Today I wish a happy Independence Day to all my smart, vigorously commenting, articulate, wonderful readers who make this blog so exciting to write. Many of you come here to read about food and drink, for the occasional recipe, or to enjoy my wife’s excellent photography, but I’m guessing from the comments and from which posts are most read, that people come back because I’m an independent thinker and writer about food and cooking. I, with my friend and collaborator, Brian Polcyn, wrote a love song to animal fat and salt in a fat- and salt-phobic country. Earlier this week, I moved to make July Butter Is a Vegetable month (because it is, if you think about it right) even though every doctor in America will warn you away from too much butter (no matter that Read On »

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I’d like to declare July as “Butter Is a Vegetable” month. We live in an era where our food is being legislated against, so before anyone takes away my freedom to eat as much goddam butter as I want, I’d like to make sure it’s defined clearly, and in a way that makes it difficult for the Supreme Court to shut down or California to outlaw (“Will you look at the awful way they’re treating that cream! They’re churning it to death! No more butter! No more butter!”). Thus my campaign to define butter as the vegetable it is. Dan Barber recently wrote in an excellent Wall Street Journal opinion piece that even vegetables take their toll on the earth, drawing up valuable nutrients that they store and give to us, the eaters  (“there is no Read On »

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A UK survey finds that the youth of Britain have no idea where butter, eggs, or bacon come from, via Independent UK.

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Having drinks last month with Shaw Lash, a Chicago chef, after a steller meal at Frontera Grill (Shaw works for executive chef Rick Bayless, renowned Mexican cuisine authority), and the subject of Cinco de Mayo came up. Shaw, who had a few month earlier showed me how they make their own chocolate, above, shook her head and said, “Don’t get me started.” But she started anyway. I said, “Want to write a guest post for my site?” By Shaw Lash I grew up in Texas, a state that shares a 1,200-mile-long border with Mexico, and “carne asada” and slushy-swirled margaritas were as ubiquitous as longhorns and oil rigs. As a family, we’d take vacations as far past the border as we could get in a comfortable day’s drive.  We’d walk across the bridge, never with passports, to Read On »

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I spotted a tiny news item in this morning’s Plain Dealer, culled from The San Francisco Chronicle reports, and was thrilled to see people like Thomas Keller, Michael Chiarello, Tyler Florence, and scores of other chefs beginning to protest California’s hypocritical and uninformed ban on foie gras that goes into effect this summer. (Watch news story video from KCRA.) While likely begun as self-aggrandizing soap-boxing by former state Senator John Burton in 2004 (read his LA Times op-ed reasoning), as it was done by Chicago City Council Alderman Joe Moore in 2007, embarrassing the city, which repealed the law in 2008, we’re hoping that California legislators evaluate their actual motives for the ban. If they truly care about the humane treatment of the animals we kill for food, they would do this country a better and real Read On »

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