The Proper Way to Eat Lox

coffee and pi
coffee and pi

Saturday, as you may know, was formally declared Pi Day by the US House Representatives.  In unwitting celebration of the day, I went to brunch at the Four N 20 in Valley Village with Metblogs’ own Lulu of the Lotus Eaters. (The celebration was unwitting because it had been so long since I visited there, I remembered it merely as the “4 & 20 Diner” and sort of forgot the emphasis on pies and the fact that the servers’ shirts are embroidered “4 n 20 π.”)

The point, though, is not about pi or pie, per se; the point is about lox. Lulu ordered lox and eggs and onions, and then proceeded to annoint the melange with hot sauce. WTF?

the offending act
the offending act

Here I need to digress again and say that my purist reaction to watching this food mash-up made me regret having missed the Jonathan Gold Zocalo panel on food authenticity. I may have to take the time to watch it online. I hadn’t really realized I cared about the question of whether food can be authentic until I witnessed the hot sauce incident. And this from a man who mocks his partner for putting catsup on latkes (which of course, is also treif methinks). I may be perfectly okay with mixing meat and milk–in fact, I loves me some bacon cheeseburgers–but hot sauce and lox?? I love LA for its promiscuous mixing of all things, but am I alone in thinking we have to draw the line somewhere? Oy vey.

13 Replies to “The Proper Way to Eat Lox”

  1. ¡Viva la raza!

    … And what’s this neologism catsup, anyway.

    Ketchup was one of the earliest names given to this condiment, so spelled in Charles Lockyer’s book of 1711, An Account of the Trade in India [*]

    If you want to follow Jonathan Swift’s 1730 spelling, you really ought to appreciate his clear satirical undertone!

  2. Okay, I was going to come here and reiterate the WTF, but “¡Viva la raza!” just got me. I still disagree with what appears to be a widespread southern California habit of putting hot sauce on anything and everything, but that certainly was a snappy retort.

  3. Eggs cooked any style and doused in hot sauce is an American Southwest tradition that’s been with us for a long time, Travis. Natives are aware of this and consider it no more odd than pouring cold milk on dry cereal.

  4. Yes, Travis, you’re alone. I like Chilula (the chili garlic flavor) on grilled salmon too.

  5. I’ve always felt that other people deciding the proper way that food should be prepared and consumed is a lot of hooey.

    Sure, we should agree on what things are called (a hamburger is made of ground beef unless otherwise specified), but if someone wants to put hot sauce or wasabi or marmalade on their breakfast, what the hell do I care?

    If I go into a restaurant and order a Brooklyn-style bagel with lox and cream cheese, and THEY put the hot sauce on it, then we have a problem. If they provide it as a condiment, well, that’s just very gracious of them to be so accommodating and broadminded.

    In my world, “authentic food” means “digestible food” and nothing more.

  6. @Travis: sigh. i know what lox is. the eggs supercede the lox in the breakfast dish you mentioned. i mentioned grilled salmon out of enthusiasm for chilula. but chilula on a bagel w/ lox and cream cheese? no. even a goy like me has standards.

  7. Sweet Jesus, Joseph and Mary. I see some comments here that are way more serious than the tone of the post. On the day before St. Paddy’s day, I can only say, begorrah!

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