Two obits in the news

Two giants in the history of mediocre food in the boomer era have died. Read obits of Peg Bracken, author of The I Hate to Cook Book, and Vincent DeDomenico, an inventor of Rice-A-Roni, both int he New York Times. I’ve no problem with people who don’t like to cook, but Peg Bracken turned her dislike of the kitchen into an industry, eventually selling over three million copies of The I Hate to Cook Book, and helping to create a generation of bad cooks (she had lots of help on this front). Her readers had plenty of good food alternatives at the time – James Beard, Julia Child and many others. What a shame they couldn’t have read them instead. America’s good food revolution might have come earlier.

And Rice-A-Roni? Well, it is the San Francisco Treat, although my San Francisco food experience, through the early eighties and beyond, thankfully had more to do with an introduction to real olive oil and basil, California burritos, and the dancing peppers at Henry Chung’s Original Hunan in Chinatown. DeDomenico did use his Rice-A-Roni money to purchase Ghiradelli chocolates, and later build the Napa wine train. So he gets points for that.

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