Wednesday Wade-Through (5/30/07)

It’s Wednesday and that means the nation’s papers published their food sections today. Normally, I let the aggregator blogs do the work of a Wednesday wade-through–linking to the best stories, etc–but today there’s plenty to link to and talk about, so I thought I’d get into the game. Click ahead to join the conversation.

(1) David Kamp’s NYT article about children’s food–“Don’t Point That Menu At My Child, Please”–is a fascinating read, even if you’re not a parent (and I’m pretty sure I’m not). Why do we feed our kids fried chicken fingers and greasy french fries as opposed to the food we eat ourselves? As I pondered this subject, I had lunch at a local sushi joint and saw something wonderful: a little girl asked her mother to order her octopus. A 7 year-old eating octopus! But then the little girl, after taking a bite, said she didn’t like it. “Mommy doesn’t like it when you waste food,” said the mother. The girl had chicken teriyaki instead and enjoyed the edamame that came with it: “Look mommy,” she said, “there are peas inside.” Kids are naturally curious and if you can make shopping, cooking and eating a surprising, delightful experience I bet your kids will eat well. Except when they scream and throw a tantrum because they want a Happy Meal. How do you deal with it, parents who read my blog?

(2) Frank Bruni reviewed Katz’s deli today and the Eater oddsmakers had me nervous, guessing he would give the place zero stars. Well, he gave it one star and I suppose I should sigh a sigh of relief but, really, reviewing Katz’s Deli is sort of like reviewing your grandmother’s skills at grandmothering. Not only is it unnecessary, it’s irreverent. But Bruni had a reason: there’s fear the place will close (the owners acknowledged they’d sell it for the right price) so Bruni wanted to ensure its continued existence. Very well then, but still–maybe a feature story would’ve been better, not a review.

(3) Meg’s declared it Heritage and Heirloom Day on her blog. I totally get what she’s saying: I walked passed the new Whole Foods on the Lower East Side the other day, and seeing the produce through the window it all looked so pristine and polished and perfect, I pined for the less beautiful but more real looking food at the farmer’s market. There, the asparagus isn’t as green or as perky but you know it was in the ground just hours earlier. To me, that makes all the difference.

(4) Oh, so I come to Oakland and get tapas, but Clotilde comes to Oakland and gets a magnificent feast? Shame on you, Derrick. For shame!

(5) Adam Kuban responds to the Shake Shake diss in the New York Post. I think I like Shake Shake mostly for the communal experience of standing in line and then eating a burger in the park. The burger is very good, but for me the atmosphere is the biggest draw. (The same is true, actually, of The Burger Joint in the Parker Meriden. That’s Craig’s favorite burger joint, because he loves the environment.)

(6) Michael Ruhlman talks about molecular gastronomy and then poaches an egg with asparagus in a dish that rivals my own. He also has really nice things to say about a certain book that’s coming out in three months. My eyes are burning!

(7) Regina Schrambling has a surprisingly tasty story about quality airport food (yes, you heard that right)–a subject that makes me a little queasy (I, like many, truly hate airports) but which does indeed inspire hope that while watching a grainy broadcast of CNN and re-reading last week’s New Yorker for the thousandth time as you suffer through a three-hour delay, you might actually find something good to eat. Maybe.

(8) NYC Nosh visits Perilla, the new restaurant from Top Chef winner Harold Dieterle. (Once out with a famous food blogger who had Harold’s number in her phone, I tried to get him together with my roommate–but my matchmaker instincts were thwarted when Harold cancelled at the last minute.) Nosh calls Perilla’s food “precociously sophisticated” and predicts that “Harold Dieterle won’t need another 15 minutes of fame to keep this business afloat.”

Phew—that was quite a wade-through. Happy Wednesday!

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