My favorite wingnut finally got me to pay attention to the new FDA rule forbidding American cheese producers to age their stuff on wood, ostensibly for sanitary reasons. He was all wrought up about libs and Obummer, so I had to point out that neither likely bears the blame and shame for this bureaucratic overreach. Somewhere, you can be pretty sure, someone from the industrial cheese world got paid to get the law changed. Legislators are not looking out for “we the people,” because we only pay their paltry $174,000 salaries, not make them into millionaires. Artisanal cheese producers have even less clout. But if there’s an upside to all of this, it is an acknowledgement that Big Cheese does feel threatened enough to try to stifle the competition. Once you’ve had a Jasper Hill, or a Rogue, processed crap just won’t do it. Meanwhile, the Big O has set in motion a way for “we the people” to let the White House know what matters, as one more way to undo the damage wrought by his predecessor, who famously never “listened to focus groups.” Another way for the little guy to fight back would be to launch an insidious campaign to send the message that the dread feds are forcing us to shun home-aged goodness just to prevent the occasional outbreak of listeria. Make the bought-off in Congress own their sellout. Call it “Buy Imported.”
Also, too, I don’t know why anyone would be surprised to learn Panchito is a sucker for get-thin-quick scams. This is the gullible dunce who sold a dangerous dry drunk as a harmless good ol’ boy. Of course he would spring for snake oil. And here’s all you need to know about his kitchen cred: Tabasco in the age of sriracha? Might as well confess to finding French’s mustard ass-licking good.
I would wonder why so many food and wine entrepreneurs are expanding to Istanbul even as the country’s own GWB is clearly going all medieval on drinkers’ asses. But then I remember: Eataly’s wine shop didn’t do so well in the progressive state of New York . . .
Also, too, I never thought we’d see the day when riot cops would show up at a McD’s shareholder meeting, but we are living in interesting times: repeating history by refusing to learn from it. All the money can’t go to the bosses without necks starting to look a little blade-worthy. Protesters weren’t too happy about the marketing of processed crap to kids, either. Which must be the only reason they aren’t saying: “Let ’em eat Happy Meals.” Pitchfork Factories R Us.
Old, but I’m not wasting: Imagine a real food movement with clout. // Things I learned today: Time needs a tax break to move to cheaper offices downtown. While farmers pay land taxes. // Restaurant Guys who read NYT Style section for latest pants/shoe advice should also check out WSJ on how to buy a jacket that fits. // See a guy eating alone & chewing with his mouth open & you know why he’s eating alone. // Just saw “potatoe & beacon soup.” And “humanly raised chicken” (which would be an oddity). // Remember when Corner Bistro was considered a top burger place? Get the shivers every time I walk by. // “Vibrant frizzante character” sounds like a casting call. // OMFG: there are gluten-free aphrodisiacs? // With seven tons of hummus recalled, you can safely consider ground chickpeas the new ground beef. // And some chains’ food trucks would be better labeled as port-a-johns.
So a company will spend a bloody fortune on a commercial, and a columnist will dutifully write it all up, without either addressing the fact that no amount of smoking and sizzling will ever turn industrial beef into food fit to eat. I believe that’s what’s known in scientific terminology as “polishing a turd.”
My sources read Panchito so I don’t have to suffer the increasingly saccharine insipidity while the Chimp he flacked continues to go unpunished. So I know the lamest restaurant critic ever has gone all Hallmark on America’s ass without ever noting he is the first gay uncle who does not have to pretend to be straight. Given that we are, for the first time, going through a civil rights revolution driven by neither a war nor legislation crammed down the throats of the free Xians, surely the cause deserves a better banner bearer. As the cries to burn down the op-ed pages grow, and especially after the pushy broad has been ousted, maybe sign up a guy who can both bake and think? Anyone who could bring his own mom over to the enlightened side would be preaching to the convertible. And I don’t mean that in the car sense.
I’m so old I remember when a coupla hippies from Vermont were among the good guys in food. But they sold their soul to the corporate store, and the other day the slingers in the Murdoch Crier included a coupon for a buck off a gruesome example of overkill under their once-good name: two types of ice cream in one pint carton with a “core” of peanut butter or salted caramel fudge etc. It’s Mad Dog 20/20 in the freezer aisle. At least you can get fat for a good cause. It’s “fairtrade.” Probably gluten-free, too.
Usually I disregard Tweets that link to stories older than, say, 12 hours — info-junkie that I am, I know so much new information has usually come out that whatever is being reported as new is really as fresh as yesterday’s baguette. But when one of the smartest women in food politics Tweets, I listen. And her catch — on gubmint loans for local food — illustrates the great chasm between “reporters” today and reality. The former are constantly whining that the Big O is not giving them enough access. Yet this eminently encouraging information was just lying lox-like, there for the taking. It’s as if they don’t know how to use either the Google or the .gov.
I dread ever going back to Paris, judging by the reports coming out of that wannabe Williamsburg. // Funny how people grossed out by mayonnaise love “aioli.” // Saying it again: If you have to be described as “celebrity chef,” you really aren’t. // Porridge is actually a very pretentious word. // How to tip a craptastic bartender? If you were a woman, you’d know the answer: Tip better so they don’t think you’re a “typical” woman. // Sign spotted at Zabar’s: Some sushi products may contain raw fish. // In from dinner and drinks in the richest ZIP and wondering, after seeing all those 1% faces: Would the plural be a flock of facelifts? Or a saggle?
Sad to realize whoever invented “dough conditioners” will probably get an obit. And ponzu will always sound like a scheme. Also, sadly, too: It’s a good thing Orwell is not around to hear “botched execution.” You use that verb for brownies, FFS.
Wednesday whiplash: One story tells you there’s no spring produce, the other says “shell peas!” And then there’s the third, touting the Greenmarket “pantry.” Which of course is better-stocked this time of year than the Greenmarket “walk-in.” You can, after all, cook anything with potato chips and applesauce.
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.
Meantime, I have to sorta RT myself from the other day, after we got back from an outstanding outing to the West Indies of Queens: I saw a sadly, seriously obese toddler on a subway platform and realized how rare such a sighting is these days. Somehow the Obama Fail and the Nanny State have helped moms realize there is such a thing as nutrition, and it matters more than cheap sugar water sucked from a baby bottle in a stroller. Too bad we don’t have a dictator who could return home ec to the kiddy curriculum so future parents of America could learn my NYC-public-school-educated mom’s math: beans + cornbread = complete protein.
Give the Butter Guzzler some credit. She was a trend-setter for once: First off the plantation with the racist remarks plus behavior to make them stick. And you have to hope she, as a sports follower, feels compelled to weigh in on the latest whitey tape while playing musical chairs while she’s played by a fool. Keep that comeback coming!