A Case for Baskets

The Case For Baskets

Product of the Year 2018 aka Best Holiday Gift Ever!

I live to discover what’s special. Anything, anyone, anywhere. For me, discovering a new artisan product is like discovering a new star. So when I do, it’s like a religious experience. Like Jesus with Satan in the desert, Joan of Arc with St. Michael, or Jay and Silent Bob with Chris Rock. This happened to me in Valencia, Spain: I had a vision of a goddess who makes baskets.

I love going to my local farmers’ markets. Mine are in Thousand Oaks, California, and in Barcelona, Spain. Food shopping confronts us all with two vortices: How do I get the eggplant home? And where do I put it when I get there? I can’t help you with the first—maybe find  something with wheels?—but in a big, life-changing way, I can tell you where to put your eggplant. 

Yolanda Herraiz is a true artisan from a different era. What, she wondered, would be the perfect basket for holding produce? She dreamed it, designed it, and makes it by hand. It’s a basket of wood, bent by hand, woven with thin rope by local ladies. How many times have you turned over an orange or an onion that’s lived on a plate or in a bowl and found its underside was moldy? The clever thing about this basket is that the air circulates–your produce won’t mold. If you buy this basket, you’ll waste less food—and actually save money!

I first found Yolanda’s baskets a few years ago in a small shop in the old city of Valencia. I bought three, then couldn’t find her again. Now that I’ve tracked her down, I learned that she’s made only 100 baskets in all, and only 30 are available this year.  Last week I finally ordered a bunch. I’m flying to Spain tomorrow with an empty suitcase to pick them up. They’re not cheap—they’re essentially one-of-a-kind. And you won’t see them everywhere. In the old days, when I’d find something like this, it would turn  up at Williams Sonoma or Dean and Deluca six months later. So I made Yolanda promise not to sell her baskets to Amazon. Ever. Sorry.

There are 13 baskets available. Best Holiday Gift 2018. Or perhaps ever, certainly since Bacon of the Month Club memberships. Reserve one now. They may not be available when I return from Spain. 

PS: One more thing: They stack! So get more than one. Put your eggplants in one, your avocados in another, and your satsumas in a third.

The Basket: $92

No octopuses were harmed in the production of this product.