People at the Park Slope Food Coop seem to speak another language. They toss around phrases like "Lacinato Kale" and "Dandelion root" and expect me to understand.
They know which farm their apples come from and even the name of the cow who supplied their grass-fed beef (why are they all named Elsie?).
My husband speaks their lingo and so does my best friend, Dori, but, until recently, I've felt ignorant and illiterate.
But, I'm pleased to say that starting to get the hang of it.
Yesterday, when I did my work shift at the coop, I tested out some of my newly acquired knowledge and tried to speak this foreign tongue. Amazingly, people seemed to understand me (or at least they acted like they did).
In fluent "foodie talk," I compared my homemade pesto recipe with a fellow co-op member.
Puree 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 garlic clove, 1/2 cup pine nuts, 2 cups fresh basil leaves, and salt and pepper to taste in a food processor until almost smooth.
Add 1/4 cup olive oil gradually, with the blades turning, scraping the side of the bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula to ensure that all of the mixture is incorporated.
Unfortunately, I couldn't brag because when I tried out this recipe on Sunday night, it didn't taste quite right -- even after Avo dutifully ran out to the back garden for more basil to add to the mix.
"It's better, but it's disappointing when your homemade pesto isn't as good as the kind you can buy at the store," he said.
"It's not surprising when the store you shop at is the Park Slope Food Coop!"
Even if my pesto didn't measure up, at least I can now tell the difference between basil and arugula. I just need to study up on the varieties of Kale.