No, I don’t mean choosing fresh steak over the road-kill you pass on the way to the coffee shop (most of the road-kill around here is squirrel, and while I have been told that squirrel isn’t bad, I am in no rush to find out). I mean freshly prepared dishes, as opposed to food that has been prepared in advance. My lovely wife and I like Tuna Tartare in all of its many incarnations, so we are always willing to try a new andinteresting variation. But making it in advance just doesn’t work. Tartare is an extreme example of my point, because by chopping or mincing or grinding the flesh you are increasing the surface area exponentially, and surface area = oxidation. As we all know, mostly by personal experience, oxidized food doesn’t taste very good. It may be perfectly safe, but I don’t make my food choices based on safety. Oh, sure, sometimes oxidation helps, wine being the example that leaps to mind. But for the most part, food that oxidizes readily is best prepared just before consumption.
As usual, there is another point to be made. Sometimes, fresh isn’t best! There is a long list of foods that improve with a little bit of refrigerator time. Stews and sauces and braised goodies of course, and I am sure that there are others, I just can’t think of them.