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Higher Learning. A publication from Medium for the interested man.

Food

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Just Rankin’ Sh!t

This has gone too far, people!

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The food item that highlighted the Great Sandwich Debate all those years ago. And you know what? Not a sandwich. All these hot dog defenders are missing one crucial thing: A hot dog bun is only one piece of bread. Gotta break that hinge to make it a sandwich!

A bastardization of the hallowed sandwich — a dry-ass turkey roll isn’t lunch, no matter how you slice it. While there are foods that redeem the wrap’s justifiably lowly reputation, like gyros or burritos, they ain’t sandwiches.

Yes, we know they have “sandwich” in the name. Yes, we know they have…


I miss my dad, but eating spicy Indian curry helps me feel his presence

My Dad and I in India about to go elephant riding! Photo courtesy of the author

It’s been several years since my dad passed away, and I often find myself reminiscing about our last trip together to India. Dad left the country as a young man in his early twenties. It took him almost 60 years to return with his two grown sons, both eager to learn more about his past.

Dad finished chemo that spring and was in fighting spirits. I couldn’t wait to go back to India—I’d backpacked through the country many years before. The opportunity to visit all his old haunts was too good to pass up.

Dad rarely spoke of his time…


Just Rankin’ Sh!t

Bring on the bubble guts!

Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Getty Images

We don’t know much, but we know one thing: There are foods that only a Kraft product can complete. What, you’re gonna make a grilled cheese or breakfast sandwich with Swiss like a damn savage? The thing is, not all American cheese is created equal. If the package says “cheese food” or “American slices” or anything besides just “cheese,” keep that shopping cart pushing. In other words, Deli Deluxe all day!

The original salty sprinkle. Wow, sorry, we didn’t think about how that sentence sounded until we saw it sitting there. …


The new Netflix series ‘High On The Hog’ gives soul food its proper praise and exploration

Photo: Nappy.co

Several years ago, my mother crafted handmade family cookbooks for each of her sons as Christmas presents. The base of the gift was a red Campbell’s recipe book built like a photo album. She gutted its stock recipes and replaced them with typed and clean pages of her own gastronomic roadmaps.

More importantly (at least to the son who writes more than he cooks), the book leads with a compendium of photos, family history notes, and recollections from family dinners of the past. The origins of key traditions that had been taken for granted for years were explained, and anecdotes…


Just Rankin’ Sh!t

Step away from the freezer, people!

Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Getty Images

An integral part of an iconic hip-hop hook? Yes, indeed. A top-tier ice cream flavor? Not even close. If the only way you can describe the taste of something is “tan,” best to keep it pushing.

Yeah, we said it. We meant it, too. Enjoy your uncooked dough, savages! (Look, if you’re not willing to let the yopper spray, don’t be out here making lists.)

The main philosophical question you have to ask yourself about ice cream is: Does being in the form of a frozen dairy dessert make these flavors as good as or better than they would be…


Just Rankin’ Sh!t

Why can’t every day be a fry day?

Photo Illustration of fried chicken.
Photo Illustration of fried chicken.
Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Getty Images

Some of you may have never experienced this; we are praying for you. Fried Oreos with a few lines of powdered sugar on top are what state fair dreams are made of. Imagine the chocolate goodness of an Oreo — but greasy! Sure, each one shaves a few months off your lifespan, but it’s worth it.

We’re downing, like, a dozen of these Mexican delights at a time whenever the opportunity presents itself. Don’t judge — this ain’t People’s Court.

The top three gets really competitive, but this soul food staple is just epic. A perfectly fried catfish is like…


Just Rankin’ Sh!t

Today is National Poultry Day — you know the vibes!

Cartoon chicken holding a photo of a roasted chicken.
Cartoon chicken holding a photo of a roasted chicken.
Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Warner Bros via Hbo Max

Good luck finding the edible portions of this cyborg monstrosity that was revived and Frankensteined after becoming highway roadkill. Neither appetizing nor worth the effort.

This cartoon character just looked scrawny, zooted out of his mind, and most definitely not organic. (But we see you, Cow!)

It’s hard not to imagine either of these big-headed, stubby-legged chicks glazed and twirling on a rotisserie rack.

You better know how to fight if you dare to even think about getting a taste of this belligerent-ass bird that’s perpetually brawling with Peter Griffin. …


Just Rankin’ Sh!t

Yolk’s on you!

Photo illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Getty Images

Sure, the hardboiled variety makes for a portable snack, and its soft-boiled counterpart dresses up (deep sigh of resignation) avocado toast. They both keep Easter egg hunts from being a hot mess. But be serious: Despite being maddeningly difficult to de-shell, boiled eggs are basic as hell. You really proud of something that requires the cheffing ability of a reasonably smart kindergartener?

You can’t knock a classic — even if those anti-drug commercials from the ’90s tried to ruin these for us.

We were once told that an omelette is only an overdone scrambled egg, and we’ve never been the…


Just Rankin’ Sh!t

Some deep musings on a Mexican staple

Nacho chips.
Nacho chips.
Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Getty Images

Want some fiber and deliciousness to blend with all that salt and fatty goodness? Beans won’t ever steer you wrong. You can go refried for a more pasty texture or get sexy and choose black beans for a more scattered surprise-in-your-mouth effect. Just, uh, remember: Whoever smelt it dealt it.

Add some spice to your life by tossing some of these hot peppers into the mix — not the ones that say “tamed” on the jar, mind you — and washing it all down with a cold margarita. It’s the synergy for us.

It’s hard to pass on nachos topped…


Living life fully sometimes means living life so fully you fall asleep with a plate on your lap

A young guy in checkered pajama trousers falling asleep with a slice of pizza in his hand in bed next to a pizza box and open laptop. He has the itis.
A young guy in checkered pajama trousers falling asleep with a slice of pizza in his hand in bed next to a pizza box and open laptop. He has the itis.
Photo: yacobchuk/iStock/Getty Images Plus

While I was speaking with a class of college students recently, one of them told me that she was interested in becoming a child anesthesiologist. I told her my experiences of being under general anesthesia, and how it was the best sleep I’d ever had. There were no dreams, no concerns, no care whatsoever for the waking world. It was as close as I have ever come to biological bliss.

Except when I am experiencing the itis.

I feel compelled to qualify the forthcoming hedonism with an obligatory note about the impact of obesity on Black communities, how nearly 50%…

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