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Wisdom of the Last Farmer

By David Mas Masumoto

By David Mas Masumoto

A new find… perhaps something worth reading?

An excerpt from the Forward, which pulled me in immediately, goes like this…

“I first heard of Mas in 1994, when I was in the kitchen at Chez Panisse and a dessert leaving the pastry station caught my eye. Actually I more or less gasped in disbelief, and that’s not because the dessert was so beautiful or ornate (it was) or because I hadn’t seen a dessert like it before (I hadn’t). I gasped because it was so crazy. It was a single peach on a dessert plate, no sprig of mint, no swish of raspberry sauce. It was Peach, unadorned.”

…”It was the best peach of my life; but I have to qualify that because like most Americans born in the last fifty years, I didn’t know what a peach should taste like. Breeders in the ’70s and ’80s created low-acid, high-sugar peaches that can be picked when they’re still hard, making them suitable for withstanding the rigors of cross-country travel. So we got drunk on sugar, and created taste memories that are more Mrs. Butterworth than Mother Nature. We fell for the wrong woman, and we’re still paying for it.

But my greatest memory from that night is the reaction those peaches got from older diners. Waiters reported several tables saying the same thing: “I hadn’t had a peach like that since I was a child!” The diners tore apart the peaches with their hands, talking happily about summer afternoons in their grandmother’s backyard, lazy mornings in the hammock, the smell of a late August evening.

They were incredible peaches, no doubt. But more than that—as if a peach needs to be more than that—they did that night what I suspect Mas is most thrilled about.

They got people to consider the connection between good food, which is of course food grown in the right way and picked at the most perfect moment, and the memorable moments of life.”

– Dan Barber, Executive Chef and co-owner of Blue Hill Farm

The Wisdom of the Last Farmer
By: David Mas Masumoto