Saturday, November 28, 2009

Selected Thoughts on The New Yorker November 23

Selected thoughts on the 23 November 2009 edition of The New Yorker:

This is the food issue.

Lunch With M. (by John Colapinto)
Colapinto interviews an inspector from the Michelin restaurant review in New York. Interesting tidbits about their training, the Michelin philosophy, and the impact of rankings on the restaurant scene are revealed. There is definitly an element of food porn to this article. If there is ever a place for that, though, I suppose it would be the yearly New Yorker food issue. So, there you go. Still, an enjoyable article to read.

The Taste Makers (by Raffi Khatchadourian)
This was an extremely interesting article. It is all about "natural flavors", what exactly that means, and how flavorists hunt up and create new flavors in the lab and by sampling nature. The article is largely centered on Michelle Hagen, a flavorist for the Givaudan company in Cincinnati. It follows her in her lab as well as on taste searching trips. This long article is wonderful and full of too much information to easily summarize. You won't regret reading it.

What's the Recipe (by Adam Gopnik)
The setup to this essay by Gopnik is ripped right from a New Yorker cartoon caption: a man and a women reading in bed. She's reading a fashion magazine and he's reading a cookbook. Why are they reading this things? Indeed, in this age-of-Google, what is a cookbook for? Gopnik lays out some potential reasons, but the point that sticks with me his is phrasing about the cycle of desire and disillusion:
The desire to go on desiring, the wanting to want, is what makes you turn the pages—all the while aware that the next Boston cream pie, the sweet-salty-fatty-starchy thing you will turn out tomorrow, will be neither more nor less unsatisfying than last night’s was. When you start to cook, as when you begin to live, you think that the point is to improve the technique until you end up with something perfect, and that the reason you haven’t been able to break the cycle of desire and disillusion is that you haven’t yet mastered the rules. Then you grow up, and you learn that that’s the game.
Unheavenly Host (by Nancy Franklin)
A review of television (and radio) personality Glenn Beck. Real or imagined, it really is some sort of performance.

No comments:

Post a Comment