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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Not the Food of Kings...until Now

The next yuppie food frontier

Jen here.

To quote "Drinking with Bob's" Bob, "what's next, what's next, what's NEXT?"

According to the New York Times, the next big Yuppie Food Find Stolen from Poor yet Colorful Ethnic Types is unripe eggs. For those not in the know, this does not mean "eggs in the shell that don't have a baby chicken in them" (that would make it a balut, or egg-with-a-baby-poultry-item-growing-in-it; delicous and available at Elvie's Turo Turo next door to where I get my hair cut). Rather, these would be eggs that were never laid by a chicken, and taken out of the body cavity of chickens after they are slaughtered.

Now, my Mom grew up in a household where people worked in the chicken processing industry in New York City. Unripe eggs were what the workers got to bring home, in addition to any chickens that got too badly damaged during processing to sell. Typically, she had them boiled in chicken soup. It was a sort of working-class poverty food.

Now, of course, you can't find them for sale unless you really go out of your way. I had them in restaurants all of twice--at the same place, as a surprise in the chicken soup at Castillo de Jagua in the Lower East Side. Then again, as the chicken bones indicated that for once I actually was eating a chicken that had walked on land, aka one from a local pollo vivo place, I'm not surprised. The rest of the time I had them was as a very little girl, when my grandfolks were still in the business.

They allegedly also sell them at the Union Square Greenmarket, but I have never gotten there in time. According to the few poultry vendors there, they are sold out by 9 AM, an hour at which (as Gilly will tell you) I am never sentient on a Saturday unless the building is on fire.

Now, if various culinary poobahs are declaring these eggs the best thing to make pasta with, I know I'm doomed--I will never have an unripe egg in my chicken soup again, unless I get lucky and hit a pollo vivo place in Queens at the right time.

In the meantime, I can't help but wonder which poverty food the NYT will choose to annoint as the next Food Snob Must Have item, therefore removing it from the mainstream consumer market. Will it be the 99c packages of corn tortillas from Puebla? Cheap feta cheese from Astoria? Oscar Meyer liverwurst? Kraft Macaroni and Cheese?

Thanks, NYT, for capitalizing on yet another one of the few pleasures of the poor. Meh.