Hello ACI family! I’ll be honest with you here: for this newsletter installment, I don’t have a lot of exciting “news” to discuss, so I figured instead I’d share a recent culinary story with you. I hope you enjoy it.
Over our summer break, I took a nice week-long trip with my family. We had an amazing time together and shared a lot of great experiences. On the last day of our trip, we were at a trailhead sharing one last hike together before we had to catch our flight to go home. At the trailhead, an older gentleman was selling fresh coconuts out of the back of his pickup truck. I didn’t think much of it because I was pretty much DONE spending money at this point. But my youngest son kept asking if we could buy one. He seemed so focused and excited about trying one, and it made me realize something: after 27 years in the culinary business, and at 41 years old, I’ve never actually had a truly fresh coconut before. So I gave the guy a few bucks, and we watched him pick through the coconuts to find a “good one”, then he went to work on it with his machete…chopping through the greenish exterior and then shaving off just enough of the top so he could stick a straw in there for us to drink the coconut water. Me, my wife, and my kids all took turns passing around the coconut to drink the water inside. Then, afterward, we handed the coconut back to him and proceeded to chop it in half, then gave us back part of the woody interior to use as a scoop to scoop out the fresh “meat” of the interior, then we all took turns trying that. It was such a fun/new culinary experience for all of us, and honestly, it gave me a “giddy” culinary feeling that I hadn’t felt in a while.
Now, I fully recognize that there are probably many of you reading this that have experienced fresh coconut before, so I’m not claiming that this is some rare or hard-to-find occurrence, but my point is this: no matter how long you’ve been cooking, there is something out there that you haven’t tried yet. A new flavor. A new dining experience. There is no way that any of us could possibly eat everywhere and try everything. But my hope is that 20, 30, or 40 years into your career that you are still finding new food experiences to enjoy, and I hope that even after all that time you still feel giddy and excited when you experience these new things. Keep learning, keep trying, and keep eating!