Meet the Original Food SnobsSlate’s Sara Dickerman has a great piece this week about the Founding Fathers of food snobbery — the short library of books that real food snobs draw on, as opposed to the quick studies who are buying David Kamp’s The Food Snob’s Dictionary like hotcakes this holiday season. We applaud Dickerman for including not only the big, unwieldy references like Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking and Grub Street guru Hervé This’s Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor, but also the classic crackpot treatises like Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin’s 1825The Physiology of Taste and Alexandre Balthazar Laurent Grimod de la Reynière’s Gourmand’s Almanac (1803–12). Those great gastronomes of yore were the first and best food snobs, and today’s aspirants would do well to go back to the source.
Hey, Fromage Obsessive [Slate]
Related: David Kamp Brings Aid to Would-Be Food Snobs
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Two Sushi Scholars Knock the Scales Off Our Eyes
We’ve let the cult of sushi impose itself upon us long enough: The mystical reverence stemming from rice and knives, the reverent hush of the omakase bar, the meticulous manners required of every procedure. We just read an exchange on Slate between Trevor Corson and Sasha Issenberg, the authors of The Zen of Fish: The Story of Sushi, From Samurai to Supermarket, and The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy, respectively. Both men have studied the history of sushi and the burgeoning global sushi industry, and under their gaze some common myths about sushi simply disintegrate.
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Ilan May Not Be Top Chef Tonight; Coca Leaf CuisineYesterday’s Ilan Hall winner profile? Just one of two we had ready, says Food & Wine. Read Marcel’s. [Food & Wine]
Related: ‘Top Chef’ Winner Revealed — For Real! [Grub Street]
Bruni weighs in on Top Chef, giving the cooking elements of the show a surprising amount of respect. [NYT]
Sara Dickerman looks at the new wave of cooking shows and finds them all totally ridiculous — but entertaining. [Slate]