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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Between Rare and a Hard Place

Posted by Patrick Alan Coleman on Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 1:36 PM

In most cases, I prefer my fish nearly raw, my beef medium rare, and my white meats cooked through. However, I will admit the more time I spend tasting and eating, the more my standards of doneness slide towards bloody. I imagine that if I do this long enough, I’ll be chewing on the beating heart of a cow within the next decade.

Actually, I just grossed myself out, so maybe I’ll sear the heart over a fire for a second or two before chowing. That being said, the following form Susan Burton over at Slate grosses me out too:

I prefer my meat cooked through, gray, no trace of pink. Shoe leather? To me that signifies "food safety." Mine is the hockey-puck, the charcoal, the hunk of tuna that is still on the grill.

Those are the opening sentences of an essay exploring the changing American standards of cooked meat temperatures. It’s a fascinating read that delves into “meat hipsters,” raw beef fetishists (same thing, I guess), and overwhelming fears of food safety—fears I know I should heed more often.

However, I’m happy to report in the years I’ve been eating adventurously (raw, buttered Ethiopian beef dishes, Elk tartar, unintentionally raw fried chicken) I’ve never once developed a food bourn illness. This either means I’m a lucky bastard, or our food fears are terribly overblown.

Either way, I am a firm believer that the less you cook most food, the better it is. Unless, of course, your braising the hell out of some deliciously fatty oxtail. That’s well-done I can get behind.

So, Blogtownies, how are you taking your steak these days?

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