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Eating Local or Tasting Paradise

(post, Trista Cornelius)


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It's impossible for me to be veganish (I still eat eggs) AND local AND seasonal.  However, I try.  July through October is pretty easy, but the rest of the year, I depend on all kinds of grains, beans, and seeds grown elsewhere.  I love our local food...tomatoes and blueberries from the garden especially...and the bountiful months.  

However, in the last few days, I've tasted paradise, and it's made me realize that I could never be a 100% locavore.  In the PNW, I've savored papaya and mango and devoured avocados.  In Februrary, I ate two pommellos, adoring each juicy bite, patient with the time it took to peel each one.  I knew these things came from afar, that I shouldn't make them staples, and never take them for granted.  

Now, I am in the homeland of some of my favorite foods.  Here, right now, from the window, I can see THREE AVOCADO TREES!!!!  The fat, fat avocados drop right off the tree, each "Crash!" sounding like a dinner bell to me.  Our host left a huge avocado on a chair by the door for me this morning.  

At the local grocery store, I bought vegan lilikoi (passionfruit) sorbet along with three small mangoes full of vibrant orange flesh and only a small seed.  Best of all...I bought dragonfruit.  Can you believe it?  Just to have, on a breakfast plate, something called dragonfruit!  The name adds to the adventure of eating this amazing thing...the outside covered in soft dragon-like armor.  The inside vibrant purple, although they also come in white, with seeds and texture like a kiwi, but a taste like, well, subtle grape meets sweet strawberry meets something distinctly dragonfruity!  The juice stains my hands and lips as deeply as beet juice.  My man and I pucker our dragonfruited lips at each other, trying to outdo the other's luster.  

I don't know if dragonfruit is sold in the PNW.  I know if it is, it's traveled far, consumed gas and emitted polution, but I know I'd buy one or two.  I'd be frugal, but I'd be grateful for the chance to try something from paradise.  It's not every day generous friends offer a place to stay among avocaodos, coconuts, lilikoi, and so many other luscious fruits I have yet to try.  I want to tread as lightly as possible on this earth, and yet, I am grateful for the technology that brings papaya to the PNW, even though I am also well aware of the downside of that same technology and of my own desire for adventure through food and eagerness to taste new things. 

I'll return to that dilemma again.  For now, I'm termporary local, temporarily within reach of edible paradise.  Two farmers' market visits loom in my future, as well as a visit to a permaculture farm, and even the local market!