Im-morel

Hey everyone, it certainly has been a while, sorry about that. But I’ve got an interesting topic to put out there for your opinions, comments or even experiences.

So let me lay a little background information for you. A year or so ago, I was living in Georgia. One weekend I was feeling feasty and in the mood for a nice risotto. I made my way down to Harrys Farmers Market (read: Whole Foods) to procure the essentials, a nice bag of arborio, some organic chicken stock, white onion, shallot, and a crisp white table wine. For this particular risotto, I felt that mushrooms would make a great center piece, so I headed for the produce section. Now Whole Foods and it’s offshoots often have quite a robust mushroom section, here you can find woodears, hen of the woods, shitake, oyster, lobster, blue foots, enokis and on this specific day, morels at $40/lb. Now what self respecting fungophile could pass up a chance at fresh morels? Apparently a broke one, but I decided (somewhat mischievously) to fill a bag with shitakes, since those were what I had set out to buy in the first place, and throw a generous handful of morels in for good measure. Now lets just get one thing straight, I know the difference between a shitake and a morel, both in taste, sight and price, so I had every intention of paying for the mushrooms I had secured. Now here’s where the moral dilemma comes in, I was betting that your typical cashier wouldn’t know a morel if you slapped him in the nose with it. So I confidently made my way to the check out desk, and plopped the generously filled sack of fungi on the belt. Without even bothering to check, the girl charged me $5.99/lb for criminis. Ok first of all, a bag of shitakes looks nothing like a bag of criminis, and second of all morels may be one of the most easily identifiable mushrooms there are.

Crimini

Shitake

Morel


Now I’ve been told by some individuals I’ve related this story to, that I basically stole the mushrooms, and that may be so. However, I see this situation a little differently. Now let’s say you own a car lot, selling a wide variety of makes and models, from Aston Martins to Accords. Wouldn’t you want to hire salepeople who know the difference, so that you don’t end up selling that brand new $195,000 DBS to some guy for $23,000? My point is, Whole Foods should make sure their employees are knowledgeable about the products they sell. Can’t tell the difference between filet and chuck? Sorry you don’t get the job. All I’m saying is, it’s not my responsibility to educate their employees, if they had done their job, I would’ve paid something like $50 instead of $12. Say what you will, but I challenge anyone to look me in the eye and tell me they’d honestly turn down an Aston from some schmo salesman who thinks it’s a Honda. Do your homework Whole Foods, stop hiring people with no food knowledge without giving them some training, in the mean time, I’ll be back next week for more shrooms.

3 thoughts on “Im-morel

  1. First off, we’ve had this discussion with you at least 3 times and everytime I’m jokin with you because your “theft” is hilarious to me. Just grinding your gears a bit. After your comparison to a car lot, I support your mischief. Two viewpoint questions though in all seriousness. 1. Would you have paid for the morels if you had been caught? 2. If the cashier asked you what kind of mushrooms they were, would you have told her te complete truth? I ask because last week at fresh market the cashier asked me what kind of plum was in the bag. It was in fact a passion fruit that were 3$ a piece compared to a red plum that were around 2$ a pound.

  2. I would have absolutely paid for them had the cashier known what they were. If she had asked what they were…that’s a little more difficult, I may have only mentioned the shitakes, in which case I would admit some wrongdoing, but that back and forth never took place so it’s on her.

    • Agreed it should be up to the “professional” to know the product. And if they don’t know it, they usually are too embarrassed to ask. I know I would be. Too bad they don’t have truffles or matsutake just sitting in a bin

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