Tom Waits to the Small Batch piano . . .

Got up and told The Cat WCTLWAFW I was going to spend the whole day eating and calling it work. Let him envy me for a change.

And he was getting all ready to come with me until reality intruded. His day would be spent sleeping on the refrigerator as usual.

Second thing I heard on walking into the press office: “Did you bring The Cat?” (His fame was my fortune: fast retrieval of a badge despite some glitch in registering.)

Walking to the show I felt 23 (I have been to old age but got to come back). Three hours in I was 83. Feets don’t fail you. Guts do.

Vosge banner reading “what would chocolate not marry?” makes cacao sound like a total whore. (Raspberry is also shameless. Even lies down with wasabi.)

Sriracha apparently can be rendered tasteless.

Brooklyn aisle was almost an alternate universe of hipster overkill. Jarring to walk out and encounter a booth with sampling from the Ozarks. #clichesareclichesforareason

As always, “no” and “free” were the most ballyhooed ingredients. And more and more, it was ironic to notice “salt-free” and “low-sodium” were nowhere to be seen. At least 20 vendors were shilling salt, salt and more salt, even shaped into a mortar and pestle.

So much water being flogged you’d think there’s a drought on somewhere.

Jerky went crazy and I finally realized why: It’s the new power bar, gluten-free and high-protein.

Terrible crimes have been committed in the name of gluten-free.

Chickpeas can be made into many amazing things. Pasta is apparently not one.

Saved myself many letters in my notebook all day: Foul could be reduced to F. Why don’t their loved ones tell ‘em it sucks?

Probably not the best week to roll out your crab sensation with a shoutout to the Robert E. Lee plantation. . . Especially when the recipe yields nastiness.

So “fancy” latkes are just Jewish pakoras?

I actually tried a “sea salt caramel cheese straw.” Cannot say I tasted it.

Things I saw but did not try: Frozen risotto from Italy. Sun-dried tomatoes from England. Jalapeños from Vermont. Camel milk. Things I kinda understood: Powdered blue cheese. Powdered peanut butter. Thing I did not: “Autism approved.”

You can put beets, orange and quinoa together in a jar. But you really shouldn’t call it salsa.

One more place you will never spot Bill Cunningham: The Javits Center during the food show. #glamourdonts

Props to Jeni’s for having a presence if nothing to sell in the midst of the listeria crisis.

“Troll-caught tuna” makes you think those online assholes should just get out and fish.

Indian, with so much overlap with Mexican, should be taking over the world. Instead, Korean rules. And don’t get me started on how many weird juxtapositions with kimchi there were.

Funny how the backlash against the “fancy” food show looks even more ridiculous now. Not only did I see more artisanal, more vegetables, more fresh (or frozen) meat. I also noticed at least three booths with a certain kimchi that apparently only wanted to be invited into the club. Call it Dumboing Down.

Two more changes in the show over the decades. The frenzy to find a distributor seems to have subsided — many people just told me I could find their stuff on Amazon. #greatdisruption And “press” on your badge no longer marks you as prey. “Old” media is clearly not essential to getting a product promoted.

And while the amount of garbage generated is still staggering, with all those plastic mini-spoons and plates and endless plastic cups, there are hints of hope: Paper spoons and edible spoons might save the oceans a tiny bit.

Nothing, however, will save us from grownup kids of moms who didn’t check English homework. Cow’s and cook’s also on board.

Oh, and there was a lot of drinkin’. Ice creams touting alcohol content, wine brownies, bitters on bitters and Bronx ’shine. I’m not crazy about Mr. Semi-Homemade, but he has been very, very good to NYS firewater, both the making and consuming of.

Finally: If all this food is so super and so smart, why does it all wind up in the toilet?


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