| It's All About The Goop

By Lacy Schoen

Am I the only one that gets that it’s all about the goop that goes with food that makes it good? Sauces, dips, toppings, spices - they are essential to food joy. I get frustrated when waiters fail to recognize this. I am overjoyed when they are enlightened.

I am a huge chicken wing fan. They are the perfect low carb food - a must for my diet. When I learned meat, cheese and RANCH DRESSING were on the approved list of low carb delights, I threw a party. THIS is going to be easy, I thought. But it’s not always easy. Why? Because servers don’t get it.

Chicken wings require a slew of ranch dressing. Not a hint. Not a dab. We’re talking a vat of ranch. The measly amount they include is like a “shot” of ranch. WTH? One wing takes up half the shot! No good. I always ask for extra. Then they stupidly bring two shots - good for exactly four wings. I’ve got 10 wings. Still grossly under ranched!

Last night, as I agitatedly ordered my THIRD shot of ranch, my disgust must have shown through and irritated my waiter. He returned with a bowl of ranch and slammed it down with attitude. I had to smile - I thought, “NOW we’re talkin.” I wore him down with my repeated reload requests - but he should have known. Wings are nothing without ranch. Whatever it takes, I thought. What ever it takes.

Good food is all about the runny stuff that goes on it. Tacos? Need that white stuff. Popcorn? No good without butter flavored grease. (Fun fact - grease is on my approved list!) Chips? What can I say? Chips are good for two things - conveying salt and salsa into my mouth. Otherwise - irrelevant. Pasta? There are so many sauces - cheesy, tomato-y, sausage-y…doesn’t matter, it’s all about the goop. And goop is on my Atkins approved list! Look it up. It says, “Goop - zero carbs.”

Of course, there are a few exceptions. Gravy is out the door - but I don’t care. I replace gravy with cheese. Happy mouth, happy eating. When I order my burger, I order it with no bun and double drippy cheese. I can do that. And, I MUST have a side of - you guessed it - ranch dressing. It’s that - or Chipotle mayonnaise. Yumm. Also a low carb goop.

And what about all those sampler platters? I can’t eat many of them (except the wings, of course) because some dummy thinks putting flour batter on everything is a good idea. I’ll take the grease deep fry, but the batter? - not cool! This puts me out of the game. But I digress.

Moving on - those sampler platters are all about the goop. Do you EVER see anyone just pop a little piece of calamari, or a zucchini stick in their mouth without dousing it in dip - marinara, tartar sauce, cocktail sauce? No. You don’t.

The grand daddy of the goop family? Mezza, or good ole hummus. These flavored pastes are the main course. They oust other goops because they ARE the meal. Similar to salsa - but more substantial, these goops stand up and say, “Hey, little pita chip - you’re old news. I’m the main attraction!” Mediterranean restaurants get this. There’ll be no fighting to get enough goop from them. Yay! You can relax.

And sushi. I don’t care what anyone says, it’s nothing without soy sauce and wasabi. Sushi is merely a lonely hunk of floppy fish without it. I think soy and wasabi are second on my list of faves, after ranch. You’ll have no trouble getting enough of this. They let YOU administer the portions. Bravo!

Nuts fall into the “spice“ category, and they are all about the spicy additive. When I eat raw almonds, my mouth says, “Stop! And don’t come back until you give me something that makes my buds dance!” So, I comply. Almonds joyfully come with an array of spices like wasabi (Perfect), smokehouse, garlic - and the list goes on. Thank god - Blue Diamond gets it. And, there is enough spice in each bag - you just have to shake it around regularly to coat every nut.

Why is all this goop talk important? Well, technically I guess it’s not compared to world peace and the national deficit. But, the next time you enjoy a good meal - take a moment and see if your enthusiasm is all about the goop. And if it is, will you please join me in getting the word out? Together, we’ll build an army of goop advocates. Then maybe I can get enough ranch dressing with my wings. Thanks for your assistance. Life is good.

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