Sunday, January 4, 2009

little edible trees

I’m sure I’ve mentioned Marjane before; is like a kind of Walmart here, except that it’s only in big cities and its crazy expensive. But sometimes it’s the only place to go for specific items. In keeping with my philosophy of living by the means available I don’t shop there much and don’t mind living without special wants. But broccoli is just about my favorite vegetable, and certainly high on my list of favorite foods in general, and being deprived of it has driven me mad. I can understand why something crazy like kiwis aren’t available here, but why not broccoli?! They have tons of cauliflower so the fact that there isn’t even a word for broccoli just infuriates me. Frozen broccoli is available at Marjane for a hefty fee, and I very thankfully had some at the PCVs house on election night. Frozen vegetables are… ok, but I’ve really had a serious hankering for fresh broccoli.

So a couple weeks ago I went to Fes with some friends and my goodness, Marjane had it! For 38ds a kilo! Just to give you some background, all my vegetables and fruits range from 2-12ds per kilo, and most are never more than 7, so 38ds is a serious jump. However I decided I’d rather splurge on broccoli than chocolate and bagged up 33.8ds worth. While my dear friends were giving me shit for it I actually was able to justify my purchase silently in my own head. Here was an example of paying hopefully close to the real price of food. I’ve been reading so much lately about the ridiculous food goings on in the states (you can read the books on it, and I really encourage you to for they are far more articulate than me) and a serious issue is the simple fact that we are paying very little for foods that are costing us so much. I admit it used to be hard for me to justify buying truly sustainable foods because of their expense, but with all this knowledge I realize that it’s just paying the honest price for an honest food, upfront, and really you get exactly your money’s worth (and seriously guys, it’s not THAT much more at the Farmer’s Market), and are supporting your community and paying the people who are actually doing the work of providing that food. So paying a hell of a lot more for my broccoli fix was in fact my decision to pay for the transportation of a food that has been imported from who knows where and been priced accordingly.

And I really enjoyed it! I ate most of it simply steamed with a touch of salt and butter just so I could enjoy it by its beautiful self. I had also splurged at Marjane on a little hunk of cheddar cheese, which I haven’t had in over a year. It was actually not very good cheddar, but making my own broccoli cheddar soup from scratch was awesome. I even included the broccoli in a spaghetti sauce one night for the very friend who shunned my purchase, but it was delicious and he was thankful. And when all my little trees were consumed, it was over and done with and I am okay with living without it again until I am somewhere it’s readily available again. I really do love seasonal food eating; it makes me sot hankful for each food as its time comes to be available. Tangerines are in season, one of only two fruits available here in the winter and I love them! It’s like candy, but better. And I’m getting mighty sad knowing I will leave this country before they come into seaon again next year. Guess ill just have to eat at least a kilo a week this season then! I’m also a new fan of leeks, I’d never cooked with them before in the states, but they are now an important addition to all my kugel baking and soup making excursions. But I tell you, once I start growing in the states you’ll lose me out there. You’ll have to find Bri beneath the broccoli.


Anonymous said...

Yea! For you, I like buying at the Farmer's Market too for the same reason!!!

Love you

Diane Kappa said...

Broccoli is my favorite veggie too! And I completely agree with you when it comes to mandarins. They are available in Hungary right now and we are averaging about 2 kilos a week! They are better than candy but definitely not better than chocolate!

MindFul MiMi said...

Broccoli rules!!! Green is healthy. So no matter the cost you did not splurge.
Liked stumbling onto your blog.