Friday, August 21, 2009

The Gleat Galric Clisis

Is it just me, or has it become harder and harder to get decent garlic? Everywhere you go these days, its those white net tubes of garlic sent over from China, in slow-moving uninsulated cargo containers. Even if you don't see the tubes, chances are very good that the anonymous loose garlic you find in your local supermarket comes from our favorite 1.3 billion producers of low-cost products. The stuff has a nasty off aroma and if you actually eat it in little chunks as I am wont to do, you get this weird acidic aftertaste. It's just bad.

When my timing is just right, I get great local garlic at the various Farmers Markets. Very occasionally, a single head of garlic turns up in my CSA box, but that just doesn't even begin to cover my everyday garlic needs. Fortunately I have found two reliable sources of non-Chinese garlic. The regular (non-organic) garlic from FreshDirect comes from Mexico. (The "organic" stuff comes from Argentina, but I just don't know what that word means outside of the US. Even in the US it's starting to mean "Factory produced, ultra-pasteurized and shipped to you from far away.) The other place that has garlic with identifiable provenance is Trader Joe's, their organic garlic is clearly marked as a product of California.


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