Thursday, November 08, 2007
This episode of VeganMoFo is brought to you by the letters "B" & "C". Let me start at the beginning. As any regular readers of my blog know, I'm a devoted fan of produce, and a hopeless farmers market addict. I can't pass by a market without taking a peek, and the Union Square green market is no exception. It's one of the first markets I remember going to when I moved to New York City after graduation, got a job, and had to start cooking for myself.
I used to work on 17th street, and so every morning I would come out of the Union Square subway station. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, this meant I would get to walk through the market on my way to work. I loved doing this. Depending on the season, I'd catch a whiff of hot apple cider or fresh berry pies, pine wreaths or herbs, delicious bread or heirloom tomatoes. I'd sample little tastes of this or that, and then spend all day at work plotting what I would buy on the way home from work. When I'd get out of work, much of the produce would be discounted as the market began to close down, and this is when I'd score $1 bags of apples, peppers, onions, or potatoes. This market is what allowed me to first try my hand at growing herbs at home (remember that summer when "infused teas" were all the rage? I bought lemong verbana with the sole aim of making infused tea with it). This is where I first (inadvertantly!) bought an $8 loaf of bread one Thanksgiving.
So this past weekend, during my trip to the city, it was only natural that I would go to the market, like a pilgrim drawn to the holy grail. And, as usual, I had my trusty little camera in my pocket, ready to grab as photographic inspiration struck.
But I noticed something odd, and more than a little discomfiting. Why had I never noticed this before? EVERYone at the market had cameras. We were all leaning in at uncomfortable angles, taking macro shots of the produce. The sellers looked at us wearily. We were fetishizing their produce and turning it into food porn instead of actually... buying and eating it!*
Seriously, when did this happen? When did the whole world become food bloggers? When did we all start whipping out our cameras at farmers markets, supermarkets, picnics, restaurants, the dinner table? Is something horribly wrong?
Do those other people have cooler blogs than me? Oh my gosh, do I read their blogs? Do they... read mine? Is food blogging so over? Is food porn the new laserdisc?
Are my friends and family laughing at me behind my back?
But... the produce is so beautiful and compelling, darnit. I'm just not ready to stop photographing it yet. And, neither are all those other fellow travelers, crowding the market, ducking furtively here and there, trying to capture the perfect shot, that perfect balance of food as sustenance and food as art.
*I did buy some things:
I mean, it's arguably the best in the world? Who could resist? (I will report on the veracity of this claim once I try the garlic out)
And, the BEST thing ever. This "Tart Cherry Stomp" from Red Jacket Orchards. It's ironic that they are located in Geneva, NY, a town very close to me, but I had to go all the way to NYC to try their awesome juices. This tart cherry / apple blend maintains the pucker-inducing integrity of sour cherries, combined with the delicious flavor of apple cider. If you are anywhere near Union Square, you HAVE to find this juice and try it. My friend Tony described it, very accurately, as tasting like a mixture of apple cider and pomegranate juice- with a unique twist. Seriously. Try this stuff. You will not regret it.
So, this episode of VeganMoFo was brought to you by the letters "B"logger and "C"liché. Has this ever happened to any of you guys? Do you ever get food blogging/food porn angst? What do you think? Has food blogging reached critical mass? Is that a good thing?