What's your food

love language?

Why quality matters.

I'm fortunate to work in food and have some of the most amazing food producers, chefs, and makers in my personal and business networks.  This means I have access to folks who are passionate about the food they produce and are excited and ready to share that passion and knowledge with me. More importantly, it means I KNOW all the quality food there is to have in Austin, and I know where to go to find it. 

Years after we met, Aidan confessed to me that he initially was terrified to take me to a restaurant because I was accustomed to 'really fancy' food.  (I think today he would probably rephrase and use a different description, but I think you get the picture.  I was very accustomed to great food. Great=quality, fresh, and prepared well.)  

I tried over the next year to demonstrate that it wasn't that I was a food snob or high maintenance. I simply knew how and where to find quality food, and just as importantly, knew that quality counts in a big way when it comes to food and its flavor.  But Aidan still wasn't sold on buying food that he thought wasn't worth what he conceived as much higher price point.  At the time we weren't living together, so we didn't share food budgets.  We came to an understanding, I would purchase and stock the food in my house that was important to me, and he could choose the foods he wanted for his house. We weren't spending enough nights together for it to matter much, and I just made sure to eat dinner before I showed up at his place, or else I would be stuck with his nightly dinner of conventional chicken, broccoli, and rice. 

It became more complicated when we did move in together. Our conflicting ideals on food required a compromise. We decided that I would buy all the food that was important to me to procure locally and fresh at the farmer's market each week, and he would "fill in the blanks" at the grocery store.  

Aidan's shift in how he felt about food was almost immediate.  He, of course, had experienced all sorts of delicious locally produced food at my house, but this was the first time he was getting it every day. The fresh tomatoes and goat's milk feta from Pure Luck quickly became his go to. If you're a frequent market goer, you know that there are certain hot tickets that folks line up for because they go fast: and at the top of that list are the heirloom tomatoes and Texas strawberries. My formerly food disgruntled partner was all of a sudden pushing me out the door at 9am to make it to the market early, and then strategizing how to divide and conquer to get the hot items. Each week when we visited Smith + Smith Farms, he was anxious to see if they had the special peppered bacon, with plans to stock up (because we all know Colby and his family eat all they can first, then only sell what's left!). He even started buying his cold brew coffee for the week at the market.  

Quality matters when it comes to food, and for most folks that argue otherwise, I'll stand to bet they haven't had the opportunity to taste test a farm fresh organic tomato next to a conventional tomato grown halfway around the world. We joke that I've 'ruined' so many foods for Aidan. From honey, to every kind of cheese out there, to olive oil, balsamic vinegars, chicken, tomatoes...the list grows longer each year. 

Of course, locally and organically produced food isn't available to everyone.  Supply, access, affordability...theres a long list of reasons why so many aren't near as fortunate as we are.  (Plus, many don't think about that lots of folks don't know how to cook fresh food! Imagine being given a brussel sprout but not knowing how to cook it. I wouldn't choose them then either!) We will spend more time on this issue later, but Austin has some great non profits dedicated to ensuring more have access to fresh and healthy foods: Farmshare Austin, the Sustainable Food Center, the Green Corn Project, and so many more. (Check Edible Austin for a longer list!) But it IS an option for so many that choose otherwise.

So, what's my food love language? Quality. And I think you find quality lies in foods that are produced locally and fresh by small producers. And often by choosing these local producers you are also choosing the most organic and sustainably produced options as well. 

So if quality is your food love language, tell me--what foods have been 'ruined' for you that you cant imagine buying mass produced or not local or organic? And for those of you who aren't there yet, may I challenge you this spring to visit your local farmers market and just try a few items fresh? Report back. Tell me what you find.  

Here at Two Hives we carry these values into our beekeeping practices and every jar of honey we produce. I'm on a mission to "ruin" honey for each and every one of you.  And for those already 'ruined' or looking to get 'ruined', please check out our latest honey and sensory class--Im excited to announce you can tune in from anywhere in the US for this one.   

For the bees,
Tara Dawn

Is honey your favorite love language? Keep reading!
We have a very special class coming up in time for Valentine's Day to help you explore your love of honey. And I'm excited to report-we've worked hard to make this one available to anyone in the continental U.S!

We have partnered with Casero Austin to bring you a gorgeous cheese board built for 2 (or more!), with 5 cheeses + accompaniments. Your kit will also include 3 full size jars of our favorite honeys.   Then tune in Feb 12 with Celia for your own special honey and cheese sensory class! Portions are perfect for a meal for two or a great snack for 4 or more! Grab your favorite honey loving friends and join us.  We can ship anywhere in the continental US, or you can chose local delivery or free pickup. 
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