new Things I Ate in Cambodia: Food Frippery: Spam Is Popular, Knitted Sushi, Candy for Ladies, Home Butchery!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Food Frippery: Spam Is Popular, Knitted Sushi, Candy for Ladies, Home Butchery!

What are people eating in the recession? - AP

Not surprisingly, folks are reverting to the canned meat products of their youths: spam, Dinty Moore, and other nuclear-war resistant combustibles are selling like hot cakes. Cheap candy bars (Hershey's, anyone?) and the ubiquitous Macaroni and Cheese Dinner is also gaining exponentially in popularity. College students continue to purchase food as if nothing whatsoever has happened.

When 'Local' Makes It Big -

Corporate types have caught on: locavores present a rich market for the taking. Frito Lay is positioned to shill its potato chips as the consummate local food, producing state-by-state ads highlighting local potato growers Although locavores are (not surpisingly) aghast, others feel that corporations jumping upon the locavore bandwagon is similar to the change organics went through: changing from hippie-food to perfectly regular aspect of modern life. My native Sacramento region is one of the vanguards: according to the article, the Sacramento County Farm Burearu has begun a "Grow and Buy Local" initiative, encouraging area farmers to hold back produce for hospitals, jails, and farm stands. If you ask me, turning locavorism from wacky-Nor Cal phenom into diluted but present concern for the rest of the country can only be a good thing. If that means Frito-Lay is elbowing its way into the Secret Club, so be it.

Michael Pollan, meanwhile, isn't buying it: “They (corporations) can turn any critique into a new way to sell food. You’ve got to hand it to them." True dat.

Chef Ryan Farr Breaks Down the Ancient Art of Food - San Francisco Examiner

Making your own beef stock, pasta,
and reductions ain't enough anymore: today's very most awesome chefs are now breaking down whole animals in the comfort of home. Chef Ryan Farr is now leading butchery classes for the general public, instructing home chefs on how one goes about taking apart what was formerly a whole entire pig.

I'm conflicted here. On the one hand, learning to take apart a whole critter will be great for some: aspiring pit masters will impress their friends with their cleaver skills, while voodoo priestesses will find a convenient home solution for obtaining pig blood. As for the rest of us, though, I think it creates some pretty high expectations: I can't just use organic locally sourced meat and prepare it with exotic and salubrious ingredients? I have to butcher the goddamn thing myself? You're killing me here, y'all.

Candy Bars for Ladies - NPR

Ladies: do you find the "Fling" candy bar as mildly offensive as I do? The implication that a naughty, bad, kinky little candy bar will stimulate our girly brains is a bit off putting. I mean, "pleasure yourself"? Likening candy to self-stimulation doesn't make me want to eat it, if you know what I mean. I know much "girl food" is marketed with a naughty or "kinky" motif - many chocolate commercials are basically soft porn - but this is going too far. (Note those Lindt chocolate commercials - yowza. Or any commercial with the Green M&M. I'm certain various porn featuring the Green M&M is out there on the internet. Please don't google it.)

Also: this brilliant human has knitted themselves some sushi. Words fail me.

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