USA! USA! USA!
We're really looking forward to a day off for the Fourth of July. No, The Fork is not particularly patriotic, we just work a lot and need time to recharge. We've talked to a number of friends who feel the same way, so there you have it—plus, if you live in Santa Fe, there are lots of things to consider.

Before we go any further, please heed our words when we remind all y'all that fireworks are often disappointing and are pretty much the worst thing that can happen to animals. As such, please be mindful that you're not running around effing up your neighbors' lives, and please keep a close watch on your pets. We won't get into it, but we've heard horror stories. Thanks for reading that.

Now then—moving on.

The Fourth of July, of course, is the celebration of American independence. It's funny that we founded this place to escape unfair taxation and now, like, if you're not rich, your life is a hellscape of taxation and very minimal representation (not counting people like Deb Haaland and AOC who are both goddamn treasures). But we also should probably start talking food soon, so here we go:

Let us start with the obvious—BBBQs. The extra "B" is for "bargain," as in, if you go looking for a bargain for either meat or the hardware (we're talking grills here), you might get the job done, but it'll probably be gross. As you may know from the bazillion times we've mentioned it without being asked, The Fork says no to meat, but we also aren't about to tell anyone how to eat. We will, however, quote to you from a friend who worked at a barbecue joint in Texas some years back and got lessons from the pitmaster:

"You don't need to have the best stuff, and a lot of it has to do with the person grilling, but if you're looking for the best barbecue, at least in your own yard, skimping never helps."

Word, we hear that, and we went looking for the best around. And when we realized that we weren't actually going to buy a barbecue ourselves because of the no-meat thing, we turned to the internet. There, we found this handy chart from bestreviews.com. The fine folks there sifted through over 50 models and came up with their Top 5. Of course, if you're poor (like The Fork), one can always steal a shopping cart, turn it on its side and go to town. If all else fails, click this link.

But the cavalcade of words that have some peripheral relation to the matter at hand don't stop there—oh, no!

In fact, we did some more digging about the Fourth, and found some pretty interesting food-related information. For example:

It was the Spanish who brought eating-worthy livestock to the Americas in the 1500s. Before that, we had cattle and such, but they were different and, according to our sources, not really what you'd wanna eat. Thus, when we get up on the Fourth and get all into the burger thing, know that it's the Spanish you can thank. They also brought most of the fruits we have and like here.

Domesticated wheat (y'know, the kind that is used in burger and hot dog buns) wasn't commonplace in the Americas until this dude Christopher Columbus grooved on over our way. He was in search of India, but instead he found a people to commit atrocities against. Yikes. Either way, you'd probably be bunless without him—but we'd make that trade any day.

The earliest mention of Fourth of July celebrations as we know them (or an earlier version thereof) The Fork could find was from an 1815 edition of the Salem Gazette wherein mention of a "hog broiled whole" and "foreign and domestic liquors" are made. The date itself probably, though experts disagree, has something to do with the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Lastly, in sort of food-related information, it might be common knowledge, but maybe you didn't know: Benjamin Franklin wanted the official bird of America to be the turkey rather than the bald eagle. Go forth, tell people this turkey tale, and watch them be amazed.

What do y'all get up to for the Fourth? Us? We're thinking of a real good nap.

This is 10 hours of fireworks and it won't freak out your cats. Or ours.

Also

-SFR newcomer Molly Boyle has a nifty number in this week's print edition about the tradition of tailgating at the Santa Fe Opera. We won't spoil it, but we will say we have seen the tailgating, and it is far more intricate than you could ever imagine.

-The first announcements for the upcoming 2019 Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown are making their way to us, and we’ve gotta say that it’s easily one of the most New Mexican events ever. What’s that? You’re not familiar? Well, let us enlighten you, dear reader. At the annual event from the folks at Edible New Mexico, a bunch of restaurants from around the state compete with their own version of the holy and noble green chile cheeseburger. They vie for two categories: the one where judges from the food world claim their fave, and the one where the people who are there to eat a million burgers picks theirs. It’s not til Sept. 7, but it sells out, so we’re telling you now.

-While we're telling you things, you've just GOTTA hear about The Acre, a new-ish Albuquerque haunt that elevates the world of vegetarian and vegan food to a whole new level. We know many of you are probably rolling your eyes, but hear these two things: 1. It was some of the best huevos rancheros we've EVER had, and 2. they make these veggie dogs out of carrots THAT TASTE LIKE HOT DOGS. Here's a link, just go, Trust us.

-We also heard tell of a plant-based cooking demo/class from Animal Protection of New Mexico with RN Faith Suzio coming up later this month on July 23. You can learn more or just register by calling 505-908-8176 or emailing plantbased@apnm.org.

More Tidbits

-Huge drag alert—a salmonella outbreak across six states has been linked to papayas. And, since everything is terrible, veggies from Trader Joe's and Jolly Green Giant (that's the brand with the jolly green giant) have been recalled over listeria concerns. Dang—can't even get fruit and veg without risking our lives around here.

-Have you seen the Fork Yeah food videos on thrillist.com? Other than how their name obviously bugs us, it's a pretty cool visual smorgasbord of things that'll make you go, "Oh, shit, I'd eat that so fast." Check it out. 

-We'd never really even thought about food from Azerbaijan, but after this piece from CNN, we're fixing to change that. We're so down with Qutabs now, and the way they do tea? Forget it—it's on the list.

-Always wondered what the difference between ice cream and frozen custard is, but also you were too lazy to figure it out and don't actually care that much, but maybe if someone provided a link you'd click it because what the hell else are you doing right now? Your ship has come in. Tl;dr? It's eggs.

-We love this tidbit about a coffee company that also provides zines with its stuff. What's a zine, some of you maybe asked? Well, it's traditionally a self-produced piece of media that explores anything from personal essay, culture, art, music, whatever. Apparently, this might become more of a trend says eater.com.

-Pabst Blue Ribbon (which you might know as the beer that isn't as good as Hamm's, and if you don't believe us, stage a taste test and learn the truth) wants the world to know that it has developed a thing called hard coffee, and that it's precisely what you think it is and also why hasn't this been a thing for years … oh wait, it has, literally Irish coffee exists. Anyway, it's a thing.

-Here's a thing where moms get drunk eating alcoholic popsicles. It is glorious.

-And lastly today, since we sometimes like to bring you food news that relates to your furry friends, the FDA found that over a dozen popular dog food brands can be linked back to canine heart disease. Use this information wisely, because your pets LOVE you. Sorry to end on a bummer note, but we didn't want this important information to get lost in the shuffle of our other nonsense.

This is 10 hours of ice cream truck music.

Finally

In the print edition of SFR, restaurant goer-to-er Zibby Wilder looked up and noticed the Santa Fe Oxygen & Healing Bar's Apothecary, a place she now loves.
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A Totally Scientific Breakdown of The Fork's Correspondence 

Number of Letters Received
52
*The number of cards we got for Christmas.

Most Helpful Tip of the Week (not edited for content)
“You crossed the line!”
*Oh, dang!

Actually Helpful Tip
"The Impossible Burger is back at the Plaza Café Southside."
*Put that in your face and eat it!
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Be nice to pets,
The Fork