Plus: No-name pasta, eye rolling sell-by dates, and my NBA wrap-up
Today’s guest on Food, former Ohio congressman and Senatorial candidate Tim Ryan, is sorta like how you’d picture the popular kid in high school, but the popular kid who wasn’t the bully. He’s had an interesting life, and is still quite young, so I’m excited to see what happens. He grew up Catholic (and has very thoughtful things to say about that) and played high school football as quarterback — again, the popular kid! He was meant to keep playing in college, but was derailed — by a knee injury, of course. Basically went into politics instead; the youngest Congressman of his generation.
I’m sort of heartbroken that Tim’s not in the Senate, because he would have been terrific — but we can hope that will happen someday. My feeling is that if you know Tim, you love him, and I’m excited for you to hear this conversation. And: Marksisms below.
This Week’s Marksisms
I have not cooked in almost two weeks, and it’s difficult. Not only because I miss my food, but I miss the act. My friend Andrea cooked for us again yesterday (we arrived back in Rome from Ravena two days ago), a brilliant no-name pasta with tiny vongole (clams) and a few gamberi (shrimp) and the first of the season’s super-sweet pomodorini (cherry tomatoes). Not bad, as he would say.
A Rant: Sell-By Dates
Sorry, but I have to rant for a second about pieces like this one, featuring the new trend criticizing “sell-by” dates. Sell-by dates are useful for things like meat and dairy (especially milk), which don’t readily reveal their spoilage when carefully wrapped. You’re not allowed to smell a “bottle” of milk (as you could in the old days) to know if it’s off or, if you have a special talent (as my daughter Kate does), to know that it will be off tomorrow.
The content below was originally paywalled.
So, saying “sell-by” whatever date in these cases makes sense and seems appropriate.
With almost everything else you can figure it out. With produce and fish, you can use your eyes. With dried foods – grains, beans, etc. — if they don’t have bugs they last forever (that’s the idea), though they might take longer to cook. Junk food is no good to begin, though nobody likes a soggy potato chip, so some kind of date is actually helpful. But you buy those to eat right away anyway, and supermarkets go through them quickly. (Plus you can always call the helpful 800 number for customer service!) Canned and frozen foods also last more or less indefinitely, if cared for appropriately – you don’t want dented or swollen cans, or freezer-burned anything, and you have to expect some long-term degradation in quality, but you’re buying those things for convenience or for survivalism, and in the first case you might as well use them sooner than later and in the second, when survival is at stake, I think the sell-by date will have become irrelevant.
Not an especially helpful rant, I’m sure, but I had to get it off my chest. I’m fine now.
You can wait until next week for detailed sports news, but (I’m writing this on Sunday the 21st) the Lakers seem dead on their feet, down 3-0, and I think most people agree with me that seeing the Celtics down 2-0 to the wildly determined Jimmy Butler/Heat is encouraging, but let’s see if the good guys can finish the job.
See you next week!