Wednesday, January 28, 2009

En Tiempo de Vacas Flacas

AA Gill explained on Sunday why steak is suddenly back on the menu:

"Culturally, the one thing you don't want to get caught holding right now is clever irony — the market for that's going to tank. Cynicism is the luxury of a gluttonously overindulged society. And the surest sign that the times are unforgiving is the return of steak. Steak is the bellwether ingredient. Over the past decade, it almost completely disappeared from aspirational menus. Chefs don't like cooking it and smart new glossy people don't like eating it, because of the fat and the cholesterol and the blood and the bad karma and the waste of rainforest and the mad cows. But mostly because steak's common. Anyone can eat a steak and anyone does. Steak is what condemned men ask for as their last meal. There's nothing ironic about a steak, so it slipped off the board. But in the last week, three people have asked me where they should go to get the best steak, there have been half a dozen new steakhouse openings and somebody was on the wireless banging on about ageing T-bone. That's a confluence of synchronicity. That's the butterfly beat of the cultural shift."

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