I am back in Palo Alto, California for reunion and I hardly have time to think about food. But, in the course of my travels, I have come across some of the most beautiful grocery stores ever.
I have never been to Italy. But I have been to France. In these places, people care deeply about food in a way most Americans don't seem to. However, here in Palo Alto, these are my people. I watched in the stores how twenty something men would converse over the quality of fruit. Or how professorial types moved about with one meal's carefully chosen foods in a basket. I saw others asking questions about cheese, and the butcher explaining a fine point or two to some prospective buyers. I saw bakers, hatted in white, displaying desserts for the evening's customers. Even the checkers would comment on the items in my basket, like a Sommelier complementing my choice of wines.
I enjoyed this throng of like minded people. The beautiful displays of foods engendered conversations all around the store. Many people had phones to their ears, checking with companions elsewhere about what to purchase. These were not just grocery lists. They were menus that were being executed. Several were doing what I had been doing earlier in the day, holding a phone out in front sending a live video to another who would look over the wares and voice their preferences.
There were thoughtful conversations here and there, but at the same time, the group had a bit of hustle and bustle as if they all had somewhere to get to. People were expecting them. Within the hour, so many well considered tables would be set.
This would be my wish for every one on this evening of travel. The food you buy and the place you buy it should mean something. Moreover your dinners should be special in some way. Finally, do what you can to have special dinners with special people, in a special place.