Food Lovers Encyclopedia: Wisdom

Shu Takikawa shows off the greenness of his thumb

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Illustration by John Burgoyne

“In the Santa Ynez Valley we don’t have much fog or overcast conditions—that makes for very red leaves. The colors are brilliant. I can tell when the lettuce is going to taste good just by looking at the color. Also, when I feel it with my hand, I can sense if something is wrong. If it’s dry or not juicy, then it’s bitter. But I can only use my left hand to tell. When I harvest, I use a knife in my right hand and my left hand feels the lettuce. Even if it’s dark, I can sense the quality by feel. But I can’t do it with my right hand. It’s a funny thing.” > Mar Vista Farmers’ Market, Grand View at Venice Blvd.

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