obama pizza

According to the right-wing news media, a person’s taste says a lot about them — including whether they would make a suitable US president. Last week, as if grasping for things to criticize the Democratic candidate for, another political pundit called attention to Obama’s noshing habits. His crime this time around was his supposed penchant for arugula.

Those little leaves say communist all over ’em, don’ they?

This came to my knowledge (as do so many other insipid media blunders) via John Stewart, whose show included a clip of ABC’s Jake Trapper calling Obama “an arrogant, arugula-eating, fancy berry tea drinking celebrity.” Now if that’s not reason enough to vote for a man who shares a last name with a brand of frozen french fries, I don’t know what is. Opps, now I’m just playing their game. Ahem, back to tonight’s pizza.

I know I just blogged about arugula, but this is totally different. I promise.

So I still have that abundance of arugula on hand, bored through with tiny bug holes that don’t bother me one bit when washed vigorously. I’m just glad they enjoyed it as much as I did, though I doubt they had a half glass of pinot to compliment the mild pepper nuances. Poor little pinot-less weevils.

I’ve been wanting to try an arugula pizza, after seeing it pop up on blogs and in foodie magazines as of late: Arugula-fig. Arugula-prosciutto. Arugula-walnut. Characters like these haunted my dreams.

After a few minutes of research I discovered that handfuls of the rinsed and chopped weed (’cause it sure grows like one!) can be thrown onto any old fresh-from-the-oven pizza. The residual heat from the pie will wilt the greens and two minutes later your pepperoni and mushroom expectations will be blown away. Just like Obama will explode your iceberg lettuce and bacon expectations, America! If you only let him, maybe he’ll get Eleanor Roosevelt’s veggies growing again on the White House lawn.

Arugula might just be the tastiest leaf you could throw at a pizza pie, next to basil. The two can duke it out in my kitchen any day.


So not only did I eat arugula for dinner, I also went GOLFING this afternoon with my hubby. Now THAT’S a yuppie afternoon if there ever was one. I wonder what the FOX and ABC anchors would say about poor Obama if he were to engage in such an elitist, liberal, yuppie afternoon as I had. We can only speculate, and try to protect him by eating all the world’s arugula ourselves. Yes, that’s definitely the only solution for our poor Barack.

To fuel all your energy-draining worrying about our dear Democratic presidential nominee, I want you to go make this pizza. Consider it my gift to all you Americans with tension building in your souls for the future of your country’s leadership. I bring you Barack Obama pizza: some nutty, zesty, liberal, well-educated, eloquent, DIY grassroots hippie flatbread with flax in the dough to boot.

Take that McCain spicy fries and deep n’ delicious. You’ve got nothing on this one.

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umami salad

When presented with my two snack options on my West Jet flight yesterday, I was irked that they’d only covered sweet and salty options (“cookies or snack mix, miss?”) I’m not sure who regulates things like taste, but a fifth taste is pending on the bitter-sweet-salty-sour gamut. This new addition is none other than umami, a relative newcomer to the taste scene.

While it might take a few more years for airlines and convenience stores to start offering snacks in this new category, elsewhere its popping up as plentifully as my basil plants.  This taste, often described as “savoriness” (read: deliciousness), can be understood with a simple mental exercise. Think soy sauce, parmesan cheese and anchovies, not neccessarily together but rather by their “essence.” These foods possess the mysterious fifth taste credited with imparting indescribable “heartiness” to foods.

Good ol’ Wikipedia tells us that umami comes about more technically via the detection of the naturally present amino acid, glutamic acid, or glutamates in some foods. This is why MSG also presents a unique heartiness to food, despite it being an additive most health nuts decry.

It turns out that the Clamato juice I had with my West Jet salty snack mix might qualify as being umame, but I’m not sure yet. For now, I’ll cling to it as a convenient “je ne sais quoi” term for food that surpasses my inner thesaurus.

With arugula sprouting up in my garden faster than I can caress my tomato plants (who apparently like that sort of thing) this salad has become a faithful and fast dinner these days. With a supply of candied walnuts and a block of stinky cheese, umami is never too far away to meet a craving that goes beyond the everyday. And even better, some health gurus claim that the more tastes you can meet in one meal, the more likely you are to feel satisfied.

Take this salad, one of my favorites. Sure it’s a little salty, a little bitter, and a little sweet. But its main star power is in its combination of big, bold flavors I have trouble describing the marriage of. So umami it is. Peppery, nutty, hearty deliciousness that is perfect for these hot summer days when we live on salad and then listen to our bodies thank us profusely.

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