For Maximus Thaler, author of ‘A Curious Harvest: The Practical Art of Cooking Everything,’ dumpster diving began as recreation — then became much more.
It was a warm Monday night last Summer. We all dressed in black, though this was more for the thrill of being illicit than necessity. We piled into David’s car, silent until we reached our destination: Trader Joe’s. Well, not quite — behind Trader Joe’s — in their dumpster. It was my first time dumpster diving, and we gleaned an impressive haul: over a dozen eggs, zucchini, edamame hummus, and an entire, still cold chicken.
During the wee hours of a recent morning I was doing quite the opposite of what I was taught to do as a child: moseying through the alleys of downtown Montreal picking things, particularly food items, out of the garbage. I wandered deliberately, winding my way in and out of the alleys behind Rue St. Dominique, the narrow, badly-lit road that backs on Rue St. Laurent, the area’s main drag of shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. In my defense, at least I wasn’t alone.