Long time no link! I’d explain, but evidently my life is written in the Michelin stars: Lucky Peach astrology has already assessed and prescribed my food fortune. The only quibbles I have with this horoscope are that I’m not likely to forget a meal as I march hungrily toward my big summer deadline, and that I cannot eat peanuts at my new desk, which is located on the top floor of an old museum which has strict insect-prevention rules.
It’s contrapuntal to your instincts, but this is a good season for keeping your meals, and most of your day-to-day tasks, elemental. You’re preparing for a significant change to your routine, or perhaps the execution of a project at which you’ve been hard at work, so think about some recipes that will take only a whisker of effort and help you keep racing toward the goal you’ve nearly, nearly reached.
Satisfactory for this month’s bill of fare: Sauté kale and shrimp with a spicy sauce, like this yuzu jammer, harissa, or sriracha. Have a fistful of blueberries on top of a toasted, peanut-buttered English muffin for breakfast. Keep some peanuts close by wherever it is you work, since this season is one in which you’re primed to occasionally forget meals, given your current hyper-focus. Good luck, Taurus—you’re nearly there, and it’s going to be so worthwhile when your work is realized. DON’T FORGET TO EAT, though. Or, try not to, please.
A 220-year-old shipwrecked beer was resurrected by scientists, and I can see that “scientists tasting ancient foods they’ve dug up” is going to be a theme in my link roundups.
At the New Yorker, Bee Wilson considers how Britain’s foodscape might change if regulations for edible imports change due to Brexit.
For a sweeter, more optimistic view of England’s culinary offerings, read Linda Holmes on The Great British Baking Show. I enjoy Holmes’ nuanced pop culture takes in general, and I appreciate that her reading of the show is not about what makes British food different than American food television, but about what American audiences find so compelling in this particular export.
Let’s posit, too, that American popular culture tends to both idealize and stereotype British people as more genteel, more refined, more intellectual, more snobbish, more artsy, more mannered, and more reluctant to do anything distasteful than Americans are. It’s mostly a lie, like so many of our patronizing cultural swoons, but it’s persistent.
So despite the fact that the UK has always, always had just as much of a tradition of distasteful reality television as we do, perhaps it makes sense that for a subset of Americans, the perfect refuge from everything we find not genteel, not refined, notintellectual, not snobbish, not artsy, not mannered, and utterly eager to do everything distasteful would turn out to be a show where British people bake things.
Last month, Philadelphia became the first major U.S. city to pass a soda tax, and the repercussions of this decision remain to be seen.
This is an old story, but it’s new to me, and it’s been a month of horrors out there in the world, so: please enjoy this brace of very busy, very happy ducks. They are on their way to eat snails at a vineyard in South Africa.