Caffeinated foodieness

[This has been in my draft pile since forever. I'm still not very happy with it, but I have decided to depopulate said list, so here it is, warts and all.]

As has been mentioned extensively in my published works, the state of the modern foodie is pretty dire in many respects. Sure, all kinds of interesting new foods are becoming more commonly available and the foods generally available are of a far higher quality than ever before (even the regular supermarket stuff!).

So that's good.

But it's really more of a moving against the tide thing. You see, the modern foodie has (at least in the USA, the rest of the Anglosphere is on its own) most food media not on its side. We've discussed the impending and inexorable demise (in spirit at least) of Food Network. I contend they were doomed from the outset by refusing to call themselves The Food Network. So, besides having TV shows where the greatest asset of the hosting personality is having that sort of dull-normal appeal so beloved by people who have nothing greater in life than being in a focus group.

The example most recently stuck between my eyes is Cook's Country. This publication is not so much a sister of Cook's Illustrated as it is it's equivalent to the Anti-Christ. The minute stuff from jars, tins, bottles, cans, etc. start showing up it's bad enough, but when you see recipes for the most mundane stuff from 1950's "women's magazines" leavened with stuff like Jell-O? That's dreck.

Cook's Illustrated is, still, holding the fort. Saveur has taken a recent downward tilt in output, but it's quite serviceable and the same holds for The Rosengarten Report.

Not content to let matters rest, I have decided to move in the opposite direction, strking sharp blows in favor of civilization. So, I have recently decided to become an even more insufferable coffee drinker. So far, my inusfferability has taken the form of having a fancy-arse espresso machine. But that's not enough. I want to be as coffee-conversant as I am wine-conversant. What does this mean?

It means that I will now start moving from my Starbuck's blends (I started with house blend, and am now at the Espresso Roast/Verona stage and I like to load my grinder 50-50 with these) to trying out...wait for it...varietals. Then, after that, I'm going to start looking for frou-frou (preferably cheap ones) purveyors of coffee.

Hell, I'm already traveling across the state to get beef.

-J.

Comments

blackbird said…
You ought to be roasting your own beans.
Joke said…
That's in the pile of things to do...thanks for the reminder!

-J.
Poppy Buxom said…
Yeah, even my old dad did that. Back in the 1980s. Before Starbucks was invented. And even though he wasn't a foodie.

And this varietals thing. Do you mean that you're striking out into such uncharted territory as Kona or Jamaican Blue Mountain or Kenya Peaberry or some such? Because to be honest--that train left a long time ago. I bought my ticket when Michael J. Fox was a big T.V. star.
MsCellania said…
I'm GROWING my own beef - I bought a share of a cow in our CSA farm. Which we will now never visit (I had thought to take my dynamic duo to the farm to see how food is REALLY grown) as God Forbid the kids see the herd and start getting fond of 'our cow'.
Yes, do expound on the meaning of 'varietals'. And will this involve more driving on your part?
BreadBox said…
On food shows --- give me the ones that are made outside the food network now: the UK, Australia and other places seem to be far more innovative, and other channels such as PBS less helpful with how to use canned goods. The food network jumped the shark a year or two back in my mind. Mind you, I'm expecting them to be the next channel to put British mysteries on for ten hours on Sundays --- first it was A&E, then Biography Channel, then....

On coffee --- you don't have to roast your own: just find a neighbourhood store willing to do it for you, and to bring in the beans for you to try. I'm sure it should be trivial to find such a place. After all, we had one in England just down the street thirty years ago.....

Of course, my coffee palate is awful now: to quote Tom Lehrer, my "taste buds were shot off in the war"....

Nice piece. Thanks for giving up on doing any more with it and sharing it with us!
N.
Food shows remain very big here - well at least they are on cable anyway.

And yes I do believe you need to be truly coffee conversant you need to move away from Starbucks completely.

We don't really consider Starbucks to be coffee here you know. I don't what we do consider it to be but you know - not coffee.
Sarah O. said…
What about Fine Cooking magazine?

varietals - Hahahaha!

mscellania, who lives ONE measly mile from me, can clearly tell you all about the plethera of organic meat around these parts. Colorado's got small herds of all natural cows all over the place. It's crazy! Driving my son to school (5 miles away in the adjacent Denver suburb) we pass FOUR cattle ranches. Problem is, I like the cows and don't like to think that I may end up eating one of them.

I can't eat soft shelled crabs either because they're STARING at me.

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