Food is Good. Food is Our Friend.

By: Calvin Mayne | VP of Food
On: May 15, 2015

I’ll never forget the mind-boggling presentation I heard at the Food Marketing Institute’s 2001 winter conference. Dr. Paul Rozin, a respected psychologist and professor at the University of Pennsylvania, spoke on the effects of culture and attitude on food choices. He contrasted the pleasure that some cultures derive from eating with an angst-ridden American worldview of food. Our culture scored the highest on “concern” and “worry” when it comes to food choices. In one published paper, he goes as far as saying, “There is a sense among many Americans that food is as much a poison as it is a nutrient, and that eating is almost as dangerous as not eating.” He refers to a “great concern, or perhaps epidemic, of food worrying.” Oy vey! In short,

Dr. Rozin counseled that when it comes to eating, we would do well to worry less and enjoy more. My takeaway: Food is good. Food is our friend.

In our little food-happy world at Dorothy Lane Market, we have an unapologetic love for good food. We’re talking about authentic, real food that is complex and flavorful, while also effortlessly and deeply nourishing. We have a saying that we use often to describe this and it’s always our first reference—Flavor First. Here are some of the results of this mentality: well-marbled, prime grade natural beef, local strawberries so deeply red inside and out, and true Artisan bread with real crust and flavor.

To us, good food is both good for you and has good flavor. A “prime” example is our DLM Natural Beef. Since 1980, we have sold beef that is lifetime free of added hormones and antibiotics. Plus, nearly all of our DLM Natural Beef grades out as prime, which means it has more marbling and flavor. You will not have a better tasting steak than one you buy from us. The flavor of our steak is so good you won’t want to obscure it with sauces—just a light sprinkle of our DLM Grilling and Seasoning Rub before grilling does the job.

We are blessed with friends nearby who farm with love for their land and what it produces. In the early summer, I think of Jon Branstrator’s strawberries. Jon says the berries that start growing in the cool spring are the happiest. Jon thinks like a winemaker. Like a good viticulturist, he makes his plants struggle, with minimal irrigation, to intensify the flavor of the fruit. He asserts that Ohio berries are so perfect in spite of the short growing season because we have some of the best terroir, or growth conditions, for berries. You can see and taste the results. They are smaller, but more intense. Cut into one and you see that they are a deep red throughout. And they are high on our most important measure: Flavor! Berries of this caliber have a short shelf life, but Jon delivers to us several days a week. Enjoy them the day you buy them for one of the greatest eating experiences of summer in Ohio.

Indeed there are great foods right here at home, yet Flavor First drives our decisions on foods from far away, too. I think about a day last June, strolling around Rue des Martyrs, a street in Paris near Montmarte, with friends from DLM. It is known for good bakeries, and so we followed our noses into little corner shops with crusty bread stacked up like neatly cut wood, and all kinds of artistic puff pastry laid out in rows. We would buy one of each kind and dissect the spoils on a nearby park bench, getting quizzical looks from passing Parisians. It was so fun!

I experience the same sensation when I walk into our DLM Bakehouse, our central baking facility near the Washington Square store. There, the proud team of DLM artisan bakers mix and hand-shape every single loaf and bake them in our massive hearth oven from Europe. Joey, Bakehouse Manager, along with Greg, Artisan Baker, recently developed a new bread that so perfectly represents what Artisan baking is: Mixing a simple recipe of flour and water with a small amount of natural yeast, then allowing the dough to naturally ferment to its full potential. It’s great for your gut, and even better on the palate. We call it Miche, an old French word for “loaf” and a fitting tribute to its rustic character.

We look forward to making you happy this summer with full-flavored real foods like these and many others. Good food makes life better, so if I may suggest ... enjoy the little moments that good food gives. Notice the flavor. Eat with people you love. Pause to talk and listen. Eat well every day, and enjoy every bite.