Nog abuse, continued

No one is more aware than I am that 90 percent of food-world success is just pretending to show up. But I still find my jaw dropping every time I read anything about “Hungry Girl.” For the longest time I didn’t believe this corporate tool actually existed. Now it doesn’t matter. Print-age media has been so thoroughly co-opted that the original hometown daily can run a huge recipe piece without ever stopping to think how many ads it lost by giving away all those brand names for free. I’m so old I remember writing for a newspaper editor in Norfolk, Virginia, who would not even allow us to use “Tabasco” in a recipe; it had to be “hot red pepper sauce,” so we didn’t appear to be shilling. But I guess there probably is no substitute for Jell-O Sugar-Free Fat-Free Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix. And thank the food gods for that.