Authenticity Versus Tastiness
Deb of Smitten Kitchen on blasphemous bread, after Melissa Clark's recent inauthentic Irish soda bread recipe in the NYT:
I’ve never made Irish soda bread before and eaten it almost as rarely, so I can’t offer a review with any authority, but what I loved about this article is neither could Clark. She was told by a friend married to an Irishman and living in his country that though her version was rich and lovely, it neither looked nor tasted like the real deal. Apparently, nobody in Ireland serves real soda bread anymore, she said, and even if they did, it would have no raisins, eggs, butter or caraway seeds. After trying a version faithful to the original and finding it delicious when warm, but hard, dry and bland when cold, Clark decided being authentic was overrated, and went back to her old formula.
Deb made bread from Clark's recipe anyway and found it to be "both crusty and tender, and manages to lock in its moisture in a way that reminds me of a certain vaulted scone. Yup, we’re talking about that level of good." Should tastiness triumph over authenticity? My common sense says yes, but the little prescriptivist living in my brain is throwing a fit. What do you think?