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.