Monday, May 22, 2006

Takin' It Easy at Central Market

I went to Central Market Saturday afternoon. Central Market describes itself as a destination, fresh market for people who are passionate about food. That’s an accurate description, and in addition, I would add, Central Market is a happenin’ sort of place. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays there’s live music, and Saturday as I made my way through the crowded aisles of the store, looking for vine-ripened tomatoes, broccolini, and croissants, among other things, there was a guy playing guitar and singing old Eagles songs in the background (a balcony performance): Take it easy, take it easy,Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy...

Last month, when a friend of mine flew in from Denver for a few days, I took her to IKEA in the morning, and then in early afternoon we went to Central Market, where in lieu of lunch, we grazed our way through the store, finally sitting down in CM’s CafĂ© on the Run, where we purchased excellent Paciugo gelatos (she had rosewater, I had chocolate mocha), for dessert.

But Saturday I was in a hurry, and in no mood to spend any more time than necessary at Central Market. I just wanted to get in and out, as quickly as possible, but I’d picked the wrong day to shop. As I hurried through the store, looking at the almost bewildering assortment of food available, I realized it was a madhouse: in addition to the live music, almost every aisle had a food demo set up, and customers crowded around the displays to sample chips and salsa, toasted muffins with Irish butter, hot fudge sauce on vanilla ice cream, and even wine and cheese, to name a few of the products that were being offered.

I found myself feeling frustrated and impatient as I tried to negotiate my cart around the plethora of young couples with children in carts and rather large, elderly women, who seemed to make up the majority of the Saturday shopping crowd, all moving s l o w l y through the narrow aisles. To further slow things down, the market seemed to be flooded with patrons who wanted to know, and were taking the time to ask, the produce clerks, deli clerks, wine clerks, butchers, etc., a variety of philosophical questions about food that required long-winded answers that further tried my patience.

Just as I was at the point of losing my good mood altogether, I saw a big display of avocados...once known as alligator pears...and I suddenly remembered the first time I ever tasted an avocado. I was 19, and it tasted so good...so delicious and wonderful and exotic, to me...that I wondered what else I’d been missing up until then. Shortly thereafter, I set out to find out, and I’ve had an interesting love affair with food ever since.
That recollection snapped things into perspective for me. What’s the hurry? Where’s the fire?...not at my house, I hope...

I turned my cart around, and found the line to sample the hot fudge sauce, where I queued up behind some young couples with children in carts and a number of rather large elderly women...(of whom I realize, should I keep sampling things like hot fudge sauce at Central Market, I’m eventually in danger of becoming one myself)...

It was delicious, and well worth the wait.

4 comments:

Lisa :-] said...

That sounds like a place I would gladly spend an hour or two on a Saturday. I have a passion for really nice food markets.

Hot fudge sauce? Yum...

Melissa said...

I'm so glad that you "got" the message being sent to you by the universe which was, "slow down, drink in the moment". I'm not good at that myself, but I've found that when I listen and do as instructed little blessings abound. Is hot fudge sauce a blessing? You bet your sweet bippy it is!

Tammy said...

I wish they had great places like that where I live. The Eagles?...cool :) Hot fudge sauce too? We eat alvacados with everything, they are the best!

HUGS

TJ said...

We are huge avocado fans, Guacamole sandwiches, salads, dips etc. We never have a huge selection...not even at the Farmers market.
Lucky Lucky you....and since I quit smoking The hot fufdge thag is outta control!
Day 4 and you would think I have struggled or months...
Love ya,
TJ