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The New Yorker Food Issue


bloviatrix
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Today's mail brought me the annual Food Issue published by The New Yorker. :smile:

A quick check of their web site shows a Q&A with Calvin Trillin. Plus, the issue includes an article by Trillin. Here is the table of contents. Unfortunately, you'll have to go to a newstand if you want to read the articles.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Oh great. Can't wait to get that in the mailbox.

Speaking of food and the New Yorker magazine, did anyone read the article about Rob Kaufelt of Murray's Cheese Shop in the 8/23 issue? Nice article. Would be interested to hear comments about the article (or the store or the proprietor) from those who shop there.

Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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Actually, the Trillin article on snoek is online here.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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It amazes me that year after year the New Yorker publishes an all-food issue, but includes not a single recipe!

The back-page essay by Gabrielle Hamilton, "Killing Dinner," is a standout. The last paragraph alone blew me away. Hamilton is the owner/chef of Prune restaurant in NY. I've read her writing before and been impressed by it, it's good to see more. I fully expect to see this in the next edition of "Best Food Writing."

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I'm glad that they don't do recipes.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Speaking of food and the New Yorker magazine, did anyone read the article about Rob Kaufelt of Murray's Cheese Shop in the 8/23 issue?

That article inspired me to go to the nearest imported cheese shop (in Albuquerque, that would be Whole Foods) and buy several ounces of the funkiest, weirdest looking products I could find!

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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From Gabrielle Hamilton's Killing Dinner

....In my father's chicken coop, one bird was being badly henpecked.  My dad said we should kill it and spare it the slow torture by its pen mates. I said I could do it.  I said it was important to confront death of the aminal you had the priveiliege of eating, that it was cowardly to buy cellophane-wrapped packages of boneless, skinless breasts at the grocery store.  My father said, "You can kill the damned thing when I get home from work."............

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Speaking of food and the New Yorker magazine, did anyone read the article about Rob Kaufelt of Murray's Cheese Shop in the 8/23 issue? Nice article. Would be interested to hear comments about the article (or the store or the proprietor) from those who shop there.

I enjoyed the article greatly.

Tried to get some 'friends' to read it and get 'educated', but 'Lobstah people' in Maine don't go for anything than Cabot Cheddar and American slices.

Never shopped at Murray's. Wish I could.

Peter
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. . .

      Tried to get some 'friends' to read it and get 'educated', but 'Lobstah people' in Maine don't go for anything than Cabot Cheddar and American slices.

Gee. I find that for supermarket cheese, Cabot's Hunter's Seriously Sharp is not half bad.

But back to The New Yorker: I'm on the NO RECIPES side.

But more to the point, The New Yorker has had some excellent food articles in the long-distant past -- Burton Roueche on apples, Sue Hubbell (?) on the quest for pie (source of one of our favorite lines: when she asked a young Highway Patrolman where she could find good pie, he replied, "Sorry, ma'am, you're in cobbler country now.") And of course so much of Calvin Trillin's early work.

Haven't read the articles yet, but there are a few really great drawings (aka cartoons). I'll try to link to them once they show up in the Cartoon Bank.

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The crown jewel, however, is Jim Harrison's story of his thirty-seven course lunch at L'Esperance in Burgundy. The descriptions of the meal are second to his rendering of his gourmand friend, Gerard. "These would be difficult to eat in a car," indeed!

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I haven't had a chance to fully immerse myself in the issue, but Jhumpa Lahiri's essay The Long Way Home (p.83) was good.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Let me join Jinmyo, Peter and Suzanne is applauding the New Yorker, a literary magazine, for not trying to immitate a food or cooking magazine and for giving us something different. Sometimes it's nice to think about food without actually eating or cooking.

I did not appreciate my one meal at Prune, not the only other article I read by Gabrielle Hamilton, but I thought her Kiling Dinner piece was well worth my time to read.

I thoroughly enjoyed Adam Gopnik's book review. I found much of what he said fascinating. It was one of the kind of book reviews that are worth reading for itself and irrelevant of whether it leads you to read the book in question or not. It was illuminating in a way that a restaurant review of a restaurant you may never visit is still worth reading. It is the antithesis to reviewing as consumer reports. Fascinating stuff on wine by the numbers and the reasons we drink wine as consumers and connoisseurs. I don't know that he's right on target when he categorizes Americans and the French, but his points are solidly worth considering in terms of how individuals regard wine, as well as in dealing with national stereotypes. And if they don't hold up to further scrutiny, (I think they actually do, but that's besides the point) they make good reading.

I look forward to finding more in the issue.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Clearly I'm in the minority on the "recipes vs. no recipes" debate. That's OK. :smile:

I still contend that they could include a recipe here and there without compromising the magazine, and potentially adding a lot to it -- not unlike the Gastronomica model. I'd love to see an article on menus from some of the bygone restaurants -- with menus reprinted in the original styles to go along with it. I think recipes and menus and ingredient listings from labels and more could be used to embellish and strengthen good narrative, not unlike a striking photo can uplift text. But it would have to be used sparingly and judiciously. I do agree that The New Yorker shouldn't try to ape the cooking mags.

I'm going to read that Jim Harrison article tonight!

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Is Molly O'Neill still at The New Yorker? I was hoping to find a piece by her in the issue. :sad:

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Jim Harrison is a gem, and so is his article in this issue. If you haven't read "The Raw and the Cooked" yet, you really should. Some people find the rampant egotism hard to take, but I think it just adds spice to an already hearty stew.

"Mine goes off like a rocket." -- Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, Feb. 16.

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Speaking of food and the New Yorker magazine, did anyone read the article about Rob Kaufelt of Murray's Cheese Shop in the 8/23 issue?  Nice article.

Thanks for pointing out this article. Somehow I completely missed reading that issue. I really enjoyed that piece.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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I'm almost through my copy of the food issue and I think it was very well done.

I greatly appreciate that it is not recipe-based writing.

The article about futurist food was amazing. I kept thinking to myself that only the Italians could have a successful restaurant with a menu that is based on the writings (ramblings?) of a futurist from the previous century.

They have relied on the short personal essays (for example, the fantastic one from Gabrielle Hamilton) for the last several and I think that they are often the highlight of the issue. I still remember reading one written by Madhur Jaffrey a few years ago that is loosely about food memory (thanks google!). In a few short sentences she almost convinced me that I had my own memories of eating spiced mangoes in a tree in India when the reality is I was eating porkchops and minute rice in Wisconsin.

Great issue.

Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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I can't bear to discard books, but, lacking room to archive magazines, I tend to clip interesting articles for friends before discarding them (the magazines, that is). I find that so far I've clipped nearly every food-related article from this issue of the New Yorker.

Have some of our more experimentally minded chefs already read the Futurist cookbook?

"To Serve Man"

-- Favorite Twilight Zone cookbook

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I finally got mine in the mail 3 days ago :hmmm: Haven't read the snoek article yet, but (ahem) devoured the rest pretty much. I found the story by the chinese author remembering her grandfdather's lard soup very moving.

Speaking of food-related special issues, did anyone else see the Granta from Winter 1995? It was my first experience with serious food writing -- articles about cannibalism, diet of bengali widows, aphrodisiacs. Great stuff, and if you're interested in seeing it, you can almost always find the issue you're looking for at a used book store.

Edited by Behemoth (log)
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I read Jim Harrison's L'Esperance piece while on the exercise bike at the gym yesterday. This was truly a very very strange experience, like having your body pulled in two directions at once. Excited by the sound of the food, queasy from the quantity, queasy from the exercise I was actually doing and still more so from the thought of the amount more exercise it would take to recover from that. A lovely piece though....

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I _still_ haven't had time to read the food issue, but I'm really looking forward to the Futurist story. Many years ago, I was browsing the cookbook section in the IU Bloomington library (a sure sign that I shouldn't have been bothering with grad school anyway), and stumbled across the Futurist Cookbook. I thought it was hilarious that it was filed under cooking, rather than art, and I've kept my own copy filed that way ever since...should I be wanting a recipe for "The Excited Pig" or what have you.

(I did read "Killing Dinner," though. GH's writing is what made me love her food in the first place. She's so sharp.)

Edited by zora (log)

Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

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