This is the food of those who claim to represent ordinary Americans.
The processed cheese has been replaced with brie. The Jell-O has made way for raspberry kiwi tarts and mini-lemon blueberry trifles. Meatloaf has moved over for mahi mahi and buns have been shunted aside in favor of baguettes.
A revolution is afoot at the deli counters, grills and salad bars of the U.S. House of Representatives.
One House Republican aide lobbed attacks at the Democrats over e-mail.
"I really don't like Nanny Nancy telling me what I can and cannot eat for lunch. If I want to eat unhealthy, I should have that choice!" the aide fumed.
Republican aides have raised questions about why the cafeterias now stock Stonyfield Farm yogurt, speculating that the move would line the pockets of the company's CEO, Gary Hirshberg, a significant player in Democratic politics.
Grumbling aside, the menu choices now available present a whole new world of congressional culinary adventures.
There is pan-roasted Chesapeake rockfish with sweet potato fennel hash and yellow pepper relish. Pears with Stilton cheese and watercress. Cumin-scented leg of lamb with almond couscous. There are vegetables with funny names, like bok choy, arugula and jicama. There are baked goods with Italian names, like biscotti, focaccia and frittati.
There are foods in funny colors, like yellow tomatoes and purple Peruvian potatoes. There are things that are free of other things, like "cage-free shell eggs," "rBGH-free milk" and "free-range chicken." And things that we don't know what they mean, like turkey escabeche (salad), red pepper coulis (sauce) and seared barramundi (fish).
A vending machine sells coffee from famed chef Wolfgang Puck, offering brews such as "Vive la Crème Caramel" and "Tropic of Chocolate."
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Spendthrift Congress Goes Gourmet
From the Politico: