Fine article in the Times magazine yesterday about an Iowa couple making a prosciutto that, according to chefs, is every bit as good as the stuff coming out of Parma. But what caught my attention was the intelligence of the guy who started La Quercia, Herb Eckhouse, a former Des Moines seed-company executive who started the company in order planned to do something good with his early retirement.
“It was clear that we had this incredible bounty around us, but we weren’t known for creating great stuff to eat.”
–Bounty, the sheer bounty of our land, our climate, all that we might do, and look what we have done.
“At the beginning of the 20th century, Iowa fed people. And here we are in the 21st century, and we’re feeding machines. It’s just a priori wrong.”
–Corn, one of our main food crops, you can't eat it–it's got to be machine processed first. Can it be said enough? No. The word is Wrong.
“One of the things in the U.S. is we don’t have the thousands of years of tradition of making prosciutto — or of making anything,”
–Of making anything. Which is why we've so trashed our food.
“You see that the quality of the meat comes from the quality of life of the animal and the quality of the feed”
–Also can't be said enough: the quality of the life of the animal determines the quality of the meat. Why isn't this obvious to the people who raise our livestock?
I really like this guy.
There's a good video of Jill Santopietro making eggs in purgatory, the recipe accompanying the story, in her purgatory-sized kitchen. Note her affinity for salt and fat!