My friend Jola sent over a link to this New York Times article on Brooklyn’s “new culinary movement,” and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it. The comparisons of the borough to Berkeley in the ’70s, the references to anticorporate, handmade goods, and a do-it-yourself aesthetic—all ideas that make this child of ex-hippies feel warm and fuzzy inside. I’m a big fan of many of the products, artisans, and stores mentioned; to borrow the lingo of my parents’ generation, I really dig that whole communal vibe as presented here by the Times.
Still, as stimulating as it was to read about a bunch of people excited about food and making a living from something they feel passionate about, there were a few off-putting moments. I mean, really, Gabrielle Langholtz? Everyone you pass has thought about joining a raw milk club? Or has tried/wants to try to make ricotta? While I’m sure this may be true for a small circle of upscale Brooklynites, this is the type of blanket statement sure to turn off people who may otherwise be receptive to the local, sustainable cause. It made me roll my eyes, and I’m already a convert.
I don’t take issue with the concepts themselves, by any means; if nothing else, the article gave me hope for (ahem) my own small-batch specialty food production pipe dreams. But I’d love to see these artisans dig even deeper, and, for instance, introduce a foodie-outreach program to bring these products to a previously untapped demographic. I would bet they’d be successful on their own merits—no preaching necessary.