Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Matter of Taste

I posted the ignorant arrogant writing from the Publisher of East Nashville Magazine and then today I opened the other free weekly, Nashville Scene, and once again read another essay that demonstrates what I have said repeatedly, the South is a bastion of arrogance that belies explanation.  It is as if they are sure that there is nowhere as good as home and they click their ruby slippers three times it will all be alright.

I am not sure what to respond to with regards to this idiocy but in fact California is in the west and is our largest food producer with Washington State not far behind for many particular food products.  We have many small farms and corporate farms throughout America and now thanks to global commerce we have fruits and vegetables year round. And true that seasonally it is not the same and in turn the taste and quality are different, it is possible to ship foods across the globe now without any loss of freshness.   Wow that refrigerated boxcar is amazing!

So when traveling I already have an idea that across the country and the world their are seasonal and regional demands that dictate food choice.  Add to that  the reality (as in fact) of global warming has changed dramatically the availability of food and affected their seasons, and a good Southern example are Peaches.   The Georgia peach season and South Carolina's that follows have been altered and shortened this year due to colder winters and wetter springs leaving a shortage of that nectar. But again there are other Peaches... or not if you live in the South.

I am just finishing a great book, Grocery The Buying and Selling of Food in America , by Michael Rhulman discussing how the grocery industry has dramatically changed from the amount of choices to the seasonal aspects of food availability and how in turn food trends and fashions have changed how American consumers shop and eat.  So in other words Lesley you can get Kale in Wyoming if you so want.    But when visiting an area you should try the local stomping grounds and in Nashville that could be Shoney's a aging cafeteria chain founded in Nashville now owned by a Middle Easterner (whom is being passed off as Canadian as he tries to resuscitate the brand).   Or one could go to Dandguare's where Anthony Bourdain sampled the another bastion  of Nashville cuisine - meat and threes.  Or try Nashville hot chicken in the more established founding homes of Prince's or Bolton's or the more culturally appropriated and whiter Hattie B's.   

As for BBQ another debated cuisine that is almost civil war worthy as to which part of America makes the best BBQ.  So in reality the meat debate and greens here in Nashville are no different than anywhere else as in reality it is all a matter of taste.  But don't tell Lesley she is sure its better here!

And yes I make fun of my new neighbors but frankly they have done little to nothing to change my opinion otherwise.  So from someone from the West, I can say that food is as good as you want it to be.  I have learned about Sweet Tea and Grits so in exchange how about some fresh Salmon and tell me which you would prefer.

After Nearly Three Weeks Out West, It's Blessing to Enjoy the South's Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Again

Despite advances in fresh food transportation, the western U.S. is still very meaty
Lesley Lassiter
Jul 24, 2017 9 AM

WyomingWyoming's fresh produceI mentioned before that I’ve just returned from an extensive vacation out West. It was nearly three weeks, driving out among the national parks and monuments of the West. Several people I know took similar trips just before I did, and one person (a mother of of four) noted how nice it was not to cook for that entire time. Indeed, it was a nice break for me as well (we rarely eat out more than once per week). Many breakfasts were cereal bars or granola bars on the go, and lunches were either the same or sandwiches. Dinners were a usually more substantial, though some were leftovers from a previous night. This was no culinary vacation; it was an active vacation of hiking and sightseeing.

I did my best to ensure my kid was still getting some proper nutrition (apples and baby carrots were frequent snacks, for example), but I must’ve been neglecting my own needs. By the end of our second week, I found myself craving greens. Fortunately I was satisfied by “salad rolls” and a “Thai green salad” at a lovely restaurant called Teton Thai in Teton Village, Wyo. My hunger apparently wasn’t completely sated as I wandered into the Deadwood Social Club in Deadwood, S.D., days later and ordered a pasta primavera, unconcerned by the fact that the vegetables would have had to come from places far away from a land that supports little more than pine trees and grasses (and the animals that eat them). I inhaled every piece of broccoli on the plate as if it weren’t one of my most-hated foods (third only to bell peppers and celery). Green food, get in mah belleh!

A few days later, as we were making our way back to Nashville, I found myself thirsty for green food again but disappointed in South Dakota’s roadside dining, consisting mostly of bison burger joints. And then we found Al’s Oasis. I didn’t know much about it, but reviews included the words “salad bar,” so the decision was made. Apparently, my family was also feeling the lack of fresh green foods, as all three of us ordered the salad bar. In true Middle America style, the salad bar consisted mostly of pasta salads, potato salads, and Jell-O salads, though there was plenty of lettuce, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes and cucumbers, too. My daughter and I both enjoyed plates piled with nothing but romaine lettuce (no dressing) during one trip to the salad bar. We, of course, also enjoyed tapioca pudding, chocolate mousse, and several of the pasta salads. But, ah, lettuce. I hadn't realized I missed it so much.

During my first post-vacation grocery excursion, I bought kale, arugula and romaine lettuce. It was quickly followed by a visit to the produce stand to get cantaloupe, watermelon, zucchini and tomatoes. It’s been glorious to have salad and fresh fruit and vegetables every day again. Oh, how I missed the verdant South and all its bounty. Though I don’t love making dinner every night again.

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