This week in the world of food, where some people have all the luck and others have none, two great stories emerge. OK, they are not great stories the way Chekhov wrote great stories, but you’re reading about Russian dressing here, not Russian serfs. Russian bear with me.
In a NYT online op-ed yesterday, Mark Bittman derides eating meat. Well, OK, I concur. Eating less meat is a good idea for many reasons. The irony of Mr. Bittman’s HHW (high horse writing) is the fact that for decades he’s been telling us all to eat more meat. How do I know this? Well, look at his BB (big book), “How To Cook Everything.” Independent of his sections on Beverages, Glossary, and Index, the book has 792 pages. The MEAT section is 76 pages. The POULTRY section is 65 pages. The FISH section is 78 pages. That’s 219 pages, and it doesn’t include the MEAT, POULTRY, and FISH in other sections like soups and appetizers. That’s about 27% of the book. In contrast, his sections on BEANS (28 pages) and VEGETABLES (88 pages) is a total of 116 pages, which is about 15% of the book. So who’s kidding who? Is the idea, Mr. Bittman, to cook the MEAT, POULTRY, and FISH and not eat it?
In today’s NYT, in contrast to the Bittman Doctrine, there appeared a fine interview with Chef Thomas Keller. Keller dismantled the nonsense of sustainability, farm to table, etc. He was especially hard on etc., but the FTT (Farm to Table) comment was priceless: “What restaurant isn’t farm to table?” Mr. Keller asked. “I think about quality, not geography.”
You might think these are radishes, but they’re not: