People romanticize the good old days. Rarely do you hear much praise for the status quo. As far as dining goes, these are the good old days, certainly for the common man. At no time in history has it cost so small a fraction of income to eat well. There is a bounty of exotic foods available in Des Moines today that would have required a worldwide tour to sample 50 years ago. For as little as $8, a diner can choose from 100-plus items today at one of the metro’s all-you-can-eat buffets. Poor men can eat like Roman nobility in the grandeur of the Augustan Era.
The miracles of modern refrigeration technology and overnight delivery have made the world our oyster, our rambutan and our lucques all rolled into one. This issue of Relish explores how good we have it compared to a few decades ago. We explore a level of luxury that used to be available only to travelers — from caviar on the ostrich-covered armchairs at Splash to the hanging roast ducks in C Fresh Market or Le’s. We check out the amazing variety of fruits and fishes in our supermarkets. We recall Iowa’s long love affair with steakhouses.
We visit with notable chefs and sommeliers, manufacturers and producers of the finer things we eat. We explore the route some new foods took to mainstream dining in town. And Dish is back with three months of food news and gossip. Bon Appétit. RELISH
— Jim Duncan, editor
Jim Duncan has covered the food scene in Des Moines for more than 25 years. And he never met a dish he didn’t respect.