My love and passion for Italian foods goes back many years. Because I am fortunate enough to have Italian family, I have had many culinary adventures in Liguria, Lombardy and Piedmont, learning from real Italian people, just how it should be done. And yes, they often took me to task about using too many ingredients. Their philosophy really is, less is more.
Having recently bought a pretty poor imitation of a jar of pesto for the second time in as many months, I began to ponder on the question of who is responsible when the customer is not happy. Should the market-holder or deli only stock produce that they know is of quality, and of a standard?
I take pesto as a case in point. Most of us in the domestic setting do not have access to large quantities of basil. Neither does basil grow particularly well in the Irish garden, unless under optimum conditions. Therefore, we have to rely on some skilled producers for our fix. Because I prefer to support artisan producers and markets over the multiples, I go out of my way to source a good pesto if the opportunity presents. However, at best it has been hit and miss, and at worst, an expensive endeavour!
I come therefore, once again, to the question. Should markets and delis stand over the artisan produce they carry? I believe if they want to hold on to their loyal customers they should. Any expert in marketing or business will tell you how important it is to keep your loyal followers. What do you think?