Saturday, November 19, 2005

Food for Thought...Literally

Lately and for a variety of reasons, I've developed almost a love-hate relationship with food, and I've had to think an inordinate amount about it. That's not too hard this time of year; the ad executives use the holiday season to bombard the consumer with commercials and print ads that encourage each one of us to eat, drink, and be merry, and the minute it becomes New Year's Day, they turn around and assail us with messages from Jenny Craig, Bowflex, Lean Cuisine, and TrimSpa.


I've come to the conclusion that there are quite a few foods that are overrated:

1. Pizza. It's boring. Basically bread, cheese, spaghetti sauce. Food for teenagers whose tastes are suspect anyway. After all, they made Britney Spears and face glitter popular.

2. Crab Legs. Too worky. Crab is delicious, but crab legs or crab you have to crack forever is too much effort for what you end up with. Get a good crab cake--if you ever, ever can--or a pasta with a decent crab sauce, or best yet, a crab bisque.

3. Caviar. Are you kidding? Salty, fishy, and a gross texture all wrapped into one. It's like Nightmare Tapioca of the Devil.

4. Waffles. I'm not even sure we need this food. After all, we already have pancakes. Waffles are redundant. And those things from the freezer that you put in the toaster that are hard on the outside and defy syrup to penetrate them...not sure what those are.

5. Veal. Aside from the objectionable way in which this meat is produced, isn't veal really just sorta porky chicken? Or chickeny pork? Do we really need it? I'm thinkin' no.

6. All Melons Aside from Watermelon. Okay, Maybe Cantaloupe Can Stay. All the rest of them are boring and basically bland. Watermelon has personality and an identity. It IS summer. It's juicy and recreational; who in his life hasn't spent a summer afternoon spitting watermelon seeds? Cantaloupe is pleasant and sophisticated--I'll give you that. But all those casabas and honeydews and santa claus melons have gotta go. Admit it--you just bought one to try or to add color to a fruit salad. It tasted lousy and you've never bought it again.

There are more, but let's not get carried away. I was watching my favorite cooking show Paula's Home Cooking , and she was talking about being asked what her all time favorite food was. She said hers was the potato. I had to agree. I could live on potatoes for the rest of my life: french fries with ketchup, baked potatoes with butter and chives and lots of salt and pepper, garlic mashed long as I had a few light condiments, I could hang with potatoes for a good long while. Screw those half-dozen foods up there. And I could add so many more, as I bet some of you could, even as you detract from my list.

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