Wednesday, September 5, 2007
I wish they all could be California fruits.
I am not as well traveled as I would like to be. In this fine country I call home, I've been to Massachussetts, New York, Florida, Georgia (just the airport), Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Utah (again, the airport), Iowa and Nebraska. I've traveled to Hawai'i, Canada, Mexico, and the Bahamas. I lived in Seattle, Washington briefly as a child and in Southern California since I was five. Everywhere I have gone, I have sampled the cuisine the region was known for. I consider it a culinary sin to do anything less on vacation.
The papaya in Hawai'i is better than anywhere else in the world. The baked crab I had in the Bahamas could not have sweeter. The grouper in Florida is tops for grilled fish (especially with a Margarita), and call me super-satisfied at a good Vegas buffet. Shredded meat wrapped in corn tortillas on the waterfront in Playa del Carmen, Mexico is paradise plated. But nothing rivals California avocadoes. Sorry, rest of the world.
I am not going to give you another guacamole recipe. You already know they make a healthy substiture for mayonnaise on a sandwich. And I'm sure you know by now how expensive they are, and for good reason.
I just want to tell you something more important about avocadoes. The best way to eat the avocado is simply. Scoop it, slice it, and squeeze on top if it only fresh lemon juice and sea salt. That's it - I'm totally serious.
I've been to Napa, Sonoma, Healdsburg and sampled wine country cuisine (and wine, of course!)in depth. I've eaten at the seaside places in Malibu. I've eaten hot dogs from the most notorious and oldest establishments in L.A. And I've had cocktails and steaks at fancy-schmancy restaurants in San Francisco. And nothing else in California rivals the avocado.
Find yourself here eating one, simply.
And when I do get to the rest of the world (I'm thinking Europe, namely, the Mediterranean countries), the only time I will stop eating is to write about the food of the region.
But as a California Girl, born here, raised here, I'll always come home to the avocado. Nothing rivals a simple comfort.