Monday, February 7, 2011

Wandering Around Whole Foods Market


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When I was eighteen years old I moved to Paris with two suitcases, an envelope of French currency, and a new pair of shoes that left blisters on my feet. I have since come to realize that those shoes weren't anymore stylish fourteen years ago than they are now, but that sort of thing was right on par for my eighteenth year of life. Wearing ugly shoes that killed my feet because I suspected they might be cool.
I didn't find myself in Paris, as the movie Sabrina romantically suggests. I was just a scaredy-mouse who didn't know myself any better than I could speak French. But in retrospect, I believe one of the positive outcomes of those fifteen months in Paris was the nurturing of my total love for good food, fresh food, and market culture. We don't get enough of that in the 'burbs.


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 So, on Saturday I spent an hour wandering around Whole Foods Market. I know it should really be called "Whole Paycheck Foods," but I have to confess it is one of my happy places. It's suburbia's answer to the fresh, made-from-scratch delicacies that I miss from my city-dwelling days of yore.

I am a sucker for hand carved, homemade soaps.

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I am convinced that people who don't like olives haven't eaten good olives (not canned!), or haven't tried them with the right food combinations. Or maybe they haven't tried them enough times. Or maybe they haven't tried them with someone who unabashedly, enthusiastically LOVES them, thus inspiring them to appreciate the fine quality of olives. I love olives.

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  I have never met a cheese that I don't like. This is where my husband butts in and says, "What about spray cheese?" I'm referring to real, fresh cheese. Not orange chemicals.


 You can buy half-loaves at Wholefoods, so I went home with some olive bread, cranberry walnut, rosemary ciabatta, and a french country loaf. Probably not what my family had in mind for Super Bowl munchies! 
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Let's be sure all the most important food groups are properly represented:

My time in Paris taught me that living in a beautiful and sophisticated place doesn't necessarily mean that you will feel beautiful and sophisticated too. But there is a very real, tangible comfort to be found in the small things. Fresh flowers. Market stalls offering produce in every color of the rainbow. Chocolate that has a distinct texture and flavor beyond the usual burst of sugar. These sort of curiosities are all around us; in our homes, yards, neighborhoods, and especially at Whole Foods!

6 comments:

  1. i think you would love to live in seattle after reading about this. you would love pike place market. not that i want you to move.. i want you to remain in suburbia right along side me, getting your "fresh market" fix at whole paycheck foods. :)

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  2. What year were you in Paris? I did study abroad there and then stayed for a few months with a friend. We'll have to chat about that sometime...Your post made me ache for Paris-I love that city! I think part of it was the time in my life, but I think I truly am a city girl at heart!

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  3. I lived in Paris from Sept-May in 97 and '98, and then for a couple of months Jan/Feb of 1999. I would love to get together and talk Paris!

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  4. Whole Paycheck Foods, HAHA!
    I gain a pound every time I read about food like this. Stop it. ;)

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  5. Forget Whole Foods. You need Wegmans. An entire cheese bar where you can try everything, fresh artisan breads you can watch them make (and they'll even teach you), the most beautiful produce and foods from all over the world. You can even get your inner granola fix b/c half the store is organic and made from cardboard. Opps I mean delicious quinoa and flax seed. Really you just need to move to DC.

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  6. Heather, maybe you should move here and open a Wegmans!

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