Discover more from Snack Cart
We all scream for Sar-dines
Instagram influencers are bringing back tinned fish, Charles Barkley's insane 48-hour eating binge, and an interview with the author of the best food memes.
This week’s newsletter is a reprint of my most recent newsletter for TASTE (plus some Snack Cart additions), where I’m part of a rotating cast of newsletter writers. To get my newest stuff as soon as it’s out, subscribe to TASTE.
Have you been eating more tinned fish? They may have traditionally been associated with grandparents, but loving canned seafood is now de rigueur for both hot girls and anyone who considers themselves a foodie. Since I’m aspiring to be one of those things, I’ve been stocking up on tinned fish and finding ways to eat it more.
This week, Cathy Erway looks into how the tinned fish trend is affecting the sardine industry. As food lovers like me buy more sardines, companies are reinvesting in their production and marketing. This is good for consumers’ health and good for the environment. Sardines are cheap, healthy, and sustainable—a food trifecta.
If eating sardines straight from the can feels a bit jarring for you (it was for me), I found a pretty easy way to introduce them into my diet: start subbing them in when you make tuna sandwiches. Right now, I’m making mayo-based tuna salad the same way I have since I was 12, but I’m using a can of tuna and a can of sardines instead of two cans of tuna. It gives the salad a fishier and stronger flavor, which I quite enjoy (just make sure you use sardines packed in oil or water instead of ones packed in tomato sauce).
Eliza Dumais interviews DeVonn Francis, a multitalented chef and artist behind the food and event production company Yardy World. It’s energizing and interesting to see someone so talented try to explain how multidimensional dining experiences really are.
The New York Times investigative team threw a bomb into the food world this week when they revealed that ServSafe, the industry-standard food safety handling class that’s pretty much required for any restaurant job, is managed by the lobbying arm of the National Restaurant Association. Bartenders, cooks, and waiters across the country paying their $15 class fee are subsidizing the lobbying efforts of a group that fights for them to make less money. This will reverberate, but if you are looking to do something right now, the article goes into what alternative classes do exist.
The article that the most people have sent me in 2023 has been: this deep dive into the menu collection at the New York Public Library.
Marian Bull, writing in Elle, describes how one of 2023’s hottest fashion trends is . . . food! On runways around the world, designers are including food imagery in their collections.
The Guardian excerpts a new book about NBA legend Charles Barkley, in particular a section detailing Sir Charles’s efforts to eat his way into a lower draft pick position before the 1983 NBA draft. The menu that’s described, ingested by Barkley over a 48-hour period, is HERCULEAN and equals anything he ever did on court.
Is this article about how internet memes are driving the designs of Mexican piñata makers about food? Only sorta. Is it delightful? Absolutely.
Craggy shards of hand-chopped chocolate have taken over our cookies. But what did chips ever do wrong?
Hope’s wine meme of the week
Just another January reminder that “clean” is a fake marketing term. Wine isn’t healthy. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drink (drinking wine is great!), but it’s not morally superior or better if it’s marketed as good for you. It’ll also still give you a hangover if you drink too much.
One of my biggest revelations of the past year of cooking is that there are different kinds of potatoes that are good for different things. (This is a very obvious revelation.) Matt Rodbard and Daniel Holzman break down the different kinds and what each is good for.
This piece by Nina Coomes is a great flexible weeknight recipe for sautéed chicken thighs. It’s also a complicated meditation on Le Creuset, family, expectation, and Americanness. It made me rethink what a recipe can be.
Speaking of easy weeknight dinners and American identity, you *must* try making frijolizzas.
Thanks for reading Snack Cart! If you’ve made it this far you should subscribe to receive new posts and support me!
I want to add a massive +1 to this story by Ashley Rodriguez asking if stock is overhyped. Especially for dishes that call for small amounts of it, I’ve been skipping stock and just using water and a splash of wine. It works fine. The story also explains the difference between broth and stock, which I did not know until right now.
Why are eggs so expensive right now? A lot of factors, but mostly fuel costs and a massive US bird flu pandemic.
Saveur gives proper honor to Sylvia Cheng Wu, who died in November at the age of 106. Madame Wu, as the chef and restaurateur was known, has the most credible claim as the inventor of Chinese chicken salad, a dish that has fallen out of favor but is still delicious. The story behind the dish is great (it involves Cary Grant, as all good stories should), and the recipe is something that will DOMINATE picnics this summer.
Watch, stream, listen
Food legend Jamie Oliver stopped by the TASTE studio this week to catch up with Matt. The two talk about Japanese hardcore shows, Oliver’s life living above a pub, and the politics of sugar. It’s a really great episode.
One of my favorite food media start-ups is Katherine Spiers’ Smart Mouth. I learned a ton from this podcast episode about why school lunches are the way they are. She also publishes a helpful transcript for those that prefer reading.
If you, like me, were only vaguely aware of the details of last year’s Daily Harvest scandal, I strongly recommend listening to this episode of Maintenance Phase. In fact, I recommend most of the episodes of the podcast! Hosts Aubrey Gordon and Michael Hobbes debunk health trends and fads—like how the belief that red wine prevents heart disease has more to do with French death certificate standards, or the *intense* lobbying behind the food pyramid.
Out of Context J. Gold of the Week
Would I be pushing things if I confessed that the minestra nel sacco reminded me a lot of the Xi’an bread-in-soup dish called paomo? In Los Angeles, things are complicated. - Link