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June 15, 2007

New Verbs

Now that so many cooking shows are on TV, many people have heard cooks use plate as a verb. Cooks might say, "Plate that steak now, please" or "Chef, how should I plate the special?" Or a restaurant review might say that the food was plated very precisely. Even though it's jargon, it's meaning is quite clear.

WIth the popularity of tasting menus, a new usage of "to taste" is making the rounds. In this case, instead of saying, "I included duck on the tasting menu for Bob" or "I gave Bob a taste of the duck," the new phrasing might be, "I tasted Bob on the duck". I have also heard it in the context of wine flights or wine parings, as in, "Bob wanted to try the cabernet, but I tasted him on the grenache first." From the cook or sommelier's perspective, I'm giving that person a taste of ______. Personally, I feel that it's awkward, peculiar, and confusing. First off, the person who is active is not the person who is doing the eating. More importantly, if taken likerally, the speaker could be using his or her tongue on another person and commenting on that. Of course, there's a lot of comedy potential there, like, "I tasted Giada and Rachel on my tongue, but only Giada liked it."

June 04, 2007

Obesity on TV

Just a quick tidbit: are there as many shows in other countries about weight loss? I don't mean shows to exercise with - I mean shows like the Biggest Loser and Celebrity Fit Club. In the case of the former, people are practically canonized for eating less, going to the gym with a trainer, and awarded sums of money for losing the most weight. It's like the lottery with a moral. In the case of the latter, B and C list "celebrities" take a second or third stab at fame by exposing their struggles with the last 20 pounds between themselves and life in the spotlight.

I would bet there aren't. There's something wrong with the way Americans relate to food. Beyond that, there's something disturbing about the way it's made into "entertainment." There's nothing novel about either of those statements, but to really think about all the implications is unsettling.