By Gabrielle.

Maria Gandara makes the sort of pesto that sends her fanatical fan base into a frenzy; they savor it, dream about it, hoard it, and pout when it’s unavailable. Buddhapesto is supposedly borderline-magical stuff!

Reading her story reminded me of how I’m increasingly drawn to small-batch creations. Everything artisanal somehow seems more like treasures, don’t you think? But here’s what’s really sticking with me. Maria is the only one who knows how to make her Buddhapesto, and does so by using her senses: the weight of the ingredients in her hands, the sight of them, and the sound of a finished batch in the food processor. Amazing.

Also. When asked about her plans for expanding Buddhapesto — Whole Foods is interested! — Maria is ambivalent. “I just want to walk to work. Barefoot.”

Bare feet by Yoshihiko Ueda.

P.S. — Have you ever been in a position where you faced a life-changing decision between corporate or calm? What did you choose?