Foodie Pseudery (15)
The following comes courtesy of this excellent article on bad food writing, passed to me by Signe Rousseau. It’s Paul Theroux on tomatoes:
Slicing a sun-warmed, home grown, vine-ripened tomato is, first, an aesthetic satisfaction, as formal as dissection. Once the skin is split and the tang of tilled soil released, the fruit offers no resistance to the blade, which slides unchecked, as if through the pulpy meat of a melon.
Mmmmmm. The New Yorker food issue is always pretentious nonsense. It’s (in spite of Pollan and Berry & MFK Fisher &, mostly, Trillin) an American thing. Food brings out the worst in good US writers. Agree with much of what she says but she LIKES Ruth Reichl’s Tender at the Bone, the only book I’ve ever burned.
It’s bizarre how reasonable writers suddenly seem to lose all sense of proportion in that particular issue. I COULD NOT agree with you more about that dire book – it deserves to be burned. (Or barbecued.)