Jan 27, 2007, 8:58 AM
Post #4 of 5
My post on this topic from http://www.mouthfulsfood.com:
Re: [Anonimo] In Mexico City, Regional Flavors Unchanged by the Big City (NYTimes)
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Bittman's article is so full of weirdities that I want to talk directly to him. And who the heck edited this thing?
"Palomos de Chapultepec" was the first clue (that plus 'fruit drinks called jugos') in the caption under the first picture that made my eyes bug out. That would be Lomas de Chapultepec (one of the most upscale parts of Mexico City) and...well, there's no excuse for the jugos business. Jugos are pure unadulterated fruit juice, not fruit drinks.
It wasn't exactly all downhill from there, but it was no stellar performance.
For example, this: "Mexico City acts like a food processor, puréeing ingredients until you can't tell what went into the final mix." Huh? That's just crap.
Then: "And then there are literally hundreds of places with cheap, good and rarely distinguished food." What?
Then: "...odd items like chapilines..." Spell it right, guys. Chapulines.
Then: "...fried insects..." Those would be grasshoppers, Mark.
Then: "...the simple pan dulce..." Wonder what he means. All the panes that he mentioned are pan dulce; I've never heard of a pan in Mexico that's simply called pan dulce. Every single one has a name.
Then: "...chilaquiles, which are the best I've ever eaten, perfectly cooked taco chips...: Oh, come ON! Chilaquiles are not made with taco chips, whatever the hell that is. Here in Mexico, they are made with stale tortillas. And speaking of tortillas, his reference to the tortilla (omelet) with escamoles is actually a reference to the tortilla española, which is an omelet.
Then: "...mozzarella-like cheese..." ay ay ay.
Then: "...it's a stretch to call Spain a region of Mexico..." Duh.
Then: "...Xel-Ha..." In the video, he pronounces it some strange way.
Then: "...tacos de carbón..." Ummm, Mark...it's tacos al carbón.
Then: "...tostado of turkey..." That would be tostada.
I probably left a bunch of stuff out, but it was too tiresome to edit this mess.
It's very irritating to see that Bittman couldn't be bothered to investigate the food or its sources, couldn't be bothered with the nomenclature, couldn't be bothered with the article's final product. As in any food review, if you don't know what the hell you're eating, don't comment on it.
I wonder who his 'local chef' companion was. That person should be made to eat taco [sic] chips.
Somebody get me a job as the Mexico stringer for the NYTimes.