Every once in a while you hear a news story that makes you snap your head around and say, “Huh? Did I really just hear what I thought I heard?” This is one of those times.
The Gray Lady–not Julia Child, but The New York Times–is going to start selling and delivering food to readers via its NYT Cooking website. And not cooked food, but “recipe kit packages” from the meal service Chef’d. Because, as the Chef’d website proclaims, what better way to “enrich your life by creating memorable delicious experiences of love through our hand-cultivated recipes.”
What’s next? Taco fixings from Mercedes-Benz? A Coach bag full of chicken parts?
I can’t decide if I’m more disgusted by the fact that one of the greatest newspapers in history has to sell food to make a buck or that we, as consumers, need to have premeasured dinner ingredients delivered to our homes.
I grew up with newspapers. When I was a kid, we had so much going on that we had a morning and an evening newspaper. One edition couldn’t hold all the news we were generating.
As an adult, though I never had a newspaper delivered to my home, I’ve purchased one every day. You could say that I go out of my way to get a newspaper. But I never minded it or thought twice about it. My workplace still has a machine dispensing daily papers right inside the entrance. Today, a Thursday, eight quarters will buy you twenty-eight pages of news.
What it won’t buy you is the recipe of the day (cardamom butter crescents) or seven recipes in the Spring Feast with Yotam Ottolenghi. Yotam, by the way, is a chef in case you thought he was a type of mushroom or pasta as I did. For that, you would need to go to the NYT Cooking website.
There are over 17,000 recipes at NYT Cooking. They range from Avocado Fattoush with Mint Vinaigrette to Ribollita to Beef Stew. For your Memorial Day cookout, you can get a recipe for barbecued chicken or spicy kimchi potato salad.
If cooking isn’t your thing, The Times can help facilitate a getaway to a foreign country, a conference, or a wine club. At their store, you can buy a 40” model of the Titanic ($450), a Mickey Mantle autographed baseball ($1150), or a pair of vintage railroad nail cufflinks ($109.95). You can even get a birthday book with every New York Times front page from the day you were born. It’s a big seller at $179.95.
I would probably be happy with a New York Times keychain, but that’s not really the point. Why does one of the most recognizable newspapers in the world have to stoop to selling trips to Sri Lanka or potato salad to stay in business? I know that times change and you do what you need to do to survive, but c’mon!
Maybe someday we can go back to an era when we turned to the New York Times for Pulitzer Prize caliber journalism and hard hitting news stories. Until then, get me some kale and red cabbage slaw with walnuts and have it here by 6:00.
Please leave a comment…