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When being a California foodie is so very, very right

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine from the Great State of North Carolina instant-messaged me on Facebook.

“Dude,” he said. “I’ve been catching up on your blog, and what happened to you? You’ve become a total California foodie.”

“I was born to be a total California foodie,” I said.

I was kidding, but only a little bit. A huge reason why I wanted to move here was for the food, the amazing food, the incredible cooking happening on both sides of the Bay and the produce being grown just a few miles away and the artisans making marmalade and salumi and the honey producers and the wine and…

I’m going to stop there.

If my friend could only see me now, three days into the Eat Local Challenge? As far as I can track, the only things I’ve put in my mouth that are not officially from within 100 miles of me are a mug or two of tea, maybe two tablespoons of mayonnaise, some sugar, some yeast, and the salt and pepper I’ve used to season dishes. That’s it. In three days of some extremely fine eating.

What I’m finding most cool about this, though? Through this challenge, I’m learning where all these producers and artisans live. I’m discovering, for example, that much of what I’m eating comes from either Petaluma or the area around Santa Rosa. And now? I can tell you with authority where Petaluma and Santa Rosa are on a map. Before? They were kind of abstract concepts. If this is what it takes to learn the landscape of my foodshed, I’m all for it. In fact, I’m now really curious to just take a drive up to Petaluma and tool around for a day. I want to see what this town (which I envision as being something like Chicken Run, only with more vegetables) actually looks like.

Before the month started, I will admit that I was dreading this a bit. Dreading the limitations. Dreading not being able to just eat whatever, whenever, wherever. But three days in? I’m having a blast. I’m eating amazing food and doing so in so much more of a mindful way than I ever did before moving here.

Suffice it to say that if being a California foodie is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

8 Comments on “When being a California foodie is so very, very right”

  1. #1
    on Oct 4th, 2008 at 2:05 am

    (Let’s try this again. I’m having comment issues.)

    Welcome to the California-foodie-world. It is a very good place to be.

  2. #2 inadvertentgardener
    on Oct 4th, 2008 at 8:46 am

    Christina, thank you — I’m loving it here!

  3. #3 Kim
    on Oct 4th, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Hey Boss,
    This is so funny that I finally remembered to check your blog while the girlies are watching Winnie the Pooh, and you’re talking about Petaluma and Santa Rosa. Being from Sebastopol, I could give you quite the touring map of good ‘ol Sonoma county. And, yes, some parts are like Chicken Run….see you Monday.

  4. #4 Karen
    on Oct 5th, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Being a California “Anything” isn’t wrong which is something only a native can say. I’ll be back where my heart belongs after my time is done in Colorado stimulating the economy here. Californians are not beloved in other states and yet California is a state of immigrants and thus far more tolerant. I wonder how many of your local food growers are natives? I doubt their parents were. What I love about my home state more than anything including the ocean and sunshine is the diversity.
    It’s a wonderful thing to see people live and grow together…and that is ultimately what makes for great gardening!

  5. #5 inadvertentgardener
    on Oct 6th, 2008 at 11:51 am

    Kim, I know — I’m going to have to get an annotated map from you if I make the trip up there. Since it’s apple season…I probably/definitely need to put that on the agenda.

    Karen, I think Californians are just misunderstood, and I’m happy to do the research and reporting back to the rest of the world! ;-) And yes — it would be interesting to see how many of these local growers are natives. It’s like DC here in that there are so many people from other parts of the country…and the world. Can’t wait to have you back in your home state! ;-)

  6. #6 karen
    on Oct 27th, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    You moved to California for the food? Try New Orleans – we got it good down here.

  7. #7 inadvertentgardener
    on Oct 29th, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Karen, I love the New Orleans food, too, but I’m super-happy with California!

  8. #8 A taste of farm-to-table at The Linkery – The Inadvertent Gardener
    on Oct 30th, 2008 at 8:26 am

    [...] perfect restaurant for this California Foodie? Yes’m. And a perfect option for the Eat Local Challenge (The On-The-Road [...]

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