Look, more Smörgåsbord! A few weeks back, we headed up to Mount Pleasant to do some shopping. Our mission was Ontario buckwheat flour from Culinarium, but we stopped at Debu’sfor their awesome 3-course prix fixe lunch. This is a chickpea fritter with a mango salad that was offered as an appetizer.
I understand that, for a business, marketing plays a key role in achieving success. It’s fine to make a product or write something or make a piece of music, but unless people know about it, you tend not to sell much. I also understand that most advertising, as its basest level, is about manipulation – make people want what you have. Make them believe they can’t live without it. And it used to be that advertising was pretty straightforward – run an ad in a magazine or on TV, or maybe a big billboard. Free samples, gift with purchase and other programs that made consumers feel as if they were getting something extra also worked well.
Since the Intarwebs became popular, marketing has kind of been thrown on its head. And while it may take longer than hitting a million viewers all at once with a TV ad, viral marketing directed at “community influencers” is becoming more and more popular. Recommendations from people in “the community”, under the guise of friendship, trust and camaraderie, pull more weight than an ad in a magazine, which can seem insincere.
Bloggers are a key target area for viral marketing campaigns. Sending a promotional product or book to a blogger with high site hits is a cheap and easy way for marketers to have the (usually positive) word spread about whatever it is they’re trying to sell. Marketers depend on the blogger to be naive about the marketing machine; to be flattered, and have feelings of obligation, and in turn write a glowing review of the freebie. Since getting free stuff is fun, most bloggers know better than to rock the boat by writing a negative review, or if they do share their true feelings on a product, it’s usually tempered with political correctness and apologies for not liking it.
Seasonal is the new local. Think about it, it makes so much more sense. Eating things in season, regardless of where they might be from, means eating foods when they taste the best and when they are most in balance with the world around them. Bright green things in spring, hearty root vegetable stews in winter.
For centuries before our modern food distribution systems were created, people had no choice but to eat seasonally and locally. Many of the most famous dishes, particularly in countries renowned for hearty peasant food, such as Italy, stem from eating what was both in season and locally grown. The differences in the cuisines of various regions are most obvious when we realize that regional specialties are almost always based on seasonal and local availability.