As I write, we are facing some strong winds in the near future. It remains possible that this missive will not reach my editor in time for her to post it to the internet and thus you, dear readers, are not reading this.

What follows, then, is lagniappe. 

I received a press release recently for vegan products that included vegan bacon. This is the sort of thing I would have been upset about in the past, not because I object to veganism or bacon but because there’s just no need for vegan products to pretend to be something they are not. I am not upset now as much as bemused. 

You are not fooling anyone with vegan bacon. Nobody who has eaten bacon is going to eat vegan bacon without thinking, “I miss bacon.” It may be a guilty thought, but they’re thinking it. 

The truth is you can make things with vegetables that will hit most of the same notes on your palate as bacon. Not so much the pork fat aspect, but the salty, rich, deeply savory flavor you can do without the artifice of calling it “bacon.” 

I know it’s a pretty strong position to take, being against vegan bacon, but I write to be an iconoclast.

I also received a press release from a company making what I believe are THC-laced edible candies. I will preface the following by letting you all know I went to college from 1987 to 1991 and have had some experience with the topic. The release touts the “award-winning chew formula … infused with a dash of New Orleans Mardi Gras magic” with a “delicious taste of rich cinnamon dough and sweet cream, these multicolored treats are coated in sweet cinnamon and crunchy, colored sugar, just like a traditional King Cake.” 

I don’t really like most king cakes, but what’s more interesting is that after they went on and on about how delicious and fun these edible gummies were, they announced: “launching in Louisiana soon for medical patients only, found at pharmacies across the state. Each chew is 20 mg THC and available in a pack of 10. For more information, visit www.gooddayfarmdispensary.com.

I am the last person in the world who should be advising anyone on how to market your THC product but I’m not sure the medical dispensaries are concerned with how the product tastes. I guess a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down? 

Denmark won the Bocuse D’or and I challenge you to look at this photograph and not think they won in part because they may have threatened some of the other teams with axes. “What? These are artisanal cheese-axes!” they said in Danish accents when confronted.

I bet the Bocuse D’or is mainly a popularity contest judged by how precisely teams of cooks execute their menus and how they present the theme ingredient – in this case monkfish – over two days of competition. First loser? Norway. Second loser? Hungary. Which loser was the US? 9th. Perhaps we’ll do better next year and of course just being invited to the competition is an honor. 

I will leave you with another thing I receive fairly regularly. It is a newsletter email from John Mariani. Here is the current issue. There is also this video about his novella, The Hound in Heaven. 

Took me right back to 2004.