by Jim Ridley
Many thanks to Ulika Food Blog for introducing me to the magic of Dr. Carl Winter, "the Sinatra of Salmonella," who spreads the word about proper food handling via animated song parodies. The one on the Ulika site, which heralds the danger of food-borne bacteria to "We Will Rock You," is a classic on arrival. (Sing it with me now, boom-boom-PAH, boom-boom-PAH: "Buddy, you're a young man, dumb man, careless/And you're gonna make someone quite sick someday/You got spores on your plate/They'll incubate/There's trouble if you cross-contaminate/Miii-crobes, they will KILL! YOU!") But the one above is no less effective for playing to every kid's love of Kenny Rogers, using the Don Schlitz standard "The Gambler" to convey the hazards of improperly thawed ground beef. Maybe it sounds goofy, but if not for "Schoolhouse Rock" I wouldn't be able to sing the Preamble to the Constitution.
• Over at Lesley Eats, I had to rub my eyes when I ran across this sentence: "For a variety of reasons (including a much more organic food supply), the food in England just tastes so much better. Brighter. Every bite does a little dance on your tongue." What?!? This doesn't sound like the England I remember from 20 years ago. Back then, the only time the food danced was when you pinged it off a garbage-can lid. (If that's dancing, the boiled sausage I chucked after one pasty bite was freakin' Gene Kelly.) Of course, I was in Brighton, then the land of the questionable meat pie, and Lesley was in London's spectacular Borough Market, home to some of Europe's most fetching produce. Props to our girl for representing us so well—she even sipped tea with her pinkie extended.
• I had been planning to fry some green tomatoes this week, but Nicole Sauce has pretty much convinced me to try a sautéed green tomato and summer squash ensalada instead. You add onion, crushed Corn Flakes (or corn meal) and Cajun spice to the diced squash and tomato and fry it all up into a large frittata-like patty, then halve it and serve it over lettuce and cilantro topped with salsa and sour cream. I picture something like a Korean seafood pancake, only studded with colorful al dente veggies.
• The next wave in food criticism comes from the awesome Onion AV Club, where a new "Taste Test" feature yields a priceless exchange between writer Josh Modell and a poster who goes by the handle Zodiac Motherfucker. The field of battle is something called Blair's Death Rain XXX Hot Habanero Chips; the Zodiac's discourse starts at "MAN UP AND FACE THE RAIN" and mushrooms into a volcanically obscene all-caps tirade. (Try reading it aloud in the voice of John Goodman in The Big Lebowski.) Confidential to ZMF: the name is Noel "Murray," dimwit, and he could rip out your larynx just by scratching his earlobe.