Monday, 29 July 2013

Mad about the markets vol. 2

An urban dweller like me, living in the concrete jungle without a freezer or a car is not - courtesy of the previously listed reasons - often found storing and pickling the harvest from her own garden for the winter. Nor can she be found squatting over the berries in the woods. Or foraging wild mushrooms. No matter how much I would love to. Luckily city's market halls compensate that nature-free existence and they too are brimming with seasonal produce right now.

The produce might be local, but the prices are often just plain loco.

Local vs. imported-debate has many facets. Carbon footprint? Quality? Freshness? Local jobs? As a foodie I love places like this and realize that they don't stay in business out of the admirers' oohs and aaahs alone - they have to earn a living by selling those goods. But I really don't understand who can afford to shop at places like this? A colleague of mine has a summer place surrounded with woods full of wild berries and mushrooms that produce so much harvest she has enough to delight us long into the following summer. "Go! To the woods!" she can be heard ranting in the coffee room at this time of the year, waging her own mutiny against the extortionate prices.

And though I am - occasionally anyway - willing to pay extra for the local produce (for the reasons listed in the first paragraph I don't exactly have a choice), last trip just might have broken the back of this consumer's proverbial camel. I knew I needed some chilli. But couldn't remember if I had some back home. So I bought one. Just in case. And since they had Finnish variety too, I conscientiously went for that one. I thought I'd heard the price wrong, but as the lady at the counter repeated it I found myself paralyzed with outrage and couldn't but hand over the money. €1.90? For one chilli

Screw specialty shops - I'll be doing my foraging in the generic, uncharming supermarket aisles from now on.

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