Q: Dear Chef Boy Ari,
I have a dilemma. I want pineapple, and I’m already sweating the fact the fruit I want needs to be shipped from far away, releasing greenhouse gases into the environment and contributing to global warming.
Still, I want my pineapple bad enough to buy it anyway. So here’s my question: should I buy my sinful pineapple from a can, or fresh?
—Pining for Pineapple
A: Dear Pining,
That’s a really good question, and bravo for pondering it despite resolutely caving in to your abusive desires.
Fresh is nice because it’s the least processed, and potentially the best tasting and most vitamin rich. But with fresh, you are shipping the whole fruit, including skin and top, which would eventually be discarded. Thus, you’re burning oil to ship refrigerated compost. And you’re encouraging the exporting nation to export a raw material, rather than the value-added product of canned pineapple (which was more likely to have been harvested when ripe, rather than a week before it was ripe).
Bento boxes are those lovely partitioned lacquered wood meal containers from Japan. I picked one up at a yard sale years ago but had no idea it was meant to carry a light lunch—I thought the beautiful container’s inner shelves were meant for girly doodles like earrings and pots of lip gloss. I had only seen bento boxes without lids. So the little black-lidded box serenely sat on my nightstand until I visited a Japanese website to buy imported snacks and realized my earring caddy should have been filled with cooked rice and bits of meat, fish, vegetables and fruit.
Oompa loompa, doompety doo, we have a great all-ages event just for you. You’ve Got a Golden Ticket: Charlie & The Chocolate Tearoom happens April 21 and throughout the month of April between 11am and 6pm at St. James Tearoom. Tickets are available online, with adult tickets going for $45 and children for $33. With some offerings such as The Bucket Family’s Cabbage Pockets, Veruca Salt’s Pretzel Bun and Violet’s Blueberry Pie with Cream, there are a ton of great options to choose from. Oompa loompa, doompety dite, get more info on their website, stjamestearoom.com.
At some point down the line Thai food became synonymous with comfort food for me. It was my family’s favorite dining out cuisine when I was young, and now I have a lot of good nostalgia wrapped up in the smell of lemongrass and curry. Tom kha gai, papaya salad and pad see ew are my go-to orders when I’m sick or just craving something warming and familiar, so I’ve visited most of the Thai spots in town to find some of my favorites of each. That GrubHub bill is getting a little out of control at this point, honestly.
Here’s a few of my favorite spots to order Thai in the Duke City. May they bring you many spicy tears and great evenings.