Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Arugula Famine of 2006

Tonight, Katherine and I went to a place in Park Slope very much like UChicago's Pub, with football on the tv screens, many beers on tap, a good ol' boy atmosphere, and an old-style wooden bar. And then, a manly-type, hearty-looking dude came up to the bar, and ordered... an arugula salad. The bartender/waitress informed the gentleman that they were out of arugula salad. A disappointment, perhaps, but it seems he ordered something else.

Arugula happens to be one of my favorite foods. Sadly it is a symbol of all that is yuppie and unnecessary and pretentious, yet it is so, so much better than spinach, basil, watercress, broccoli rabe, or any of the other tasty yet inferior greens with which it might be confused. It goes with every possible cheese, can be cooked or raw, is much better in Paris or from a Greenmarket than from a supermarket (thus adding to its pretentious allure) but is never anything but fabulous, unless purchased at the dreaded Hyde Park Food Co-op, where even basics like eggs and apples go terribly wrong.

Yesterday, at Citarella, I looked for arugula but didn't see any. Romaine, artichokes, basil, and other decent items costing far more than they should, yes, but no arugula. Why not? What happened to NYC's arugula supply? Clearly, something is up.

1 comment:

PG said...

My mom got an arugula salad at Thalia for dinner on Jan. 1 without difficulty, so maybe it was just a very temporary gap.

The best experience I've had with arugula was when I didn't even know it was arugula; it was called rocket and coupled with mango and crabmeat. Holy m-f-ing YUM.