Milking a Story
Amid last week's flurry of hate mail came a gently phrased piece of useful information, from Joanna Schaefer of Glen Park. She points out that Parmalat is not the only brand of UHT (long-life) milk stocked locally. There's also Real-Fresh, available at Bell/Cala and FoodCo (on Folsom), among other places.

Dish found Real-Fresh at Tower and thought it was decent. Drawbacks: It costs more ($1.49 a quart instead of 99 cents for the Parmalat), and it's only sold as whole milk — no low-fat or skim versions.

The Natural
A widely acclaimed chef — can you guess which one? — strives for “a cooking in which we rediscover the savors, flavors, tastes of an ingredient. If you're eating lobster, it should taste like lobster. If you're eating mushrooms, they should taste like mushrooms. As cooks, we have the right to enhance or heighten flavors, but we do not have the right to destroy them.”

Sounds like Bradley Ogden or Alice Waters or virtually any of the Bay Area's host of great chefs. But it isn't: It's Joël Robuchon, slayer of nouvelle cuisine and principal author of France's answer to California cooking.

Robuchon may be something of a visionary in the kitchen, but he also understands his times. French food of 50 years ago, he notes, “evolved as a cuisine for people who couldn't chew. … [T]hey had no teeth. That's why traditional French cooking was made up of so much soft food, so many purŽes, so many meats that were overcooked.”

So, two fluoridated generations later, we have straight white teeth and crunchy vegetables — on both sides of the Atlantic.

We also have the first paperback edition of Robuchon's cookbook, Simply French (Hearst Books, $20). It includes a simple, perfect recipe for chocolate sorbet.

A Cookie by Any Other Name
If, pace Chef Robuchon, your teeth are so rotted that you can't even eat cookies anymore (sorbets only?), you might be interested in Nestle Quik Cookies 'n' Cream, “a new way to transform an ordinary glass of milk.” It's so fiendishly good, according to the powers that be, that “consumers will think they are actually drinking cookies.” (Dish finds no mention of cookies that taste like milk. Perhaps these are still in development?)

The company will be hosting a nationwide “slurp-off” in New York City in February. No word of an MC, but Dish thinks Roseanne might do nicely.

By Paul Reidinger

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