Aug 11, 2017

Calling Georgia O'Keeffe: Kapelu


A trip to the outdoor French market has the potential to be not just more fun than a trip to the supermarket, but much funnier, too. Here are some tomatoes that are saucy even when they're raw. And how very raw they are.

I don't think I need to explain these tomatoes. They really speak for themselves. Hey, somebody call Georgia O'Keefe and tell her I've got a tomato for her!

One of our favorite aspects of natural -- that is to say wacky and irregular -- fruits and vegetables is the baby bell pepper phenomenon. We love cutting into a pepper and finding one (or more!) baby peppers inside. The very, very best is when you shake the pepper and the baby inside shakes free, and you realize you've got a pepper rattle.

The babies are the most prized part of any pepper in our household, and when they're very long and skinny, we call them pepper worms. 

These carrots look like cartoon characters, ready to run away.

It's just OK with us if our carrots are deformed, malformed, unusually-formed. Don't adjust the color on your computer. These carrots really are a sort of reddish-rose.

As with people, when fruits and veggies are allowed to be themselves, without all the worry about conforming to some idealized standards, there's a lot of beauty to be found in the diversity.


I wrote this in a previous post a long time ago, in which I waxed rhapsodic about the beauty of fresh market fruits and veggies, but it bears repeating: each time I see funny-shaped veg, I recall the book This Other Eden, by Ben Elton which imagines a dystopian near-future in which produce all looks perfect but has no taste. This may sound familiar to you, depending on your supermarket. Eventually, the protagonists happen upon old-fashioned vegetables which are ugly, amusingly-shaped, irregular, and packed full of flavor: "The meal was a sensation. Never had they imagined such carrotyness or potatoeyness..."


Kapelu is a farmhouse goat cheese made from raw goats' milk in the Pays Basque, specifically at the Ferme Elgarrekin. There are about 40 goats in the herd, with babies born each year around mid-February. The mothers produce milk until mid-November. Like most goat cheeses, this is only really to be found in the spring, summer, and fall, because it is only aged a few weeks and can't survive into the non-milking season.

Kapelu is an ashed cheese, absolutely creamy and luscious on the inside (but eat the crust, by all means!). It's salty, buttery, floral, grassy, tangy, and tastes of hay; in short, it's everything you could hope for in a goat cheese.


Kapelu, a cheese that looks like a slightly shriveled, saggy boob serves as a good reminder that delicious, natural, fresh foods are usually not perfectly shaped and colored -- the stuff we usually get in American supermarkets. It's good to remember that food can be funny colored, funny shaped, or just plain funny.

And while we're speaking about funny photos, the goats at the Elgarrekin farm seem to have a pretty good life there, from the pictures on their website. I have to show you this as it may just be one of the greatest Frenchest funniest cheese photographs I've ever seen; I'm only sorry I didn't take it myself.

photo from: http://earl-elgarrekin.allcommerces.com/124-nos-fromages.html


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