Every morning’s food news should come with a warning: If the libertarian in the clown car gets anywhere near the White House there will be no Big Gubmint to get between you and sick chickens and listeria-laden ice cream. The United States of Somalia will have no mandated kills and recalls — live free market and die. But on the lighter side, I was reminded of the first guy I ever heard rave about Blue Bell, a supervisor in a soft-shell crab processing plant on the Chesapeake who described how those beautiful swimmers molt: “They have to be real still after shedding. It’s like a hangover, a bad one, where you wake up and your skin is in the bed next to you.”
Archive for the ‘wingnuttery’ Category
Not fud except for the source, but: Traveling in the Obama era is always better than it was during the Reign of Error when we had to pretend to be Canadian or at least insist we were not Americano but New Yorkese. Still, it was illuminating to talk with a Northern Irishman in Turkey who responded to my lament that there’s a whole lot o’ racism and ignorance on display in this country lately. “No offense,” he said, “but hasn’t there always been?” And before returning to irregularly scheduled snark, I have to note that the consensus among the mostly youngish Turks I met was: “Fucking Erdogan is killing everything. But we need the economic stability.” Looking at the rampant destruction of the city for shopping malls and luxury housing, it did seem as if, as one young put it, “We’re losing our birthright.” Unlike Americans, though, they will at least credit their leader for the extra lira in their lives.
On the lighter side, the story about Erdogan installing a food lab in his megamansion to test for poison inspired some animated discussion over one lunch. One tablemate wondered why, if he’s so terrified someone is out to get him through the gut, he doesn’t just have his wife cook for him. My response: “Maybe he can’t trust her, either.”
All this Bill Cosby unscabbing is depressing enough. But, as always, there’s amusement. When someone “reported” that the father of Fat Albert made young women working on a show not exactly known for enlightenment watch him eat, I could only WTF — Big Chicken makes big-time journalists watch him eat nachos. With three scoops of sour cream plus guacamole, to boot.
And the Toppest chef really has more self-control than we knew, because he managed to respond to an attack by the wife of a high-paid lobbyist posing as a simple cooking teacher without once using the words “you ignorant slut.”
Funny how this works: Fearbola subsides after Republicans get elected. But even at the height of the hysteria, I just really could not get terrified when there are so many other things to sweat panic bullets over, like the reality that the server and cook at your local meatball emporium might not be getting sick days. Look what’s happening in Maine, where a science-denying governor refuses to tell people exactly which restaurant put diners on a prospective path to $1,000-a-dose treatment. Every time I pass a certain corner in Chelsea I remember how it took exactly one pizzaiola, back in the days before that word had currency, to infect hundreds of people with hepatitis. The chances of eating mucus off the sidewalk are far lower. And not to mention: If dogs were E-carriers, all five boroughs would have to shut down — that shit is everywhere.
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.
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.
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.
Foie gras is up there with avocado and cheese and chunky sea salt eaten right out of my hand as the last tastes I would want as I headed off into the nothingness that is the afterlife. But I still have to say the news that 13 states are petitioning the Supreme Court to lift bans on it would have the hairs rising on the back of even Marie Antoinette’s neck. Of all of the issues in all of this country, this is the one they want to go to the gilded mat over? The whole problem could be easily solved by declaring a taste for foie gras (and please: can everyone quit shorthanding the name?) a religious right, one held by only a tiny minority. The robed ones would be on it like stink on merde. I agree with the insanity of outlawing any consumable that does not come in a 64-ounce cup. But I also have this silly idea that all the increasingly loony restrictions on abortion merit a lot more activism. Then again, maybe there’s a way to kill two birds with one message. Why is force-feeding ducks any crueler than making a human being gestate and then pop out an unwanted larva?
(Sorry. Shoulda suggested you get out the Chateau d’Yquem before reading that.)
I was half-relieved when the Big O was seen around the food world reaching over a sneeze guard (and who hasn’t been tempted to do that while trying to communicate with the salsa sloppers)? At last there was a true scandal to get worked up about! But then he went and jumped the line for barbecue, and that was a brisket too far for libtards. Still, imagine the shitstorm if he had had his retinue stand down for that $300 worth of smoky bliss. The kkkrazies would be foaming at the mouth over the billions in tax dollars wasted by the wait. Instead, they have to pray away the gay.
Speaking of in-your-uterus wingnuttiness, I have been reveling in the squash blossoms from a certain farmer this summer. And every time I prep and cook them, I realize they could be banned because garden-variety babbies are being thwarted. No Planned Zucchinihood here. You seed-sluts plant ‘em and it’s up to you to sort out what to do with the overpopulation.
For once I blast out my instant reaction on an issue and I get burned. Of course there was more to the story of the FDA ban on aging cheese on wood; it was not all about a 2012 law promoted by fascistic libs and signed by ol’ Obummer. And of course I’m on the side of the artisanal cheese producers, after having once spent the better part of a day watching Parmigiano-Reggiano being made outside Parma — that small plant was cleaner than any operating room in a hospital catering to hyper-rich Saudis. But I still understand why the government might want to err, even ridiculously, on the side of caution. The great free market simply cannot help itself. With no watchdogs, any producer would be tempted to cut corners; even with policing listeria happens. As for the great free-market argument that “no one would hurt a customer; it would kill sales,” why did the FDA also announce this week that it had set safety standards for infant formula? Think about it. American manufacturers can’t even be trusted not to poison babies . . . .
File this trollbait under: Someone is wrong on the Internet. If we lived under a dictatorship, I would be the first to lay all the blame on the White House for the lack of huge progress (as opposed to “the fail”) in changing the way Big Ag forces America to eat. But it is impossible for one branch of government to push back hard enough when the two others have been bought off along with much of the media. (Even the so-called heroes among the latter are villains to dairy farmers, BTW. Lookin’ at you, Mr. Cream Cheese For Me, Not For Thee.) I do want to hope that one day, when all the black smoke has cleared, the country may see the bigger picture. But look at what’s happening with the fight over the minimum wage for fast-food workers. What the NRA (either of ‘em) don’t want, the country don’t get. The 10.10 bucks don’t stop in the Oval Office. But at least now it’s perfectly clear: Kale was brought in as the arugula assassin. Call it the Manchurian Crucifer.
And here is more evidence that you should, as I’ve always contended, beware any food or food establishment with “health” in the name. Grimm Rep, indeed. Leave it to the yapping masses to be judge and jury: “The matzoh-ball soup was terrible, and the bowl was too small.”
Also, too, the non-feathered cardinal with the private chef in his mansion, the one who shows the faithful every day that gluttony is no longer a sin, made a splash by saying you can pick up birth control at any ol’ 7-Eleven. I knew that trashy chain would be the death of Manhattan. Guys in gowns apparently now shop there. But what’s really amazing is how clearly he has exposed wingnut thinking. Attempting to ban Big Gulps is tyranny. Banning “slut pills” is liberty. There must be a revolving-wiener joke in there somewhere.