Contemplating the origin of meatballs…

Photo from The Guardian of Mr. Rayner

I just finished reading Jay Rayner’s piece in The Guardian describing his first encounter with the pick and choose (and kill) portion of eating carnivorously and I’m taking it all in.  One quote stuck out:

So do they think the consumer should be forced to face up to the realities of meat eating? Christine is clear-eyed about that. “No, I don’t think anybody should be forced to make the connection between animal and carcass, because that might put them off and that wouldn’t be in people’s interest.”

On one hand, I strongly believe that as Americans (and Brits, I guess,  since this is an article from The Guardian), we are disconnected from our food.  Part of me wants to say that others need to see and learn these processes so we know how valuable life is, even livestock life,  and make suitable choices based on this connection.   It doesn’t come from a slick package – it comes from a big ol’ mooing methane-maker in a field.

The other part of me is saying that is unfair.  As a (predominantly) free will society, I have no right to say anything regarding someone else’s dietary preference.  You ain’t gotta know how to kill a cow.  You can go and buy it from the supermarket.  We both stop judging each other.

But I’m not sure what’s right.  Do I really need to know how my food gets to my table?  I thought I did, so I started reading about it years ago.  But I don’t think it’s right to push this belief on others, or is it?  Thoughts?

Beijing Zoo Serves Up Its Inhabitants

Visitors to Beijing zoo are warned not to feed the animals, but they are encouraged to eat them at a restaurant that offers crocodile and scorpion on its exotic menu.

After watching the beasts in their cages, diners at the zoo’s restaurant can gnaw on the webbed toes of a hippopotamus, chew a kangaroo tail, nibble a deer’s penis or slurp down a bowl of ant soup.

Jonathan Watts:  Hippopotamus on menu at Beijing zooThe Guardian


Consider Pimm’s!

Only the most sour-faced leftie would refuse a Pimm’s: it evokes the other Eden, demi-paradise version of England: the languid days on level croquet lawns; the plock of leather on willow; splashing, passing oarsmen; the Glastonbury chumminess of Henman Hill. I first tried it as an undergraduate at Oxford (I can feel the comment love already) and I never taste it today without remembering those sunlit, sozzled days.

Oliver Thring, my favorite posh, snobby, verbose foodie at The Guardian, in “Consider Pimm’s.”

Ahhhh christ.  I just… I could… I mean, reading this is like… oh, he’s just a modern-day Jane Austen, isn’t he!?!

Consider Processed Cheese!

It was all horrible. Laughing Cow smells alarmingly of nothing. On the tongue, it’s clammy and cold, chilled snot whiffing of silage. Dairylea is epically disgusting: baby-sick panna cotta. Cheestrings – technically not processed, but a heated, elongated cousin – sent me their “shots” to try: lentil-sized lumps that looked like Brian May’s dandruff.

Oliver Thring in Consider Processed Cheese on The Guardian today.  Chosen explicitly for the superfluously creative (read: borderline disgusting) language in insulting processed cheese.  And by the way, I do not approve of dissing Brian May.

The Docile Ms. Dahl

Photograph: BBC/Fresh One Productions/BBC

I’m sure most of you have heard the news regarding Sophie Dahl, model extraordinaire and Roald Dahl’s grandchild, and her latest (mis)steps into Nigella Lawson territory.  Jessica Reed of The Guardian had a particularly scathing (and entertaining) quote summing her up:

Sophie Dahl also goes to great pains to associate food with moods and memories – think a lowbrow, forced version of Proust’s Madeleine. The result, I found, lacked in authenticity and spontaneity. I would rather watch a live show in which cooks make mistakes than what TV marketing professionals feel is the illustration of the perfect woman of our times – an independent, feminist domestic goddess with an uncontrollable love for cupcakes, dirty martinis and all things coquettish.

How regressive.  I wonder if Ms. Dahl will be shilling vacuums on the show soon?  Maybe garters?

Click here for Ms. Reed’s full story (including a fun Dahl bingo!)