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I don't need no stinkin' slicer. 

Note also that, unlike most Euro-pork, country hams come bone-in, so a slicer may be of limited utility.

I meant some kind of ham restraining system and a big knife. Like the pretty picture in the newspaper.

Edited by Heather

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Dave Barry used to use this gag to the point of self-parody, but that's all I can think of right now:

"Ham Restraining System"-- That would be a good name for a rock band.

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There is plenty of smoked ham in Europe:

There is plenty of smoked ham in Europe, and a lot of it is superb. My remark about Virginia ham being smoked referred to the attempt to position it explicitly as an alternative to prosciutto di Parma.

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Is it me, or (wine coverage aside) does it seem like the Food section is improving? I read - and mostly enjoyed - all of the articles this morning.

And the "Worth a Trip" place is actually obscure.

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I think the Food section is sloooooowwwwwwlllllyyyyyyy improving, and week in, week out I do find more interesting reads. Unfortunately, those that pique my interest are generally not really "food" related (such as today's article about the love life of chef's).

The wine column has cratered.

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And, is the food section really folding in April and being absorbed by the Home and Health sections? I've heard that more than once from food people.

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Me too. The Raleigh paper where I used to work did the same thing a while back and I'm not a fan. My understanding is the coverage would be spread out all week?

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Did you spot the gaffes in today's wine column?

Barolo from Tuscany?

ETA: Oh, and Cheval Blanc is St. Emilion, not Pomerol

Edited by Banco

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I think the Food section is sloooooowwwwwwlllllyyyyyyy improving, and week in, week out I do find more interesting reads. Unfortunately, those that pique my interest are generally not really "food" related (such as today's article about the love life of chef's).

At least we now know why Landrum is so cranky.

Edited by Waitman

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http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/media/2006/media0303.html

I'm very surprised that no one has mentioned this. This is the type of forum that can help influence the Post to keep this section intact. I should also note that the consideration of its demise, for me, is also confirmation of the limited budget it has had for its operation and the limited ad revenue they've been able to generate. With readership declining in the Post and other print mediums a greater emphasis is placed on the internet at their expense. But before anyone makes a comment about "let it go" consider that the Post has an extensive international and national following. Eliminating a weekly section for food and dining will HURT the D. C. restaurant industry. I believe it is in our and the local industry's best interests to convince them to keep this section. It would speak volumes nationally of the importance food and dining out have here if it is ended as a separate section.

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Joe:

I did see some mention on DR.com that the Post was considering bagging the weekly sections. I don't remember where I saw it. But frankly, given the decline in the quality of the Wednesday food section, I doubt I will miss it. It did serve as a vehicle for inclusion of the grocery store weekly sale flyers. Any more, I looked forward to the Wednesday paper just so I could see what was on sale at the grocery stores that week.

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It would speak volumes nationally of the importance food and dining out have here if it is ended as a separate section.

I think it already speaks volumes that they've done such a notably half-assed job with it so far, whatever the future may hold.

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I don't think our discussions here would or will have any influence over whether the paper chooses to keep the section intact; it is clearly a sweeping change that has more to do with re-aligning format than making a statement about whether or not food and dining are important to the DC area.

Do I think there should be a separate Food section? Of course I do. But if they're talking about re-aligning Food, Home, and Health content into one big shmush, this is clearly about much more than food.

Personally, my favorite thing about the Food section is the online chat the Food Section editors do on washingtonpost.com every Wednesday at 1pm -- they are more helpful and responsive than either Tom or Kim, hands down.

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Although sorry to hear it may be going... I rarely read the Food section. I rarely find it particularly informative, helpful or interesting. Certainly would rather spend my time reading the news from the group here <_<

However, I *do* make an effort each Wednesday to read the NYT's Dining section. I just find it more interesting and visually appealing - even as a non-New Yorker.

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http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/media/2006/media0303.html

I'm very surprised that no one has mentioned this. This is the type of forum that can help influence the Post to keep this section intact. I should also note that the consideration of its demise, for me, is also confirmation of the limited budget it has had for its operation and the limited ad revenue they've been able to generate. With readership declining in the Post and other print mediums a greater emphasis is placed on the internet at their expense. But before anyone makes a comment about "let it go" consider that the Post has an extensive international and national following. Eliminating a weekly section for food and dining will HURT the D. C. restaurant industry. I believe it is in our and the local industry's best interests to convince them to keep this section. It would speak volumes nationally of the importance food and dining out have here if it is ended as a separate section.

Perhaps, but I'm not sure. The article seems to suggest they are going to fold the three sections into one, but still publish it three days per week. Other things held equal, that wouldn't diminish the amout of coverage. It would diffuse it, but that could go both ways as to being an improvement or not. It is true that the food coverage leaves much to be desired up to now, so if anything it might improve (along with the others). They say that's why they are considering it. Who knows?

I doubt whether the way in which the Post reports local food matters has much impact on how the DC area is viewed by those outside as a food/restaurant town. I'd be amazed if it has any impact at all. Very few residents outside the DC area, including travelers to DC who eat in restaurants here, likely even know the Post has a weekly food section or care. Probably very few could even give the name of the paper, let alone ever read it, let alone ever look at a local-interest section like food. The Post does not have a "national presence" like the NYT, which actively publishes and markets widely in areas outside its home market.

I also doubt the insight being brought to the table by the City Paper writer. He seems to say the editors suddenly had "closed-door consultations" when the new circulation figures were announced, as if that's the first the editors had heard of the circulation decline. That's highly questionable on its face, to put it mildly, and to me impunes the points made elsewhere.

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The WashPost is undergoing all sorts of angst about circulation, including discussions of what I call "dumbing down" ala NYT. They deny that's what it is about, but hey - if the public is dumbing down, what choice do they have? OTOH, the dumbed-downs aren't reading the paper or caring about the news, full stop.

I like some aspects of the Food Section. Particularly Robert Wolke's column. As a scientist (though not a chemist), I love when he debunks some silly food claim. Though I sure wish he'd support the "calories leak out of broken cookies" theory!

Ellen

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I should also note that the consideration of its demise, for me, is also confirmation of the limited budget it has had for its operation and the limited ad revenue they've been able to generate.  With readership declining in the Post and other print mediums a greater emphasis is placed on the internet at their expense. 

I have no answer to this, but would like to raise a chicken/egg argument. I used to look forward to Wednesdays in the Post particularly because it was Food section day. Over the last 12-24 months, though, I read it less and less to where now I have totally given up on the section. I think the only time I read it now is simply when someone here makes reference to it and I want to see what they're talking about.

So, what came first? Poor story selection and reporting leads to less interest in the section leading to lower ad revenue leading to section budget cuts and a continuing spiral downward? Or did it begin somewhere else on that continuum?

As stated, I don't know the answer. I do think the section took a cliffdive when they lost their previous editor.

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A topical article in today's Food Section: Booking a Table? Be Patient, Flexible.

A further quote --

Complaints : Asked for a credit card number to hold the reservation. It made us feel as if they didn't trust us to show up.

With good reason, you nimrods! You tried to make 24 reservations! Did you actually cancel any of them or just not show? I thought this was a pretty fuckin' lame excuse for journalism.

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And while I'm ranting...

I can understand space limitations in the physical paper, but there is no good reason to not include all of the cases of the "experiment" on the web site.

Also, how about at least one byline so people know who to blame for this?

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I thought that the section was better than it has been in weeks. I so appreciate reading about what people are doing re. food. Though, I'm not sure why Lydia B was in there in relation to DC (I didn't read it closely enough).

There are SO many DC people doing interesting things regarding cuisine at markets, restaurants, in their homes, etc. That WP doesn't tap into our resources ensures that DC is viewed as more marginal than perhaps it deserves to be compared to other east coast cities, or for that matter, nationally. It's why things like the James Beard National awards focus on NY, Chicago, and SF, while DC is limited to the mid Atlantic categories. Why can't the city's paper showcase the city's food people?

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I thought that this week's section was the best in quite some time.

I liked the pieces on Horton and the history of the Caeser salad.

Tom followed DR.com to find Peter Chang and I'm now seriously considering a road trip to College Park (all of 15 minutes for me) to get a good cheesesteak.

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