The Weak in Review: Least Essential Food Writing for Sept. 4-8

It’s two, two, two sucky stories to wind up the week.

In the October issue of Food & Wine, Christopher Russell, general manager at New York’s Union Square Café, reveals his bohemian sense of hospitality: “[A customer] had a bacon-cheddar burger and a bottle of the 1982 Cheval Blanc; a $13 burger and a $1,400 bottle of wine. I thanked him and invited him to come back the next day.” Incredible! A customer spends $1,400 on wine… and he’s invited back! Stay tuned for November’s edition, wherein a customer mishandles the blini while eating an $800 plate of caviar and is not summarily whapped across the face with a vodka bottle.

The email newsletter of aphrodisiac-obsessed food writer Amy Reiley is similarly uninspired this week, with a not-very-detailed essay on why the tomato is this month’s sexy featured ingredient. She writes:

Renamed pomme d’amore, or love apple, by the French in the 16th Century, the tomato is thought by many historians to be the original forbidden fruit.

Google would reply by saying: Name one historian making that case. Islamic historians thought it was the banana, which makes a certain amount of low-comedy sense. Jewish tradition suggests the pomegranate, among other possibilities. Figs, mushrooms, apples, pears, and quinces have also been mentioned as reasonable candidates, but the truth is that no one really has a clue. One thing’s for sure: the tomato, as a New World plant, is fairly far down the ladder of speculation.