Saturday, September 06, 2008

Local Market Zoo 

Since today's gardening activities are over (see previous post), and The Girl (after coming in from the nearby golf course, rather soaked) has headed into work to put in some make up hours, I decided a latte was in order. The Starbucks nearby is next to Panzano, an Italian market that features many locally produced/grown items, so I figured I'd pop in and get some fresh mozzarella. They have a woman in Somerville who makes it for them. On our simultaneous way out of the garage, The Girl asked if I could also pick up some milk while I'm out.

First, this reminded me that this morning she informed me that the milk was bad, so she couldn't have cereal. Later in the day I opened the fridge only to find that she had pulled out the milk, opened it, smelled it, judged it to be bad, and put it back in the fridge.

Second, there are no regular grocery stores near where I was heading. They are in the opposite direction.

But off I went. Whoops! I forgot that Panzano was having its "Tastes of New England - A Local Food Artisans Market at Panzano" event this afternoon from 4 to 7. And I arrived around 5:30, right at peak action time. So I had to politely scoot my way around all the folks merrily engaging the local vendors. Normally I would say this was a good thing, but the problem is that the store has VERY TINY aisles. On a normal day an aisle becomes crowded when you and another person are on it going in opposite directions. Now it was even worse due to the vendor tables crammed in as well. But it's a good thing, and we should all support our local producers and the retailers who support them. But I hate crowds!

The good news was that I discovered that Panzano also carries milk from a Massachusetts dairy (in Lee), so I fulfilled my half-heartedly made semi-promise that I would pick up milk. Actually, I really did want milk so I could make crepes sometime this weekend, but I wasn't happy about having to go to multiple stores. Anyway, then I made my way around to the deli case, where they keep the mozzarella balls. There were two women fully engaging the deli clerk with their tasting of every item available in the deli and chatting about whether the chick pea salad tastes like fried rice (I didn't even ask how they could have come to that conclusion) and other culinary commentary. Meanwhile, I had to stand next to them, watching over the case on the off chance that another employee might wander by to help someone actually interested in making a purchase, and periodically squeezing in close to the case to let another shopper go by. It was really fun when one of the employees decided it was the perfect time to maneuver up the aisle with a handtruck loaded with four cases of wine. Good times.

But, the Barefoot Contessa Wannabe's finally meandered on (without buying anything, of course), and I procured the last two mozzarella balls floating in the little cheese tank. When I finally made my way to the cashier, there was no line at all. Hey people! It's really nice that you attend these support your local food artisans event, but it really would be better if you actually Supported Your Local Food Artisans!!!!!

Anyway, after that I went next door to support one of my local retail establishments of my favorite corporate giant and went home. Speaking of which - Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back. Just be careful sipping them around your computer.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 6:20 PM