Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Trickle down

I just assumed Sunday was a proverbially slow news day when the Chron ran a farm bill article on A-1 (Steve Sullivan having had little effect on DiFi), but today Gawker Media is liveblogging a House food safety hearing. Yes, it's Consumerist, but still.

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(Practically unprecedented) Correction

It looks like I will have to revise the timeline of my Kim Severson mockery, to judge by Craig Claiborne's charming story on everyone's favorite "revolutionary":

CUISINE BOURGEOISE OUT WEST
June 3, 1981, Wednesday, Late City Final Edition

BERKELEY,Calif. WHERE American gastronomy is concerned, there is one commodity that is rarer than locally grown black truffles or homemade foie gras. That is a chef of international repute who was born in the United States. Even rarer is such a celebrated chef who is a woman.

There is, however, one here in Berkeley who could justifiably deserve such renown. Her name may not be a household word from Maine to California, but many culinary experts, both here and abroad, sing her praises without reservation.

Alice Waters is chef-proprietor of Chez Panisse, a cunningly designed, somewhat raffish establishment with a noteworthy menu and kitchen. One of the most euphoric and enthusiastic appraisals of her work came from Christian Millau who, along with his colleague, Henri Gault, publishes a guide to restaurants in Paris. Writing in his monthly guide, Mr. Millau stated that dinner at Chez Panisse had been his most memorable experience in the San Francisco area.

Miss Waters, he stated, "makes a cuisine Française that is authentically bourgeoise, commanding the basic flavors, which she ferrets out with a passion and astonishing understanding, from good and beautiful products of her native land." He goes on to praise her treatment of tomatoes, wild crawfish, native olive oils, zucchini flowers, mussels, veal, farm-grown chickens, butter and woodland mushrooms.

The subject of this praise is a modest, diminutive, gaminelike figure with fingers that are astonishingly small, considering her metier.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

fichi

adriatic fig

Hey, the Chron noticed that farmer's markets suck. No, nothing new happened, but the interviews give a good sense of how much unpleasant work -- and driving -- is involved in the delivery of your local food. Also, the Disneyfication of Ferry Plaza. Julia Wiley gets the gold star for this quote: "I'm not a value-added farm wife."

Allow me to suggest that you eat some figs while you still can. I do not, however, recommend reading about fig pollination if you are at all squeamish, i.e., if I am likely to try to serve you figs at some point. Although there appears to be some taxonomic instability at the retail level, whatever they are calling Adriatic is really really good.

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