Rich Vana
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Food For Thought

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Learning about food today isn’t a terribly difficult prospect. In fact, it’s almost difficult to watch TV, read a magazine or find a website that doesn’t at least touch on food – or at least eating it – in some way. Of course, we eat three times a day, so it makes sense that we’d have an interest in things culinary, but the breadth and scope of food’s permeation into every mass medium to be found is nonetheless staggering. And with the amount of information out there, it can be difficult to filter through what’s educational, what’s entertainment, and what really has no value at all.

To that end, we thought we’d bring you some small insights from the publications and outlets that we found to be particularly insightful – little bits of information that might make you smile, think, or pursue the topic a little bit further. It’s food for thought, so to speak, and we’re interested to hear what you think …

Food for thought, August 21

See how personal my tastes are, and how they probably don’t match yours? How ultimately frustrating it is to try to compile a list of the best Mexican food in America. Is it just me, or is reading now reduced to paragraph-sized telegrams oozing authority on a certain issue by ranking and numbering? Top-five lists — who doesn’t love them? I, for one – the concept is gimmicky, arbitrary, and beyond overdone. So let’s do it!”
– Gustavo Arellano, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America

“Fermentation is everywhere, always. It is an everyday miracle, the path of least resistance. Microscopic bacteria and fungi (encompassing yeasts and molds) are in every breath we take and every bite we eat. Try – as many do – to eradicate them with antibacterial soaps, antifungal creams, and antibiotic drugs, there is no escaping them. They are ubiquitous agents of transformation, feasting upon decaying matter, constantly shifting dynamic life forces from one miraculous and horrible creation to the next.”
– Sandor Katz,Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods

We have people calling us — restaurants, stores — and we’re telling them we’re on hold right now, we’ll call you when we get running. We had such a controlled company, and it was perfect. The state stepped in and everything fucking blew out of control. We’re just along for the ride now …”
– Aaron Barker, of Carnival Barker’s Ice Cream, Dallas Observer Interview

Print criticism remains a prominent feature of the restaurant landscape, and I think the quality of the prose in many cases has improved over the last decade. But the strangulation of reviewing budgets on the part of publications means that we often read print criticism for the witty and thoughtful writing more than for a comprehensive view of what a restaurant has to offer.”
– Robert Seitsema, Eater

Cave man want to eat!”
– Leslie Brenner, review, HG Sply Co, July 2013



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