Thursday, December 25, 2008

Pope versus Chanukah

Jesus has punished me for being a Jew who does not believe in fun, so the lack of blogging the last few days is due to a cold that has permitted me only to watch old TV shows conducive to thrice-daily naps ("Bob Newhart Show", anyone?). Hulu is the new, improved Tylenol.

I'm now well enough to blog about the silly things I read online between episodes and naps. Prime example: Tara Parker-Pope on how to make non-greasy latkes. In that latkes are supposed to be greasy, for traditional/religious reasons, there was a baseline problem with her urging us to consider a 'lite' latke. (See also: TPP's outraged commenters, correct but over-the-top, and her defensive responses.)

But that wasn't what got to me so much that as the broader question of why anyone would think to bake a food whose entire culinary purpose is to be fried. (Case in point: falafel.) Eaten properly, as either special-occasion foods (latkes) or as a small part of an otherwise raw-vegetable meal (falafel), fried foods are not unhealthy. The greater danger is eating a disgusting, baked, also-caloric version of the real thing, then telling yourself, 'I was so healthy at lunch, now I can eat an M&M-topped large-size Tasti-d-lite.'

And I'm not entirely sure that fat-the-ingredient is what makes Americans fat. The amazing concept of fries being part of a falafel sandwich is popular in Israel (and elsewhere in the region?) but unheard-of in the States.

Cogent blogging will probably have to wait a few more days.

No comments: