Special Grey Market Vendor Edition:
Worthwhile Meats & Provisions
Under the storefront nom de plume of Worthwhile Meats & Provisions, wares within this repertoire were placed for sale at the 3rd DC Grey Market in an effort to showcase the confident breadth of basement kitchen derring-do as well as gauge public demand and tastes. Products were smoked wild king and sockeye salmon (18 ounces of each), boudin blanc d’Avranches (24 links), leafy greens sausage (36 links), pâté en croûte (48 ounce pâté) and cauliflower agnolotti (150 pieces). Epicurean bric-a-brac was not for sale, though complimentary tomatoes and pickles were well received along with the products.
All were sold within 3 hours with the help of a lovely assistant’s handsome signage and personable hawking talent; an indispensable asset to any would be vendor. Sales covered all shopping costs and fees, leaving just less than $40 to compensate 2 weeks worth of late night work. Portion sizes were respectable (3, 4, 10 and 15 ounces for salmon, pâté, boudin and sausage) and modestly priced at $3, $4, $7, $7 respectively as well as $1 an ounce for the agnolotti which helped to ensure that the items would not be prohibitively expensive.
The Grey Market provided an excellent opportunity and barometer of sorts for budding entrepreneurs to test the viability of they hobbies, passions, visions, etc…despite the somewhat remote location, awkward placement of vendor tents and little to no advertising (contrary to the 1st and 2nd markets) –the last 2 liabilities resting squarely on the frumpy, strung-out shoulders of the untrustworthy promoter whose aggrandizing self titled culinary rank (the hallmark of kitchen insecurity) was hopelessly dubious and confirmed by the tasteless choice of chili pepper motif shorts. Exhaustive intertron research has failed to produce any real meat & potatoes credentials relating to the alleged 2 decades of success, much less any evidence of culinary bona fides.
WorthWhile Meats & Provisions can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
ETA: The Washington Post food editor deemed my wares and ambitions worthy of front page ink. Still, there remain skeptics whose pretzel logic concerning food safety illuminates the hopeless depths of their ignorance with respect to food safety and the effects of inspections/regulations. For those, consider the FDA recall list from FDA-regulated products. Then consider how many home kitchens are inspected and whether such cynics have ever been sickened from eating a meal prepared from an unlicensed kitchen in the form of breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, dinner party, birthday party, Thanksgiving, Christmas, bbq, picnic, etc…and whether or not they were concerned about food borne illnesses. The paranoid fantasy is hyperbolic and unfounded. It suggests that a price tag is enough to contaminate.
While my personal home kitchen is not officially licensed, it is sanitary, empty for 12-16 hours a day and does not have more than 2 hands or feet in it at any time. 15 years culinary experience, a formality food handler’s license, common sense and the desire to replicate a savory, worthwhile product trumps the hallow assurance that industrial facilities or restaurants are guaranteed to prevent illness by virtue of occasional health inspections, biannual at best for latter that do not immediately require changes for 100% compliance with food safety codes.