Part of the “Moving toward local eating” series
When you’re trying to source your food locally, some substitutions are simple and easy. For example, I was able to buy Michigan potatoes instead of Idaho potatoes, Michigan-grown and -processed canned beans for far-away canned beans.
Then there were other things that had no direct local substitutes. Chocolate and coffee might be prepared locally, but they don’t grow here. Then again, they don’t make up that much of our diet, so I don’t worry about them too much.
For other things, I started to ask myself what it was about each food I enjoyed, and started looking for local substitutes. Some of them were pretty easy to see (subbing peaches for mangoes), and some were really odd (subbing refried beans for cheese in quesadillas – but the creamy texture is what I was looking for, so that worked).
Some involved foods that don’t taste anything alike – for example, we now sub fresh snow peas for carrots in lunches. The point of the carrot is that it’s juicy and crunchy and easy to throw in with a sandwich…not so much its essential carrot-ness. So a handful of snow peas are juicy and crunchy and easy to throw in with a sandwich for lunch – and also happen to be made of pure awesome, so much so that we’d skip the carrots for lunch completely if we could grow enough snow peas!