Category: Food

Putting Lipstick on Food

Went to a wonderful dinner with best friends last night—a fancy restaurant and astoundingly delicious food. I even ordered things I don’t really like—but I knew they would be good because they would be fully (and deceptively) dressed.

I don’t really like cauliflower; unless it’s superbly fresh, it really has no taste. I feel the same about Brussels sprouts—don’t like them. They are like the veal of the vegetable family—they die young and we eat them. I never liked cabbage (unless it’s dressed up into coleslaw) and it makes sense I wouldn’t like baby cabbage either.

Did you know the spelling is Brussels sprout? Always has an “s” at the end. Did you know they really are from Brussels? They originated in ancient Rome and first appeared in northern Europe during the fifth century, later being cultivated in the 13th century near Brussels, Belgium.

I bet they didn’t like them much then, either—unless they were really hungry.

So why do I eat them? Like putting lipstick on a pig, we’ve learned to dress them up by covering them with things we love. What do I love? Well, bacon for one. I love grilled onions. I love sweet things. I love garlic. So no wonder I love Brussels sprouts when they’re covered in bacon, onions, sugar and garlic! I would eat cardboard cooked with that stuff!

What do we do with cauliflower? Don’t get me started! Pull out a cookbook or Google it—holy cow! Throw cheese on it, breadcrumbs, cumin, sumac, lemon, caramelized, turmeric, “oatwalnut crust and lemon herb filling.”

Sounds great, just hold the cauliflower, please!

I feel better now.

Why Does Food That’s Bad for You Taste So Good?

I recently came upon a beautifully written article on a subject that has nagged at my brain for quite some time.

Why does food that’s bad for you taste so good?

The author’s premise is that there is an evolutionary survival basis for meats and sugars that protected the caveman in addition to the healthy foods they ate.  Meat provided protein, vitamins and minerals for a long slow burn of strength and energy.  But there was also the need for quick burning energy:  “Evolution made us neurotic about filling the tank with high-octane foods that pack the most energy per gram swallowed.”  Our early ancestors also didn’t live long enough to suffer the negative effect of atherosclerosis caused by fatty foods and diabetes caused by raw sugars.  In fact, there were very few raw sugars available then—perhaps sugar cane—and the rest were found in healthy berries and fruits.  But they did need immediate energy to run away from those saber-tooth tigers!  Then they likely needed salt replacement from all the sweating and stress of a near-death experience.

Let’s take a look at my fabulous young granddaughters.  One is being raised vegetarian, and both of my daughters are very careful to feed their children in as healthy a way as possible.  They love fruit, they love vegetables, live a very healthy lifestyle and do not crave junk food.

On the other hand, they don’t really know about junk food…. yet.

What happens when you introduce a child to cookies, chips and candy?  Remember what their face looked like the first time they tasted ice cream?  Know anyone who nibbles on a Cheeto and then says, “Thanks, one is enough for me”?

I don’t know why God does this.  I don’t think Darwin can fully explain it.  There is just something inexplicably delicious about sugar, salt and fried foods that is not found in Brussel sprouts, cauliflower or kale.

If God could have a do-over, would this be the one?  Maybe, but I think Gallagher was right when he said that noses were designed wrong.  Why put something so drippy upside down above your mouth?


June 6 was National Donut/Doughnut Day. Don’t get me started about abbreviations- I just found out my initials stand for “Let Me Know”; so much for my imagined popularity in the world of acronyms.

But I digress. What is with our obsession with naming every day of the year after something, especially food? Unhealthy food at that. It so happens we recently celebrated National Hamburger Day on May 28, and my nephew DJ has the privilege of sharing Continue reading “NATIONAL FOOD DAYS- A GOOD IDEA?”