A few years ago, people think nothing about stopping at the grocery store and picking up case after case of store brand bottled water. It’s getting so that now the store brand isn’t good enough, so the water they’re buying is becoming more and more expensive. “Well the only water I buy for my family is Fiji, because it’s better, more pure.” I overheard this from two women having a discussion at the grocery store…as if the other woman was obviously poisoning her family with the store brand. I just read an article where they are now mining icebergs for ice to be melted down and be marketed as the world’s purest water.
Let me help you people out, because of the one property of water called tonicity, if you drank enough absolutely pure water with no impurities, salts or minerals in it at all, it could lead to brain damage, coma or even death…Come to think of it, the Fiji drinking woman may have been drinking very pure water indeed! Look, it’s not just these two ladies, and it’s not just water that I’m talking about. That was just an example of how out of control the one-upmanship has gotten. If something isn’t done soon to give these people, chefs, cooks, critics, locavores, vegans, vegetarians and food bloggers a reality check. There will be a backlash against all food in general. Something that will set the food movement that was started in the 50’s and 60’s back to the margarine age!
“From my perspective, it seems to be in reaction to the childhoods some of us lived (’70s and ’80s kids). To extrapolate from my own, I was raised eating bland foods — canned vegetables, American cheese, Oscar Mayer cold cuts. Once I discovered that food could be so much more, the scales fell from my eyes, and I was eager to plumb the depths of deliciousness. I suspect that this is a generational pendulum swing that’s sort of overcompensating for all that. If any of that is true, you go and couple that with the internet and everyone’s ability to posture and brag, and you get people getting into this giant game of one-upmanship.”
“Preground Folgers gives way to people grinding whole beans at the grocery store. Pretty soon that’s not enough, so people are buying fresh-roasted beans from a roasterie. Then single-origin, then trying to roast it themselves. Then eating beans from the ass of an opossum-cat from Africa.” “At some point the coffee snobs are going to be (blond) roasting each bean individually. … And then grinding each bean on its own (“Each bean is slightly different and so requires a different RPM and/or grinder burr to release the maximum blah blah blah. We analyze each bean and match it to the optimal grind.”)”
Here is the problem, when you walk into a restaurant…any restaurant… from a lowly burger or pizza joint, to a four star restaurant with a world renowned chef…and you get the attitude stuffed down your throat. At the burger joint that may have a line stretching around the corner because the burgers are just that good, and you’ve seen it on TV, in magazines etc…and you just have to eat there. You get your burger and ask for ketchup, then after the rolling of the eyes and head, the tongue clicking and moaning of all the disciples(who all know how to sufficiently grovel and swoon) standing around, you finally get the tongue lashing about how “I don’t let anybody use ketchup” or “Ketchup isn’t ever an option in my restaurant.” I have a simple word for cooks like this… Asshole.
To be fair, it’s not super common amongst chefs and cooks. It seems to be most prevalent amongst food writers, critics, bloggers and the “foodies” and the dietary bent groups. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one of these idiots who are proclaiming this or that “to be the only true way” to be cooking, catching, storing, preparing, etc… something. Then next week, something else comes along and supplants that. That’s how you arrive at Kopi Luwak Japanese Nel Drip coffee. Don’t believe me, check it out on YouTube and let me know if I’m over reacting, or if this is perhaps the silliest thing you’ve ever seen. Well, besides” two girls one cup” thing.
So enjoy your ways, your foods and your diets. Whether you’re a Locavore, Chef, Cook, Blogger, Critic, vegan, vegetarian or someone who just enjoys food… Let it be ALL food, not just “only this”, or “only that.” There may be a little old lady in central Italy who makes the best pasta on earth, and it’s soooo good, she makes whole villages cry at its deliciousness. That’s all fine and well, but my world would still have a place for Spaghetti-o’s… and so should yours.