“When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it’s always twenty years behind the times.”
Many people in my former residence of Cincinnati take exception to this most likely apocryphal Mark Twain quote. But not, apparently, Paul Daugherty, who is horrifed at the Great American Ballpark’s latest food concession – y’know, the one that’s been available in other cities now for years.
The Cincinnati Reds are selling sushi at Great American Ball Park this year, and all we can know about that is, nothing says hardball in Cincinnati quite like a smoked salmon roll. Pete Rose is rolling over in his seat at the racetrack.
American soldiers saved the world on a diet of canned Spam. The Big Red Machine ran on Wheaties, Red Man and greenies. There is nothing in either narrative that mentions sesame ginger crab rolls, with a side of edamame.
This is going to take some getting used to. It’s not that Cincinnati isn’t cosmopolitan enough to enjoy an occasional eel roll. It’s just that not that long ago, we were eating head cheese.
We still consume 99 percent of all goetta made. According to Wikipedia, goetta is “a peasant food of German origin,” made of pork shoulder and oatmeal. We enjoy it. It’s not the greatest of distinctions. But it’s something.
Sushi? I don’t know. I really don’t.
Daugherty goes on to make rote references to Chardonnay and San Francisco while lamenting the decline of the real baseball fan, which I suppose is fair enough, but what does it really matter if it’s sushi, Danny Meyer or the Build-a-Bear workshop? Personally, I’ve never understood why people want to wait in longer lines for lesser quality good food – better to just stick with peanuts and go get a proper cheesesteak (or California roll) after.
And goetta, incidentally, is awesome: here’s my recipe.
One other note – while it’s common to mispell the city’s name as “Cincinatti,” here’s how the photo caption for this story read as of 8:30pm EDT:
“True baseball fans in Cinncinnai aren’t interested in sushi; they like beer and hot dogs at games.”