Saturday, November 3, 2012

Food IS community

When we first moved to Oppenheim, our German neighbors would walk downtown almost daily to get fresh bread from the bakery, a cut of meat from the butcher or fresh vegetables from the market for the evening meal.  Meanwhile, our refrigerator was packed with groceries from the bimonthly trip to the commissary on base.  It didn't take us long to learn from the locals, and we began to frequent the bakery up the hill for crusty loaves of dark bread, the small tavern in the square for spiced Goulash soup and the food stand on the main drag that served spiced, roasted hanchen (chicken) and pomme frites, packed into a bag piping hot for the short bike ride home.

As an adult living in southeast Maine, I, too have access to an array of delicious, local markets and food artisans.  I made my weekly visit to the Portland Farmer's Market this cool, fall morning and wound my way through the stalls of autumn vegetables, winter squash, apples, cheese, sausage and yogurt.

The market just makes me happy.

So many people coming together to share fresh, local food.
Farmers and producers sharing their passion for growing and making clean, delicious food directly with the folks eating it.
A community connecting, overlapping, mingling and interacting.
No rushing or grumbling lines.
People stop to say hello and have a conversation or to listen to the guitar music or to chat with their farmer.

That's what food is about.  It's about community, from its source to the market, to the way you prepare it with care to share with those you love.

So no matter where you find your local food, whether it's at a market, a mom & pop store, a food cart or a bakery down the street, may you find the community connected to it.

That's food worth sharing.

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