Friday, April 15, 2016

This and That

This Tampa Bay Times article, about the fiction that is "farm to table" claims in many restaurants, is astoundingly good - and astoundingly disturbing. I can't quite wrap my head around how much work it must have been to research and write and how gutsy the publication is to put it all out there, especially in a smaller market - they have their i's dotted, for sure, otherwise they'd get some serious pushback.

And I'm shaken by the article's revelations. I'm not totally naive - I realize there's misrepresentation, at a minimum, in the restaurant industry. But this is so widespread. As I said in a comment on Facebook, I like to think that people are mostly good. This kind of lying - and lying is what we're talking about here - about food, a subject that can bring so much light to life, is profoundly disturbing to me.


In happier news, this Hemingwayish Lucky Peach article made me happy. Oysters are both one of my favorite foods and my favorite subjects, and I will never shy away from a good East Coast vs. West Coast debate. (I am East Coast all the way, obvs., but I do like a melon-y West Coast oyster. Not as much as I like salty East Coasters, but still.)

Writing about oysters is writing about everything, as far as I can tell. Land and money and history and big stuff, but also - because I grew up in an oyster-loving family - relationships and small, specific memories.

Possibly my favorite part of the article was this revelation: "There's something you need to understand...In the Northeast, the oysters are at their best on the winter solstice."

The winter solstice falls, about half the time, on my birthday. I celebrate, obviously, with oysters.

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