Being Primal in Boston

I personally feel that being primal in Boston is strangely difficult.  Unfortunately Boston consumers are very separated from their food sources.  I feel that this is changing but it means sourcing foods I want to eat is difficult to find, and when I find it can be really expensive.  My income almost perfectly matches my bills, including my 100 dollars a week for food.  However I don’t want to be defeatist.  I have been eating primal-style for over two years, so I have a pretty good handle on the basics.  My challenge now is to really fine tune where I get my food, and hopefully raise the bar.  I also notice there are not a lot of sources (information) for eating this way in Boston, despite the recent Ancestral Health Symposium a few weeks ago.  Maybe this will help me make me connections locally with businesses and people who want to eat this way.  Also if I find ways of eating primal and cheap here in Boston perhaps it will help others who struggle as well.

I do have a few recommendations if you are lucky enough to live near enough to use them on a regular basis:

First one I have talked about before.  I had my first raw oyster at Turks.  This is not a paleo restaurant of course, but it is very fresh, excellent seafood.  They were very accommodating to my diet restrictions and for my mother-in-laws must more strict diet restrictions (she seems to be allergic to just about everything).  If we lived closer, I would be going there once a week for sure!

My second recommendation is only if you included dairy in your diet.  Lawton’s Family Farm is the place Karl and I like to go for raw milk.  Unfortunately, this is another place that is a bit out of the way for us.  And it is a farm.  The owners are straight-forward, no-nonsense type of people.  I definitely appreciate that!

My third recommendation is a source for high-quality pork, that I myself have not yet been able to utilize.  It is a mangalitsa pig farm.  They have a class that teaches you how to butcher, store, prepare, and cook their pigs.  I was trying to save up for the class, however, my overtime at work ended and I could not depend on it to come back.  Hopefully next year they will have a similar class and I can save up for it!

Another place that I use to pick up speciality items would be Savenor’s.  I don’t buy the majority of my groceries here because they are a boutique butchery.  However there is not that much of a markup, so it may not be a bad option for less cash-strapped budgets.  I tend to buy my duck fat and lard here, as well as items I can’t find anywhere else.  Once I get a stock pot, I am probably going to buy some of my bones from there.

I am sure I will think of other places, but sometimes I am a little shy about trying new places because of my budget.  However I am striving to try more new things because I do really want to up my eating habits.  I want to explore more of Boston, because I know the options are here!  I just need to be creative and bold so that I can find them!

Raw oyster!?!

Karl’s parents, along with my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and niece, went to a seafood place called Turk’s Seafood. It is a gem of a restaurant. Located at 83 Marion St, Mattapoisett MA, this gem was started by the late Richard “Turk” Pasquill in 1989. His concept was to buy seafood basically off the boat, which is guaranteed to be the freshest fish.

I went into this with the decision to try new things. My father-in-law, Charlie, knows the guy who runs the place and received permission to let me try a raw oyster. They brought it out on a little plate with a small chunk of lemon and some cocktail sauce. They basically announced it as they came in with it, which made the entire room go quiet. So in front of thirty or so new friends I tried my first raw oyster with lemon juice fresh squeezed on it. Several onlookers commented on the fact that eating an oyster was like taking a shot. Let me tell you, with thirty people watching I felt newly twenty-one again! The oyster was good though. I would definitely try it again, although it mostly tasted like lemons.

Karl ordered fried scallops, deciding to give himself a cheat since it has been so long since we had eaten out. He was nice enough to let me try one, and I found it buttery and delicious. The texture was perfect. We had try to make scallops before as an appetizer for a dinner party, but it turned out pretty chewy. Luckily it was wrapped in bacon, so was still a hit, but I really want to replicate what I just had in the restaurant. Although no breading of course. Karl also had a side of sweet potato fries.

I decided to order the seared rare tuna over sushi rice and mango salsa. It originally had a spicy Hawaiian sauce, but it had soy in it so I left it off. The mango salsa wasn’t my favorite but that is because I like it a very specific way. The tuna melted in my mouth and was absolutely delicious. I would definitely go back to this restaurant. My niece definitely did not like being there, too many people I think. She preferred to be outdoors 😉 I have to admit eating the meal outside would have been awesome. I also stole another scallop.

Overall the meal was very very good. Definitely encourages my branching into seafood.

Trying New Things

I hate seafood.  I hate it with a passion.  It smells bad and everything it touches becomes fishy and musty to me.  I’ve had what others consider to be very good fish and other seafood and still thought it tasted that way.  It is probably me, not where it came from and not how it was prepared.

I am aware, however, that I have only tried a small fraction of seafood and cooking methods.  Two years ago on a whim I tried sushi for the first time.   It contained salmon and eel and I loved it!  Having switched from a conventional American diet to a primal one, I have to really pay attention to individual nutrients until it becomes a habit.  In the past many nutrients that have been added to “fortified foods” came from foods I do not enjoy.  Seafood is one of them.  I want to expand my palate and eat better foods.  I am trying to give seafood a fair try.

In a couple of minutes Karl and I are headed down to his folks to visit and go to a seafood restaurant they love to go to.  Nothing fancy, considered very casual.  I want to go into this with the spirit of being adventurous and the knowledge that if I don’t like it, thats ok.  The important thing is that I tried something new.