I’m most definitely someone who enjoys delicious cuisine and the wonders that it provides both to the palate and the belly. Nothing is more sad a sight to my eyes than a table full of stick-thin models pondering whether or not to partake in that last bite of dressingless lettuce. I prefer to eat both often and unhealthily, girlish figure be damned. But I must remind you I’m no expert in the art of food preparation, in fact, quite the contrary. Laura and I have been known to simply split a can of beans for dinner, which is just fine in my book. It’s not so much the quality of the food product that I worry about— it’s more the quantity, and whether or not it’s been deep-fried. That said, there are a few food do’s and don’t’s in my opinion that I think any sane person should abide by. Many have disagreed with my standards, but that’s just fine, as these jerks will find their invitations to my dinner party immediately revoked. Except for Laura— I’ll need someone to do the dishes.
Solid v. Liquid
I never enjoy drinking a meal or eating a drink. This is why those Campbell’s soup “On the Go” lunches, or whatever the hell they’re calling them over at the ‘ol crazy factory, can suck it if you ask me. Who wants to gulp down an unsatisfying, lightly flavored swill of broth when they could be chewing the delicious morsels of an actual, solid meal? Sipping down one’s lunch may be an excellent option for the busy folk in today’s working world, but it is certainly not satiating to the noontime monster we all must bow down to— Hunger. I place within this category yogurt as well. Sure it’s tasty, but guess what folks, for the belly it does nothing. If I wanted to enjoy a gloppy fruit-flavored explosion, I’d get a freakin’ smoothie. But please don’t get me wrong here— soups that approach the sold form are just dandy. You’ve got your chowders, your bisques, and they’re all amazing. Please don’t forget with these last two that in reality what you’re consuming is almost solid cream.
Similarly, eating a drink is one of the most disturbing experiences I’ve ever lived through. I like to take my liquid provender in gulps, gulps long and fulfilling. Nothing impedes this more than there being present tiny or large bits of crap in your drink. Pulpy juice is simply disgusting. The particles of fruit crowd your mouth and destroy the swig’s function and ease. If I wanted to eat an orange, I’d eat one. The same goes for this “Bubble Tea” the kids are raving about. I like the shake part of these creations, but those disgusting “bubbles” that come up through those admittedly awesome giant straws are more disturbing than tasty. They are however good for spitting at your friends, especially when said spitting is fueled by the rage that unavoidably comes with there being crap in my drink.
Milkshakes however, do not apply to the above disapproval. They’re somewhat solid, completely delicious, and one hundred percent acceptable, for dinner or otherwise.
Cake v. Bread
I hate to break this to the chefs and food artists out there, but cake is just bread with a bit of sugar tossed in for good measure. Foodies, for literally centuries, have been trying to pass off boring old bread as a dessert product when in reality it’s nothing more than dry waste. The truth of the matter is that cake and its lesser cousins are all simply excuses to consume massive quantities of frosting. Cake without frosting? Boring. Doughnut without frosting? Round bread. And don’t even get me started about Churros. Do they really think that by sprinkling a bit of sugar onto those wacky long pieces of bread that I’ll be tricked into believing I’m consuming dessert?
That said, it’s clear that what I enjoy above all else is the consumption of items made almost entirely out of sugar. This sort of indulgence makes for the experience that I believe in my heart a dessert should render. Sure, there’s something to be said for pastry chefery and fabulously intricate dessert creations, but in most cases I believe that what the world (me) wants is not to be bogged down with conventions of the gourmet, but rather to sit back, relax, and happily ride the wave of sweet sugar. My love for things sweet and their prevalence in my lifestyle was exemplified perfectly when as a young schoolchild my class was instructed to draw the typical “What I want to be when I grow up” picture. What did I draw?, you may ask. I drew a picture of myself grinning happily behind the counter of a fine Dunkin’ Doughnuts establishment, rows and rows of shiny doughnuts lined up freshly behind me. And under this vision of Heaven I wrote “When I grow up, I want to work at Dunkin’ Doughnuts so that I can eat all the doughnuts.” True story. Unfortunately, realize this dream I did not, as instead I was victim to the shackles of society and forced to go to “college” and get a “real job.” Yeah, I like sweets.
But I must also add this: Jelly doughnuts are the work of the devil. Jelly is for spreading lightly on toast or combining brilliantly and to grand effect with its delightful counterpart peanut butter. No one wants to get a mouthful of the stuff. If I saw you dump a jar of jelly onto your toast, I could legitimately call you crazy and no one would protest. But if you add the same to a piece of bread with some powdered sugar on it, it’s a tasty treat? Oh no honey, oh no.
These grease-soaked curly little wonders are one of my most favorite foods. Salty and chemical laden, they provide much needed sustenance to poor college students and the like all over this far-reaching globe. They can be purchased at any local grocery store or deli, and at ten cents a package, there’s even room to consume two at once for those occasions when your stomach is grumblin’ like a lumberjack’s. In fact, for one summer during the good ‘ol college days I successfully subsisted almost entirely on the stuff, easily reaching my end goal of having enough money left over to purchase the insane amounts of booze I require. This was a time when life was good, life was simpler. I like Ramen.
My gripe however, arises when folks try to spice up the dish by adding this or that from their kitchen in an attempt to avoid monotony. Have you forgotten, my friends, that Ramen comes in a large variety of colors and flavors? The second you add anything at all to these noodles, they are no longer serving their intended function. I’ve seen people add everything from butter to Korean soybean paste to the stuff in order to create a more tantalizing meal, but to this I say “Stop, you fool.” For when these additions occur, one is no longer consuming a ten cent college meal. If you have the time, and cooking and flavor knowledge to create such a thing, then for the love of God go to the store and purchase real pasta and real ingredients. Fancying up Ramen takes away the point of this cheap and easy dish in the first place, and lends decadence to a place where it’s certainly not needed.