Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Playing with your food

So today I had planned to post about all sorts of things, including but not limited to the extraordinarily disturbing Force Ministries that Yelladog called my attention to, the fact that the Santa Anas make me feel like total kaka, and Working Families information about CAFTA. But here it is 5:00 and I am leaving to go to the Farmers Market with nary a word on any of the above. It's been a busy day.

Never mind free trade agreements and the fact that people think the word of god is best delivered from the barrel of a gun, what I do want to take a moment and say is that I find the avant-garde foodie movement really silly. I posted a few months ago about how silly I find inkjet maki, but apparently that's only the tip of the absurd food iceberg. Today's NYT has the story on a host of restaurants that are "deconstructing" food, turning bacon into sculpture, deep frying mayonnaise, and liquefying olives:

Mr. Bowles has been known to serve crushed Altoids instead of mint jelly with lamb and to present diners with lollipops of foie gras encrusted with Pop Rocks. His cooking typifies another facet of this cuisine: the way it recruits junk food into the service of fancier dishes or creates highbrow versions of lowbrow classics.

"Why not go to the store and get the curiously strong mint?" Mr. Bowles said in a telephone interview, going on to reject "that horribly boring quote, 'I love to use farm-fresh products and local ingredients and European technique.'"

On the opening night of Alinea, the name of which refers to a symbol for a fresh train of thought, the first course was a visually nifty riff on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich: a peeled, heated grape, still on a sprig, that had been dipped in a peanut purée and encased in a thin layer of brioche.

. . .

There was some harmless fun at Moto, where a dish called McSweetbreads presented three pieces of sweetbreads impaled on plastic pipettes that squirted versions of dipping sauces for Chicken McNuggets.
It's wrong, people; it's really just wrong. If you're going to obsess over food, please do so properly. This is like saying you're obsessed with sex but preferring an anatomy textbook to the Kama Sutra.

There is no excuse to ever eat something called "McSweetbreads." Ever.

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