Thank You, Anthony Bourdain: It’s About the Food

I am an idiot. I only have a slight edge over some other idiots in that I am open to discovering that I am an idiot, so that I might actually learn something new, or discover, sometimes to my horror, how something I thought I knew was so blindingly wrong.

For the past month, I have been in an immersive course of Anthony Bourdain and his writing, as well as had the experience of cuisine of another country while on vacation. Not just as a tourist eating at the hotel restaurants, but more like a food anthropologist, spending a good portion of our time in the Caribbean in grocery stores, looking at what the locals eat, inspecting each aisle of the store, fumbling with packages in French, and trying to figure out what the hell was in them due to my not knowing the language.

And never, to my recollection, eating at a ‘touristy’ restaurant. It was either casual French-inspired dining, or simple local fare.

It has been illuminating, to say the least. Continue reading “Thank You, Anthony Bourdain: It’s About the Food”

Why I Don’t Buy Supermarket Ground Beef Anymore

There’s a wonderful/horrible chapter about hamburgers in Anthony Bourdain’s book ‘Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook‘, a brutally, if not violently,  honest and profane look at himself, food, the business of cooking and resturants, and a host of other things surrounding the world of food.

If you don’t mind frequent use of profanity and occasionally raunchy material, he’s screamingly funny.

His chapter on hamburger in America – and how it is made, that is angry and eloquent, is classic.

I wish I could write half – no, one tenth – as good as he does.

I’d recommend his book for this chapter alone. Get it from Amazon here, or your library, or just hang out at your local bookstore and read it (before it goes out of business).

Not going to do that? Check out this link from a review of the book that details – and lifts a number of quotes from – this particular chapter of his book.  A few selections:

“I believe that, as an American, I should be able to walk into any restaurant in America and order my hamburger – that most American of foods – medium fxxxing rare. I don’t believe my hamburger should have to come with a warning to cook it well done to kill off any potential contaminants or bacteria.”

“I believe that I shouldn’t have to be advised to thoroughly clean and wash up immediately after preparing a hamburger.”

“I believe I should be able to treat my hamburger like food, not like infectious fxxxing medical waste.”

“I believe the worlds ‘meat’ and ‘treated with ammonia’ should never occur in the same paragraph – much less the same sentence.”

It explains nicely part of the reason that I don’t buy supermarket hamburger anymore, and on the very rare occasion I do, it’s cooked to ‘well-done’.