Laurie Notaro's Army of Foodies (Part Two)
The Journey Man
Seriously. If you go to Cambodia to discover the cuisine, all I really want to know about is what kind of parasite you got, what part of your body it came out of, and what are the chances of me getting it in the United States. Because I am not going to Cambodia.
I don't care about the herbs, the oils, and the wafting scents (although I have to admit I am frightfully interested in the food poisoning you got every single time you went back to the same food stall that had no refrigeration method and ate "fish fresh from the river" three times). P.S.: I wasn't in the Peace Corps, but even I know there are no fresh rivers in Cambodia, and if you want to eat fish that someone caught in a toilet, expect to take to your bed for a while after you vomit in public. I, frankly, wouldn't eat anything in a country that is still finding corpses in regular places unless I had an autoclave and plenty of batteries in my possession. But, you know. There are certain states whose sewer systems are suspect, too: Mississippi. Alabama. Michigan. Arizona.
Plucking a recipe card from your Nana's file isn't really the same thing as copying a recipe from the New York Times food section and changing the salt measurement by an eighth of a teaspoon. Then putting it on your blog. With the word "adapted from" somewhere at the bottom in six-point type. Funny how the go-to recipe from my favorite food blogger, upon comparison, was exactly the same as the recipe my neighbor favored from Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery. And I think Lahey probably created his first. So I started paying attention to my favorite blogger and discovered that almost all her posts were someone else's recipes with a slight adaptation. That's called stealing, but does it matter? Her book is about to hit the shelves big. I'm hoping Jim Lahey is paying attention.