LETTER FROM THE EDITOR, FALL 2015
WE all have foods that we remember from years ago that we are 100% positive was the “best” ever. I’ve always wondered about how accurate these memories are!
This summer, I had the opportunity to find out.
I recalled having the “best” eggrolls at the flea market on Martha’s Vineyard when visiting asa young adult. Every Saturday, people would set up tables by the church in Chilmark and sell things. Most of it was out of the attic—actually it was more like a yard sale—but there was one woman who made and sold her own eggrolls. We waited in line to buy enough so that we could eat eggrolls all weekend. The funny part is, I have been the only one in my family who remembered them and was often told that it never happened.
This year my parents decided it was time for the family to visit the Vineyard again, so we returned after close to 30 years. We rented a house (owned by a cookbook writer) with an amazing kitchen, so we were able to shop and cook what was local. Our first stop was the farmers market. At the end of the first aisle I found Mrs. Kehn, the same Vietnamese woman, still selling her eggrolls! Now she has multiple people helping her but they were indeed her recipe. Guess what? They proved to be as good as I remembered them. The pleasure I got from this realization was huge. Mrs. Kehn’s pleasure in hearing my story may have equaled mine. Plus I got the satisfaction of an “I told you so!’ to the rest of my family!
I highly recommend staying in a house or apartment rather than a hotel when traveling. It enables you to interact with the “natives” and learn about their local food. On the Vineyard, my family’s obsession with great quality food was easy to feed. Buying from new farms including Green Egg Farm (owned by a friend-of-all-Edible publications, Susie Middleton); Morning Glory Farm, Grey Barn Farm, naming just a few, was so much fun. Roaming the farmers market, meeting up with fellow MA publisher, Ali Berlow of Edible Vineyard, just added to the trip’s pleasures.
We even added a new chapter to my father’s croissant adventures. After trying all the available croissants that were sold Up Island, we settled on the croissants sold at the Chilmark store. Pain D’Avignon brings bread over daily on the ferry and delivers to various stores on the island. Thanks to the great owner and staff at the Chilmark store, we walked in every morning and our package was waiting for us.
We even inspired Kate Warner, a year round island resident who has a bread CSA out of her house, to do a trial batch of croissants for us!
I returned to Boston just in time for the opening of the Boston Public Market. While I enjoyed my vacation, my first visit to the new market reminded me of how lucky I am to live in the Boston area. I now have a marketplace with local vendors that will be open year round!
Please do not neglect your local regular food producers but I do suggest you add the BPM to your shopping routine. If you’ve not gone yet, go and enjoy!