The Farmer's Market... Why So Posh?
By Katrina Meynink | Posted in Plating Up | 17 April 2012 12:02PM
I’m not a violent person. I cannot say the same for the gentleman who frightened me at the farmers’ market, and the weapons-drawn-at-dawn moment that ensued over a dozen eggs. I waved my white flag, not because I am gracious, but because I was scared witless.
Before you think I am weak, or my omelets no longer worthy of your time let me share something with you. Said gentleman was sporting boating shoes and a turned up collar. It frightened me because a navigable body of water was nowhere to be seen.
But that’s the farmers markets scene these days isn’t it? You no longer get mud on your shoes, you rarely speak to a farmer, and you not only have to get up early but must do so with time to brush your hair and conjure some easy come, easy go, I’m just “flaffing at the markets” fashionable ensemble.
Luxury goods are often an expression of narcissism. And the farmers’ market is no different. It’s food’s latest Mulberry bag or Burberry trench. We skip from the organic eggs to the artisan breads, the cheese monger and that weird guy selling cattle raised on Bach in surround-sound while suckling the milk of virgins. And we pay through the teeth for it. Fashionably, of course.
It’s a physical expression of an ideology. And I am there – convinced like every other poor sod with an unhealthy cooking obsession – that I make better food if my salmon comes from the little guy behind the strawberry stall, its scales and guts intact (because real cooks do not recoil at getting intimately involved with their dinner); and I love to buy cream the colour of daffodils while my husband watches me grow in front of him.
Every Saturday we are promoting artisanal production methods, all the while checking out the blond girl’s cute skirt and stealing eggs from the man in the boating shoes. We need to take a good hard look into our shiny apples and bring the uber-sophisticated market back to what it was, without all the mythologizing of boutique agriculture.
Imagine a Saturday morning spent rolling out of bed to buy meat and mushrooms from some horny-handed peasant hocking off their wares while donning your pajamas. Then we could schlep our goods home, hop back into bed and get up when the day properly arrives.
And perhaps leave the boating shoes…for boating.
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