Monday, September 8, 2008

Mostly Market and Organic Dégustation

The return to New Brunswick spells two thing: the return to the farmer's market and my own kitchen. It's always a bitch to be in someone else's ill equiped kitchen, where you don't even know in what drawer the spatulas are. On est bien chez sois.

This dégustation featured fresh salami, Champignon brie with green peppercorns (absolutely delicious and creamy and mild), Oka (a Canadian cheese with a quite bitter taste), a stilton blue, and a garlic and chive English cheese whose name I forget...something about monks or mountains?

The olive loaf you see on the side there is from a wonderful German woman's bakery. It's soft, fun to tear as opposed to slice, and absolutely exquisite when dipped in olive oil (my girlfriend said that the olives in the bread put the olive back into the olive oil and that the olive oil put the oil back into the olives...if that makes any sense to you). I got the idea from my day at Amarosia Organic Garden where I was fed this wonderful bread. Exposure to great food through sharing. But more on that later.

The other part of our little finger food meal was comprised of vegetables and fruit from the previously mentioned farm. The whitish-yellowish thing you see right in front that looks like the quarter of an apple is actually a cucumber! Lemon cucumbers to be precise. They were fresh, crunchy and something I could see in a ploughman's lunch. Really cool vegetable. How many times have you seen the word cool used to describe vegetables, eh?

The little orange tomatoes were soft, burst in your mouth and had a really sweet taste almost reminiscent of cantaloupe. All organic so you don't get that unshakeable pesticide taste. At the far back we also had organic Galia melon. It looks like a cantaloupe but a tad smaller, with green flesh and not as sweet. Really nice.

The un-organic part was comprised of dull avocado and some ripe pears. Nothing exciting there.

I'd like to take a moment to advocate this sort of meal. Since it's all finger food placed in the middle of the table, it accomplishes three things: 1) It encourages us to take our time to eat. A bit of this. A bit of that. And here on the Western part of our blue planet we tend to have a problem with eating too quickly. So this makes it easy. And fun; 2) Having a bit of everything satisfies the picky people sharing your table since if they don't like such and such an item, they don't have to eat it. More for you; 3) Like a fondu, I find this is a very social way of eating. We're all sharing from the same plate, just ripping away at some bread, taking time to talk about the wonderful things we're eating and generally having a good time centralized on food. It's something a TV can't accomplish. Whoever heard of quality family time spent in front of a TV? Plus you don't have to take the time to cook it or make individual plates so it's really not labour intensive. Just slice and throw it on a plate.

Screw fondus! Have a dégustation with your family tonight!

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