Future of farming, price of a Chanel bootee

Panchito is such a lightweight he still attracts more interest for his short stint covered in napkins than for his political insights, of which he appears starved, as a true media critic notes. In the age of artisanal everything, he gets paid Monsanto-level bucks to churn out high-fructose drivel. But I did get one good LOL: He read the Bruni Digest only once? Sure. And the McD’s at the Spanish Steps is the finest restaurant in Rome.

Big thumbnail chips

File this under “sometimes the news is in the noise, sometimes it’s in the silence.” What was missing in the redesigned issue of a certain magazine whose editor is renowned for hiring the first barbecue critic? And I’m not talking the lone Bertolli ad from the Eighties . . .

Even dwarfs started bigoted

Tweeted this but have to repeat: One of the best things I learned in my pass through journalism school was that you always die. You do not “pass away.” Otherwise, reporters soon find themselves saying chickens were “processed” for sandwiches. Also, too: Every obit that quoted the founder on how starting in poverty gave him his work ethic should have mentioned he appears to believe every employee should experience that misery forevermore. Good Christians do, of course, only have to observe the Lord’s Day, not the Lord’s rules.

Immersion blender, or wand?

Any chef who works for a crook (cuz merde too often happens) should be feeling empowered now. They screw you, you can bring them down. Of course, the other lesson is that consorting with the wrong sort will only lead to trouble. Never claim the Butter Guzzler as a reference.

Olds gonna old

Don’t ask me where, but dinner the other night made me realize there could be a perfect wine scam: Offer one list for ordering and another if a customer challenges the price on the check. Suddenly those $8 and $9 glasses are $11 and $12 and the markup is all yours. All you’d lose would be repeat business.

Eggs and melons and peanut butter, too

Everyone else can wet their sponsored-post adult diapers over ISIS beheaders. I’m gonna lie awake worrying about MRSA, even if fetal steps are being taken to eliminate antibiotics in animals. Twenty-two aspiring firefighters can get infected in one training class, and have no cure, and we’re supposed to panic over scimitar-wielders halfway around the world who would have their holy water confiscated at airport security? Much smarter to freak out over the notion that I could cut my own hand in my own kitchen and go to the ER and pick up something that would cause my fingers to eat themselves.

Robuchon potatoes, in the freezer case

If you aren’t convinced we’re living in end times, consider what’s happening with corn. And I don’t mean GMO scariness. At the food show this summer, I saw butter designed in a cylinder to make rolling an ear easier. What, dragging your corn through a stick is too much work? But this, spotted in Philadelphia, was like a Fellini vision of elote. At least it’s gluten-free.

“Agradolce” in a Mason jar

Speaking of butter, the consciousness-raising @nyfarmer over to the Twitter posted a photo from the state fair of an elaborate butter sculpture of a food bank. Given that I have a soft spot for a silly comedy, I dutifully reTweeted but had to add that it actually made me sad. All we hear is that this is the richest, bestest country on the planet. And people still need handouts? At a time when a burger is a buck? One thing I learned on a reporting trip, though, is that Big Fud is figuring out how to cash in, with products developed specifically for food banks. The poor, once depicted only as whites to sell the Great Society, will truly always be with us. Mostly because they give cover for wingnut welfare.

No bourbon harmed, at least

If you are what you eat, wingnuts sound mighty uppity. An invite to a male-only fundraiser down in Florida caused a big stir for the “tell the Misses (cq) not to wait up” condescension. But far more revealing was what was on the menu. Do real Americans eat oyster shooters with applewood-smoked salt, and pastrami smoked salmon, and goat cheese dumplings, let alone beurre blanc and brandade? (The Irish whiskey Jell-O I’ll grant them.) Seems like only yesterday the Big O was being lambasted as elitist for merely mentioning arugula. Now these loons are eating kale, and proud of it.

Tabasco in every MRE

I’ve laughed before about the Murdoch Crier running stories on $22,000 dresses while including slingers in the Saturday paper offering 20 cents off on a can of Goya beans. But the disconnect is deeper than that. In an alleged news story on how higher food prices were cutting into Labor Day grilling budgets, a woman was quoted as telling the caterer to serve anything but burgers. Yes. Because times are so tight you can’t do the cooking yourself. Or: Let ‘em eat brioche buns. And put your palate on a pallet of pintos.

No colon, still rollin’, no coincidence?

I’m so old I remember when donut peaches were the new fruit on the block. And then, again, when mango nectarines first came to supermarkets. Now I can find mango donut peaches. At the Greenmarket. And love ‘em. But I will never buy into the smokescreen that they qualify as GMO. There is BS. And then there is seeded fertilizer.

King looks like an uncle, too

Once upon a time the news that a huge fast food chain was engaging in legal but clearly unethical behavior would have gone unreported, or, even worse, have been covered with the usual obfuscatory biz-PRspeak. So I’m impressed that everyone got what it all meant from the get-go: The greedy fucks are getting and going to Canada in a “mailbox move” simply to cut their tax bill (evasion and inversion are so close). If there were a pink-slime God, this would at least mean employees could get that good, socialist, northwoods health care. But apparently America gets the shaft, covering food stamps and housing and Medicaid for those underpaid workers while the hope-there-are-shopping-malls-in-hell bosses plot their next gut-and-run. Youngs are gonna have to save us all.

Archbishop’s reds

I give Gail Collins credit for not describing Cuomo’s consort as a celebrity chef. But “celebrity cookbook writer” is also stretching it well past Kwanzaa . . .


“Obligatory Caesar” is redundant. // NYT should put corrections behind a paywall. And run more of ‘em. Who wouldn’t pony up to see #Pelacciothirdfromleft? // Scarier than “melts” in cat food? “Single-cell protein.” Coming soon to a label near you. . . // The special K is karma as an editor learns you are not the boss of you. // Phrase I never expected to hear in a Key Food: grass-fed. But I suspect they’ll soon learn to lock up the Urbani. // Hope I was hallucinating. Thought I saw a young guy with Halloween Peeps at Chelsea Fairway. . . // “WTF is that?” should never be your first reaction to a fud foto. // 50 lashes with a salmonella-infected turkey gorgle for anyone sending out Thanksgiving releases right now. // Might not be the best time to boast that TOTG’s chef is a headliner at your event. . . // DQ patrons have $ to cyber-steal? // If bacon needs a national day, water must be dying of attention-thirst. // Saw a coat hanger symbol on a door in a restaurant. Thought it was the ladies’ room. // And: My mise will never be en place.

Purity balls and virgin sturgeon

Maybe I’m easily amused, but I’m enjoying watching true-red staters begging for Washington help now that they have a salmon glut on their hands. Of course they only want big gubmint off their backs when the selling is easy. Or maybe, as my cynical side suspects, salmon are exempt from wingnut principles for a simpler reason: They might be bearing precious roe.