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Happy-Gourmand

Here's to good taste

I know I am going to sound like a nostalgic, old fuddy-duddy this week, but if you will indulge me a little, I think I can bring you around to a pertinent point that requires everyone’s attention, even that of the young fuddy-duddies.

Last week, we sat down for breakfast to enjoy a nice pastry with some fresh strawberries I had bought. I will attest that they were not local. I couldn’t find local ones at the Westside stores and regrettably I didn’t have the time to visit the u-pick places.

However, I did not think I deserved to be punished for buying from a larger store; don’t they usually try to offer the best products within their channels?

The utter lack of taste that I experienced was in total contrast to the plump, intensely red, outer appearance. Was I to expect that was too good to be true? I felt like I was eating a cardboard cut-out of the food I was expecting.

Later in the week, I had the same kind of experience all over again. I kid you not; I really felt picked on by this point.

It was a hot day, and I thought, “What better thing to do than to have a piece of watermelon and spit the seeds off the deck like we did when I was a kid?”

I am sure that was how generations of kids learned to spit. After all, the alternative was having a watermelon grow in your tummy, and who wants that? (My Gramps told me that, and he was never wrong.)

Well, that is all fine and good unless you live in today’s world where watermelons are all seedless (and they often don’t taste like much either).

I figured that the reason both the strawberries and the watermelon didn’t taste like anything was the produce equivalent of a big box store: mass production. But then I wondered, just how do they produce masses of any kind of produce when they have no seeds?

That is when the whole thing started to get a bit scary, as I started to contemplate some kind of scientific lab/greenhouse where an injection or laser perhaps was the secret to starting a new fruit.

It made me think of episodes of The Twilight Zone where the characters thought at first the idea was too far-fetched to ever be possible, but by the end they realized that they had been hoodwinked. They were left helpless in a world filled with far-fetched ideas as part of every-day life.

I know that at this point I have not gotten the attention of any younger folks, since they tend to figure that technology is almost always an advantage and unless a government conspiracy is involved, bigger ideas and projects are better.

I am not against advancing, but I do think we should look before we leap.

You may not be a garden geek like me, using heirloom seeds and loving the wild plants that come up in the garden after the birds have dropped them or the compost has sprouted them. But here is another good reason to support those local farmers that grow food that survives in this environment.

Even if they are not growing organic food, it is certainly sustainable. You may not have a memory of food from days gone by, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve food with character.

Down with wimpy watermelons and cardboard strawberries.



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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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