Archive for 2015

Episode: 123

Watch Out For Salty Man Holes


This week on Lets Get Real Erica begins the show by discussing when she first moved to Brooklyn 20 years ago, she transitions from this to looking at how Brooklyn has changed her lifestyle and her cooking. She talks about one cooking job that she does that involved cooking for a wealthy family, and her frustration with the occasional terrible cooking of the nanny. She discusses the fact that the cooking is not a matter of economics, but rather a way for the nanny to “stick it to the man.”

Episode: 122

What Color is Your Foodiness Parachute?


Color seemed to be a big news topic last week, and I’m not talking about race, or dresses, I’m talking color. Not just the “Is it gold is it blue?” kind of scientific color theory discussions that all the wise entertainment anchors were espousing, but big announcements from the world of industrial food and Foodiness™.

Nestle’, one of the worlds biggest manufacturers of packaged, processed food and Foodiness products, announced last week that they’d be removing all artificial colors and flavors from their existing line of candy bars by next year, and all new products would be free of artificial flavors and colors going forward. That’s Big news. It’s something, right?

Here’s the exact text from the press release:

“Nestlé is the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company and our commitment to remove artificial flavors and certified colors in our chocolate candy brands is an important milestone,” said Doreen Ida, president, Nestlé USA Confections & Snacks. “We know that candy consumers are interested in broader food trends around fewer artificial ingredients. As we thought about what this means for our candy brands, our first step has been to remove artificial flavors and colors without affecting taste or increasing the price. We’re excited to be the first major U.S. candy manufacturer to make this commitment.”

Huh, sounds very admirable, respectable, I applaud them. Good on ya’ Nestle’, maybe it’ll make up for all that baby formula you dumped on those developing countries in the 70s and 80’s…? Those countries that didn’t have safe, reliably clean water to mix with said formula and so thousands of babies died of waterborne illnesses because you told their mothers to give them formula instead of nursing them?

Well, that’s all in the past…who are we to hold a grudge if it means that our Nestle crunch bar is now made with REAL vanilla instead of vanillin, or our Butterfinger has natural yellow dye from annatto seed instead of red #40 and yellow #5? I mean, what’s more important, in the global economy, in the bigger picture, a healthy Baby Ruth…or a dead one?…. yikes, dead babies. Too much? Well, that’s what I’m here for…

Episode: 121

Eat Some Dirt America!


Remember the episode of Seinfeld about Bizarro world? The world in which everything was the opposite of what it seemed to be? It was a Superman reference, as Jerry Seinfeld is a big Superman fan, and there was a DC comic about Bizarro, Superman’s opposite. (Thanks, Wikipedia, I had no idea…) But in this particular Seinfeld episode, I think it came up because George decided that since everything he’d done up until that point in his life had been wrong, or a mistake, he was now going to do the opposite of every urge, instinct or thought that came into his head. No trusting of the gut; in Bizarro world, up was down, night was day, ketchup was salsa…no, that’s not right, that was a different episode. He even orders chicken salad instead of his usual tuna at the diner. And George Costanza was a great creature of habit, so things must have been really Bizarro for him to do that.

I used to make Seinfeld references all the time when I taught at the big unnamed Culinary School. For the first decade, my students got all the references, and laughed with me, but then the laughs and looks of recognition started to trickle off, as the students got younger and I got older. Nobody got my references anymore. So sad. I was living in my own private Bizarro world. Where I assumed everybody else had seen every episode multiple times and knew all the jokes, but no, they hadn’t. It was disturbing. I’d entered “the world in which everything you think is right, is wrong”

I was speaking a dead language, like Cornish, or Manx, (technically those are not dead languages, just obscure ones, people do still speak Cornish and Manx, Google it) I was in Bizarro world, the world in which everything you think is right, is wrong. It really rocks the ground upon which you stand.

Or…is it that everything that you’ve been TOLD to think is right, is wrong? How can that be? If we’re TOLD things by people, who we are TOLD know the things that are right, how can those things turn out to be wrong? OMG, it really IS Bizarro world out there. But luckily, down here in the Foodiness™ Fallout Shelter, things are safe, and simple, warm, and cozy. So come on down and visit for a spell, and I’ll ease your fears and serve you soup and everything will be ok. For now.

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