As one of America’s leading popular food magazines, Bon Appétit has a responsibility to keep its readers abreast of the latest trends and breakthroughs in cookery. In its Sept. 2006 issue, it seems to do exactly that, clueing its readers in on an exciting new “Vocabulary” item:
“Sous-Vide (soo-VEED),” it reads, “Literally ‘under vacuum’ in French, it’s the fancy boil-in-a-bag technique that’s sweeping the nation’s high-end restaurants…”
But “sweeping” is an unusual verb choice for this item. It implies… well, newness, bursting through barriers into a bold new frontier of culinary discovery, etc. etc.
Developed in France in the mid-1970s, sous-vide has been stateside for quite some time. Anyone who has lived and eaten in New York City—or, say, read the New York Times food section—is probably already familiar it, as it touched off a culinary flare-up of super-sized proportions early this year over questions about the practice’s safety.
Bon Appétit’s brief item manages to name-check two fancy restaurants that take advantage of sous-vide cooking, but fails to let its readers know about the technique’s controversial recent history or old-school origins.
And for the sake of reference, they could have at least mentioned Trish Hall’s New York Times piece on the technique, headlined “Pouches Offer Fresher Foods, But F.D.A. Warns of Risk.”
The date on this earlier expose?
March 23, 1988.