One of life’s great joys is a good meal, enjoyed in the company of friends. Likewise, I’d rank an epic cross-country-road trip, or a run up a winding mountain road, in the same category, but only if you have the right car. Jumping back to the food analogy for a second, you wouldn’t serve caramelized onions over ice cream, just as you wouldn’t want an Olds Vista Cruiser for your run up Mulholland or a Lotus Elise for a haul from New York to LA. This got me thinking that cars really do have their equivalent in food, so below are five cars and the food that represents them. Am I right, or have I just made you hungry?
Toyota Camry = Boiled White Rice
There’s nothing wrong with boiled white rice, and you can live on it for a long, long time if you prefer a bland diet. Likewise, there’s noting wrong with the Toyota Camy, but to the driving enthusiast it’s a soul-less appliance, with all the taste appeal of boiled rice. Hold the soy sauce, please, because that would be too spicy.
Ford Mustang GT = Meatloaf
Let’s face it: the modern muscle car is the equivalent of comfort food, and nothing defines comfort food better than meatloaf. Having a bad day? Meatloaf, or a few hammer-down sprints from a traffic light in a Mustang GT will set you right. If you’re a bow-tie guy, the same could easily be said about the Camaro; like the Mustang (or meatloaf), you know it’s not good for you long term, but sometimes you just need a big plate of the stuff anyway.
Mazda Miata = Sushi
Most people I know who claim to hate sushi (which is a broad category of both raw and cooked food on rice) have never actually tried sushi; likewise, most people who deride the Miata as a “chick car” have never experienced the joy of a corner taken at speeds that seem to defy physics, or of a properly rev-matched downshift with the wind in your hair. In both cases, if the unwilling would just give it a chance, there’d be a lot more sushi bars with Miatas parked in front of them.
Cadillac Escalade = Ribeye Steak
I love steak, but I’d be the first to tell you that it’s bad for both your health and the environment. Cows eat a lot, take up a considerable amount of land and produce copious amounts of waste (including climate-changing methane). Likewise, Cadillac’s big SUV is a single-digit salute to environmentalists everywhere, but it’s big and obscenely comfortable and a rolling testament to testosterone. In the food world, it’s the equivalent of a two-inch thick ribeye steak, cooked medium-rare and smothered with mushrooms fried in butter. You know that sooner or later it’ll destroy your world, but at the dinner table or behind the wheel, it’s awfully hard to care.
Nissan Leaf = Falafel
Falafel, if you’ve never had it, is the middle-eastern equivalent of a hot dog. It consists of meal made from chickpeas and spices, rolled into balls and tossed into the deep fryer. Typically, it’s served in a pita with shredded lettuce and a yogurt based sauce. Like the Leaf, you can convince yourself that eating a falafel is better for you than the alternative. Also like the Leaf, that may not be the case: just as the Leaf uses electricity that’s likely produced from a coal-fired power plant, a falafel is high in sodium and deep fried in oil. Strangely enough, both produce range anxiety; eat a falafel, and you’ll be hungry again a lot sooner than you expected.
So what cars and foods did I miss? Am I right or wrong on the ones I called?