The dried mango at Central Market tastes and feels so much better than the dried mango from Whole Foods. It matters because I am a dried mango fan. I am also a fresh, organic, local food fan, and so I have to shop at either Central Market, Whole Foods, or the local famers' markets.
We are regulars at t'afia's Midtown Farmers Market, making it our first stop on the Saturday Brown family tour. But Monica Pope and Andrea Lazar, et. al, are on vacation for two weeks, so no Saturday market for two weeks. At the Midtown Farmers' Market, we buy the best local produce, albeit not a wide range to choose from, the best bbq from Jon at Beavers, and we used to be able to buy delicious treats from Joanne and Deborah and also from Monica Pope's Plum Kitchen collection (I'm partial to the red chili paste), but then we turned wheat-, gluten- and dairy-free. So pretty much everything EXCEPT vegetables, fruits and lean proteins are "out" over here at our house. And lately, there's not a lot of fresh, local, organic products for sale at any of these places.
Doesn't this seem like a problem?
Sure, there is a lot of fresh produce, a good smattering of local produce, and an embarrassment of organic produce -- at astronomical prices: $10.00 for five apples?!? But there isn't a cornucopia of all three -- fresh, local and organic -- anywhere. Whole Foods has more organic produce -- or at least they make it appear as if they do -- but they are much more expensive than Central Market. Ever since I moved here in 1990, people have been calling it Whole Paycheck. And in $1990, you could buy five organic apples at Whole Foods for $4.50. Not so anymore.
The weather in South Texas hasn't helped matters. It's poured almost every day since late May, some days all day for a slew of days. And now there's a heat wave, day after day of incinerating heat and glare. Aweful, to be sure.
Not good for the crops, either.
I hope my expanding penchant for dried produce isn't a harbinger for the demise of fresh, local, organic protest altogether; I hope it isn't a premonition of the coming age: The Apocalypse.