Saturday, August 10, 2019

It's a small world after all...

Food for thought
We live in a world of foodies. Those who for
many reasons are consumed with consumption.
In the old days any credible edible was termed
"gourmet." Yet most Americans kept it simple
when in came to what was on their plate. Now
our hunger for new taste sensations has brought
the world to our grocery stores. There are even
services that will ship you carefully packaged
ingredients with instructions that insure any of
us can create the perfect meal. And suddenly,
anybody can be a master chef. And pride them-
selves on having adventurous and discerning
palates. Or at least think they do...
New and improved
It wasn't always that way. Until recently most
of America was meat and potatoes territory.
Twenty four years ago I made my first visit
to Lewistown, Montana. At that point our two
local grocers offered only the most basic of
fare. Which explains my now famous cheese
tale of a query for chèvre being countered
with "drive a Dodge Ram myself." Back then
you couldn't buy lamb chops but for a special
order. Nor were Brussel sprouts ready and
waiting in produce. Two decades later our
sole remaining grocer offer freshly made
sushi, bitter melon, and Montanan Wagyu.
Deep dive
Frankly I'm amazed at what we can get locally.
Strolling down the aisles you'll find all sorts of
exotica. However if I peruse fellow shopper's
carts all I find are piles of "pop" (soda to my
fellow NewYorkers), white sandwich bread,
and ground chuck. Leaving me to wonder just
who in town are truly kindred culinary spirits.
Knowing that demand fuels supply, somebody
is eating that new stuff. Yet it's still hard to get
some goodies. And often they come and go.
Hence our need to fill out special order cards
for Chinese black bean sauce, San Pellegrino
grapefruit soda, or a case of decent vino.
Out of the ordinary
When I first arrived in Lewistown - there was
no Mexican restaurant. Nor Chinese. Today
we have both AND a Thai eatery. Plus a Thai
food truck that often sells out. Shortly post my
first visit The Mint opened. Snce then it has
consistently dished out a bevy of quality food.
A year ago a local brewery also opened which
serves ahi and quinoa. Rumor us a new eatery
will soon open. One that will offer up a menu
featuring gourmet hot dogs? We can't omit our
national fast food options. McDonalds, KFC,
A&W, Subway, Pizza Hut, Taco Time, and the
new Burger King. Plus the local Dash Inn.
Home cookin'
Like most things American, Lewistown food
is still split along party lines. Or should I say
drive through lines. While there are always at
least six cars in McDonald's cue, chances are
there's lots of room at the Chinese downtown.
Where the most popular local menu choice is
sweet and sour pork. And when it comes to
steak, chicken fried is the favorite versus dry
aged. Thus finding a good meal continues to
be an evolutionary process. One that while it
has come a long way has quite a ways to go
to catch up with the world. Yet something tells
me there is a local appetite for just that! YUM!