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The perfect peach...

Lynda Brown - 12 September 2013

I’m currently eating a very special peach; special not just because it is exquisitely perfumed with a silky soft skin which peels off effortlessly, flesh that melts like butter, and a flavour that defies description; nor just because it is indeed perfect – not a blemish to be seen, and allowed to ripen to perfection; but because of how I came upon it. You see, I’ve just got back from a brief tango-cum-sightseeing tour of Parma – organized by my tango teacher, Sandra Monticelli who comes from Parma – staying in the foothills and eating in local restaurants (and yes, it was everything a tango foodie could wish for).

Market stall with peaches

A day out in the surrounding Apennine mountains found us roaming around a village which that day happened to have a small market. I spied the magic words, “agricola biologica” on one stall, and headed off. Agricolaleoni grow and sell their own organic fruit, fruit juices, preserves and honey. A modest artisan operation , maybe, but I tell you, I have never seen quality to match. They spoke no English (and sadly I “no parlo italiano”) but probably because I was grinning from ear to ear, understood that I recognized the significance of their organic status. The next thing I knew they had picked out a gigantic nectarine and gave it to me; nor, no matter how hard I tried, would they let me pay for my fruit, including those peaches.

Aricola biologica sign

It wasn’t the only act of spontaneous generosity I experienced during my brief stay, but it is one I shall cherish. And because I can’t help doing so, it got me thinking about our food system generally and the differences between the industrialized brand driven BOGOF food system dominated by supermarkets we seem addicted to, and true agri-culture. Because I didn’t just buy an organic peach, I bought a piece of happiness called humanity. No guesses which sort of agriculture I believe enriches us and which does not. And though I haven’t read it, I’m pretty sure Colin Tudge’s recent book, Why genes are not selfish and people are nice, will have exactly the same effect.

Tango class

 

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Comments



Cristiana Menichelli
12 September 2013 23:50

Hi Lynda,I am a brazilian journalist working on a piece about pickles. I've got your The Preserving Book and would like to know if I could ask you some questions on the subject. I'll give you my email: cristiana.menichelli@gmail.comSincerely, Cristiana

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