Saturday, April 07, 2007

Big and Little

Big: Little:
Beefsteak tomatoes Cherry Tomatoes, Grape tomatoes
Honey Tangerines Clementines, Satsumas
Oranges Kumquats
Idaho Potatoes Fingerling potatoes
Lemons Meyer lemons
Carrots "Baby cut" carrots
Eggplants Italian and Japanese eggplants

Bell Peppers Funny little peppers
Grapes "Champagne" grapes

Do you notice that the little fruits and vegetables are all kind of trendy?
The big ones on the left are old-fashioned, ordinary vegetables and fruits
like we ate in an old-style balanced meal. Is this trend intended to leave
room for richer, less healthy foods? I wonder. Exception: yesterday I saw
some gigantesque "stem strawberries" that were way more expensive
than normal. The wonderful fraise des bois (wild strawberries) are always
really tiny, but I guess so rare that they haven't even made it to trendy.

I recently had a chocolate croissant at Panera that was around three
times the size of a Parisian pain-au-chocolate; it was also bloated with
sweet chocolate and coated with syrup that made it sticky and not as
good as a plainer one. Some local bakeries do still make what I would
call normal pains-au-chocolate: after all, the French original is an
after-school snack for kids -- a small square of croissant dough wrapped
around a small bar of semi-sweet chocolate.

I saw Wolfgang Puck in his show on the Food Channel in an old episode
about Passover, and he was making matzoh balls with an ice-cream scoop.
(I can't imagine how they managed to get cooked through.)
What I would consider a normal matzoh-ball has half that diameter or less.

It's almost a cliche to mention the supersizing of bagels, hamburgers, and
servings of French fries.

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