Service with a Dollop of Air
Why are restaurant menus enumerating the pedigree of every ingredient in a dish, as well as its preparation method, infused with a few ultra-foodie terms just in case you weren’t confused enough? You won’t see Broiled Pork Chops on a menu. Instead, it’s Organic Heritage Pennsylvania Center-Cut Pork Loin Chop Broiled a la Plancha with a Soubise of Toy Box Tomatoes, Hydroponic Watercress, Micro Arugula, accompanied by a Nougatine of Spring Onions, garnished with a Daikon Escabèche, topped with Prune Essence and Juniper Foam. Want fries with that?
Katie Workman, editor in chief of cookstr.com
It’s Not Your Grandfather’s Sidecar
Complicated cocktails are all the rage now, and mixologists are happy to oblige. They delicately stir drinks to aerate them, spritz the rims of glasses with preparations that add floral notes, take the time to carefully muddle and grind spices, and artfully carve exotic fruit into masterful garnishes.
Once this masterpiece of modern design is handed to the patron, the bartender sits back and awaits a nod of approval. And he is soon rewarded with a simple response: “Can you add more booze to this thing?”
Joe Bruno, director, American Bartenders School, New York City
The continued proliferation of flatbread is a source of concern and mystery for me. Had regular bread gotten too puffy for everyone? I must have missed the anti-puff movement. Now I feel sorry for the word loaf. Loaf is so much more than simply sitting around in your underpants. Oh, and another thing, just because you touched the bread before handing it to me does not make it “artisanal.”
Henry Alford, author of How to Live: A Search for Wisdom from Old People (While They Are Still on This Earth)
Don’t you think bacon is a little too pleased with itself these days? This breakfast food, which began life humbly on the belly of a pig, has lately made its uppity way into all sorts of products. There’s bacon air freshener, bacon mints, bacon beer, gummy bacon, bacon lip balm, bacon-flavored envelopes, bacon soap, bacon lollipops, bacon gum balls, bacon mayonnaise, bacon popcorn, bacon chocolate, maple bacon coffee. And should any of the above get stuck in your teeth, you can clean it out with bacon-flavored floss. Actually, it’s not bacon I hate. I hate the people who tell me, bursting with naughty pride, how they gobble up their favorite source of saturated fat by the pound. Big deal—so you’re not a health foodie. Want to truly impress me with your reckless daring? How about trying a headcheese smoothie?
Patricia Marx, author of Him Her Him Again: The End of Him and librettist of the comic opera Review, which was performed by the Center for Contemporary Opera