Food Archives

Pieces of Flair

From, an interview with two practitioners of flair bartending. Of course, there’s the inevitable question about Cocktail:

I hate when people say, “Hey, you’re like Tom Cruise!” I’m nothing like Tom Cruise. That movie has probably done more damage for flair bartenders than anything else. People get this misconception that we’re spilling a lot, because he spills a lot. And the flair he does is actually horrible.

But my favorite part was this:

Until you master the bartending part, until you practice so much that your fingers have bled, I don’t want you to even attempt flair.

And until your fingers have stopped bleeding, I don’t want you to mix me a drink.

It’s a Miracle! There’s Enough Sodium for Eight Days!

When I saw these “Latke Crisps” on the shelf at the corner grocery, I immediately grabbed a bag. Who doesn’t love latkes?

It wasn’t until I got home that a couple of things about the crisps really sunk in. First, they’re made by a company called Thou Shall Snack—what would have been wrong with “Shalt,” really? And second, they’re baked.

The defining characteristic of latkes, both culinarily and symbolically, is that they’re fried. That’s why they’re so good. That’s why you wear machine-washable clothes and leave your coat in the car when you go to a Hanukkah party, unless you want to smell like a Hanukkah party for three weeks. And the whole point of eating food fried in oil is to recall that miraculously long-burning oil.

So I was skeptical that these crisps would taste anything like latkes. And in fact, they tasted pretty much like every other baked potato crisp on the market, but saltier. Maybe with a hint of onion (I tried the “Original Flavor”), but really, all you taste is salt. These things are egregiously, tongue-searingly salty, with 490mg of sodium per serving (compare Baked Lay’s at 170mg) and an ingredient list that includes both “sea salt” and “salt.” I got through less than half of a single-serving bag.

Ironically, none of the latkes I’ve ever had have been especially salty.

I just submitted an “Other” vote to their “Help Us Decide Our Next Flavor of Latke Crisps” poll: “Unsalted.”

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