A week after "Playing with Fire" went live on Culinate, I started getting comments that we beat NY Times on the broiler story. I went to NY Times, and indeed -- Mark Bittman had the same brilliant idea. Of course, I'd love to imagine that he was inspired by my story, but the reality is that he probably doesn't even know I exist, and it's much more likely to be a complete coincidence. Still, I couldn't help feeling a little proud that my story was published first. As if to put me in my place, NY Times beat me to the punch on the lemon story. Not only that, it was called exactly the same as mine: "When life give you lemons." Oh yikes! Good thing I saw that before my story went live on Culinate.
Finding original topics in the world of food writing is tough. After all, we are all dealing with the same season, the same produce, and even the same puns! How many English expressions with the word "lemon" are there? Probably fewer than the food writers who want to write about lemons. At least by the time I finished reading the NY Times article, I realized that the title is the only thing I'll have to change. We were attacking citrus from completely different perspectives. NY Times story concentrated on the concepts, like lemons go well with salads, pasta, and many other thing. My story concentrated on techniques, like juicing and sectioning citrus. I guess even when life gives you lemons, you can find room for a little originality.
P.S. The picture above is of a Meyer Lemon Mousse that appears in the end of the Sweet Tarts (our new title) story on Culinate.