made out of Styrofoam. Same with tomatoes and peaches.

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"There is nothing like a good tomato sandwich now and then."

-Harriet M. Welsch

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North Carolina sweet potatoes are just beginning to be harvested.

 

My husband and I split almost a two pounder that was so fresh that when I scrubbed it with my vegetable brush, brought with me from Memphis in 1986 and made in USA, the skin began to peel off like new potatoes (the regular kind of potatoes).

 

I've never had a sweet potato before that was quite that fresh before, even though I live in the mecca for them.

 

Delicious!

 

I'm so lucky that my husband likes sweet potatoes like I do: just some butter and a little salt. Not tarted up with sugar, spices, or marshmallows. He even likes brussels sprouts and spinach.

 

I do make a mean sweet potato pie that is not very sweet and just a tad spicy. Pumpkin pie can be kind of cloying to me. 

 

I worked in the 70's in Plough, Inc.'s Maybelline cost accounting division, and they had a truly amazing cafeteria for us employees. One thing I picked up is sweet potato pie. I would get that and a salad many days, and one day, I told the old black lady serving up the delicious, fluffy pie, "This is the best pumpkin pie I ever tasted." She told me, "Honey, that's because it's sweet tater pie.".

 

I'm serious, sweet potatoes have more fiber and less water in them, and cook up a bunch fluffier in a pie. One of my favorites. Anyone who wants my recipe, just ask, but try to use NC sweet potatoes if you can. They rock!


> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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....it's more important to support high quality food than it is to support local food. For a lot of foods, the two happen to co-incide but I think it's misguided to be ideological about localism.

 

I thoroughly agree with you.


~Martin :)

I try to find the good food in every situation!

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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