Have you had them? They're no big whoop, as we used to say. And a horrendous yield. Come next winter, try the white runners we'll have and you'll be happy. I think I've seen true Tarbais for up to $30 a pound.
I tend to use flagelots (yours) when making cassoulet (and at other times); that's the only occasion I've seen the specifically called for and I have indeed noticed the ungodly prices asked for them, if you can even find them in the U.S.
The backlash against Alice Waters, Michael Pollan and others of their ilk, such as it is, has occurred during the recent recession.
Always ahead of the curve, I found her annoying long ago. (Nice pic).
Wow, I'd like to see some sort of research that shows the organic "movement" started pre-WWII. Not referring, of course, to backyard gardeners, who have always been the backbone of the local, organic movement.
Not organic per se, but in The United States of Arugula, David Kamp traces the larger "movement" back to James Beard, Julia, Clairborn, Olney and a few others whose names I forget -- who preceded Alice -- and also the Dean and DeLuca guys, Moosewood etc who were more or less contemporaneous.
To the extent that fast food restaurants and other institutions are offering "healthier" alternatives, I suspect that's a completely different tributary, far more concerned with arid nutrition and just being thin than any of the larger issues Alice embodies.
To Fat Guy's larger point, I've had this discussion here before. There is a certain strain of food person, invariably affluent, who thinks that they're saving the world by eating artisanal cheese and $5 ramps, and that everybody else should follow their enlightened lead. It hugely self-indulgent and wildly arrogant and it turns people off. I don't think Alice is anywhere near the worst I've stumbled across in this regard but I'm sure that, for some people, she embodies this attitude.
It don't really dislike Alice. I agree with much of what she says. I just find her grating.
It's like, as a card-carrying liberal, I agree with Al Gore. But he, too, bug the heck out of me.
Edited by Busboy, 23 April 2009 - 07:10 AM.