I’ve been tempted to throw in the towel a couple of times this week as my food bills get bigger and bigger, and my treks in search of organic food seem increasingly Herculean. Another shopping trip to Veritas and I’ll be bankrupt. Can you believe one red pepper and one aubergine cost me €3.50.
That said I’m now happily in the rhythm of making my own bread – aided considerably by having learned the Arabic method in Morocco recently, which nicely sidesteps the endless kneading and pummelling I learned at my mother’s knee. It’s hard to say whether it’s the holiday or the organic food, but I’m definitely feeling sprightlier and friends say I have a glow of sorts. Possibly a tan.
One thing I have noticed is that on the odd occasion I do slip – eating out, being on holiday etc – is that anything processed is starting to taste of what it is: rubbish. Coming in to Girona airport last week I was ravenous and bought a sandwich from the shop instead of waiting until I got home. The processed turkey within tasted mainly of salt, the lettuce was withered and watery, and the bread fluffy and tasteless and after all this I was hungry again by the time I got to Barcelona. Back home I rustled up some organic Udon noodles in a bowl of Miso, dropped in a bit of torn up Nori seaweed and it got me though until morning.
The time had come to stop mucking around and get serious I realised. Which is when I finally got around to getting in touch with my local Xarxa Consum for more information about what they could provide. You’ll find a list of the closest consortiums to you here.
What I like about these guys is that you can choose what you are getting. After which you’ll need to get organised as deliveries of different products come in at certain times, and on certain days of the week. Unfortunately, I called the night before Sant Joan and since they were preparing for fiestas, there was no organic food to be had. I ended up at Biocenter (Pintor Fortuny 24, Raval) – a place that’s been around forever and that I’d long forgotten about – and got a decent head of lettuce, tomatoes and onions for my tea.
And so to a chap I know of who does box deliveries fresh from the farm. I can’t make the information public just yet as he’s in the process of doing the paperwork. But I can report that he’ll do me a half-box of seasonal, organic fruit and veg (about six kilos) for €18. Unfortunately I can’t get my hands on it until the middle of next week, but as soon as I do (and he’s all nice and official), I’ll report back.
In the meantime any other box schemes, good shops, market stalls etc, it would be great to start seeing them up here. And herbs, if anyone knows a good source for fresh herbs, I’d be eternally grateful. TS.