Food (Section) Fight! is my weekly look at The Washington Post's Food section and The New York Times' Dining section with my verdict on which section had the better content for the week.
New York Times
1) "After the Cameras Leave the Kitchen," article by David Segal. I don't watch a lot of food-related programming, but I do watch The Food Network's Restaurant Impossible, and really enjoyed Segal's exposé on what happens after the cameras roll. Not surprisingly, it's a mixed bag. One thing's for sure, if I knew a restaurant was serving frozen pasta entrees, I would not eat there.
2) "At Camp, It's Not Grub, It's Cuisine," feature by Jan Hoffman. I went to summer camp for 8 years and then worked at one for another 2, and I don't remember the words "organic," "sustainable" or "local" being uttered anywhere near the dining hall (although the camp I worked at had a nutritionist who invented a tofu chili that turned off the kids but I actually thought was pretty good). But times have changed and so too have camp menus, which apparently feature all kinds of fresh produce and locally sourced ingredients. It's probably not as much fun to feed the scraps to the pig, but it probably tastes better.
3) "Cachaça: Beyond a One-Note Samba," article by Robert Simonson. Admittedly, I rarely open my bottle of cachaça for cocktails, so I appreciated this article about the spirit's growing interest in the United States and how it is useful for more than just caipirinhas.
4) "Zucchini's Flower Power," A Good Appetite column by Melissa Clark. Having recently cooked squash blossoms for the first time, I appreciated this article by Clark. I like that she doesn't think stuffing and frying them is necessarily the best use for the beautiful orange flowers. Serving them raw with burrata is an interesting idea. If my farmers market still has them this weekend, I might try that.
5) "Down to the Last (Raw) Bite of Asparagus," How to Cook Everything column by Mark Bittman. Seems the stove is definitely turned off at NYT this week. In addition to the raw blossoms, Bittman turns in a raw asparagus salad made with asparagus prepared three ways: shaved dark outer parts, chopped stalks and whole tips. I just might have to try this too.
1) "Pie a la McDermott mode," article by Bonnie S. Benwick. Taking a cooking class sounds like a lot of fun, and I enjoyed Bonnie's first-person write up of this pie-making class from Kate McDermott. Using your ear to judge when pie is done may sound a bit corny, but everyone seems to rave about these pies, so maybe it's not so crazy.
2) "My popular, potassium-packed nemesis," essay by Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic. As a former picky eater myself, I enjoyed this essay about a writer who has overcome much of her pickiness, but still doesn't like bananas.
3) "Chicken Stir-Fry with Mango and Peanut Sauce," Dinner in Minutes recipe by Bonnie S. Benwick. A beautiful picture accompanies this recipe, and I'm always up for a simple, good stir-fry.
New York Times. I have to say, it was a pretty slight week for both sections, especially the Post, from which I could find only three articles that really interested me. Its feature story, on upping the game for wedding food, I found a bit annoying. Weddings are expensive. Having a food truck show up to serve doughnuts and cider after the reception sounds too ostentatious, even for me.
The New York Times: 14
The Washington Post: 12