The Tasting Panel magazine

JULY 2012

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FROM THE EDITOR Nanny Strikes Again t hank you, Mayor Bloomberg, for making my job so easy. A couple of months ago, the mayor was brandishing the neo-Prohibitionist cudgel attempting to cut down on the establishments selling alcoholic refreshment. In addition to that bone- headed idea, he went after transfats and salt (maybe he missed his calling as a dietician). Now he's telling people to put down their Slurpies. Yes, in his infinite wisdom he has decided that by limiting the size of sweet drinks, New Yorkers will no longer block the doors of the IRT with their rotundity. Instead, they will emerge, like butterflies from a cocoon, as modern Adonises, svelt and camera-ready. Why doesn't this guy get it? He's the mayor, not our mommy. If people want to gulp down 32-ounces of sugary swill, they're gonna do it, no matter how small the container is. Shouldn't he be dealing with traffic and balancing the budget instead of balancing people's body fat? What's the next target for regulation? Beef jerky and Slim Jims? It's not the job of government to protect us from our all too human proclivities. Let people be. Let them consume what they want and how they want to. When they get around to regulating bacon con- sumption, that's when I move to Bulgaria. Speaking of government intrusions into our lives, my recent rant about Blue Laws brought forth this response from James Carling of Ventura Limoncello: "One of the areas of Blue Laws we are still engulfed with in California is the fact that craft distillers and rectifiers cannot oper- ate tasting rooms and sell direct to consumers as the winery and brewery industry can. There are over 20 states in the U.S. that have passed laws to allow this. We are being left behind by other forward-thinking states. Even Pennsylvania, one of the toughest alcohol states there is, passed a law to permit this. We are hoping our state legislature will hear our call and allow California craft spirits to be the leaders they should be . . ." This kind of legislative micro-managing is counterproductive. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why businesses are fleeing California in massive numbers. And don't even get me started on the subject of foie gras. CONTRIBUTORS Kirsten Luce is originally from Cape Cod. She studied anthropology and photojournalism at the University of Georgia and Univer- sidad de Colima in Mexico. She has worked for several American news- papers (from the deep South to the Texas-Mexico border) and is now a regular contributor to the New York Times based in Brooklyn. Her beverage of choice is a Margarita on the rocks with fresh-squeezed lime. Story of Italian Dining in America, which is available on the Amazon Kindle Store and elsewhere. Mike Riccetti is a Houston-based writer and Zagat editor. He is the author of From the Antipasto to the Zabaglione: The A Colorado native, Nikki Ritcher has been living in San Francisco, the city she now calls home, since 2007. Special- izing in weddings, editorial, corporate events and interiors, her photography as- signments take her nationally and internationally often. During her down time, she likes to be off the grid with her Husky, camping and hiking in Northern California's great outdoors. Suzie Rodriguez writes about travel, food, wine and people for consumer and trade publica- tions from her base in Sonoma Valley, California. The author of three books, she recently co-authored the iOS/Android travel app America's Cup & the San Francisco Waterfront. When not writing, Suzie might be on a steep hiking trail, enjoying a Michelin-starred meal or pursuing research in a literary archive. 8 / the tasting panel / july 2012 PHOTO: CATHY TWIGG-BLUMEL

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