Having just returned from a long road trip through many chowish and some disappointing non-chowish meals, I've had a recurring thought about some of the menus I have seen.
Has every chef become a farmer? The words "Fresh" and "Local" and "Seasonal" popped up with great regularity, often without a shred of actual possibility of this being fact.
Case in point, desserts on one freshlocalseasonal menu promised Meyer Lemon Sorbet, Fresh Apple Tart, Blueberry-Peach Pie and something chocolate. OK, I'll give the chocolate a pass but the growing seasons for Meyer lemons, blueberries, peaches and apples do not coincide. Nor are the climate requirements the same, Florida grows lemons while colder states grow apples. Since the restaurant in question was in Kentucky, I was further confused.
Is this as widespread as I fear? A marketing ploy designed to curry favor following a current trend instead of actual fact?
When landlocked restaurants feature seabass, scallops etc. with the promise of "Fresh" and "Local" I am incensed. Yes, I understand that airfreight has changed the way we eat but how does that stay under the flag of "Local"? How is New Zealand rack of lamb "Local" in Texas? Or grapes from Chile served in Utah?
I really hate to feel like a hopeless cynic but this phenomenon is dimming my belief in truth.