Steve Cotler

Steve Cotler

Category Archives: Food

What America Wants…according to Walmart

As a Harvard Business School MBA, I learned that the leading edge of knowledge about the American psyche can be found in the back rooms of Madison Avenue. Other than the NSA, probably no group is more in tune with American desires than advertisers. They survey, they run focus groups, they look at what’s trending […]

School Breakfast Sugar

At a school I recently visited on my Cheesie Mack book tour, I arrived as breakfast was being served. It was a sugary, carbo feast, consisting of a paper carton of chocolate milk, a plastic container of sweetened applesauce and a hard boiled egg in a twist-tied plastic bag, and a cinnamon bun in cellophane. […]

No Sunglasses, No Service

I know a woman (she shall remain nameless) who loses her sunglasses repeatedly. A retired attorney, she is neither careless nor insouciant. It just happens. And each time her cheaters go AWOL, she reacts with dismay and a bit of self-directed anger. Then, after a mourning period shortened imperatively by the next glary day, her […]

Is It Really Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

On July 14, the UC Davis Olive Center, part of that school’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, released a paper reporting that 69% of randomly selected imported Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) brands had “defective flavors such as rancid, fusty, and musty” and “did not meet international and US standards.” This compares to a […]

Lost! (Episode 4: St. Croix)

A mile south of our camp, we found a fallen sign next to a broken road leading uphill and west: Scenic Route. Our now-crumpled map, provided free at the airport days earlier by hopeful advertisers, echoed the invitation: Scenic Route. Our eyes met, questioned, then agreed. A right turn, and we were adventure-borne. In minutes […]

St. Croix–Frederiksted

Fort Frederik Cooled by early morning trade winds, we sunblocked, took an early morning walk on our condo’s north shore beach, then drove west through St. Croix’s rain forest (left-lane driving is significantly less stressful in daylight) to Frederiksted, population 830, the smaller of the island’s two towns. Built around Fort Frederik in the mid-18th […]

What About Dessert?

Pork Included In a recent blog post, Dan Jurafsky, a San Franciscan who writes The Language of Food, speaks eloquently and intelligently of sweetness, pork products, and cultural differences. It is worth a read taste. Here are a few bites: …the nearby hipster donut shop, Dynamo, whose most popular item is the Maple Glazed Bacon […]

Fast Food Delhi

Business is slow at the Marin County Indian restaurant that Ram owns. In my opinion, he should take this time to do some cleaning in the back, but instead he leans on an elbow and tells me about his last visit to Delhi. “A friend whose car I am borrowing is warning me if the […]

Japanese Lessons-Part 2

Near the end of my stay, to thank me for my efforts, six Japanese executives took me to dinner at a very upscale Tokyo restaurant. I had read guidebooks that highlighted cultural differences and how Americans abroad should behave, but nothing had prepared me for this.

A Singular Eating Experience

Several years ago my brothers (Lanny and Doug) and I were on Long Island where Doug, a well-known performer of modern Jewish music, had a concert scheduled. The show was set for 7:30 p.m., with a sound check an hour earlier, but it was just 4:45 and Doug was hungry. Because a full stomach does […]