Here is an article I wrote that was published in the Santa Fe New Mexican yesterday.
An American Cook in Europe #2
by Christopher J Kolon
for the Santa Fe New Mexican
Wandering into the produce section of an American supermarket is like entering a virtual reality world. The real world, along with any acknowledgement of date or place, is left at the front door.
Watermelon in January? Asparagus in September? Why not? Grapes and cherries shipped 7,000 miles to the high desert. Who cares?
And everywhere there is the stunning perfection of the fruit and vegetables: hefty, purple eggplants; fist-sized, bright red tomatoes; enormous romaine; petite haricot verts; perfect peaches and plums. The list goes on and on.
Not so here. The produce section in the average Austrian supermarket is more a reflection of the season and the locality.
Don’t get me wrong. There are places here where you can buy out of season produce: big supermarkets almost indistinguishable from those in the States. There, in February, you can buy peaches from South Africa, strawberries from Egypt, avocados from Israel, and, yes, grapes from Chile.
But these markets are uncommon and, for us, prohibitively expensive.