Eating My Way Around the World

During my “career”, I was fortunate to be able to live and travel all over the globe, and try all sorts of exotic and wonderful cuisines.  One of my ex-wives (and there have been many, because I’m “difficult”) said I only did the work so I could eat great food at other people’s expense.  Might be so.  Or it could have been because the first time she cooked for me (grilled cheese), she said “how do you get the cheese out of the bottom of the toaster?).  No matter.

I lived and ate well.

When I was a lad, food wasn’t so mysterious or exotic.  Dairy products came from a little dairy down the road, delivered to our front door on a regular basis.  Food came from the chain grocery, and one had no idea (nor did one care) where it originated, how it was raised or processed.   Meat (at our house) came from a traditional butcher shop, for some reason, my father was “in charge”of meat, and he would buy a variety of cuts, roasts, and the like once a month, all dutifully wrapped in freezer paper and the contents within described with a black freezer pen….and the date.   Not that it would last.  My father dated everything.   He marked the date of purchase inside of his shoes.  I never asked why. I should have.  Maybe it was the key to him living to age 99.  Crap.  Where are my shoes?

Today, we are fortunate to eat food from all over the world.  Processed and/or grown in all styles and manners.  We have a fantastic “international” foods grocery store down the street, and while it primarily stocks foods from the Middle East, they have a nice deli counter, with (real) meat and cheese.  They have some very interesting selections from time to time, for a while they were carrying a ready to heat fondue that came in a ceramic ramekin – from Switzerland or Austria, damn it was good.  Doesn’t seem to be available anymore.

Point of this rambling is recounting the international meal we had at home last nite, from as far away as Cypress and Turkey (Halloumi cheese and olives, respectively) to home-grown tomatoes and basil.  We had artisan pasta from Italy, and Pink Himalayan Sea Salt (which doesn’t come from the Himalayas, but from Pakistan, but for some reason, was packaged in South Africa.  We grilled the cheese and it evolved into a nice caprese salad with our garden tomatoes and herbs.

We live in fortunate times, but probably the end of them.  The upcoming world food crisis will see us eating more and more processed and manufactured food, possibly even cloned meat.   And old people like me will sigh and lament, “I remember when chicken tasted like chicken. Or, for that matter, “I remember when frog legs tasted like chicken.”