Whenever I talk about good food in Memphis, I am frequently met with surprise—from natives and visitors alike. There’s plenty of great food here (and I’m not talking about barbecue right now), but it’s a “use it or lose it” situation.
There are plenty of other good things in Memphis too and the adage applies to them as well.
Case in point—last weekend I found a made-from-scratch cauliflower soup on a menu. It was rich, silky, and pure white, just as cauliflower soup should be. It’s one of my favorites, but I didn’t see many people ordering it.
What does it really matter? It means that the restaurant might decide to axe the soup from the menu. It might not be there on the next visit. Bummer for me and anyone else who prefers great soup to that which comes from a can (and yes, they make big cans of soups just for restaurants).
Choices you make matter—even when they seem inane. Even when ordering soup.
I spend a significant amount of time telling the stories of the people who produce our food, asking people to vote with their forks and dollars, and suggesting that they look for what’s local on menus and in stores. If I wanted to boil it down, I’m not really just talking about food. I’m suggesting that we all look for what’s really good—on a menu and all around our city. It’s here.
It would be so much easier to go with the flow, order the CAFO-produced, cheapest-meat-available burger, whine about what’s not here, or how good the food is somewhere else. Go ahead, lament that this is how it’s always been. Who, exactly, do you think is going to change things when you are ignoring the local, the delicious, the hardworking, and the innovative?
Change happens when you DO something. Griping doesn’t get much accomplished. Start with something manageable. Taking action can be as simple as ordering the cauliflower soup. Don’t kid yourself. That one action says volumes. You just voted with your fork…or in this case, a spoon.