The Fork

The Fork: Turn the beet around

We’re eating so many beets, and you should, too!

We’ve been on a quest to eat more roots. Seems to us that one could always eat more roots, frankly, and humans have been pretty good about making those bad boys edible. This week’s pursuit? Beets—that deep red (or maybe purple?) and wildly tasty salad accoutrement (we’re aware you can put them in things that aren’t salads) that just taste so dang good even as they turn your teeth into some kinda vampire-esque magenta nightmare.

Longtime readers will surely know the drill—it’s time to find out why some seemingly mundane thing like a beet is interesting with a totally factual and in no way jokey history/fact lesson!

You can eat the whole beet, from the bulbs to the leaves to the stems. And you should do that, because once we learned this—just recently—we totally used slicing magic to get the entirety of a beet into a salad, and it was delicious all the way around.

According to our mom, pairing beets with unexpected other foods is easier than you think. She’s thrown beets into pasta with garlic, she says, which sounds weird, but we’re gonna try it.

Beets are mega-full of things like potassium, magnesium and vitamin C. And that means when you’re super-sore from rocking too hard or from the weird thing your back just did when you stood up from your chair, it can help with soreness. We know this firsthand, too, from the weird thing our back did when we stood up from our chair.

The beet origin story is actually kind of interesting. The beets with which most of us are familiar descended from the so-called sea beet, a wild plant that grew near the Mediterranean Sea and along African and European coasts. For a long time, folks used it to make dyes or tea or address skin issues, and we also have evidence of beets in homes dating to ancient history (word is they found a beet preserved in ash in Pompeii at one point). Anyway, because humans liked them so much, they just kept right on taking care of beets, and because we’re very good at moving around the globe, we took them beets with us. The beet we think of today was cultivated in the 16th century, but it’ll always be that sea-lover from way back when. Thanks, the ocean and ancient humans!

Have you been thinking about table beets (aka beetroot) or the sucrose-heavy sugar beets as you’ve read this? They’re different. Know that. Table beets are those earthy little mothers and sugar beets are those increasingly pervasive (does pervasive sound pejorative?) little buddies that can turn into non-cane sugar. A quick scan of the sugar beet world indicates beet sugar is popping up more and more, and that you should look for language on your labels before buying any old sugar willy-nilly (if it doesn’t say “cane,” you can’t be sure, though it’s really up to you which version you prefer to ingest). As for what beet sugar is, like, as a sweetener for coffee? Well, let’s leave that question to the fine folks of Barista Magazine.

Lastly, here’s a link to more than 25 recipes for beets. We’ve been poring over it for days trying to cook up new ways to cook up beets. We’re in too deep. The beets control us now.

Brilliant.

Also

  • Don’t say we didn’t warn you, but the Taco Wars event from the upcoming New Mexico Cocktails & Culture Festival seems to have sold out. Last we checked, some waiting list spots remained on the website, but that’s hardly guaranteed tacos, is it?
  • 315 Restaurant & Wine Bar hosts the big ol’ Philippe Gonet Champagne Dinner at 6:30 pm on Saturday, May 18. OK, so this thing will set you back $195 before tax and tip, which we know is a tense proposition for some. But between the numerous pairings (like a choux pastry puff served alongside the 3210 Blanc de Blancs extra brut) and a poached chicken with duchesse potato and a Ter Blanc MV, we figured the champagne set would want to know. Call (505) 986-9190 for more info or to make a rezzie.
  • Last December, SFR reported Marcel and Stephanie Remillieux of French café Mille would go halfsies on a commercial building in Midtown with coffee enthusiast Tom Patton, and Patton is now fully in the swing of things with his Odd Box Coffee Roasters. Word is Patton has his eye on a possible walk-up window in 2025, but will focus on roasting and package sales for now. Either way, we like the Odd Box slogan: All for coffee, coffee for all. Also? We hope to taste that sweet, sweet nectar soon. As for Mille? Well, a bigger space to bake more pastries can’t hurt.

You’re gonna want this video and song for a couple sections from now.

Readers Sound Off

In last week’s edition of Le Fork, we told everyone that we believe tipping should not be optional, and hooooooooooo boy, did our readers have feelings about that. Let’s take a look at some of the letters we received:

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Really? This ageist bs is one more thing that divides us...like the color of our skin, where we were born, our gender, the circumstances in which we were born...the year that we were born has nothing to do with how compassionate and generous we are as humans. I’ve dined with people of all ages, and I’ve suggested a more generous tip to some. We don’t need one more baseless generalization to make people more judgmental than they already are.

Linda B

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Please reconsider your observation that “tipping like a jerk is…boomer behavior.” Do you have any facts to back that up? My “tipping AND baby boomers” search results suggest that Gen Z are the worst tippers and boomers tip the most. (See...Newsweek article) I know it’s fun to dump on my generation, but be fair. Love your column despite the boomerphobia.

Jacalyn H.

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Hey, I love reading the fork and I’m a boomer. I’m also an excellent tipper, so please don’t paint all boomers with the ageist statement that “tipping like a jerk...is boomer behavior.” Tipping like a jerk is just plain old rude, no matter what age you are.

Judith G.

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Thank y’all for this! I could and have said much more, but I have to focus on finding more income ASAP since the gig i had and loved and [where I] got to serve many wonderful appreciative people...can’t sustain my hours. Anyway, as I’ve been quoted for saying before, if you can’t or don’t tip, don’t eat out. This includes to-go [orders].

Stephen R.

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Great article on tipping! Just one thing. I’m a boomer and I tip well having been a server for many years. Please don’t throw all us boomers under the bus! Dang!

Betsy C.

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I’m not sure why it became OK to malign an entire generation. I was born in 1955, which puts me solidly in the absolutely awful boomer generation. I supported myself for many years in the service industry and I am a generous tipper. I am heartily sick of this boomer crap and you owe me and all your older readers an apology.

Tess H.

P.S. Go fuck yourself. How is that for boomer behavior.

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There were more, too, but we figure you can’t possibly read them all. We hear you. We get it. Our evidence is based on more than a decade in foodservice work, plus the tales of many friends who bemoan certain demographics. That said, we won’t want to make people sad, which is why the next time there’s dunkings to be dunked, we’re going to dunk on the youths—y’know, for balance.

More Tidbits

  • Even though Santa Fe doesn’t have a Krispy Kreme anymore, it might be worth a drive down to the Albuquerque area for a new collab between the donut chain and Dolly freaking Parton. Not only will the new treats come in a pink Dolly-themed box, one of them is called the Dolly Dazzler. Sold!
  • Speaking of glorious combos, Jell-O has teamed with the Girl Scouts for a line of themed pudding cups, including Thin Mints and Coconut Caramel (née Samoas). In related news, we’ll be eating those as soon and fast as humanly possible.
  • Meanwhile, in Las Vegas (the fun one, not the New Mexico one), baker Kimberly Mcintosh is dropping knowledge from her Filipino background at an ongoing pop-up bakery known as Milkfish Bakeshop. You know what that means? Ube. Well, other things, too, but we love ube. If you’re not familiar with ube, it’s a gorgeous purple yam that just plain works in baking. If you want to know more than that, like how it tastes and looks, you can find it all over the new menu at The Teahouse in Santa Fe right now. If you’re thinking you’d like to head to Vegas to catch a sweet treat or two from a pretty sweet little bakery biz, read this.

A totally scientific breakdown of The Fork’s correspondence

In this week’s print edition of SFR, food takes a backseat because badass author Tommy Orange is heading to town for the Santa Fe International Literary Festival, so that’s pretty cool.

Number of Letters Received: 43

*You love us!

Most Helpful Tip of the Week (a barely edited letter from a reader):

“Some of us prefer to eat in peace. We skip music nights in restaurants that have them (or Topless Tuesdays or Screaming Brat Nights). We prefer romantic candlelit meals by the kiva fireplace.”

*We just want to know one thing, Albo [last initial omitted]—where do they have Topless Tuesdays?

Actually Helpful Tip(s):

“Eggs are not supposed to be fluffy. That’s what meringue is for.”

*We do wonder if regular reader/corresponder Jeff D. has. a point. Not even scrambled, Jeff? Still, we consider this comment helpful because we love meringue and forgot we could just make it at home.

Beet’d up,

The Fork

Letters to the Editor

Mail letters to PO Box 4910 Santa Fe, NM 87502 or email them to editor[at]sfreporter.com. Letters (no more than 200 words) should refer to specific articles in the Reporter. Letters will be edited for space and clarity.

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