This morning we learned about Bon Appetit writer Rachel Sugar’s quest to create an Impossible Burger at home. Even Sugar herself admitted that it was a futile endeavor: “The liberating promise of processed food is that you can’t possibly do it better than the pros, with their patents and their isolates and unspecified natural flavors. So why try? Trying is exhausting. Instead, sit back. Relax. Enjoy modernity.” Still, she writes about food for a living, and quarantine is making her anxious, so she sourced up all sorts of gums and proteins and made her burger. And it wasn’t terrible!
There’s something very satisfying about making something at home that you thought was only the province of restaurants and grocery stores. It makes you feel like you’ve suddenly developed magical powers. The genius of Stella Parks’s Serious Eats column Bravetart and the cookbook by the same name and Claire Saffitz’s Gourmet Makes Bon Appetit video series is that they’ve found ways to make homemade Twinkies and Oreos and potato chips and Pop Rocks that taste how you remember the real thing, not how it actually tastes. (It’s amazing what eliminating preservatives can do!)
The one thing I would most love to learn how to make at home, though, is McDonald’s French fries. I am deeply addicted to them, and it would make me very happy to get them crisp and hot in my own kitchen. (Providing the recipe isn’t too complicated and I’m not too lazy and etc.) Which processed or mass-produced food would you most like to learn how to make?