According to the Larousse dictionary, the word bland is an adjective which means a lack of flavor, synonymous with sweetish, dull, tasteless…
It might also be the best way to describe the months of January and February, especially when the snow isn’t there.
Please allow me to speak here about January : some make the contraction of THURSDAY And Friday to justify all kinds of excess, but no one, to my knowledge, has thought of creating the contraction of these two months to better define our gloomy and depressed state in this low point of the year.
I must admit, despite the pleasures of skiing, of skating with the family, of the 6 km that I run outside every day, I find that January doesn’t taste anything. It’s like a big Monday Blues of 59 days… oops! 60 days this year.
Not only is the euphoria of the holidays over, but the excitement of the start of the new year has already been forgotten. The grayness, both climatically and socio-politically-economically, finds its way into our heads and into our hearts. And what’s more, in our grocery baskets.
Even with discounts (when there are any, or especially when the big food players try to make us believe that there are), fruits and vegetables taste bad.
When, blindly, you wonder if it’s cabbage or lettuce you’re eating…
Or when you think about buying quality strawberries, because they are organic and on sale, but they taste even less like strawberries than artificial strawberry essence…
I think that as consumers, we have the right to ask ourselves questions. I would even say more, as human beings, inhabitants of this planet, we have a duty to question ourselves.
Why have access to these foods, in periods when not only the reason, but also the lack of flavor of these products screams the opposite to us?
Having access to it, in my opinion, is the echo of an inordinate social ego.
If, because of my job, everything starts with taste, I would also like to tell you that currently, not much goes well.
Fortunately, at home, we fall back on supplies from the summer vegetable garden, packaged and frozen herbs to enhance meals. The garlic, onions and shallots are, when possible, braided and then stored in a dry place in the house, thus allowing me to add value to the household menu.
For vegetables, although sometimes it can seem like more of a chore than anything else, making various marinades, condiments or fermentations such as relishes, chutneys, pickles and kimchis (for the latter, it’s only if my partner doesn’t get through it before I can store them), or even various variations of sauerkraut, always allow me to bring something sunny and tasty into family life.
The fruit jams and purees warm our souls, reminding us that the girls and I picked the raw materials for these spreads under a scorching, but oh so nourishing, sun.
I know and understand that this requires time, space, money. However, there is something satisfying and gratifying about seeing and, above all, tasting the change brought to a rather beige winter reality.
It is not a question here of advocating degrowth, but rather of having a real introspective questioning on the impacts of economic growth in terms of the environment, society and humanity.
This extinguished taste should become the canvas on which a reflection is painted on our ways of choosing in a system which does not restrict choices, but rather constantly increases them.
If, to paraphrase a colleague, too many likes kills taste, then it seems the same goes for choices. Faced with this lack of taste which has become bitter, I know nothing, or rather I no longer know how to help things change, move forward, evolve…
Perhaps the key lies precisely in admitting that we do not know, that we no longer know as a society.
As Socrates so wisely asked: does having certainties prevent our thinking from evolving? It seems so.
I say that it is time to think and reflect collectively so that, as beings living in society, we are able to change, evolve and ultimately reappropriate the flavor of more enlightened and sensible choices. Let’s taste the real thing.