Heaps of cucumbers, eggplant, and other colorful veggies greeted my friend Roberta and me today as we strolled the farmers’ market in Manassas, Virginia. We tasted olive oil and guacamole. We bought fresh garlic cheddar rolls.
At noon on the dot, the waft of barbeque grabbed us by the nostrils and we followed. “Here – taste this!” Mike, of Blue Dog BBQ, was already cutting me a sample of brisket. “I don’t need a sample,” I said, “I already know it’s deelish.” The quivering slice of brisket in his tongs became huge as it neared my face. “Well, here’s a reminder.”
He asked Roberta whether she had tried the chicken. “The chicken is great,” he said, as he gave her a golden-brown thigh to prove it. “This is a sample?!” We laughed and wondered whether we’d have any appetite left after we finished all the previews. We ended up getting Mike’s specialty, the Dog Bowl: a layer of beans, then brisket, then Cole slaw in a walk-around container.
While I was waiting for our lunch order, Roberta came back with two small cups of coffee – yep, both samples! “Regular or bold?” she asked, as I reached for one, amazed that we had been given as a gift what some shops would ask $2 for.
As we wandered out of the market munching our Dog Bowls, I was grateful for the layering of rich color, rich food, and even richer generosity in that place. I’m not sure which was more nourishing.