Winning romantic points with food

Articles
December 07, 2010

Winning romantic points with food

Can a guy who buys a woman dinner compete against a romantic rival who fills the role of provider by killing an animal, butchering it, and serving it up with care?

Can a guy who buys a woman dinner compete against a romantic rival who fills the role of provider by killing an animal, butchering it, and serving it up with care? It’s such a primal act. He clearly has the tools to do it again and again, and that is part of the seduction written about by Kristin Kimball in her book, The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love.

“I fell in love with him over deer’s liver,” she wrote, equating his cooking to courtship.

He is Mark, an organic farmer with 500 acres near Lake Champlain in upstate New York, reported USA Today. She is a vegetarian, formerly of Manhattan. The Lempert Report can’t say if she ever ate the deer, but she did wind up marrying the guy and relocating well north of The Big Apple.

To us, Ms. Kimball’s tale underscores the deep-seated connection between people and food. A scant few go to the extreme of this couple, but millions of American families do want to feel confident the food they buy is healthful and sustainable, and is increasingly local (which generally means from within a few hundred miles).

The opportunity for supermarkets is twofold: First, supply, merchandise and promote these kinds of foods on an everyday basis to become a trusted, regular resource. Second, anticipate that romantic holidays such as Valentine’s Day 2011 could well shift from white tablecloth restaurants with champagne and caviar into a series of more natural experiences that relate to the origins of food and our emotional connections with it. Think hay bales, wooden carts, floral displays and large baskets of seasonal produce as merchandising elements that reflect the purity of freshly grown food – and the store’s ability to provide it on the spot.

An approach like this for Valentine’s Day could help warm hearts and prompt one member of a couple to prepare a surprise dinner at home. Or equally amorous but slightly less venturous mates would likely appreciate stepped-up ‘good for you and your heart’ offerings from the prepared meal center of the supermarket. Also warming: the ability to have a great time in their own cozy home without fighting restaurant crowds