Thursday, June 10, 2010 Faux Farm Stands

The other day, while searching for strawberries, we stopped at a local farm stand. I won’t say the name, I don’t want to give anyone bad press, but let’s just say I was tres unimpressed.

They had 4 quarts of strawberries and they didn’t look good. Strawberries that ain’t shiny are only good for the compost pile. And when you touched them a million fruit flies flew forth. Ick. Didn’t buy them.

Not wanting to leave without giving the farmer some of my husbands hard earned money I quickly looked around for something else I might want. I found it in the freezer, of course. Gelato. Panna Cotta gelato to be exact.

I love gelato. I love Panna Cotta gelato. I was lucky enough to have it once at Gelatissimo in New Canaan. Indescribably delicious. Not vanilla, just cream. Sweet frozen cream. What’s not to like.

Now, I’ve been making ice cream from scratch for a little while now. I think it was two Christmases ago when I got the ice cream maker, and I haven’t really been using it consistently until recently. But I happen to know that gelato basically consists of milk, cream, sugar and eggs.

Not this “gelato” I got at the “farm stand.” Both in quotes because both distinctions are very much in question.

Milk, Sugar, Cream, Vegetable Oil, Dextrose, Glucose Syrup, Mono and Diglycerides, Stabilizers, Locust Bean Gum, Carboxy Methyl Cellulose, Maltodextrin, Natural Flavors.

To compound this, upon further inspection, the label actually read Panna Cotta (Crème Brulee). Cooked cream or burnt cream, it apparently didn’t make a difference to this company. But when I opened the pint to reveal a faux burnt sugar swirl I was severely disappointed.

Anyway…why the hell is this at a farm stand? I usually assume things at farm stands have SOMETHING to do with a farm. This stuff wasn’t locally made, handmade, naturally made, made old style, nothin’. The label says it was made in Wallingford. Whoop-de-do.

The moral? Know what you’re buying. Stick with the farmers markets. Or lower your standards so you’re never disappointed.

Ultimately, what’s most important, is that we all become more educated about our food.

And I’m educated enough to make my own Panna Cotta Gelato, thank you. So I will.

Bang on, my peeps!



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