Mornings in Montana lately have featured subzero temperatures and, as is the case this morning, 30-50mph gusts blowing right up against my kitchen windows (that sun porch I want is seeming less like an indulgence and more like an investment in insulation on mornings like this). At any rate, it’s been deepest winter here. Dark. Cold. Windy.
And so, I’ve become addicted to this stuff, Zergut Hot Ajvar:
It’s from Bulgaria. It contains peppers, eggplant, sugar, sunflower oil, salt, garlic and hot peppers, oh and some acetic acid (Vitamin C). It’s bright red. It tastes like summer. The jar says this is hot, but to me it just tastes slightly warm — the peppers aren’t hot but sweet and lovely. Like I said, I’m in love.
I’ve been making a nice big piece of toast out of my own bread, then slathering it with this stuff and a little cheese. Essentially I’ve been eating pizza bread for breakfast. With an orange, my other wintertime non-local indulgence. These are from California, so that’s not so bad — the ones from Australia kind of freak me out. That just seems wrong. But a nice juicy California orange, and a piece of toast spread with peppery summery goodness and well, the blasts of snow blowing past my window don’t seem so awful.
I’m all for eating local. But there’s something to be said for a world in which we can find out that in Bulgaria they make this fabulous pepper/eggplant spread, and then we can find it on a grocery shelf for under five bucks. To me, this seems like a good byproduct of globalization.