Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Diet Diet....

That's a joke, see.  The Diet was/is the parliament in Rome, Japan, Germany, etc that legislated.....never mind.


Back in the day we used to work/teach a Stanford University Sophomore College class: 16 incoming sophomores for 20 days in Monterey, Cachagua, Tassajara, Big Sur, etc.  We did the cooking, so I had to send out a dietary request so I could plan the forty or so meals.  Over 17 years we came up with categories:

Omnivore: don’t care, living, dead, animal, vegetable or mineral. Yay for that!
White meat omni:  pork and chicken are fine.
Carnivore:  Meat!  Things grown in the ground….why?  Nothing green, please.
Vegetarians were divided into subgroups:
Standard Ovo-lactic: Eggs or dairy are OK.
Kurt Cobain: “It’s OK to eat fish cuz they don’t have any feeeeelings…”
Sorority: Fish are icky….and bloody stuff, too.  Chicken is great. It’s white!
Proto-vegan: No meats, no eggs, no dairy.  Butter is somehow not dairy, and honey is fine.
Straight Edge Vegan: nothing from the animal world.  Honey oppresses the bees.
And, of course religious folk….no pork, shellfish, etc.  No meat on Friday.
Real allergies: shellfish, scallops, celiac folk, etc.
Snowflakes: some combo of lactose, gluten, seed, oils, fruits, etc intolerance.  “I am allergic to mushrooms….”  (No….you just never got over learning that jock itch and porcini are both fungi).

We got fired by Stanford a few years ago….Oh, not fired.  They just went in a different direction, so we could spend more time with our families or something.

No worries…..Cal hired us immediately and we do lots of sciency retreats at Hastings Reserve….and all around the state.  Same list applies, with new gluteny wrinkles..

Today I experienced a new iteration of food weirdness while working at Lokal. (Lokal is 30 minutes closer to town, so they get lots!)

A couple wanted to know all about the vegan soup, and were tying up the waitress when we were slammed.  She asked me to go out and talk.

“What’s in the vegan soup?” Vegetables.  “Which vegetables?” Uh, stuff Brendan’s mom grows 300 meters from here in her organic garden. “Broccoli?” No. “Cauliflower?” No, we don’t use crucifers unless it is a crucifer only soup like cream of cauliflower or cream of broccoli. “So which vegetables are in the soup then?”  Uh….(trying to remember)….mirepoix, fennel, leeks, some garlic a few mushrooms at the end, a little tomato in the broth. “What is mirepoix?”  Carrots, celery and onion. We have a few different kinds of onions.  “Is there dairy?” Uh, no.  It is a vegan soup. There is not even honey, honey.

I am dismissed.

They order a pear salad (with blue cheese and the parsnips that I forgot were in the soup, too) and the crab cake.  The couple is clearly Jewish and older….but there are as many different kinds of Jews as there are vegetarians.  For instance my good friend Richard Rosenthal is the go-to guy for ribs anywhere within a hundred miles of here, with a sub-specialty in San Jose and San Leandro ribs. And bacon is the gateway meat for all vegetarians, vegans, Jews, Muslims…and Catholics on Friday..

I once had Rabbi Frankel from The City (an OG rabbi, complete with the tattoo from the camps) follow me around at a bris, yelling at me for serving the remake the host had ordered….filling the house and ceremony with bacon smoke.  “Rrr-andy, wouldn’t do that!   Rrrrandy is a good Jew and a good boy!”  Sorry, Rabbi…don’t shoot the messenger.
These folks before me were Jewish vegans.  Cheese is OK.  Crab…apparently OK, too.  God bless you.
The menu says clearly that Brendan’s crab roll is roasted in bacon fat….but butter is an option if one wants.  

 No one said a word about cooking techniques…

And they sent back the bacon roasted crab….and stomped out…. to go back to the hotel and write nasty stuff on yelp! About Lokal.

A vegan that is OK with cheese, but not butter….but won’t tell the waitress or the chef.  A Jew that is OK with crab, but not bacon…..ditto.  Even though choices are right there on the menu.   
We are supposed to know somehow....the Cloud?
……
My spreadsheet of dietary stuff has now spread out into three dimensions!

Did I mention that crops have failed again in Somalia......

2 Comments:

Blogger Frank Nuciforo said...

My head was spinning just reading this blog. What about the "Paleo" crowd, the Raw Food movement....the chew for 1,000 times a mouthful group....etc...etc...etc..?

4:12 PM  
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