As my friend Olaf is strongly habituated to such things, he goes to the (farmer’s) market at least twice a week to pick out fresh produce of all sorts. Sometimes I go along, as I always love a trip to an outdoor market, and especially love seeing the differences in such places from country to country. I have always thought one of the advantages of not being able to speak the local language is that we can be more adventurous with things we don’t recognize and thus find new flavors and expand our culinary habits. I mean let’s face it: I might like to try that marinated something over here or that sausage over there and potentially love the taste if it is called something unknown to me, but I would be rather less inclined to pick it up if it was clearly labeled something like “various animal scraps with blood and fat pieces”. One of the other things I find interesting is that all of the fruits and vegetables have labels on them describing their place of origin, whether it be a local region or another country. Olaf tells me this is an EU regulation, and I think it a good idea to know where your produce comes from, so you can apply your individual preferences and prejudices relating to locality, nationalism, and health. Olaf definitely shies away from anything from Spain, as he tells me he doesn’t trust their farming techniques (with regard to chemicals and such) and thinks they don’t know food the way the French or Italians do (so how could they know how to grow anything?). I tend to agree that the Italians and French have better food, but there did seem an extra whiff of nonsense to the argument about pesticides, since these regulations are the same (theoretically) across the EU. Olaf is an excellent cook and makes amazing food that I have been fortunate to share in while I am here, but I do notice he is (as with many here) very particular about likes and dislikes.