I just realized that I am anti the traditional foodie. I don't know if I should be sad or happy about this. As I have been doing research on food styles and techniques I have found that I really do not care for "fresh" food. Organic food to me is something more then just not using pesticides. I would love to go visit here http://www.polyfacefarms.com/
this is the type of place that produces the type of food I admire. However, the more research that I do the more I discover that most "small" local farmers are not producing the product I crave. This is not to say they should stop, just that I personally prefer the aged local stuff. I also do not really like seasonal eating. The concept that we should only eat what is in season to me strikes me as short sighted. The preservation cooking techniques have been developed over centuries and produce flavors that simply are not found any other way. I do like local flavors, but to me local flavor is not what I got at the farmers market, but what grows in the soil without the help of humans. Why do farmers markets in AZ and OR both have tomatoes when I have never seen tomatoes in the wilderness of either area? The AZ farmers market also lack prickly pear fruit when at this time of the year you can stop your car along the road and pick some up? I think chiefs in America believe that a relationship with your local farmer is a plus. Unfortunately they do not know what this relationship should be. I want a local farmer who encourages the growth of edible plants that can only be found in the surrounding area.
I like food and items that can sit on the shelf for months and only get better. I like the tang of a sour-dough that has been alive as a starter for 100+ years. I love dried ground ingredients that with just a pinch can do what a whole pound of "fresh" ones can not. I like my food harvested in season and then packed in oil with the air removed. I crave just about anything that has been pickled. Dried jerky and fruit to me is better then fresh. Don't even get me started on cheese.
Food preservation gives me the ability to cook with consistency of quality that really is at the heart of how I like to make things. I have already stated that I don't really like the way recipes are presented as I think each meal should be unique.
Each time I make a dish I want it to be different then the last one. I want the change to be caused and understood by me. The only really consistent way to do this is to utilize base ingredients that have been brought to a consistent state.
Long live canned tomatoes!