Rants

Put Some Respect On Our Names

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“Women belong in the kitchen”

“Professional kitchens are not the place for women”

I’ve come into contact with this paradox time and again during my time as a wannabe chef and it never fails to make me laugh. This idea that women ought to cook for their families but doing so for payment is somehow outside of our range is laughable. I would be hard put to find a chef who’s upbringing and path to cooking was not brokered by some woman in his/her life. In fact, as I’ve previously stated, many chefs start out because they want to bring their mother’s food to the masses; and yet, that is something impossible for their mother to do.

I think of one of my favorite movies, Pixar’s Ratatouille, in which a whole rat is able to become a head chef faster than a woman (I still love you Remy). In one of Colette’s excellent monologues she delineates the ideology of the world she has clawed her way into. She states, “You think cooking is a cute job, eh? Like Mommy in the kitchen? Well, Mommy never had to face the dinner rush when the orders come flooding in, and every dish is different and none are simple, and all of the different cooking times, but must arrive at the customer’s table at exactly the same time, hot and perfect! Every second counts, you CANNOT be MOMMY!” but who ever let mommy attempt the dinner rush? Colette, while lovely, here completely embodies the paradox built by her (most likely male) writers. That mommy’s cooking, which launched the culture and created the culinary world, somehow does not measure up to its child.

In fact, Ratatouille’s premise that anyone can cook (believe me I know its a Pixar film and must be whimsical and lovely) completely steps over populations that can but are not allowed to cook. Later in the film, Colette asks Linguini if he sees any other women in the kitchen and why that is. In response to her own question she claims, “Because haute cuisine is an antiquated hierarchy built upon rules written by stupid, old, *men*. Rules designed to make it impossible for women to enter this world”. In both of these monologues Colette manages to outline the gendered cooking paradox and also show her own part in it. She has had to take on the same slights towards “mommy” in order to be grouped in with the male chefs who no doubt learned from their mommies. It is constantly presented as though being a woman is immediately inferior to being a man in the kitchen. She is not mommy, she is the toughest cook in the kitchen, but who said mommy’s not tough?

The paradox also works in the opposite direction. Watch any episode of Chopped or pay attention to any celebrity wife and you will see that people quickly claim that the caterers or home chefs are “not real chefs” (I myself have been in this camp from time to time, but hey nobody’s perfect). These women are often discounted as, again, they’re not working the dinner shift. Yet, they are an integral part of the culinary world. Julia Child never owned a restaurant and she is one of the most influential American chefs ever and changed how we eat and what we prepare. Her cookbook partners were not restaurant owners, instead they were women who had a passion for food. Why is it that women’s accomplishments in the field are not appreciated until they ascribe to men’s measurement (capitalism)? Julia Child will always be considered an outlier, yet there are hundreds of home chefs changing the culinary world by maintaining tradition and writing about their experiences. Cuisines from around the world have not become an offensive goulash because women have passed the baton from generation to generation and kept family recipes intact. Girls, even in 2018, are often pulled into the kitchen far prior to their male counterparts. Think of how many men you met in college who didn’t know how to fry an egg, now think of how many women that can be said of. All of this priming, unfortunately patriarchal in nature, would seem as though it is preparing women for at least a lucrative career in cuisine. WRONG. It is indeed just preparation to be “a good wife” because anything lucrative ought to be left to men. (I hope you all can tell just how much sarcasm I seasoned this sentence with).

Let us not forget that the culinary world as it stands was built by women. Mothers cooking for their children in a certain region with what was available to them and eventually creating culinary cultures out of their shared recipes. The only reason the title was stripped from women’s hands is because men found out cooking could be profitable, and women were not supposed to be financially independent *rolls eyes*. The most prevalent cooking cultures in American society today are black-American and Mexican-American cuisine, two cultures greatly influenced by women’s hand in the kitchen and yet little to no female representation in the American culinary capitalism machine. While this is all very reflective of other social standings that I won’t address on this blog, I have to ask how we received the culture from a group that we now insist on shutting out? Without women, you wouldn’t be born and your plate would be empty too. Because Colette was right, not everyone can be mommy, but its clear that every great chef wants to be.

Be good and respect your foremothers, Piggies.

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Rants

Food Marketing

I am a glutton for a good commercial. Definitely moreso in my youth, but even now I love to see a good marketing campaign. Marketing magic can take otherwise unattractive meals to a new echelon of celebrity. I don’t like tomato soup or tomato juice (I’ve come around to a good bloody mary) but those Campbell’s commercials from the late 90’s, when the tomato soup looked like red velvet and the grilled cheese was browned to perfection, made me decide that I had to have it. I recall Lunchables: horrid, little prepacked cold lunches with little to no flavor. I had to have them as a kid. I spoke to my younger cousin a couple years ago about his undying loyalty to Lunchables asking him, “why do you want them, you know they’re not good” and he responded (without skipping a beat) “I know, but everybody has them.” You have to acknowledge that a marketing campaign that brings you mediocrity with a price tag, might be genius.

“Choosy dads choose Jif”, I used to brag about the fact that my dad was a choosy dad, because a commercial told me so. Food marketing campaigns hit us throughout our entire lives just shifting the gimmick. Foods targeted at children tend to aim at inclusivity and brainwashing you enough to pressure your parents into buying things for you. Think of Trix, Lucky Charms, almost any breakfast cereal really and you’ll notice the template: kids have some delicious thing that the mascot really wants but can never get. You, beg your parents to buy said cereal so that you can be included with the kids, and not feel left out and lame like the mascot (I’m here for you Trix bunny). Foods targeted at adults are pretty much done the same way, but they just think they’re more nuanced. Instead of the mascot feeling unincluded, adult commercials tell you that you are unincluded unless you buy said product. You will be unincluded amongst the healthy, fun, foodies that you so desperately wish to be apart of and you will be considered broke.

The food campaigns I loved most were definitely those with a well-paid creative team (that were probably participating in some recreational psychedelics). Starburst, Skittles, Doritos, and Snickers have all had marketing campaigns that I will probably quote to my grandkids. Who of us does not recall the “I’m a little lad who loves berries and cream” commercial? Or the singing rabbit? Food marketing campaigns that broke out of the normal inclusive/non-inclusive parameters usually saw great success the algorithm there is a bit strange. Are we so fascinated by entirely strange things that we feel the need to buy them? Or is it just that once that memory is stuck in our head the marketing campaign has done its work? Either way it seems that just about every processed food manufacturer has forgotten about these days of glory (or fired their illustrious creative teams). Food marketing, outside of dressing up the actual food we eat is pretty difficult. How do you make someone want to eat something without smelling or tasting it? You trick them into the social structures of bullying and make them feel powerful, or I guess you weird them out enough that they can never forget your product.

The funniest thing about all of these commercials and marketing campaigns is that just about any food with a commercial is not good for you. Have you ever seen a commercial for straightup tomatoes? Lettuce? No, and you never will because their lobbies are weak and don’t make that much money. The true travesty is these campaigns have probably influenced your tastes and habits more than your parents or environment. How many times have you watched a commercial and decided you’re craving that exact thing? Or decided to order in? Did you beg your mom for Chef Boyardee so that she could prove her love and loyalty? You probably did after you saw that commercial where the can follows the little girl home (if the can can be loyal, why can’t your mom be?) At this point, the temptation is almost unavoidable and if I am going to let my diet be influenced by marketers, I want the campaign to be excellent. A la Starburst, Skittles, Snickers variety. So marketers, trap us in an unhealthy cycle but at least, make it look good.

Rants

Tradition vs. Simplicity, Modernism vs. Complication

“Why’d you have to go and make things so complicated?”

An important question asked by the ever important Avril Lavigne, a question I think needs answering.

I’m coming off the cusp of a great culinary journey which involved no cooking: I just finished Jacques Pépin and Julia Child’s memoirs. Besides being almost saintly in my view, they also represent a form of cooking that by and large went by the wayside as their eras came to a close: traditional, slow cooking. Jacques and Julia were both pioneers of French cooking in the States, which is often far more traditional and simplistic than American cooking. Both write about the French culinary revolution which brought a severe blow to the era of snooty French chefs in the American landscape. Everything started to head towards complication, though at first this was a good thing. American chefs wanted greater efficiency, French chefs wanted freedom from the tight constraints of their culinary tradition.

To be clear, French cooking is in practice very complicated. There are multiple doughs that take days to accomplish with very in-depth skills necessary for the proper outcome. And that’s just a tiny facet of what most professionally trained French chefs are expected to do. However, in terms of flavor, French cooking is very straightforward. Chicken, coated in any number of sauces and cooked in any number of ways is always meant to taste like the very best chicken it can be. Many methods in France, though very complicated, are simply ways of refining the peak flavor the chef wishes to reach. Beef jus that is cooked down and reduced then supplemented by itself and glazed with butter, is at the end of the day meant to represent the purest essence of beef. In their revolution, French chefs looked to leave these constraints and create entirely new flavors; American cooking and culinary innovation was already speeding ahead.

In America, cooking is often more about efficiency than flavor. In fact, many of the flavors we have become so comfortable with today were only afforded to us because past generations decided they were the most desirable, and the American efficiency machine took care of everything else. Many species and breeds are impossible to find in the States now because they were inefficient to grow and perhaps not at the top of the list for consumers back in the day. This has resulted in a rather insipid foodscape, with very little local specialization (think of the last time you truly consumed a “local delicacy” in America). Even in tools, America has always been known as an innovation capital pumping out hits like: the standing mixer, food processor, microwave, garlic press, and countless countertop grills and stoves. Before, whipping egg whites was a careful science, achieved by hand, where now even the layman (with a standing mixer) can achieve a delicious meringue.

Due to efficiency being held beyond flavor, America itself created the chain restaurant. Say what you will, but the culinary and then cultural footprint is quite obvious, nowhere in the world will you be forced outside of your comfort zone, there’s always a McDonald’s around the corner. This is not inherently a bad thing to me, there is comfort and true genius in being able to create the same dish, time and again, on separate continents. Jacques himself spent time attempting to establish a chain restaurant and discusses widely his love of frozen foods. He just has higher standards for what exactly is frozen. America’s chain restaurant obsession shows itself in another way, the amalgamation of flavors. I hear this complaint incessantly from my father “why does every dish have to be all on one plate together. Gross.” I’m always led to disagree with him but he makes a good point: there’s no time to appreciate separate flavors when you’re forced to consume the hodge-podge on your plate. Think of a burger: lettuce, tomato, onion, mustard, mayo, cheese, patty and bread. Many, MANY separate flavors coming together (to produce something wondrous and beautiful in each bite). In France, the salad (lettuce, tomato, onion, and dressing) would have been consumed prior to the patty; which would have been eaten with a little bit of mustard and bread, before the cheese plate at the end of the meal. I am completely serious, and have eaten this meal, no sandwiches allowed at my grandmother’s dinner table. Thus, I can offer a breakdown of each side:

America France
Wonderful in each bite, but complicated Wonderful in each bite, but missing the umami of union
Takes about 10 minutes to eat Following all courses, takes about 2 hours to eat
Reliable, hard to be bad Eat literally anything else, and it will blow your mind

What I think is important to glean here is that both sides are pros, it just boils down to what you want from your meal. American innovation and efficiency when it comes to culinary tools is close to perfection. Standing mixers, food processors, and immersion blenders let even the novice chef be able to prepare complicated dishes from forebearers of the profession. Yet, French produce (for now), is greatly superior. Fruits, vegetables, and proteins retain the flavor of yore and tradition is so important that many farmers still follow vintage methods for growth. Flavor is abundant. This is how the two utterly divided food philosophies can come together. France and America could both be posed with Avril Lavigne’s question and yet the other country is perhaps the answer. At least this is what has bubbled out of me and my expectations for the unification of such distant culinary worlds; if only they were as receptive.

 

Eat well and be good piggies.

Rants

Childhood Processed as Adulthood Gourmet

My biggest childhood dream (and current one) is to open my own restaurant. Mainly because I love to cook but also because I want to be the only authority I have to answer to (muahaha). Of course, being interested in such things I am constantly thinking of unique dishes that will be able to set my restaurant apart from the others and align with my vision. I will not release those ideas here because they need to live in my brain and also capitalism. But, I would like to discuss where many of these ideas are birthed from and why that trend is taking an interesting turn.

You’ve heard it all before from chefs “I grew up cooking with my grandmother/mother/aunt/family member and we made this dish and now that I’m grown up I want to make it just like them so everyone else can share in this experience”. Cute. Great. Makes for a wonderful interview and an even better cookbook intro. But what about chefs that didn’t grow up cooking with their family? Or those whose fondest memories of food come from culinary school and not at their grandmother’s hip? There has been a beautiful response from the culinary world and that answer is processed food.

I’d like to think that I toe the line between the two worlds of cooking with my family and eating processed foods. My father is diametrically opposed to all processed foods (except for nutty bars) and thus my childhood contained some barriers to access. My mother, however, and my mother’s side of the family openly enjoy processed foods so I got my kicks at every grocery shop with her and every weekend spent outside of the house. Thus, I am able to see the different outcomes ascribing to either school of thought can produce. Many chefs who appreciate processed foods can be looked down upon by the older, more formal chefs (think Alton Brown’s disappointment at the idea of trained chefs curling up with Hot Pockets). Chefs who enjoy processed food are perhaps more honest and accepting of human nature, we really like grease and sugar. But the questions that arises to the mind is, are all these memories of equal ranking? Does cooking in the kitchen with mom comparable to that bite of a honey bun when you were outside playing with your friends? Is that an experience that you would want to give to someone else? I’m tempted to say yes. The memories, though different, are all about the warmth and safety that our childhoods can bring us, and remembering what a full belly (be it nutrition or hydrogenated oil) felt like. And believe me, there is nothing like watching someone eat a processed food for the first time (this is coming from someone who has force fed Popeyes, Dinosaur Egg oatmeal, and other atrocities of the processed world down the gullet of the previously pure).

Though, with both of these schools of thought, there is the question on what elevation will make of them. When you want your father’s coconut chicken, do you want a $36 plate of one chicken leg sprinkled with the finest coconut laid over sticky rice? Or do you want the original? When you want a hot pocket do you want a $15 “poche” that leaves your tummy rumbling but your taste buds sated? Do we ever really know, or does the moment have to strike us? These questions in my opinion become even more difficult when applied to processed foods. Sure, elevating your family’s cooking may be a difficult undertaking but it is already somewhat elevated considering is was made in a home most likely with fresh ingredients. Processed foods, however, are a different world entirely. When I am craving a Hostess treat isn’t a part of me craving that delicious fake flavor it provides? If I wanted a chocolate cupcake filled with light airy pastry cream and topped with chocolate ganache, that is what I would’ve sought out. For those of us brought up on the “fake stuff” don’t we have a more developed appetite for the fake? It’s an interesting idea to take off with. As restaurants continue to elevate the mundane, they fail to cater to a population the craves the mundane (or at least does so ashamedly and in secret). Formally trained chefs (and me) will howl about the failures of the food system and how disgusting processed foods are but McDonald’s is still in business for a reason and it’s only partly because there’s a value menu. Hostess and Lay’s still fly off the shelves and you’d be deluded to believe that only children are buying them. The truth is, we never really grow out of loving the processed foods of our youth. But society tells us “Trix are for kids” and our bodies can no longer metabolize them so, ashamed, we filter into restaurants that will serve us a bougie version of our childhood favorites in hopes of us calling back to yesteryear and remembering some childhood glee.

I’m really here for this trend, no matter how damning my words may sound. I think we all have the right to relive our childhood food favorites be it family cooking or a box of Twinkies. Many restaurants, and publications at this point, are able to toe the line of what we really want and what our adult bodies can handle. Bon Appetit for instance has done an excellent job of creating a series surrounding the subject. Some things become quite clear through all of this, so much about cooking is about returning to an earlier, happy state where your belly was full of whatever you damn well pleased.

 

Eat well and be good piggies.

Rants

Meat Rehab

I love a challenge.

I think it’s my stubborn nature but I love a good challenge for myself and for some inexplicable reason I love taking on a challenge for Lent. I guess it’s a timeline that I can make peace with, I find it to be calming, and I’m trying to get into VIP Heaven. Last year I gave up all social media and became vegetarian. This year I’ve decided to be vegan. And I have definitely bitten off more than I can chew (ba-dum cha).

I approached this vegan project with the same neurotic obsessiveness I approach all menu planning with. I did research, made lists of recipes, created a spreadsheet of planned meals, snacks, and grocery lists. I knew that if I was going to give up cheese I needed structure. But like they say, “if you want to make God laugh tell him your plans”. I had taken account of the fact that I would be hungry and would need foods that I enjoy to fill me up. What I didn’t take account of is just how bad the cravings would be.

At this very moment as I type up this rant I am 100% sure that I would come to bodily harm to eat a cheeseburger. To eat a spoonful of mac and cheese. Honestly, to have a spoonful of yogurt. I’ve been vegetarian before and I foolishly thought that the risks would be no different. Sure you can’t have a burger, just eat some pesto (I miss you so much parmesan). Can’t have a piece of salmon? Have some yellow rice (chicken bouillon I MISS YOU). But in this current habitat I feel constantly aware of that which I can’t have. Did you know that McDonald’s fries are not vegan? Not even vegetarian? That they contain 18 ingredients?! This was a horrible realization I was brought to this weekend and I honestly almost had an emotional breakdown over the thought that I couldn’t eat fries for another month.

All of this moping is to say, I knew meat and meat-based products were a drug but now I am truly aware of the extent of their reach. I don’t drink milk I find the flavor to be rather repulsive but I could eat a stick of butter straight right now (funnily enough, I did as a child). I feel like I have an inkling of what addicts must feel like and am consuming avocado at an alarming rate. But I’m digging my heels in, attempting to get comfortable, and sticking with this thing. I’m using this as a diary of sorts and will update as the weeks pass. Also check out my Veganism Plan if you want to see how I’m attempting to tackle this diet (it’ll be updated too!)

Week One:

  • All I want to eat is bread and butter but I can’t have butter and don’t you dare tell me that olive oil is as good.
  • I threw out all meat-related things in my fridge prior to this undertaking but couldn’t bring myself to toss my bacon. Some things are sacred (though it was tossed yesterday)
  • I’ve made the mistake this week of not eating any grains and let me tell you that is a surefire way to keep yourself from feeling full
  • What are you all’s thoughts on consuming honey as a vegan? I’ve heard opposing viewpoints and find this conversation necessarily distracting.
  • The smell of meat cooking is too good it should be a sin.
  • I had to pass a buffalo wild wings on the way to the movies this weekend and I can honestly say I’ve never wanted garlic-parmesan wings more in my life
  • I went out to brunch on Sunday and had to marvel at the complete and utter lack of options in my neighborhood. At the restaurant I went to I had to get avocado toast minus the fried egg. It was still $8. I guess what they say about millenials is true. I still love avocado toast.

Week Two:

  • I did some research and found out I can still eat Chipotle so I am now giving them all of my money
  • I invested in vegan buttery sticks which amuse me to no end and I’ve been tossing pats into rice and baking with them.
  • The desire for a burger and fries grows inside of me and I find it more and more difficult to resist.
  • My brother was talking to me about Popeyes and I can’t even go near let alone have Popeyes in my home and I can no longer discuss it.
  • Pasta without cheese can still be delicious and it also reminds me of the pasta my dad made as a kid. The nostalgia kept me going.
  • Grocery shopping is a thrilling experience because not only am I actually checking labels and seeing what’s in my food; I’m also buying a rainbow of fruits and veggies and I feel so healthy
  • I’m losing weight and if I have abs by the end of this, it will all be worth it.

Week Three – Easter

  • Nothing got easier, everybody tried to convince me to break, but I have fake abs now so who really won? Jesus.

 

Be good, eat happily, and wish me luck Piggies!

Rants

You Can’t Beat Meat, or Rather Its Industry

I am a proud omnivore and the proudest carnivore.

I have dabbled in a vegetarian lifestyle and may be attempting a vegan lifestyle eventually as well, but I love meat and there’s no way around that.

The unfortunate reality is that meat in the States and more specifically its lobby are fire-breathing demons. Let me elaborate. We all know, hopefully, that to enjoy a delicious nugget or steak an animal has to die, and then be butchered up and delivered to restaurants and grocery stores and the like. Through years of marketing coupled with willful ignorance the meat lobby has been able to trick many people into believing that cows, pigs, and chickens graze through green pastures living their best lives until it just so happens they reach peak maturity (and fat content) and then they are plucked, ceremoniously slaughtered, and quartered. The reality could not be farther away from this. Animals are kept in dark factories where they are force-fed, unceremoniously killed and made to feel pain, then the meat is dipped in a plethora of chemicals, wrapped in cling-wrap and shipped off. But you’ve seen the vegan/vegetarian propaganda and I don’t need to fill you in.

While I don’t believe the solution to all of this is for everyone in the world to become a vegan (what would we do with millions of cows and pigs with no natural predators just released into the world?) I do think something has to be done. First and foremost, we have to severe the connection millions of marketers have made between the big red farmhouse and the meat section in the grocery store. Waking up and realizing that unless you are going to a farmer’s market or buying free-range (which is still rather fishy) our meat is coming from a factory.  Second, we need to get over our obsession with the “prime cuts” most meat is wasted because people are only interested in very specific cuts from each animal. This means a few things:

  1. Pounds of meat are wasted constantly because they are cuts we are not interested in
  2. More animals have to be killed because there are only but so many prime cuts on each animal
  3. Animals are pumped full of hormones to increase the size of said prime cut (think chickens with breasts too big for them to walk, pigs with hocks and shoulders that break their own legs from the weight).

Dario Cecchini, a prolific butcher who I love and would gladly marry, sums it up in his philosophy. He states that, “Having respect of the animal, of it’s life, of it’s death, and using everything to the very last tendon with conscience is what I have been doing every day for the past 40 years”. He sells the entire cut of the animal, even the offal, because there is worth and flavor there. Severing our attachment to prime cuts and being more open to the entirety of the animal would rather quickly translate into less animals rifling through the meat industry.

Also, as a country, we need to cut down on meat consumption. I am being a complete hypocrite right now, but for the most part many of us just eat too much meat. 3 meals a day with meat featured as the star in each, adding up to 21 meals a week, per person, that require some cut of meat is wild. Considering that we only like the prime cuts, that means multiple animals per person per week. I remember as a little girl, my father was preparing a vegetarian dinner and I told him flat out “it’s not dinner if there isn’t any meat” and he kindly responded “you don’t need to eat meat for every meal of every day”. That’s all it took to break the spell for me, but it’s still a troubling issue to deal with. Breakfast is perhaps the only meal that not eating meat is mildly “appropriate” and even then its most likely replaced with dairy in the form of cereal. Controlling the urge to consume meat for each meal has been a difficult but rewarding task with which I struggle.

But all in all, I have one hope that I think is rather practical when it comes to the meat industry, and that is I hope they change how they actually kill each animal. Currently, the process is disgusting, endangers the butcher and the animal, leads to high stress levels in the meat, and that translates into more chemicals being mixed into the cut. The “weapon” of choice right now is an electrical current in the noggin. This does not result in immediate death, the animals are often still sentient as their throat is slit, and  this “flavors” the meat. I think this should change. There have been millennia of farmers who did not need nor want to electrocute their animals to kill them. I don’t know if you watched American Gods, but one of the main characters was a vintage meat farmer. Though they painted him in an evil light, his method was blunt force with a sledgehammer to the top of the animal’s head. And as he claimed, “a good butcher knows the exact spot to strike”. Do I think we ought to revert to such a simple method? Yes and no, while it does produce less cortisol in the animal thus not “flavoring” the meat, its not the easiest tradition to pass on. However, I believe there are other methods to achieve the same end goal that don’t use excess energy nor require the animal to continue to feel pain.

We each have to decide on our own diet and what we want from food and how we expect food to live in harmony with our body. I know that in a very real sense I will never completely give up meat (or dairy) but in order to affect change we sometimes have to be uncomfortable. I’d love to see a world where the number of animals going through the meat industry can decrease because the “need” has decreased and methods are more palatable. Where hormones are not affecting me and my future progeny before they’re even birthed. I’d love to have a medium-rare burger and not be told by my friends that I’m eating poison.

Until then I will still be a proud carnivore, hoping for change.

 

Eat happily and be good, free-range piggies.

Rants

Liquor Lacquer

Continuing down the path of French nostalgia: my dad has a phrase that goes: l’alcool preserve les fruits, la fumée les viandes.

It’s a good clapback to have in your pocket when people tell you to stop doing something you enjoy, and who are also familiar with medieval preservation practices. Mind you, if the logic follows, drinking is something done to preserve “your fruits” or make something delicious so it should also be something delicious. Before you all jump down my throat no this is not a lecture and believe me this blog has no hopes about guiding your moral compass, just your culinary one.

So back to liquor, drink delicious ones! I don’t know what delicious means to you and I don’t have to. But I know that when it comes to me, I will always choose gin over Hennessy, vodka is not a liquor I will ever sip, and rum and I are dear close friends. There are also goals I have in mind for my future, involving alcohol. Whiskey and I need to grow old together, without our intermittent lover, Sour Mix, in the mix (badum-cha). Scotch, brandy, and all of the “old man” liquors as I call them need to also become a part of my language. I want to be like my French grandmother, a hearty woman of 5 feet, who sips on whatever drink she pleases without even a trace of a grimace, and surely does not drink cocktails.

But anyways, the point of this rant isn’t about me telling you my palate goals (though I probably will more than once) its about you not buying into the hype. Let your tastes be shaped by yourself and not by clever marketing campaigns or seemingly catchy products. I come from DC, and they have handheld Hennessy carriers in most liquor stores, an entirely wild concept to me. Jameson, had its time in the sun a couple years back as Chocolate City became Irish Cream City and accepted the drink into their hearts and livers. Bulleit Bourbon has been a solid fan fave both inside and outside of DC and makes a dang good Old Fashioned. But to be honest with you, I think Henny is nasty, Jameson and I could be friends, and Bourbon just isn’t my dark liquor of choice, though I’ll put up with it. But these are ~informed~ opinions, I’ve tasted and sampled and realized what isn’t for me. So don’t be ashamed for your tastes, always ALWAYS drink in moderation, and let’s inform our tastes in 2018.

 

Stay unique my piggies.