Every Wednesday I get up especially early anticipating with pleasure the chance to read the weekly Food Sections of The Boston Globe and The New York Times.
I have been doing this for years, it is a favorite time of the day, and it started when I was reporting on-air about food for public radio.
Let’s look at both sections today:
The Boston Globe
1. A piece on how to cook, “Spanish style chicken,” goes from Spain to Mexico and contains two recipes. Both recipes have “skinless, boneless chicken breasts” as the principal ingredient. While this is healthy, in terms of cholesterol, you are as likely to see “skinless, boneless chicken breasts” in this dish when in Spain as you are tofu. In fact, if health is your concern, why not cut to the chase and use tofu instead of chicken? The second, Chilaquiles, suggests the use of Monterey Jack cheese, which is a nice American cheese and has nothing to do with Mexican food. Neither recipe has authenticity and both are misleading in their dilution of the regionalism that is the terroir behind great cuisines.
2. A review of a new restaurant, Fish Market, which is awarded two and half or two and a quarter stars by the reviewer, it’s hard to tell from the blurry graphics. Two descriptions stand out in this self-described sushi bar, which also sells udon noodles, shumai, and teriyaki–Folks, it’s not a sushi bar. Oh, the two items: “Avocado ball,” with “wasabi roe.” Wasabi is a type of Japanese horseradish. Roe are fish eggs. Wasabi roe is…horseradish fish eggs? The second item: “Truffling tuna,” with, “A sauce infused with the flavor of truffles.” You mean that synthetic truffle oil? You mean fresh truffles? What do you mean?
3. The cover story is a cool piece on restaurants offering discounts at certain times to hospitality industry workers. Show the ID, get the break. Nice.
The New York Times:
1. Two recipes next to each other. One is for turkey chili with hominey. Written by Melissa Clark, (whom I met when we went on a free trip to Italy organized some years ago by Oldways), contains 17 ingredients. 17 ingredients for chili, I ask you. I learned how to make chili at a fire station one Sunday night in downtown Boston. We’re talking meat, beans, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, onions, garlic, tomato paste, and beer. We’re talking delicious. The second recipe in the Times is by Mark Bittman: six ingredients and I bet it’s great. Why not let the flavors express the essence?
2. Cool little blurb on “Sandwiched,” new restaurant opening in the Whitney to be run by Danny Meyer’s group. If it’s half as good as what he has going at MOMA, we’re in for a treat.
3. Bargains: New Zealand Pinot Noir for $16! That comes out to about $2.70 a glass. Good to recognize wining/dining prices during these bleak economic times.
4. Hilarious piece about twittering chefs getting themselves mad, getting others mad, madness reigns. Moral: Don’t ask a chef how he or she feels unless you want to know. Oddest line in the piece: “Stone etched code” that says chefs never criticize other chefs outside the profession. Which stone is that? Says who? Ever talk to a chef about other chefs? They make Charles Barkley talking trash sound like Mrs. Teasdale. The best line in the piece is from Chef Ryan Skeen: “They want us to be rock stars, which doesn’t have anything to do with what we do in the kitchen. But on the other hand, we’re getting paid twice as much as we used to.” Rock on, Ryan!