Locavores, omnivores, winovores and what to pair with Tofurky
About four years ago, the Oxford American Dictionary’s dons of definition welcomed the term “locavore” into its hallowed pages. As you may recall, the term refers to those who graze on grub grown within a 100-mile radius of where they live. Where some might call this lazy or xenophobic, others find it an environmentally-conscious pursuit that adds Sesame Street-level game play to one’s grocery shopping. Neeeear ... Farrr ...
Of course, in Wine Country, our local bounty is such that locovorism is second nature. Or technically, just nature, since we’ve got it all and wine to boot. In fact, an extreme locovore might suggest our wine is all you need to survive. And for a while, they’d be right – until their system shuts down because their blood alcohol level is more the latter than the former.
Though I admire the local spirit, I can’t stand the term locovore, which is simply one of the ugliest words to be admitted into the English language. Even “crepuscular,” which sounds like a crepe that works out, is more attractive than locovore. Locovore sounds like a locomotive living la vida loca. Basically, it’s a ride on the “crazy train” and its bringing in the holidays. Local turkey – check; local veggies – check; local “I can’t believe your trampy sister brought that three-time loser she’s dating to Thanksgiving dinner” – check, check, check.
Yep, it’s a lococopia. Of course one might assume we’d have coined our own version of locavorism by now. But somehow “Sonomavore” isn’t as catchy, unless you think of it as, “she gave him Sonomavores. And now his wife has them too.”
Sonomans are omnivores anyway and more inclined to eat a locovore than be one. Following on the maxim, “You are what you eat,” however, Sonomans are locovores by default. Not to mention cannibals. Hence our local adage, “Chew me once, shame on you; chew me twice, shame on me. Now I’m leftovers.”
But what if you’re a vegetarian-American, you ask? If the annually-rising sales of Tofurkeys are any indication, there’s a chance you’ll either have a vegetarian at your Thanksgiving table or you are one. Good for you, but any notion of being a locovore is DOA (that’s carnivore slang for “well done”). You see, Tofurkys are not native to this planet. Or any planet. Tofurkys are to birds what cyborgs are to humans – about half-right, half-wrong with a whole lotta technology in between. In the strictest sense, they’re beans that have been processed into the shape of a football, though not as edible. It’s been conjectured that they were a 1950s monster movie prop that escaped and bred in the wild.
All I know is that I once knew a dude who bragged that he “never ate anything with a face on it,” so I stuck googly eyes on his Tofurky and watched the psychic fallout from across the room. I couldn’t tell if he was choked up or just choking but the waterworks ran for about half-an-hour. This is among the many holiday memories I’ll cherish forever.
Yes, I’m a holiday bully, which I blame entirely on my annual (over-)consumption of local wine. My name is Daedalus Howell and I’m a “winovore.” As you let the genius of this neologism set in, permit me to extol the virtues of its central premise – drink only wine grown and vinted in our area. It’s good for the local economy and it’s a great fall-back position when someone has the gall to ask, “What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?” You need only take a sip, nod and say, “I’m thankful for the opportunity to support the local agriculture and economy of our fair burg. And it pairs so well with the Tofurky, don’t you think?”
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Daedalus Howell orders out at FMRL.com.