I used to look forward to football cuisine, if you can really stomach putting those two words together. Two decades ago I found it amusing, delightful to see how a double entendre of ham and bacon could be formed and consumed as the football itself. Gridirons made out of pretzels, stadiums constructed of cheese and crackers. The shimmering dips and dippity bits. It was a lark to see the advertising circulars in the Sunday papers.
Then came the reality cooking shows, the paleo diet, industrial-size bags o’ wings from Costco, Hemingway-esq chefs with tattoos and blow torches, competitive cake-bakers, muscular kitchen bouncers. It’s gotten so violent.
Football should not run the world, people, and it should definitively NOT RUN THE KITCHEN.
Pierre would roast a pork loin and make a gravy with cream and calvados. Julia would bake a quiche aux jambon. There would be a cheese course, not a dip, and a green frisee salad. We’d sit down proper with napkins and forks and not shovel sticky glazed wings/bacon/franks and lick the gluey red from our digits. The most radical thing we could do to protest football’s encroachment on the beautiful and sacred things of our lives is to go to the farmer’s market with an open heart, adventurous spirit, buy the heck out of the Russian/Mexican/Vietnamese/Chinese produce stands, make a lovely meal, and eat it with friends and family. WITHOUT THE TV ON.
Me? I’m going to make a coq au vin. Without the wings. Then I’m going to drive out of town. But all will be forgiven if Sam Sifton redeems himself on Sunday with a better game day menu. Or if some new cake boss makes the ultimate Super Bowl dessert - a concussed chocolate cake in the shape of a kicked-in helmet.