We Malibuites can find almost any kind of food in our stores or restaurants. We can buy free-range poultry, an organic onion, gluten free bread, lactaid free ice cream, lactose free yogurt, even Kobe beef—anything we could possibly want, and then some. And we have the variety of dietary regimens to match this overwhelming choice of foods.
We are vegans, pescatarians (not to be confused with Presbyterians) and vegetarians. Some of us are even septuagenarians, which probably means we ate anything we damn well wanted to, thus explaining why we are still amongst the living.
When I grew up in the 1950s, there was only one kind of food—what Mom put on the dinner table, and if we were unlucky enough to be served liver and lima beans, we ate that, too. We were all carnivores, and food was not free of anything. Nobody had ever heard of lactaid or lactose, and I always thought gluten free was free gluttony, which meant I could order a second dessert after consuming a three-course meal.
I don’t begin to understand how people can rely on labels attributed to these many kinds of food. For instance, how in heavens name can you really know whether the dead bird on your plate is, in fact, free range? The lyric “home, home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play” doesn’t say anything about chickens on the range. I know, as sure as I know Donald Sterling won’t end up owning the Clippers, that chickens wouldn’t last a minute on the range. Coyotes would kill them until there wasn’t one bird left, but none of this stops us from paying more for fowl labeled free range.
Years ago I ate at a fine steak restaurant in New York City.
I perused the menu and noticed that for an exorbitant price I could have something called Kobe beef. I thought this expensive slab might have something to do with Kobe Bryant. Based on the price, perhaps Kobe might suddenly appear and personally cook the meat at my table. The waiter set me straight. He explained that somewhere in remote Japan, cows were being raised by drinking Heineken, listening to Mozart and getting daily massages. This actually happened. I am not creative enough to make this stuff up.
I justifiably gave the waiter a look that could kill. “Don’t play with me,” I told him. “I’m from New Jersey.” He held his ground and told me he was speaking the truth. Now, think about it for a minute—would I know whether the cow actually drank Heineken rather than Budweiser, listened to Mozart rather than to, let’s say, James Brown, or, God forbid, possibly even missed its daily massage routine? I decided to let others consume this over- priced delight.
As for organically grown, what can I say? I had a delicious lunch recently at The Godmother of Malibu, and there was Delores at a nearby table holding court as only the Godmother can. She shouted out I must try their Beachy Cream ice cream sandwich with organic ingredients—whatever that was supposed to mean. It was more a demand than a suggestion. As I bit into my dessert, not knowing or caring whether the dough or the ice cream was organic, I came as close to being in heaven on this planet as I have ever been. Calling that dessert scrumptious would be pure understatement—a bit like saying the Titanic took on a little water. I have no clue as to whether the ice cream sandwich was organic or not, but I can assure you of one thing—it was orgasmic!