Simple Food, Vibrant Flavors

As my diet has changed over to more and more straight-from-the-farm food, I’ve been amazed at all the different flavors that I’ve been discovering.  I’ve always tried to eat well, but in letting go of processed food, I’ve realized how the primary taste in that kind of food is of salt and sugar.  A lot of salt and sugar.  Both of which are really enhancers, useful in moderation to bring out other flavors.  But the American diet is so full of sugar and salt that many people have become so dependent on these two substances that they have forgotten the vast array of the many different flavors of simple, unadulterated food.

And are they ever missing something!  When we eat fresh food, not only do we savor the subtle flavors both in taste and smell, I think we eat slower and perhaps less.  I’ve noticed that very sweet or salty food is easy to gulp down–we want more and more of that sensation on our tongues.  But ultimately it’s not fully satisfying.  In fact, when I eat too much sugar, I feel downright sick.   And when we’re used to the sweet/salty taste of processed food, we don’t try new tastes, especially with vegetables and herbs.  Walking through a farmers’ market is a feast for the eyes and for our palates.

I recently discovered how much I like raw kale as a salad with olive oil and salt.






My husband has avoided radishes all his life until he had a taste of these beauties from the Galin-Flory Farms stand at the Cedar Mill Farmers Market last summer.  Now, I’m happy to say, they appear often in our salads.

And those are common vegetables.  How about trying daikon, raab, maitake mushrooms, shallots, turnips, green garlic, joi choi, fennel, parsnips, and the choices go on and on.  Or, if you’re a meat eater, try venison, elk, or lamb.  I’ve seen duck eggs and huge turkey eggs as well. Don’t know how to cook these new foods?  Try the recipe section on the Portland Farmers Market site.  We are lucky to have so many farms growing such a variety of food in our area.  Let’s go out and explore our markets.  Let me know what you discover!

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6 Responses to Simple Food, Vibrant Flavors

  1. John Thomas says:

    Great post Lorraine. It is amazing to me how fresh local farm food is the best kept secret. We are exceedingly lucky to have so many fabulpous small organic local farms all around us in the Portland area. And you forgot to mention all the fantastic fresh cheeses — cow, goat, sheep milk cheeses. Ancient Heritage sheep cheese is off-the-charts fabulous. And all the other treats, like Olympic Provisions sausages, made right here in Portland! Their Rioja chorizo sausage is as good as any I’ve had in Spain… and that is saying a lot!

  2. lorrainemt says:

    You’re so right about the fabulous cheeses and sausages! I guess I was sticking to completely unprocessed food in this post. But hey, why limit things when we have such amazing choices at the markets. And speaking of Ancient Heritage cheese…I’ve got a hankering for some right about now. 🙂

  3. Justine says:

    Thanks for coming by, Lorraine! I love this, too … when I’m eating fresh from the farm, I remember how much I really love the taste of raw, unadulterated vegetables. My picky daughter ate a RADISH today. I was flabbergasted … and yet not. 🙂

    Love the Portland farmer’s market! I was there many years ago, early on in my love affair with local eating … and I hope to return again some day!

  4. lorrainemt says:

    Oh, I love hearing that your daughter unexpectedly ate a radish! There’s something so irresistible about veggies from the farm. And I hope you do get a chance to come back to Portland and go to the market. It’s probably grown a lot since you’ve been here.

  5. skthomas09 says:

    Do you think Dad could mail some of the chorizo up here??

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