Just wanted to add that the New York Times article is the first time I’ve come across the use of the word “precurated”:
The delivery of precurated ingredients is not going away, he and others say.
Oh do they? Isn’t “precurated” a bit redundant? Or is it that “curated” is no longer quite pretentious enough?
I was also struck by this in the article:
On a deeper level, relinquishing so much to a company guts the essence of what it means to cook, said Laura Shapiro, a culinary historian who writes about modern cooking in the United States.
“Eating the food cooked by your own hand from your own family and traditions are the things that constitute our emotional life with food,” she said. “I can’t imagine we are going to look back and say, ‘Oh remember that Blue Apron Burmese curry we used to have on Thursdays?’ It’s not the same. It’s not ours. It doesn’t have our family sentiments behind it.”
Never met a “culinary historian” but do they ordinarily have such limited imagination (or powers of observation)?. What makes people attach to a tradition is the ritual and repetition involved. It’s the Thursday-ness of it, or Thanksgiving. Occasionally, sure, it’s Aunt Sue’s currant jam that you can’t buy in a store, or Mom’s Spaghetti Sauce or Dad’s Hummus, with that special zing. But plenty of people grow up having fond memories of Friday night take out pizza, or Saturday night Chinese or any number of “pre curated” meals that arrive into the home. Interesting to me that some of the meal kits are regional foods shipped to people who’ve moved away, who apparently are looking for a taste of “home.”
One thing noted in the article is that the meal kits eliminate the sociability of the market – but for most English-speaking shoppers there is really not much socialibity in a typical urban or suburban supermarket.