Geez, Bauer, get it together already. There was all sorts of controversy surrounding SF Chronicle food critic Michael Bauer's review of LA restaurants a few weeks ago. Some thought he slammed our restaurant scene even if he liked the restaurants, others thought he simply doesn't get us at all, and some even called a truce---if he would take them out to dinner the next time he's in town. His own readers sided with him, natch, but this week one asked that he define some of the Italian ingredients he wrote about in the Mozza review. Being the helpful critic he is, he explained what burrata, different salumi, and mache are on his blog. But according to an Eater reader, the man has no idea what he's talking about:
The amazing thing about Bauer's gloss is that he got almost everything wrong. I mean, just amazing. Speck is smoked, not flavored with juniper; finocchiona was spelled wrong, and very rarely includes curry; saba is not vinegar, but sweet, greatly reduced grape juice, a signature ingredient of Batali; mantecato is described correctly but spelled wrong; stracotto may be made with shank at Mozza but in fact usually is made with other cuts; and burrata isn't a creamy mozzarella-type cheese but mozzarella stuffed with cream, which is a crucial difference. Also, Mozza's version of sopressata is in fact a Southern Italian one, which is what Armandino makes, but the most famous sopressata is a kind of Tuscan head cheese, and different sopressatas are made all over Italy. Even as a nitpicker, I'll give him that one. Mind-blowing! These results are going to show up on google for the next 20 years!"Nitpicky? Sure. But if a major restaurant critic doesn't have it right, what's the point? Maybe our post will outweigh his on Google. Bauer has credibility issues, even in SF, so this isn't shocking. And our anonymous tipster...well let's just say we're pretty sure they know what they're talking about.
· Translating a menu [Between Meals]
· Bauer in LA: SF Critic Dines Among Us, Doesn't Get Us [~ELA~]
Photo from JustJenn, Flickr