This ridiculous, and endless, campaign frenzy will only get real when some reporter asks the most important question: What kind of cookies does the chef-suing blowhard’s third (and second immigrant) wife bake? He’s clearly serious about his chances, because she’s scrubbed her Website of all the Photoshopped tits&ass. Maybe this would free her up to pose wearing only an apron to answer: Cowboy or chocolate chip? For Welsh cakes, of course, she’d need Mormon underwear.
The stomach-turning news that cilantro was being harvested in fields of mierda in Mexico should have come as no surprise. As the kids’ book is titled, “Everybody Poops.” If you don’t treat farmworkers like humans you will wind up with, as some site dubbed it, cacamole. Bad enough the pickers aren’t provided portajohns. I doubt there’s much Purell pumping, either.
Mick Jagger gets around. One day he’s popping up on the Acela, the next he’s prancing into a Buffalo restaurant. I enjoyed the former, laughed at the latter — of course he would blend right in there. It’s where we went for my in-law equivalent’s most recent birthday. Her 86th.
I always wished the prison predecessor of “Fast Food Nation” had gotten the same traction, and maybe now, as a book, it will. Profit really is the toxic ingredient in the criminal “justice” system in this country — millions and millions disserved is the feature, not the bug. Even so, this exposé struck me as profoundly sad. A friend emailed the link with “dang, so much margarine,” which is ironic given that the gubmint, which sets the rules, is now cracking down on trans fats. My reaction: “Shit, so much diabetes.” Calories on these trays are as empty as the souls of those who come up with them. Although I do take tiny comfort in knowing most of the 1 percent have palates that never evolved to appreciate anything much more challenging. As I’ve often said, the tastes of Park Avenue gazillionaires and Death Row inmates are sadly similar.
Speaking of crimes, the Marquis de Sade supposedly said only the first murder is hard, and I thought of that again when the obit for the White House chef ran, with the reminder that Mrs. O’s predecessor had canned him after she and her pretzels-and-O’Doul’s husband moved in and didn’t want any of that fancy Clinton food — let the dignitaries eat brioche enfolding hot dogs. Some say she has her Lady Macbeth moments, and apparently the deepest corners of her closets are scrubbed very clean. But I envisioned her reacting to the sad news out of New Mexico by just taking another long draw on a cigarette and languorously turning the page of some potboiler involving a highway out in West Texas.
A friend emailed me with a funny of a food site’s Tweet noting that “the lifespan of a human hair is three to seven years on average.” What the hell would that have to do with food? The more I thought about it the more I realized the memory of a hair in your food is forever. And not on average.
You could watch a chop suey video. Or you could just shove chopsticks into your eyeballs. More and more the megalomania stories just keep rolling in. And then there’s the case of the disappearing chef indictment. Too bad that trick wasn’t possible when a certain hotheaded Brit decided to sue for libel. And won.
The most dispiriting cuisine is Sysco-to-table. And you can always tell by the lobster ravioli on the menu. // Now this is an ad (although I wonder what the wingnuts in the trailers who face retirement living on cat food will make of it). // One of those nights to ponder how much better the fud world would be if Chef 1-2-3 had not turned down the gig. #everythingmonster // New rule on booking guests to discuss farmers’ markets: Ask when last s/he went to one. #seasonschange // The biggest file in my crammed office has to be meaningless menus (I have clung to). // Pretty clear that most Americans who say “looks like Calcutta” have never eaten in Kolkata. // Prosecco is the best sparkling water. // A Communion-size pour of rosé should at least come in a spotless glass. // Given that someone once actually died at a boozy event, maybe not reach for a “how to survive” hed? // Consort brought home the first edible Clif bar ever, a freebie handed out in what was once known as Needle Park. Coat a Payday Bar in chocolate and you’re talking brown power. // Why in holy hell would you put cannellini beans in potato salad? For the after-effects? // Do they have National Daiquiri Day in Cuba, or are they spared lobbyists? // Can’t say it enough: An egg is not a chicken. // And it’s probably good thing the media mob never heard AA Gill killed a baboon. . .
Got up and told The Cat WCTLWAFW I was going to spend the whole day eating and calling it work. Let him envy me for a change.
And he was getting all ready to come with me until reality intruded. His day would be spent sleeping on the refrigerator as usual.
Second thing I heard on walking into the press office: “Did you bring The Cat?” (His fame was my fortune: fast retrieval of a badge despite some glitch in registering.)
Walking to the show I felt 23 (I have been to old age but got to come back). Three hours in I was 83. Feets don’t fail you. Guts do.
Vosge banner reading “what would chocolate not marry?” makes cacao sound like a total whore. (Raspberry is also shameless. Even lies down with wasabi.)
Sriracha apparently can be rendered tasteless.
Brooklyn aisle was almost an alternate universe of hipster overkill. Jarring to walk out and encounter a booth with sampling from the Ozarks. #clichesareclichesforareason
As always, “no” and “free” were the most ballyhooed ingredients. And more and more, it was ironic to notice “salt-free” and “low-sodium” were nowhere to be seen. At least 20 vendors were shilling salt, salt and more salt, even shaped into a mortar and pestle.
So much water being flogged you’d think there’s a drought on somewhere.
Jerky went crazy and I finally realized why: It’s the new power bar, gluten-free and high-protein.
Terrible crimes have been committed in the name of gluten-free.
Chickpeas can be made into many amazing things. Pasta is apparently not one.
Saved myself many letters in my notebook all day: Foul could be reduced to F. Why don’t their loved ones tell ‘em it sucks?
Probably not the best week to roll out your crab sensation with a shoutout to the Robert E. Lee plantation. . . Especially when the recipe yields nastiness.
So “fancy” latkes are just Jewish pakoras?
I actually tried a “sea salt caramel cheese straw.” Cannot say I tasted it.
Things I saw but did not try: Frozen risotto from Italy. Sun-dried tomatoes from England. Jalapeños from Vermont. Camel milk. Things I kinda understood: Powdered blue cheese. Powdered peanut butter. Thing I did not: “Autism approved.”
You can put beets, orange and quinoa together in a jar. But you really shouldn’t call it salsa.
One more place you will never spot Bill Cunningham: The Javits Center during the food show. #glamourdonts
Props to Jeni’s for having a presence if nothing to sell in the midst of the listeria crisis.
“Troll-caught tuna” makes you think those online assholes should just get out and fish.
Indian, with so much overlap with Mexican, should be taking over the world. Instead, Korean rules. And don’t get me started on how many weird juxtapositions with kimchi there were.
Funny how the backlash against the “fancy” food show looks even more ridiculous now. Not only did I see more artisanal, more vegetables, more fresh (or frozen) meat. I also noticed at least three booths with a certain kimchi that apparently only wanted to be invited into the club. Call it Dumboing Down.
Two more changes in the show over the decades. The frenzy to find a distributor seems to have subsided — many people just told me I could find their stuff on Amazon. #greatdisruption And “press” on your badge no longer marks you as prey. “Old” media is clearly not essential to getting a product promoted.
And while the amount of garbage generated is still staggering, with all those plastic mini-spoons and plates and endless plastic cups, there are hints of hope: Paper spoons and edible spoons might save the oceans a tiny bit.
Oh, and there was a lot of drinkin’. Ice creams touting alcohol content, wine brownies, bitters on bitters and Bronx ’shine. I’m not crazy about Mr. Semi-Homemade, but he has been very, very good to NYS firewater, both the making and consuming of.
Finally: If all this food is so super and so smart, why does it all wind up in the toilet?
Maybe the wingnuts should actually want the poors to be able to buy beans with food stamps. The Cat WCTLWAFW once snared edamame at a dinner party and wound up too full to steal the magret.
And I’ve typed this many times before, but the relentless focus on food stamp “fraud,” that phantom that accounts for at most 1 percent of tax dollars spent on nourishing kids and olds, really would come to a sudden fizzle if the whole debate were reframed to make it clear the program is actually a federal subsidy for supermarkets. If it weren’t, beneficiaries would get cash benefits to spend wherever the hell they wanted, like the fruit cart outside our neighborhood Holy Foods selling produce for a pittance. No wonder drugstores have morphed into hypermarkets. Big Food is a bigger racket than Big Pharma. Now the Duane CVS Walgreen Reade lobbyists just have to get cracking on getting sushi included in the few allowed food groups. At least it’s not lobster. Or canned tuna.
In fud politics, I’ll admit to being beyond entertained by the uproar over the 50 Most BS awards. As I Tweeted, the biggest mistake the presenters made was not starting with journalism awards — first you co-opt the “reporters.” I did not Tweet that those so outraged by a rigged game had no problem for decades with a system that allowed anyone to use a ballot like a bucket list and check off everywhere h/she had eaten, no matter when. (Also, too, one that proved tabulations are for the little people.) The Maroons just didn’t think big enough. And how could you tell the newer contest was bullshit? The acres of coverage it fertilized. It’s either bogus or it’s noteworthy. Not both.
Not sure what goes on in editorial meetings these days, but somehow “mom cards know best” results in 10-inch recipes (It’s coconut cream pie, not molecular gastronomy, for pop’s sake! ) and “you don’t need an Italian grandma to learn to make pasta” turns into “consult a bunch of American chefs.” Spring is to be celebrated right before the Fourth of July, with peas not in Greenmarkets and second mortgages required for $60-a-pound morels and $10-a-softshell feasts. And the wackiness is everywhere: Advice on wasting less food runs with ridiculous sell-by dates that result in, yes, more wasted food. But at the main outlet, the one hoping “recipe cards will save the day,” Helen Keller is clearly running the design show. All gray and no white space would communicate better in the original Braille.
A bit more in the same vein: My consort and I still subscribe to two daily print editions. I look at everything but the five pounds of glossy magazines that seem to arrive with one or the other every single week. Luckily, or unfortunately, Bob will flip through and rip out the fud stuff. And so I now know there is actually a chef who can get ink by touting the woods she uses for cooking. She lost me at carpaccio, but the whole exercise struck me as “the Escoffier is wearing no apron” of the first order. Really? It’s hard enough to keep the sel gris separate from the Maldon, but to throw wood into the walk-in? Whoever the publicist is deserves a long trip to a faraway country, too, because when I Googled the joint I actually turned up the line “If Brooklyn and Louisville had a baby, it would be . . .” I’m all for marriage equality, but do we really want boroughs screwing cities to create bogus trend babies?
My cynical side also wonders about the aftermath of the Blue Bell listeria outbreak. Maybe the whole goal was just to trim the workforce, the same way Hostess sold itself off to do. Somehow smaller, less endowed Jeni’s managed to clean up its plant and get the cream freezing again with no bloodbath. Spin is everything, though: Look how airlines are learning to manipulate social media for praise whenever a pilot orders pizza for passengers trapped on the tarmac for hours. That’s not goodness of heart. That’s the law.