Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How My Mother Got Me To Like Walnuts

Out of all the nuts, walnuts have always been one of my least favorite. Okay, my very least favorite. Okay, I actually kind of have an aversion to them, generally. Okay, "aversion" is too strong a word, really. I tend not to really avoid any foods; there are just some foods that I take much, much less pleasure in eating than others.

So you won't find a small pile of raspberry-vinaigrette-doused walnuts left in my plate after eating a salad or anything. I can't make any promises about a can of mixed nuts, though. Something about their bitterness has always turned me off.

Walnuts have never been something I've ever eaten for the mere pleasure of eating them. I devour cashews and chocolate covered walnuts ravenously. Walnuts? No, thank you.

Except, well, my mom. Mothers. They're sneaky.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Buttered Toast Musing

Good bread with some chew to it, liberally spread with sweet, rich butter. It's a comfort food.

Few things give me as much simple pleasure.

The current fashion seems to be how many different flavors can be piled incongruously onto each other, and while I appreciate clever composition, sometimes--oftentimes--it just seems excessive. And USAmerican culture, at least, seems to be obsessed with it. Sites like This Is Why You're Fat are shining examples of our fixation with just how horrifyingly gluttonous we can be.

(Food pornography has a sort of class system, too-- from sites like Grocery Eats to Michael Ruhlman's blog. Each with a different voice and audience and perspective, different ideals and purposes. Which is hardcore and which is softcore probably depends on whom you ask.)

I've been chided at times for my use of butter and bacon. This is bizarre to me in a culture that gets excited by This Is Why You're Fat. I don't understand. Using butter to make a grilled cheese sandwich is indulgent while staring longingly at sausage wrapped in bacon dipped in batter and deep fried is completely acceptable?

I think we need a change in perspective here.

What's real food? What's good food? What's healthy? How has industry changed our definitions and understandings of it all?

Photo from jovike