About the Junk Foodie

I grew up in a house without junk food.  My mother was French, and preached of everything in moderation.  Each meal was incredibly creative, but, above all, healthy.  We were humans, and that’s what humans ate.  Good, healthy food.  Snack time at our house meant fruit wedges, toast, and maybe some juice.  Maybe. The sugar-iest thing my brother and I had was the occasional box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  And if my mom was away from the breakfast table, we’d eat three bowls as fast as we could, and then drink the milk.

The last few gulps so thick with cinnamon and sugar it felt like drinking delicious, edible, wet sand. Junk food, to me, was what aliens ate.  And I was jealous of them. They lived all over town, in houses that looked and smelled different. They had cable TV,  didn’t need to clean their rooms, and some of them were even allowed to say the forbidden words, “Shut up!”  In short, they were to be admired.

To balance this land of heathens, we’d fly off to France in the summer and eat things like Fois Gras and Tarte Amandine.  The natives there said words like “merci!” and “s’il vous plait”.  It was a far cry from the land of Cinnamon Toast Crunch–in this world we used silver forks and knives, and supported the impor-tance of apperitifs and elbows-off-the-table.  Never, ever, would you dare ask for a thing called Ketchup.

That was then. This is now. Today the French eat Twinkies and the Americans eat Fois Gras. It’s somewhere inbetween that Junk Foodie evolved. Some call it fusion, I call it revolution. ’Cuz one rainy New York day, I sat at my desk dreaming up ways of making tasty distractions from the office snacks around me.  And soon enough, an entire regime crystallized. And soon enough I left my job to make this stuff: gross, delicious, ugly, beautiful, it was both alien and familiar.  It was Junk Foodie.

I make no pretense of this being any good for you at all, but I do guarantee to delight, inspire and make everyone giggle. Take it with a grain of … (sugar?) and practice moderation. ’Cuz too much of anything is no good at all. But not enough fun is a crime. Dig in!

Emilie Baltz, a foodie-turned designer-turned-foodie. She splits her time, and meals, between food photography and design, and often raids office pantries for ingredients.

See more at emiliebaltz.com and at forkanddesign.com

Special thanks to Core77 for originally publishing this wacky world of junk. And to Adams Media for making it a Book. That’s right, with a capital B. Now let it rain Jelly Beans.