The New Yorker Food Issue has been on the stands for a few days now. I know this shows just how tame my life is these days, but I can’t think of a more decadent, idle or enjoyable way to prep myself for the season than to sit down and fritter away an hour or so with its languorous, wonderfully written disquisitions on, among other things, the food flavor and fragrance industry. I had no idea I wanted to know in such detail about the science that works to turn “a tasteless slurry consisting largely of starch, oil, and salt…into a marketable product” — but it turns out that I do, the hallmark of the perfect New Yorker piece being, for me, its ability to turn the mundane into the sublime.
Adam Gopnik also has a wonderful piece about cookbooks in this issue, in which he reminds us, in that elegant, unshowy New Yorker way, that:
When you start to cook, as when you begin to live, you think that the point is to improve the technique until you end up with something perfect, and that the reason you haven’t been able to break the cycle of desire and disillusion is that you haven’t yet mastered the rules. Then you grow up, and you learn that that’s the game.
Food for thought, indeed.