Thursday, October 09, 2014

And what's for breakfast?

Turkish breakfast from NYT article
 The New York Times Magazine's food issue is publishing one fabulous article after another! Today: "Rise and Shine: What kids all over the world eat for breakfast." Japan, France, Turkey, Malawi, Iceland, Holland, and Brazil are all represented by stunning photos of children eating breakfast and of the selection of foods they eat.

"Our native sweet tooth helps explain the global popularity of sugary cereals and chocolate spreads like Nutella: Getting children to eat sugar is easy. Teaching them to eat slimy fermented soybeans, by contrast, requires a more robust and conservative culinary culture, one that resists the candy-coated breakfast buffet," says the article. Photos of food items from breakfast around the world show a wide variety of strong-flavored items like Turkish kahvaltilik biber salcasi, a paste made of grilled red peppers; Japanese natto made from fermented soybeans; Malawian deep-fried fritters made of cornmeal, onions, garlic and chiles; and various fresh or pickled vegetables, strong cheeses, and olives.

Breakfast in Brazil from NYT article
Of course there are also many photos of bread and butter with fruit jams, Nutella, or sugary sprinkles; of egg dishes, of cups of cocoa or juice, and of hot or cold cereals or mush dishes that would taste more familiar to an American breakfast eater. The faces of the children, photographed as they ate their breakfast was the most wonderful part of the article.

I also enjoyed another article from this food issue: "What if You Just Hate Making Dinner?" by Virginia Heffernan, despite its being very extreme. The Times likes to balance its coverage. Lately their food section under its new leader Mark Bittman has been on a tear about how important, wonderful, rewarding, and healthful home cooking is. Heffernan doesn't just take a contrarian view, but her article goes over the top with fear and loathing of any cooking activity. The premise: "By the time my son arrived, I vainly believed that I should be able to not just defrost food but conjure it — by means of the web or a 3-D printer or at least a game male, close at hand, whose ego had been serendipitously formed by Emeril or 'Top Chef.' But instead, to my horror, home cooking had made a hideous comeback. Noble food philosophers preached the retro virtues of slow, real food instead of the quickie, frozen stuff that had once spelled liberation to me."

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