Truffle boner

Even I am sick to death of reminding Panchito he helped hugely in the Bushwhacking of America. But one of his latest paycheck justifications, passed along by my e-pal who knows him from way back when, merits particular scorn. He’s actually trashing a lesbian for TMI on her scarf-and-barfin’? Didn’t he tell beyond all with his ka-ching? Really, he should just go suck a bag of Cheneys.

“Flashing cleavage”

Meanwhile, the original weapon of misdirection still has a steady paycheck even as one of the smartest guys in NYC food has been shitcanned. “Freelance bloggers” are already being recruited, because everyone knows advertisers will prop up your site if there’s rabble-regurgitation going on on it. Not surprisingly, the hometown paper took an oddly passive tone in reporting the major upheaval, headlining and leading with “loses” and “leaves” rather than “shitcans,” but everyone working for the Pharaoh knows what that’s all about: Speak up/against and you might be next to find your ass on the curb. And so, just as with the Twinkies tale, readers cannot be informed that olds, like union members and the pension-promised, simply cost more. No joke. It’s just sad.

Cream before 6

You have to give the golden-arched evil empire props for balls. On the same day its honchos were denying any role in the ballooning of the human race, the chain was boasting that it had come up with its most caloric item ever. Which happens to be merely a mega-order of enough fries to feed a village, but I’m sure they’re counting on suckers not realizing the so-called meat is not what packs on the lbs. It’s the sides. And not just the liquid ones.

I was also fascinated by the huge fuss over KFC deliveries coming through the Gaza tunnels, which was a story that came out of nowhere and was suddenly everywhere, Somewhere a flack has to be cashing a mega-check. I first saw the “news” on a British site, with the photo attributed to an agency. Other outlets sent their own lensmen to get the pic, but in every one the logo was front and center and very clear. You’d think it was Coke in a Hollywood movie. Once upon a time you would say you couldn’t buy advertising like this. Now you can ask: Why would you? Journamalists will do it for free.

Hoppin’ grenouille

One of the best developments since Al Gore invented the series of tubes is that Americans no longer have to slog through sanitized versions of how the Congressional sausage is made. We can search out our own information on these dunces and bag men/women to whom reporters have to pander to retain access. And Jeebus, is that ever helpful with the farm bill. The great Heidi Moore has a superb analysis of the epic fail, but she only touches on the hypocrisy on shameful display. A farmer who rakes in the federal bucks actually wanted to cut food stamps because they’re like stealing. As always, the question remains: Stupid or evil? Or both?

$2.29 for the smoothie

I’m sure I’ve nattered before that I persuaded my consort not to invest in the evil golden-arched empire after he asked for a non-gut reason beyond “processed crap bad.” Two words worked: mad cow. Just the potential made the stock a crazy risk. But increasingly my second premonition is materializing: The main ingredient is literally unsustainable. The world simply can’t raise enough cattle to fill buns for a population of 8 billion. And now the reports are starting: Drought is taking a toll just in this country, with herds shrinking and prices rising. I’m sure Dubai is loving its falafel alternative. But the burger bubble is about to burst.

“A” whipped cream

When I worked at the NYTimes the second time, after 15 years on the outside, I constantly railed that it should sell decoder rings to readers. How the hell were they supposed to know why some book titles merited quotation marks and others did not? Now the public editor, in exposing T for Twaddle as the advertorial it is, has implicitly made that case. “Readers assume” more than she says, though. How are they to know  the rules are different if you’re “not on staff,” which is defined differently from “freelance?” Luckily, I doubt you can take a gold-plated bidet with you.


An heirloom tomato from a greenhouse is still just a hothouse tomato. // A photo of a pulled pork sandwich should never look like a used Kotex. // Would never want to be caught at happy hour with MoDo & Ginny Noonan. The bitters would flood the joint. // Not sure anyone ever wants Brussels sprouts in macaroni and cheese. But definitely not in asparagus season. // First time I tasted black truffle thought it was like something you’d scrape off your shoe bottom. // Tip for restaurants: Don’t have “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” playing while you keep people on hold forever . . . // If I were the grudge-holding sort, I’d wonder where the E-Rectum mob was when the Schnorrer recycled a feature that once made them grab their pitchforks to defend his originality. // Just read that “jewelry” falling into produce is a big threat to food safety. Yep, those diamonds on poorly paid fingers do carry the bacteria. // Excellent Colbert on the aspersions on the asparagus. // And pinot grigio is Italian for insipid.

Also, too: I came home from the 15 CPW commissary and Tweeted/FB’d that rich people don’t care about flavor. To which one Swift-savvy reader responded: Yeah, they eat the poors with ketchup without tasting them first.

For the mammaries, thanks

I’ve always been tempted to try Sandra Day O’s enchilada recipe from my home state, but now that I know she’s too remorseful too late, I’m hoping she and Panchito will just go off to contemplate the damage they did. Into the tequila sunset should suit ’em both.

Somewhere Johnny Rotten is spewing d’Yquem

I was fortunate enough to be locked out of the Internets during all the Enron on 12th Street celebrations, for which I will be eternally grateful. Beforehand I did hear an inneresting tidbit from someone kvetching that the “journalism” categories have been clumped together to the point of even crazier unfairness: With media outlets committed to squeezing every penny out of overstretched hamsters, how many have the resources anymore to pay into the medal-making machinery built on entry fees?

And Rach? Not a chef.

The older I get the happier I am to be past kiddledom, not least because the school lunch program in this country seems to be a cross between “starve the beasts” and “go all medieval on their guts.” My cranial sieve is notoriously unreliable, but I remember bringing crapwiches of peanut butter and brown sugar wrapped in waxed paper to school because my family could barely afford the 4 cents a day per spawn for a quarter-pint of milk. Whatever kids today are getting has to be better than that, even if the privileged are reduced to videographing the sins of the cooks. Although I wonder where the parents are, letting ’em eat GMO corn oil instead of time-honored butter . . . .

Aspersions on asparagus

If you’re following the nutty news lately, take my advice without a pound of fleur de sel: Ignore it all. I managed to tune out all the dire warnings on salt all these decades and still somehow maintain low blood pressure, so when I read that’s no longer the white demon I closed the paper and went on mainlining lard.

No SNAP for you

All my notes are connected: Which is scarier, antibiotics in the ground turkey, or shit in the ground turkey? And the WSJournal reported two pink slimesters are in a race to the bottom now, trying to compete with ever-lower-priced “meals” even as workers are increasingly walking off the job to protest their Bangladeshi wages. And as you eat those fat strawberries, know the pickers may have been fired for protesting life-threatening conditions in the field. Also, too: “Worker dies in large meat grinder in Clackamas.”

Salumi ain’t all salami

I was happy to learn I was not the only reader feeling cheated by the Omnivore Goes to MetFood stunt misplayed as “let’s draw in our own staffer with his own book to obfuscate on how the fuck you make a pizza for lunch when the oven needs proper heating.” It had more missed opportunities than Trader Joe’s has processed crap. A friend out in Portlandia emailed to say: “thanks for letting me know that Berkeley is a Northern California (!!!!) town that is also home to Chez Panisse. THAT clarifies things. And for letting me know that you can make a decent meal simply by shopping in a supermarket. How does that garbanzo soup sound to you?” At least I had a response to the last point: Soup needs fermentation.