I read a quote somewhere earlier today that said, and I’m very roughly paraphrasing here, ‘I only eat local meat, except when it comes to food offered at street carts, in which case I’ll eat it all’, or something similar. I wish I could remember who said it, or where I saw it. Anyway, that principal – not about the meat specifically, but about the source of food – is something I think about often. Very often. The many advantages to eating locally grown, seasonal food vs. the tantalizing delights imported from far away locales and dished up in so many foreign cuisines. Mash that up with something else I read today, via Twitter: “Indian mangoes, thought to be unavailable this year due to crop issues, have arrived in Jackson Heights!”. That news bulletin gave me pause. I walk past the Indian food shops in my neighborhood every day and I’ve long been aware of the special mangoes from India that have only in recent years been allowed to be imported. But I’d never had the need or desire to purchase an entire crate of them, which is how I’d heard they are generally sold. I decided to venture over to Patel Brothers and check it out, and lo and behold there were Kesar mangoes for sale individually. Ranging in size from small to tiny and orange and green in colour, they are firm and fairly unripe. I bought two.
I spied some fresh lychees a few bins over, red and spiky and positively primitive-looking. I’m sure they must’ve existed in the dinosaur era. And finally, an impulsive purchase at another shop of some cactus pears rounded out my acquisition of fruit exotics on this incredibly wet, rain sodden day.
Tomorrow: Part II, peeling and eating.