Local produce has a limited season in some places. I'm all over farm stands and markets when they're up and running. But come May, I'm not above buying grocery store strawberries. I know what to expect.
This year, I thought, hmm...the California-trucked strawberries seemed a little better than usual. They tasted kind of like strawberries. Or at least something resembling strawberries. A few even had "actual strawberry flavor."
Today I bought cob corn shipped from Georgia. It's been years since I have tried supermarket corn. When I have, it's been tasteless and hard, like something a cow would eat. (No offense to any cows reading this.) We do have wonderful fresh local corn -- delicate, tender, sweet -- but not this early in the year. Something irrational came over me seeing the Georgia corn piled up and it seemed cheap enough to try out.
You know, it was not terrible. It was veritably corn-like. I'm sure it is a high-sugar variety, and yes, the taste of sweet comes through more strongly than the corn. Clearly the fresh local stuff has a better balance. But still, this corn could be eaten and produce a corn-like experience.
I won't pretend this is a scientific sample. Nor am I trying to overstate the case. I know, you prefer local produce. Yes, yes. But do you think that mass-market produce has improved at all, perhaps due to pressure from the foodie movement? Changes in growing practices or breeding?