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in which Hillary betrays her barbecue roots

March 22, 2010

Just a few notes re: the NYT food section this week:

1. I like to think I know a little something about authentic smoked meats. I’ve spent the better part of the past decade in Kentucky and Tennessee, two states where barbecue is regarded as an art form along the lines of fresco painting or fine sculpture. In fact, I will go on record as saying that the best barbecue in America is located on Roan Street in Johnson City, Tennessee, where my parents live. I realize that different faiths have varying stances on what happens to animals when they die, but as far as I’m concerned, being smoked by Dixie Barbecue is as close to heaven as a chicken or pig can get. (It’s not bad for the diners, either.)

However, I confess – and I do mean I confess – to being intrigued by the NYT piece on Fatty ‘Cue. While I feel a certain moral obligation to hate it, and while I firmly believe that fusion barbecue will never replace pure smoked sliced pork, Fatty ‘Cue seems to have made a breakthrough in one important area: side dishes. “I get palate fatigue,” the chef, Zakary Pelaccio, tells the Times. Here’s my secret: I do too. Korean fried chicken shop owners figured this out long ago, offering tart radish pickles to offset the heaviness of a meat-laden table. And I love the idea of incorporating the sour, spicy flavors of southeast Asia to offset the guilt of eating the fatty ends of country-style ribs. I promise I’ll never abandon Alan Howell’s fried potatoes and onions, but I can’t promise I won’t be visiting this place.

2. “Food” conglomerate ConAgra has a director of crisis and issues management.I’m sure this is a corporate necessity, etc., but does that make anyone else a little bit nervous? How many crises are they planning to have?

One Comment leave one →
  1. franklybecca permalink*
    March 23, 2010 10:54 pm

    1. I don’t necessarily think (hailing from the world-famous barbecue mecca that is New York City) that the texture thing is such a departure from what goes on in any barbecue joint. After an embarrassing trip to North Carolina, I have since learned to garnish my pulled pork sandwich WITH the coleslaw. Pelaccio is just futzing with the flavors, in my opinion.

    2. I hate to play the role of corporate shill AGAIN, but every large company has a crisis management department. It’s the 21st century name for PR department that we only call in SEVERE emergencies. They work a lot of nights and weekends.

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