This month's Kitchen Reader book selection was Eat, Memory: Great Writers at the Table, a Collection of Essays from the New York Times.This was the perfect bedtime book. Short stories--often only three or four pages--entertaining, but often nicely soothing in the way that only food writing can be.
Just as an example, one story that I particularly enjoyed was "Orange Crush" by Yiyun Li. Li grew up in China, and, as a child, coveted Tang (you know, the orange, "astronaut" drink) because of it's marketing and the fact that it was expensive enough to be a luxury item. As an adult living in the United States she encountered Tang again, but was less impressed.
The story reminded me of a time in my own childhood, when I though Chicken Cordon Bleu was absolutely a meal fit for a king. Never mind, that I'd never actually had it. Never mind, that I didn't really even know what it was. Just from the sound of the name it had to be amazing, right?
Sadly, I still remember my disappointment when, as a pre-teen, I happened to see it on a restaurant menu and ordered it. Chicken wrapped in ham and fried in breadcrumbs. While I can't see what's so bad about that now, I remember being crushed that it did not live up to my sky-high expectations.
Just for fun, were there any foods you thought were incredible and special when you were little that are only ho-hum as a grown-up?