Matt Pre­ston:

Dis­cusses his pet peeves about the food in­dus­try

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - CONTENTS - Add your com­ment to our post at face­­li­ciousAUS

I LOVE food. I love the joy it brings as much as the nutri­tion, but some­times we get it so wrong. Here are a few things, a dirty dozen of them, that an­noy me.


Loaded fries, Franken­shakes, over-thetop dough­nuts and dou­ble downs. Sure, all these In­sta-sen­sa­tions take a good pic­ture and they might de­liver a sense of in­dul­gence when they hit the ta­ble, but se­cretly we all know that ex­cess is not all that at­trac­tive. And, like most guilty plea­sures, you’ll pay for them later.


Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but I am not sure self-pro­claimed ex­perts with­out any real ex­pe­ri­ence or ex­per­tise should be telling us how to “eat healthy” – even if they are ridicu­lously good-look­ing.

Food is not the en­emy.And while we’d all like an easy way to lose weight or live longer, I sus­pect ex­er­cis­ing and Michael Pol­lan’s motto: “Eat food, not too much, mainly plants,” is what will work best.


Overly-re­fined foods like white flour and huge amounts of hid­den sug­ars are the devil’s food – which prob­a­bly ex­plains why white, fluffy bread tastes so good.


Why do so few vir­tu­ous recipes taste any good? Surely by now we must be mov­ing to an era when healthy eat­ing should be a plea­sure rather than a sac­ri­fice?

There are some won­der­ful ex­cep­tions but far too of­ten that turmeric latte tastes of dust and that healthy cake has the tex­tu­ral ap­peal of ’70s cork floor­ing.


I love it when a wine pro can sug­gest a drink that goes with the food, is de­li­cious and is also well-priced.What bugs me is the way a bad sommelier can dom­i­nate a meal with a stream of un­wanted facts about the wine.


The clas­sic Aussie burger is a thing of beauty – not too sweet,with the perfect amount of fresh­ness and crunch. But mod­ern burg­ers are a night­mare of sweet brioche buns and an over­load of sloppy fill­ings. Not only do you lose the flavour of the meat, you also risk wear­ing the burger on you shoes when you bite into it.


Rice pa­per rolls have a lim­ited shelf-life, so please re­move them from sale when the rice pa­per dries out – oth­er­wise it feels like you are bit­ing through old skin.


The plump chip packet that is ac­tu­ally full of air, the sushi hand roll that is all rice apart for the end you can see, the salad con­tainer that is half full (even when you’ve paid $17 for it), or the juice poured into a cup that’s al­ready crammed with ice – don’t you re­alise that we know you are try­ing to cheat us?


While thank­fully bad cof­fee is largely on the way out (de­spite a resur­gence of in­stant cof­fee in some in­flu­en­tial chef cir­cles), the new crime has be­come cof­fee that is overly hot. This is com­pounded by our ob­ses­sion with take­away cof­fee where a card­board cup es­sen­tially fun­nels the scald­ing liq­uid straight to your lips.

So baris­tas, please stop with the vol­canic cof­fee. And the rest of us, stop with the rush. Just take time to en­joy your cof­fee from a proper cup at the cafe while you steel your­self for the day.


There is a par­tic­u­lar corner of hell re­served for those cafe own­ers who de­liver bot­tles of sriracha crusted over with old, dried-out chilli sauce or tomato sauce with a dark, crusty halo of the dried condi­ment around the bot­tle top.


And I’ve still got to pay for my sides?!


Yes, I know umami is all the rage but ar­ti­fi­cially boost­ing flavour is as much a “no” to­day as it was back when we dis­cov­ered the rea­son we felt de­hy­drated af­ter vis­it­ing the lo­cal take­away was due to the added “flavour en­hancer”. Did I miss any?

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