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Archive for July 2009

The Fetishization of Everyday Food

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Cheese Dog at Happy Hound

Cheese Dog at Happy Hound

A recent New York Times piece entitled Foie Gras Palates, Hot Dog Pocketbooksdiscusses how the internet’s “infinite real estate” is behind what the author, Frank Bruni, calls our “fetishization of everyday food.”

Bruni suggests his point is illustrated when one types the search term “cupcake blog” into a Google browser and finds the number of cupcake-focused sites (as of today, 2,470,000).

When we write about food, are we really imbuing our crispy bacon strips and extra-dark chocolates with the power of fetish objects associated with sexual gratification, desire or worship?

Is it a sin to Tweet about our favorite recipes or blog about what was on last night’s table? And if I find some psychological fulfillment and emotional satisfaction by simply eating a hot dog (and even taking a picture of it), does that make me a deviant?

Can’t I just be someone with a good appetite and too much free time on her hands?


EAT IT UP: Fascinating Food in the News

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Alameda County Fair

Alameda County Fair

  • French Fry Face Off
  • Are you sure you want to eat there?
  • Looking for a new recipe?
  • If it ain’t deep fried, it’s un-American
  • What we eat when we eat alone: new book from Deborah Madison
  • Forget about fancy sea salts — sugar is now Raising Cane
  • Is Alice Waters a legend?
  • Written by Kate Blood

    July 13, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Foodbuzz Top 9!

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    top9imageOn Foodbuzz today, the “Top 9” is featuring my recipe and photo for Spicy Skirt Steak Tacos with Avocado-Corn Salsa — a recipe which I have to admit is pretty great. (Making the Top 9 means the recipe is one of “the best of 2,679 posts from the Foodbuzz Community based on yesterday’s activity.”)

    I’m proud to be on the same page as Kathy’s Vegas’ lucious looking Pineapple Fritters and The Gourmet Girl’s Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes.

    Written by Kate Blood

    July 8, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Fancy Some Fast Food?

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    Sometimes you get lucky with fast food...

    Sometimes you get lucky with fast food...

    Believe it or not, I haven’t had much of an appetite lately. The fears that come with unemployment have put a damper on my enthusiasm for most things nosh-able. But yesterday, after sitting through four hours of “career counseling,” I was famished and dashed down to the deli on the office building’s first floor.

    I ordered what I thought would be safe: a simple, warm chicken breast sandwich. Inexplicably the sandwich was served with harsh ball park-style mustard slathered all over the bun. What kind of tasteless person came up with such a combo? (It looked as disgusting as it tasted.) I wiped off most of the yellow junk and ended up with four tiny bites of food to fill my growling stomach (at a price of six bucks).

    In our busy world, fast food may be a necessary evil, but does it have to be so bad for us?

    At least in the world of Fancy Fast Food, what is so bad for us is looking great:

    More fun with fast food:

    Written by Kate Blood

    July 8, 2009 at 7:07 am

    Posted in Food, Unemployment

    All Hail the King!

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    Kosher-style Beef @ Supreme Dog

    Kosher-style Beef @ Supreme Dog

    Our hometown hero, Joey Chestnut, successfully defended his title Friday in the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest’s first-ever sudden death overtime (New York Daily News).

    I was so excited that I ran over to Top Dog/Supreme Dogwhere Joey trains — for an all beef Kosher-style Frankfurter!

    As I write this, I’m even noshing on a home dog (Bar S brand — 69-cents a pack at FoodMaxx), the breakfast of unemployed champions!

    : More News About Joey Chestnut

    Happy National Hot Dog Month!

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    Who doesn't love hot dogs? *Frankly,* that would be un-American!

    As the Fourth of July approaches, I can’t stop thinking about hot dogs — possibly because the annual Nathan’s pig out is this Saturday.

    My love affair with the link is nothing new. I even run a Flickr group dedicated to world-wide weenies of all shapes and sizes: Hot Dog.

    It seems that I am not alone in my obsession.

    Way back in the 70’s, Mettja C. Roate wrote a cookbook devoting half its pages to tube steaks. has a forum on hot dogs, sausages and brautwursts (you have to register to access the lively discussion). Hot Dog Chicago Style has a searchable database of restaurants located across the country. In addition, the opinionated has a Hot Dog Page listing close to a hundred different joints located across this great hot dog loving nation. (Oh, and did I mention The Frankfurter Chronicles?)

    I have a list of my own old favorites and “dying to try” establishments:

    Before dining at any of these or any other fine dawg-serving establishments, I suggest a study of Hot Dog Etiquettte. (Unless, of course, you’re heading to the white trash trailer, ahem, restaurant, Hillbilly Hot Dogs:

    Just as in the great depression of the 1930s, reds hots are, well, red hot! So far I haven’t seen a “Depression Sandwich” offered on menus (hot dog & fries for a nickle — or four cents if that was all you had — as served at Fluky’s in Chicago).

    Today we have “designer dogs” and restaurants serving “Lobster Dogs.” We even have recipes for lobster corn dogs with truffled hollandaise sauce, with, perhaps, an order of duck fat fries on the side…

    With all the money the weenie industry is making, I think I should join the ranks of the honorable hot dog cart vendor. The cost of running a profitable weenie stand may be high, but I would be doing something I loved. I could even prepare for my new career by simply changing degree programs. Goodbye SUNY-Empire, hello Hot Dog U: The Harvard of Encased Meats!

    EAT IT UP: More Food in Fashion!

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    Written by Kate Blood

    July 2, 2009 at 9:25 am