Thursday, August 27, 2009

A pantry in Rural Virginia with an International Grocery List

Truth be known, it's a deliciously bad habit:  arriving at a new destination, even an old destination, and craving to get into the sync or the drum of the local gourmet food shopper.  That's it; shopping with the locals, be it a small neighborhood market on Saturdays in Paris' Algerian area, a big grocery chain store in Milano, or walking down 3 blocks to my favorite Jardin grocery, Pão de Açúcar (sweet bread)....It is what it is. Awesome.
All I know, is that the growing pantry in my farmhouse in Rural Virginia is probably, well, I hate to say it....quite enviable.  Case in point, I had family visiting from Canada last week; the one and only  potential foodie was kidding..."oh wow... let me see...bold coffee beans from (of course) Brazil, French (salted) butter from Brittany, earthy olive oil from an agriturismo in Umbria,Italy, clean strong mustard from Paris (no, not Grey Poupon...Aroma.), anchovies from Argentina, paprika from Madrid, etc. etc. -I would love to have this in my kitchen, as would my Mom" she confides with a grin. I said," but as long as you take on TRAVEL with a vengeance, you can!!!! "
But that's my gift. That's what we GET out of flying all night long, with 200+ people for 9+ hours.  We get to grocery shop. And then bring it on home and cook with our prized harvest.  Sadly, every single 'stewardess' does not cook, but when we do - we can raise the bar on any menu! With our declining US $$,  It definitely beats buying a pair of sexy sandals for 135Euro. I'm not saying that doesn't ever happen, but this soaking up the local is right up there with taking photos of sunsets from the rooftop of Hotel Unique in Sampa, Brasil, after a Caiparoshka with Lychee, as your 'take home, or take away'..  
A home version, case in point, would be this photo of the groceries from my last MIlano trip, with the Kitchen Kitty Lacy - definitely more excited than I (maybe she knew I'd be home cooking for a few days). I was very sad, this was my last trip to Milano for a while.....and I had just received my frequent shopper card at Esselunga!!  Che peccato!


  1. I want to cook in your kitchen. I want to eat what you are eating.
    What a great blog. Cant wait till I see where you go next and what you eat.

  2. Great view, great food and great ideas... I enjoyed your article and hope you keep feeding us...

  3. Inspiring!
    I can travel the world of culinary delights, learn and understand cultures on your years of experience and travels!!!
    The intro was a mouthwatering appetizer. Looking forward to the next stop on the itinerary. Your 22+years of travelling this marvelous globe is sure to entice my tastebuds!!!

  4. Very intersting and you sound like a real foodie; wish I could get a look at that plantry.I am trying to find you entire blog wothout success.