Get into Robs Fridge

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					                                          behind closed doors
                                           Rummaging Through My Fridge
                                                        by Rob Cline

   I am prone to feelings of anxiety. I feel anxious about the      next up in our informal taste test is Ellie Mae’s Gourmet
medical conditions I learn about via pharmaceutical                 Popcorn out of Breda, Iowa. Will it be the perfect combination
advertising; I feel anxious about my fluctuating coolness factor    of texture and taste? We’ll find out the next time the family
with my three children; I feel anxious about ever-looming           gathers around the TV to watch our beloved St. Louis
freelance deadlines.                                                Cardinals.
   But until I agreed to pen “Behind Closed Doors” for Edible           A huge chunk of fridge real estate is currently occupied by
Iowa River Valley, I had never felt                                                             a watermelon. This, like the
any anxiety about the food in my                                                                popcorn, is an experiment for us.
refrigerator. After all, other than my                                                          The seedless melon, which sports a
wife and kids, nobody really knows                                                              label that admits, “May contain an
what’s in there—and they’re just as                                                             occasional seed,” was grown by
culpable as I for its contents.                                                                 Bell’s Melons in Conesville, Iowa.
   Yet somehow I agreed to open my                                                              Does genetic engineering rob these
own magnet-adorned door to set a                                                                melons of great taste? Don’t know
baseline for future investigations into                                                         yet, but I’m betting much less
the iceboxes of others. The anxiety                                                             spitting is involved than with your
kicked in almost immediately.                                                                   standard melon.
   After all, when I was warned                                                                         And that’s where we are at
upfront that we didn’t want “a                                                                  the moment: a few local treats
guided tour of organic Wal-Mart                                                                 scattered among more mundane
Cheetos and Diet Coke.” My first                                                                fare. I know there are plenty of
thought was, “Whew! At least the                                                                other interesting edibles out there
Coke is of the sugar-filled classic                                                             and I’m headed into the
variety.” I shuddered at the thought                                                            community and into area
of what “organic Wal-Mart Cheetos”                                                              refrigerators to find them.
might be. Then I started to worry.                                                                      So this column is about
   Did the contents of my fridge                                                                more than peeking inside the
measure up? And measure up to                                                                   crispers of local luminaries for the
what, exactly? Perhaps to an idealized                                                          simple voyeuristic pleasure of it—
refrigerator filled with food that is                                                           though that would nearly be
local, luscious and expressive of my                                                            reason enough for its existence. It
family’s idiosyncratic personality. If                                                          also represents an opportunity for
that’s the standard, I have work to do.                             me—and by extension, you—to learn about the unique and
   That said, all is not lost. The Amana Colonies are fairly well   quirky foodstuffs that might deserve a spot in both our fridges
represented in our Amana refrigerator. At a recent meeting of       and, ultimately, our mouths.
the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance held in Main Amana, I               I’m already stalking my first few fridges and will be back in
rediscovered the delicious offerings of the Millstream Brewing      this space with the results of my forays. Meanwhile, I have to
Company. The only beer I drink is of the root variety, and          file this column. The anxiety is getting to me.
Millstream’s contribution to the category is exceptionally
smooth and delightful. It’s just one of several great flavors.
   A lot of toast in the Cline household is topped with              Get into Rob’s Fridge:
preserves that bear the Amana name. I’m particularly fond of
the peach, which has a subtle flavor that isn’t too sweet. I have    Bell’s Melons                    Mad Butcher Salsa
no complaints about the cherry, either.                              303 Burlington St.               P.O. Box 219
   We also spice things up at our house with Mad Butcher             Conesville, IA , 52739-8530      Ruthven, IA 51358
Salsa. Not only do I enjoy the taste, I like this company’s          (319) 725-6631                   (712) 837-5511
                                                                                                      www.MadButcherSalsa.com
attitude.       As       it     says    on       the      website
                                                                     Ellie Mae’s Gourmet Popcorn
(www.madbutchersalsa.com): “Mad Butcher Salsa was                    P.O. Box 160                     Millstream Brewing Company
developed by real people from garden fresh vegetables in             610 Main Street                  835 48th Ave.
Northwest Iowa—not produced in some food laboratory by               Breda, IA 51436                  Amana, IA 52203
geeks who know nothing about flavor!”                                (800) 742-0228                   (319) 622-3672
   My wife and I are on a quest for the perfect popcorn and                                           www.MillstreamBrewing.com


                                                                                      Edible iowa river valley      fall 2006      19

				
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