Action Bronson Is a "Beet Bitch" With Excellent Taste for Weird Shit
- A scrambled egg in sweet oatmeal
- Cheez-Its and chocolate chips with Midol right before that time of the month
- Jack Daniels burgers and Red Bull slushies at TGI Fridays at the height of puberty
These are a few items from a list of unsuspecting foods pairings that have made me weak in the knees as they escaped my tongue and slipped away into my digestive organs. I was inspired to curate this collection after reading chapter nine of Action Bronson’s debut food devotional, F*ck, That’s Delicious: An Annotated Guide to Eating Well. In it, Bronson elaborates on the orgasmic combustions that occur in one's mouth when they encounter unlikely partnerships in taste, like Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich crossed with a Frosty. Of another pairing, “Asian food and Australia," Bronson mediates on a memorable dish of lab — a Thai ground meat salad also called "larb" — from Long Chim in Perth.
“[Their lab] felt like there was no meat in it, and I mean that in a good way. It was filled with lime leaves and chiles and fried crispy things and salty and sweet — you just shovel it into your mouth, you can’t get enough of it, like those peanuts on the fucking bar with the lime and the chile.”
Similar stream-of-consciousness musings from Bronson deconstruct the anatomy and proper preparation of a broiled bagel with cheese ("It is important to use Polly-O whole milk mozzarella") and explain the superiority of a Chipwich over Toll House's version of an ice cream sandwich ("[it] is more compact and has the chips on the outside of the ice cream instead of the inside"). An early chapter in the book instructs the making of Golden Beet Poke with the same candor, beginning with this introduction:
"I'm a beet bitch: I love beets...A few years ago, when I went to the Banzai Pipeline on the island of Oahu to do a show at the Pipe Masters surfing competition. I came home dreaming of poke. It's a Hawaiian thing, this delicious shit you just go get at the corner store in Hawaii, with chips and Gatorade, made out of cut-up chunks of raw fish usually dressed with soy sauce and green onions, but you can go from there. I was shopping at the farmers' market the first time I ever tried to make it at home, high out of my mind, and I spotted some golden beets. I poke-ed that too, and invented some delicious shit."
His recipe yields two servings of roasted beets with sweet onions tossed with soy sauce, sesame oil, cane sugar, and chopped chile over steamed white rice. It's finished off with toasted black and white sesame seeds ("aka the swirl"), Japanese togarashi spice mix, and a hit of lime juice. It is, in fact, "delicious shit." Bronson stresses the use of golden beets over standard beets in his ingredient notes since they don't stain your palms an alarming hue of pinkish-red when you peel them, but my local market didn't have any. As a result, I was forced to contend with serial killer hands despite the payoff of a dish that tickled me with every bite.
Such is the resilience of a beet bitch scorned.
This is a sponsored post in partnership with Abrams Books for their Abrams Dinner Party.
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