Let’s argue with the calendar: The summer mindset has kicked in. It’s as if everyone turned on his grill at the same time. Wonderful smells waft thru the neighborhoods and the stores are filled with an air of excitement–everyone’s asking what are you doing this weekend?
No, we are not forgetting that this is an important Holiday; patriotic spirit does fill the air, but it competes with the earthy smells of relaxation. There’s something soothing about the first foods of the season: Strawberries are so delicious at this time of the year–they make you question why you ever buy them out of season. Maybe we should take the winter frozen strawberry pledge–they have to be tastier than the plastic container version. Sign me up.
These jus’-picked beauties symbolize summer about as well as any other food. Sure, I’ve seen beautiful stalks of asparagus and great mushrooms, but strawberries say it so sweetly: It’s summer.
Maybe there are a few other signs besides the grills being fired up and the foods of the season emerging on every street corner.
People are out on the streets again, in stores, looking like they are ready to rejoin the universe. All the gloom of winter has been peeled off. They’re ready to eat, to indulge.
I saw a small sandwich shop list its daily specials and include tuna sliders. They had me there–was it just the additional mayo that made them slide or was this little shop alot more creative and trend aware than I thought. Neither. They knew nothing about a national food trend that spoke of sliders. They knew what they had: Extra mini buns and a big batch of tuna: Ahoy mateys: tuna sliders. Think I’ll slide over to the beef aisle.
Another sign of innovative marketing is a new hot dog stand that sits in front of a restaurant better known for afternoon cocktails and dinner. They bought a shiny stainless steel cart and have a more diverse menu than the basic dog. Condiments such as mango relish and mustard creme fraiche accompany the sandwich possibilities that include lamb sausage, bratwurst, and crab cakes and some of the biggest chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever seen. Really, they’re about the size of a dinner plate!
It’s marketing, folks,whether we’re talking strawberries, the new grill we’re trying to put together, or the hot peanuts at the farm market. Everybody’s got an angle, and we are ready with the napkins.
Bon appetit, summer.