Tuesday, June 3, 2008

below expectations

Have you been at a store and seen something that caught your eye and made you want to purchase it. It could have been the style of a dress, the scent of a perfume, the color of the produce, or the amazing price on the tag. We make purchases for a variety of reasons, we want it, we need it, we’re bored, it’s a bargain, we’re a compulsive shopper, etc., etc. Whatever the purchasing need or product what really frustrates me is that after we’ve spent the time and money to make these said purchases you get them home and they don’t meet your expectations. Maybe it’s because you didn’t want to try on that article of clothing at the store and it doesn’t fit. Maybe the sales clerk said that perfume smelled wonderful on you but when you get home your girlfriend tells you it smells like something your grandmother would wear. No offence to the grandmother’s out there.

Well, my pet peeve is fruits and vegetables. After traveling to Italy several times and enjoying all the wonderful produce at the markets or dishes at a restaurant that are in season it spoils you. You could say that Italy has raised the bar in quality, in my eyes. You ask, Linda why are you on this rant? Good question.

You see I bought some fruits/veggies at the store this past weekend, so I could ‘eat in’ more then ‘eating out’. See if I can change a few habits, save a little money in the process and eat healthier. All good and positive things to do, don’t you think? I’m pretty picky when selecting produce making sure they aren’t bruised, dried out, limp, or have bad spots – doesn’t everyone? So I’m looking over the bins of fruits and vegetables and decide on asparagus, spinach, raspberries, apricots, shallots, and zucchini. Here is a photo of some of the apricots I bought, don’t they look good?

Well, the apricots sure looked good, they also were the right texture as I’ve been taught by my mom and dad. Not hard but not gushy, just a hint of firmness but soft to the touch. I decided to eat one as I was packing up a few of these lovelies to take to work today to nosh on. There in my sun lit kitchen I ate what I knew was an apricot but had very little taste at all. There was a slight hint of apricot flavor but not the burst of fresh, fruity, juice down your chin taste. What? I was cheated, literally and figuratively from eating and enjoying an apricot. My mind quickly goes back to Italy where you would never find produce picked before its ripe, tasteless, or artificially ripened with some chemical. Why do we put up with this tasteless produce they display in symmetrical rows, all waxed and shiny, and spritz’d with the misters? Why have we accepted this lack of quality? Do you feel the same way?

Here is a picture I took at the vegetable market at the Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy. Now those are some vegetables, don’t you think?


rowena said...

To this I can certainly say that we are spoiled by the sheer fact of location. True, italian open-air markets have some of the best fruits and vegetables, but the stuff at the supermarket isn't always up to par. When you mentioned apricots it immediately brought to mind the apricot tree of my husband's youth. He said the fruit was so sweet and juicy, it would spill excess juice down his chin!

Ice Tea For Me said...

I would love to be able to go to a open air market every day. Maybe someday if I can make it over to Italy on a more permanant basis.