A sea of winter colors at Wolff’s

Winter came early to the east coast this year, painting over October’s vibrant palette and turning everything white.  That’s the thing about winter that can really start to get to me: the way that color drains out of the landscape when the sun is shut behind clouds or the ground is hidden in a few-days-old snow.

One thing that helps me to beat the winter doldrums is to go to a grocery store that is well-stocked with produce.  It’s kind of like going to a botanical garden or conservatory, except that I can bring the colors home with me!

I may walk through the parking lot under a dull gray sky, but inside the store the colors pop.  I see displays of dappled and shiny yellow and red and green apples, bags of dazzling orange clementines, tropically-bright Ruby Red grapefruit, and even produce with names that announce their colors and brightness– blackberries, blueberries, and carnival squash.  Produce like this is a feast for the eyes even before it is a treat for the tongue!

winter squash

I remember reading once* that taking toddlers to a grocery store is an excellent way to stimulate  their senses and teach them about sensory language– whether produce is rough or smooth, heavy or light, big or small–as well as what color it is.  And if this stimulates a child’s senses, wouldn’t it work the same way for adults, if we let our imagination loose?

Because Wolff’s focuses so much on providing seasonal produce year round, it’s the perfect place to head  to find brilliant displays of color.  Come out of the cold and the monochrome, immerse yourself in color, and enliven your kitchen with Wolff’s colorful produce.


*I read this in Paul Tough’s excellent book on the Harlem Children’s Zone, Whatever it Takes.