In his excellent book Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser notes that Carl Karcher, founder of Carl’s Jr. hamburger chain, had great expectations for Christmas because it meant getting a single orange to enjoy. Most kids in America today couldn’t fathom the idea of getting a piece of fruit as a present. And while much of Karcher’s anticipation was the result of a modest upbringing, what a shame it is that many folks don’t–and can’t–appreciate the wonder of a single piece of fruit.
There is so much out there to enjoy! As a foodie, I appreciate all that the States have to offer in fresh produce. I love my oranges and lemons from Florida, my grapefruit from Texas. There might be no finer taste than a Haas avocado from California (and what a sad – maybe even devastating- time of my life now that I’ve developed an allergy to them.) The corn that grows in the fields just a few miles behind my home is perpetually sweet and tender. Apples from New York and Washington. Grapes from California (especially the Zinfandels, Cabernets, and Pinot Noirs — but that’s another post!) How about a tomato from a friend’s garden?
If you get a chance this spring, go find a local farmer’s market and bask in the glory of it all. Find the wonderment of local fruits and vegetables.
And if you live in the Washington D.C. area, the Washington Post has a great tool for finding a local market in the city as well as the Maryland and Virginia suburbs. For the rest of the country, the USDA has a handy tool for locating a market near you.