#57 | Sounds So Hot You Need A Potholder

Gluten Free We Are

Hello!

🎧 Our October Spotify playlist kicks off with a tune from the SF Symphony and Oakland composer, pianist and rapper Kev Choice, and segues into our favorite hip hop band hailing from Athens, OH, with sounds so hot you need a potholder. Check it.

This week’s poem is a flashback to the golden years of pizza delivery. What used to be a sweet gig is now a poor-paying grind for most of those behind the wheel.

FULL-TIME DRIVER

I took every hour they offered, delivering
lukewarm pizzas by means of an ’86
LeSabre, the back tires almost bald.
Managers rarely yelled or wore me out
about moving too slow. When we blundered
orders, most customers understood.
My brother worked there too. He was beautiful.
I should’ve kissed him, one good forehead kiss
while such a gesture might’ve mattered.
Women, shoeless in their doorways, gave me
resigned smiles as they paid. Undergraduate
smokers proposed hits of their burning herb.
The richest part was when business
would ebb, and I’d coast the summer streets.
The air felt like a cool fruit. The engine block
churned a sure tune. The rearview caught
moments of low moons. Time was a tame lake
my hand skimmed from the front of a canoe.

–Marcus Jackson

By the way, I'm Bruce Cole, Publisher of Edible San Francisco. Welcome to all the new subscribers this week! But if you'd like to hop off anytime, simply unsubscribe. I appreciate you reading (and sharing) this newsletter.

Here we go.


It’s Chopped Salad Season: With the arrival of fuyu persimmons at the farmers markets, especially the pumpkin pie/cinnamon variety with brown-flecked flesh from Knoll Farms, we’ve been chopping them up and throwing them in a bowl with a kitchen sink worth of vegetables; think carrots, cucumber, kohlrabi, celery and lettuce, green onions or shallots. Always jalapeños, that jolt of green pepper flavor is key. A big handful of sugared walnuts or roasted pepitas. And always cheese, preferably something salty like feta, but any cheese, cut into cubes, will do. Oh, and avocados! And herbs, usually parsley, basil or cilantro, but at least a cup lightly chopped. Quinoa, beans or brown rice. Lastly, a tin of protein, whether it’s tuna, sardines, or even smoked mussels, and if our pantry is empty, we’ll use cube up some salami instead. All of this tossed with a vinaigrette, either miso or mustard-based, as long as the acid shines through.

Guess we should write this kitchen sink of a salad as a recipe and include some photos. Will do that for next week’s newsletter.

We’ve been eating variations of this salad on the regular since we stopped eating gluten. Finally determined, or rather self-diagnosed (ha!), that the hungover feeling we get after eating a sandwich or pasta was likely due to gluten intolerance. Whole wheat really takes us down, but so does a croissant, and alas, even dumplings 😢. Strangely enough, we can enjoy pizza without the side effects. And cake too, not giving up desserts yet, that would be complete madness! Theorizing that when we eat pizza for dinner, accompanied by a couple glasses of wine or beer, that we sleep through whatever gluten-effects that combo induces, and wake up perfectly fine. The same doesn't hold true for pasta though, we made a dinner of bucatini amatriciana last week and woke the next day still feeling it.

Once you stop eating gluten you realize how much it dominates the American diet. Cereal for breakfast, a sandwich at lunch and pasta for dinner. The rate at which the food media churns out recipes for pasta daily is astonishing. It begins to feel like a conspiracy that we gluten-free eaters can’t join (granted, there is gluten-free pasta, but we’re not ready to go down that road just yet). It’s also led us to conclude that pasta is just a convenient crutch for most recipe developers. But it’s also just as suitable for home cooks. It’s inexpensive, its easy to make and the carbs fill you up. Throw in a couple of vegetables and a handful of meat and it’s dinner. There is nothing wrong with that, especially if you have a tiny window to prepare dinner for your hangry kids. But when you start making dinner with just vegetables, like that chopped salad, you begin to realize how few vegetables you were eating before. It’s astonishing!


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On Judy Rodgers and Zuni Cafe:There was always nourishment in Judy’s food, and to this day, there’s nourishment in how Zuni feeds and supports its city and many communities.” Brandon Jew, executive chef and owner of Mister Jiu’s, for Resy

Meanwhile, in the Big Apple: Pete Well reviews Eleven Madison Park, one of NYC’s temples to haute cuisine, where chef Daniel Humm declared that he was abandoning meat and going with a plant-based menu. “The current food system is simply not sustainable, in so many ways,” said Humm. But like In-N-Out, there’s a secret menu too (in a hidden room for the select few): “It’s some kind of metaphor for Manhattan, where there’s always a higher level of luxury, a secret room where the rich eat roasted tenderloin while everybody else gets an eggplant canoe.” The NY Times

High School Science Class Was Never Like This: Bay Area high school rescues 4,000 endangered salmon from the drought - they'll grow up on campus. SF Chronicle

Local Fishing Update: Bay Area Fishermen are catching bluefin tuna just 5-6 miles off the coast, which is unheard of since they favor water temps around 60-72 degrees. Global warming is getting warmer?

To Dream The Impossible Dream: Faux meat falters at the drive-thru…fast food isn't turning out to be the golden ticket after all. “The biggest Burger King franchisee in the U.S., said late last year that sales of the Impossible Whopper had fallen by about half since its introduction in August 2019.Bloomberg

Danger Will Robinson: We could go broke in an hour at The Matheson restaurant in Healdsburg, which “offers a whopping 130 wines by the glass. Eighty-eight of those are located in what the restaurant calls its "wine wall," a panel of self-serve dispensers where customers can help themselves to small tastes or larger pours of any wine they choose.” SF Chronicle

It’s Complicated: Why Isn’t There More Organic Alcohol? Wine Enthusiast

Michael Pollan On How Caffeine Addiction Changed History: 90% of the world's adults consume some form of caffeine everyday, making it the most widely used psychoactive drug on Earth. YouTube

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EAT.DRINK.THINK October 2021: The playlist we listen to while cooking dinner every night. Props to the SF Symphony and Oakland composer, pianist and rapper Kev Choice for the tune that kicks off this months playlist. Segues nicely into Letter To Hip Hop, Pt. 2, from The DysFunktional Family. Also new tracks from Wiki, V12, José Gonzalez, Cleo Soul and Jamila Woods with a cover of the Tracy Chapman classic, Fast Car.

That’s all for this week.

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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