Hola. Anchower, and all. I tried to post stuff from the cah, using my mind, like I was Aquaman, and the Internets were a dolphin, but no luck. I filed a trouble ticket, and TypePad has technicians working on it. More soon to come on the intersection of real and tasty, in a porky context, but in the meantime the Cuoz has an interesting discussion of chefs who try too hard to keep it real, and end up getting it wrong, using fresh, rather than canned tuna for a nicoise:
"Salade Nicoise with fresh tuna is a travesty," my friend Mimi Sheraton, the former New York Times critic, cheerfully scolded me after I praised Nicoise made with seared tuna at Time Warner Center's Landmarc last week.
I've yet to nail a nicoise of my own, and it's not something I'm that inclined to order out, but this seems like a fairly easy paradox to resolve. There are a host of foods which are changed and refined by being preserved. Milk, vegetables and pork become cheese, pickles and prosciutto. Canning tuna does not have quite the same artisanal vibe as putting up your own chevre or cornchons, but it does create a distinct product that allows us to enjoy tuna for longer an further away from the ocean than otherwise.
Alex Wichtel's pean to Wonder Bread in last week's DI/DO might seem like the same thing, but I don't think it is. Cheese and pickles and cured meats offer ways to preserve and transform produce, while Wonder Bread is Wonder Bread for the sake of convenience. It is easier to pump white bread full of preservatives than it is to make your own bread daily. I'll admit to a weakness for orange cheese products on very low-functioning days, but Wonder Bread is bullshit, as far as I'm concerned. And I'm in good company.