Discusses his pet peeves about the food industry
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.
REFINED FOODS AND SUGARS
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.
LEATHERY RICE PAPER ROLLS
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?
TOO HOT COFFEE
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.
CRUSTY BOTTLE TOPS
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?