I may be late to the party (I know the movie was released in 2014), yet there are still things about it that urge me to type this. Is there something that feels wrong about this film for you, too?
That Sugar film is a documentary of the Australian director-actor Damon Gameau who decided to go on a high-sugar diet for 60 days. He was not eating Victoria Sponges and Snickers, but the products labelled as ‘healthy’ – cereal bars, ready-made smoothies, sugar-ladden sauces etc.
As a result, he gained quite some weight, experienced fatigue and mood swings. As soon as he got back to ‘normal’, his body steadily recovered.
Sounds cool, eh? One man’s crusade against granola. We salute you?
Has it ever occurred to you how much alike these two look? When you pour your Coke straight from the fridge in your glass, the lovely foam appears. 1cm of the perfect mountain top/cloudy bubbles/beaten whites. Is it a coffee or a Coke? Continue reading “Doppelgängers: Coca-Cola vs Cappuccino”→
So here you are, fully dressed: the fab new Vetemenets trainers, a Gucci bag, a bulky Uniqlo dress, and vintage Mary Quant-style earrings. You have ticked the boxes, you have received the ‘First’ in your fashion exam. But what are you supposed to DO when you finally dress yourself fabulously?
Fashion magazines and blogs give you a Polaroid of life. The momentum captured for eternity in a fancy photograph. We are supposed to crave stylish looks, expensive brands, edgy make up. But once we achieve all that, how to behave, to act to feel very happy and satisfied?
‘Muesli-eating Guardian readers’ – this is how the leader of Liberal Democrats Tim Farron called a certain group of people among British publics. Middle class? Urbanites? Is eating muesli a new social stigma that we all missed learning about?
Put down this spoon and stop pouring milk over your oats and raisins. Let’s investigate.
Who is this black-veiled, er, matriarch? Who is this femme fatale, who looks similar to Monica Belucci in her 2000 hit movie Malena? Wait, it is the housewife and first lady of the United States of America, Melania Trump. Not fearing the ‘trying too hard’ effect, Mrs Trump pulled off a cinematic and a gothically dramatic look – a long black dress with the Lady Macbeth-ian lace veil. Is it how the first lady pictures the Italian church attire?
Pope Francesco eased up the atmosphere by asking the terrified women on her European trip – what is she feeding her Trump husband. Pottizza (or Potica, the Slovenian pastry – the country where Melania is originally from. See the picture below on the left) or a global favourite, pizza (no introduction needed, the indulgent one on the picture below, on the right)?
Funnily, this joke – and the food mentioned – serves as the common page for conversation and, hopefully, a point of agreement between tastes and cultures. Get off it, Melania. Get off it, Donald. Be nice to the world. Don’t try too hard to impress.
When you think of the old debate – what was first, a chicken or an egg – it occurs me that it does not matter what was first. What really matters is that without either of the two (or both), we would have never had the best desserts in our culture. Think: Victorian sponge, Pan di Spagna, Crema Pasticcera, Tiramisu, cupcakes and muffins, brownies and meringues – all these bites of indulgence demand an EGG. Continue reading “Chicken or Egg, or Tiramisu?”→
Emmanuelle Macron is baking macarons!.. Sorry, not particularly true, but I could not but indulge myself in this glorious pun. However, it is almost reality. The French presidential candidate went to the patisserie school’s class on eclairs and other airy concoctions of the French bakers. The energetic politician did not pretend to excel in baking, but definitely showed a good taste for upscale desserts.
Wait, who cares for the food visits of a presidential candidate – aren’t they a boring routine of a campaign? Believe me, the right bites matter and can win you the election. Why is it so embedded in the French political tradition that you MUST visit the butchers to impress voters?..
Eat your way to The Élysée Palace
This weekend Emmanuel Macron raised (the nutritional value of) his game and went to the butcher’s pavilion at the Rungis food market in Paris.
The Guardian notes that is a typical move for a French politician – reaching out to the butchers, farmers and hardworking market vendors is a must-do of a campaign. Why so? Waking up at the dawn to salute the meat sellers at 6am is a sign of appreciation of good work and tradition.
As Macron was saying, many of these people had been selling meat to the people of France for 20-30 years – and perhaps even generations of their fathers had been doing the same before. A good steak, a bottle of noble wine and a fine eclair at the end of the meal – this is how food preferences of Emmanuel Macron reflect his “centre” position in politics. He is not left enough to praise a plain baguette with vin du table and not too right to cling to the escargot with Pomerol.
Bite the batty!
Do you remember the last time that a wrong meal cost a career to the politician? Exactly, the unfortunate Ed Miliband and his bacon batty malfunction. The UK Labour party member went to the ‘people’s market’ in the wee small hours of the morning on the 21st of May 2014 to sink his teeth into the bacon sandwich, the staple of the working class diet.
The chewy number, though, resisted the attack – and the newspapers indulged in the embarrassing photos of the Labour leader struggling with the laid back snack. Is it not that the more sophisticated delicacies are easier to eat – it is just the bad coincidence that the bacon sarnie and the Labour politician did not click. The misbalance of a person and food led to the rising number of unconvinced voters.
There will be (no) blood
There is a gossip that the US president Donald Trump is a big fan of McDonald’s and steakhouses. When he goes to the latest, he orders his steak… well-done, which makes the hearts of the meatlovers sink. As Antoine Bourden mentioned in his memoirs, chefs throw the worst pieces of meat on the grill for those “well-done” ignoranti. The overfrying of a steak kicks out all the juice and flavour – hence, who would trust a nuanced decision to a man who does not know his steak?
As our little foodie political investigation reveals, the food choices mean a lot to the reputation of political leaders. Not only these gentlemen and ladies in power have to eat well – they also need to communicate what and why they eat to us, people. Down to earth, loyal to your plate, true to your country.
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What a marvellous revelation – after having browsed Deliciously Ella’s Instagram for 15 minutes, I feel totally insecure about my choice of butter (peanut, cashew, quinoa-infused lavender virgin seeds?), eating habits in general and the avoidance of dungaree in the past. If Ella says so, all of the things that appear in her blog should be 100% organically awesome. As the modern king Midas whose touch turns everything into kale, Ella knows her unapologetic promotional skills.
But not until I discover the blog of the purely delightful Deliciously Stella that I feel alive again. A parody account that satirically overturns all the sound and fury of Ella’s elf-esque assertions, it is genuine and makes you laugh into stitches. This is the video each of us, little insecure urbanites, should watch every now and then to shake off the doubts about the food we put into our mouth.
Russian social media users tend to talk about food in such sugary terms as if it were puppies or newborn babies. All these “little cakes”, “sausages” with the diminutive suffix added at the end, and the suffocatingly sugary gratitude to each other “Sweetie sweet, thank you for posting your yummy yum!”
English language does not even have these word variations to display the verbal treatment that the Russki’s are giving to their daily bread. Where is it coming from, I’m wondering? Is it the Soviet deprivation when there was just ONE type of cheese in store, ONE type of sausage, ONE sauce (you got it right, the Siberian-snow-white His Majesty Mayo). There was a popular joke in the Soviet times: “There comes a deficit wearing a deficit and carrying a deficit wrapped in a deficit“. What’s your guess?
It meant… a cleaner walking around in a fur coat and holding a sausage wrapped in the toilet paper.
Clearly, after those days of the empty grocery shelves, you do start treating basic everyday products as your “little precious”. That’s my guess – what is yours?