Posts Tagged: Food

Ancestors Bothered

Today in forbear shaming: Marris describes most of Redzepi’s recipes as similarly ‘exotic, oceanic, deep-woodsy, and uncookable’. Serving something as simple as ‘silken fresh cheese and crispy beech leaves’ requires pickling beech leaves in a vacuum pack with apple balsamic vinegar for at least a month…. one wonders what our remote ancestors would think of this culinary fad.

I don't know, what would they think of this essay? What would they think of the computer you made them read it on? Or did you go back in time to show it to them? In which case: Are your arms and legs fading away? Are you disappearing from family [...]


Plant Sensational

Q: "Will Camu Camu Be The Next Amazonian 'It' Fruit?."

A: Eh.


Crops Rotated

The New York Times, 1986: The recently spruced up Union Square area has become fertile ground for a new crop of restaurants. Union Square Cafe, an inviting, low-key newcomer on the site of the former Brownies, a health food restaurant, is one of the most appealing of the lot.

In 1995: "We're still in the same area, which is important," Ms. Hirsch said. "We think that people who come to Barnes & Noble will appreciate having our store nearby because what we have at our store, you can't get anywhere else."

In the last few years, Revolution Books seemed something of a lonely hanger-on on East [...]


Some Notes on the Great Fermentation

A certain kind of cooking, brought to New York City by Eastern European Jews, typified by bagels, pickled vegetables, gefilte and smoked fish, is having a genuine moment, the pinnacle of which is, perhaps, the opening of the long-awaited, full-fledged Russ & Daughters Cafe. While the Times, not incorrectly, characterizes this moment as a "sudden and strong movement among young cooks, mostly Jewish-Americans, to embrace and redeem the foods of their forebears" in order to "embrac[e] the quickly disappearing foods of their grandparents," the trend also conveniently fits quite neatly into the current milieu of all fermented everything, which is why it probably seems so palatable to a [...]


The Facts About The Doritos® Locos Taco—And About An American Hero

With any luck, when the origin myth of the Doritos® Locos Taco is whispered to schoolchildren generations from now, they will know the name Todd Mills. He was an Air Force vet, a former Bill Clinton escort (y’know, the good kind), a father of two, and one among possibly thousands of Americans who dreamed drooly dreams about the marriage between two American icons of chemical gastronomy.

The only difference is that Mills—who passed away on Thanksgiving morning at age 41—did something about it. In recent days, he's been hailed as a dreamer and a crusader—but what you've heard is only half the story.

The saga starts four [...]


Metaphor Unsuitable

"Is a steak sandwich bad for your health? Absolutely. Does caramel ice cream taste so good that it induces cravings in some people? You bet. Do sweet, fatty foods like Crack Pie light up the same pleasure centers of the brain that are activated by addictive drugs? Sure—in rats, at least. And yet food is not like crack in several significant ways."


When Food Attacks: A Selective History of Literature's Most Alarming Feasts

Paul Newman’s egg-gorging feat in Cool Hand Luke certainly inspires wonder (along with a tinge of disgust). And yet each time I watch the film, I struggle with a nagging question raised by that stomach-swelling exploit: Which came first, our appetite, or our drive for competitive eating? Owing to the glut of cooking competitions, food trucks racing across town serving up sliders and duck-fat tots, foodies one-upping each other on Instagram and restaurants aggressively advertising their farm-to-table bona fides (as brilliantly satirized on "Portlandia"), food culture feels increasingly competitive in the broader, non-Kobayashi sense.

As the battles unfold to perform more impressive culinary feats, whether inhaling hot dogs [...]


Don't Meat the Eggplant

Most summer produce has a cult of worship; there are those who wait all year for the few weeks of tomato season, those who will serve fresh corn with every meal, those who will gorge on peaches until the sweet-tart juice carves furrows into their faces like Grand Canyon erosion writ small. But there is one item which rarely if ever inspires devotion. I’m speaking here of the noble eggplant.

Many people do not like eggplant. Common complaints are that it is spongy, or bitter, or mushy. All of these are symptoms of improper cooking. Because, friends, when eggplant is cooked properly it can achieve something few other fruits [...]


The Big Dumb City After the Flood

"At first, Mermaid Flotilla seems like another tired variation on the 'low-impact foodboat' trend, down to the repurposed tug and biofluorescent strip lighting. But then you taste the braised mock bluefin tuna with lemon-tarragon crème fraîche. And while this reviewer has never tasted real bluefin, it’s hard to imagine the real thing could best this—there’s nothing mock about the intensity and flavor."


Where the Wild Leeks Are

Ramps! So tasty! Mostly! (I like them well enough, anyway.) Where do they come from? The self-described ramp capital of the world is in West Virginia: I knew the ramp farm was somewhere in Richwood and the day after I called, I drove to the town. Richwood, population 2,039, is home to the longest, continuously running festival celebrating America’s native wild leek. (It started in 1921 and while one festival in Crosby, Tennessee, as I seem to remember reading, predates the one in Richwood, it wasn’t held this year. Perhaps there were others, at Legion Halls or churches, but Richwood’s claim seems to hold.) In Brooklyn or Baton [...]


The Taco Bell Breakfast Is American Freedom And Pride In Its Best And Most Primal Expression

Were we once a nation of tinkerers that split the atom, created the phonograph, and gave Kevin Costner’s career three distinctly different eras? We were.

And yet, despite all the transistors, pneumatic tires, Roombas, and swivel chairs, the elites apparently have no room in their heart for the Waffle Taco, the most obvious object of derision in Taco Bell’s newly announced breakfast line-up.

“Gross,” they cried, in their truncated communiques. Breakfast, they libeled, would now be served by “a fast food chain heretofore known primarily for serving shredded cheese, refried beans, wilted lettuce, and horse meat in various combinations of tortilla containers.” Taco Bell breakfast “could conceivably [...]


Can You Still Eat That Steak From 2006?

"How long can food stay in your freezer?"


Maybe You're Not JUST Annoying

Is constantly Instagramming photos of the meal you're eating the sign of a larger psychological problem? Sure, why the hell not.


You Are Making Your Baby Fat By Feeding Your Baby Food

Why are the babies so sick and obese? Because 93% of American parents are so terrible that they're giving the baby food all the time. Claiming the baby is "hungry" or "won't go to sleep," bad moms are giving the infants solid food way before the infants are medically allowed to have any solid food, which is at six months.

It's hard to imagine being a worse parent, but 40 percent of American parents are so ill-suited to this crucial societal role that they've even managed that: These people are giving the baby food before four months. This curses the innocent baby to a miserable life of "childhood [...]


Notes from a Crab Massacre

1. No neutral observer would recognize the human as anything but the villain, here.

2. Who first attempted to eat a crab and more importantly who didn't stop them?

3. Crab meat. Crab… muscles?

4. Uses for shell fragments? Maybe grind them. Crab flour. Crab paint. Check Etsy.*

5. Uses for green goo? Wikipedia says another name for this is crab mustard, and another name is hepatopancreas. Even if you use it as sauce there's too much of it. Check Pinterest.**

6. What secondary urge does this ritual satisfy? It's much more intimate than just eating together. So then what tertiary urge? It is pure dominance and SUPREME othering [...]


Food Restless

"'You can have the best surveillance system in the world, and the numbers are going to get you,' said Maxwell. 'Resistance is going to be there. It will escape notice. And once it occurs at even a low, recognizable level, it’s going to continue to be there.'"—Has your corn been acting suspicious lately?


How to Make a Good Salad Without Dumb Leaves

When someone says salad, your first thought is probably a bunch of leaves, like lettuce or spinach or kale, plus some other stuff, and a dressing. Here’s the thing about the word “salad”: it means nothing. It doesn’t mean something cold; it doesn’t mean something raw; it doesn’t mean something with lots of different ingredients; it doesn’t mean something vegetable-based; and it CERTAINLY doesn’t mean a pile of leaves.

Leaves, even the stronger-tasting ones, are filler. No one has ever once thought, “Dang, this salad is good, but it’d be more good with more lettuce in it.” This idea of a leafy salad is perpetuated by make-your-own-salad joints that [...]


Top Chef Seasons, In Order Of Quality

I am still watching Top Chef! I watch it despite the egregious product placement ("Boy, these Toyota Rav4s have so much trunk space!" "I've got an idea! Let's fill it up with the Glad® family of products."), despite the reliance on reality show tropes, despite the fact that probably every other season is actually terrible television. I love it, even the terrible seasons. I think about the show after it airs. I like putting on old episodes in the background while I cook. I have Thoughts on which contestants went home too early, which challenges were the best and which were the most offensive, culinarily speaking (that'd be season [...]


The End Of Food Stamps—Oh Hey That Handbag Looks Tasty

This is a pretty good editorial in the Times about the insanity that went through the House of Representatives yesterday—the great planned evisceration of food stamps. But not, apparently, a great evisceration of farmer welfare? Hmm. Good news though: Congress is hosed. In any event, whatever mangled bill makes it through the House and the Senate then gets vetoed and then… ??? Maybe "no more government." In any event, you know what we're not going to have less of over the next decade? Underemployed and food-insecure people. The Louis Vuitton monogram tote is $4000 exactly.


Eight Great Things You Can Eat This Spring That Are Definitely Not Ramps

Ramps are fine. I will not bash any of the members of the House Of Allium, one of the most illustrious families of food. Tasty things can and have been done with them! But they are neither the only nor the best item that springtime has to offer. Eating seasonally does not necessarily require spending seven dollars on five tiny leafy scallions. This is not ramp season, my friends. This is a time of so much more. Here's a list of timely delicacies you should be gorging on, sans ramps.

SHAD and SHAD ROE Shad is a fish in the herring family, sometimes called a river herring. It migrates in [...]