Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF
FOOD BLOGS, BUT ONLY ONE CULINARY NO-
We often take liberties with the English language.
Take the word “best,” for example. It’s misused all the time.
“Today was the best day of the summer.”
Because there was bright sunshine, few clouds, minimal humidity, and just the right temperature?
But what if someone you mention that to had a particularly depressing day, for whatever reasons? He/she might have a different perspective.
“That was the best movie all year.”
The word “best” to me connotes an utter and complete superiority. Best means numero uno. It cannot be topped, without question. There isn’t an iota of doubt.
Let’s look at the world of sports for even more clarification.
Every year, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament picks four #1 seeds for each of the tourney’s four regions. These are, pardon me, the “best of the best.”
If the tournament officials and so-called tournament “experts” were correct, those four teams would it make it to the lofty Final Four and duke it out for the title.
As we all know, the tournament isn’t played in the newspapers, talk radio, or sports bars. More than 60 other teams would like to think they have a legitimate chance at going the distance. And so, primarily due to stiff competition and amateur student athlete pride, top teams tumble. They lose. Those games we call “upsets.” Suddenly, the “best” are sent home packing.
On the other hand, sometimes the “best” ends up on top. All bias aside, is there any doubt that going into the NFL playoffs last year, the Green Bay Packers had the hottest team with the hottest QB? Not surprisingly, they won the Super Bowl. No Cinderella story. No upstart rising from the unexpected to stun the sports world.
Despite quite the track record of being embarrassingly wrong, we still bandy the word “best” around as though we are incapable of mistakes.
We do it when describing food as I wrote about in Culinary no-no #63.
A few months later, Culinary no-no #75 dealt with one view of the best pizza in
Mama Mia, here we go again.
The Food network has gone on the exhaustive quest of finding the best pizza in each of the 50 states.
Pizza talk can get pretty passionate. Thick or thin crust?
Now you’re asking to figure out who has the, there’s that word again, “best?”
Childhood memories take be back to S. 7th and
The tiny restaurant had a few booths and tables. Religious pictures and paintings adorned the walls. A rather large fellow wearing a T-shirt with more than a couple holes was full of flour from tossing dough. Maria, all of 4’ 6’’ had a countenance that belonged on a sauce jar. Her daughter, Bonnie had blonde hair piled up to the ceiling, and always wore a red outfit (usually a short skirt) and heels. The friendly service was unmatched.
And oh, oh my, that pizza. It was like nothing you’d see anywhere else. It wasn’t round. It wasn’t square. It wasn’t even oval. It came out of their oven I’d best describe as oblong. Like a snowflake, it was never the same twice. No criticism, just an observation.
When it comes to pizza crust, there’s thick, there’s thin, and there’s Maria’s. Consider ultra-thin, take one-tenth, and you have Maria’s crust that somehow manages to hold up.
Bring in any number of pizza connoisseurs and they might nitpick Maria’s pizza. Too thin. Not enough sauce. Not enough cheese. Not enough this or that. In my view, they’d be wrong on all counts.
I don’t know what it is and I’ve never asked in all travels to Maria’s, but the flavors and seasonings are simply amazing, so much so that I’ve never found them duplicated anywhere else. That includes the sauces and an Italian sausage that is second to none.
Cable TV food shows have deteriorated in quality to travelling medicine shows with freaks for hosts who try to pass themselves off as gourmets. One of them should go to Maria’s that still operates on
That brings me to the gist of this week’s no-no.
The editors of Food Network Magazine, the best-selling epicurean title on the newsstand, wanted to find the best pizza in every state and unveil the winners in their September issue. Now, in the September issue (check out the above, upper-right corner) they reveal the winners.
AHEM! Check out this quote:
"When we set out six months ago to find the greatest pizzas in
There’s that other word. If it’s not the “best,” it’s “awesome.”
Ok, this isn’t pizza oven science. In your opinion, who serves the best pizza in
We’ll give you more time than is necessary.
Please click, ponder, then return…
What answer did you come up with?
Oh, before you answer out loud in front of your computer, consider that the Food Network picked Ian’s for
Nothing against Ian’s or its fans and patrons. But there are 4 million pizza eaters (maybe more) in the
You see, it doesn’t matter what the Food Network thinks.
And quite frankly, it doesn’t matter what you think.
Not when it comes to selecting the very “best.”
*NOTE: Normally this is the section where we'd toss you some Culinary no-no bonuses. But you had a lot to digest here, so we'll post another Culinary hopefully tomorrow (Monday) night. Please check back.
UPDATE: Watch for Culinary no-no #238 Wednesday night.