Our friend and author Michael Ruhlman is one of the best cookbook and food writers today (his book Charcuterie is a favorite), but he’s not only that; his curiosity takes him where it will, and as a result, he’s written both novels and non-fiction, with topics ranging from cooking to boats, his house, and pediatric heart surgery. As a cook, he has also designed some hard-to-find cooking tools.
And now his latest book called Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America examines the history and business of the grocery store. Like his other projects, this one comes from a place of deep personal interest. Inspired by his late father, who was the grocery shopper in the family, Ruhlman examined the industry from the perspective of his local Heinen’s store in Cleveland.
As more consumers become increasingly conscientious about health and the benefits of eating real food, the grocery store is changing. The center aisles of prepared food are getting smaller, and there are more fresh and organic options. The consumer has been demanding more actual food at the store, and voting with their dollar.
What is the future of the grocery store? Since we all need to eat, and most of us find ourselves at grocery stores at least once a week, this topic should be of interest to us all.
For more about the book and the future of the grocery store, there are some great interviews and articles in the NY Times and The Atlantic, in an article entitled, “Grocery Stores Are a Miracle.” And NPR’s Ari Shapiro of All Things Considered met with Ruhlman at a Harris Teeter grocery store in Washington, D.C. to discuss the book, and examine the shelves. The interview is here.
Next time you are shopping in your favorite store, check for D’Artagnan products. While we can be found at many smaller, independent retailers and butchers, many of the larger stores also carry D’Artagnan, or can special order us, including:
Be sure to let them know you appreciate that D’Artagnan is available by bringing some home for dinner!