#53 | The Chicken I Want To Be

To-Do List: Be That ☝️ Chicken

Hello!

We’re cranking up the way back machine for this poem that ran in our Winter 2008 issue:

Passing a Truck Full of Chickens at Night on Highway Eighty

What struck me first was their panic.
Some were pulled by the wind from moving
to the ends of the stacked cages,
some had their heads blown through the bars—
and could not get them in again.
Some hung there like that—dead—
their own feathers blowing, clotting
in their faces. Then
I saw the one that made me slow some—
I lingered there beside her for five miles.
She had pushed her head through the space
between bars—to get a better view.
She had the look of a dog in the back
of a pickup, that eager look of a dog
who knows she's being taken along.
She craned her neck.
She looked around, watched me, then
strained to see over the car—strained
to see what happened beyond.
That is the chicken I want to be.

—Jane Mead

"Passing a Truck Full of Chickens at Night on Highway Eighty" is from The Lord and the General Din of the World by Jane Mead, published by Sarabande Books, Inc. © 1996 by Jane Mead.

By the way, I'm Bruce Cole, Publisher of Edible San Francisco. Welcome to all the new subscribers this week and thanks to everyone who shared last week’s newsletter (215 shares at last count)! If you'd like to hop off anytime, simply unsubscribe. I appreciate you reading (and sharing) this newsletter.

Here we go.


Today’s To-Do List: Be That ☝️ Chicken

  1. Tell Congress to Refill the Restaurant Revitalization Fund: Click here to send your message. (Takes 15 seconds - we promise!)

  2. Request That Congress to Replenish the RRF: Double down and now you’ve done two good deeds for today 💪. Click here to send your message. (Takes another 15 seconds - we promise!)

  3. Ponder this: From our friend Sara Deseran, partner and Director of Marketing + Branding for Tacolicious: “Restaurants need your help. And by we, we don't just mean Tacolicious. We mean the big WE. On top of employing a diverse in-house staff, our industry supports a massive ecosystem: farmers, spirit makers, wine and beer crafters, paper goods suppliers, plateware designers, kitchen equipment dealers, janitorial services, linen cleaners. 👉 The list goes on.”


Waiting on that apology from Swan Oyster Depot. ICYMI, start here. Swan Oyster Depot has been accused of racism by diner Tin Dinh, who was called “Dim Sum” by Jimmy Sancimino, one of the four brothers who own the restaurant. “The owners say they’ve done nothing wrong.” Eater SF

Racism, intent and microaggressions: The 'dim sum' incident at SF's Swan Oyster Depot. SF Gate

Don’t Buy Veggies From Nazis: Farmers markets across the nation and even abroad have, in recent years, begun to attract White supremacist groups.” In 2019, farmers in a Bloomington, IN farmers market outed a member of the White supremacist group Identity Evropa and started selling buttons that read “Don’t Buy Veggies From Nazis.” Kelly Weill reported in the Daily Beast (link) that “the far right’s love of the markets plays into a larger fascist talking point that idealizes pastoral life and demonizes ‘degenerate’ urban living. The contrast attempts to cast white supremacy as a purer alternative.” The Christian Century

Carrot-Fed Beef? Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street is slinging grass-fed beef from cattle that are finished on 🥕🥕🥕🥕 appropriately named Santa Carota Beef (very punny) from the Holy Grail Steak Co. “They grow up on grass and finish their lives enjoying moisture and nutrient-rich carrots.” Reminds us of Dan Barbers’ almond-dusted carrots folly.

You Are What You Eat And What You Eat Is Killing You: Our friend Joy Manning’s (former editor of Edible Philly) new book “Is Our Food Killing Us?” looks at how standard American high-fat, high-salt, high-sugar diet has negatively impacted the health of millions of people around the world, while stuffing the pockets of food manufacturers with profits. Daily News

Show Me The Milk Money: Marion Nestle has a worth-a-read list of news on the latest in plant-based meats and milk sector. Food Politics

#Protip: How you slice, dice, chop and grate garlic determines its potency and flavor. America’s Test Kitchen

The Taco View From LA: Penned by our pal, and local gastronome, Omar Mamoon, this mapped out guide is for LA residents heading to our fair city in search of warm corn tortillas and everything wrapped between them. First up, “Delicious Tacos Canasta,” aka, Felipe Reye’s roving Mission St. taco cart that you’d surely never find without a knowing nod from Omar.

From Dai Bao to Chow Mein: Six Dishes That Tell The Story of San Francisco’s Chinatown. Resy

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Drinks: Plan the Best Day Ever in Chinatown. SF Chronicle

Tao Huabi, The Chili Sauce Billionaire: A two pack of Lao Gan Ma crispy chili oil sells for $1.50 (9.9 Yaun) in China while the U.S. price hovers around $15-$18. Haubi, who first started selling her sauce in 1989, notes she wants everyone in China to be able to afford her chili oil and would rather make her profit off foreigners. Spicy! What’s On Weibo

Extra Spicy: The worlds largest hot sauce collection might be the 8600 (and counting) bottles housed in an Arizona living room. Atlas Obscura


👀 SPOTTED


That’s all for this week.

🎧 August Dinner Jams Playlist: ICYMI, this month’s list starts off with a hauntingly beautiful song from South Asian singer Arooj Aftab, plus new tunes from LP, Chicano Batman, Chet Faker, Yas, and Nas (with Lauryn Hill), and a throwback groove with Jurrasic 5, Erykah Badu, Outkast, The Roots, and more.

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We’re outta here. Be well and take care,
–Bruce

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"Humans — despite their artistic pretensions, their sophistication, and their many accomplishments — owe their existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.” Anonymous