September 10, 2009

A Whole Foods Triptych

1. The 80,000-square-foot Whole Foods flagship store on Sixth and Lamar now offers a Premium Salt and Pepper Bar, where you can dip your scoop into eighteen bins containing the world’s finest varieties of whole peppercorns and crystal salts. Alas, no Morton’s! Regrettably, because of the local ordinance prohibiting anyone not beautiful and hip from entering the store, I was not able to sample the salt and pepper myself, but had to be satisfied with a report from an emissary.

2. There’s a crush of people at a counter. Is it free samples of organic barbecue beef brisket, or pecan-crusted sea bass with remoulade sauce, or fudge nut cookies? No, it’s twenty-five Japanese supermarket professionals, men and women wearing translator headsets, snapping their camera shutters (despite the rule that you can’t take pictures inside the store (this is a genuine rule, not like the one in #1)) to memorialize the thirteen themed cafés, the dry-aging room for sides of grass-fed beef, the walk-in room-sized beer refrigerator, the fountain of liquid chocolate for strawberry-dipping, etc. etc. etc. They will bring the wisdom of the most advanced Occidental food purveyorship back to the Orient with them, and push it into the 2010's with the most unearthly, horrifying cuteness.

3. A carton of a dozen eggs ($6.99) from Massage Ranch, where the most unconstrained, freest-living pullets in Texas graze intensively in multiple-species pastures in accordance with the Salatin model, bears the sticker, “Laid 8/27.” Lucky eggs!

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