Have you ever heard of Paula Deen?
Until last week, I hadn’t either. Paula Deen is an American chef from Savannah, Georgia. She is the Jamie Oliver, the Nigella Lawson, the Julia Child of Southern cooking. Apparently she is a household name in the US. Recently, she has created a furore in the news because she once used the n-word to a staff member and, as a result, her contract with the Food Network has now been terminated.
Paula Deen’s cooking videos mesmerized me for ages. They are pure escapism. Her videos are food porn – I found watching them quite titillating.
Paula Deen makes dishes such as deep fried turkey, cheeseburger casserole, donut burgers and deep-fried cheesecake. I would never in a million years cook anything Paula Deen makes but she is a hoot and I so enjoyed watching her cook.
At first I wondered if Americans really eat such fattening rubbish but they must do, given that most of the population is roly-poly.
I have visited America a few times and food has always been the highlight of my trips. My body can never keep up. I spend most holidays in the US feeling as if I am incubating an immense food-baby. I always love going to the grocery store when I am there and the colour, variety and endless choice of obscure, artificial foods gives me sensory overload. I pick things up and say, ‘I can’t believe people eat this’ and ‘will someone really buy that?’ The last time I was in the US, I was so fascinated by all the fattening and synthetic food that I took these pictures:
I have a few American expat friends and, while they are not nearly as bad as Paula Deen, they have some unique recipes and eating habits. One of my friends said that whenever she feels homesick, she buys Kraft Mac and Cheese from the American store. For her, that is quintessentially American. I was horrified.
Kraft Mac and Cheese is basically like eating chemicals. The ingredients are all sorts of oxides and phates and acids. In fact, some of the ingredients, such as Yellow 5 and Yellow 6, that are used in the American version have been banned in the European equivalent. Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 are food colourants and I noticed Yellow 5 is the dye in my shampoo.
Out of all the Paula Deen videos I watched, these are my favourite.
This is Paula Deen’s spontaneous breakfast cook-up:
This one is Paula Deen making sweet potato balls or, as she would say, ‘sweet pitaida bawls y’all’:
Deep fried cheesecake. After watching this one, I craved a stick of celery:
Deep-fried turkey, which my friends say is popular at Thanksgiving:
This one takes the cake. It is Paula Deen’s Mac and Cheese and she makes it using cheddar cheese soup. I can’t believe you can actually buy canned cheddar cheese soup. DISGUSTING.
It will come as no surprise that, after all these years of eating deep-fried, butter-soaked food and ‘cheddar cheese soup’, Paula Deen now has Type-2 diabetes. There is a lesson there, y’all.