2/10/12

 



Taste

 


We recently shelled out plenty for some farm fresh free range eggs. The farmers market sales person stressed the eggs tasted great, you could tell the difference. (Click here for their website.) Well, fact is, yes you could tell the difference. But was the upcharge over what you can get on sale at the supermarket worth it?

As they say, de gustibus non disputandum est. So, to each his own. But, for us, the price factor is . . . a factor. Which got Cooky Cat to thinking.

When you examine the question of taste more closely, you start to see lots of details in the mix. Think of your first taste of wine. If you liked it, you probably said, "tastes good". Now that you are a wine aficionado (hopefully not one of those obsessive effete wine sophisticate a-holes) when you have a good wine you notice the dryness/sweetness, fruitiness (what kind,), etcetera. (Cooky cat is still at the, "Umm, I likes that!" level.)

But isn't there more to taste? Something ineffable?

Yes. There is something in the taste of things that feeds the soul. You know what it is like. It's intensely personal, but when you eat something that tastes really pleasing to you, it lifts your spirits, doesn't it?. Let's be clear, we're not talking here about having to have stunt cooking vertical architectural marvel at some 4-star joint by a celebrity chef with ingredients from here there and everywhere. It can be the simplest thing; like a well made plain omelet using superior eggs. It tastes right, true to what an egg should taste like. It pleases, directly and wordlessly.

All edibles have a taste signature, that instantly recognizable taste that you know makes it true to its type. But, not all tomatoes are created equal. Nor just about any other foodstuff and drink. (Licorice is a favorite around here and we have searched the globe for the best. Hint: We can hook you up in Amsterdam. Click to read about a visit there.)

Part of taste which in the modern supermarket distribution system is often lost is the aliveness of a food. Like those free range chicken eggs, they were fresh right from the farm. Or, garden fresh vegetables and fruits. If you haven't gardened yourself, the next best thing is the farmers market. (We once in Arizona went to an orchard to pick peaches at the height of the season. Incredible. The fruit dropped into your hand at the least nudge. As we picked we sampled. Juicy, sweet, with sunshine set right in every bite. So ripe and tender that you had to collect the peaches in flats; in bags they would turn to mush. In two visits we bought nearly 100 pounds. Yes, can you believe it? We did share with friends, but there was a lot of snacking, pie baking, and canning also.)

Produce from your own garden is the very best. Especially so, picked right out of the ground and eaten right there in the field. That's taste. No amount of words will convey that quality of taste.
Spring is coming. Dig yourself up a garden in the back yard, or join a community garden group. It'll feed your soul, in many ways.

Here is a celebration of taste. . .

1 comment:

  1. This from Phyllis Kirigan of www.sweetpaprika.wordpress.com . . .

    "Yes, dear Cooky, I’m afraid it’s a case of pay more, eat less (to quote Michael Pallan). You have to pay for quality. Farm fresh fruits and vegetables do taste better. Fresh eggs taste better. And nothing can compare to that ripe, fragrant juicy peach you mention. But you know all about that, don’t you, Cooky? I grew up on a farm so I learned all about fresh food. James Beard queried, “What is food supposed to taste like?” I might ask, “What can food taste like? Do you ever wonder how many people have never experienced the taste of good bread, or a home grown tomato? And then, there’s the restaurant scene. I have relatives who think the epitome of Italian food can be found at The Olive Garden? OK. I’m something of a food snob. I’m leaving the promotion of mediocrity to Rachel Ray."

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