Around a month ago, I walked into one of our local chain supermarkets. To not name names, we’ll call it Soblaws “Frills Chopper.” After all, most of our chain stores are pretty much the same. At least when it comes to produce.
Anyhow, I think I was looking for something simple. Probably some toilet paper or dishsoap. I was looking for something that would keep the Farm to Table household running smoothly.
Walking through the sliding doors, I was greeted by a giant display. “The Taste of Summer!” it hailed in foot-high letters. “Taste the Freshness!” it called in sun-shiny bursts of yellow-orange font.
“Hey! Hey!” I thought, as I walked forward. “I love the taste of summer!”
Really, I should have known better.
What did they feature on the display tables and shelves?
Corn, for one thing. And watermelon. Wrapped in plastic wrap.
“What the…?” I whispered aloud. “This sure isn’t going to taste of freshness… And it is only going to taste of a reasonable facsimile of summer!”
Strawberries that get shipped out of season have to sit quite awhile before they get to your grocery basket. Off-season tomatoes are pulpy, pale versions of their autumnal glory. Corn trucked up from the states will lose most of its natural sweetness by the time it gets here – that sweetness will be replaced by sugar’s natural by-product, mushy starch.
These are not the tastes of summer. They are lies and they are shams. They are counterfeits of pleasure. They are photocopies of works of art. They are pale imitations.
Sure, you get used to this watered-down taste. After all, this is what so many of us have been fed for years. But “getting used to” is hardly the same thing as truly enjoying.
Makes 9 mini-frittata
½ cup double smoked bacon in ¼ in cubes or small pieces
½ cup of cooked baby new potatoes, ¼ inch cubes
½ cup of onion (or green onion or leek), ¼ inch cubes
½ cup of diced mushroom
2 cups of roughly chopped swiss chard
½ cup of diced tomatoes (seeded)
½ cup aged cheddar cheese
Chives for garnish
Wine Match by Wilton Wine Consulting:
2009 Albert Mann Auxerrois Vielles Vignes Wettolsheim, Alsace France
Suggested Retail: $17-$20.
My first thought was Alsace – the birthplace of quiche (which this is very similar too). Not only because of the regional match, but because of that double-smoked bacon. Here is a wonderful wine that I carry, described in depth on an independent wine blog: http://www.ledomduvin.com/?2011/01/domaine-albert-man?n-2009-albert-mann.html. It has the freshness but also the weight to create a true terroir experience with this dish.
Local Option (Prince Edward County):
2009 Stanners Vinyard Pinot Gris
$25.00 per bottle
I was given the inside scoop on Stanners Vineyards Pinot Noir this spring, but I was most impressed with their whites and would highly recommend their Pinot Gris with this qui-tata. http://www.stannersvineyar?d.ca/wines.html. It is definitely cool-climate, but approaches the richness of the Albert Mann and is definitely reminiscent of the Alto Adige.