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Is It Possible To Take Food Too Seriously?


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#1 xdcx

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 05:23 PM

and I'm not talking about people who's lives revolve around it. anyone who's insane enough to own or work in a restuarant gets mad props, you're better people than I. I'm talking about people who's "hobby" it is eat and who feel personally connected to meals that they did nothing but consume. I guess the larger question is there a line between being a foodie (sweet jebus do I hate that term) and being a food snob?

#2 brian

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 05:31 PM

I think using terms like foodie or food snob would is a bit polarizing in terms of this issue (because nobody is going to identify themselves as a food snob), but yes, like anything else in life, it's possible to overinvest yourself in food.

On the other hand, just about everything great that's come out of the food world - be it restaurants, cookbooks, criticism, great meals, etc. - has come from people who have put an unreasonable amount of time, effort, and money into the field.

#3 Jacques Gastreaux

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 06:17 PM

I think the "hobby" aspect to food is kind of like a prism in that things look different depending on which facet you are looking through. For some people, the satisfaction comes from cooking a good meal and seeing others enjoy it. For others that did nothing but consume the meal, the safisfaction, or lack thereof, comes from the visual, olefactory and gustatorial experience. For many, and probably most food hobbyists, the truth lies somewhere in between the two ends of the spectrum (assuming I have correctly identified the two ends of the spectrum). I would put myself somewhere in the "in between" section. I like to cook it as much as I like to eat it, and I enjoy it when I'm complemented on something I have made myself.

Edited by Jacques Gastreaux, 26 May 2005 - 06:30 PM.

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#4 Barbara

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 07:54 PM

Well, you have touched upon an issue with several sides. We all have to eat to live. Plus, one of the best parts of social interaction revolves around food (something another website seems to have dismissed--thus dr.com).

You can eat the most fabulous food in the world; but, if you are alone, a large part of the experience is missing.

On the other hand, you can just make yourself a box of Kraft "Macaroni and Cheese" and eat it in front of the TV. Something I would never recommend to anyone. The nice thing about knowing people who care about food and can cook is that you are free to make nice stuff for yourself and are encouraged to do so and then tell us about it.

The snobbism rears it's ugly head when the ego gets involved. Face it, nearly everybody on this site loves something other folk would consider crap, but you look at it as "comfort food." I'm not going to tell you that you're wrong and, most likely, no one else here will, either.

Then, there is the issue of cost. Have I ever had a taste of wine that costs $1,000 a bottle? No, nor do I expect to. Does that mean I will accept "wine in a box" as drinkable? No, not in this lifetime.

I don't think it is possible to be TOO serious about food. After all, your health and well-being are involved. Can you be too precious and critical?? Oh, my, YES.

Have I lifted a glass or a fork with anybody on this site and been made to feel bad about it? NEVER!!!!!!

#5 Mark Slater

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 01:57 AM

and I'm not talking about people who's lives revolve around it. anyone who's insane enough to own or work in a restuarant gets mad props, you're better people than I. I'm talking about people who's "hobby" it is eat and who feel personally connected to meals that they did nothing but consume. I guess the larger question is there a line between being a foodie (sweet jebus do I hate that term) and being a food snob?

What a great question! For me, the short answer is : YES.
The long answer you and the other posters will get tomorrow, because, yes, it is possible to take food too seriously. I will say this to Barbara: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is dynamite if you add: 1 lb. ground pork, browned and seasoned, 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, 1 large chopped Vidalia onion, 1 can Campbell's Cheddar Soup. Trust me!

#6 JPW

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 07:23 AM

and I'm not talking about people who's lives revolve around it. anyone who's insane enough to own or work in a restuarant gets mad props, you're better people than I. I'm talking about people who's "hobby" it is eat and who feel personally connected to meals that they did nothing but consume. I guess the larger question is there a line between being a foodie (sweet jebus do I hate that term) and being a food snob?

As Mark said, YES.
There are indeed more important things in life. For example, Mrs JPW and Peanut (look to your left).
On the whole, I can be a rather dispassionate person, but food and drink are one of things that I get very emotional about. I think that we're all a little snobby about it on these boards. Do I look down on people feeding their kids at McD's? You betcha, but I like a sausage and egg biscuit as much as the next guy.

There's as much perfection in an heirloom tomato bought in season at the farmers' market as there is in Thomas Keller's Oysters and Pearls. Equal amounts of ecstasy to be found in that hidden gem of a divey neighborhood Thai joint as there is at Per Se.

What is a real food snob? To me, it is the person who looks only at the number of stars they eat at or the amount of money they spend on food and drink.

Joe
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#7 mktye

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 07:56 AM

What is a real food snob? To me, it is the person who looks only at the number of stars they eat at or the amount of money they spend on food and drink.

I'd like to add that, IMHO, it also includes those who judge a food by its ingredients rather than how it tastes. The "it contains foie gras [or any other high-end/hard to acquire/trendy ingredient], it must be good" way of thinking.

Which brings to mind a related question regarding perceptions & taste posed by the Venerable Viscount of Ventworm in a rather fleeting post here (but also posted more permanently elsewhere) about discovering that "a marvelous egg dish, something like a strada" contained Miracle Whip.
M. K. Tye

#8 DonRocks

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 07:58 AM

Which brings to mind a related question regarding perceptions & taste posed by the Venerable Viscount of Ventworm in a rather fleeting post here (but also posted more permanently elsewhere) about discovering that "a marvelous egg dish, something like a strada" contained Miracle Whip.


One day an apparition appeared before me, and made the following offer: you can have the best sex you've ever had in your life, IRA sex, the kind of sex where you'd cash in your entire retirement account to experience just one time.

"Cool!"

But there's one hitch…

Nervously, I asked, "what's the hitch?"

It has to be in a dark room.

"Are you kidding? Bring it on!"

Are you sure?

"Am I sure? I'm a guy! Of course I'm sure. Bring it on!

And so I showed up at the appointed hour and location and waited in the dark. I heard a door open, and then shut.

For the next two hours I was in a state of euphoria. Afterwards, I was exhausted, content, uplifted beyond my wildest dreams, and everything seemed right with the world. Then the lights went on.

"nnnnoooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

"AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!"

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!"

I awoke with a start and sat up in my bed, panting, drenched with sweat, in a state of disorientation and total panic. It was 2 AM, and I had just had an unspeakable nightmare.

The next day I was shopping at Whole Foods, and I picked up a beautiful-looking watermelon marked "Conventional," and thought about my horrible dream the night before. I immediately put it down and went over to the boxful of more-expensive, slightly lesser-looking watermelons marked "Organic," picked one up and put it in my cart, and continued my shopping.

One day I stayed at a Bed and Breakfast in the rural mountains of Virginia. For breakfast, the hostess served up a marvelous egg dish, something like a strada but not quite the same. She had sat down at the table, we were all enjoying the conversation, and I was commenting on how much I liked this dish. A smile came across her face, a coquettish smile, the kind of smile a child would have when he wants to tell you a secret, but also wants to keep you in suspense. She said, proudly, "it has a secret ingredient that makes it so good." "Well I would love to know what it is," I said, picking up my fork. And just as I put the next bite into my mouth, she chirped: "It's Miracle Whip!" All of a sudden that ethereal, subtle flavor that had so intrigued me became painfully clear, and this dish that I was enjoying so much instantly because as pleasurable as downing a mouthful of castor oil. I then had to sit there and finish the entire breakfast with her in front of me, beaming, and talking about all the things she does and all the inexpensive ingredients she uses to cut corners, and that nobody can ever tell the difference.

I propose that "tastes good" is a necessary but insufficient requirement for greatness. How something tastes is not enough. There must be substantially more behind any great dish than the illusory fallacy of "if it tastes good, it is good." A flawed-but-honest dish is always superior to something cunningly manipulated to "fool the diner" into thinking that it's good. And with that, I invite your comments and disagreements.

Cheers,
Rocks.

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#9 laniloa

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 08:14 AM

The line for me is when you start expecting everyone else to hold to your standards for taste, ingredients, etc. Do whatever you want in your own life but don't expect from others or judge them for doing differently. This includes knowing how to be a gracious guest (or host) when around those who don't share your inclinations. Taste is a subjective thing. Opinions are not facts.

#10 xdcx

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 08:41 AM

The line for me is when you start expecting everyone else to hold to your standards for taste, ingredients, etc.  Do whatever you want in your own life but don't expect from others or judge them for doing differently.  This includes knowing how to be a gracious guest (or host) when around those who don't share your inclinations.  Taste is a subjective thing.  Opinions are not facts.

It's this mindset that sparked this thread. I care far more about whether or not something tastes good to me than I do it's pedigree or whether or not I'm supposed to. I don't get wine. I don't drink alcohol. I never have and I never will. But what kills me is that to some it means that I simply will not be able to enjoy a meal to it's fullest extent, rather than understanding that some things are subjective.

#11 Jacques Gastreaux

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 08:43 AM

I wonder if risotto tastes better if you hand carry the special arborrio rice back from Italy. :lol:

Edited by Jacques Gastreaux, 27 May 2005 - 08:44 AM.

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#12 xdcx

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 10:01 AM

I wonder if risotto tastes better if you hand carry the special arborrio rice back from Italy. :lol:

and now you know what started this....

Edited by xdcx, 27 May 2005 - 10:01 AM.


#13 Kanishka

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 10:10 AM

My two cents...

I consider myself a food snob, but not an elitist. From the dictionary:

Elitist: someone who aligns themself with the upper classes or those in power

Snob: an offensive air of superiority in matters of knowledge and taste

Well, I'd take the offensive part out of that, but I certainly think that there are foods that are superior to others. But that doesn't mean upper class or expensive -- just higher quality. Sure I could use meat from Safeway to cook, but why when I can get an organic free range chicken from the market? And there are plenty of pricey and downright mediocre restaurants out there (Restaurant Kolumbia immediately comes to mind) that I would pass over gladly to chow down on Sodere's Doro Wat. And I'll fully admit that that is snobby of me. But is that wrong? Maybe the better word would be "picky" -- I'll eat anything, but I certainly prefer quality -- and price does not factor in there.

Oh, and JPW: Sausage biscuits are good, but nothing beets an egg mcmuffin to chase a hangover.

Hypocritical? Probably. But not elitist.

#14 Jonathan

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 10:29 AM

I cook for a living, I talk about food around my friends and my family all the time, and I cook on my free time.

but I have to say, nothing kills a nice meal, out or in, with people you truly care about, than being over critical or over intellectual about the food.

i save those conversations for days after the meal, or keep them to myself.

Eating is something that incorporates all the senses, but we would be foolish to think it doesnt include expectations, environment, mood etc...maybe this is for another thread....but the people that annoy me the most are the ones that ruin a perfectly good meal with good people by picking apart the food, the wine, the decor, etc..."oh, i'd give this a 22 out of 30, the risotto was a bit dry...." just makes me want to respond, "i'd give my company a 15 out of 30, they're a little judgmental for my taste..."

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#15 Barbara

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 10:53 AM

I cook for a living, I talk about food around my friends and my family all the time, and I cook on my free time.

but I have to say, nothing kills a nice meal, out or in, with people you truly care about, than being over critical or over intellectual about the food.

i save those conversations for days after the meal, or keep them to myself.

Eating is something that incorporates all the senses, but we would be foolish to think it doesnt include expectations, environment, mood etc...maybe this is for another thread....but the people that annoy me the most are the ones that ruin a perfectly good meal with good people by picking apart the food, the wine, the decor, etc..."oh, i'd give this a 22 out of 30, the risotto was a bit dry...." just makes me want to respond, "i'd give my company a 15 out of 30, they're a little judgmental for my taste..."

Oh, that's GOOOOD! :lol: ;) :P

#16 DonRocks

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:02 AM

but I have to say, nothing kills a nice meal, out or in, with people you truly care about, than being over critical or over intellectual about the food.

This is why I'm often spotted dining alone, muttering things to myself.

Sneers,
Auntie Social.

P.S. Was once arrested for going down a ski slope simultaneously masturbating and eating a slice of pizza.

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#17 bilrus

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:03 AM

Food can be enjoyed on many levels, from the basic pleasure of a ripe berry exploding in your mouth to the appreciation of the skill of a cook who can take inexpensive, basic ingredients and make them more than the sum of their parts, to gaining an appreciation of high-level, haute cuisine.

But in the end, it is all about good taste. When you can't find enjoyment in the simple or you focus on the analysis over the enjoyment, you've probably crossed that line.
Bill Russell

#18 JPW

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:18 AM

Ummm Don,
TMI

Cheers,
Onan

Joe
skewing old


#19 Jacques Gastreaux

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:21 AM

P.S. Was once arrested for going down a ski slope simultaneously masturbating and eating a slice of pizza.

Must have been some pretty good pizza. :lol:
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#20 Meaghan

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:24 AM

I like to use the suggestion box that most establishments have over by the toilets.

Who agrees, though?

Less outstanding food, served by a good soul, in a great room, under appropriate lighting, in a comfy chair, sitting amongst your most favorite people in the world...and drinking a great wine.

That's a great meal still.

#21 JPW

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:39 AM

I like to use the suggestion box that most establishments have over by the toilets.

For what? :lol:

Joe
skewing old


#22 Jonathan

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:40 AM

my favorite meal EVER...

fettucinni alfredo.

enjoyed in the company of 6 other people, at 12000' elevation at about 35 degrees in the pitch dark in the sierra nevada. we had just hiked 16 miles with 70 lb. packs from 4:30 am till about 5 or 6 at night over the highest pass in the whole sierra nevada range.

the food was hot, full of fat, and tasted amazing. the company was good, the conversation perfect.

in another setting, another mood, it wouldnt have been the same. but it truly was the best meal of my life.

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#23 Michael Landrum

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:40 AM

A flawed-but-honest dish is always superior to something cunningly manipulated to "fool the diner" into thinking that it's good. And with that, I invite your comments and disagreements.

Cheers,
Rocks.

 

No disagreement here, in fact, perfectly said. Now, if we can expand this topic to "Is it possible to take a restaurant too seriously?" I think I know one restaurant that would definitely fit the bill...



#24 shogun

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:44 AM

Sure, it's possible to take anything too seriously. Food is just easy to take 'too' seriously because there are so many aspects to focus on, and levels of eating to judge and compare. Other members of this club include car fanatics and 'audiophiles'.

There is nothing wrong with taking food 'too' seriously. The problem comes with the attitude with which you present it.

Oh, and Mark: Not bad, but I do mine with ground beef, half an onion, caremelized, and some garlic, then mix a little dijon mustard and a few tablespoons of salsa, into the 'sauce'. I use Annie's mac and cheese mix, though. There's nothing wrong with mac and cheese out of a box! :lol:

Edited by shogun, 27 May 2005 - 11:48 AM.

Matt Robinson

I'll have the beef car-patchio to start, and the braised lamb shank...........and a Yorkie. Buttered.

#25 DonRocks

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:47 AM

my favorite meal EVER...

fettucinni alfredo.

enjoyed in the company of 6 other people, at 12000' elevation at about 35 degrees in the pitch dark in the sierra nevada. we had just hiked 16 miles with 70 lb. packs from 4:30 am till about 5 or 6 at night over the highest pass in the whole sierra nevada range.

the food was hot, full of fat, and tasted amazing. the company was good, the conversation perfect.

in another setting, another mood, it wouldnt have been the same. but it truly was the best meal of my life.

 
In my long and checkered wine career, I've had the good fortune to drink Ramonet Montrachet, Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne, Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Eiswein, Trimbach Clos Saint-Hune, Haut-Brion Blanc, Chave Hermitage Vin de Paille, Chateau d'Yquem, Krug Clos du Mesnil...

...but in my lifetime, I'm certain that the greatest white wine I've ever had was a carafe of Cinque Terre Bianco at an outdoor cafe in Spezia, served with a gnocchi al pesto, after a long day of hiking on goat trails by the sea.


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#26 Mark Slater

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:54 AM

No disagreement here, in fact, perfectly said. Now, if we can expand this topic to "Is it possible to take a restaurant too seriously?" I think I know one restaurant that would definitely fit the bill...

 
Alinea?



#27 Barbara

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:58 AM

Oh, and Mark: Not bad, but I do mine with ground beef, half an onion, caremelized, and some garlic, then mix a little dijon mustard and a few tablespoons of salsa, into the 'sauce'. I use Annie's mac and cheese mix, though. There's nothing wrong with mac and cheese out of a box! tongue.gif

 
I was referring to mac and cheese made according to the directions, not something "adjusted" beyond all recognition. Sounds like you keep the dried pasta and throw away the "cheese" packet. I could go with that. wink.gif



#28 wineitup

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:58 AM

Yes, I think some people can be "food snobs", especially when it comes to wine.

These people either take themselves way to seriously or are trying to impress others or both.
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#29 Nadya

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:58 AM

What a fascinating subject! I do dislike the word "foodie" with a passion; it smacks of snobbery to me in the sense that people place themselves in the "foodie" category with an implication of possessing superior knowledge, when all they possess, in reality, is a mouth and a set of opinions. But for lack of better word, this term has come to mean someone who enjoys food and sees it as something more than a sum of calories.

Example. Took a friend to Komi and was predictably showered with mouth-watering morsels and bits out of the magic kitchen of Chef Monis, delivered and presented by the fabulous Sebastian. Raved to said friend about consumed dishes. At the end of the meal, the friend (a perfectly serviceable fellow otherwise!) took my hand and said, "You realize, my love, this is all lost on me."

Diagnosis: Not a Foodie. 

A food snob, on the other hand, is someone who has specific tastes in food and believes himself superior based on perception of knowledge. Someone who won't bend his preferences no matter what circumstances dictate. "I would NEVER eat a hotdog. Are you MAD?" 

Example. A conscientious H&D would call, cheerily, "How was your dinner??" to the departing guests, and would actually like to know the answer. Most people would smile sastifiedly and say, fine, amazing, okay, fantastic. A few months ago a couple, upon hearing the question, stopped and said, "Well, your foie gras was flat. And the ingredients in the risotto did not marry well. The whole experience is just so dated."

 
Dianosis: Food Snobs.  


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#30 Jonathan

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:59 AM

In my long and checkered wine career, I've had the good fortune to drink Ramonet Montrachet, Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne, Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Eiswein, Trimbach Clos Saint-Hune, Haut-Brion Blanc, Chave Hermitage Vin de Paille, Chateau d'Yquem, Krug Clos du Mesnil...

...but in my lifetime, I'm certain that the greatest white wine I've ever had was a carafe of Cinque Terre Bianco at an outdoor cafe in Spezia, served with a gnocchi al pesto, after a long day of hiking on goat trails by the sea.

 

now we are getting somewhere. the snob would have ripped that wine to shreads and not just enjoyed the moment. they would have spent the time comparing and contrasting the wine to others they have had as well as the gnocchi (Is it better than Palena's?) and let the moment slip by.

food is my work and passion, but it should be an accent or a harmony to lifes song...not be the song itself.


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#31 DonRocks

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 12:30 PM

mktye, in her May 27th blog entry, writes:

(So using the Miracle Whip incident as an example... theoretically speaking, you make the dish and as one of the components use:

-- Fresh eggs, gathered just that morning from free-ranging chickens, first-press olive oil, the finest imported mustard, sea salt from the shores of Brittany & some cane sugar, all whipped together until they form a nice emulsion.

-- Organic eggs from Whole Foods, organic safflower oil, organic mustard, sun-dried sea salt & minimally-refined sugar, all whipped together (by hand with a whisk) until they form a nice emulsion.

-- Eggs from the grocery store, Wesson oil, mustard, salt & sugar, all whipped together until they form a nice emulsion.

-- The finest "gourmet" mayonnaise from Dean & DeLuca

-- Hellman's (or Best Foods for you west coast readers!) brand mayonnaise

-- Miracle Whip

So at exactly what point does it become unpalatable?

 

Here's my short answer: when you wouldn't want to consume the individual components that make up the final dish (with different individuals having their own threshholds of tolerance, of course).

Suppose you've been using a babysitter for the past five years, thinking it was a perfect business relationship. Then you hook up a nannycam one day and see that this person has been stealing from you...


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#32 Jacques Gastreaux

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 12:52 PM

So at exactly what point does it become unpalatable?

 
The answer to this question will vary from person to person. One person we all know and love would not be able to get past the first recipe. As for me, when I'm camping with my kids, I take Hellman's. I never buy Miracle Whip. The reason they call it "Miracle" whip is because it's a miracle anyone buys that stuff.


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#33 Meaghan

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 01:03 PM

The answer to this question will vary from person to person. One person we all know and love would not be able to get past the first recipe. As for me, when I'm camping with my kids, I take Hellman's. I never buy Miracle Whip. The reason they call it "Miracle" whip is because it's a miracle anyone buys that stuff.

 
Hellman's is a lovely product. I like things that bring out the best.

Me no like Whole Foods canola oil crap.
Me no like Tofuya. Or whatev.
Me no like whipped miracles.

Miracle whip sounds pornographic or like unplanned parenthood.



#34 Al Dente

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 01:19 PM

[Sigh.  Posted on eGullet 2003-2004]
One day I stayed at a Bed and Breakfast in the rural mountains of Virginia. For breakfast, the hostess served up a marvelous egg dish, something like a strada but not quite the same.

 

Doesn't the context count for anything here? A B&B in rural VA? If Miracle Whip was used in a dish at a serious restaurant, I'd be taken aback, perhaps even angry, but it was just a B&B. The woman who served it up wasn't trying to pull one over on anyone, she was just serving up the recipe her dearly departed aunt Gerty came up with 25 years ago and her whole family enjoys. So what? BFD. In a setting such as this, if you're enjoying it, it's good food.

And with that, I'm a ventworm. So you can attribute the above to my newly acquired nuts.


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"The sun's not yellow it's chicken."

-- Bob Dylan


#35 DonRocks

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 01:22 PM

Doesn't the context count for anything here? A B&B in rural VA?

 
To this day, I regret using this as an example. As much play as this essay has gotten, I should have come up with something a whole lot better.


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#36 Heather

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 01:22 PM

I never buy Miracle Whip.  The reason they call it "Miracle" whip is because it's a miracle anyone buys that stuff.

 
I grew up on the stuff because it's what my dad grew up using. My dad's family was from the OK panhandle (moved from the "dust bowl" to LA), and MW was more popular that mayonnaise there - probably because it was cheaper. My mom was in the mayo camp but bowed to dad's preferences because that is what one did in the early 60's.

I don't use it a lot, but certain things just taste like "home" with it. It certainly doesn't keep me up at night wondering about my "foodie" cred. rolleyes.gif



#37 Jacques Gastreaux

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 01:31 PM

I grew up on the stuff because it's what my dad grew up using.  My dad's family was from the OK panhandle (moved from the "dust bowl" to LA), and MW was more popular that mayonnaise there - probably because it was cheaper.  My mom was in the mayo camp but bowed to dad's preferences because that is what one did in the early 60's.

I don't use it a lot, but certain things just taste like "home" with it.  It certainly doesn't keep me up at night wondering about my "foodie" cred. rolleyes.gif

 
Don't get me wrong, it was in the refigerator when I was a kid growing up as well. I didn't like it then and because they called it "mayonaise" it took me a long time to like real mayonaise.


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#38 Jacques Gastreaux

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 01:33 PM

And with that, I'm a ventworm. So you can attribute the above to my newly acquired nuts.

 
Beware the negative implication.


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#39 Heather

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 01:39 PM

Don't get me wrong, it was in the refigerator when I was a kid growing up as well.  I didn't like it then and because they called it "mayonaise" it took me a long time to like real mayonaise.

 
Same here. Real mayonnnaise was gross until I got to cooking school and had to make it.

The estimable Mr. Dente said it best. If it tasted good, why get offended? BFD.



#40 Heather

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 01:42 PM

In my long and checkered wine career, I've had the good fortune to drink Ramonet Montrachet, Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne, Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Eiswein, Trimbach Clos Saint-Hune, Haut-Brion Blanc, Chave Hermitage Vin de Paille, Chateau d'Yquem, Krug Clos du Mesnil...

...but in my lifetime, I'm certain that the greatest white wine I've ever had was a carafe of Cinque Terre Bianco at an outdoor cafe in Spezia, served with a gnocchi al pesto, after a long day of hiking on goat trails by the sea.

 
And Breadline sandwiches don't hold a candle to eating tuna fish sandwiches (made with Hellman's tongue.gif ) with Lay's potato chips while watching my kids experience the beach for the first time.

Context...



#41 Barbara

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 02:17 PM

What Heather said.

#42 Kanishka

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 03:07 PM

Lately I have been troubled by the foodie term. But really, is there a better one? I guess the difference between loving good food and other hobbys (reading, music, art) is that everyone consumes. Though I dislike the baggage of haughty superiority that the term carries, there really ain't much better.

I think Robb Walsh is a great example of a true foodie -- someone who appreciates food in any context and in any situation to realize its merits. It doesn't need to be served on linens, decanted into crystal, or presented on fine china. Good food is good food.

Jonathan and DonRocks, thanks for your stories -- that's kind of my point exactly. I ate what was basically a potato latke, Tibetan style, at 12,000 feet, piping hot, out of a newspaper cone from a street vendor. And I can still taste it.

Kanishka

#43 Mark Slater

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 03:40 PM

Lately I have been troubled by the foodie term. But really, is there a better one?
Kanishka

 
I like " Gastronaut " . cool.gif



#44 Stretch

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 03:55 PM

"Bon Vivant." Fun to say and annoys fuckhead Freedom Fry Francophobes.
Andrew Clark.

"A thick layer of beef fat and cabernet obscures my memories of the evening. It's possible I was raped by a bull."

#45 CrescentFresh

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 05:00 PM

Boy, there's so much here to chew on.

I'm thinking particularly of some things that Jonathan and Nadya had to say. 50% of the time, I'm one of those people who say, when asked how my meal is, "Oh, fine, thank you." That's usually when I'm not expecting that the server nor the kitchen gives a shit.

The other 50% of the time, I give a serious answer about how I am experiencing the dish. That doesn't mean that everyone is going to think the same thing that I am. But I think there are certain restaurants that we all eat in where they really do care what the guest thinks about it.

I mean, why bother spending the time to use certain ingredients, to put said ingredients in certain combinations, to put it on the plate with "oh-so-much-care" if you didn't give a shit about what you were doing and hoping that the diner understands the forethought that went into the dish.

All of us here rave or pan certain dishes, restaurants, etc. We don't do it because we're snobs. I don't think I'm a snob. But I do know that I eat out a lot more often than the average bear. And I know that I eat a larger variety of food styles than John and Jane Doe. And I know that I drink wine regularly with my meals, which is more frequently than Joe Sixpack.

Is a surgeon a health snob because he knows how to clean out your arteries or do a better kidney transplant for you than the dude at the 7-11? No. He's studied it and he spends more time doing it than the average bear....(not to mention that school and licensing thing).

The other night, I'm at one of our favorite restaurants. I asked for a wine recommendation and went with it. It didn't hit me as well as it did my companions. When I was asked about it, I was up front about my impressions. I didn't dislike the wine, but to MY taste, it didn't match what I was expecting.

Taste is individual. I know that the person who recommended that wine to me has excellent/superb taste. 99 out of 100 things this man can offer me will knock my socks off. This one didn't. I don't feel that this person is any less qualified to offer me suggestions because I didn't like this one item. At the same time, I'd have felt I'd be doing a disservice to him if I decided not to share my feelings about it.

I would like to hope that service personnel really do want to hear honest opinions about what's being put in front of them. I don't believe for an instant that I'm a food snob if I tell a chef that the ingredients in a risotto didn't marry well. Hell, Jared from Sonoma is asking us for our true thoughts on the meals ready to come from that kitchen. Would it be helpful to Jared to ask someone who regularly eats nothing but McDonalds and Cheesecake Factory? Probably, but maybe not as much as someone with a finer tuned palate whose had more experience eating a wider variety of ingredients in wider combinations.

I'd hate to see the point where restaurant personnel are such "artistes" that "if you don't like it, then fuck you." Or diners are too wimpy to speak their mind about their true feelings about a dish. I know that when I share my feelings about a meal, as I did with that wine the other night, I don't do it to show off or to make others feel bad. I do it because I believe that in the kitchen there is a chef who takes pride in his/her work and I am respectful and serious about what they do. If I don't share my opinions on something, then I feel like I'm doing them a disservice.

And if you don't like it, then fuck you! :lol:

(and with homage to Al Dente, with that, I'm a grouper. Do groupers have nuts? Salted or roasted?)

Edited by CrescentFresh, 27 May 2005 - 05:05 PM.

"Give me a Sandwich and a Douchebag and there's nothing I cannot do." -- Lord Salisbury

#46 mktye

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 05:30 PM

I mean, why bother spending the time to use certain ingredients, to put said ingredients in certain combinations, to put it on the plate with "oh-so-much-care" if you didn't give a shit about what you were doing and hoping that the diner understands the forethought that went into the dish.

 

I do think there are chefs out there who don't really care that much about the diner. Their main desire is to make exquisite food and the customers are simply a means to pay the bills so they can continue to do what they love. The incentive for them is not to please others, but to overcome the challenges of environment/ingredients/abilities and create masterpieces of culinary perfection.

And if you don't like it, then fuck you!  smile.gif

 

So what do you really think? wink.giflaugh.gif


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#47 Jacques Gastreaux

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 06:49 PM

(and with homage to Al Dente, with that, I'm a grouper.  Do groupers have nuts?  Salted or roasted?)

 

Curried.


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#48 Barbara

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 07:48 PM

Here's a scenario for you: You discover a really nice recipe and it becomes a "company" dish you serve when you are looking to make people happy.

I have such a recipe, which was published in the Post years ago in the Food Section under the "Dinner Tonight" feature. It sounded so bizarre, I had to make it. I am talking the "Chicken with Peaches and Basil." This stuff is just delicious and a perfect summer dish when peaches are at their peak. (I long ago substituted raspberry vinegar for the balsamic originally called for.)

You haul peaches and basil on a plane and make this for people who have been enormously helpful to you. Then you hear "I like PLAIN food." What does this mean? Am I being too "serious" about food? Am I supposed to throw a chicken breast on a plate and skip the peaches, basil, shallots and cream? Is this an example of someone not being serious ENOUGH about food?

The payback to all this is that my late mother looked forward to my visits because I did most of the cooking. And my Aunt, who lives in this area, said at dinner one night to Craig, "I have never had a bad meal in this house." (She was lucky, of course. Craig can tell you about the inedible stuff I've made from time to time. Fortunately for us, the Astor is just up the street and stays open late.)

#49 Al Dente

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 09:15 PM

(and with homage to Al Dente, with that, I'm a grouper.  Do groupers have nuts?  Salted or roasted?)

 
Congratulations on your Grouperhood! I wasn't so sure about the nut posession status of groupers myself. I can only assume ventworms have nuts due to Mr Rockwell's often-mentioned familiarity and presumed expertise with them. Apparently, they're real delicacies amongst the food snobnoscenti-- expecially when presented atop a generous dollop of Miracle Whip which is often referred to as "fauxni aioli".


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"The sun's not yellow it's chicken."

-- Bob Dylan


#50 Ferhat Yalcin

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 10:38 PM

``I would like to hope that service personnel really do want to hear honest opinions about what's being put in front of them.

If I don't share my opinions on something, then I feel like I'm doing them a disservice.`` copypasted from the post above...

I wish everyone could think like this.
There are alot of people out there who will smile at your face and go think how bad their experience was.

Edited by Ferhat Yalcin, 28 May 2005 - 03:11 PM.

Fishnet Restaurant(s)

 

- 5010 Berwyn Rd, College Park, MD, 20740
301 220 10 70

 

- 1819 7th St, NW, Washington DC, 20001
202 350 4 350

 

www.eatfishnet.com





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