The cottage food trends we love and…love less.
No. 1 The recipes
Then “Your recipes are too fussy and complex, Cottage Life. How do you expect me to find a tin of kalamata olives in my cottage-country grocery store?”
Now “I managed to find the bearded hedgehog mushrooms and pickled lark’s tongue at my local cottage store, but they are not my usual brands. Will the recipe still work?”
No. 2 The beer
Then Back in the day, folks in Ontario could pretty much only purchase beer from Brewers Retail Inc. (which everybody called “The Beer Store”), a monopolistic cartel of Ontario brewers. The stores were Soviet drab and reeked of stale beer dregs from the empty bottle returns. Cottagers in some other provinces were spared all this, of course, due to those provinces’ more civilized approach to beer retailing.
Now Beer is available at grocery stores and the local craft breweries that have multiplied like yeast cells. But most is still sold at The Beer Store (at least for now), a monopolistic cartel of foreign-owned multinationals. Stores are more modern but still reek of stale beer and wine and booze dregs from their expanded function as the province’s bottle collection agency.
No. 3 The appliances
Then The empty tallboy you used to produce Beer Can Chicken was the coolest appliance in the history of cottage cookery. In 1994, your cousin from Louisiana shared the secret cooking method via your office fax machine.
Now Sous vide machines are a hot commodity and sold at every hardware store in cottage country. In a text, your cousin from Dhaka said she bought one for you on Amazon. It arrived in your cottage kitchen 12 hours later.
No. 4 The cocktails
Then Cottagers guzzled white wine spritzers like they were going out of style. Common complaint: “So light and refreshing. But after a while these things pack a punch! When is Dallas on the dish?”
Now Cottagers guzzle Moscow mules like they’re going out of style. Common complaint: “Quite delicious and pairs well with a Game of Thrones rerun binge. This artisanal ginger beer could be a bit more gingery.”
No. 5 The provenance of a flatfish
Then When your dinner guest asked where the flounder came from, she was referring to the store where you bought the fish.
Now When your dinner guest asks where the flounder came from, he is referring to the body of water where it was caught, including the latitude and longitude of its final position before harvest. And the water temperature and depth. Was it netted or caught on a line? Did it lead a happy life? Does the flounder have a name?