Why DC'ers Don't Eat Meat...or much of anything
" 'I don't eat meat.I don't eat anything that comes from the sea:moral reasons.
I don't eat tree nuts; peanuts are fine, coconut isn't.I don't think my body likes white flour, I mean gluten.No Dairy, Please. ' "
Everyone in DC is full of Dietary restrictions, most mildly passing picky comments that leave a woman who likes to host dinner parties in a cold sweat. I've live for years in a vegan co-op, worked in vegetarian restaurants etc. But for the life of me I only have 2 good vegan gluten free main dish recipes in my repertoire. I have tons of vegetarian + gluten free side dishes I can make...but you can't really make a dinner party event out of a salad or a vegetarian pizza without dough or cheese.
There's something about the cooking and sharing of a GIANT piece of meat with a crowd that I MISS from the Mid-west. A roasted chicken or brisket is a testimony from the cook to the crowd...it means you worked for hours to share...and it requires a commitment from the crowd, none of the baked body can go to waste! Everyone must pitch in at the meat themed dinner party. Unlike the salad party, where the biggest marvel is the freshness or the localness...we can pretend to be connected to the farmers...but for most of us it's just the money that connects us to the farmer and their product (we do little but rinse and chop).
Why is everyone so ready to give up the meat merriment/sharing tradition in DC? I think it's because all my new friends are either young, 'type A', or both. DC is inhabited by recent college graduates (22yrs old no older) and then there's a jump to the 35 year olds who moved here after working their asses off in some far off realm of the country and then get promoted to the top: the National Offices in THE District. Why the extreme dietarty restrictions for these odd populations: 1. it's mildly hip to be picky, makes you seem cool 2. The Youth and the Type A achievers suffer from the desire/belief that they can control their destiny. They can choose exactly what they're made of, every aspect of their personal composition and eating.
HA! No one in Chicago thinks that way! Chicagoans take what we can get on the plate and elsewhere. Any chance of protein is taken, not questioned. In DC people only move for recreation (not a big physical labor job market) so they don't actually NEED food. they like to place food in the same catagory as a fashonista places her daily attire: it's an art form. You don't just wear what ever is lying around at the Gap, you hunt and prep and compare with others your garment/food-statement/choice.