Recently, renowned chef Ina Garten cozied up with Time magazine for quite the candid interview. There was a lot of material to unpack as well as a few tips for culinary novices.
We also learned the one food she simply will not touch, "Cilantro. I just won't go near it. And I'm not big on things with eyeballs. And foam," she said. We also learned about the two things that we all simply must perfect: “Roast chicken. And coffee. You need to know how to make coffee,” she suggested.
However, when it got to the one thing we should not be purchasing in the store, the Barefoot Contessa had a surprising answer. “Grated Parmesan,” she said.
It’s worth noting that Garten is known to look earnestly into the camera on her show and tell us, “Store-bought is fine.” This is often done while dicing up some delicious-looking fruits or chopping up herbs we’ve never heard of.
Why the anti-store-bought Parmesan? As noted by Real Simple, that can of grated cheese often comes with cheese fillers like wood pulp. Companies use cellulose — a wood pulp derivative — as an anti-clumping additive. While Garten didn’t expand on why store-bought Parmesan was on her no list, considering how much better freshly grated cheese tastes, on well, everything, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised.
In her Time interview, Garten also revealed that she’s actually a fan of plane food, unlike her contemporary, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. “There's always something that they serve, like the fruit and cheese platter, that's perfectly fine. Delta has really good food in the business class, in my experience.”
In an interview with Refinery29 earlier this year, Ramsay had very different feelings. “There’s no fucking way I eat on planes," he said. "I worked for airlines for ten years, so I know where this food’s been and where it goes, and how long it took before it got on board."
While we’re still confused on whether we should bite the bullet and eat what’s served on our flights, we do wonder about Ramsay’s thoughts on pre-grated Parmesan.