What You Eat Represents Your Social Status 💰
Welcome to Secret Breakfast / An exclusive newsletter, the best place to start your day with “cucina povera” and crybaby noodles, reflecting that what you eat does represent your social status
A fancy car makes any food fancier.
It wasn’t my intention, but this issue is heavily marked by the social origin of the food we eat.
In the wealthiest countries, it’s frequent to see average or low-income people getting their calories from the lowest-quality food.
It has happened forever, and it fueled the creativity we love. But something seems new: nowadays those calories aren’t coming from cheap cuts of meat or stale bread, or slow braised roots and forgotten vegetables, but from the mass industrialized food. Or from the unhealthiest way of cooking and preserving the ingredients.
What happened? Because we’re all losing something in this.
Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV
THE BEST QUOTE
✦ Marlon James, it’s not clear when he said that.
THE MISSING INGREDIENT
CAN YOU COOK SOME CRYBABY NOODLES?
You’re not a real cook until you’re close to a vicious chef telling you how shitty you are
You have this breath-taking Thai girl cooking Pad See Ew (★recipe, Kenji’s recipe) and Rad Na (★recipe) in her poor family’s restaurant, where people talk like: “Let me eat my food. I had a shitty day”.
She wants to feel special, so she joins a famous chef’s brigade, and she bruises her way up into the Bangkok restaurant scene. That’s good because with this we also get a first kiss scene while she and a guy are marinating some A5 beef (this is probably what they call “f00d p0rn”, nowadays).
The movie is all about “Food=Love” vs “Food=Power”.
Chef Paul, her piece of s**t of a “mentor”, says things like:
Her answer to this is the honest cooking that made her people happy at home, like the so-called Crybaby noodles, that she fires up in her powerful wok: fried baby shrimp, Thai sausage, turmeric yellow tofu (aka Pad Thai Yellow Tofu), large rice noodles, XO sauce (★recipe), miso paste. Poor people stuff, in Chef Paul’s words.
Well, you won’t find the recipe anywhere else for a while.
Back to Italy
I thought a lot before writing the next sentence: I don’t think that, in the coming months, you’ll get a more useful cookbook than this. Giulia’s Cucina Povera is actually an authentic picture of the Italian classic cuisine that we - people in our 40s - remember from our grandmas or mothers (it sounds sexist, but I think you get me). Every dish here is a time machine bringing us back and telling us that there is no reason not to cook that way once or twice a week. No waste, seasonal vegetables, and a moderate amount of (good) meat can be game-changers in your lifestyle. Here you have about 100 recipes and I bet you’ll love them all. Giulia’s newsletter and her online recipe archive are there to prove I’m right. As Wall Street Journal’s Tucker Shaw wrote: “Ms. Scarpaleggia’s “waste-not” approach and pristine recipes lead to dynamite Italian flavors”.
Cucina Povera by Giulia Scarpaleggia (photographs by Tommaso Galli)
→ Shortplot: 🍝 🍇 🥖 🥬
RANDOM ACTS OF HUNGER
This is the space where I share some food (un)related stuff of my week
☕️Why do Italians say don't drink Cappuccino after 11 am 🧂Here's What Condiment You Are Based On Your Zodiac Sign 🪴This May Be Illegal: a Beginner's Guide to Making Weed Butter 💧The New 'Water Recipe' Trend Is a No For Me ⌚️Rolex (an Egg Wrap, Not a Watch) Is the Breakfast to Change Your Mornings (★recipe) 🍨 Strawberry Cheesecake Cottage Cheese Ice Cream and the other New Viral Ice Cream Trends 🍚Perennial rice: Plant once, harvest again and again 🥇Yotam Ottolenghi’s Top 10 Ingredients, in One Dish. 🪥How Long You Should Wait to Brush Your Teeth After Your Morning Coffee 🌮2-ingredient flax wraps (★recipe)
FOOD FOR LATER
Is my phone listening to me? My story of the internet reading my mind
Merritt Tierce / Slate
“The internet is not the tool. I am the tool. Somehow, I have been instrumentalized by the internet, which operates me through my phone. It often feels like the internet is reading my mind”. We all agree we have to read this, don’t we?
Why Is Ice Cream So Easy to Love?
Isabel Fattal / The Atlantic
The kid’s favorite is a direct line to daydreams and memories.
➤ Last week's most clicked link was the one about The 5 Questions to Ask to Get a Better Restaurant Meal. And that's all for today.