Eating for America | Life and style | The Observer

Eating for America | Life and style | The Observer: “Steingarten is perhaps one of only a handful of food critics who routinely takes a gun when he goes for a pizza. The gun is a non-contact thermometer and it tells him the heat of the oven: the crucial factor, he believes, in the success of the pizza base. As we leave the dumpling restaurant he has it cradled under his arm. And this gun, he explains, is not his only weapon in his fight for American taste. He also packs an instrument that allows him to measure the amount of sugar in a liquid. This has been his key strategic tool in a concerted two-year campaign to find the perfect peach. (One of the great things about Steingarten’s books, and there are many, is that he explains the often simple reasons why our food no longer tastes as good as it ought to. In the case of peaches it’s because – contrary to what the supermarkets might like you to believe – peaches, as well as oranges and grapes and dates, don’t continue to ripen once they have been picked.)”

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