Friday, June 05, 2009
Lard: The New Fashion-Food
Ignoring sensationalist reporting about food on principle and having a Southern cultural background anyway, I've never had a problem with lard. I even stunk up my apartment in grad school once rendering it. (Heed step one. You have been warned!)
I guess I was ahead of my time:
Wait long enough and everything bad for you is good again. Sugar? Naturally better than high-fructose corn syrup. Chocolate? A bar a day keeps the doctor away. Caffeine? Bring it on. [links dropped]Except that when Crisco etc. are eventually "vindicated" and lard re-damned, I'll continue to use it if I please -- and remain free to do so.
Two other things amuse and intrigue me about this article from a cultural perspective, on top of its being interesting in its own culinary right.
First, we have the obligatory modern elevation of the rustic to the trendy, even rising to the status of sacrament in the Church of Gaia:
That environmental consciousness [sic] coupled with competitive cooking has resulted in the nose-to-tail trend set off by British chef Fergus Henderson. Walk into any high-end restaurant these days and pork chops are less prevalent than pig's ears, trotters, and jowls. The salumi/charcuterie craze has also been great for enhancing lard's profile, particularly thanks to lardo-pork belly cured Tuscan-style with wine and herbs and served in thin slices over warm bread or on pizza. If Mario Batali says it's good, diners everywhere listen. [links dropped]And second, food writer Regina Schrambling's initial comment on this made me laugh:
Peasant food has cachet only if you are not forced to live on it.I guess now, rather than being hectored by leftists for frying bacon, I can look forward to being praised.
Wait a minute: That's even worse!
The Confederate Battle Flag Revisited
The above indirectly reminds me of an interesting question my father-in-law -- second-generation Irish from New York, but a long-time resident of New Orleans -- asked me as we drove the furniture up to Boston through Louisiana.
He asked me what the deal was with Confederate battle flags. I never display them myself, and have very mixed feelings about them, but basically, I told him that I thought them more symbolic of cultural pride in the South, and not necessarily (or even usually) of racism. I do, of course, also have mixed feelings about the culture this flag represents, but am quickly annoyed by the blanket condemnations it receives from people who know next to nothing about it.
On that score, I just now recalled one of the few Ann Coulter columns I really like. It includes, as a bonus, an interesting bit from Colin Powell. (My previous comments on it are here.)
It is pride in the South -- having nothing to do with race -- and its honorable military history that the Confederate battle flag represents. It is a "battle flag," after all, and represents defiance not unlike the "Don't Tread on Me" flag.The matter of my native state of Mississippi choosing to keep its flag a few years back, despite its incorporation of the battle flag, came up. I told him I thought that most saw the change as being proposed for the wrong reasons, and that the rejection was more an expression of sovereignty than anything else. "Yes," I eventually agreed with him, "I'd call that a polite, and mostly healthy, 'Go to hell.'"
[Clarification: Pursuant to some private email, I wish to be clear that this post is about what I think the Confederate flag means to the current generation of southerners. The fact remains that the flag has stood for racism in the past. This is why I do not use it myself. Whatever virtues I see in the South, I do not condone racism and do not use symbols that can be taken to mean that I do.]
Objectivist Blog Carnival
Stop by Erosophia for this week's installment.
A Snapshot of Tyranny
I wonder whether free assembly will eventually be replaced with something like this under Barack Obama:
Although there were visitors from three continents, the authorities took aim particularly at those from Latin America. Four of us were detained at the airport, in my case for three hours, and told to refrain from making political comments. We were followed by the secret police--known as DISIP--in cars with no license plates, and a hostile mob was sent to the main venue. Agents masquerading as journalists were instructed to provoke us. The president and his ministers took turns insulting us on TV from dawn to dusk.We already have the hostile mobs.
Fellow supporters of individual rights, take heed.
Today: Added a clarification to the second part.