Archive for July, 2012

Now made in Japan: hot water

July 2012

What’s the biggest similarity between the internets and the kitchen? With either, it’s so much easier to be a consumer than a creator.

Winter squash with those red peppers?

July 2012

But I’m trying here. At this point there isn’t much left to say about the fact that movie theaters rigorously police outside food and drinks yet have no problem with “guests” strutting in with assault weapons and 6,000 bullets. And I anticipate no abatement of the insanity, given how inured Americans have become to not “rampage” but slaughter in so many fast-food joints over the years. But at least I understand why bottled water is, as James Fallows noted, one thing an Aurora-style mass murderer could not bring through airport security. If you have to pitch yours, you have to buy another. And what’s more lucrative than sugar water? Tap water in a fancy bottle in a non-compete environment.

“Snap that gastric band”

July 2012

Speaking of which, the push-back against our anti-gun mayor’s attempt to save the porky populace from itself has been rather fascinating. We actually now live in a world where a gallon of sugar water is considered not just a normal portion but something to be defended to the diabetic-and/or-obese death. If only all the money being thrown around on the misinformation campaign could be directed to free public gyms; soda swillers could have their vice but get some exercise, too. Instead, trickery rules. I’m half-embarrassed to say I read an op-ed in the print version of Faux News and was actually almost taken in: Poor little artisanal iced-tea company, suffering under rules designed to hurt big cola companies. So good on Marion Nestle for noting: David is actually owned by the same Goliath that bottles Dasani. If you have to put “honest” on the label, you must be lying.

And in Spain, no almuerza for the non-banksters

July 2012

Which leads me to the sad state of affairs in the Gulf of Mexico. I follow a couple of accounts (they’re certainly not people) on Twitter just to keep up on the distract-and-destroy campaign BP is waging on the food front. The other day I wanted to RT an “up with NOLA!” story on chefs cooking at the Olympics but immediately realized it was just more oil screen. The masters of disaster need to keep selling the notion that seafood swimming in befouled water is safe to eat. While patriotic chefs who like to see their names in bold are only too happy to help.

& why does Chase list my account at 200 Madison?

July 2012

Maybe I’ve traveled too much. But when I see someone in the hometown paper mocking Rome for being swept up in Eataly mania, I just wonder if she had any idea what the Italians thought when New Yorkers lost their shit over Disneytorino.

The wine is too damn high

July 2012

Given the blatant deception the Wall Street Crier engages in every day these days, I should just ignore the lizard-brain action going on over at the Antichrist’s lesser organ. But I did have to wonder how a paper that falls over itself to celebrate every $1,000 gold-leaf truffle-burger of an ice cream sundae can condemn a serious restaurant for an $18 vegetable entree. Mouth breathers probably bought right into the math: three carrots that cost 90 cents at Holy Foods marked up 2,000 percent! I would ask where the editors were, but that would be pissing into the wind even farther to the west in Times Square. That crew would probably be equally confused by what else goes onto a plate. Just for starters, freekeh is not free (buy/try it sometime). More important, you would never see this same team feeding those empty beaks the reality of all they eat. As I learned in restaurant school, chicken is the rising tide that lifts all other entrees. Given what the white slime sells for in supermarkets, even KFC is a gouge.

Porm

July 2012

While my consort and I were at the Greenmarket on Columbus on Sunday, a couple of beach-blanket bimbos (the color of Boehner, the vacuity of Ryan) handed us samples of that five-hour energy shot I keep seeing Tweeted. And they warned: Don’t take it unless you’re really tired; otherwise it won’t work. Isn’t that like serving green beans and saying: Don’t eat them until you’re starving; otherwise they won’t fill you up?

Eat muffin tops, avoid butter?

July 2012

File under “once a copy editor, always a nuisance:” I passed an UWS cafe that has “dougnuts” emblazoned on the window in gold type not once but twice — Doug must be speaking in a very high voice. And if one corn picker is selling, it’s a farmer’s market. If more are trying to control their anger while watching urbanites shuck their ears, it’s a farmers’ market. Never is it apostrophe-free. Does anyone go to the mens room? Also, too, I am not sure I would want to eat any sushi joint offering “Grandma roll.” Is that Japanese for Soylent?

No hyphen before American

July 2012

Finally, for all my bitchiness, I am very impressed by this new generation of chefs ignoring the whoring route and instead focusing on what they do best. Anyone who has never eaten in Oz will probably not understand how momentous it is that David Chang’s outpost was just named the hottest restaurant on that continent. I ate my way through Sydney/Melbourne so long ago Saddam was still believed to have yellowcake, but even then the food scene was extraordinary. And it’s rather awesome that a New Yorker has beaten them at their own game. All that said, I’ll now go back to storing up bile . . .

Nails ladies

July 2012

Dick around on the internets long enough, and you might even find a new peg for a punch line, American Samoa style. Are the KKKrazies now making Girl Scout boxes a big deal? All of which is by way of saying I can’t even begin to describe how weary the Ann-v-Michelle cookie contest makes me feel this election. So much bullshit, so little oats. Editors with imagination would at least have realized a real contest would involve cake. And I’d guess the super-rich wife bakes a mean brioche.

“Hooters-type places”

July 2012

And this is not Fud, but it is good, passed along by a reader who knew Panchito back when his word salads did nominal harm in the “let ‘em go bankrupt” capital of America.

Where there’s an insecurity, there’s a Williams-Sonoma

July 2012

Sometimes I actually almost want to weep for flacks. As judgmental as I am, I realize they need to make a paycheck, and if a chef/client says whipping up gnocchi is easier than boiling boxed pasta, yeah, sure, they have to regurgitate. But please don’t feed me rabbit ragu and call it Gnocchi Helper.

Espresso by Fiat, at 140kph

July 2012

Just watched this to be sure I wasn’t going to be accused of anything unoriginal after dillydallying before posting, but: I decided eons ago I’d prefer to be cremated once I join the choir invisible. Now I’ve learned, thanks to the most beautiful food story in donkey’s years, that it’s not the most environmentally sensitive way of disposing of a body bent over from carrying Baggus for years. Given that I spared the planet any resource-sapping spawn, I’m not going to worry too much about eco-karma. But this does have me thinking Starbucks opening in a funeral home is just perfect placement: Who wouldn’t enjoy thinking “ashes to ashes” while sipping that burnt brew?

Cactus leaves

July 2012

I didn’t get all the way through the “organic game is rigged” exposé, but that won’t stop me from wondering: So what else is new? Anyone who shops the Greenmarket/deals with farmers knew long ago that the real guys were being priced out of certification. The signs disappeared; the practices did not. Some of us don’t need the Libby’s on the label, just the experience at the table.

I am also deliberately avoiding slogging through the new book attacking the latest local foods movement even though I cannot escape being exposed to its sillier ideas. If I didn’t understand that there’s money to be made stifling entrepreneurship, I would wonder, yet again, why a drone was directed at a caterpillar. No one is being forced to buy/eat local. Throw out every high-minded reason to do so and you’re still left with the most sensual: The food just tastes better. I’m sure I’ve nattered about this before, but I vividly remember the first time I walked through the Union Square Greenmarket, when my consort was assigned by New York magazine to shoot photos for a piece on how farmers might be price-fixing. That was in the good old days when Fairway had the best affordable produce in town, and Balducci’s had everything at any price, but what we brought home that morning was so much better in so many ways it was life-changing. (Especially the bacon our Park Avenue/Wall Street friends worried could not be “sanitary.”) And I have never once gone into Whole Foods after shopping 97th Street, watched shoppers scooping up shipped-in cherries for twice the price and yelled, as the old guy did while storming out of “Magnolia” on Xmas Day one year: BF “What’s wrong with you people?” It’s a free country. Anyone who wants to eat listeria-laced meatballs and salmonella-infused mesclun can have it his/her way.

Who really strips down after even a ghost pepper?

July 2012

I Tweeted this but will elaborate: That fetid air you felt after the latest Di/Do click-whoring was ol’ Craig, spinning as he saw how horrifically his accomplishment was being corroded. He spent his career elevating the food conversation in America. And now it’s descended to the allure of processed crap. No wonder they have to define harissa and gribenes — readers are now too confused on whether they should make their own ketchup or glug out what the attention-whoring chefs do. If I hadn’t lost my faith in the stock market thanks to Pinch shares, I’ve be investing in Jell-O. Can Rush salads be far behind? Maybe run the main with a sidebar on “make your own marshmallows”? No ads will ensue no matter what.