too much typing—since 2003


today's theme is vaguely Italian things!

Enough trivia - I'm weighing in now on the Big Issues.

1) Without doubt, the best carryout/leftover food container is your Chinese-takeout style folded paper container. They lie flat for compact storage, their folded form ensures both stability and leak prevention, and the square shape maximizes capacity and allows for good stacking. Those stupid styrofoam boxes are abominations, and not only for the obvious environmental reasons: they're flimsy, they flop open all the time, their orientation isn't as clear (so if you hold them upside down, look out), and they're just plain ugly (as opposed to the glorious form-follows-function of Chinese-style containers). The only exception is for pizza, which belongs on a rounded piece of cardboard slid into a large, flat bag illustrated with an "Italian" chef completely with white puffy hat, big black mustache, and that hand gesture designating tastiness (it probably has a name: anyone know what it is?). Fresh delivery or carryout pizza can come in a cardboard box - particularly your fat Chicago-style pizza - but putting leftover pizza in those styrofoam containers is an abomination.

2) The mis-/overuse of the word barista. While I'm not sure that we even need to borrow a word from Italy to designate a trained espresso maker, the word gets used to mean, essentially, "waiter" or "counter person" at a coffee joint...often whose training seems to be about equivalent to that of any other sad denizen of Minimumwageville. But if borrowing a word from Italian makes someone feel special...

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