Field of Science

Let's get fresh.

With respect to food, does fresh mean anything any more? Even air is fresh, and if it isn't we have air freshener! Are the 2 week old eggs in my fridge fresh? Are those mangos "fresh from Mexico?" Clearly refrigeration and more rapid transportation have changed the meaning of fresh. It used to be simple, if you took the egg out of the nest that morning and picked a mango from its tree on the way to the house, they were fresh. Beans out of the garden are fresh; beans at the store are not. Mangos from Mexico are not fresh, but if being a localvore (spelling? or is it locovore?) means not having mangos every now and again here in Lincolnland, then count me out. And then there are somethings that absolutely must be fresh like sweet corn. My Father wouldn't even pick it unless the water were already boiling. The new stay-sweet varieties allow even local farm producers prolong "fresh" and it still troubles me deeply to pick up a "fresh" ear at the local farm stand and feel how cold it is.

Why fresh is as bad now as "home-made". There was a time when home-made meant cooking or making something from scratch. But for all too many people it means taking it out of the box, stirring in water, baking it, and calling it "fresh, home-made cake". The mix had only been in the cupboard for a couple of months, and before then in the store, and then in some warehouse.

So let's just ban fresh unless followed by the word "picked" meaning about 20 minutes ago.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Locavore; a locovore would be someone who's just crazy about eating.

Fresh has been becoming less so for some time. My husband's family used to be fishermen in southern California. That "fresh" tuna they poled (and later seined) sat on ice for weeks and weeks, until the boat couldn't hold anymore. Only then did they return to shore.