It’s five o’clock in the morning and I’m at one of our suppliers near Stuttgart, Germany, standing in a field of Baby Leaf salad. Having traded my office heels with a pair of muddied red rain boots and my morning coffee with an early breeze of fresh country air, I gazed down at the small plants hoping not to wake them. I’d seen these delicate greens before in a LSG Sky Chefs kitchen and on my plate on a flight – but this was taking my salad enthusiasm to a whole new level.
‘So what’s this kind?’ I asked Gerhard, balancing my way towards the next field over, picking some of the dainty leaves off a bushel and examining it closely. Smiling at my enthusiasm, he explained the new baby leaf variety to me – a salad plant with small leafs that has been a huge hit with his customers. The Keltenhof is the farm of Gerhard Daumueller and his family. It’s specialized in salad varieties but also different herbs, flowers, and other specialties. The family has been working to innovate new salad varieties that stay even crisper and fresher. But first and foremost the Keltenhof puts a special focus on the delicate handling of its products.
Maybe the concept of “local” is hard to grasp when sitting in a plane cruising around the world – but standing on the field knowing that that’s exactly where some of these salads would end up made it strikingly clear.
When I was treated to a colorful serving of the fresh salad later on, the taste left a smile on my face. I decided maybe it’s time we think more about the origin of our ingredients, and appreciate those who’ve been thinking about it all along.