I wanted to start with some snappy statement like “it happens every time”, but this “every time” doesn’t happen very often. However, it just occurred again. Every time some creature crawls out of the dirt like our recent brood “N” (or whatever), invariably there appears some article talking about eating the critters. And we’re talking hominoids here, not your pet dog or chicken. Sure enough, in Wednesday’s edition of our local newspaper there was a story called “Bug Bites”, complete with a disgusting (large) picture of skewered Cicadas, two dripping with chocolate coated , and one “plain one”. It’s kind of like the proverbial train wreck thing about you don’t want to look but you can’t help it. I had to choke back the bile. Not satisfied with just a visual, the story goes on to talk about “dry roasted Cicada chocolate chip cookies” and offers recipes for both preparations. There were no descriptors of “tastes like Chicken”, but did compare their flavor to a baked potato, well, a greenish baked potato. Gaaacccckkkk.
I have one very pointed question: WHY?
I know Anthony Bourdain (who I am not) trots around the world eating grubs, large spiders, eyeballs of various creatures and so forth, but he gets paid handsomely for that. Plus he has that maverick oddball character image to maintain. Besides his staged antics I saw a statistic in some article that X% of the world’s population includes insects in their diet. And it wasn’t a small number either. I would submit that in those cultures, the individuals grow up with that diet and so consuming such things seems as natural to them as eating a cheeseburger does to us. Well, but Mr. Feeder, aren’t you supposed to be on the culinary cutting edge? Maybe for quality and service, but not necessarily food. I don’t mind trying different preparations of various organs, I love Foie Gras, sweetbreads, and even liver and onions. But eating a bug? Nope. Just showing off for shock value is silly.
Anyway, I’ll pass on the Entomology course.
Notes from the News
I kind of hate to regurgitate (a fitting word here) stuff you can read in the newspaper for yourself, but I found a couple of articles in Sunday’s Post kind of interesting. The first was about a bakery in Arizona which gained “fame” as the only restaurant that Gordon Ramsay of: “Kitchen Nightmares” reality show has given up on.. The reason was that the owners were intransigent about changing anything, wouldn’t take his advice and so forth. The main point of the story was to talk about the importance of social media to restaurants these days. In response to numerous customers’ complaints and bad reviews, the owners posted on their Facebook page: “I am not stupid all of you are! You just do not know good food”. Nice! Ramsay was quoted as saying “The store-bought ravioli smelled “weird”, a salmon burger was overcooked, and a fig pizza was too sweet and arrived on raw dough”. The article points out that using sites such as Twitter, Foursquare, Yelp, Facebook, and Instagram customers can put out immediate comments that are often more vitriolic than a legitimate critic. And usually they are not how good things are.. “In the past, people just sent bad soup back. Well, now they are getting on social media and telling their friends and friends of friends how bad the soup was and why they should find other places to get soup in the future…” They close by quoting the results of a 2011 Harvard study that said Yelp’s 40 million reviews disproportionately affect small businesses. A one star increase in their rating system can result in a revenue jump of nearly 10 percent, but chains with huge marketing budgets were unaffected. Bottom line was that whether they like or not, restaurateurs have to pay attention to customers, swallow hard and say “thank you for your feedback” instead of yelling at them. Interesting article.
A picture caught my eye in the obituary section (as you age, you seem to watch the weather channel more and read the obituary pages). It showed a lady with wheels of cheese behind her. The story followed Dr. Patricia Elliott’s career as a country doctor, and then as a cheese maker. She lived on a farm near Rapidan, Virginia. In her late 60’s (!) the doctor acquired a Border collie and to give the bundle of energy something to do, she got ten sheep, who of course started producing milk. She got interested in cheese making, travelled all over the world to learn the art, and of course Wisconsin (duhh). Eventually Everona Dairy gained top honors at many cheese contests such as 10th at the 2010 World Cheese Championships, (we could have a little sidebar about how you could have a cheese “championship”, but so be it) and their cheeses have been served at the White House. Anyway it was a pleasure to read about a productive life (she passed at 84). What was also interesting was that she was born in Lansing Michigan (1929), got zoology degrees at Michigan State, and her medical degree at University of Michigan. Readers may remember that the Bottom Feeder was also born in Lansing Michigan, and attended MSU. So she pre dated me by only a few years. Nice to read this stuff.. Have to keep my eye out for the cheese...
Yet Another “Coming Soon”
Recently there has been much activity in the old CiCi’s Pizza place next to the gym in San Souci. Yesterday I noticed a trailer outside with the famous “Now Hiring” sign draped on it. Except I couldn’t see anything announcing what they were hiring for. MFO just called on her way to Leonardtown saying there is now a banner proclaiming Mission BBQ. At least it’s not Mexican Food! It does not appear to be a chain, but there are a couple of them in Glen Burnie and Nottingham. Look to be kind of “Texas” based.. another product you apparently cannot have enough of..
Nothing really overwhelming this weekend for the Flutters, we are staying in for the most part. I tend to cocoon when the temperatures get over ninety. If you wish you could go to the Beer Bands and Barbeque thing at Summerseat. From what I hear, the emphasis will be on the latter two. And speaking of beer, three weeks from tomorrow there will be our Historic St. Mary’s City third annual BeerFest. There you will be able to taste more than 25 craft beers brewed locally and in Maryland..Ruddy Duck, DuClaw, and others.. more to come.