The Flavor of Local
Left – Store Bought Organic Blueberries
Right – Local Farmers Market Blueberries
There are many reasons to eat local. Sustainability, support of local economy, and nutrition are just a few of them. However, there is one reason that trumps all logic and that is flavor. At the end of the day, we want to eat something that tastes good. And the flavor doesn’t get better than local. But let me tell you a story.
Last Saturday I jumped in my car at about 8am to head down to Franklin; a town about 20 miles south where my parents live. Not only was I going to visit them, I thought we could visit the Franklin Farmers Market together. It was finally one of the first cool mornings here in Tennessee and was perfect for a leisurely stroll at the Market. As we walked through the booths perusing the tables full of heirloom tomatoes, green beans, eggplant and squash I spotted a table with a few pints of blueberries.
Two weeks ago my blueberry farmer told me he was packing up for the season as that was the last of the blueberries. So when I spotted them at the Market, I knew I had to get my hands on the real last of the berries from 2012. And boy, was I glad I did. I gladly tucked them away in my market bag and we headed on home to my parents house. When we got home I was greeted by an old friend of mine who lived in California. To my surprise, the Franklin Farmers Market was the first Market she had ever been to. So we got to talking about why I felt so strongly about eating local.
But then something happened. I started to loose her in all the words. Quick, I thought – I’ve got to convince her to try eating local. So I looked in the fridge and found some huge store bought organic blueberries. I told her to close her eyes. I fed her the store bought blueberries first. And had her tell me what it tasted like. “Fine, like a blueberry,” she said. Then I fed her the blueberries we bought at the Market. Snap, she opened her eyes immediately.
” Oh my gosh! These are amazing! Now, this is what a blueberry is suppose to taste like.”
The conclusion: if it tastes better, people are sold. In fact, if you just looked at the blueberries you would probably gravitate to the bigger ones. But surprise, those small ones from the Market were ripened in the sun, picked the day before and packed with flavor. So at the end of the day, the local product speaks for itself.
What was one of your “aha moments” when you realized that local food tastes better than store bought?