She waved the rockmelon in front of the man in the apron like it was a weapon. “Excuse me,” she said imperiously, “where is this from?”
The man in the apron, who looked well-used to dealing with questions delivered in this manner, smiled kindly at her and said, “Australia, madam”.
“Thank goodness,” she said, sweeping past me as if I was a carton of bruised apples. “As long as it’s not from Argentina or somewhere.”
I looked at the man in the apron and we shared a moment of amused complicity. Then I went and gathered up a bagful of illicit round beans – also from Australia – and put them in my basket with some olives from Greece and some lettuces from up the coast. Like Mrs Rockmelon, I try very hard not to buy any imported fruit and vegetables but it’s hard staying on the straight and narrow.
The beans we are buying at the moment are stupidly expensive and I hate to think when they were picked, but once you’ve tried them like this you’ll be buying them too. Unless, of course, you do live in Australia, in which case you are probably craving something grown somewhere else.
Green beans with butter
This isn’t really a recipe, more an admition of guilt. All you do is blanch some green beans (which you have diligently topped and tailed, if you are me, but not if you’re my husband), then drop a good tablespoon or so of unsalted butter into the pot. Let it melt and grind over lots of salt and pepper. Eat immediately. Use olive oil if you’re not eating these straight away because as lovely as butter is, it’s not so good when congealed.
Are you guilty of breaching the 100-mile barrier when it comes to food? What’s your favourite out-of-season treat?