Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fridge Trophies

I like to think that I am aware of eating locally. I even think that I buy many local products. And beyond that, I tend to consider whole, organic foods as being important to me for a host of reasons. I DO go to the farmers market sometimes. And I shop in small, frequent, neighborhood trips, so my food is fresh and supports my neighborhood stores.

But when I look in the fridge, and stand there to pick items from my thoughtfully chosen collection of groceries, I realize that I don’t have tons of local stuff, and if I try to see myself through the labels of the cold storage products I keep around, really who AM I ANYWAY? I am clearly fascinated with eating a WIDE variety of items from very far away, and have no intention of avoiding or slowing this pattern.

I think that perhaps I collect them as prizes. Each one is a gem, a score, a novelty or a cherished standby. Here is a current portrait of my fridge, not including regular stuff like ketchup, mayo, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, relish, O.J., soy milk, leftovers of take out and stuff I cook. Note- this isn’t really a proper portrait of my diet, just my fridge trophies.

Cherry kefir
French sheep’s milk feta
Gold’s horseradish
Pickled ginger
Mole paste from Oaxaca, Mexico
Kalamata olives
Fig and sesame jam
Pink grapefruit marmalade
Chardonnay jelly
Tamarind chutney
Fig Greek yogurt
Organic brown, free-range, Omega-3 eggs
Happy chicken breasts
Nitrite-free uncured bacon
Nitrite-free smoked salmon
Herb polenta
5 kinds of unsalted butter
Organic Carrots
Black sesame butter
New Mexican green chile sauce (which may be the MOST local product since it runs in my veins)

Should I go on about the cupboards too? There are dried jackfruit chips, Heritage Bites cereal, three kinds of vanilla extract, blue cornmeal, coconut milk, chestnut cream, packets of borsht, active dry yeast, brown rice, almonds, agave nectar.

I adore ethnic grocery stores and grocery stores in general, and I blame my Dad for this. I will continue to pursue a local, seasonal, sustainable value system regarding my food, and y'know, try and do the right thing. But I'm no milquetoast, just check out my fridge.

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