Lovable James Beard Award-winning manbearpig Josh Ozersky currently runs a Q&A column on Esquire’s Eat Like a Man blog, which we’ve been known to disparage, because gendering foods is nonsense. This is not up for debate. (Ladies can love bacon; gentlemen can love chocolate; binary outliers can let their stereotype flag fly and love soy proteins. Do gastronomic you.)
Ever so slightly more up for debate is whether Ozersky’s reverence for “lardcore” — conveniently defined in this week’s column as “a particular school of southern cookery characterized by an uninhibited, even ostentatious use of pork and pork fat” — is a culinary crutch or a tasty indulgence. (Gabrielle Hamilton once called this phenomenon “boyish and juvenile.”)
But perhaps we and Gabrielle Hamilton have judged Josh too harshly. In this week’s column, an homage to lardcore, he expressed prickliness over constantly having to field bacon questions.
Do you have a lardcore wishlist? Some kind of bacon casserole maybe?
Dorothy Moore, Jackson, Mississippi
Josh Ozersky: Jesus Christ, what is it with bacon? Why does everybody think I am obsessed with bacon? I mean, I sort of am, but I find these questions somewhat insulting.
Could it be that Josh’s reputation is running away from who he actually is? Are we judging Josh based on other people’s perceptions of him, rather than on his beliefs alone? Is his observation that “muscle tissue has no real taste to speak of; it’s an inert ingredient, culinarily speaking. In that sense, the fat is the meat, and the meat is the vegetable” blowing our minds right now? Is Josh Ozersky so mizunderstood?
Ugh, it’s always such a hassle when our Braiser paradigms shift.
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