Grease is good
An article appeared in the most recent Village Voice (free registration) that shows that things are truly changing. A food critic strung the fabric of his attacks on the crummy taste of low-fat foods over a framework of reviews of multiple New York restaurants whose chefs have no fear of using lard and other fats in the preparation of their dishes.
Let’s face it. Grease is good. The city has never gone through a worse era of bad food than the low-fat mania of the 1980s, still vestigially represented in the marketplace by awful products like TASTI D-LITE. And our butcher shops have never recovered, either. Ever try to make a burger out of low-fat ground beef? It turns out crumbly and flavorless. And when you buy a brisket to barbecue, you’ve got to grab the butcher’s arm before he trims off all the fat. (My apologies to lady butchers. By the way, have you ever seen one?) Indeed, you can’t have barbecue without plenty of fat, which is the reason most local barbecues are abysmal. Still, you would think low fat is synonymous with virtue if you gaze at labels while wandering through GRISTEDES. The dairy case, in particular, is crammed with low-fat and no-fat products, and they taste like crap.
Low-carb dining and the low-carb diet don’t escape unscathed.
The low-fat ’80s gave way to the no-carb ’90s, and I can’t tell you with what astonishment I observed the obese tucking into giant, yawning plates of greasy bacon and eggs but denying themselves the single darkling slice of buttered toast (or lard-topped, if you will) that would have made the meal palatable. Atkins and South Beach tendencies are still over-represented on restaurant menus, and restaurateurs are gleefully dispensing with the conventional bread basket at dining venues all over town, often because their customers piously refused to touch the stuff while pigging out on gigantic apps and entrées. Hey folks, bread is the staff of life! At the new Italian restaurant GUSTO (60 Greenwich Avenue, 212-924-8000), for example, your meal begins with anchovy-rubbed red radishes, with nary a bread basket in sight. I want my carbs!
What I find interesting is all the restaurants serving low-carb fare and the obvious number of people continuing to pursue their low-carb diets while dining out despite all the hoopla about the demise of the low-carb “fad.”
The author proceed to exonerate cholesterol, praise the egg, and attack trans fats. He uses a great line that I like so much I may appropriate it for my own talks:
Want to know what trans fat looks like? Open a can of Crisco.