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"I will never use garlic!"
July 14, 2007 8:19 PM   Subscribe

Sicilian chef Filippo La Mantia has sworn off garlic. La Mantia says that garlic is a "leftover from when Italians were poor", and feels it is overplayed and unnecessary. Others disagree, like chef Antonello Colonna: "eliminating garlic is like "eliminating violins from an orchestra".
posted by rossination (93 comments total)

 
I'm sure La Mantia is a fine chef: sounds like he's experimenting with new ingredients and trying to expand the scope of Italian cuisine, which, arguably, can be rather samey and unadventurous. I'd love to eat in his restaurant someday.

But swearing off garlic forever?

Unimaginable.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:28 PM on July 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


What a dumb shit.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:28 PM on July 14, 2007 [4 favorites]


I can't wait until I'm so rich that the only things I can eat without thinking myself a second class citizen are caviar and saffron truffles.
posted by fusinski at 8:33 PM on July 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


I want to drive a wooden stake through his heart.
posted by inconsequentialist at 8:33 PM on July 14, 2007 [9 favorites]


Italian food without garlic? That's like decaffeinated coffee. Yeah, you can make it that way, but that doesn't mean you should.
posted by cerebus19 at 8:37 PM on July 14, 2007


Garlic is only bad when it's abused and misused be mediocre chefs. One of my favorite meals ever took garlic abuse to a new, almost comical level, and it was wonderful. At least the anti garlic crusaders don't sound as bad as those anti-cilantro nutjobs.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 8:39 PM on July 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Fuck that, I'll trump him by banning Oregano! That shit is way overused! Basil is much better.
posted by Balisong at 8:40 PM on July 14, 2007


Can't we all just wage war on cilantro?
posted by uri at 8:42 PM on July 14, 2007


You will pry my beloved garlic from my cold, dead, smelly hands.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:50 PM on July 14, 2007


Health benefits of garlic.
posted by Brian B. at 8:56 PM on July 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by item at 8:58 PM on July 14, 2007


@slack-a-gogo

mmmmmmm, 40 clove roast chicken. yum yum yum yummy.
posted by lastobelus at 8:59 PM on July 14, 2007


re: cilantro

I went almost 6 years without cilantro, because in Germany there was none to be found. And I really missed it.

Miso soup with cilantro, orange rind, japanese tofu cubes and some baby shrimps....mmmmmmmmmmmm
posted by lastobelus at 9:02 PM on July 14, 2007


Garlic sucks. Indeed the taste is loathsome and I can absolutely see how poor people who could only afford bread for dinner would add garlic slice to make it seem more like a meal, get used to the taste and keep eating even when it's no longer necessary. Health benefits are bogus and, in fact, one obscure book I've read stated that "onions and garlic are worse [for health] than meat".
posted by rainy at 9:04 PM on July 14, 2007


Heh heh. This La Mantia is probably a pretty smart cookie. With this outlandish and heretofore-never-heard-in-Italy claim of "no garlic ever" he has succeeded in garnering an enormous amount of press, domestic and international. He's now *news* and his restaurant will probably be mobbed! When was the last time you ever read about an Italian chef? His is a masterstroke of PR. And hell, on his off days he probably enjoys a big plate of linguine with red sauce, heavy on the garlic, out on the veranda of his weekend villa in Toscana, having a good laugh over it all!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:08 PM on July 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


I thought italian food WAS peasant food... I mean that dishes that have truly endured.
posted by spec80 at 9:10 PM on July 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


They started eating tomatoes when they were rich.
posted by Brian B. at 9:15 PM on July 14, 2007


Garlic tastes more like French horns than violins.
posted by TheGoldenOne at 9:19 PM on July 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Maybe oboes.
posted by TheGoldenOne at 9:20 PM on July 14, 2007 [2 favorites]




Health benefits are bogus and, in fact, one obscure book I've read stated...

Well, shit, that's proof almost unimpeachable as "I read it on the Internet".
posted by kjs3 at 9:23 PM on July 14, 2007


Weren't tomatoes (member of the nightshade family) shunned by all but the poor until relatively recently?
posted by kjs3 at 9:24 PM on July 14, 2007


It should be pointed out that millions of people shun garlic as a matter of religious devotion in the East. The Krishna movement describes it as a food associated with the "modes of ignorance." Many Buddhists and Hindus also avoid it. Maybe our chef in question works at the airport.
posted by Brian B. at 9:28 PM on July 14, 2007


Poor people eat lots of bread, too. Yeah, that poor people food sure does suck.
posted by brain cloud at 9:32 PM on July 14, 2007


You know who's going to like his restaurant a lot? Vampires!
posted by contessa at 9:35 PM on July 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


This man is a monster!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:37 PM on July 14, 2007


Garlic is as good as 10 mothers.
posted by mazola at 9:51 PM on July 14, 2007


Garlic may be the violins, but beans are the woodwinds.
posted by SPrintF at 10:00 PM on July 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Garlic is something that I've always suspected noone actually likes, but has to pretend to like to not be considered some sort of troglodyte.

Garlic is unpleasant. The fact that it can be used, sparingly, and not ruin some foods is no testament to its goodness.
posted by Ynoxas at 10:03 PM on July 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


I love Italian food and I'm allergic to garlic. This is very good news. I'm visiting his restaurant next time I'm over there.
posted by bhnyc at 10:16 PM on July 14, 2007


I'm sorry *burp*, what were we talking about? Wait, y'all better back up. That one had some mustard on it.
posted by ninjew at 10:22 PM on July 14, 2007


Garlic is something that I've always suspected noone actually likes, but has to pretend to like to not be considered some sort of troglodyte.

Oh, I do love the "emperor's new clothes" argument. Makes me feel all special to be called a pretentious git for having different preferences than someone else.
posted by Epenthesis at 10:23 PM on July 14, 2007 [5 favorites]


Any dish can be improved with the addition of either garlic or chocolate chips.
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 10:36 PM on July 14, 2007 [6 favorites]


Garlic is something that I've always suspected noone actually likes, but has to pretend to like to not be considered some sort of troglodyte.

When you wake up in the hospital sometime in the next day or so it is essential that you explain to the doctors that you have had some kind of massive blunt force trauma to the head, you might not remember it, but all the symptoms are present, there is simply no other explanation. You should also tell them to take the normal precautions, because they are going to be treating some sort of troglodyte.

Without garlic what is there? Only the cold solace of the tomb.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:43 PM on July 14, 2007 [25 favorites]


Garlic is something that I've always suspected noone actually likes, but has to pretend to like to not be considered some sort of troglodyte.

My fiancee and I have a garlic rule of thumb: When cooking with garlic, quadruple what the recipe calls for.

Sorry to rain on your parade. We really like the shit. A lot.
posted by fusinski at 10:46 PM on July 14, 2007 [6 favorites]


What fusinski said. We live by the same rule.
posted by psmith at 10:53 PM on July 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Garlic is something that I've always suspected noone actually likes, but has to pretend to like to not be considered some sort of troglodyte.

Garlic is unpleasant. The fact that it can be used, sparingly, and not ruin some foods is no testament to its goodness.


Why would you say something so ignorant? oh, wait....
posted by longsleeves at 11:02 PM on July 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


I love garlic, but agree that many an amateur chef over-uses it. But ya know what's great? Roasted garlic spread on good bread. Oh, and mashed potatoes with garlic.

One time in college we were baked off our asses and ordered a garlic pizza, kind of as a joke. We ate the whole thing. It was five or six showers before I didn't smell like garlic.

The ultimate love-hate relationship.
posted by bardic at 11:15 PM on July 14, 2007


"Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian;
wine and tarragon make it French.
Sour cream makes it Russian;
lemon and cinnamon make it Greek.
Soy sauce makes it Chinese;
Garlic makes it good."
-- Alice May Brock
posted by John of Michigan at 11:18 PM on July 14, 2007 [11 favorites]


Sorry, everyone, Ynoxas has decided you're all liars. Pack it up and go home.
posted by argybarg at 11:23 PM on July 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


Recipe: Chicken Stone

From a no longer extant restaurant

boneless chicken thighs cut into 2 inch chunks

equal volume of peeled whole cloves of garlic (yes)

olive oil

salt and pepper the chicken

Heat olive oil in a stainless steel skillet to medium high heat. Add the chicken and garlic cloves and stir constantly until cooked and browned.

Turn out onto warmed plate and splash generously with balsamic vinegar, serve immediately.

Really good! possibly NSFW the next day.
posted by longsleeves at 11:27 PM on July 14, 2007 [6 favorites]


Any dish can be improved with the addition of either garlic or chocolate chips.

A-fuckin'-men.
posted by The Pusher Robot at 11:52 PM on July 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


actually a mole sauce might be improved by both.
posted by muppetboy at 12:18 AM on July 15, 2007


pasta is fucking bullshit too.
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:40 AM on July 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


There goes the Korean economy, right down the goddamn toilet again.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:43 AM on July 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Weren't tomatoes (member of the nightshade family) shunned by all but the poor until relatively recently?

More in the US than in Europe, though they're relatively new to Europe too. There were public demonstrations of tomatoes being eaten in the US in the mid-19th century though to prove they weren't poisonous.
posted by vbfg at 12:50 AM on July 15, 2007


There goes the Korean economy, right down the goddamn toilet again.

Now if a Korean chef came out against garlic like this La Mantia fellow has done, 1000 guys in motorcycle helmets, bandanas round their faces and molotov cocktails in hand would show up and erase his restaurant from the face of the earth quicker'n you could say bulgogi.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:58 AM on July 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Nono, eliminating garlic is not like eliminating violins. You need a lot of violins for a good full sound. You couldn't get by on just two, as would be implied by garlic being what it is. Eliminating starch seems closer-- or some important starch- or grain-related thing.
posted by taursir at 1:15 AM on July 15, 2007


The man is a fool.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 1:19 AM on July 15, 2007


Lamantia is a poseur and a hack, and his Trattoria is sadly overrated. This looks like a lame attempt (on behalf of the media) to steal back some of Spain's recent glory in revolutionising cuisine. Give it up, guys, and get back to the what's still amazing about Italian food - unique, sun-drenched ingredients, rich local tradition, love of food, and, quite simply, hospitability. (Oh and: the invention of the concept of SlowFood, which is becoming a politically relevant international opinion movement (will provide links in future.) Ridicoli.
posted by progosk at 1:29 AM on July 15, 2007


St Louis. Saleem's. Where garlic is king.

Yep, a garlic themed restaurant. Get the bloody mary. The glass is rimmed with the stuff.
posted by sourwookie at 1:34 AM on July 15, 2007


Oh yea BTW, I'm swearing off of BBQ. Black people eat that shit.
posted by sourwookie at 1:36 AM on July 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Lamantia is a poseur and a hack, and his Trattoria is sadly overrated.

This comment would indicate that you have sampled the culinary wares on offer at said establishment. Your diresct, personal experience then, would be most welcome and refreshing. Please tell us more! How many times have you eaten there? What did you have? Was it expensive? I gather it was disappointing, but it would be interesting to hear why.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:41 AM on July 15, 2007


BTW, I am fully prepared to hear "Cause there's no GARLIC!", if that's really the simple crux of the matter...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:43 AM on July 15, 2007


Wow, ok. While we're at it, let's get rid of sesame (seeds and oil) from Chinese food, no more chickpeas in Indian food, and no more chili pepper in the Mexican. We'll take feta and olives away from the Greeks, no more rice for the Japanese, and you Canucks are gonna have to give up your backbacon. Hosers.

Then we can all finally move to getting our daily nutrition in pill form, because there won't be any fucking point in eating food anymore.
posted by CrayDrygu at 3:17 AM on July 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I recall reading an interview with the chef Anton Mosimann in which he lamented that British cooks, who, in the past, had tended to shun garlic, had since taken to using it excessively & indiscriminately. But I can't recall having eaten a restaurant meal in the UK or Italy that was spoiled by an excess of the stuff.

This La Mantia 'controversy' sounds like one manufactured on a slow news day. If it's his kitchen he should cook what he likes, & I daresay there are enough garlic-haters even in Rome to keep his place full; it just wouldn't be somewhere I'd choose to visit if I were there.
posted by misteraitch at 3:25 AM on July 15, 2007


Clever piece of publicity, but I suspect him of not being as good a cook as perhaps he and his clientèle like to imagine. These sort of innovations always smack of the rise of nouvelle cuisine to me. Certain chefs start doing something (focusing on presentation and lightness, avoiding garlic in Italian cooking, using 'molecular gastronomy' techniques), and do it well. However, these decisions are then are copied by hoards of slavish acolytes who, failing to recognise the culinary reasons for making these decisions, turn them into an absolutist credo. Decisions are made of the basis of fashion, rather than on what a particular dish requires.

Britain seems to be experiencing a spate of "molecular gastronomy" at the moment. The problem is, that while, from what I can tell from reviews and reports from friends (haven't persuaded anyone to buy me dinner there yet myself), Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck (among others) delivers a reasoned gastronomic experience, that attempts to expand rather than shatter sound culinary practice, the pale imitations of this style that I have experienced have tended to derive their motivation from a childish desire to shock or to show off.

La Mantia seems to be acting out this culinary motivation in his attack upon garlic. "Look! I don't use garlic! Do I shock you?". I fully expect, in a few years, to see him going door to door trying to shock Italians with a tomato free pizza cart.
posted by howfar at 3:32 AM on July 15, 2007


actually a mole sauce might be improved by both.

Also helps to cage the mole and feed it on lettuce for a week before you make the sauce. Makes it less gamy.

I hear Georges Perrier refuses to use Cheez Whiz. Philly is scandalized.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 3:48 AM on July 15, 2007


Any dish can be improved with the addition of either garlic or chocolate chips.

I was about to say that I have yet to find a dish that cannot be improved by garlic or chocolate, and now that someone has made the point of mole, I'd have to say that perhaps that's the ascendancy of cooking to me. With a good handful of fresh cilantro thrown on top. In fact, I find myself supicious of recipes that don't call for garlic.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:05 AM on July 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


As the son and grandson (on the maternal side) of Itailian immigrants, I have just one question of you garlic haters: ARE YOIU FUCKING INSANE? Garlic rules. Some people I generally respect are dissing on garlic here, so I'm just going to assume they're vampires.
posted by jonmc at 6:50 AM on July 15, 2007


I can't imagine my cooking without garlic. Garlic doesn't need a reason. And of course, it's an integral part of South-east Asian food.

This La Mantia chap... well, good luck to him. More garlic for me, there is.
posted by madman at 6:53 AM on July 15, 2007


I love it when your point is made so wonderfully for you with no effort. This literally couldn't have gone any more predictably.

Like I said, any mere mention of how you don't like garlic, and people come out of the woodwork arguing about how they love it more than sex or oxygen, and then proceed to try to one-up each other about how much more they love it than anyone else, and how they could dine on it to the exclusion of everything else.

Exactly as I said, if you don't like garlic, people regard you as some sort of troglodyte, then proceed to fall all over each other claiming to love it more than anyone else.

I have news for you, LOTS of people don't like garlic. It is far from some niche preference.

Everything can be improved with garlic? It's the same argument people who are addicted to Tabasco make.

Tabasco on cereal? Sure! Tabasco on rice? Naturally! Tabasco on ice cream? Why not?!

If you put copious amounts of garlic in EVERYTHING you eat, as some of you above are saying quite plainly you do, then you are just eating Stone Soup and don't even know it.
posted by Ynoxas at 7:25 AM on July 15, 2007


Clearly what's happened is at some point a crotchety old investor pulled him aside and chided him, "You're a young man shriveling his life away playing nursemaid to a bunch of garlic-eaters!"
posted by hermitosis at 7:26 AM on July 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Dude's just askin' for a visit from the Garlic Mafia. He's gonna wake up to find his bed covered with bloody garlic gloves. I wouldn't start my car if I were him. Might become the grilled catch o' the day.

Is Tony Sirico busy? He'd do it with style and humor...
posted by zarq at 7:34 AM on July 15, 2007


Garlic is great. But I think the raw garlic lovers take the stinking rose fetish a stink too far.
posted by kozad at 7:35 AM on July 15, 2007


Garlic is something that I've always suspected noone actually likes...

The above is why you're, deservedly, getting pounded on. If you'd just expressed your own distaste for garlic instead of insisting that you know that garlic lovers are all liers, you would not have gotten such a reaction.
posted by ursus_comiter at 7:47 AM on July 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


Grah. liars
posted by ursus_comiter at 7:48 AM on July 15, 2007


I actually broke up with a girlfriend because she didn't like garlic and didn't like me eating it either. There were some other issues with the relationship but that was really the killer one. I just could not imagine a life without garlic. I went on to marry a woman who was born in Naples, we're both very happy and cook with lots and lots of garlic.
posted by octothorpe at 8:09 AM on July 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


You NYer's need to pay a visit to the Keith's Farm stand in Union Square, he grows this type of Italian garlic that you can't really get too many other places in the states and is one of the greatest tastes to ever hit my mouth. It's a completely different animal, without the pungent bite of your average clove. My gf's brother worked on his farm for a year and used to bring home big brown sacks full of it, I used to weep with glee at the sight.

Here's a blurb about Keith:

Keith Stewart, who is known for his earth-crusted organic garlic at the Union Square Greenmarket, has some 36,000 bulbs hanging from every available inch of his old dairy barn in Greenville, N.Y. Last Monday he stood under what looked like a row of empty nooses, which represented the few thousand cured bulbs he had already sold.

He has been rooting through the rafters for next year's planting stock, some 7,000 bulbs he will bury in a hilly field beside some poplar trees in October. The crop will sit acres away from last year's, an old organic farmer's trick to avoid the sort of soil problems Gilroy has had.

Mr. Stewart grows a variety called rocambole, favored among chefs for its big cloves and sprightly flavor. His entire crop stems from a bag of bulbs bequeathed to his wife from an Italian neighbor, who claimed they had been smuggled over from Calabria.
(link)
posted by The Straightener at 8:16 AM on July 15, 2007 [4 favorites]


Man, I have got to stop commenting after-gig/bars.

My above comment was supposed to illustrate how stupid it is to swear off of a food for socio-economic reasons. From the article:

La Mantia says that garlic is a leftover from when Italians were poor and used it to flavor their meager victuals. He says the average standard of living is high enough today that people can do without it.

My point was probably clear to begin with, but I hope it's really clarified now.
posted by sourwookie at 8:25 AM on July 15, 2007


I like stone soup, too.
posted by fusinski at 9:26 AM on July 15, 2007


Exactly as I said, if you don't like garlic, people regard you as some sort of troglodyte,

No, they think you're a troglodyte when you say something as asinine as "garlic is something that I've always suspected noone actually likes", and then feign indignation when people disagree with you.

I have news for you, LOTS of people don't like garlic.

No shit. Of course, none of the fans claimed "garlic is something I've always suspected everyone actually likes".
posted by kjs3 at 9:36 AM on July 15, 2007


The Cajuns are all probably well-enough off that they don't have to stretch their sausage with rice anymore, but a world without boudin is a world I don't want to live in. The world's greatest ethnic cuisines seem to all have been born of necessity. When a chef dismisses the roots of his cuisine, he is really thumbing his nose at the salt of the earth who madit it all possible for him to begin with. That's why I don't dig food-snobbery.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:40 AM on July 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


You know what I don't like? Food. It's total bullshit, and I swear nobody eats it because they want to, but pretend to just because they're assholes.

Also bad: sex. Poor people do it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:14 AM on July 15, 2007 [4 favorites]


It just seems strange to me to see a chef completely swear off an entire ingredient just because he personally doesn't like it. Especially when you're talking about an ingredient so intimately connected to the cuisine he is preparing.

It's sort of like a painter swearing off a particular color because he thinks it's ugly. He might not like the color green but without it how could you capture the grass? Or the trees? I suppose you could just not paint things that are green or maybe try to paint them a totally different color. A master could make it work. But is this La Mantia a master? If he is, more power to him. I bet it's an interesting menu.
posted by LeeJay at 10:51 AM on July 15, 2007


That said I don't particularly care for the classist attitude underlying his statements. Authentic regional cuisine is almost always based on rustic cuisine. Classic flavors are classic for a reason.
posted by LeeJay at 10:54 AM on July 15, 2007


I've eliminated garlic through the usual channels...via the anus and sweat glands. I'd can't imagine the unpleasantness involved in eliminating an entire violin.
posted by horsewithnoname at 11:24 AM on July 15, 2007 [4 favorites]



I love it when your point is made so wonderfully for you with no effort. This literally couldn't have gone any more
predictably.

Love it when a plan comes together do you, Ynoxas? Go away troll.
posted by howfar at 11:49 AM on July 15, 2007


"Garlic is the ketchup of intellectuals."

Can't believe nobody's quoted this yet. I wish I knew who said it.
posted by ottereroticist at 1:13 PM on July 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Filippo La Mantia is simply media-whoring. Really, we'd all do a service to the world were we to wholly ignore his efforts.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:15 PM on July 15, 2007


In 2004 I had some medical shenanigans of a most serious nature. As a result, I had to be put on Coumadin - a blood-thinner - for a number of months. With such a drug, many dietary restrictions ensue. One of the restrictions was garlic, which suppresses the efficacy of the drug.

I ate it anyway. Life just wouldn't have been worth living without it. That chef is a dick.

Incidentally, Italian peasant food is largely delicious, and this from a person who tends to really hate tomatoes. Coming from a New York Italian heritage, I grew up on that peasant food and could never figure out why the rest of the continent wasn't jealous of peasants who had such delicious food to eat. These days, in my own kitchen, I also follow the Fusinski rule and at minimum increase garlic in any recipe by at least a factor of four - usually more.

Roasted garlic cloves smashed and spread on fresh, warm Italian bread? Nectar of the gods. I pity the wayward soul whose tastebuds are so deformed as to dislike garlic. You just dont know what you're missing.

There ought to be a rehab program somewhere for folks like that!
posted by perilous at 1:15 PM on July 15, 2007


the raw garlic lovers take the stinking rose fetish a stink too far.

The Stinking Rose "has Californian-Italian cuisine with GARLIC as a major component in the dishes served. Everything from Bagna Calda to Garlic Ice Cream."
posted by kirkaracha at 2:16 PM on July 15, 2007


I am making toum as an act of culinary protest!

(Howdy miss l.)
posted by pax digita at 4:59 PM on July 15, 2007


Toum eh, that sounds good.

My message to that dumb "chef". VA FA MOCHA MOMIDA CHI DE MORT. (That's disgusting southern Italian slang, and he deserves every ounce of it.)
posted by snsranch at 5:15 PM on July 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


There's a restaurant we go to sometimes. It's a vegan place, and I'm a meat-and-dairy eater. I like eating there for two reasons: the food is good, and they reel you in by saying Look how delicious our food is! and not Your favorite food sucks, and you're stupid for liking it.
posted by rtha at 7:56 PM on July 15, 2007


On reflection, cooking Italian food without garlic strikes me as analagous to lipogrammatic writing, in its insistence on omission as a formal constraint: could La Mantia be a member of the OuCuiPo, and a Georges Perec among chefs?
posted by misteraitch at 1:15 AM on July 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


What next? A restaurant without various wines by the glass?
posted by oxford blue at 3:13 AM on July 16, 2007


VA FA MOCHA MOMIDA CHI DE MORT Vaffammocca a mammata che t'è mmuort'; fixed that for you. (Interesting conflation of insults that: go blow your deceased mom. Where was your family from?)
posted by progosk at 3:42 AM on July 16, 2007


Progosk! You reappear! Any chance of getting my questions from upthread answered, now that you're back?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:51 AM on July 16, 2007


If only they served flapjacks...

I ate twice at his previous effort, Zagara. Both times the impression was: nice try at making an urban update on Sicilian classics. Half of the dishes were good, half had someting wrong in their execution/idea. (It was three/four years ago so forgive me if I don't remember what it was we ordered.) Twice Trattoria was booked out (so his hype is working); the one time we went, the proportion of good to mistaken had risen to 70-30, but: the feel of the place (much hyped for its architecture, by students of Fuksas) is ice-cold and too lit, the portions are ridiculously tiny, especially considering their lavish prices. (Unrich Italians - so passé.)
Again, forgive me if my selective memory has cancelled the evening's fare.
posted by progosk at 4:59 AM on July 16, 2007


...see him going door to door trying to shock Italians with a tomato free pizza cart.

Unless he rebrands it with some silly name, I don't think Italians will be too shocked over piazza bianca.

La Mantia says that garlic is a leftover from when Italians were poor and used it to flavor their meager victuals. He says the average standard of living is high enough today that people can do without it.

And here we have someone who apparently hasn't felt the effects of inflation, as I don't know of many people who don't struggle to make it to the end of the month.

For anyone who's interested, the original Italian article from the Corriere della Sera (mentioned in the second link) is here.

Seems the whole bruhaha was launched by the director of Tg5 Carlo Rossella in a newspaper column he writes entitled "High Society". Should tell you everything you need to know right there: a bunch of journalistic pap about snobs with silly PR gambits.
posted by romakimmy at 5:31 AM on July 16, 2007


I had garlic gelatto on Canada Day. I was really impressed - it was quite yummy.
posted by arcticwoman at 10:24 AM on July 17, 2007


progosk, thanks for the fix, that looks much better. No, not Italian (Irish Pollock), but I lived in Naples as a "Navy Brat" in the '80s.

Oh, and thanks for the first hand account, very interesting!
posted by snsranch at 4:13 PM on July 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


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