You know you are in northern California when:
1. You look out the window, and there is a man meditating under a tree across the street.
2. The tennis courts at the local park are dominated by old men wielding wooden swords.
3. Nori is offered as a kids snack.
4. When you buy lemonade at a lemonade stand, the mom prompts the kids selling it to tell you its ingredients. Meyer lemons picked from their own tree, water, agave syrup, sugar. “Oh no, there’s no sugar!” she says. “Yes, we did add sugar,” kid replies. She is crestfallen. She has also driven them and their small table the two blocks to the park.
5. The school fundraising item is the snackTaxi, a reusable bag for treats that comes in many patterns (including mini-skulls) and means you can clear your drawer of Ziplocs and Saran Wrap.
I kid, but not really. We spent the last week in the Bay Area, and I can’t help but think that all trends related to kids and food, and kids food, start there. Last year I took back a short list of must-buys at Trader Joe’s and the revelation that edamame hummus may be the perfect toddler dinner. This year, the realization that seaweed provides the same umami pleasure as Goldfish, and must be better for you (plus, no orange finger dust). And the hope that the Cheese Board will open a Brooklyn branch: I have never had a better scone than their cherry-corn.
I can almost guarantee that the snackTaxi will sweep Brooklyn preschools next year. It is a perfect gift, personalizable, lightweight, eco-conscious. If those annoying Aden + Anais blankets can adorn every stroller, why not the snack time equivalent?